1 Thursday, 10 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
6 case, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you follow in a language
11 that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can follow it
13 in a language that I understand.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. Julian Nicholls with
17 Denise Gustin and I would like to introduce Dominic Raab who is the legal
18 adviser to the British Embassy in The Hague who will be here at least for
19 the beginning of the proceedings.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you and welcome, Mr. Raab.
21 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman and
23 I'm here with Aleksandar Vujic.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you too. I hear
25 that you have already been communicated some good news by our president,
1 Mr. Ackerman?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we had a call about 10.00 last night
3 from the U.S. Embassy saying that the general licence had been issued.
4 They didn't have it in their hands but they had word from Washington that
5 it was issued so I'm satisfied that that's happened and I spoke with the
6 President this morning and he confirmed that, so I think it's --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right I thank you.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I that's done. May I raise one matter?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's unless the Prosecution has matters to raise
11 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Ackerman, go ahead.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Yesterday, there was discussion regarding the
14 statement of a potential witness and the Court ordered that it be turned
15 over in redacted form. Your Honour, I've received it and had a look and
16 it and it appears to me -- and of course it's almost impossible for me to
17 tell, but it appears to me the redactions are really, really excessive and
18 that it has been redacted to the point where it basically does not make
19 sense. And so what I would request is that Your Honours review those
20 redactions, because it's basically -- if the purpose was to advise the
21 Defence as to what this witness was prepared to say, I think it has failed
22 because of the excessive redactions.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, I speak for myself. I haven't seen
24 the redacted form and I haven't read the unredacted statement for a very
25 simple reason that I wanted to hear your reaction first before going
1 through this statement, because it would have made much more sense then
2 than if I had read it first and then listened to what you had to say based
3 on a redacted form. So I need to first make comparative exercise between
4 the two texts and then we will come back to it probably I come back to it
5 tomorrow. You'll be here tomorrow morning, no?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I will, Your Honour, and I want to underscore the
7 objection that I believe was made by Ms. Baruch yesterday and that is that
8 we sort of have a fundamental objection to the Prosecution asking the
9 Court to turn a Prosecution witness into a Court witness because we just
10 think that's not proper. And I think that's a good objection, frankly.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
13 Any further matters?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. All right. The witness is in open session, no?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, there is one area where we will
17 need to go into private to deal with some issues.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
19 Usher, could you bring the witness in, please?
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning to you, sir.
22 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You're familiar with this Tribunal so we don't need
24 any elaborate introductions. Madam Usher is going to hand you the text of
25 the solemn declaration you're required to make before you start giving
1 evidence. Please proceed and that will be your sol up undertaking with
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir, please take a seat.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
7 WITNESS: EWAN BROWN
8 JUDGE AGIUS: The Prosecution has sometime back provided us with
9 your statement as an expert witness pursuant to Rule 94 bis which we have
10 gone through. Today, and part of tomorrow, you're going to be
11 examined-in-chief by Mr. Nicholls, based mainly on your report.
12 Cross-examination is being deferred to sometime in October, unless we
13 agree that it will take place late August but that depends on some
14 arrangements that may need to be made and also on whether Mr. Ackerman
15 will be prepared to cross-examine you late August. But in any case, the
16 message is that you are only going to be examined in chief now and that
17 cross-examination is deferred. Thank you.
18 Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Examined by Mr. Nicholls:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Brown.
22 A. Good morning, Mr. Nicholls.
23 Q. Could you please state your name and date of birth for the
25 A. My name is Ewan Brown. I was born on the 15th of May, 1964.
1 Q. I know that you've testified previously in this Tribunal but I'd
2 like to remind you that because we both speak the same language and
3 because our conversation is being translated, we need to allow a little
4 bit of a gap between questions and answers.
5 Could you state your citizenship, please.
6 A. I'm a British citizen.
7 Q. And where are you -- what is your current employment?
8 A. I'm currently an analyst working in the military analysis team at
9 the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY.
10 Q. And how long have you held that position?
11 A. I arrived here in August, 1998.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: May we go into private session, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session, please.
14 [Private session]
12 Pages 19217 – redacted – private session.
10 [Open session]
11 MR. NICHOLLS: We are in open session, okay.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. Mr. Brown, I'd like to now ask you a few questions about how you
15 came to be asked to write this report and what you did in the process of
16 preparing the report. Have you brought a copy of your report with you
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. All right.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I would hope so.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Of course.
22 Q. Now, your report entitled Military Developments in the Bosanska
23 Krajina 1992: A Background Study, dated 27 November, 2002, could you tell
24 the Court first of all, please, who asked you to prepare this report?
25 A. Ms. Korner asked me to prepare the report.
1 Q. And what direction did she give you? What -- was this a written
2 memo asking you to prepare the report or a conversation? Can you describe
3 what you were told when you were asked to prepare this report.
4 A. There wasn't a written memo in relation to the preparation of the
5 report. Ms. Korner simply asked me to provide a background analysis
6 report on the activity of the JNA, and the VRS, and Bosnian Serb forces
7 working in the Krajina in 1992. It was a somewhat general tasking from
8 her and I received that tasking around the middle of 2000. I believe
9 around May or June, 2000.
10 Q. Now, you used mainly or exclusively documentary material in this
11 report; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. And was that your decision or the decision of anybody else?
14 A. It was my decision.
15 Q. Could you briefly go through which types of documentary material,
16 what sources of information you relied upon in preparing your report?
17 A. When I was asked to compile the report, I'd already been doing
18 some work in exploiting the first military -- the 1st Krajina Corps
19 military collection which had been seized by the Office of the Prosecutor
20 sometime prior to this. And I utilised a significant number of documents
21 from that military collection which were the archive or a component of the
22 archive of the 1st Krajina Corps. I also utilised other military
23 documents which had arrived in the possession of the Office of the
24 Prosecutor, as well as police reports which specifically made reference to
25 military issues or joint operations. I utilised a number of political
1 documents, documents written by political bodies or decisions from
2 political bodies where I felt that there was a defence-related issue or
3 military-related issue or it reflected on some of the other military
4 documents and I also used a small number of open-source documents, media
5 references and one or two videos, I believe. So in essence, the
6 documentation can be split into four sections, military documents, a
7 number of police documents, some political documents, and some open-source
9 Q. Who selected the documents to be included in the report?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. Now, this report is quite lengthy, just about 200 pages, and it's
12 got almost or over 900 footnotes and citations. Approximately how many
13 documents did you use in the report?
14 A. I'm unclear exactly the number. I think it maybe around about
15 over 600. There are a number of duplications and multiple references,
16 same document being referenced a number of times in the footnotes but I'm
17 unclear exactly how many documents but there are over 900 references,
19 Q. One of the -- right in the beginning of your report in the
20 introduction, you state what the aim of the report was. Could you explain
21 to the Tribunal what you - what your aim was in writing this report, what
22 you hoped to achieve in writing it?
23 A. I think the aim is on page 4 in the introduction is simply to
24 provide a background analysis from documentary material on the activities
25 of the JNA, VRS, and other military forces operating in Northern Bosnia
1 known as the Krajina -- Bosnian Krajina in 1992. What I wanted to try and
2 do was to break that down into various themes that I believe might be
3 relevant to that aim of understanding some or getting a better analysis or
4 understanding of the military activity in the Krajina.
5 Q. And that aim and the themes you just talked about, again, was that
6 your decision to structure the report that way or was that -- did anybody
7 else tell you to write the report in that manner?
8 A. The aim of course was really given by Ms. Korner but in terms of
9 the structure of the report, the content of the report, and the way that I
10 decided to write it, then that was purely my decision.
11 Q. You also in your report say that the report has some limitations,
12 as obviously any report does. Could you describe to the Chamber what you
13 believe any limitations of your report may be.
14 A. Yes, Your Honours. I think it is important to note that the
15 document does have some limitations. It's not an exhaustive study of
16 every aspect of military operations in the Krajina. I think I would be
17 here until -- well, for a long time if I had to do that. So there is a
18 limitation, a practical limitation on it that I was set. It does cover
19 predominantly 1992 so that a time limitation there, doesn't necessarily go
20 into significant detail and activities in 1991 or necessarily activities
21 post-1992 so there is a time limitation there too. And it is a
22 documentary-based report. That in itself has a potential limiting factor
23 too. These are some of the limitations. The main one I would argue
24 though is that it does not cover every single aspect of activities in the
25 Krajina and it is focused heavily on the activities of the Bosnian Serb
1 forces. So I would ask you to be wary of those limitations in the report.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. I would like to now tender the report,
3 Your Honours, which will be P2416, I believe. There is also an errata
4 sheet to the report which Mr. Brown has prepared, which I suppose could be
6 Q. And while I'm here, Mr. Brown, can you just tell us what that
7 errata sheet is and why you prepared that.
8 A. Obviously it's a rather lengthy report and it was written over a
9 reasonable period of time and on looking at it again, there are a number
10 of errors in it, in terms of spelling mistakes, ERN references which were
11 either wrong or subsequent translations came out, maybe I quoted the draft
12 translation. And a number of -- a few, very few, changes in terms of
13 translation. I may have quoted a draft translation and when it came back
14 in final, the translation was slightly different. So it's not substantive
15 changes particularly but small typing errors and the like.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: May I continue, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. All right. I'd like to now begin discussing your report, moving
20 to the first section. You begin section 1, Political/Military
21 Developments on page 12 of the report, and the first portion of the
22 executive summary of the report on page 5 also deals with these
23 developments. In essence, you've begun your report here by talking about,
24 I suppose, a shift or changes in the policy of the JNA, and you wrote in
25 your executive summary that: "By April, 1992, there had been a growing
1 convergence between the JNA and the Serbian Democratic Party or SDS."
2 Can you explain why you began the report on this issue.
3 A. When I came to write the report, I wanted to try and put some
4 contextual background to the activities of the JNA earlier in 1992, and I
5 looked at JNA military documents from the period in essence to try and lay
6 some kind of framework or groundwork on what the JNA's perspective was on
7 the issues in Bosnia-Herzegovina prior to looking at issues in relation to
8 the 5th Corps and its activities, 5th Corps, 1st Krajina Corps and its
9 activities later in 1992. So it really was an attempt as an introduction
10 to lay some context from what the documents told me in the early part of
12 Q. Now, if we look at your report, in paragraph 1.3, on page 12, the
13 first document you selected to footnote is a report on the state of combat
14 readiness for 1991 of the 2nd Military District command. That has ERN
15 number 0110-9699 for the translation. Can you tell us why you selected
16 that document and what that says to you on this topic we have been talking
17 about, the background of the problems facing the JNA and the 5th Corps at
18 this time period?
19 A. This is a document which from the title is somewhat self
20 explanatory and it's from the 2nd military district which had just
21 recently been established as a result in part of the withdrawal of the JNA
22 from Croatia and it's a report in early January from the 2nd military
23 district, doing I would argue two things. One is looking back to some
24 degree on the activities in 1991 in Croatia and the formation of the 2nd
25 Military District and the problems or otherwise from that deployment, but
1 also looking towards Bosnia-Herzegovina and the problems that they were
2 highlighting as potential difficulties for the district. The 2nd Military
3 District was headquartered in Sarajevo and covered, to all intents and
4 purposes, the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 So it was a document both looking back into 1991 as well as
6 looking at some of the issues and problems that they believed they were
7 going to be facing in the district in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in relation
8 to the second part, and reading this document, it is clear that they were
9 very aware of the problems of ethnic division and the problems that ethnic
10 or they call them mono national parties had caused in Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 and they are wary or critical of all three ethnic parties in this
12 document, and that the problems are going to occur in Bosnia.
13 Q. Now, you state in your executive summary, concerning this section,
14 that: "At this time the JNA adopted a twin-track policy of attempting to
15 reduce tensions in order to keep the republic within the federal
16 Yugoslavia, yet at the same time provide support to Bosnian Serbs." Is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes. I believe that is the case and I would argue that's what the
19 documents would appear to indicate. The JNA of course was a federal body
20 and it would seem possibly somewhat self-evident that it would wish to try
21 and maintain Yugoslavia as an entity despite Croatia and Slovenia seceding
22 from Yugoslavia. There are also references in the early part of 1992 and
23 in fact going into the spring of 1992 where the JNA was saying that it was
24 trying to stop ethnic divisions and ethnic tensions and reduce ethnic
25 tensions in areas, but I would believe that from those it was as part of
1 trying to keep Bosnia within Yugoslavia.
2 It's evident that as we move into the spring of 1992, that it's
3 clear that they were, however, providing assistance to the Bosnian Serbs
4 and that there was this growing convergence between the JNA and the SDS in
5 Bosnia in particular, and manifested itself in May 1992 with the
6 establishment of the VRS.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to tender this document, Your Honours. It
9 has not previously been an exhibit. We are up to P2417. Your Honours, we
10 are using Sanction for this presentation. I've just been told that we
11 will tender hard copies at the end of these exhibits.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Brown, on the same topic, you -- I'd like to look at the
13 second document which you selected for inclusion in your report. It's
14 footnote 2. Again, another report, this one titled: "Based on
15 Assessments of the Situation in the Territory of BH in the Area of
16 Responsibility of the 2nd Military District." This has been previously
17 exhibited as P1574.
18 Briefly, can you tell us why you included this document as well
19 and if there are any areas you'd like to highlight which go to what we
20 have been talking about.
21 A. This is also a document from the headquarters of the 2nd Military
22 District and I thought it was of note to compare some of the language and
23 content of this document with the one previously which was written only
24 two months prior to that. The first document in January is also critical
25 at times of the Bosnian Serbs and is critical in general of all ethnic
1 parties as contributing to -- they use the word chaos in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This document in March, 1992, written by the --
3 certainly signed off by the commander of the 2nd Military District, I
4 would argue indicates this shift. There are references here to the SDS
5 arming or providing arms, there are references to the commander saying
6 that the position of the Serbs is the most -- the Bosnian Serbs, the SDS
7 is the most appropriate and that they will be meeting with the leaders of
8 the Serbian people and these specifically makes reference to Karadzic,
9 Koljevic, Plavsic, Krajisnik, and Djukic, the key republican or key
10 Bosnian Serb leadership at the time. And I think when you compare the two
11 documents, you do see this gradual shift or this notable shift in a
12 relatively short space of time.
13 Q. Thank you. I'd like to move on and look quickly at another
14 document. This is number 6 in your footnotes. This has been previously
15 exhibited as P1576. And it's actually earlier. It's from the December
16 1991. It's entitled: "Directive on the Use of the Armed Forces for the
17 Preparation and Performance of Combat Operations in the Forthcoming
18 Period." You cite this in paragraph 1.7 of your report. And you state
19 that: "During the latter stages of the operations in Croatia, the JNA's
20 own directive had declared that THE objective of the JNA was the
21 protection of the Serbian population," and I believe that appears on page
22 3 of the document. I think this is fairly self-evident, but can you
23 explain why you selected this document and its significance.
