Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 25379

 1                           Tuesday, 28 February 2012

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Good morning, everyone.

 7             Good morning, Mr. Erdemovic.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, please continue.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Good morning,

11     Your Honours.  Good morning to everyone.

12                           WITNESS:  DRAZEN ERDEMOVIC [Resumed]

13                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

14                           Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]

15        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Erdemovic.

16        A.   Good morning.

17        Q.   Thank you for pausing between question and answer.  We do tend to

18     forget this.  I wanted to move on and to look at some of the other

19     details.  They would take ten people out of the bus at a time and people

20     were shot in groups of ten; isn't that correct?

21        A.   Yes, as far as I can remember.

22        Q.   Who would take them out?

23        A.   As far as I can remember, there was the escort with the driver in

24     the first bus.  As far as I can remember, there were two military

25     policemen and they would take them out of the buses.  In the first bus

Page 25380

 1     there was Brano Gojkovic and Golijan Vlastimir and they escorted them to

 2     the site at which they were executed.

 3        Q.   But you said that the drivers were amazed and they were convinced

 4     that these people were there for the purposes of an exchange.  And do you

 5     stand by that claim?

 6        A.   I can only remember the first driver, but I can't really remember

 7     what the situation was with the other drivers because I didn't have

 8     contact with all of them.

 9        Q.   You heard the first driver say that he was convinced that they

10     were being taken for an exchange and he was amazed at what was happening;

11     isn't that correct?

12        A.   I think so, and Brano Gojkovic also ordered one of the drivers to

13     take a rifle and open fire to a group of Muslims because he didn't want

14     to have any witnesses.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Which driver are you referring to?  Which bus?

16        A.   I can't remember.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Let's try and understand what was happening at that

18     site.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see P4308, page 222.

20             And could the usher help Mr. Erdemovic to use the electronic pen.

21             JUDGE KWON:  Would you like to upload already marked by the

22     witness?

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Excellency.  It's new.

24             Could this central part be enlarged?  Could we zoom in to the

25     part where we can see both roads and the field.

Page 25381

 1             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, what is this area here where these executions took

 3     place?

 4        A.   I assumed that it was a farm.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  What was the ground like?  What was the ground like?

 6     What was the earth like in the field where the execution was carried out?

 7        A.   What do you mean?

 8        Q.   What did you have there, grass or other kinds of plants?  What

 9     was there?

10        A.   I think there was some corn there that had been harvested.  I

11     can't remember exactly.

12        Q.   Could you take the electronic pen now and mark the route that

13     these people used to reach a certain site, and could you mark the site.

14     Could you also mark the site where the bus was.

15        A.   [Marks]

16        Q.   Thank you.  Now use these dots -- yes, that's right.

17             JUDGE KWON:  I need to understand the point of this exercise.  He

18     did this in his chief -- examination-in-chief, so you are -- you wanted

19     to check whether he did -- he does the same, Mr. Karadzic?

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Excellency.  No, no.  I

21     want a new spatial and temporal framework to be established so that we

22     can understand what actually happened.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.  Let's continue.

24             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Could you please use the colour red now and could you show how

Page 25382

 1     they were lined up by symbolising this with ten red dots.  I'm referring

 2     to the first ten.

 3        A.   [Marks]

 4        Q.   In one line or in two lines?

 5        A.   In one line.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  And could you use the blue pen to mark the site at

 7     which the eight of you were located?

 8        A.   [Marks]

 9        Q.   Thank you.  How many metres were you away from them?

10        A.   I can't say what the distance was exactly, how many metres there

11     were between us, because we weren't far away from them, from their backs.

12        Q.   Thank you.  So they had their backs turned towards you; is that

13     correct?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Thank you.  So what was the purpose of blindfolding them in that

16     case?

17        A.   They already had these blindfolds on in the buses, and as I have

18     already testified, as far as I can remember, in the first bus their hands

19     were tied behind their backs.  I don't know who took this decision and

20     why it was decided that they should be blindfolded.

21        Q.   Thank you.  And this entire route that you have marked is a route

22     that they covered with these blindfolds on.  Does that concern the first

23     ten of them or the whole bus?

24        A.   All the buses that arrived there.  On that day, all the buses

25     that arrived at the farm on that day, all the people from the buses were

Page 25383

 1     taken down the route that I have marked.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  And were only the first ten blindfolded and had their

 3     hands tied or did that concern all 50 of them from the first bus?

 4        A.   As far as I can remember, they were all blindfolded and they all

 5     had their hands tied, at least those from the first bus.

 6        Q.   I'm afraid that we still need the usher's assistance.

 7             Could you please mark the site at which the other group of ten

 8     was located?

 9        A.   [Marks]

10        Q.   Thank you.  With regard to the first bus, could you mark the

11     place -- could you first mark the place where the first group of ten was

12     located and then the next four groups.

13        A.   I don't know if I can mark all of that, but as I have already

14     testified, the first group was here and then we went back towards the

15     farm.

16        Q.   Could you mark the field where the bodies were, the body-strewn

17     field.

18        A.   [Marks]

19        Q.   Thank you.  How big is that area, is that field?  15 by 15 metres

20     or 20 by 20 metres, isn't it?

21        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I can't remember the size of the area.  I really

22     wasn't that interested in it.

23        Q.   Very well.  So you dealt with one bus.  How much time did it take

24     for these five groups of ten to come out of the first bus?

25        A.   I don't know.  I can't answer that question.

Page 25384

 1        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, there are two issues here:  What happened and then

 2     there's the issue of numbers.  You want to say that 1.000 to 1.200 people

 3     were killed here, and that they all came in groups of ten down this route

 4     from 11.00 to 2.00 or 3.00, and you said they were all taken to the field

 5     that you have marked.  Mr. Erdemovic, a man who is killed and who is on

 6     the ground takes up an area of 3 to 4 square metres.  Would you agree

 7     that it's bad enough to kill one person, why should we exaggerate the

 8     numbers now?  So why is what you are saying so difficult to believe?

 9             JUDGE MORRISON:  Well, Dr. Karadzic, I mean, that's a comment and

10     not a question in reality.  You've also made the assertion as if it's

11     established in evidence that a man who is killed and is on the ground

12     takes up an area of 3 to 4 square metres.  There doesn't seem to be any

13     evidential basis for that whatsoever.  Again, these are multiple

14     questions.  You're descending into detail that it's difficult to see the

15     relevance of.  Either you are contesting the core of this witness's

16     evidence or you're not.  And at the moment, with your time rapidly

17     running out, it seems to me at least that you've got a long way to go.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, I thank Judge Morrison, but you are

19     not giving evidence.  Just put one question at a time and do not make

20     statements.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, do we agree that between the parking and the

24     execution site, the distance is between 80 and 100 metres?

25        A.   I can't say exactly what the distance is, but I think that is

Page 25385

 1     correct.  Perhaps the distance would be between a hundred and 200 metres,

 2     but I can't say exactly.

 3        Q.   Very well.  And how long does it take to take ten blindfolded

 4     individuals from the bus to the execution site?

 5        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I have already answered your question.  It wasn't

 6     possible for me to follow all of this and keep an eye on my watch to see

 7     how long it took to take them from that place to the site of execution.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  And the eight of you opened fire on the ten of them;

 9     isn't that correct?

10        A.   I opened fire on the person in front of me, Mr. Karadzic.

11        Q.   So if you opened fire on the person in front of you, then you

12     killed five individuals from that bus; isn't that correct?  If there were

13     five groups of ten, then you killed five of them from that bus; isn't

14     that correct?

15        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I didn't count the number of people I killed.  I

16     can't answer that question.  If you think I killed five of them, well,

17     that is your opinion.

18        Q.   All right.  Thank you.  So you are trying to say that after

19     11.00 and up until 2.00 or 3.00, so many people were executed applying

20     this rhythm, if you will?

21        A.   I never said that this was an exact figure.  I always said it was

22     an estimate.  Maybe I said -- well, maybe I increased the number, but

23     that was my thinking at that point in time because this went on for a

24     long time for me.  For me, it was an eternity, everything that happened

25     on that day.

Page 25386

 1        Q.   Thank you.  So now you're saying that you don't know the number

 2     and that you probably increased it, exaggerated it; right?

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, he answered the question.  That's your

 4     statement, Mr. Karadzic.

 5             Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

 6             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, I also just wanted to note, this is

 7     the second time Mr. Karadzic has said the time was 11.00 until 2.00 or

 8     3.00.  If you look at transcript page 10972, Mr. Erdemovic's Popovic

 9     testimony, he actually says he supposes from 10.00 until 3.00 or 4.00.

10     So perhaps that -- when Mr. Karadzic is citing the times he could be

11     accurate.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.  "I suppose from 10.00 until 3.00 or 4.00.  I

13     can't tell you exactly."

14             Yes.  Thank you, Mr. Mitchell.

15             Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.

16             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But, Your Excellency, yesterday we

17     realised that they could not have arrived by 10.00.  We worked out this

18     entire timetable, when they got up, when they had breakfast, et cetera.

19     So yesterday we established that Mr. Erdemovic actually said that they

20     arrived around 11.00.

21             JUDGE KWON:  I don't know who established that.  Put your

22     question to the witness now.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness, yesterday he

24     confirmed that it was 11.00 and that there weren't any prisoners there,

25     and the prisoners arrived only after that.

Page 25387

 1             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, did you receive any information to the effect that

 3     there was some grave there already, that some people had already been

 4     buried there?

 5        A.   The person that remained at that farm when the lieutenant-colonel

 6     left -- actually, before the first execution started, after it was all

 7     over I cannot tell you exactly what time it was in the afternoon.  This

 8     person said that some people had been executed there earlier on.  He did

 9     not say when this "earlier on" was when this actually happened.  I cannot

10     confirm that, but that is what that individual had said.

11        Q.   But the person did not say that they had been executed.  That

12     person said that there had been burials there earlier on; right?

13             Look at this interview with Ruez, the one that you had.  1D5051

14     [as interpreted].

15             Could you please put the date there and sign that, what you have

16     there in front of you.

17        A.   [Marks]

18        Q.   Do you know where they were buried?  Can you mark that as well,

19     if you know.

20             1D5150.

21             But, tell me, do you know where they were buried?

22             Can you mark the place where they were buried?  Was a grave there

23     when you arrived?  Had it already been dug?

24        A.   There was no grave there, nothing had been dug.  That person from

25     the farm just said that roughly around that place where these persons

Page 25388

 1     from Srebrenica had been killed, there had been people buried there too.

 2     I really cannot explain any of this, why that happened.  He did not show

 3     this to me exactly, where it was that these persons had been buried.