24 A. I think in -- as you say, it's somewhat self-evident in terms of
25 what it says, that its aims are to protect the Serbian population. I
1 would also stress that it does mention that an aim is also for the
2 peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav crisis and the creation of conditions
3 in which Yugoslavia may be preserved for those people who wish to live in
4 it. This I believe highlights this position of trying to maintain
5 Yugoslavia or at least as much of Yugoslavia as can be maintained, as well
6 as a specific reference to the Serbian people. It doesn't talk about all
7 peoples but the protection -- protection of all peoples but specifically
8 the Serbian people. I would to some extent caution this document in that
9 it is making reference to operations in Croatia. It's a directive that
10 came out in December 1991. I think it's an important document as well in
11 that there was a directive in September 1991 from the JNA which dealt with
12 launching operations into Croatia, and the aim of those operations were
13 notably far more -- far grander, if you like, to head to the Hungarian
14 border to deblock barracks and by the 10th of December, 1991, those JNA
15 objectives had become far more restricted to those in essence protecting
16 the Serb areas and maintaining as much of Yugoslavia as possible. So I
17 think this is a document that predominantly refers to Croatia but it is
18 from the senior JNA leadership and I believe that that directive was also
19 the type of directives that we see or the instructions that we see
20 occurring in the 2nd Military District.
21 Q. Thank you. That's clear. A similar document I'd like to talk
22 about next, this is footnoted 21, previously exhibited as P365. And you
23 reference this in paragraph 1.18 of your report, which is on page 17.
24 This is a letter to the Banja Luka Corps from the 5th Corps command and
25 again, you've spoken about in your report that this document is an example
1 of the growing emphasis on protection of the Serbian population.
2 Could you please just take a look at this document, refresh
3 yourself, and tell us why this one was significant to you and you included
5 A. I think there are a number of interesting strands in this document
6 from General Talic written on the 3rd of April. It articulates or looks
7 back to what the 5th Corps had achieved or what he believed the 5th Corps
8 had achieved in its operations so far and I draw your attention to the
9 section halfway down the page where he states that: "By their eight-month
10 struggle, the soldiers of the 5th Corps had saved the Serbian people of
11 Western Slavonia from being exterminated by the Ustashas. We had
12 liberated and captured Serbian territories in this part of Croatia,
13 prevented the penetration of Paraga troopers, which are Croatian
14 nationalists, in the territory of the Bosnian Krajina and created
15 conditions for the arrival of the UN peacekeeping forces which would mark
16 the end of the war in these parts."
17 By specifically referencing in essence protecting the Serbian
18 people and extermination of the Serbian people in those areas, I think
19 it's an useful indicator of his belief at the time. I'd also draw your
20 attention to the issue in relation to the barricades in Banja Luka on the
21 3rd of April, where he clearly was aware of the fact that SOS or Serbian
22 armed forces had set up barricades, and he himself said that they
23 represented a peace -- a threat to the peace in the Bosnian Krajina. But
24 he also qualifies that by saying that there was no real reason for this
25 because the demands that had been set by this group could have and must be
1 resolved peacefully. So he is in essence articulating that this Serbian
2 armed group should be negotiated with and their issues and demands be
3 resolved peacefully.
4 The last paragraph, paragraph 3, states that: "Make sure the
5 Banja Luka Corps remains a reliable defenders of all peoples and
6 nationalities in the Bosnian Krajina and it enables the people of the
7 Krajina to peacefully build a democratic government and build together
8 with other peoples and republics that wish to do so a new common state in
9 which our children will not fight wars."
10 Now, on the face of it that seems a reasonable statement but the
11 fact that he appears to be talking about building a new common state with
12 other republics I would argue again is indicative of this desire at this
13 time to try and maintain Yugoslavia as a viable entity and to keep Bosnia
14 or as much of Bosnia in one state. So I think there are a few interesting
15 strands in this document from Talic in early April.
16 Q. Let me just ask you as well, because obviously we won't be able to
17 go through all of the military documents which you've cited in your
18 report, but the language here which we see, about how: "The 5th Corps
19 saved the Serbian peoples of Western Slavonia from being exterminated by
20 Ustashas," did that type of language, the tenor we see there, did that
21 increase, decrease, or stay the same, this sort of I'd call it
22 inflammatory, aggressive language, during the period we are talking about
23 in the documents which you've reviewed?
24 A. It definitely increased from this period and I've made reference
25 to that later on in the report, in press reports, documents, General
1 Talic's own documents, that type of language certainly increased through
3 Q. Thank you. There is only one other document I'd like to look at
4 with you while we are on this topic before we move on, and that is the
5 document cited in footnote 49. This is a 30th division, 30th Partisan
6 division command order from April 1992. It has previously been exhibited
7 as P888. And you cite that in paragraph 1.37 of your report on page 23.
8 And this document in April, on page 1, states: "Re-examine the officer
9 structure of the battalion and if possible assign reserve officers to
10 appropriate positions regardless of whether they are members of the SDS,
11 Serbian Democratic Party, or not."
12 Can you tell us if you see any significance of that statement or
13 other statements in this document, regarding the topic we are talking
14 about, the growing convergence of the JNA to the SDS?
15 A. Yes. I only thought it was of value in placing that in some
16 contrast with the early January 1992 document from the 2nd Military
17 District which did, on the face of it, criticise the SDS and criticised
18 the three ethnic parties as being a contributing factor to the chaos in
19 Bosnia. And here we have a few months later the 30th division, which was
20 a subordinate formation of the 5th Corps saying that in essence, we will
21 have SDS officers in the division. It doesn't specifically make reference
22 to any other party but I thought that was of some interest in contrasting
23 with some of the earlier references.
24 Q. If you go to page 4 of this document, Mr. Brown --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise.
2 Q. If we could look at page 4 of the same document, Mr. Brown, at the
3 top of the page paragraph D, Show of Force is the heading of that
4 paragraph. The document states: "Put on a show of force by moving units
5 and combat hardware, particularly towards municipalities of Jajce and
6 Bugojno and in certain situations also towards Kljuc municipality, in
7 order to defuse tensions and prevent interethnic clashes in the area where
8 Serbs are a minority."
9 We've seen -- we've talked about similar references. Could you
10 explain that portion?
11 A. Well, again, here, I would argue this comment would appear to show
12 this convergence that the JNA, which at this time was -- this convergence
13 in essence with the protecting the Serbian interests and Serbian people,
14 and here we show the 30th division basically putting on a show of force in
15 two municipalities which were predominantly non-Serb.
16 Q. Thank you. Finally, if you could look at page 5 of this document,
17 the last page, paragraph 7, Command and Control, you cited this in your
18 report on page 23, paragraph 1.37, and you talked about the -- part of
19 this order which states: "In the areas of responsibility of all units,
20 intensify cooperation with SJB and TO organs and ensure ongoing and secure
21 communications with them."
22 Can you tell us what the significance was at all about this
23 intensified cooperation which appears in this report?
24 A. This is one of a number of documents around this time which
25 indicate or instruct that type of cooperation and I think it's a mechanism
1 by which -- to ensure better coordination, better control, in the areas
2 that the division is going to be working in, and it becomes a feature
3 regularly and is referenced regularly in military documents throughout
5 Q. Sorry, I misspoke. It wasn't this precise document which was
6 cited for that proposition, but it's the same point.
7 If we can move along to another topic now, it's related. We have
8 been talking about the convergence of the JNA and the SDS, and I think you
9 said right at the beginning that the greatest manifestation of that was
10 the creation of the VRS; is that right? Is that fair?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'd like to talk now about that period. You stated in your
13 executive summary the months of April and May 1992 you saw the cementing
14 of links between the SDS and the 5th Corps; the announcement of the goals
15 of the Bosnian Serbs; the transition of the JNA into the army of the Serb
16 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the VRS; and the start of military
17 operations in the Bosanska Krajina. And that's what I'd like to talk
18 about now, those topics.
19 On page 24 of your report, you have an entire section devoted to
20 the 16th session of the Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia and
21 Hercegovina. We will talk about that meeting in some detail but can you
22 tell us why you felt that that needed to be included and why it was such
23 an important event in the military history of 1992 in the Krajina?
24 A. When I was looking at details in relation to the establishment of
25 the army of the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina later known as the
1 VRS, I had to look at this document because that is when the establishment
2 instruction was passed. And although in no ways was the 16th assembly
3 session, if you like, the start point of political process, it seemed to
4 be from the minutes of this meeting, an absolutely crucial -- a crucial
5 meeting, and to some extent the culmination of a political process that
6 had started some time ago, some time previous to that. Importantly, it
7 seemed to be that point of convergence whereby the VRS was established
8 from the JNA and the strategic objectives of the Bosnian Serbs were
9 announced, and in essence the war objectives of the Bosnian Serbs was
10 announced and the army was created. And it just seemed a particularly
11 significant meeting with particularly significant decisions taken.
12 Q. This document has been discussed before so we won't go through
13 every aspect of it but let's look at the actual minutes of the 16th
14 assembly session. That was previously exhibited as P50, I believe. It's
15 also footnote 50 in your report.
16 In paragraph 1.40 of your report, on page 24, you list the six
17 strategic goals and state that: "Karadzic placed these strategic goals in
18 hierarchical order." You go on to say, this is on page 25 at the top:
19 "Subsequent Serb military operations can be linked to these articulated
20 goals, and in the context of the military, these strategic goals gave them
21 a clearly identified set of objectives from which they were to develop
22 operational and tactical planning." And in the next sentence, you
23 continue, these articulated goals were in essence a plan to seize and
24 control territory, establish the Serb republic, defend defined borders,
25 separate -- and separate the ethnic groups within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Can you explain that, please, how these six strategic goals are related to
2 concrete military operations and objectives?
3 A. The -- there are a number of very clear examples in specific terms
4 to the strategic goals which you can show direct military action. If you
5 take, for example, strategic goal number 2 which the establishment of a
6 corridor link, which Karadzic said was important not only to link the
7 Serbian areas within Bosnia but it was also important to link the Serbian
8 areas in Croatia and those two areas with Yugoslavia, within a matter of
9 weeks, the 1st Krajina Corps were launching Operation Corridor 92 and very
10 successfully managed to secure a corridor link which was expanded through
11 the summer of 1992 and never severed in the war. That is a very visible,
12 to me, a visible indicator that the strategic goals were not simply
13 interesting and rarefy political discussions, but that military action
14 fell from the announcement of these political goals and I would argue in
15 other areas that you can show that. One of them relates to an
16 establishment of a border on the Una and Neretva rivers and operations in
17 May and June included operations in the Una -- around the Una river area
18 in Bosanski Novi and Bosanska Krupa and the likes. So I would argue that
19 those two very visible examples show that there were -- there was
20 significant importance in these goals.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Ackerman, it just occurs to me, having
22 read this report and following the trail that both questions and answers
23 are following, that there are some areas where you would obviously come
24 forward with a strong contestation and other areas where probably you
25 would not. If at any time in the course of the questions and answers
1 there are areas which you don't intend to contest or that you agree with,
2 perhaps you could indicate those to us and we can proceed quicker.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll see what I can do to accommodate you, Your
4 Honour. I'll think about it. Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Another portion of your report, you state that the first strategic
8 goal, separation from the other two national communities was first in
9 hierarchical order and was considered the most important goal. Can you
10 tell us how you arrived at that, why you say that?
11 A. It was stated by Mr. Krajisnik in the report that that was the
12 most important goal and he was also, according to him and the minutes,
13 involved in the production of these goals.
14 Q. And you also conclude or state in your report that this first
15 strategic goal was necessarily really about resettlement. Can we talk
16 about that a little bit?
17 A. Yes. I think there are a number of significant references in the
18 minutes from both the senior leadership and also from the delegates and
19 also from General Mladic that would indicate that strategic goal number 1
20 was not simply about separating Bosnia but that it would involve -- or
21 this process of separation would involve the resettlement, and it's a word
22 they themselves use or a number of occasions, that that would involve the
23 movement out or resettlement of a significant number of people from the RS
24 territory, and I can go through some of those just to highlight that.
25 Q. Yes. Let's do that.
1 A. When Mr. Karadzic discussed initially the strategic goals he said
2 in relation to the strategic goal number 1 that the first goal is
3 separation from the other two national communities, separation of states
4 but he goes on to say that, "it's separation from those who are our
5 enemies and who have used every opportunity, especially this century to
6 attack us and who would continue with such practices if we were to
7 continue to stay together in the same state." So this is an early
8 indication that this is already calling them their enemies. He later goes
9 on to say himself, on page 16 of the translation, that, "we don't want to
10 get a state in which a huge number of those who are against that -- which
11 includes a huge number of those who are against that state." And then
12 there are a number of statements by delegates later on which openly
13 discuss the issue of resettlement.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brown, we are, or you are, referring always all
15 the time to the minutes of the 16th session, aren't you?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I knew that but for the record I wanted it to be
18 said, to be stated.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. And then as Mr. Brown
20 said, the first statement, "we do not want to get a state which has a huge
21 number of those who are against that state," is on page 16. There is a
22 similar reference, if we could look at that briefly, on page 20,
23 Mr. Brown.
24 A. Yes, once Dr. Karadzic made his speech the various delegates took
25 turns in speaking too and one of the delegates Trifko Radic, said, "I've
1 heard reports on how it was when the Swedes and Norwegians were
2 separating. The process of resettlement lasted ten years, we will see the
3 same thing here but it is still better to do that and know exactly who is
4 resettling where. It is going to be a difficult process. It will require
5 a lot of toil and effort and explanation to the people who will have to
6 leave their hearths. That is why you gentlemen, high up in the government
7 and the Presidency, will be working on this with our TV network and
8 preparing the people psychologically that on one -- that one day this will
9 have to happen."
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: There is something wrong with the reference.
13 Mr. Nicholls said it was on page 20 but there is nothing on page 20 about
14 Trifko Radic. Page 20 is still Karadzic speaking, so the page number is
15 apparently wrong.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: If you look at page 19, Mr. Ackerman, in the
17 version we are looking at.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: My page 19 is still Karadzic, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, for the record we need to check this
20 reference by direct reference to the document itself, which I don't have
21 in front of me now.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll just say for the record.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime you may proceed. I've taken note of
24 your remark and objection, Mr. Ackerman, and I will act accordingly.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I have found Trifko Radic begins speaking on
1 page 28 for the first time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the ERN number?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: The Document I have doesn't have an ERN number.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, if we can move on, I can say that --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think we can move on. I mean, it's -- if the
6 page number or reference to the page number is wrong, then we will have it
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, this is a huge problem if I'm going to be
9 preparing a cross-examination based on a different document than the
10 witness was using.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think it will be a huge problem because
12 fortunately he's going to have around two months to prepare. He's going
13 to have a transcript before he prepares and if he doesn't have this
14 version which I think he does have, of the minutes, we can provide him
15 with them. While we are going through this, I hope he's able,
16 Mr. Ackerman is able to follow what we are doing on the screen in front of
17 him. For instance, here we have page 19, Mr. Krajisnik saying, "Here we
18 have Trifko Radic asking for the floor. Trifko Radic:" And he begins to
19 speak. I don't think this is going to be anything which is difficult for
20 Mr. Ackerman to deal with in his cross-examination.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: The concern I have is this. Let me be a little
22 more specific. What I'm looking at here is what I believe to be in the
23 record as Exhibit P50, and if what we are referring to is Exhibit P50, and
24 the Prosecution is referring to something else that's not in the record as
25 Exhibit P50 then we have a problem and if what I'm looking at here is not
1 P50, which is what the indication I have is, then I have a problem. But
2 somewhere this needs to get straightened out and if we could look at
3 Exhibit P50 that's in the record, we would know whether it's what I'm
4 looking at or what Mr. Nicholls is looking at.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could I have Exhibit P50 in
6 the English language, please?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: This is disclosure 2.21 if that helps Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: That's the disclosure number on the document I'm
9 looking at, Your Honour, 2.21.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, the documents in B/C/S and English
11 do not match. They are two different pages.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you heard the comment, the remark? It's
13 definitely -- the document that we have in our records, Mr. Ackerman,
14 which is Exhibit P50, the English version, that's A, starting with ERN
15 number 00913501, page 19, it's Mr. Trifko Radic who starts making a
16 speech, and that's after being introduced by Krajisnik. And on page 20,
17 as indeed we find in the witness's report, second paragraph, we find
18 exactly the words that have been reproduced in the report. So for the
19 record, and for the purposes of your cross-examination, this is what we
20 have and this is what you have to refer to. If you have another document
21 which on page 20 and on page 19 does not purport to reproduce the speech
22 of Mr. Radic, then tell me and I will have it substituted for you.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think it's fairly obvious that I do
24 not have the most recent translation, since I don't have any ERN numbers
25 on my documents or anything else.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But can you -- I think you have stated
2 in the past that if we give you the ERN number, you can locate it in your
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I tried to. I don't have it. I don't have that
5 ERN number in my database so --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Gustin, do you have a spare copy of P50 or can
7 we make a photocopy of P50 now and have it handed to Mr. Ackerman?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, it's displayed on the ELMO. That's
9 the whole points of the Sanction.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not the point. I would prefer to proceed and
11 put Mr. Ackerman's mind at rest, that he has the document readily
12 available. Usher, can I ask you to be kind enough to photocopy this
13 document for me, please?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd just like to say, Your Honour, I'm told by
15 Ms. Gustin that the copy which we are all using was disclosed to Mr.
16 Ackerman on the 8th of March, 2001. I've lost about ten minutes here, in
17 the limited amount of time I have, with this witness who I consider
18 important, who has written a 200 page document. I have sympathy if
19 he's --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right let's proceed, Mr. Nicholls, because you
21 are losing further time.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I just understand. I would prefer there not be
23 objections and time wasted if he doesn't have a document here which we
24 have disclosed to him because he's not going to have to stand up tomorrow
25 morning and deal with this. He can find the documents later. He has the
1 transcript and if he has to match ERN numbers, I don't think it's our
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please proceed.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise, Mr. Brown. I'll try to come back to
5 where we were.
6 Q. In any event, let's move on to another reference here, which I
7 believe shows that some of these processes discussed in the strategic
8 goals had already begun and I'm thinking about page 25 of the document
9 which we have before us, that's for the record 00913525, which I have as a
10 person from Bosanska Krupa, Miroslav Vjestica, speaking. Could you find
11 that entry, please?
12 A. Yes, I've found it.
13 Q. Now, I don't think - I may be wrong - that you specifically cited
14 this entry but could you tell us what significance this has to you? I'm
15 thinking as most importantly about the bottom section of the page.
16 A. Yes, Mr. Vjestica gives an overview of what happened in Bosanska
17 Krupa and I'll draw your attention to some sections of this which I also
18 think are relevant to the issue of resettlement and the awareness that
19 this was going to be a feature. Some of the sections halfway down, "what
20 have we done in the Serbian Municipality of Bosanska Krupa? I must tell
21 you to remind you all that Serbs comprise only 24 per cent of the Serbian
22 Municipality of Bosanska Krupa. There are 14 and a half thousand of us
23 and there are 47.000 Muslims. As our president has said, we in the
24 Serbian Municipality of Bosanska Krupa did not want war but we were forced
25 into it." Later on, he says, "for a year and a half we have been
1 preparing for war in the Serbian Municipality of Bosanska Krupa because we
2 know that there will be war and that it would -- that it could not be
3 avoided." And at the bottom he says, "What are our adversaries doing? At
4 the moment they are all in the Cazin Krajina on the right bank of the Una
5 river. There are no more Muslims in the Serbian Municipality of Bosanska
6 Krupa. All the enclaves that were there, Rapusa, Veliki, Vrbovik,
7 Ostrojnica, Babic, Muslim Jasenica, and Zavir, we have evacuated them so
8 that there will be none there for the duration of the war operations.
9 Will they have a place to return to? I think it's unlikely after our
10 president told us the happy news that the right bank of the river -- that
11 the right bank of the Una River was the border."
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. There are a couple of other sections in Mr. Vjestica's speech that
14 I would draw your attention to, bearing in mind for a little bit later.
15 He talks about all minutes of the SDA executive board, SDA party, regional
16 board meetings, since a person from Bosanska Krupa was the
17 President - this is, sorry, on page 26 - "having captured all their
18 documentation on their Territorial Defence units and their Crisis Staffs
19 we know that at the moment they do not have any weapons, not as much as
20 they need right now. They do not have ammunition or equipment, they do
21 not have, in other words, a tank."
22 He also talked about what was happening in his neighbouring
23 municipalities, the municipality in particular Bosanski Novi. I draw your
24 attention to what he says about that because I believe that that is a
25 bearing later on. "As for Bosanski Novi, let me tell you that I was there
1 yesterday. Bosanski Novi is sealed off. An ultimatum has been issued and
2 a deadline settled for the Muslims to surrender their weapons. Some of
3 them have, some of them have not. Yesterday there was shooting. What
4 will happen today, I believe, they will surrender. The same is going on
5 in Sanski Most. I think the Muslims will be disarmed there too."
6 The day previous in Bosanski Novi, there had been an attack and
7 there is some documentation later on which I will draw your attention to
8 but I would like you to be aware of his comments in relation to that.
9 Q. And just to be clear before we move on, that segment is also on
10 page 26. Was the attack, which we will talk about later in Bosanski Novi,
11 was that related to the issue here spoken about of disarmament, if you
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. The other part of this I'd like you to discuss, briefly, is all
15 throughout this meeting, there is discussion about a war option or whether
16 or not, and the scope of any coming war, would you agree with that?
17 A. Yes, I think many of the delegates talk about that and make direct
18 reference to that.
19 Q. On page 22, which is ERN number 00913522, Mr. Dragan Kalinic
20 speaks, and can you briefly give us your interpretation of his statement,
21 which appears in the second paragraph where he talks about have we chosen
22 the option of war or the option of negotiation, and then begins to
23 advocate for the war option?
24 A. Yes. Mr. Kalinic gave a rather aggressive speech. Mr. Kalinic
25 was also at this meeting elected as a minister within the government, but
1 he gave quite a robust speech and if I draw your attention to some
2 sections of that.
3 "Have we chosen the option of war or the option of negotiation? I
4 say this with a reason and I must instantly add that knowing who our
5 enemies are, how perfidious they are, how they cannot be trusted until
6 they are physically, militarily destroyed and crushed, which of course
7 implies eliminating and liquidating their key people, I do not hesitate in
8 selecting the first option, the option of war, because I believe that the
9 fate, our fate, the fate of the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that the fate
10 of the Serbs in BH cannot be solved in any other way but by war." And
11 later on at the bottom he says, "Why do I say that the option of war seems
12 more likely to me? Because only what has been conquered militarily may
13 become really and truly ours."
14 He also continued in his speech and made some references that
15 certain facilities should either be captured or destroyed, including the
16 radio and TV stations, he makes reference to that on page 24, and he also
17 discussed the fact that certain military facilities had been handed back
18 or were no longer in their control and he even made a reference that -- to
19 the military hospital in Sarajevo, that if the military hospital was to
20 end up in the hands of the enemy, that he was for the destruction of that
21 hospital. So that the enemy had nowhere to go for medical help. So he in
22 essence advocated a very robust view that the war option was what was
24 Q. Thank you. Now, very briefly, I think we should cover this
25 quickly, on page 29, Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin gives his views. Did he -- can
1 you tell us what his view was and whether he agreed with the war option or
3 A. Well, according to the minutes of the meeting, Mr. Brdjanin in his
4 introduction to his comments gave a hearty bravo to Mr. Kalinic and stated
5 himself, although he seems quiet when I see -- when I seem hawkish, his
6 opinions are the closest to mine. Mr. Brdjanin then went on to discuss a
7 number of -- speak about a number of other issues. The first one was the
8 general issue of loyalty and whether Muslims could hold certain positions
9 and he also made specific reference to a Muslim teaching political classes
10 in the Banja Luka Corps, which was presumably making reference to Mesud
11 Hasotic, who was the assistant commander for morale in the corps. He also
12 discussed the issue of the linkage between the Serb area in Croatia, the
13 SAO in Krajina, and argued that they should have establish communication
14 links, information links, and create all the prerogatives necessary for
15 linking those states. And I would draw you back to what Mr. Karadzic said
16 in relation to the -- his articulation of why the corridor was important
17 because the corridor enabled the Bosnian Serb areas in Bosnia and the
18 Bosnian Serb areas in Croatia to link up with Serbia, and I would argue
19 that Mr. Brdjanin here is saying we must improve our links with the SAO in
20 Krajina and in essence look forward to having all Serbs in one state. So
21 he's advocating that that process should start immediately.
22 He advocates full mobilisation, and also makes comments at the end
23 of his speech that in essence as few weapons should leave the Krajina or
24 the RS territory and go back to Serbia, presumably referring to the
25 transition of the JNA into the VRS, that they should keep hold of as many
1 of the weapons that they -- that the JNA had. So those were some of the
2 themes of Mr. Brdjanin's comments.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, who was the highest military official at this
5 A. General Mladic was at the meeting and was appointed as the new
6 Commander of the Main Staff of the VRS.
7 Q. Can you go through what you think, if there are any, the
8 significant -- his view on what's being discussed there, the war option,
9 the methods of achieving the six strategic objectives? He begins speaking
10 on page 37, which is 0091-3537.
11 A. General Mladic gives a rather long speech which is not always the
12 easiest one to follow. But in essence gives his view of military issues,
13 but in certain sections, does appear to utter some words of caution. I
14 would argue from his -- some of his comments he's clear he is acutely
15 aware of this issue of resettlement and potentially from a military
16 perspective is more acutely aware of what that may in essence entail and
17 he does utter a few words of caution. If I draw your attention to page
18 39, and the section, he says: "People and peoples are not pawns, nor are
19 they keys in one's pocket that can be shifted from here to there. It is
20 something easily said but difficult to achieve."
21 And later, in on page 41, he makes reference in fact to Colonel
22 Hasotic and that in essence it's from a soldier's perspective better to
23 have someone like him in the trenches fighting with him than on the other
24 side. But I draw your attention to the section where he says: "Therefore
25 we cannot cleanse nor can we have a sieve to sift so that only Serbs would
1 stay or that only Serbs would fall through and the rest leave." Well,
2 that is -- that will not -- I do not know how Mr. Krajisnik --
3 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic would explain this to the world. People --
4 that would be genocide.
5 And a bit further down he says: "This does not mean that Muslims
6 have to be expelled or drowned." And from those quotes, I believe that
7 General Mladic is aware of what is being discussed and what separation
8 from the other two communities in fact means. That said, he does later on
9 in the report, well, primarily he accepts the position as commander of the
10 VRS a position which he remains in through the whole of the war, and later
11 on in the -- in his speech, he does make mention that what was being
12 discussed should be guarded as their closest secret. And that is
13 referenced in my report on footnote 65 on page 27. "Let us not put our
14 minds into what we are doing but let us also think thoroughly about it and
15 let us be cautious about when to keep mum. No, this thing we are doing
16 needs to be guarded as our deepest secret. And what our representatives
17 appearing in the media, political talks, and negotiations are going to say
18 and they do into the to present our goals in a way that will sound
19 appealing to" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down for the interpreters.
21 Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: I apologise. "And they do need to present our goals
23 in a way that will sound appealing to the ears of those we want to win
24 over to our side without being detrimental to our Serbian people.
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. If I can break for one minute, for the record that is on page 40.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
4 Q. Please continue. I'm sorry I interrupted you.
5 A. No. Those are the comments.
6 Q. Finally, in a way sort of summing up some of what's been going on
7 and what we have been talking about, in paragraph 1.54 of your report,
8 which is on page 29. Have you found that page?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. You state: "By the summer of 1992, it was clear that the
11 objectives of creating a Serb state and separating the communities in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina were not just political rhetoric but were a driving
13 factor behind the actions of the military."
14 Do you stand by that statement or do you have any additional
15 explanation or qualification you'd like to make?
16 A. No. I stand by that, and I would argue that the events as they
17 panned out would appear to indicate that that was the case. I've already
18 highlighted the issues of the corridor and others.
19 Q. Thank you. Is there anything else you think should be mentioned
20 about the 16th assembly session before we move on? I don't want to leave
21 out anything you might find important.
22 A. No, think those are the main key issues that I derive from the
23 minutes of this meeting.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: It's a few minutes early, Your Honour, but I'm
1 about to move to another chapter, so it might make sense to stop?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will have a -- can we settle for a
3 20-minute break today instead of 25?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I know it's fine with you, but I don't know if it is
6 fine with Mr. Ackerman and the rest?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I know if I agree to that, the first
8 thing that will happen is the interpreters will tell me that they have a
9 contract and that I should not agree. I'll agree and take that heat, but
10 I know their contract calls for a minimum of 25 minutes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Interpreters? Engineers? They are consulting.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Don't want to start a strike, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 25 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Brown, what I'd like to do now is go through some of the
19 documents you selected in the same area of your report which reflect
20 actions taken after the 16th assembly meeting. The first one I'd like to
21 look at is footnoted in your report as footnote 77. That's on page 29 of
22 your report. And that should be a memo from the 1st Partisan Brigade
23 outlining the minutes of a meeting. That has been previously exhibited as
25 Now, you cited this in your report as an example of how the
1 strategic goals adopted or outlined at the assembly meeting we've been
2 discussing were disseminated as was the announcement of the creation of
3 the VRS. Is that right?