 4        Q.   Thank you.

 5             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this please be admitted into

 6     evidence.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit D2134, Your Honours.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5150, please.  In Serbian

10     page 25, in English 38.  1D5150.  Serbian page 25, English 38.

11     Serbian 25, English 38.

12             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Do you remember having spoken to Mr. Ruez, an investigator?

14        A.   Yes, I remember.  I talked to Mr. Ruez quite a few times.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] English page 38, please --

16     actually, maybe it's 38 in e-court.  I'm not sure it's the same.

17             Could you please -- actually, can we zoom in in the Serbian.

18             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   And can you read your first answer and the first question that

20     was put to you.  Can you read it out loud, please.

21        A.   "We received information that allegedly a guard said that in that

22     area there is a mass grave from the time of the Second World War.  Have

23     you heard anything about this?"

24        Q.   Your answer?

25        A.   "No.  Look, I did hear about this but it's not from the

Page 25389

 1     Second World War.  It was said -- well, I don't know.  He did not say

 2     from the Second World War.  He said that some people had already been

 3     buried there.  Now I don't know which people.  That's what he said when

 4     he said that these people would be buried there."

 5        Q.   Thank you.  So you did not notice a freshly dug grave.  And he

 6     said to you that some people had been buried there; right?

 7        A.   It's not that he said that to me.  I mean, I cannot remember who

 8     it was that he was talking to, but I was there when he spoke about that

 9     and that's why I heard that.  It's not that I asked him any questions,

10     which people, where's the grave?  I wasn't interested in that.

11        Q.   Thank you.

12        A.   I just repeated what it was that he had said.

13        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Erdemovic, how did things develop then?  Who did

14     you talk to about this and who did you not tell about this?

15        A.   What do you mean?  What do you mean to whom did I talk and with

16     whom was I silent?

17        Q.   Who did you hide this from?

18        A.   I did not discuss that event with my family.

19        Q.   And who else?  Did you talk to everyone else about that?  Who

20     else did you tell this to?

21             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, what do you mean by "this"?  Be

22     specific in putting your question.

23             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   A horrific thing happened, one that leaves quite an impression.

25     And I'm interested in hearing who you told about this, Mr. Erdemovic, and

Page 25390

 1     who you did not reveal this to.

 2        A.   I talked to persons who I thought would not tell Pelemis because

 3     we were not supposed to talk about our actions.  I talked to persons I

 4     trusted.  I talked to persons I had confidence in.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  Apart from these eight persons, did you dare talk to

 6     anyone else?  Did you talk to anyone else, apart from these eight

 7     persons?

 8        A.   Mr. Karadzic, on the 16th we returned to Vlasenica, and then from

 9     Vlasenica we went to Bijeljina.  As for these eight men, I just saw one

10     of them in Bijeljina.  I did not see the other six.

11        Q.   You never saw them again?

12        A.   I saw them perhaps three or four months later, the persons from

13     Vlasenica, that is.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Tell us, why did this quarrel break out in the cafe

15     in Bijeljina, the one that was followed by a shoot-out?

16             JUDGE KWON:  Did you say "Bijeljina," Mr. Karadzic?

17             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, this coffee bar or cafe where there was this

19     shoot-out, is that in Bijeljina, in your view?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Why did this quarrel break out?  Why was there a

22     shooting?

23        A.   That evening, before the shooting, I was with Mr. Kremenovic and

24     perhaps two other persons, I cannot remember exactly, from my unit.  I

25     think that one of them -- one of them was Golijan, I think Zijad Zigic,

Page 25391

 1     and there were other people there too, but I cannot remember now.  I

 2     talked to Mr. Kremenovic about what had happened and what we had been

 3     asked to do.

 4             Mr. Pelemis - how do I put this?  How do I explain this to

 5     you? - he was taking advantage of us for his own purposes.  After that we

 6     talked some more and went to this cafe in Bijeljina.  We were all under

 7     the influence.  Around midnight, I cannot remember exactly,

 8     Stanko Savanovic -- well, there was this complication, quarrel, Savanovic

 9     took his gun out and started shooting at me, Mr. Kremenovic and

10     Zijad Zigic.

11        Q.   Thank you.  First of all, let's clarify this, Zijad Zigic, he's a

12     member of your unit and he's a Muslim; right?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Why did this quarrel break out?  When -- when were

15     guns drawn -- or actually after what particular subject, after which

16     words?

17        A.   Well, I already talked about the subject, it was Pelemis and his

18     orders and taking advantage of persons from the unit for his own

19     purposes.  After that, as I've already said, what happened happened in

20     that coffee bar.  I cannot remember anymore.  I think Savanovic did

21     something, he either broke a glass or something.  I know that this turned

22     out to be very complicated.  Zijad Zigic and Savanovic quarrelled and

23     then he took a gun out and started shooting at us.

24        Q.   Is it true that the discussion in that cafe was about who

25     profited financially from your actions and who did not, and was the

Page 25392

 1     dispute on account of who fared better and who fared worse?

 2        A.   That did not start in the cafe.  We first brought that subject

 3     up -- well, as I've already said, we were saying that Mr. Pelemis is

 4     using persons from our unit for his own purposes.  That started even

 5     before we arrived in the cafe, and it wasn't that this discussion took

 6     place only that evening.  It went on after that evening and started

 7     before that evening.  So Mr. Kremenovic, who was a lieutenant in the

 8     Army of Republika Srpska, he was the deputy of 2nd Lieutenant

 9     Milorad Pelemis, I don't know why, and then after that night he was

10     removed from the unit.

11        Q.   Kremenovic was removed from the unit after that night; right?

12     And then after that -- actually, it's the same -- is that the same

13     Kremenovic who had agreed with you that you should talk to journalists?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Thank you.  And who removed Kremenovic from the unit?

16        A.   As far as Kremenovic said -- I mean, I don't know.  I was

17     seriously wounded that night in that cafe.  And I spent a month, I think,

18     at the military hospital in Belgrade.  So when I spoke to Kremenovic

19     again, he said that Pelemis decided to remove him from the unit.  Now, I

20     don't know whether that was just Pelemis's decision or did it come from a

21     higher command; that I cannot say.

22        Q.   Thank you.  And is it correct that Franc Kos, a Slovene, was a

23     member of your unit?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Thank you.  And is it correct that Franc Kos had some authority

Page 25393

 1     over that part of the detachment in Bijeljina?

 2        A.   Yes.  He was platoon leader.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that Franc Kos in that capacity removed

 4     Kremenovic because he was an adventurist?

 5        A.   I cannot answer, Mr. Karadzic.  As I've already said, I was in

 6     hospital, and what happened and who removed Kremenovic, that is something

 7     that I cannot give an answer to.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  And is it correct -- or, rather, could you tell us

 9     who fared well in material terms and who didn't fare so well.  And this

10     was the reason for discontent.  Were you one of those who did well or

11     were you one of those who didn't gain any advantage from the affair?

12        A.   Mr. Karadzic, it's not a matter of who fared well and who didn't.

13     What was at stake is the fact that Mr. Pelemis, our unit's commander,

14     took advantage of us.  He used us for purposes that didn't fall under the

15     mandate of our unit, so to speak, and he enriched himself by ordering us

16     to do certain things.  And if you want to call it a quarrel, this is why

17     this quarrel broke out that evening.  And even before that evening and

18     afterwards we continued to discuss this matter in our unit.

19        Q.   How was it possible for Pelemis to become rich?

20        A.   How was he able to become rich, well, that wasn't the only

21     problem, Mr. Karadzic.  I had problems with Mr. Pelemis even before the

22     10th Sabotage Platoon was officially established.  That was because of

23     some of his orders and because he didn't trust me, and so on and so

24     forth, and because he made certain requests from people.  He was a

25     selfish person and no one meant anything to him.

Page 25394

 1        Q.   Thank you.  But he did accept you as a member of the

 2     10th Sabotage Detachment, although you had a misunderstanding even before

 3     that.  But let's leave that.  We're now going to focus on the events

 4     after the Branjevo Farm.  If there was a quarrel, some were for and some

 5     were against.  Who was accused of having fared well and who made these

 6     accusations?

 7        A.   I can't remember having discussed who fared well in material

 8     terms.  All we knew was that Pelemis - I can't find my words now - he

 9     took advantage of the unit and of all of us for his own benefit.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Just a second.

11             Mr. Erdemovic, you said several times that Mr. Pelemis took

12     advantage of you.  He used you for purposes that didn't fall under the

13     mandate of our unit.

14             So could you give us examples of Pelemis taking advantage of you.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1995, at the beginning of 1995,

16     I was the commander of a group that had been designated to go and attempt

17     to capture a counter-intelligence officer from the ABiH, either to

18     capture him or to place a bomb under his car.  When we went down there,

19     we were provided with information on the road where this was to be done.

20     When we arrived there, I, Franc Kos, and the others noticed that

21     civilians would be at risk at the site because it was an inhabited area,

22     civilians inhabited that area.  We carried out reconnaissance for about

23     one day.  We tried to see what could be done.  We tried to see how it

24     would be safest to proceed.  And having carried out this reconnaissance,

25     we decided to return, not to carry out the task.  That was after one day

Page 25395

 1     down there.  When we returned, since I was the group commander,

 2     Mr. Pelemis and Salapura arrived at the barracks on that day.  And he

 3     told me that I was lying.  They said that they had information that the

 4     place wasn't an inhabited place and that even if a civilian were to be

 5     killed, it didn't matter.

 6             And there was another matter, there were various sponsors or

 7     people who would give him donations, money, so that he could spend money.

 8     He continually went to Belgrade to have a good time.  He would go to

 9     spend time in hotels and so on and so forth.

10             The last case that occurred had to do with Srebrenica.  I don't

11     know exactly whether this, in fact, happened, but there were rumours in

12     Bijeljina according to which Mr. Pelemis had received I don't know how

13     many kilos of gold that had been found in Srebrenica, and that's why he

14     sent us there to shoot these civilians.

15             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

16             Yes, Mr. Karadzic.

17             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   So there was a quarrel about who was doing well and who wasn't

19     and there was a quarrel that had to do with why you hadn't received some

20     of the gold.  Some people were unhappy about this situation; isn't that

21     right?

22        A.   Mr. Karadzic, it wasn't just a matter of who had received certain

23     things and who hadn't because we were asked to do things that we did not

24     agree with.  And what was even worse -- that was even worse for us

25     because Mr. Pelemis was using us for his own purposes, for his own

Page 25396

 1     benefit.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  So Pelemis didn't ask you to do this and you weren't

 3     informed of the task by Pelemis; is that correct?