4 A. Yes. I wonder if it's possible for me just to add something very
6 Q. Yes. If at any time if you want to add something, go ahead.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
8 THE WITNESS: I hope I don't say that the 16th assembly session in
9 itself, if you like, was a start point for issues, I also include military
10 related issues. There were military activity, there was significant
11 military activity in areas well before the 16th assembly session. I find
12 difficult to somehow explain exactly clearly the 16th assembly session
13 sometimes, but there was activity prior to that and I wouldn't want it to
14 be conveyed that this if you like was the start point of activity both in
15 a military perspective and in other areas. In relation to this document,
16 this comes two days after the 12th -- 16th assembly session and I think
17 from certain aspects of the document, it's clear that people are very
18 aware of the discussions at that assembly session.
19 If you take you to the agenda first to start with, assessment of
20 the political and military situation in the municipalities, function and
21 conduct of government bodies, instructions on the meeting itself on the
22 12th of May, and on the founding assembly of the Serbian Krajina and the
23 founding of the army and discussions and suggestions and further
24 cooperation with JNA units in regard to securing territory and the
25 treatment of combatants in the region of the Serbian Krajina. Those who
1 attended the meeting, Colonel Stanislav Galic, who was commander of the
2 30th Partisan division, a subordinate of General Talic; Colonel Branko
3 Basara, who is brigade commander at that time located in Sanski Most; and
4 a number of the municipal presidents from the area that the 30th division
5 covered, and the minutes of this meeting discussed those issues on the
6 agenda. And in particular, if I can draw your attention to page 3, and
7 the comments by Milan Malidza, the President of the Mrkonjic Grad
8 municipality assembly, again a municipality in the 30th division zone, he
9 makes mention of the fact that the armed forces of the Krajina would be
10 called the army of the Serbian republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, later in
11 the year renamed the VRS.
12 He states: "It was assessed that the army was capable of
13 conquering a lot of territory," and he outlines the strategic goals set at
14 the Banja Luka meeting and he notes those on page 4. There are some
15 slight differences in his articulation of the goals than were articulated
16 by Mr. Karadzic, but in essence they are the same six strategic
18 Q. And if you look at page 4 of the document, at the bottom, above
19 the bullet points, we see that Colonel Galic has made some suggestions,
20 and the first one is that: "The conclusions of the meetings in Banja Luka
21 are to be implemented and will also be forwarded to the commands of units
22 and municipalities."
23 Can you just tell us what significance that has to you.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, before that question is answered --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sure the witness didn't mean to do this but
2 he's referring to what Milan Malidza said and he says that Malidza said
3 the army could conquer a large territory, and in fact that is not what he
4 said. He said the army could occupy a large territory, and those are two
5 very different things.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Would you take Mr. Ackerman's point or would
7 you like to comment on it?
8 THE WITNESS: I tragically can't speak B/C/S, Your Honour, and I
9 would defer to somebody who can. The translation I have says "conquer."
10 If it's "occupy," then I would accept that too.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, I may have the wrong translation again,
13 Your Honour. The one I have says that the army can occupy a large
14 territory. If his says "conquer," I apologise to the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed and then we'll clarify
16 this later. Thank you.
17 Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. If you remember the question, can I -- I can repeat it. I was
20 directing you to page 4, Colonel Galic's suggestion that: "The
21 conclusions of the Banja Luka meeting the 16th assembly be implemented and
22 forwarded to the commands of units and municipalities." Can you tell me
23 what significance that has to you if any.
24 A. Well, I think it's self-evident that Colonel Galic is expecting
25 that those decisions and discussions at Banja Luka were to be passed down
1 both the military chain, to units, and presumably soldiers within those
2 units, and also down through the municipality and civilian chain.
3 Q. Thank you. I don't think I said the date of this document on the
4 record. It's 14th of May.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: It's stated in the footnote.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. Okay, thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And the witness in the beginning said two days after
8 the 16th.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We pay attention, Mr. Nicholls, usually.
11 THE WITNESS: One other issue in relation to that. The final
12 comment is that it was suggested that future meetings of this kind be held
13 every 15 days and that the presidents of the municipal assemblies were
14 responsible for preparing those meetings. This I think is important in
15 relation to the link between the military and civilian organisations in
16 that area.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Thank you. If we could look at the next footnote you have cited,
19 that is footnote 78, also on page 29 of your report, this has previously
20 been exhibited, it's P1597. And this is a 21st of May, 1992, 1st Krajina
21 Corps command mobilisation order. Could you tell us why you selected this
22 document and what relevance it has so that you cited it in your report.
23 A. There are a few sections in this document I'd like to draw your
24 attention to. The first one is the date. This comes immediately after
25 the technical withdrawal of the JNA from the VRS. And it's a call for
1 mobilisation, general mobilisation of the army which of course had been
2 called for at the 16th assembly session by a number of delegates,
3 including Mr. Brdjanin and others.
4 The first paragraph makes comment of a decision of the Serbian
5 republic BH Presidency of the previous day on the 20th of May which had
6 initiated the mobilisation of all citizens. And the document describes
7 what, in fact, that means. And I'd like to just draw your attention to a
8 number of sections, section 1 on page 2 of the translation, General Talic
9 says: "Immediately establish direct contact with municipal and military
10 and territorial organs on the ground offering expert and material support
11 for the mobilisation process."
12 Point 6, explain to conscripts as they arrive the goals of our
13 struggle and brief them on their duties and rights. This again would seem
14 to echo the comment that Galic had made in that meeting we've just
15 discussed and also the goals that were being discussed in the 12th of
17 And point 8: "Until the units receive concrete combat tasks
18 engage them in the following tasks." And if I draw your attention to
19 point 4: "Establish the closest possible cooperation with the people and
20 legal authorities within their zones of responsibility." And this
21 document was to be disseminated or was disseminated from the address block
22 to the units of the corps. So it establishes mobilisation, echoed from
23 the 16th assembly session and it highlights in a number of areas the need
24 to have this cooperation with authorities on the ground.
25 Q. Thank you. There is another order from the same date, 21st of
1 May, which is interesting. It's cited, it's footnote 79 in your report.
2 This is P58. I'd like you to just take a moment and again highlight the
3 points that you find most relevant in this report about the actions which
4 the military has taken in this period in May, and if you could also tell
5 us who Mr. Vukelic, the author is, and what his function within the corps
7 A. Yes, this is a report, rather than an order, I think, written by
8 Colonel Milutin Vukelic who was the assistant commander for morale and
9 legal affairs in the corps. One of the key assistants or staff assistants
10 of General Talic. One of his functions was to by the nature of his job to
11 report on issues of morale, and including -- as a part of that job
12 included disseminating, if you like, the political and security sort of
13 situation as it was viewed by the corps to the units of the corps. And I
14 believe this report is one of those type of reports that he would write
15 relatively frequently, making it aware to the units of the corps the
16 political and military situation. And it's dated again on the 21st of
17 May, so the same day as the mobilisation instruction.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, we've heard evidence already on who he
19 was on who this gentleman and what his office involved.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I just wanted that
21 explanation because the nature of this report it makes clear why it is
22 written the way it has been and who it was -- that it was distributed to
23 all units.
24 Q. Could you just highlight, then, the points that you find relevant,
25 Mr. Brown? I think we start on page 2.
1 A. Yes. If I draw your attention to the first paragraph or
2 components of the first paragraph on page 2, Colonel Vukelic states: "The
3 constituent Serbian people who live on around 65 per cent of the area and
4 represent more than 35 per cent of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 must struggle for complete separation from the Muslim and Croatian peoples
6 and form their own state. Only after that will they be able to decide
7 with whom and how they will unite and associate."
8 Paragraph 3: "To prevent the militant and criminal Muslim and
9 Croatian anti-Serbian coalition and its paramilitaries from achieving
10 their plans, the Serbian -- the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina are prepared
11 and able to resist them by all means including armed struggle. That is
12 why following the proclamation of the constitution of the Serbian Republic
13 of BH and the constituting of its state organs, the army of the Serbian
14 Republic of BH was formed as the armed force of the Serbian people."
15 Later on, in that same page: "The army of the Serb Republic of BH
16 is the army of the Serbian people, of all patriots as well as of all
17 citizens who are ready to fight in its ranks for the just goals of the
18 Serbian people. The defence of the territorial integrity of the republic
19 and peace in these areas." And he also says that: "The army is
20 increasingly -- becoming an increasingly powerful guarantee of the
21 survival of the Serbian people and their state and peaceful development."
22 Also, if I can draw your attention to page 3 and a couple of
23 sections there: "Special attention must be devoted to the broadest
24 possible daily cooperation with the people and the development of the
25 fullest possible mutual trust and respect. The Serbian people must
1 continuously affirm their trust in the army which is now more of an army
2 of the people than ever before." And just latterly at the end: "Inform
3 all members of the army of the Serbian Republic of BH about the contents
4 of this report in the most suitable way."
5 So this document I believe is outlining from the corps what they
6 believe are the reasons why they are about to engage in combat activity
7 and importantly that this is to be disseminated down to the units of the
9 Q. And I think the point is clear but this also, does it not, reflect
10 the convergence which we started off talking about.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Another document related to this section of your
13 report is P385, which is contained in footnote 81 of your report, still on
14 the same page, 29. This document has a number of interesting sessions --
15 sections, excuse me, and again highlights some of the goals which we
16 talked about earlier. Could you just point us to what you think are the
17 important sections of this document and why you selected it?
18 A. Yes. This is a document summarising, as the title states, combat
19 morale for the month of May, so in essence summarising what had happened
20 in May. I believe this document was signed by General Talic. If I draw
21 your attention to a couple of sections in the very first paragraph,
22 bearing in mind this was dated the 14th of June, "the entire zone of
23 responsibilities is under -- is fully under control. There have been no
24 incidents of combat positions being lost to the enemy. On the contrary we
25 have taken new ones. We have operated successfully in crisis area such as
1 Kljuc, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Kozarac, and Donji Vakuf." On page 2 --
2 Q. Sorry. If I could stop you for one second then. So that is --
3 you characterise that as now, on the 21st -- on the 14th of June, a
4 positive assessment of what's taken place since the mobilisation in May?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. I'm sorry, please continue.
7 A. In part 2, draw your attention to the paragraph that states: "The
8 complex political and security situation in BH in May escalated into
9 numerous armed conflict in a large number of towns in the Bosnian Krajina
10 autonomous region, Kljuc, Sanski Most, Prijedor, and the Jajce areas and
11 beyond, Donji Vakuf, Travnik and Derventa areas. All these conflicts were
12 organised by the BH TO and in conjunction with the Republic of Croatia and
13 were imposed upon the Serbian people. Thanks to our realistic assessment
14 and the engagement of the corps units, the armed conflicts have been
15 solved in the best possible away and all the hot beds are under control."
16 Later on, General Talic writes it's in our -- "it is our estimate
17 a certain degree of chaos on total inter-ethnic war has been forestalled.
18 This is confirmed by the continuously stable conditions in Banja Luka and
19 many other towns as well as by the way in which control has been
20 established in Kotor Varos, where a real explosion of armed conflict was
21 threatening to erupt."
22 If I move to page 3, there is a comment General Talic indicates:
23 "Notwithstanding the positive tendencies in the Bosnian Krajina
24 autonomous region, its leadership in its public statements and concrete
25 political actions maintains an independent attitude towards the Serbian
1 Republic of BH government and there are attempts to interfere in
2 commanding the corps and in some of its structures. As soon as we
3 challenge certain officials on these points, they immediately state that
4 the army needs to be cleansed of comeys, not infrequently some party
5 leaders enlisting the help of certain reserve officers and soldiers
6 attempt to secure an army of their own and thus profit from the war."
7 I make reference to this in my report, that there were some
8 difficulties reported in the military documents in terms of the
9 relationship. I believe I come on to that later on. If I can highlight
10 halfway down that same page: "The most difficult situation concerns the
11 Muslim and Croat refugees in the area of the autonomous region, their
12 security and the provision of food. The attempt to expel them to central
13 Bosnia failed because of transportation difficulties and their resistance
14 to leaving their places of residence. This is giving rise to
15 vindictiveness and revenge and is resulting in the enemy closing its
17 I believe this section is particularly important certainly in
18 light of the comments at the 16th assembly session only a few weeks prior
19 to this. General Talic himself is talking about difficulties in expulsion
20 or expelling because of transportation problems and because the residents
21 themselves are resisting leaving their areas.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls?
23 THE WITNESS: Following on from that in part 3, General Talic
24 talks about the transformation of the JNA into the SR BiH and the changes
25 of names, measures aimed at strengthening the organisational structure of
1 the army, the unification of command structure system, overall structures,
2 establishment of new units. In essence, this is the formation and
3 transformation of the JNA into the VRS.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. If we look at page 4, there is a -- at the bottom of the page, a
6 comment about the problem of looting, which is occurring. "Negligent
7 conduct by members of the TO and individual groups of volunteers is the
8 main reason behind the looting and destruction of property. Even though
9 the majority of soldiers are annoyed with such conduct, it would be
10 difficult to stop the looting without imposing the most severe forms of
12 A. Yes, General Talic makes reference to that.
13 Q. So that's a clear recognition of this problem and a concern that
14 it would be difficult to stop without really -- what is the concern do you
15 think with imposing the most severe forms of punishment in order to stop a
16 problem like this?
17 A. Well, I can only really go on what is stated in the document.
18 General Talic is clearly aware of the issue and is saying it's difficult
19 to stop it without imposing this severe restriction and therefore that
20 would assume that severe restrictions would be needed to curb this
22 Q. And then he in fact --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, was he facing another problem at the
24 time that of -- namely that of desertion?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, he was. There was significant references to
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And according to your judgement, having seen per
3 used several of these documents, would imposing these restrictions and
4 proceedings for looting have helped the army? Or more or less would have
5 been interpreted as unacceptable by the soldiers and the rest of the --
6 THE WITNESS: Are you asking me, Your Honour, from a perspective
7 of my own military background or from the documentation?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No, from the perspective of what you have read. In
9 other words, why does General Talic write that "proceeding or prosecuting
10 for looting would be problematic"? Would it be something that would be
11 popular amongst the troops or would it be something that was logistically
12 impossible at the time? Why?
13 THE WITNESS: Well, there were difficulties at this specific time
14 in relation to the establishments of military courts, although other
15 documentation notes that they were up and running in August 1992. I'm not
16 sure I can specifically answer your question in relation to --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: My question is a very simple one. Usually I would
18 expect to find a document referring to this specific problem of looting
19 stating, gentlemen, there is -- we have a problem, that's looting in
20 general, but I as a general have tackled the bull from the horns and I'm
21 taking all necessary actions to curtail on this practice and will report
22 back later on. Why doesn't General Talic say this and instead he writes
23 what he -- what you read?