 4        A.   I don't know which task you are referring to, Mr. Karadzic.

 5        Q.   The task that involved killing these people.  You heard nothing

 6     about this from Pelemis; isn't that correct?

 7        A.   Whenever we had to carry out tasks -- well, Mr. Pelemis knew all

 8     the tasks.  I didn't hear anything about it that morning from Pelemis,

 9     but he should have known about that because we wouldn't have been allowed

10     to go and carry out the task without his knowledge.

11        Q.   And did you volunteer to carry out the task?  Did the eight of

12     you volunteer?

13        A.   No.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have a look at

15     1D5158 in the e-court system.

16             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Would you agree that this is a memorandum, an official note, on

18     the conversation or an interview, rather, with Mr. Kos.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at the second

20     page, please.  Could we zoom in to the lower part where it says:

21             [In English] "In 1995 (months of May and June) the 10th Sabotage

22     Detachment together with the Drina Wolves unit took part in the assault

23     on Srebrenica and in conquering it.  On 16th of July he received a phone

24     call by Major Dragomir Pecanac and was given the order of designating

25     7 soldiers in order to ensure protection of transport at the place of the

Page 25397

 1     deserted beef farm at Pilica, Municipality of Zvornik.  The group

 2     designated by Mr. Kos was voluntarily joined by Erdemovic."

 3             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   Your officer says that you joined voluntarily?

 5        A.   I can see what he says, and to be quite frank, he's lying.  I

 6     didn't want to say that, but he's lying.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Erdemovic, I can tell you that he's not the only

 8     person that says that you joined voluntarily.  Another witness said

 9     something to that effect here.  But now let us see how this issue of the

10     gold cropped up.

11             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

12             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, I would like a cite for that last

13     statement.  If he's referring to Mr. Todorovic and the quote that I read

14     out yesterday, I don't think that was about whether he joined

15     voluntarily.

16             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps it's not that quote, but I

17     do believe that it is that witness who said that Erdemovic joined

18     voluntarily.

19                           [Trial Chamber confers]

20             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

21             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, that exact -- the section that I

22     was referring to says Erdemovic said he was forced to do something at

23     gunpoint.  It didn't get into -- or my reading of it is it's not

24     referring to whether he volunteered at Vlasenica to join the unit.

25             JUDGE KWON:  Why don't you leave it at that.  Let's proceed.

Page 25398

 1             Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency.  Just

 3     one minute, please.

 4             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, who signed for the issuing of equipment on the

 6     16th of July?

 7        A.   I think I answered the question yesterday.  I can't remember who

 8     signed.

 9        Q.   Very well.  Let's move on to another subject.  Mr. Erdemovic,

10     yesterday we listened [as interpreted] to a document and saw a document

11     that was prepared for you.  As you're not of Serbian origin, they gave

12     you ID cards with other names.  Were these names supposed to be similar

13     to Serbian names, to look like Serbian names?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   So does that mean that while you were in the unit, you did not

16     have to show identity cards of any kind, and this measure was taken for

17     purposes of demobilisation, when you as civilians would be subjected to

18     controls?

19        A.   While I was in the barracks in Bijeljina, we all had these

20     military cards which stated the unit you were a member of and your first

21     and last name.  We had these IDs, but as to why these identity cards were

22     made, I don't know.  All I know is that I read that they had been made

23     because the Hague Tribunal was interested in the eight of us, the eight

24     of us who were not of Serbian ethnicity in that unit.  However, the date

25     was the 16th of January, 1996.  And when I arrived in The Hague in March

Page 25399

 1     or April of that year, they knew nothing about me or other members from

 2     my unit.  So when I saw that document, I was surprised.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Tell me, who from your group went to fight as a

 4     mercenary in Zaire?

 5        A.   I can't answer that, but while I was in the Detention Unit in

 6     The Hague, I read certain articles which stated that some individuals

 7     from the 10th Sabotage Detachment went to Zaire.  I was in The Hague

 8     Detention Unit then, so I can't answer your question precisely.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Could these false ID cards also be used for those

10     purposes, or rather, did you hear the names or about the names under

11     which they went to Zaire, the names they used when they went to Zaire?

12        A.   Mr. Karadzic, as I have already said, I was in the Detention Unit

13     in Scheveningen.  I had absolutely no contact with men from my unit.  All

14     I have told you is information that I obtained from the newspapers.  I

15     know nothing else about it.

16        Q.   Thank you.  So --

17             JUDGE KWON:  Just a second.  Mr. Mitchell, I checked the

18     transcript of Mr. Todorovic.  It's 7th of February, transcript

19     page 24204, line 19 to line 21.

20             "Q.  Was Drazen Erdemovic there?

21             "A.  Erdemovic was with me in Trebinje but he volunteered.  He

22     was not forced to go."

23             That's what he said.

24             MR. MITCHELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I accept that.

25             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.

Page 25400

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Do you know which country and the secret service of which country

 4     organised your colleagues going to Zaire?

 5        A.   I cannot remember exactly which country organised this.  I just

 6     know that I read in this article that these were individuals from the

 7     10th Sabotage Detachment.  I think there was some lieutenant-colonel or

 8     something like that from some French army or -- I don't know.  I cannot

 9     remember exactly.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Now, let us move on to another topic, Mr. Erdemovic.

11     You said that it was possible to take personal revenge and you mentioned

12     a man who killed 250 prisoners to avenge his brother; right?

13        A.   Well, I've already said what it was that he was saying.  I don't

14     know how many persons he killed.  I know what he was bragging about.  I

15     cannot tell you why he did that.  I mean, I just repeated his words.

16        Q.   But he did mention that his brother had lost his life and that he

17     did all of that for his brother; right?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Further on you said that when the men from Bratunac

20     came for the liquidation of the people from the last bus, that some

21     people were recognised and mistreated and beaten; is that right?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Do you recall the video footage where you recognised

24     a man wearing a US army uniform and jeans who was killed?  According to

25     you, was he killed on the 11th of July when you were in Srebrenica?

Page 25401

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   But do you know, Mr. Erdemovic, that that footage was filmed on

 3     the 13th of July and that in that case that body would probably be

 4     decayed, in view of the fact that it was July, and that the entire town

 5     would be stinking, there would be stench in the entire town?

 6        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I really can't answer that question.

 7        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, you refused to tell the Court the name of one of

 8     the people in the photo because you said he hadn't done anything wrong

 9     and that you were on good terms with him; correct?

10             JUDGE KWON:  Before that answer.

11             Yes, is it related to that video, Mr. Mitchell?

12             MR. MITCHELL:  It is, Mr. President.  That video is of

13     12 July 1995, and the reference for that is in the source material at the

14     back of the trial video book.  It lists the dates of each sequence, and

15     that was the very first sequence in part 2 in that book, that's

16     ERN 07048028.  And it's the sequence from 10 seconds to 1 minute and

17     14 seconds.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Who was it taken by?

19             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, I'll have to get back to you on

20     that.

21             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.

22             MR. MITCHELL:  It was seized from a search of Darko Mladic's

23     house in 2009, but the identity of the actual cameraman I'm not sure of.

24             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

25             Yes, Mr. Karadzic.

Page 25402

 1             If you do not agree with Mr. Mitchell's intervention, that it was

 2     taken on 12th of July, you need to give the reference.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, thank you.

 4     Perhaps after the break.  I'm not sure if I can dispute that, in fact,

 5     because I know that Mr. Pirocanac was the one who filmed that,

 6     Zoran Petrovic, namely, and I thought that that was part of that.

 7             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   It is true, isn't it, that there is a man from Vlasenica in the

 9     photo there and you didn't want to mention his name because he was on

10     good terms with you; correct?

11        A.   Well, it's not just that we were on good terms.  I know that that

12     person didn't do anything wrong; and secondly, when I testified in

13     Popovic, Mr. Ostojic - and I can't quite recall the detail - but

14     Mr. Ostojic, the attorney, the Defence counsel, said that he wanted to

15     have the name of that person.  And then I did say the name in private

16     session.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Now, was there anyone that you were not on good terms

18     with in your detachment?

19        A.   Well, who was it that I wasn't on good terms in my detachment?

20     Well, I think I've already said that a number of times.  The greatest

21     problems that I had were with Mr. Pelemis.

22        Q.   Thank you.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Could the Chamber move into private session briefly.

24                           [Private session]

25   (redacted)

Page 25403

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8                           [Open session]

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.

10             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, did you try, for those reasons of personal

12     animosity against Mr. Pelemis, to involve him in some criminal offence or

13     crime at all costs?

14        A.   No.

15        Q.   Thank you.  You told us yesterday that this unit was an elite

16     unit and that it had a very good reputation up until the 16th of July;

17     correct?

18        A.   I can say that for the Bijeljina platoon.

19        Q.   Thank you.  And what you saw on the 11th in Srebrenica, was

20     that -- did that come as a shock to you, that this prisoner would be

21     shot, shot dead?

22        A.   Mr. Karadzic, of course it was unpleasant because that person

23     actually had his throat slit.  He was slaughtered with a knife.  Now,

24     secondly, Mr. Pelemis, before we set out into town, he said that we

25     should not open fire on civilians.  But about an hour or an hour and a

Page 25404

 1     half later, he ordered Zoran Maljic to slit the throat of that man.  I

 2     just could not understand that.  I had heard stories about such incidents

 3     earlier on in Vlasenica and Zvornik, I can't tell you exactly, but I did

 4     hear stories like that.

 5        Q.   Very well.  Now, on another occasion, did you attribute this same

 6     or similar thing to Mr. Pelemis where it involved a completely different

 7     location; and then after you saw the footage, then you said that it was

 8     in Srebrenica?

 9        A.   No, I can't recall that I said anything like that, that I would

10     have said that it was someplace else and then later that it was, in fact,

11     in Srebrenica.

12        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, you said that Mr. Pelemis took a man, a Muslim,

13     out of a prison and that he had him killed.  This is what you said in

14     your earlier statements, and then after you saw this footage, then you

15     said that he had killed this man wearing that American jacket.  Correct?

16        A.   Mr. Karadzic, as for that person who was taken out of detention

17     in Vlasenica, that event was after Srebrenica, when Pelemis had that

18     accident with a UN APC.  And then a person from the Vlasenica platoon was

19     late catching a bus for Srebrenica, and then when we returned to

20     Vlasenica the night of the 12th, Major Pecanac was there and they decided

21     that that person who had been late for Srebrenica, that he would be

22     charged with killing that man.  I did not attribute that to Mr. Pelemis.