24 THE WITNESS: I can only -- in relation to the issue of looting,
25 General Talic did write a number of instructions through 1992 and
1 highlighted that as a problem. I can explain maybe later why he gave
2 justification as to why it was a problem. People were having to leave the
3 front line and it was causing difficulties with him. It seemed that
4 General Talic -- he did state in some documents that he was holding
5 commanders responsible for taking action to curb this.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We have seen those documents.
7 THE WITNESS: But it appears there was not -- from my perspective
8 and from the documents I have reviewed, this robust -- robust measures
9 that he articulated here were taken to stamp out the problem, irrespective
10 of whether they were going to be acceptable to the lower soldiers who may
11 have been conducting that activity or whether for any other reason. As
12 far as I can I think, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's enough for me, thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. Just for completeness, under part 5 on this document requests --
18 General Talic does request that more stringent measures against looters be
19 introduced. However, if I understood you and I think you explained it
20 later in your report, looting remained a problem throughout the period of
22 A. Yes. It was there are a number of references, as we have talked
23 about, and I covered it in the report that General Talic I believe was
24 genuinely unhappy with individual instances of looting and I think he saw
25 it as a disciplinary issue as well as an operational one. It was causing
1 him problems with soldiers having to leave the front line because they
2 themselves -- he certainly saw when the looting affected Serbian houses or
3 Serbian areas that it was causing a problem too.
4 He does put a request in here, it's a request not an order, which
5 is unusual, but he does say: Introduce more stringent measures. He
6 didn't say what they should be. He doesn't say report back. And
7 interestingly he limits himself to the issue of looting, war profiteering,
8 and speculation, as opposed to some extent the most obvious problem which
9 would seem to be the expulsion of a large number of people who are from
10 those areas.
11 Q. Thank you. We've already started talking about the emphasis
12 placed, which you can see on these documents, on cooperation and
13 coordination with civilian bodies and that is a section of your report
14 which we will cover. The next document deals with that in some respects
15 as well as the military goals which are being put forward in this period.
16 That's footnote 82. It's dated 14 September, 1992, command of the 1st
17 Krajina Corps report on military consultations, and I will need to enter
18 this as an exhibit. It doesn't yet have an exhibit number. That will be
20 If we take a look at this document, it talks about in the first
21 paragraph: "The main objective of the consultations was to achieve
22 maximum unit and resolve. Important problems in the ongoing effort of the
23 Serbian people to create a new state." And can you just comment a bit
24 about this meeting and why you selected this document as an illustration?
25 A. Yes. This document was with a number of senior and significant
1 military figures from the VRS, Minister of National Defence, and the
2 co-commander and 26 -- presidents of 26 municipalities and police
3 representatives in September. And it appeared to me, being a very
4 important meeting in essence trying to iron out whatever difficulties they
5 felt they had but also articulating their achievements to date and
6 articulated, as you say -- the main objective was to achieve unity which
7 was an issue which was regularly talked about, resolve important problems
8 with the aim of creating their own new Serbian state, which was in essence
9 what the 16th assembly session articulated.
10 Q. I think if you look at page 5, point 1, the point is made again:
11 "The following conclusions were reached, one ensure complete unity in the
12 further struggle of the Serbian people to create their own state."
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Are there any other areas of this document you'd like to comment
15 on before we move on?
16 A. I think part 3 is of interest in terms of again this unity and
17 cooperation issue. "The functioning of the authorities is a significant
18 element of the struggle and the resistance of the army of the Serbian
19 republic. Because of this, it is necessary to support the legal organs of
20 authorities until they are elected and enable them to do the best in
21 performing their duties" --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Would you slow down, please, when you read
24 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. This cuts again to this issue in the
25 report that I discuss coordination and cooperation with the -- between the
1 military, and it was as important for the military to assist the
2 authorities in the performance of their duties.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Thank you. I'd like us to now look at the next document cited in
5 footnote 83 to your report. That is P380. A 1st of June, 1992, 1st
6 Krajina Corps command report, again on the current political and security
7 situation. This is also authored by Colonel Vukelic.
8 A. Yes. Again I flag this document up for a couple of areas. One is
9 returning to this issue of resettlement and the movement out -- of
10 personnel from the area. In the third paragraph: "A portion of the
11 Muslim and Croatian population is moving out. The region of Bosnian
12 Krajina has issued a decision to facilitate such departures, providing
13 that the Serbs from central Bosnia and places with predominantly Muslim
14 and Croatian populations are also allowed to move out. Those departing
15 will not be allowed to return."
16 I would argue this again reflects back on this issue of
17 resettlement. A little bit further on in this report, on the page -- page
18 2, there is a very brief reference to 100 families in Novo Gradiska --
19 wrong, I'm sorry, it's -- in Kotor Varos, been requesting to move to Novo
21 On page 3 I would draw your attention to the top line: "The
22 municipalities of Bosanska Gradiska, Srbac, Laktasi, and Prnjavor are
23 stable and Muslims and Croatian extremists have started handing in their
24 weapons." This is an issue which I will talk later on in the report.
25 Again there is a comment that this report should be thrashed out with all
1 soldiers, specifying that the facts present are more credible than those
2 in the mass media. Again highlighting that this issue of departures,
3 expulsions, moving out, resettlement was being disseminated down through
4 the military chain.
5 Q. And that again is part of explaining to the soldiers on the ground
6 what the conflict is about, what they are fighting for; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If we look at the document you cite in footnote 84, this is a
9 command of the 30th Partisan division report from 19 July, 1992, this is
10 Exhibit P1738, you refer to this report again talking about the
11 relationship between the VRS and the civilian governmental authorities.
12 Is that right?
13 A. Yes. This is a slightly lower level than the Krajina Corps. It's
14 again back to the 30th division and it's -- they themselves are passing
15 down or reporting about the political and security situation. And if I
16 draw your attention to page 2: "The general military and political
17 situation, the opening of the Posavina corridor and the successful
18 establishment and functioning of links with Yugoslavia" --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down when you're reading the document,
21 THE WITNESS: "The opening of the Posavina corridor and the
22 successful establishment and functioning of links with Yugoslavia are
23 considerable achievements by the army of SR BH." This again cuts to
24 strategic goal number 2.
25 "Prijedor region units firmly control their zone where they are
1 mopping up in the remaining Muslim extremists." And part B in relation to
2 the 30th division: "So far, the 30th Partisan division has conducted
3 combat operations in the territory of the municipalities of Kljuc,
4 Mrkonjic Grad, Sipovo, Kupres, Donji Vakuf, Jajce, Bugojno, Travnik,
5 Skender Vakuf, as far as Kotor Varos and Teslic." And it states: "By
6 conducting combat operations in this area, our division has made possible
7 the establishment and functioning of the government in the Serbian
8 Republic of BH, organs of government have already been established and
9 function in Donji Vakuf, Kupres, Kljuc, Sipovo, Skender Vakuf, and Kotor
10 Varos, while in Jajce they have been established and function in the part
11 of the municipality liberated and held by the forces of our division."
12 On page 3, there are a number of sections of interest. The fourth
13 paragraph states: "We have established cooperation with the relevant
14 bodies of government in the SR BiH on the territory taken by the 30th
15 Partisan division." Does make --
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. Sorry, again, can you link that up with the earlier order we
18 talked about, that was part of the mobilisation order, was it not, that
19 these links should be established as soon as possible?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. I'm sorry, please continue.
22 A. There are other references in this section which talk about
23 cooperating with the local populations in the zone of responsibility of
24 the division.
25 I draw your attention to the section that starts: "A special
1 problem in the zone of responsibility is posed by Muslims and Croats who
2 are seeking permission to move out of the area in which they live and move
3 to territories held by the forces of the green berets and Croatian Defence
4 Council. Permission has thus been sought for the relocation of 110
5 Muslims from Donji Vakuf to Bugojno. The Red Cross in Mrkonjic Grad is
6 negotiating with the HVO from Jajce about exchanging civilians. Serbs
7 from Jajce for Croats and Muslims from Mrkonjic Grad, Jajce and Sipovo on
8 the principle of allowing people to choose freely where they want to live,
9 where they will live. This exchange is effective -- affected
10 successfully -- sorry, if this exchange is affected successfully, it will
11 be followed by an exchange of prisoners of war."
12 Again cutting to this whole issue of resettling and moving people.
13 On page 4, I just draw your attention to the top paragraph: "The army of
14 the SR BH will continue to implement resolutely and uncompromisingly the
15 decisions of the state and political leadership of the SR BH. It is
16 essential to liberate and keep a firm hold on the territories of the SR
18 I draw your attention to what Dr. Kalinic had said in the 16th
19 assembly in terms of controlling territory. And the section that reads:
20 "The commands and units will provide the greatest possible assistance to
21 the local organs of government in consolidating the situation on the
22 ground, reviving economic and social functions, and preventing lawlessness
23 and wilful behaviour."
24 Q. Thank you. And just to be clear, that's a typo, isn't it, in the
25 English version of this document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. It's signed by Stanislav Galic. I'd also like to look briefly at
3 the document you cite in footnote 85 of your report. This is from April
4 1993, I believe. It's a main staff report concerning combat readiness in
5 1992. So this is a report looking back --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you intend to tender this evidence, Mr. Nicholls,
7 because it's not according to my information at least?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I do, Your Honour. It has not yet been made
9 an exhibit.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be P2419?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. Now, is this an excerpt from a larger document?
15 A. Yes, it is. It's a very large document, Your Honour, and this is
16 only a small section of it which I put in.
17 Q. And I think there are three sections here which are of relevance.
18 Why did you pick this and put this one in? What is the most important
19 part of this document?
20 A. Your Honour, this was a document written by the main staff in
21 April 1993 entitled: "Analysis of Combat Readiness." And in essence it
22 was a reflection back into 1992 and looking at the activities of the VRS
23 in that year and highlighting problems and difficulties and suggesting
24 solutions to those, in a similar way to the JNA document we discussed at
25 footnote 1 this morning. In this document, there are a number of sections
1 that relate to the development of the main staff and the functioning of
2 the army and I highlight a couple of those sections here.
3 In the section that starts: "In the past year, 1992, from
4 self-organised units at the local level, the army of the Republika Srpska
5 has grown into the highest strategic organisational formation of the
6 Serbian people in former BH, capable of realising the strategic and other
7 objectives assigned to it by the Supreme Command and the president of the
8 Republika Srpska as the Supreme Commander. At the same time, the main
9 staff of the army of the Republika Srpska, together with its army, by
10 relying on the Serbian people, the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the SDS
11 has grown into a strategic level high command and equipped itself to
12 control and command operational, tactical, and other formations in the
13 armed struggle and war in general."
14 And if I draw your attention to the next paragraph: "The swift
15 development of the army of the Republika Srpska and of its organisation
16 and capability to conduct combat operations in a religious, ethnic, and
17 civil war was achieved primarily thanks to the quick self organising and
18 adjustment of remnants of the TO to the local conditions of struggle and
19 the protection of the Serbian people. It was achieved thanks to the
20 guidance of the SDS, which after its electoral victory led the Serbian
21 people in a just struggle against the Muslim Croat forces. These initial
22 forms and conserval successes in the initial period of the war were
23 accepted by the commands of the tactical and operational units and by the
24 main staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, as well as by decent
25 patriotically orientated officers of the former JNA who placed the
1 interests of the Serbian people above and considered them more important
2 than ideology, more important than their families and personal property.
3 And even though the number of active officers in the units of the army of
4 the Republika Srpska grew only slowly, in our assessment together with the
5 reserve commanding officer and fighting men played a decisive role in the
6 development, strengthening growth and battle hardening of the army of the
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm not sure with this excerpt if I have that right
10 available to me, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE WITNESS: The next section on page 159 of the translation in
15 the second paragraph states: "The strategic objectives of our war which
16 were promptly defined and set before the main staff of the army of the RS,
17 the commands and units served as a general guideline upon which we planned
18 the actual operations and concerted battles. That means objectives were
19 set before us, rather than specific tasks spelled out. Although the
20 President of the republic as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of
21 the RS did orally assign a number of tasks which were of general and vital
22 significance to the -- our struggle and protecting the Serbian people and
23 its territories."
24 This I would argue makes specific reference to strategic goals as
25 being a bedrock, if you like, of military action, certainly after -- for
1 the main staff's perspective and the VRS from the 12th of May.
2 Q. And again, you cited this as an example of the primacy of the role
3 of the political leadership over the armed forces?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are moving too slowly, Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll try to speed us along, Your Honour.
7 Q. All right. Let's move to the document you cite in footnote 89.
8 This is a 20th of August command of the 1 KK corps document. This is not
9 an exhibit, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: This will be 2420.
12 Q. Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Brown?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Now, essentially, you've cited this report again as an example of
15 documentation you have found in the military records which reflect the
16 goals set forth at the -- and the objectives set forth in the 16th
17 assembly; is that right?
18 A. Yes. In my report I argue that the ultimate aim, if you like, was
19 to unify the Serb lands which was hinted at in Karadzic's speech of the
20 12th assembly. But if you go to paragraph 2 of this report states that:
21 "There are some problems but -- and that those problems are potentially
22 putting the Serbian peoples fight at risk and that the objective is clear,
23 the objective is to liberate all Serbian people who live in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and then unite them with the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia and other Serbian peoples on the territory of the former
1 Yugoslavia." And I've dedicated a small section of the report to that, my
2 belief that that was the --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Just for the record, you said Karadzic speech in the
4 12th assembly, you meant the 16th assembly, no?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do, Your Honour. I apologise.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I'd like to move -- this is a related topic but it's a little bit
8 different going back in time now to April of 1992. When you came back
9 from the break, you stated that you wanted to make it clear that this --
10 important military operations had been in place before the 16th assembly
11 session. If we look at the document you cite in footnote 116, which
12 appears now -- we are now on page 37 on your report, I'd like to ask you
13 some questions about that document and about earlier mobilisations.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: This you're tendering in evidence and it will be
15 P2421, I assume.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead and Ms. Chuqing will deal with that.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. Can you briefly describe why you included this section of your
20 report which describes mobilisation which took place on the territory
21 earlier than the May mobilisation order signed by General Talic which we
22 covered a few moments ago?
23 A. The issue of mobilisation had been of importance for the Bosnian
24 Serb authorities or the SDS prior to the announcements in May and this
25 document I believe is important because in April there still was some
1 concern about the future status of the JNA and whether it was going to be
2 staying in Bosnia, whether it was going to be leaving, and this decision
3 to mobilise the Serbian TO on the 15th and 16th of April I thought was of
4 significance because it's the -- an early indication that an armed force
5 was being mobilised for operations before the establishment of the VRS as
6 a recognised army or an army.