23     I said that Pecanac was involved in this, as far as I can recall.  As for

24     this man in Srebrenica whose throat had been slit by Zoran Maljic, I know

25     for certain that that was ordered by Pelemis.

Page 25405

 1        Q.   Before the break, let's talk a little bit about your background

 2     and your career.  Could you answer with yes or no, please.  Is it true

 3     that you completed your regular military service, in JNA, in 1992?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Is it true that you then observed that Muslims mobilised their

 6     men, Serbs mobilised their own people, and Croats their own, and at that

 7     point you didn't want to join any army but then you decided to join the

 8     BH army?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Thank you.  While you were a member of the BH army, you helped

11     Serbs from Tuzla who wanted to cross over to Republika Srpska to go

12     across the separation line.  Was that indeed the case and did Serbs very

13     much want to leave Tuzla?

14        A.   I did not help Serbs while I was in the BH army.  I started

15     helping Serbs while -- when I was in the HVO, in the military police.  As

16     for the Serbs from Tuzla, I don't know exactly how that went, but as

17     for -- I was in Tuzla, or nearby, and people who lived in that area, they

18     wanted to leave and go to the area that was held by the VRS.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Did you know that there were exchanges going on and

20     that Muslims were leaving Bijeljina, whereas Serbs were going to

21     Bijeljina?  So are you aware that this was a two-way street, as it were?

22        A.   Well, yes, I know that people were transported from

23     Republika Srpska to the area that belonged to the BH army, and I also

24     know that people of Serb ethnicity who were in Bosnia-Herzegovina were

25     transported to Republika Srpska.

Page 25406

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Do you know that there were all kinds of attorneys on

 2     both sides who compiled lists and actually charged people when

 3     transferring them to other areas in order to re-unite them with their

 4     families?  Did you hear of this term, "family reunion"?

 5        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I don't know anything about any attorneys or

 6     lawyers.  I was not present when these exchanges occurred, and as for the

 7     term, I don't know anything about it so I can't answer your question.

 8        Q.   But do you know that this had to be paid for, that it cost some

 9     money, that it had to -- that these transfers from either side across the

10     line cost some money?

11        A.   Well, I don't.  I don't know anything about that.  I cannot give

12     you a precise answer to that question, but I do know that some people did

13     that.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Did you profit in any way from this, from

15     transferring Serbs?

16        A.   No.

17        Q.   When you testified in Tolimir, on page 1899 of the transcript,

18     didn't you say that you were given fuel that was scarce at the time, that

19     the Serbs would give you fuel?

20        A.   Well, the fuel that I got from the Serbs was not for my personal

21     profit.  This was just to be used so that I can transport these people to

22     the separation line.  So I used the fuel to transport these people to the

23     separation line.

24        Q.   Thank you.  After all of these misunderstandings, after the

25     BH army you joined the HVO; and then the HVO arrested you because of

Page 25407

 1     these activities and handed you over to the BH army.  Correct?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  After this you managed to cross over into

 4     Republika Srpska; correct?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  After that, you reported to the military office, and

 7     they -- and you were told there that there was an ethnically mixed unit

 8     and that it would be best if you joined it; and then you volunteered to

 9     join that unit.  Correct?

10        A.   When I crossed over to Republika Srpska, I did not join the army

11     immediately.  I went to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia because I

12     received threats when I moved to Republika Srpska.  However, I arrived in

13     Republika Srpska in November 1993, I believe, and then I left for the

14     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia because I did not want to join any army.

15             Now, in 1994, in early 1994, there were mobilisations in the

16     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of able-bodied men who came from Bosnia

17     and Herzegovina.  So what happened was they would stop you on the road,

18     on the street, and they would ask for your ID.  And if you had an ID that

19     was issued in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they would take you to a barracks

20     where you would be issued a uniform and sent back to Bosnia and

21     Herzegovina.  So I decided to return to Republika Srpska, together with

22     my wife.  We went to a place called Miljevina which was near Foca.

23        Q.   Thank you.  You were not arrested in that way and deported.  You

24     came on your own; right?  You thought that that was wiser?

25        A.   It's not that I thought it was wiser.  I thought that I had no

Page 25408

 1     other choice, and indeed I did not have any other choice.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Was that unit your choice?  Did you join it

 3     voluntarily?  Did you decide to join that unit, this platoon that was

 4     later on transformed into the 10th Sabotage Detachment?

 5        A.   Yes.  That unit included a few Croats, a Slovene, and a Muslim.

 6     That's why I made that decision.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Erdemovic, you made different statements, you

 8     gave different statements to journalists.  Is it true that you

 9     misrepresented certain things, especially as far as dates are concerned?

10        A.   Yes.  When I talked to a lady journalist from the ABC, I said

11     that we went to Srebrenica on the 16th.  I said that because Kremenovic

12     had said to me that if something happened, the dates should not tally.

13        Q.   All right.  That's what you did when you spoke to the lady

14     journalist, but what did you say before the Serb authorities, the

15     authorities in Belgrade?  Did you keep silent about something when you

16     spoke to them or did you deceive them?

17        A.   The night before we were arrested, we received a telephone call

18     from this lady journalist.  She said to us that this cassette with my

19     statement disappeared from Belgrade airport and that she had been

20     searched at the airport and interrogated and whatever.  I wasn't the

21     person talking to her, it was Kremenovic.  Then I decided to repeat that

22     because I assumed that they already had all of that on that recording,

23     and I decided to repeat that story to the court in Belgrade.  Also, I

24     said that I wanted to go to The Hague and to tell everything.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Tell us, please, in Belgrade were you in detention?

Page 25409

 1     Were criminal charges brought against you; and if so, what were these

 2     charges exactly?

 3        A.   I was detained during the first two days, as far as I can

 4     remember, in Novi Sad.  Then I appeared before a court in Novi Sad.  I

 5     cannot tell you exactly what -- I cannot give you an exact answer.  I

 6     cannot tell you exactly what was written there in those criminal charges

 7     or whatever.  Then I was transferred to Belgrade, to some house, where

 8     there were state security officials, officials from the State Security

 9     Service of Serbia.  And then I stayed there, I cannot remember exactly,

10     perhaps a month; and then I was transferred to The Hague.

11        Q.   Thank you.  What was it that you were suspected of?  How did they

12     qualify that?  War crime?  Murder?  What?

13        A.   War crime.  I cannot remember exactly now.  I think it was war

14     crime.

15        Q.   Were you ever charged with genocide, Mr. Erdemovic?

16        A.   I cannot remember, Mr. Karadzic.  Can you show some paper to me

17     or something?  Then I can answer.  I cannot recall because ...

18        Q.   Did you confess having committed genocide?

19        A.   Again, Mr. Karadzic, I cannot.  If you have some evidence, please

20     show it to me because I cannot remember.

21        Q.   All right.  Let's do it this way.  Were the negotiations with the

22     Prosecution difficult?  And were you interested in reaching an agreement

23     with the Prosecution?

24        A.   Mr. Karadzic, when I was transferred from Belgrade to The Hague,

25     the Prosecution informed me straight away that they could make no

Page 25410

 1     promises to me, that they did not want to promise me anything, that I was

 2     there because I wanted to be there and to tell them my story.  No one

 3     made any promises to me.

 4        Q.   Were you keenly interested in reaching this agreement?

 5        A.   My Defence attorney spoke to the Prosecution about that.

 6        Q.   Tell us, did you give an interview to "Le Figaro"?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   In that interview, did you say that you expected that you would

 9     not be punished at all?

10        A.   I never expected not to be punished at all.  I never said that to

11     anyone.

12        Q.   Why did you decide to tell the Prosecution this story?

13        A.   Why did I decide that, Mr. Karadzic?  I decided that because I

14     realised that my life had been ruined on that day.  It's because of that

15     and because of all the persons who were victims on that day.

16     Mr. Karadzic, I was no longer thinking about my own life, not to such an

17     extent.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Did you fire at them with the intention of destroying

19     the Muslims as an ethnic group in Bosnia, destroying them as a people?

20        A.   No, Mr. Karadzic.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Did any person who took part in this say anything

22     about that intention involved?  Why was this killing taking place?  What

23     were the intentions involved?

24        A.   I don't know exactly, Mr. Karadzic, who was killing with what

25     intentions in mind.  As far as I could see, some persons really enjoyed

Page 25411

 1     torturing others, especially when the persons from Bratunac came.  I

 2     cannot explain that.  I can just speak in my own name.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I see the time,

 4     so would it be right to take the break now?

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, we'll have a break for half an hour and resume

 6     at 11.00.

 7                           --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

 8                           --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

10             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, I just want to make three very

11     brief points.  The mention of the other man's name was actually in public

12     session in Popovic at transcript page 11001 and over to 11002, so there's

13     no redaction needed in this case.  The second point, to be fair to

14     Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Erdemovic actually did mention a time of 11.00 a.m.

15     during his testimony yesterday.  And the third point was we have no

16     objection to the plea agreement that was tendered yesterday being a

17     public exhibit.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Do you -- so Mr. Erdemovic's comment, did it refer

19     to the stipulation made at the Popovic trial?  Transcript 11001 to

20     11002 --

21             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, that was --

22             JUDGE KWON:  Oh, yes --

23             MR. MITCHELL:  -- giving the name of the man.

24             JUDGE KWON:  -- I see.  Thank you.

25             Yes, then we will lift the confidentiality of Mr. Erdemovic's

Page 25412

 1     plea agreement.  That will be done.

 2             MR. MITCHELL:  Yes, thank you.

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Karadzic.

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 5             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, I would like us to be perfectly clear, and it's

 7     probably my fault because I was not very specific in putting my

 8     questions.  My question is:  Did you ever stand accused of genocide?

 9        A.   As I've already said, Mr. Karadzic, I cannot remember what I had

10     been accused of in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, what I was accused

11     of in The Hague here, and so on.  If you have this document and then you

12     could show it to me and then I could explain.  Without a document or

13     without something on paper, I cannot really say.

14        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, do you have a memory problem?  You kept saying

15     that you could not remember a great deal.

16        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I'm not saying -- I mean, I'm not sure.  I cannot

17     say something to you and then think about whether it was correct or

18     whether it was not correct because some statements I gave were given

19     15 or 16 years ago.  So I cannot remember exact words and certain things.

20        Q.   When you admitted to your guilt in your plea agreement with the

21     OTP, did you admit to genocide as well?  That can be answered with a yes

22     or no.  You should know that, shouldn't you?

23        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I really don't want to say yes or no.  If you have

24     a paper, show it to me, and then I'm going to answer that question.