7 Q. Now this document we are looking at is a decision as you say
8 stating that: "A state of imminent threat of war is hereby declared."
9 And 2: "The mobilisation of the TO, the Territorial Defence, that is, in
10 the whole territory of Serbian BH is hereby ordered," and it's signed by
11 Drs. Plavsic and Koljevic. Can we talk about the next document, P117, in
12 relation to this order dated the 16th of April, 1992.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: This is P153, Your Honours. It's already an
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, I believe this document to be of some
16 significance and follows on from the previous one. It is in essence an
17 expansion of that instruction by and written or signed or signature block
18 anyway by Bogdan Subotic who was the Minister of Defence. It takes those
19 decisions to declare an imminent threat of war and mobilisation and
20 expands them, and according to the distribution was to be sent to the
21 governments of the autonomous regions and the SAOs and to Serbian
23 I draw your attention to point 1: "The Territorial Defence of the
24 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina shall be established as an armed
25 force of the SR BiH. Command and control of Territorial Defence will be
1 exercised, municipal, district, and regional staffs and the republican
2 staff of the S BiH TO." In the explanation, there are a couple of
3 sections I think are particularly important.
4 Part 2, set up district staffs in districts. "This matter is
5 hereby placed under the jurisdiction of the governments of the SAOs,
6 organise the staffs on the same principle of the formation and the former
7 zone staffs. And this above also applies to the autonomous region
8 Bosanska Krajina." By that I believe he's saying establish some TO or
9 Defence staff at those levels, but point 3 I think is of -- significance.
10 "The declaration of an imminent threat of war shall entail the
11 taking of all necessary measures appropriate to the situation and in
12 accordance with the specific situation in a given territory." I believe
13 Subotic is giving those the document is directed significant leeway to
14 take all necessary measures in essence in relation to an imminent threat
15 of war, mobilisation, and the likes. And the last section: "In the
16 preparations for training and deployment of TO units, affect cooperation
17 with the JNA units and where possible establish unified command."
18 Q. So then this order is giving authority as you say to the different
19 districts to respond as they see fit and necessary depending on changing
20 circumstances in different areas, to the imminent threat of war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. After the establishment of the VRS, into May through June, would
23 these units have become integrated into the VRS?
24 A. Yes. That was specifically instructed at the 16th assembly
25 session on the 12th of May.
1 Q. So, correct me if I'm wrong, this is essentially an emergency
2 mobilisation to create fighting forces all across the territory, including
3 the AR Krajina in order to respond or carry out military options until the
4 VRS is formally established, until there is a more formal Serb army?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And finally, I think this can be related back to the VRS main
7 staff report from April 1993 that we talked about earlier, which was
8 footnoted in footnote 85 which talked about the growth of the army from
9 localised TO units into a more organised centralised structure, is that --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Is there anything else you wish to say about this document?
12 A. No, not at this stage.
13 Q. I'm going to try to turn now to another section of your report
14 which begins on page 44. You've done a section of your report on --
15 entitled: "Cooperation with Civilian Bodies." And we've already seen
16 through some of the documents we've looked at that there was a general
17 feature of when units were established or were sent to different regions
18 that they were to immediately make contact and cooperate with the local
19 civilian authorities. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, I think we've highlighted some of those already.
21 Q. If you can -- I think it's pretty self-evident but this is a
22 fairly substantial section of the report. Could you just give us a very
23 brief overview of why, when you were preparing this report, you decided
24 that you needed to put in a section on this topic?
25 A. I believe that it was a significant feature and component was
1 referenced significantly in the documentation that I reviewed and merited
2 some analysis.
3 Q. And you talk in -- I just want to clear this up -- in paragraph
4 1.03, about a coordinating function that was the primary role of Serb
5 Crisis Staffs and civilian bodies. Can you just tell us what you mean.
6 What is your definition of a coordinating function?
7 A. Coordination I would argue brings together or synchronises
8 components or groups with a common purpose or a common task, in order to
9 complete, fulfil a common task.
10 Q. Thank you. Let's look first at the document you cite as in
11 footnote 151. This is an excerpt from the instructions for the work of
12 the municipal Crisis Staffs of the Serbian people. This is P157. This
13 goes to what we were just talking about in this section of your report.
14 Could you tell us why you included this in I think the first points 2 and
15 3 are of most relevance?
16 A. Yes. These instructions to me indicate that this Crisis Staff is
17 a coordinating body, each of whom has its own competencies or
18 responsibilities and it coordinates the function of authority in order to
19 defends territories. And it makes reference to some of the component
20 parts to that.
21 Q. And you speak in your report in paragraph 1.103 some of the
22 component parts, some of the functioning was to bring together the
23 relevant civilian, military, and police bodies in a formalised grouping.
24 That's what we are talking about here. Correct?
25 A. Yes. And this instruction amongst others I would argue does that
1 or states that.
2 Q. Thank you. I'd like to look at a document you cite in footnote
3 154. That appears on page 46 of your report and this is Exhibit 1010,
4 Your Honours. It's a report on the work of the Crisis Staff or War
5 Presidency of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly in the period since 15th of
6 May, 1992, and it's dated; Kljuc July, 1992. We don't need to go through
7 this entire document but I think you have selected this as an example of
8 the proposition that municipal Crisis Staffs served this coordinating
9 function. Is that fair?
10 A. Yes. I think on page 3 it articulates that: "During the armed
11 conflicts, representatives (commanders of the army of Serbian Republic of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina) regularly attended the Crisis Staff and War Presidency
13 meetings. They commanded and carried out the war activities for the
14 defence of the territory and citizens of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly
15 against Muslim extremists. They cooperated and coordinated everything
16 very well with the Crisis Staff of the Kljuc Municipal Assembly." And I
17 would argue that that would seem to echo very much the Branko Djeric
18 instruction in April about this coordination.
19 Q. And it also echoes, does it not, the -- very similar to the
20 efforts we saw in P51, that's the document that was cited in footnote 77
21 of your report, which is the meeting attended by presidents of the
22 municipalities in areas within the 30th Division's region or area of
23 control in which the 16th assembly session conclusions were spoken of and
24 there was talk about regular meetings every two weeks in order to
25 coordinate the implementation of those goals?
1 A. Yes, as well as the Galic instruction of, I believe, the 19th of
2 July where he himself is making reference to the fact that they had this
4 Q. Similarly, I think we can go through this fairly quickly, if we
5 look at the next document, this is footnoted in footnote 158. This is
6 P686, Your Honours. And it's a Sanski Most -- Serbian Municipality of
7 Sanski Most Crisis Staff set of conclusions dated the 30th of May, 1992.
8 The beginning of this document states that, "for better and more effective
9 work by the Crisis Staff, several points were agreed. A: The Crisis
10 Staff consists of the following 12 persons, each having a clear domain of
11 activities." The first person being Nedeljko Rasula who was the President
12 of the Crisis Staff and it goes on the Court is familiar with these names
13 but we can see here representatives of the police, Mirko Vrucinic, of the
14 Serbian Territorial Defence command, the commander in that case, Nedjo
15 Anicic and the 6th Krajina Brigade commander, Branko Basara?
16 A. Yes, I think this is a very clear example of the Djeric
17 instruction in activities of the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. And if we look at page 2 and we see some of the topics which are
19 being discussed at this meeting, making a list of refugees from Mahala
20 detained in the sports hall and the school centre who are fit for military
21 service, making lists of people who are currently located in the public
22 security station, and then a tasking in point 4. Are these typical
23 examples of the types of things where these different representatives from
24 the military civilian police would be present and would discuss in the
25 documents you've looked through?
1 A. Yes. In many of them and again these points, if you like, a
2 generic phrase, could be termed defence issues or control issues of the
3 territory, and I would argue that again cuts to the instructions about the
4 Crisis Staff's role.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We've come across tens and tens and tens of similar
7 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right, Your Honour. I just think that --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you need to stress this much through
9 this witness.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: What I'm trying to show, Your Honour, is that
11 through somebody who has studied the military documents, studied the
12 military operations, put together a report on the relevant military
13 developments from that perspective in the Krajina in 1992, that this is an
14 important part of the report looking at it from a purely military
15 perspective as well.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Now, just -- excuse me, Your Honours.
19 In paragraph 1.111 on page 48, you go through some of the many
20 areas in which Crisis Staffs, municipal Crisis Staffs or War Presidencies
21 made decisions?
22 A. Yes. I list in that section some of the, again, if you like, the
23 defence or related tasks that I saw from the documents I was able to look
24 at or reviewed and listed some of those in relation to Crisis Staffs, so
25 establishing new light brigades, financing issues, mobilisation issues, I
1 think they listed -- they are listed here and footnoted.
2 Q. Thank you. If we could just look at the document, as an example
3 you cite in footnote 168, that is P921, Your Honours, it is a Kljuc
4 municipality Crisis Staff order from a meeting held on the 28th of May,
5 1992. Very briefly, can you tell us why you selected this document as one
6 of the examples of the military issues which the Crisis Staffs addressed?
7 A. This one in particular made reference to the issue of weapon
8 deadlines and that vigorous measures would be implemented to carry out a
9 disarmament which would have disastrous consequences as it's stated here
10 for the security of both people and property. It also makes mention in
11 paragraph 6 to a defence-related issue in terms of armed forces and White
12 Eagles are to put themselves under the command of the 30th Division, so it
13 flags up again if you like defence or military-related issues in a Crisis
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Brown, you are aware that for some time at
16 least there was or it is suggested that there was the Autonomous Region of
17 Krajina, which also had its Crisis Staff.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I am.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you aware of any documents emanating from the
20 Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina more or less along the
21 same lines that you have identified in these documents coming out of the
22 municipal Crisis Staffs?
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words decisions of the ARK Crisis Staff
25 involving matters relating to the military.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I think later on I would like to
2 introduce some documents that cut to that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we move to those? Because I think they are
4 more important for the purpose of this trial than the municipal Crisis
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I wonder if it's possible to have a
7 short bathroom break? I do apologise.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brown, it happens to me and to everyone
9 else in this room. We can wait for you, if it's okay with you, or we can
10 go out as well.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I do apologise.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
16 Q. Let's skip ahead, Mr. Brown, and --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Only skipping one page.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. I'd like to talk about the event you talk about and relate in
20 paragraph 1.114 of the your report. That's on page 50. You found it
21 relevant and significant to enter that ARK Crisis Staff members - and I
22 take it there you mean the regional Crisis Staff - also toured the areas
23 of combat activity and were briefed by military personnel in order to gain
24 an understanding of the situation. And then you talk about footage and a
25 transcript which we have got of Mr. Brdjanin where he tours Kotor Varos as
1 an example of what you're talking about in that paragraph, footnote 188.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: The transcript of that brief section we are going to
3 look at is P1598.1. We are not going to play the tape, Your Honour.
4 Q. The Court has already directed to you this topic. Can you just
5 tell us why you included this and what the significance is of this section
6 where Mr. Brdjanin is describing what parts of his role as president of
7 the ARK Crisis Staff?
8 A. I felt it was a reasonably significant section from the video.
9 "Let me tell you that being president of the autonomous region Crisis
10 Staff it is my responsibility to tour all the front lines. I have to
11 admit that I most frequently toured the corridor, the passage to Serbia,
12 Simply, today's visit, the reason for this visit is that every Monday I
13 must inform the presidents of all Crisis Staffs about the political
14 situation in the region. We should clear our area, which definitely
15 encompasses Kotor Varos and Jajce, and the most important battle being
16 waged is the one I toured yesterday, the breakthrough to Serbia. We can
17 see for ourselves that there is simply no point in further negotiations
18 with those we are at war with or who are at war with us. Those who took
19 up arms must be defeated, must surrender their weapons and total Serbian
20 rule must be established here."
21 There are a couple of issues. The issue of touring the front line
22 or touring the territory is important. Informing others about what he has
23 seen in the front line and combat areas, the referencing to "clear the
24 territory," the issue of the importance of the corridor, cutting again to
25 the 16th assembly session, the reference to weapon deadlines which I would
1 argue is a very important issue in relation to military operations in May
2 and June, and also the reference to total Serbian rule being established.
3 So for those bullet points, even though it's a very short section, I think
4 it's relatively revealing.
5 Q. Then again, although we have been talking somewhat in detail about
6 the municipal Crisis Staffs, would you agree this is a sort of mirrored
7 function at the ARK level? The importance of being aware of coordinating
8 with the military operations in the area?
9 A. Yes, and what would bear that out possibly even more is the fact
10 that the rest of the video includes significant military and police
11 figures in the area.
12 Q. And maybe just before we move on if you'd like to -- who are you
13 referring to by that? We can take a look at the document.
14 A. Lieutenant Colonel Bosko Pelic was a subordinate commander of
15 General Talic. He was an operational group commander in the Vlasic area,
16 which covered Kotor Varos and he controlled the brigades in those areas.
17 Stojan Zupljanin, of course, chief of the Banja Luka CSB and other CSB,
18 special police detachment, figures I believe are on that video, so in the
19 context it's not only what Mr. Brdjanin says, but it's also the figures
20 who are there at the same time. And that video is shot in Kotor Varos in
21 a -- at a point in time, I believe, when there is a -- to use their phrase
22 crisis. It's -- action is occurring there, and the fact that these
23 figures are there for me is as revealing as what is said.
24 Q. Thank you. In footnote 92 -- 192, excuse me, you cite the
25 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina from
1 the 22nd of May, 1992. And I think it's good for us to look at this
2 briefly because as you say in your report, although there was a
3 relationship and coordinating function of the Crisis Staffs and close
4 coordination between the military and the civilian bodies, I think to use
5 your words, it was not always a seamless relationship, and can you just
6 tell us why you included this document, which, in essence, is a complaint
7 about the attendance of General Talic at Crisis Staff meetings in point 4?
8 A. Yes, I do state, I believe, in the report that the relationship
9 was not always seamless, that there were difficulties and problems
10 highlighted in the military documentation. I included a reference earlier
11 on that complaints that the ARK, were encroaching on military related
12 issues, there are one or two complaints from General Talic through 1992 of
13 that. The operations of municipal Crisis Staffs did to some degree vary.
14 Some stages the military commander appeared to be a member of the Crisis
15 Staff; Sanski Most document we have looked at. In other ones, they were
16 if you like an ex officio member who would come in and brief on the
17 political security situation. So there was not always a seamless
18 relationship and I would argue from the documentation I've seen that there
19 always was, and this is an example on the 22nd of May if it's to be taken
20 at face value, that there are complaining that there is poor coordination
21 between the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and the army
22 and that General Talic is to attend or a person designated by him. And
23 from other documentation, it appears that staff officers from
24 General Talic's corps did attend the Crisis Staff, so this is, for me,
25 just an example to highlight that this relationship was not always a
1 seamless one.
2 Q. If we jump to page 53 of your report, paragraph 1.122, you state
3 that despite these difficulties, and they were some of the problems you've
4 been talking about now and strains on the military civilian relationship
5 highlighted above, there were attempts to rectify these problems.
6 Meetings were held with regional and municipal authority leaders and this
7 included attempts to stop what the military saw as undue interference in
8 its professional work. And then in footnote 206, you cite an example of
9 what the military saw as potential interference in its work. I'd like
10 just to look at that document. This is a 1st Krajina Corps command
11 regular combat report dated the 2nd of August, 1992. Your Honours, this
12 is P403, we have seen it before.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MR. NICHOLLS:
15 Q. And I think the relevant section, Mr. Brown, is section 5 on page
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it's also P1447.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: This may be one -- I saw that it may have another
19 exhibit number, Your Honours.
20 Q. And can you just briefly describe what this says to you. There
21 has been a meeting and the 1KK seems to be feeling optimistic that, as it
22 says, attempts by the Autonomous Region of Krajina authorities will not to
23 interfere or involve themselves in matters of military organisation will
24 not happen again. I may not have paraphrased that perfectly but could you
25 tell us why you included this section?
1 A. Well, for the reasons we've been discussing, that clearly there
2 has been some highlighted difficulties between the military's perspective,
3 the Autonomous Region of Krajina authorities and the Serbian republic
4 government and that if this isn't dealt with, that it might have some
5 problems for the military. But in order to rectify that, there has been a
6 meeting at which promises have been made that the autonomous region will
7 not, in essence, place themselves above the military and that they believe
8 the meeting has been a very constructive one. So I wanted to highlight
9 that again to show that the relationship was not always seamless but there
10 were mechanisms in order to -- in place in order to try and resolve those
12 Q. Thank you. I'd like to turn now to a topic which has been
13 discussed in this case but I'd be interested in hearing your perspective
14 on it, and that is the dismissal of Muslim and Croat officers from the
15 VRS. The relevant pages in your report are pages 55 through 59, I think.
16 You stated in your executive summary that Muslim and Croat officers in
17 positions of authority were removed from the VRS in June, 1992. This
18 process of removal involved the RK government, the VRS main staff and the
19 1st Krajina Corps. I'd like to just quickly go through that chain of
20 events. First of all, you include --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour? I think maybe this is one of those
22 areas that you suggested that I speak of. I really don't have any contest
23 that Muslim and Croat officers left the JNA, in some cases were removed
24 from the JNA. I mean there was a war going on between the Serbs and the
25 Muslims and Croats on the other side. It makes no sense if you're engaged
1 in a war that you maintain an officer corps composed of representatives of
2 the other side of the conflict. So I don't even know why this is an
3 issue. I don't know why the Prosecution is making a big issue out of it.
4 It's the sensible thing to do. Serbs were dismissed from the Bosnian
5 forces, I assume. I know one Serb served as a general in the Bosnian
6 forces but I mean, there was people fighting each other here and this just
7 make any sense to me, but I don't contest it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Point taken, Mr. Ackerman but in this part of the
9 expert witness's report, the role played by your client is highlighted,
10 and perhaps the questions can be limited to Mr. Brdjanin's role as
11 described and commented upon by the witness. The rest, I think we take it
12 that persons like Colonel Hasotic and others were indeed removed.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, I'll try to go through it quickly
14 but he has put it in his report and I think --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: This came up already on previous occasions and if in
16 a few words, I think the comment made by Mr. Ackerman needs to be taken
17 into consideration because if I am fighting you, I wouldn't ask your
18 brothers and sisters to come and help me against you.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Again, Your Honour, that seems to me an argument he
20 can make at the appropriate time. It's not really an objection, as I hear
21 it and he's certainly not stipulating, I don't think, to --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stick to Radoslav Brdjanin here.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I do recall that we spent an awful lot of
24 time on this when another former officer testified here.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go ahead.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Keep it short. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. First of all, Mr. Brown, just to be clear, as Mr. Ackerman has
5 stated, there was a problem with people of different ethnicities fighting
6 in this type of war on -- in the same armies. If we look very quickly
7 at -- before we get into June, at footnote 235. This has not been
8 exhibited, I don't believe. It's a 1st Krajina command report 31st of
9 May, 1992, a regular combat report.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, 235, you said, no?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry, that's on --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 57.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And this will be P2?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: 422.
16 Q. Let's go right to point 5. "State of security and morale." We
17 see there that one of the problems which is being discussed under state of
18 morale is that "some conscripts of Muslim nationality have asked to be
19 released from their units -- from the units." They express their
20 dissatisfaction with the massive destruction of their towns. Skipping
21 ahead a sentence, "this is made worse by public statements made in the
22 media by the SDS, Serbian Democratic Party, Bosanska Krajina autonomous
23 region leaders who advocate moving and expelling all Muslims and Croats
24 from these areas." Now, very briefly, you've included this because it
25 shows that there is a problem with the units with different nationalities,
1 the Muslims and Croats are unhappy with what they see going on and
2 military actions by the VRS and that's made worse by the statements of the
3 Autonomous Region of Krajina leadership in the media; is that right?
4 A. Yes, I think there is a -- that summarises it. There are a couple
5 of other smaller issues. The fact that Muslims and Croats who responded
6 to the mobilisation and conscripts of Serbian nationality who had
7 previously avoided military obligations are accepted into units with
8 reluctance, has a most disadvantageous influence on the morale of troops.
9 So clearly there are certain Muslims who had responded to the mobilisation
10 and are -- and were in the VRS - that's one area - but your points are
11 right. It makes clear that conscripts of Muslim nationality have been
12 asked to leave because they are dissatisfied with what had had happened in
13 their towns and that the leadership of the SDS and the Krajina had also
14 been advocating moving out and expelling Muslims and Croats from these
15 areas, so I think it's it speaks for itself.
16 Q. Now we won't go through it but this is not a document cited in
17 your report, just to lay the chronology, I'm referring to P229, Your
18 Honours, that is the document of 7th of June, 1992, headed in Sanski
19 Most. These conclusions were adopted at a subregional meeting of
20 political representatives of the municipalities of Bihac, Bosanski
21 Petrovac, Srpska Krupa, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, and Kljuc,
22 and one of the demands sent in this document to the ARK Crisis Staff is
23 removal or as it states in the translation, purging -- we can finish this
24 document after the break?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25 minute break. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. In the absence of
5 Ms. Gustin --
6 Q. We started -- we are going it try to quickly go through the
7 section of your report which you entitled: "Removal of Muslims and Croats
8 From the Military." One document which is not in your report, it's been
9 exhibited as P229, is a 7th of June Sanski Most conclusion adopted at a
10 subregional meeting and we began to talk about that before the break.
11 Do you remember this document we are discussing?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Are you aware of this document, although it's not footnoted in
14 your report?
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. Item 4 of this set of demands sent to the Crisis Staff of the
17 Autonomous Region of Banja Luka is the demand that the 1st Krajina Corps
18 in Banja Luka and particularly General Momir Talic of the 1st Krajina
19 Corps, purge the 1st Krajina Corps of Muslims and Croats. And it goes on
20 to state that the rationale is that they are not reliable fighters against
21 their own people. And later on, a deadline is set for that of seven
22 days. And on paragraph 6 of that same document, there is sort of a threat
23 that if action is not taken, the seven municipalities will take the
24 Muslims and Croats of their municipalities under escort, military escort,
25 to the centre of Banja Luka.
1 Now, there is a reaction to this on the 9th of June by the 1st
2 Krajina Corps, and that's a document you footnote as 221.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: And that's P1582, Your Honours.
4 Q. Do you have that document in front of you?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Okay. This document headed Command of the 1st Krajina Corps, 9th
7 of June, 1992, report on the Autonomous Region of Krajina staff decision
8 states that one of the issues that was discussed at yesterday's session of
9 the autonomous region Bosnian Krajina Crisis Staff was a general personnel
10 policy in the army of the 1st Krajina Corps.
11 Now, just to begin with, that's another example of the type of
12 communication and coordination that we have been discussing, that there
13 was a briefing to the army of what's being done in the Crisis Staff?
14 A. Well, clearly the army were aware or were made aware of the
15 discussions that the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff the
16 previous day, and that's been briefed into the military chain.
17 Q. And the document continues, that: "An ultimatum was issued
18 requesting removal of these persons, it speaks of 67 officers of Muslim or
19 Croatian nationality by June 15th, 1992, or they will take over control of
20 the armed forces." And the document continues that: "The role of the 1st
21 Krajina Corps is that these demands are justified but there will be
22 problems enacting replacements within the deadline of 15th June."
23 Can you just comments briefly on this section, in particular about
24 this threat to take over control of the armed forces which you note in
25 your report.
1 A. Well, to some extent I think it may speak for itself but they
2 clearly view this issue of some significance and feel that if it isn't
3 actioned that they are -- should be in a position to take control over the
4 army because presumably it would therefore not be following an objective
5 that they believed was of importance. It's also of note that they seem to
6 have fairly reasonable knowledge of the numbers of Muslims and Croats in
7 the Krajina Corps logistic base and air defence.
8 Q. Thank you. If we skip ahead to your footnote 225.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: That's the 13th of June, 1992 1st Krajina Corps
10 command report. It's P383, Your Honours, just highlight in point 6 --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, footnote what?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 225.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: It's on page 57 of the report.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, I've got it.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. Just -- I take it you have included this document to show that in
17 fact that process began. In point 6 we see the statement that: "The
18 purging of officers on an ethnic basis remains a topic of discussion
19 because of the danger that it may very soon result in deficiencies in the
20 units but it's proceeding in the spirit of the order received."
21 A. Yes. And that is referring to the Mladic order which occurred as
22 a result of the Vukelic instruction which we just read out on the 9th of
24 Q. Yes. I don't think we need it go through that order. You've
25 cited it in your report. Footnote 228 is a June 22nd, 1992, decision of
1 the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: That is P254, Your Honours, with a different ERN
3 number. I'm sorry, the ERN number cited in the report does not match
4 exactly the ERN of the previous exhibit for the same document.
5 Q. And you've cited this report for the proposition of showing, I
6 take it, that this process of removing persons of non-Serb ethnicity from
7 important posts had taken place in the army as well as in other important
8 spheres of the political and military society?
9 A. Yes. I believe you can't necessarily separate out what was
10 happening in the military from what was happening elsewhere. The issue of
11 Serbs in positions of authority in the police had already been discussed
12 and there was an issue in April, and as was issues of other executive
13 management posts and the like. And I see what happened in the military as
14 something that was already occurring in other areas, and in relation
15 specifically to the Autonomous Region of Krajina, it's clear that they had
16 an involvement in this process, and the removal of non-Serbs from
17 positions of authority was within the military is in its nature a military
18 or defence-related issue. And I think from -- from that small sequence of
19 documents, it's clear that municipal, regional, and military organs were
20 involved in that process. They came to a decision that Muslims and Croats
21 should be removed, they were removed, and the military implemented that
22 decision, that the initial -- the initial impetus appeared to have come
23 from municipal and regional -- regional level decisions and it was -- it
24 was actioned by the military.
25 Q. And again, just going back, this was something, this topic was
1 something which had been raised by Mr. Brdjanin at the 16th assembly
2 session. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it had.
4 Q. In fact, we also talk a little -- talked a little bit about
5 General Mladic's position at that time which appears to have changed by
6 June of 1992. He is now agreeing with this expulsion or separation of
7 non-Serbs from the military?
8 A. Yes, he is. His instruction of the 9th of June.
9 Q. Thank you. The next section of your report I'd like to talk about
10 is what is -- is within the section of military operations in your
11 report. You spoke in your executive summary of how many of the
12 municipality-level operations contained common features which included the
13 movement of forces into and surrounding of non-Serb areas prior to combat
14 activities, the issuance of deadlines and the shelling and attacking of
15 villages, cooperation with TO and police units, the forcible movement of
16 sections of the population for questioning into detention camps, killings,
17 looting, and movement of many of the non-Serbs from the area.
18 What I want to talk about now to begin with is one of the common
19 features which you discuss in that summary section, which is the issuance
20 of deadlines. I take it when you say "deadlines" in that summary you're
21 talking about the deadlines for the surrender of weapons. Is that
23 A. Yes. The phrase they often use is the surrender of illegal-held
24 weapons or weapons held by paramilitary units. Those are the deadlines
25 I'm referring to.
1 Q. This is the issue of disarmament?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. This section begins on page 64 of your report, paragraph 2.10, and
4 again just let me emphasise this and make sure it's correct, you said that
5 many of the combat operations especially those in May and early June of
6 1992 were justified as operations to disarm paramilitary groups and often
7 initially involved the issuance of an ultimatum or deadline to hand over
8 illegally held weapons.
9 A. Yes. Those often are the phrases used in military documents at
10 the time, especially in May and June. It wasn't the only justification I
11 hasten to add that military documents give for their combat operations.
12 They often regularly used phrases such as to control territory or mop up
13 operations. But many of the combat operations that I see referenced in
14 the military documents do give this justification that they are disarming
15 paramilitary groups and do reference the issue of weapon deadlines.
16 Q. Thank you. The first document I'd like to look at in connection
17 with this topic is footnoted as footnote 261.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: This is P167, Your Honours. And --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it also P1182?
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll have to ask Ms. Gustin. Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Could you -- do you have that document?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. All right. Could you please explain -- this is early in May, 4th
1 of May, 1992, the relevance why you included this decision of the Ministry
2 of National Defence of the Serbian republic as it relates to disarming
3 paramilitary formations and individuals by the 11th of May, 1992.
4 A. In trying to look at, from the military documents, some of the
5 background to those references to disarming, I wanted to try and see if
6 there was some kind of chain or documentary chain that would help in
7 understanding those references. And I would argue that you can show a
8 documentary chain emanating from the republic level through to the
9 Autonomous Region of Krajina to the municipalities in relation to this
10 issue of deadlines. That resulted in military action on the ground. And
11 I believe this document to be of some significance in that chain of
12 events. And I can go through some of those sections just to highlight
13 what I mean by that.
14 Q. Yes, please.
15 A. The document is from the republic -- republican Secretariat for
16 National Defence at the Autonomous Region of Krajina and in particular the
17 secretary for the regional Secretariat for National Defence, Colonel
18 Miodrag Sajic. I highlight the very first line which is: "Pursuant to
19 decision number 1/92 of the 16th of April of the Ministry of National
20 Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," which is the
21 document that we referred to earlier on, the Bogdan Subotic instruction,
22 calling an imminent threat of war and the mobilisation of the TO.