25        Q.   What did the Prosecution say to you?  What would they accuse you

Page 25413

 1     of?  What would they indict you for?

 2        A.   As I've already said, Mr. Karadzic, as for these matters, the

 3     Prosecution mostly discussed them with my lawyer.  I just signed this

 4     document.  My lawyer was there, I was there, and Peter McCloskey I think.

 5        Q.   And you don't know what the essence of that agreement was, you

 6     don't know what you were indicted for, you don't know whether you were

 7     charged with genocide, whether you admitted to genocide, or was the

 8     indictment something different?

 9        A.   I think it was the violation of customs of war -- I cannot really

10     explain this to you, Mr. Karadzic.  I don't have this contract in front

11     of me and I cannot tell you what this contract actually says -- no,

12     agreement.

13        Q.   But it did not say "genocide"; right?

14             JUDGE MORRISON:  Dr. Karadzic, if you've got a case to put to the

15     witness, then put it.  He's already explained I think now four or perhaps

16     five times that without a document in front of him, he has no independent

17     recollection of the technicalities of the indictment or the agreement.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, we did see the agreement,

19     Excellency.  But he - I mean the witness - for some reason seems to be

20     evading an answer with regard to things that are perfectly clear to him.

21             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, I don't think it was clear today, but I did ask

23     you when you were at the farm and when you fired, did you shoot with the

24     intention of destroying the Muslims as a group?

25             JUDGE KWON:  Asked and answered.

Page 25414

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Did anyone from your unit who was at the farm, who took part in

 4     this together with you, have that intention, of eradicating,

 5     exterminating the Muslims?

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

 7             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, this has been asked and answered as

 8     well.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

10             MR. MITCHELL:  And he can't testify about what's in the mind of

11     other people.

12             JUDGE KWON:  You asked and heard the answer.

13             Yes, Mr. Robinson.

14             MR. ROBINSON:  Yes, Mr. President.  I think in fairness to

15     Dr. Karadzic, if he put the question did any of the people in his unit

16     who were present with him at the farm ever state to him anything that

17     would lead him to believe that they had the intention to destroy the

18     Muslims as a group, I think that would be useful to get the answer to

19     that question.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Transcript page 32, lines from 11:

21             "Q.  Did you fire at them with the intention of destroying the

22     Muslims as an ethnic group in Bosnia?

23             "A.  No.

24             "Q.  Thank you.  Did any person who took part in this say

25     anything about the intention involved?  Why was this killing taking

Page 25415

 1     place?

 2             "A.  I don't know, Mr. Karadzic, who was killing with what

 3     intentions in mind."

 4             MR. ROBINSON:  I think the problem was when he asked that

 5     question he was not precise as to the people in his unit who this witness

 6     had a lot of contact with as opposed to people who were generally in the

 7     area or came later in the day.  So it seems to us that it would be useful

 8     to find out from the witness given the contacts he had with the people in

 9     the unit, the other seven who were participating in this, whether they

10     ever made any statements to him that would lead him to believe that they

11     had this intention to destroy the Muslims as a group.

12                           [Trial Chamber confers]

13             JUDGE KWON:  We'll allow that question to be put.

14             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Can you answer, Mr. Erdemovic, can you answer what you heard?

16        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I cannot remember, but I do not believe that we

17     discussed who had which intention on that day and whether anyone wanted

18     to exterminate the Muslims.  We did not have such discussions.  I don't

19     remember discussing that with anyone from my unit.

20        Q.   Thank you.  Now I'd like to ask you the following, Mr. Erdemovic.

21     Did you see your unit find some gold in Srebrenica?

22        A.   No.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Do you believe that in conditions of such poverty,

24     Srebrenica or someone in Srebrenica had 12 kilogrammes of gold?

25        A.   I cannot say either yes or no or whether something like that was

Page 25416

 1     found.  I just heard these stories, Mr. Karadzic.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  I'll now give you my version, Mr. Erdemovic.  That

 3     gold arrived from abroad from a secret service in order to do the things

 4     that were done.  What have you heard about that?  What do you know about

 5     that?

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

 7             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, before he answers the question, can

 8     we be very specific about "in order to do the things that were done,"

 9     what exactly are the things that were to be done?

10             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Karadzic.

11             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   In order to execute people in July 1995.  Did you find out or did

13     you hear that a secret service that had contact with your detachment was

14     the source of this gold?

15        A.   No.

16        Q.   You never heard about that?

17        A.   I can't remember exactly, but I never heard anything that

18     resembles your story.

19        Q.   But did you hear that your group had contact with a French

20     intelligence service that later took your colleagues to Zaire, and this

21     contact was maintained for a long period of time?

22        A.   As I have already said in the course of my testimony today, the

23     information that a lieutenant-colonel or colonel was a contact who took

24     individuals from my unit to Zaire - well, at the time I was in the

25     Detention Unit, where you are now being detained - that information is

Page 25417

 1     information I obtained from reading the newspapers.  I didn't have any

 2     contact with anyone from my unit, so I can't confirm that that is correct

 3     or not.  I can't say what happened.  I can't explain this to you.

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

 5             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, I want to be very clear about this.

 6     Is it Mr. Karadzic's case that these executions took place but that the

 7     10th Sabotage Detachment was paid gold by a French intelligence service

 8     to carry out these executions?  Is that the case that Mr. Karadzic is

 9     putting?

10             JUDGE KWON:  Yes -- just a second.

11             Yes, Mr. Robinson.

12             MR. ROBINSON:  Yes, Mr. President.  I don't believe that this is

13     an instance in which Dr. Karadzic has to put his case to the witness.

14     He's questioning the credibility of the witness's account of what

15     happened, and in the course of that, he's questioning whether or not

16     these people were -- why -- what was the motivation for the killings, but

17     that doesn't require him to acknowledge that the killings took place in

18     order to put his case.

19             JUDGE KWON:  But did he not himself say this is his version?  I'm

20     trying to find out.

21             MR. ROBINSON:  Well --

22             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, that's at page 37 --

23             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, page 37 --

24             MR. MITCHELL:  -- line 20:

25             "I'll now give you my version."

Page 25418

 1             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

 2             MR. ROBINSON:  Well, Mr. President, I think Dr. Karadzic is

 3     attempting to test the witness's evidence and not necessarily commit

 4     himself to a version of events.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  But since he said it's his version, I think it's

 6     fair enough to ask him whether it's his case.

 7             MR. ROBINSON:  Okay.

 8             JUDGE KWON:  Can you answer the question, Mr. Robinson or

 9     Mr. Karadzic.

10             MR. ROBINSON:  I -- well, I'll let Dr. Karadzic answer that

11     question.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

13                           [Defence counsel confer].

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I'm not claiming

15     anything.  The OTP have the burden of proof --

16             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, you specifically said:

17             "I will now give you my version, Mr. Erdemovic.  That gold

18     arrived from abroad from a secret service in order to do the things that

19     were done."

20             You said this was your version.  I think you need to clarify.  Or

21     you just correct your words?

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wasn't precise, Your Excellency.

23     I want to test this witness's credibility, because in his prior testimony

24     he mentioned the contact with the French intelligence service.  He knew

25     about the 12 kilogrammes of gold.  I didn't know about that.  So I wanted

Page 25419

 1     him to provide more details about his information that was in the

 2     framework of what he said he did.  I'd like to know whether his group

 3     quarrelled about the gold, whether they had contact with a secret service

 4     or not --

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Karadzic, the Chamber has never prohibited you

 6     from testing the credibility of a witness, but be precise in putting your

 7     case.  You said it was your case.  There's a lot of difference.

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise for being imprecise.

 9     My question for Mr. Erdemovic was as follows:  What does he know about

10     that?  What did he hear about that and what does he know for sure about

11     the contact with the secret service and about where the gold came from,

12     since he didn't observe this gold being found in Srebrenica?

13             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  I think he answered the question in any

14     event.  I think your time is almost up.  How much longer would you need,

15     Mr. Karadzic?

16                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

17             JUDGE KWON:  You have five minutes to conclude.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency.  I believe

19     that will be sufficient.

20             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, you testified on numerous occasions and there is

22     much that is contradictory.  Did you act in this way on purpose and why?

23     Today we heard that you deliberately provided false information on dates.

24     So were you doing this on purpose, providing contradictory information in

25     the statements that you gave?

Page 25420

 1             JUDGE KWON:  So we -- you were asked about the dates.

 2             Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

 3             MR. MITCHELL:  The first part of --

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

 5             MR. MITCHELL:  -- was just argumentative and a statement.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  You need to be specific in putting the questions.

 7             But, Mr. Erdemovic, the question about the date, can you answer

 8     the question?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  As I have already said, when

10     I gave my statement to the journalist in Novi Sad, this journalist was an

11     ABC journalist.  Kremenovic and I spoke to each other and we said it

12     would be good to provide her with the wrong dates.  If something

13     happened, it wouldn't be possible to prove things if, for example, we

14     were arrested or something like that.  But as I have already said, the

15     journalist was searched, first of all, in Belgrade, the tapes with my

16     statements disappeared from her bag.  And when we were in -- when I was

17     in court in Novi Sad, the investigating judge who was examining me on

18     that day -- I gave him the same dates, but in fact they already had all

19     that information.

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency.  I have

21     no further questions.  I could put other questions, but I don't want to

22     move into other areas.  I could start enumerating the inconsistencies I

23     have noticed, but I won't.

24             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

25             Yes, Mr. Mitchell.

Page 25421

 1             MR. MITCHELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 2                           Re-examination by Mr. Mitchell:

 3        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, I have only one area that I briefly want to ask

 4     you about.  Earlier today at page 26 of the transcript it was suggested

 5     to you that Pelemis took a Muslim man out of prison and ordered that he

 6     be killed and that it was only after you had seen footage of the body in

 7     Srebrenica that you said that Pelemis had ordered the killing of the man

 8     in the American army jacket.  I just want to ask you a couple of

 9     questions about this.

10             MR. MITCHELL:  Can I have 65 ter 8943 in e-court.

11             While this is coming up, Mr. President, I can represent that

12     we - the Office of the Prosecutor - received that footage on the

13     27th of March, 2009.

14        Q.   This is a transcript of an interview on the 24th of April, 1996,

15     between you, Mr. Erdemovic, and Mr. Ruez and Mr. Nicholson from the

16     Office of the Prosecutor.

17             MR. MITCHELL:  If we can go to page 14 in English, page 10 in the

18     B/C/S.  And the relevant part in English starts about halfway down the

19     page.  We can scroll down in the B/C/S as well.  And if we can go over to

20     the next page in the English.