23 If you remember, in that reference, he also said territorial
24 defence or defence should be established at republic, regional and
25 municipal level. And although I'm not 100 per cent sure here, this may
1 well be why Colonel Sajic is in this position as the regional Secretariat
2 for National Defence, in essence a regional Defence body has been
3 established, potentially based on the Subotic instruction of the 16th of
4 April but the document references the Subotic instruction and it calls for
5 a general public mobilisation on the entire territory of the Autonomous
6 Region of Krajina and makes reference to conscripts being put at the
7 disposal of municipal TO headquarters. It establishes a curfew and in
8 part 5 in particular: "All paramilitary formations and individuals in
9 possession of illegal weapons and ammunition are asked to surrender these
10 weapons and ammunition immediately or not later than 1500 hours on the
11 11th of May, 1992, to the municipal Territorial Defence headquarters or
12 the nearest public security station."
13 Once this deadline has expired, the responsible bodies shall carry
14 out the search and confiscation of weapons and ammunition and shall apply
15 the most appropriate sanctions. Now, I believe some of the decisions in
16 there link back to that authority or the reference in the Subotic
17 instruction which talked about taking all necessary measures required in
18 the territory. And I would argue here that at the regional level, all
19 necessary measures they have interpreted as establishing a curfew,
20 issuance of deadlines in essence to control the territory in that manner.
21 In the explanation, point 1 and the second bullet of point 2, are
22 references or very close references to the Subotic instruction. So we
23 have the 15th of August mobilisation of the TO and declaration of an
24 imminent threat of war from the republic level. That then passed on by
25 Bogdan Subotic on the 15th of April through his instruction and on the 4th
1 of May at the regional level we have the regional Secretariat for National
2 Defence component of the regional government referencing the Subotic
3 instruction, taking its authority from that instruction, and imposing a
4 curfew and deadlines and mobilisation on the territory of the Autonomous
5 Region of Krajina.
6 Q. Thank you. And just I think you may have misspoke. You talked
7 about the 15th of August mobilisation before the 16th of April Subotic
8 order. You were talking about the 15th of April, were you not?
9 A. Yes, I apologise.
10 Q. And just for the record, the Subotic order which has just been
11 spoken of and the answer is P153. That's the document we looked at
13 Now, just as an illustration of what you've been telling us, if we
14 could look at the document you cite in footnote 451, that's in a much
15 later section of your report.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: This is P717, Your Honours, that may be a different
17 ERN number again of the same document.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: So in the list, in the spreadsheet that you gave us
19 under footnote 451, the document which was disclosed under 4.794 does not
20 have an exhibit number. So you're telling us that the exhibit number is
22 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour. I apologise that
23 wasn't on the list.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Just to make it clear. No need to apologise.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: The title was cited in footnote 451 as, Bosanski
1 Novi Public Security Station Report, dated 15th of August, 1992. No.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Sorry, do you think that's what P717 is?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Nicholls, if you look at footnote
4 457, 457, and also 461, we are purportedly dealing also with Exhibit
5 P717. So --
6 MR. ACKERMAN: What I have for P717, Your Honour, is a security
7 services centre Banja Luka decision about collection centres and prisoners
8 and things of that nature.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The three ERN numbers do not tally. In other words,
10 if we are really talking of Exhibit P717, then according to the
11 spreadsheet, the ERN numbers shown under footnote 451, under footnote 457,
12 and under footnote 461, certainly do not tally. So I don't know. I mean,
13 if you can enlighten us on this.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, this is I think because some of the
15 ERNs cited in the report may not match ones which have previously been
16 exhibited. I'll have to check this and perhaps come back to it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. So let's skip this and go
18 straight to the next point.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: According to the footnote 451, this is a Bosanski
21 Novi public security station report. According to footnote 457, it's a
22 Sanski Most SJB report. And according to 461, it's a report forwarded by
23 Banja Luka security services, dated 18 August.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I need to check that, Your Honour. I believe that
25 there are several of these municipality reports contained in a larger
1 document, which is why --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It could well be that they are incorporated in the
3 Banja Luka security services report dated 18th August, but I don't know.
4 But certainly you can't have all these documents bearing the same exhibit
5 number when the ERN numbers do not tally.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I'm told P717 was a set of reports including
7 these different municipalities.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Could be, all right. Anyway, you check on that and
9 you'll come back to us either later on today or tomorrow.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's right, I'm looking at it. It's
11 32 pages long and it talks about several different municipalities
12 submitted by -- actually comes from Banja Luka security services centre.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought it would come from there. Okay.
14 MR. NICHOLLS:
15 Q. Well, maybe we can look at this Bosanski Novi portion of the
16 document. If we need to, I can assign that a specific exhibit number but
17 this is within then 717, which is why there was some confusion.
18 A. Would you like me to enlighten slightly?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: The document is also Defence Exhibit 113. It's
20 also admitted by us at one point.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I think Mr. Brown can help us with this.
22 THE WITNESS: I think for what it's worth I do remember these
23 documents. I think there were three separate municipality reports. They
24 were then sent to CSB Banja Luka, and they compiled their own report based
25 on those three reports. They are not exactly the same, so I would --
1 slight element of caution that the compiled report that CSB Banja Luka
2 sent was to some degree of a synthesis of these individual documents. And
3 I think the one I'm referencing here is the individual documents that came
4 from Bosanski Novi.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's clear enough.
6 Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. All right. Let's briefly go through this document. For the
9 record, the translation ERN number is 0096-8599. That is the document you
10 have cited in 451, just so that we know which Novi report we are dealing
11 with. Is that what you have in front of you?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Can you tell us briefly why you included this report, the section
14 of the report, actually, in this area of this topic on disarmament
15 deadlines, this report in the first paragraph refers to the 11th of May,
16 1500 hour deadline?
17 A. If I can just quickly go back to the Sajic instruction. The last
18 part of the Sajic instruction stated that: "The presidents of the all
19 people's defence councils were responsible for the implementation of this
20 decision and were given the authority to do so." So that would indicate
21 that this instruction from Sajic was passed down to the municipalities for
22 action. And in my Stakic testimony, I believe there is documentation in
23 Prijedor where it is clear that that actually happened.
24 In relation to this Bosanski Novi document, I draw your attention
25 to the very first section, and a few other sections in -- also in the
1 report. It states: "Pursuant to a decision of the Ministry of National
2 Defence of the Serbian republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, number 1/92 of the
3 16th of April, 1992, on the decision of the government of the Autonomous
4 Region of Krajina in association with the Bosanski Novi municipality
5 Territorial Defence headquarters, and with representatives of organs of
6 the government, this public security station drew up a plan for the
7 confiscation of illegally obtained arms, ammunition, mines and explosives
8 from groups and individuals in the area of the municipality of Bosanski
9 Novi. This plan anticipated all activities being completed by the 11th of
10 May, 1992, at 1500 hours. However, these activities did not have the
11 desired effect on the voluntary relinquishment of arms and apart from
12 that, during the night of the 10th of May in the village of Blagaj Rijeka,
13 according to the reports of a military police patrol, an attack was
14 mounted upon it. These events provoked a series of attacks on the areas
15 and villages with majority Muslim populations."
16 The document then goes on to discuss the removal and in essence of
17 Muslim populated villages in the Blagaj Japra area and in other areas in
18 the municipality and the movement out of those people into detention camps
19 set up in the municipality. It also, I believe, highlights very well this
20 relationship between civilian military and police organs in relation to
21 that. But I flagged up in particular that first section because it is a
22 documented piece of evidence that highlights this relationship and link
23 between the 15th and 16th of April or the 16th of April Subotic
24 instruction, the autonomous region, National Defence document of the 4th
25 of May, the weapon deadline issue and the deadline articulated in this
1 report is identical to the Sajic report. And it also highlights that
2 where they say that voluntary relinquishment of weapons did not happen, as
3 well as their being this reference to the attack, that there were these
4 attacks on Muslim villages in the area. So the reference, appropriate
5 sanctions, the appropriate sanctions reference in the 4th of May would
6 seem to be somewhat apparent from this document. I would also refer you
7 back to the comments of Mr. Vjestica at the 16th assembly session, who
8 stated that he was aware of what was going on in his neighbouring
9 municipalities and in fact had visited there. And he himself discussed
10 the issue of deadlines and the surrender of weapons. Some had been handed
11 over and some hadn't. So for me this ties in, this documentary evidence,
12 about the issue of deadlines and the importance placed on this issue and
13 the fact that military attacks and actions against non-Serbs were
14 occurring in relation to those -- those decrees and decisions.
15 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 2.13 of your report, you refer to the 8th
16 of May conclusions of the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff, and
17 in that document, we see that: "The strictest sanctions will be imposed
18 on those who refuse to return weapons, referring" - this is in point 3 -
19 "to the requirement of the presidents of the National Defence councils to
20 report to the war staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina about any
21 actions they may have taken in order to disarm paramilitary units and
22 individuals possessing illegal weapons."
23 A. Yes, this is another decision, this time from the Autonomous
24 Region of Krajina Crisis Staff prior to this deadline of the 11th of May,
25 reaffirming the issue of the reporting of what action was going to be
1 taken in relation to that. I also draw your attention to point 4 of that
2 decision of the 8th of May which states that at one hour intervals the
3 Banja Luka Radio was to broadcast announcements to citizens to return
4 weapons so that peace can be maintained in the area. So again this is
5 decisions and actions prior to this 11th of May deadline.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: May I go back just very briefly to what was
8 finally -- the last document, 00968599? I, in fact, have found it. It is
9 not -- I don't think it's P717. It probably has to have a new exhibit
10 number because it is a separate report. The disclosure number if it helps
11 the Prosecutor is 4.794. And I think before we go any further, it
12 probably ought to be assigned an exhibit number because it really is a
13 different document than P717.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. That will be P2423, then.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. Let's proceed.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: For your information, Mr. Nicholls, and
18 Mr. Ackerman, I have found here on my laptop reference when Ms. Korner
19 introduced this document during one of the reading sessions. And there is
20 a description of what this document is but I can't help you any further
21 beyond that.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I was originally believed
23 this document had to be assigned a new number, received some information
24 that it was actually part of another one. I will clear that up if we --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay, Mr. Nicholls, let's proceed, let's not
1 waste time.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
3 Q. Just because we have been interrupted, with this issue, paragraph
4 2.14 of your report, I think begins to sum up what you've been telling us
5 here - is that correct - that the ARK decisions relating to weapons
6 surrender and the preparations for forceful action is part of a recognised
7 plan passed down to municipal bodies and acted upon and in some areas the
8 decision to disarm the population appeared to have been coordinated across
9 municipal boundaries?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I think this is pretty clear, we can do this quite quickly.
12 Footnote 264, this is Exhibit P904, it's a Kljuc municipal Crisis Staff
13 document dated the 9th of May, 1992. And point 2 states: "Read out the
14 order to disarm citizens that you received earlier." You've cited this as
15 an example of that dissemination of the order; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. I would add I think there is other documents that would indicate
19 that and I believe in my Stakic testimony in Prijedor municipality that I
20 also hinted that -- or hinted but made reference it that too.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour, as I said I don't
22 propose to repeat the testimony which Your Honours have.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have heard enough about -- not heard
24 enough from the witness, heard enough from other witnesses and seen enough
25 of similar documents actually.
1 MR. NICHOLLS:
2 Q. I'd like to quickly look at - I think this is important - the
3 document you cite in footnote 269. This is P195. It's a CSB Banja Luka
4 instruction dated the 14th of May, 1992. And it's fairly self-evident but
5 can you tell us why you included this document which relates to the
6 Autonomous Region of Krajina disarmament decisions?
7 A. Well, again I think it's directly linked to the decisions taken at
8 the regional level in relation to disarmament and in this case, the police
9 are making concrete plans for obtaining and seizing those weapons in
10 accordance with the decisions that were -- I've already articulated.
11 Q. And again, in other documents, in 1st Krajina Corps documents, I
12 believe, you have found references to these weapons deadlines issued by
13 the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff; is that right?
14 A. Yes. The military appeared very aware of the fact that deadlines
15 were appearing and they make reference -- a number of references in this
16 period to specifically to the deadlines and dates, and then as I said
17 later on they make references to their own operations in relation to this.
18 Q. Another document I think we have time to quickly go through
19 related to this topic is the one you footnote in 389, this is Exhibit
20 638. This is a Sanski Most Territorial Defence order issued by Colonel
21 Anicic relating to disarmament operations in Sanski Most and actually in
22 the title characterising the disarmament operation as a combat task. Can
23 you tell us about this document and how it shows coordination in the
24 disarmament process between TO units, VRS units, and police units?
25 A. This order, as you highlight, is entitled disarmament operations
1 in Sanski Most which is revealing in itself. It talks about, in part 2,
2 after the mobilisation of the TO units of Sanski Most municipality we
3 managed to maintain control of the territory and organise the defence of
4 the Serbian-populated areas in the area of the municipality in good time.
5 The task of the TO of Sanski Most municipality is to disarm enemy forces
6 in the territory of the municipality by engaging the wartime units of the
7 TO staff. It later on goes on, and to maintain in coordinated action with
8 units of the 6th Brigade which was a brigade of General Talic's command,
9 complete control of the territory in order to ensure stable functioning of
10 our government and create conditions for unobstructed life and work. The
11 order then discusses a coordinated military operation with the Territorial
12 Defence and the 6th Brigade which they articulate as being a disarmament
13 operation. It makes mention of artillery preparations to disarm
14 settlements of Mahala, Otoka, Muhici and others, in coordination with the
15 6th Brigade. It gives instructions to its own mortar unit of that TO to
16 take up positions in order to carry out artillery preparations and to
17 attack by firing at significant targets in a number of villages,
18 highlighted in paragraph 8.
19 And it gives tasks to the various components of the Territorial
20 Defence. It makes mention in paragraph 15, upon the completion of the
21 task take prisoners of war to the sports hall, the secondary school and
22 hand over war booty to the Sanski Most Serbian TO staff. This would -- I
23 would imagine require some element of coordination to have that facility
24 available and made available. And it highlights on paragraph 16,
25 readiness for the attack at 0500 hours on the 26th of May.
1 So I think this is a very obvious order to the Territorial Defence
2 for a combined operation to carry out disarmament that will involve
3 artillery preparation, artillery shelling and they anticipate that
4 prisoners of war, a requirement to take them to the facility annotated.
5 Q. And if you look at page -- paragraph 218 of your report, we don't
6 need to go through the entire paragraph or read it, but this document
7 we've just gone through is an example of the process of disarmament you
8 refer to in that section, is it not?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, we have about two minutes, I guess.
11 I think maybe if we break now, I don't think I can get through the next
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Mr. Brown, we'll be stopping
14 here. We'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. I thank you.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: May I just ask Your Honour when we are finishing
16 tomorrow? I remember hearing it may be a little early.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to finish a bit early. I still have to
18 contact the President's office to tell me exactly what time I need to
19 leave but it will be definitely 12.00 or before that.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 1.44 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
24 the 11th day of July, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.