21        Q.   And my question is:  Mr. Erdemovic, is this, what you're

22     describing here in your interview of April 1996, is this what we saw on

23     the footage that you were shown yesterday of the same man in the green

24     jacket in the middle of Srebrenica?

25        A.   Yes, that is the statement about that person.

Page 25422

 1        Q.   Okay.

 2             MR. MITCHELL:  Can we now go to page 20 in the English and 13 in

 3     B/C/S.

 4        Q.   Right at the top of the page you again describe the killing of a

 5     Muslim man.  If you can just read that.

 6        A.   Could you repeat that.

 7        Q.   I just want you to read this and then let us know when you finish

 8     reading this section.

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   And my question is:  Mr. Erdemovic, is this, the killing of the

11     Muslim man described here, is this the same man who Zoran killed in the

12     centre of town and who we saw on the footage; or is this a different

13     killing that you're describing here?

14        A.   This man is a different person who was in detention in Vlasenica.

15     It's not the same person who Zoran killed in Srebrenica.

16        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic.  I have no further questions.

17             JUDGE KWON:  In answering Mr. Karadzic's question about the --

18     taking a man from -- out of prison and killing him, you said you did not

19     attribute that to Mr. Pelemis.  Are we talking about a different event?

20     I'm a bit confused about this.  It's -- on page 26 -- you referred to

21     transcript page 26.

22             MR. MITCHELL:  Mr. President, this might be something that's best

23     clarified with the witness.  I can explain it or --

24             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, could you do that.

25             MR. MITCHELL:  My understanding is we're talking about two

Page 25423

 1     completely different incidents.  There's one in the centre of town, on

 2     the 11th of July --

 3             JUDGE KWON:  I'm not sure I am hearing your voice.

 4             Could you repeat.

 5             MR. MITCHELL:  We're talking about two completely different

 6     incidents, one that occurs on the 11th of July in the centre of

 7     Srebrenica, where a man has his throat slit by Zoran; and then there's a

 8     completely separate incident, where Pelemis orders that a man be taken

 9     out of prison in Vlasenica and killed in the same way.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Do you have transcript page 26 in front --

11             MR. MITCHELL:  I do.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

13                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

14             JUDGE KWON:  Question from line 5 -- and then in answer to that

15     question he said -- Mr. Erdemovic said he didn't attribute that to

16     Mr. Pelemis.  So I'm --

17             MR. MITCHELL:  That's something that I think needs to be

18     clarified with him, Mr. President.

19             JUDGE KWON:  If you could do that.

20             MR. MITCHELL:

21        Q.   Mr. Erdemovic, earlier today when you were asked about the

22     killing of the man who was taken out from the prison in Vlasenica you

23     said:

24             "I did not attribute that to Mr. Pelemis.  I said that Pecanac

25     was involved in this, as far as I can recall."

Page 25424

 1             You said:

 2             "As for this man in Srebrenica whose throat had been slit by

 3     Zoran Maljic, I know for certain that that was ordered by Pelemis."

 4             Now, if you look at your interview of April 1996, you say:

 5             "As far as I know, Pelemis had promised that he," that is, the

 6     Muslim man, "would be left alive because he was -- he had been helping

 7     our unit, but on the morning of the 13th he ordered two men to kill him."

 8             So can you explain, in your interview of 1996 you referred to

 9     Pelemis and today you said as far as you could recall Pecanac was

10     involved in this.

11        A.   Yes, I think I can explain this.  That evening when we returned

12     to Vlasenica from Srebrenica, it was late at night and Major Pecanac was

13     already there.  As I have already said today, someone from the Vlasenica

14     platoon was late or too late to go to Srebrenica and this was a sort of

15     punishment meted out to that soldier.  His punishment was that he had to

16     kill that Muslim.  I stand by my statement that on the next day Pelemis

17     told that person and another soldier to go and kill that individual, but

18     I'm also saying that Pecanac was involved in that affair before Pelemis

19     issued the order.

20        Q.   Who is Pecanac?

21        A.   I don't know exactly who he was.  I know he was in our unit, and

22     I believe he was below Colonel Salapura of the Main Staff.

23        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic.

24                           [Trial Chamber confers]

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we just clarify one thing

Page 25425

 1     having to do with the 12th, Your Excellency, and the wounding, or rather,

 2     injuries that Pelemis sustained?

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Could you let us know the specific question you are

 4     going -- you wish to put before putting that to the witness?

 5             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I would like to ask whether

 6     it is correct that on the way back to Vlasenica Pelemis was injured

 7     because there was an overturned APC and whether he was -- whether he had

 8     gone to the headquarters or the base or to the hospital.  Because as far

 9     as we know, Pelemis was taken to hospital.

10             JUDGE KWON:  I think he answered -- he testified to that.

11             Yes, Mr. Erdemovic, could you answer that question.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we arrived in Dragasevac at

13     the base on the 12th, on the night of the 12th, Pelemis was not there.

14     As I've already said, Major Pecanac was there, and then we heard of the

15     incident with Pelemis, Dragan Koljivrat and Mladen, that they were in the

16     overturned APC, the UN APC.  Koljivrat was killed in that accident,

17     Mladen was in a critical condition, and Pelemis - and I saw him the next

18     day - only had a Band-Aid on his head.  So I can't really say what

19     happened with Pelemis on that particular night, but this is what I know.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  That concludes your evidence,

21     Mr. Erdemovic.  On behalf of the Trial Chamber I would like to thank you

22     for your coming to The Hague to give it.  Now you are free to go.

23             We'll take a break.

24             MR. NICHOLLS:  Your Honour, just --

25             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

Page 25426

 1             MR. NICHOLLS:  Sorry to interrupt.  Just before the next witness

 2     comes in, I think the Court should give him a caution.

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 4                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 5             JUDGE KWON:  We'll have a break for five minutes, just to prepare

 6     for the next witness.

 7                           --- Break taken at 11.40 a.m.

 8                           [The witness withdrew]

 9                           [The witness entered court]

10                           --- On resuming at 11.48 a.m.

11             JUDGE KWON:  Would the witness take the solemn declaration,

12     please.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

14     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Please be seated.

16             Good morning to you, General Milovanovic.  By now you must be

17     well aware of this, but before you start giving evidence I would like to

18     draw your attention to a particular rule here at the Tribunal.  Under

19     this rule, Rule 90(E), you may object to answering a question from the

20     Prosecution or the accused or from the Judges if you believe that your

21     answer will incriminate you.  When I say "incriminate," I mean that

22     something you say may amount to an admission of your guilt for a criminal

23     offence or could provide evidence that you have committed an offence.

24     However, even if you think your answer will incriminate you and you do

25     not wish to answer the question, the Tribunal has the discretion to

Page 25427

 1     oblige you to answer the question.  But in such a case, the Tribunal will

 2     make sure that your testimony compelled in such a way shall not be used

 3     as evidence in other case against you for any offence other than false

 4     testimony.

 5             Do you understand what I have just told you, General Milovanovic?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully understand.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, General.

 8             Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

 9             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

10                           WITNESS:  MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC

11                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

12                           Examination by Mr. Nicholls:

13        Q.   Good morning, General.

14        A.   Good morning.

15        Q.   What I'd like to do now is go through your background a little

16     bit, and then after we do that, start talking about the early days of the

17     Main Staff of the VRS in 1992.  But first, some of your background.

18     Could you please tell us your full name.

19        A.   My name is Manojlo Milovanovic.  I was born on the

20     21st of November, 1943, in Laminci village, Gradiska municipality,

21     Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

22        Q.   I'd like to go briefly through your military career, which is

23     quite a long one.  So could you tell us briefly when you first began your

24     career in the military and take us up through the end of the war in

25     Bosnia-Herzegovina.  If you could just take us briefly step by step

Page 25428

 1     through the positions you held.

 2        A.   The school for non-commissioned officer I completed from 1959

 3     through 1961 in Banja Luka artillery.  I was a sergeant and I was

 4     transferred to Benkovac in Zadar to serve there, where I remained for

 5     14 months.  And I then applied and was enrolled at the land forces

 6     academy, military academy, in Belgrade, which I attended from

 7     October 1962 through September 1966, when I was promoted to active-duty

 8     officer of the JNA.  My first post was in Banja Luka from 1966 up until

 9     1975.  I was the commander of a tank platoon, commander of a tank

10     company, a commander of the reconnaissance -- of a reconnaissance

11     company, commander of a company in the reserve officers school for

12     armoured assets.  I was the chief of the reserve school for reserve

13     officers in Banja Luka.

14             At that time I also completed the political school of the JNA,

15     and then in 1975, I applied for and was enrolled in the higher military

16     academy in Belgrade.  I believe that today it is called General Staff

17     School for Tactics.  I completed the academy in 1997 --

18             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter is not sure of the year.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- where -- from where I was

20     transferred to Prilep in Macedonia.  For four years I was in the Prilep

21     garrison as the commander of an armoured battalion.  And then in 1981,

22     there was some sort of reorganisation within the JNA and I was

23     transferred from Prilep to Titov Veles garrison, also in Macedonia, where

24     I was an operative in the command of the 212th Motorised Brigade.  I

25     remained in that post until 1986 when I was assigned to the war college

Page 25429

 1     in Belgrade or the operations school, which I completed in 1987.  And

 2     then I was again posted as the commander of the 212th Motorised Brigade

 3     in the Titov Veles garrison.  I remained in that post until the

 4     30th of January, 1989, when I was transferred to the Skopje garrison, to

 5     the command of the 3rd Army District as an operative in the army command.

 6             I was still there when Yugoslavia broke up and the JNA began to

 7     withdraw from Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia.  When the withdrawal of

 8     the JNA from Macedonia began, I was appointed as the chief of the

 9     operations and training sector as a general.  It was a post for generals.

10     As part of the withdrawal of the -- or during the withdrawal of the JNA

11     from Macedonia, I was appointed as the point man for pulling out the

12     combat assets of the JNA, in other words, the personnel, materiel,

13     ammunition, and all other combat assets of the JNA.  And there was only

14     one condition:  To avoid starting a war in Macedonia.

15             This was completed by the 9th of March, 1992, when together with

16     the 3rd Army command I moved to the Nis garrison, where the army command

17     was headquartered.  I remained at the Nis garrison for five weeks, where

18     I was the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army.  This was in addition to my

19     regular duties.

20             On the 8th of May, 1992, I received two decrees from the

21     Supreme Command of the armed forces of what was still the rump SFRY.

22     According to one of the decrees, which was dated the 25th of April, 1992,

23     I was promoted to the rank of major-general.  And the other decree, which

24     was dated the 26th of April of the same year, ordered my transfer to the

25     Sarajevo garrison, to the 2nd District command as the chief of operations

Page 25430

 1     and training in the army command.  In other words, that was the same post

 2     that I had in the 3rd Army.

 3             The dead-line for the implementation of the second decree in

 4     Belgrade was the 12th of May, 1992.  I reported to the personnel

 5     administration of the General Staff of the JNA.  It was still the JNA.  I

 6     was told then that because of the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 7     after the Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo and the losses suffered by the

 8     command of the 2nd Army Military District in Sarajevo, that my transfer

 9     was thereby altered.  And instead of becoming the chief of operations at

10     training, I was appointed the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Military

11     District.  And General Ratko Mladic was appointed commander of the

12     2nd Military District, who was replacing General Milorad Kukanjac, who

13     was replaced by the General Staff because of the events in the

14     Dobrovoljacka Street with the JNA and so on.

15             I was told then that a decision had been made within the -- what

16     was still SFRY that a contingent of the JNA should be withdrawn from

17     Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia and Montenegro by the 19th of May, 1992.

18     I protested with the chief of personnel, General Gojko Krstic, and I

19     asked why I was going to Sarajevo.  Because if the JNA was withdrawing

20     from Bosnia-Herzegovina, what was there for me to do there?

21             I was told that I should get on a helicopter, fly to Bosnia,

22     where General Ratko Mladic would explain to me what it was that I was

23     expected to do.  I did so.  I landed at around 11.00 p.m. on a field some

24     9 kilometres to the north-east of Han Pijesak.  The area was called

25     Crna Rijeka.  General Mladic was not at the post, nor was

Page 25431

 1     General Kukanjac there because on that day he was supposed to leave

 2     Bosnia.  Nor was another general there, I can't recall his name right

 3     now, but he was the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Military District and I was

 4     supposed to -- he was supposed to hand-over his duties to me.

 5             General Mladic came sometime in the evening hours on the

 6     11th of May.  He flew over from Herzegovina by helicopter, and from the

 7     Heliodrom up to the barracks where we would be stationed in the following

 8     five years, we walked some 45 minutes to an hour which is a distance of

 9     some 50 metres.  And during this time he explained to me what it was that

10     we could expect.

11             As we entered the barracks, we found two other generals there,

12     Djordje Djukic and Milan Gvero, and eight other men who were at the

13     colonel or the lieutenant-colonel level.  Mladic then explained or

14     described the procedure in the establishment of the VRS as the seventh

15     armed force that was to be established in the area of the former SFRY.

16     On the next day there was supposed to be a meeting and it was held, the

17     16th Session of the People's Assembly of the Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina

18     in Banja Luka, when the decision was made that Republika Srpska was going

19     to establish the VRS.  The Assembly appointed General Mladic as the

20     commander of the Main Staff and authorised him to appoint his assistants,

21     who would then be appointed by the president of the Serbian Republic of

22     Bosnia and Herzegovina --

23        Q.   Thank you, General.  Let me stop you right there because we're

24     now going into some other topics that I was going to cover.  But just

25     before we move on, what was your position from May 1992, let's say 12th,

Page 25432

 1     13th of May, 1992, on, into 1996?

 2        A.   The chief of the Main Staff of the VRS and at the same time the

 3     deputy commander of the Main Staff.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Now, before we move on I wanted to ask you a couple

 5     more -- just a couple more questions which relate to the topic you

 6     started telling us about, the 11th of May, when you met with

 7     General Mladic and some other officers in Crna Rijeka.  Before that, when

 8     did you first meet Ratko Mladic?  If you can tell us when you first got

 9     to know the man.

10        A.   I met Major Ratko Mladic in April 1981 in Titov Veles garrison.

11        Q.   And just how would you characterise your relationship with him

12     from that point until May 1992?  As colleagues?  Friends?  Or how well

13     you knew him?

14        A.   At the time, Ratko Mladic was an officer -- a trainings officer

15     in the 3rd Army command and I was an operations officer in that command

16     within the 212th Motorised Brigade.  One day an inspection arrived from

17     the army headquarters, and one of the inspectors was Major Ratko Mladic.

18     When an inspection comes to a -- to your unit from a superior

19     command - and this was the second as -- higher superior command - usually

20     a commander would appoint an officer from their own command who would be

21     escorting each one of those inspectors from the supreme -- higher

22     command.  Mladic was inspecting the situation with training and guidance.

23     And of course because this was within my remit, I was assigned to be the

24     escort for Major Mladic.  He first inspected the physical fitness of a

25     company and the discipline of rope climbing.  One of the privates did not

Page 25433

 1     do the job well, he was unable to climb that rope all the way up.  And

 2     Mladic then began criticising the company commander, that he did not

 3     properly train his men.  And he concluded his story with the following

 4     words, and I'll give you an approximation.

 5             Since you, lieutenant, were unable to train your private

 6     properly, Major Milovanovic will now demonstrate how that is done

 7     properly, rope climbing, in other words.  On that day -- a few days

 8     earlier I had just left the hospital.  I had some health issue.  And,

 9     well, for one, I wasn't even sure that I would be able to climb that

10     rope.  And I then said, "Well, Major, sir, since you are a superior

11     officer and I'm afraid that I might make a mistake while showing this

12     private -- these privates how to do it, perhaps the best thing would be

13     for you to show them how to do it."  For about 30 seconds he stared at me

14     like a snake trying to hypnotise a frog.  And then he smiled and then

15     when the analysis -- when this inspection was completed, he,

16     surprisingly, commended the work done there in the 212th Brigade.  And to

17     me, he turned to me and said, "The two of us will be able to co-operate

18     well in the future."  And he embraced me.  I knew him from that time on.

19             I remained in the brigade, but he went from the brigade command

20     to Ohrid where he was the commander of an infantry regiment.  And I heard

21     from other colleagues that he was very capable and that he trained that

22     regiment very well and very soon, that he accomplished very good results.

23     So all the stories about General Mladic were very positive.

24             It so happened that we were assigned to the war college together,

25     both of us.  We were in the same class.  So for a whole year we travelled

Page 25434

 1     to Belgrade -- from Macedonia to Belgrade and back every day.  Now, this

 2     school involves two phases of training.  The first training is in the

 3     open and then the second phase of the training is in Belgrade in --

 4        Q.   Sorry, if I can interrupt, General.  When was that that you're

 5     talking about now, when you went to -- you worked together at the school

 6     in Belgrade for a whole year and travelled together, what year was that

 7     if you remember?

 8        A.   I've already said that.  That was 1986 through 1987.

 9     October 1986 through October 1987.

10        Q.   Okay.  So when you met in -- on May 11, 1992, was the

11     relationship then one of mutual respect; is that fair?

12        A.   Well, you've interrupted me just when I was going to describe --

13        Q.   I apologise.

14        A.   -- when it was that we worked together well and when we didn't.

15     I said that on the 13th of January we were both transferred to the

16     command of the 3rd Army.  At that time Lieutenant-Colonel Ratko Mladic

17     and Lieutenant-Colonel Manojlo Milovanovic, that's what we were.  Now,

18     Ratko Mladic was appointed chief of training in the army command and I

19     was appointed chief of the operations department in the same command.

20     These functions by rank and other requirements, training and years of

21     service and so on, are similar.  However, Mladic was in charge of

22     training and I was in charge of combat-readiness of that same 3rd Army.

23     However, the level of training and fitness of the army is, in fact, part

24     of combat-readiness.  In other words, Mladic's post was more dependent on

25     mine than the other way around.  We were -- both our departments were in

Page 25435

 1     charge, among other things, of training command officers and carrying out

 2     exercises within the command.  We were in charge of defining the combat

 3     tasks.  And it turned out that we had similar ideas but we had different

 4     ideas on how to accomplish them.  And this is where our first differences

 5     began.  And it went so far that the Chief of Staff or the chief of the

 6     army command had to intervene, and this is where there was this first

 7     misunderstanding between us.

 8             The chief of the army staff, as the staff officer, supported me

 9     because I was a staff officer as well; whereas Zivota Avramovic supported

10     Mladic because Mladic had a longer experience as a commander.  And

11     fortunately, the staff commander was the one who decided in this -- on

12     this issue so that I was in a better position there.  Once this was

13     resolved, we had no more issues between us.

14             Soon after that there were -- there was -- there were tensions

15     rising in Kosovo and the JNA was supposed to demonstrate, enforce, and

16     implement a truce to place under control these protesters.  We were then

17     working together.  He was in charge of training and I was in charge of

18     determining how much time they would spend where.  So we had -- we worked

19     well together.

20             In 1990, General Mladic -- or rather, then Colonel Mladic was

21     transferred to Pristina, to the 52nd Corps, known as the Kosovo Corps.

22     He became assistant corps commander for logistics.  This was a surprise,

23     both for him and for all of us who were around him.  Mladic was a command

24     officer who had a future, and then all of a sudden he was appointed

25     assistant commander for logistics.  Then we parted, he went to Kosovo,

Page 25436

 1     and then from Kosovo in 1991 he was transferred to Knin as an operations

 2     officer, to the Knin Corps, the 9th Corps of the JNA, and then he

 3     continued his career in that Knin Corps including the beginning of war

 4     operations between JNA forces in Dalmatia and the Croatian

 5     paramilitaries, the Green Berets.  So while he was in Knin, Mladic very

 6     soon from an operations officer became commander of the corps in the

 7     beginning of 1992.  His tour in Knin was cut short by this decree on his

 8     transfer to Sarajevo.

 9             On that 11th of May, when he said to me roughly what would happen

10     in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he came by helicopter from Herzegovina because the

11     JNA was withdrawing.  General Perisic was commander of the Bileca Corps

12     of the JNA, and I assumed, travelling by helicopter, that I would

13     probably be taking this Herzegovina Corps over from Perisic.  And when

14     Mladic landed, I told him to tell the helicopter pilot not to turn the

15     helicopter off because I would be going to Bileca.  However, he said,

16     "You're not going anywhere.  You're going to stay here and you're going

17     to be chief of the Main Staff after the decision is taken by the Assembly

18     tomorrow and you're going to be my deputy."  So from them I found out

19     that the pattern would be as follows:  He would be the commander.

20     However, from that evening onwards, we behaved as if we did not know who

21     the commander would be until the decision was actually made by the

22     Assembly.

23             When I heard that I would be his deputy, I remembered a bit all

24     the things that happened in Macedonia and Skopje.  I did not ask him

25     then, I asked him about six months later, "How did you find me to be your

Page 25437

 1     deputy commander."  He said to me in the presence of Patriarch Pavle, the

 2     patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox church, he said, "You ignite your car

 3     in the third gear, I anything ignite mine in the first gear, and as a

 4     tank operator you know that the second gear works best."

 5             During the war we did not clash much -- well, since I was his

 6     assistant commander for combat operations, as Chief of Staff I strove for

 7     my ideas, but once he would make the decision, then he did not have a

 8     more passionate executor of his decisions than I was.  So that is what I

 9     have to say about Mladic and myself.

10        Q.   Thank you.  And now I want to talk about the 12th of May, 1992,

11     just before the break.  You started speaking about that, the

12     16th Assembly Session.  Now, did you attend that session personally?

13        A.   No.

14        Q.   Did any officers who were with you and with General Mladic on the

15     11th of July, who would later become members of the Main Staff, did they

16     go to Banja Luka for the 12th May session?

17        A.   In the morning after that night session of ours, General Mladic

18     went to Banja Luka, as did General Gvero, General Djukic, and

19     Colonel Tolimir.  I'm sure that those people went there.  They left me in

20     Crna Rijeka to organise, during the Assembly session, the work of the

21     Main Staff and to work out a schematic or a system of organisation for

22     the future army so that once they were back we could work this out.  I

23     stayed there throughout the 12th; however, I did not only work on the

24     organisation of the Main Staff but also on communications with

25     subordinates and everything else that is required of a staff.  But

Page 25438

 1     already in the morning I started receiving reports from the field, first

 2     from the 4th Corps of the JNA, the Sarajevo Corps; and then from all

 3     units, all units on the outskirts that were in contact with the armed

 4     forces of the Republic of Croatia and with paramilitaries of the

 5     Muslim-Croat coalition, that's the Patriotic League, the Green Berets,

 6     the Croatian defence forces, or the HOS as they were called, and I don't

 7     know, all other paramilitaries.  So wherever there were conflicts,

 8     commanders by some inertia called Crna Rijeka because according to the

 9     war plan that was the command post of the 2nd Military District or the

10     2nd Army in war time.  So people by way of inertia used these

11     communications that were still functioning so they called me.

12             Since the JNA was involved in the conflict predominantly, or

13     rather, it was withdrawing, it was defending itself, I could not make any

14     decisions in relation to them.  I could only help them establish a

15     column, leave, and so on.

16        Q.   Thank you.

17        A.   So I was not in Banja Luka on that day, the 12th of May.

18        Q.   Thank you.  And so -- just so if I understand, in that case, the

19     communications which had formally been in place were still functioning so

20     that, for instance, if General Talic, for example, in the 5th Corps had

21     needed to, he could contact you at the Main Staff on the 12th of May; is

22     that right?

23        A.   Yes.  However, I rearranged the command desk, if you will, so

24     that I could receive information from all the existing five corps and the

25     command of the air force as the sixth one, so that I could have button

Page 25439

 1     communications, as we call it in the army.  I directly press a button at

 2     that desk, I don't have to go through a secretary or whoever.  So until

 3     nightfall on that day, the 12th of May, until they return from

 4     Banja Luka, I could directly get in touch with all the units that would

 5     be resubordinated to the Main Staff.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  And let me just ask you:  When did General Mladic and

 7     Generals Gvero and the other officers who'd attended the 16th Assembly

 8     Session, when did they return to Crna Rijeka, to the Main Staff

 9     headquarters?

10        A.   I don't know exactly when they returned, Generals Djukic and

11     Gvero and Colonel Tolimir.  I know that Mladic returned at some point

12     when it got dark.  Now, whether they stayed in some other units along the

13     way or whether they arrived in a separate vehicle -- at any rate, I do

14     not remember when these three men arrived at the Main Staff.  However, on

15     the morning of the 13th, they were there.

16        Q.   And on the morning of the 13th, had -- General Mladic had now

17     been officially appointed commander of the Main Staff.  When was it that

18     the Main Staff became able to function as a Main Staff, if you understand

19     my question?  When were things really kind of up and running for the

20     Main Staff that you'd been working on, on the 12th?

21        A.   On that 12th of May, as far as the army was concerned, only one

22     thing had been resolved:  The Assembly had decided who the commander of

23     the army of the Main Staff would be.  Now practically he had some work to

24     do over a few days to establish the Main Staff because there happened to

25     be only 12 of us there.  However, according to the establishment that we

Page 25440

 1     had worked out, the Main Staff was supposed to involve over 100 men.

 2     Now, this is another story all together, but the Main Staff could start

 3     functioning immediately on the morning of the 13th of May, that is to

 4     say, it could start, exist, legally.  During the previous two nights, we

 5     were sort of illegal because we were still in the stage of being

 6     established.  So practically, the Main Staff started operating on the

 7     13th of May.

 8             And then comes the period of the establishment of the armies and

 9     re-establishing the Territorial Defence units that we found there, then

10     the re-structuring of JNA units, those that would remain in the territory

11     of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There were quite a few garrisons, Muslims,

12     Croats, Slovenes, Albanians, Macedonians left these units, so there would

13     be a few Serbs here and there.  For example, in the 4th Artillery

14     Regiment all the combat equipment was left there, we kept it, that is.

15     We had about ten Serbs who had served in that regiment previously, so we

16     had to train or train additionally extra people very fast, because it's

17     no use having a howitzer if you don't have someone who knows how to

18     operate it.

19             So the Army of Republika Srpska, as I reported to the supreme

20     commander, only on the 23rd of June was fully ready on the basis of the

21     concept itself and on the basis of the Law on Defence.  However, we were

22     already finishing the first operation of the Army of Republika Srpska,

23     and that was establishing a corridor through Semberija in

24     Republika Srpska.

25        Q.   But let me -- thank you, General.  And we'll get to some of those

Page 25441

 1     topics.  I think it's time for a break, if I'm right.  But let me ask

 2     you - if I may, Your Honours - one question before the break.

 3             You just said that on the 23rd of June -- excuse me.  You said

 4     that you reported to the supreme commander that only on the 23rd of June

 5     everything was fully ready.  Who was the supreme commander?  Who were you

 6     referring to?

 7        A.   The supreme commander was the president of the republic, the Serb

 8     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dr. Radovan Karadzic.

 9        Q.   Thank you.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.  We'll have a break for an hour and resume at

11     1.30.

12                           --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.31 p.m.

13                           --- On resuming at 1.33 p.m.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

15             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16        Q.   General, just a couple more questions on the Main Staff.  We said

17     that the commander of the VRS Main Staff was General Mladic.  You were

18     the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff and General Mladic's deputy

19     commander.  And is it right that that Main Staff had seven different

20     sectors?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   And just for -- as of July 1995, if you could just run through

23     the seven sectors for me, not necessarily explaining all of their duties

24     and roles, but who was in charge, chief or assistant commander, for the

25     different sectors, please?

Page 25442

 1        A.   The first was the staff sector, and I headed that particular one.

 2     It had an operations administration headed by General Miletic and it had

 3     a training administration and the heads changed.  Colonel Prstojevic,

 4     Colonel Obradovic at the time, so people changed.  Then the next sector

 5     is the sector for moral guidance headed by General Gvero.  Then the

 6     sector for logistics, or rather, rear services, that's what we called it,

 7     and it was headed by General Djukic.  Then the security and intelligence

 8     sector that was headed by General Tolimir.  Then the sector for

 9     administration, mobilisation, and personnel affairs, it was

10     General Petar Skrbic that headed that sector.  Then the financial

11     sector -- actually, it's not a sector.  It's an administration that was

12     headed by General Stevo Tomic.  And we had an administration for the

13     air force and anti-aircraft defence headed by General Jovo Maric.  I

14     don't know if I've omitted to mention someone perhaps.

15        Q.   No, thank you.  And if you could just tell us quickly what the

16     65th Protection Regiment was and who headed that regiment?

17        A.   The 65th Protection Regiment, the motorised regiment, is the unit

18     that provided immediate security to the Main Staff.  The head of that

19     regiment from the establishment of the Army of Republika Srpska up until

20     the end of the war was at first captain first class - at the end he

21     became a colonel - so it was Milomir Savic, Colonel Milomir Savic.

22        Q.   And was there also a department for civil affairs?  I'm not sure

23     if you mentioned that.

24        A.   There was a separate -- or rather, there wasn't a separate

25     administration.  This work was done for -- by people from the sector for

Page 25443

 1     moral guidance, religious, and legal affairs, headed by General Gvero,

 2     Milan Gvero.  People changed there.  There were desk officers, if you

 3     will.  There was co-operation with humanitarian aid organisations, and

 4     then in Tolimir's sector, there were desk officers for co-operation with

 5     UNPROFOR.  And it was only at some point towards the end of the war that

 6     we established an administration for relations with foreign armed forces.

 7        Q.   And do you remember who was the head of that administration?

 8        A.   As far as I can remember, when this administration was

 9     established, but then that was after the Dayton Agreement, I think it was

10     headed by then-Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.

11        Q.   And do you remember a man -- a Colonel Milos Djurdjic, did he

12     have a role in the Main Staff?

13        A.   Colonel Milos Djurdjic, he's deceased now.  His role was one of

14     co-ordination, co-ordination between representatives of the Army of

15     Republika Srpska with representatives of UNPROFOR and the UNHCR, and this

16     had to do with humanitarian aid supplies.  Practically he was the man

17     from the Main Staff who worked with that commission of Republika Srpska

18     for providing humanitarian aid, and it was headed by the vice-president

19     of the republic, Nikola Koljevic.  The establishment of that commission

20     considerably facilitated the work of the Main Staff, or rather, it

21     disburdened the Main Staff.  Because until then it was the Main Staff

22     that made decisions in terms of whether they would allow convoys or not.

23     However, this commission took over that role.  So we, or the army,

24     received the task of checking these convoys, ensuring their safe passage,

25     and allowing their entry at these check-points into the places where the

Page 25444

 1     aid was needed, that is to say, the enclaves.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  We'll talk about that a little bit later, that

 3     commission.  And the structure we've -- you've helped describe to us with

 4     the different sectors, was that essentially the same structure throughout

 5     the war, from May through July 1995 and later?  Although the people would

 6     have changed of course, some of the personnel.

 7        A.   The structure itself did not change.  As you said, it was the

 8     personnel, the people, who changed.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Now, you talked just before the break about how you

10     reported to the supreme commander in June of 1992 and that that was

11     Radovan Karadzic, the president.  General Mladic was the commander of the

12     Main Staff.  As of 13th of May, 1992, who was General Mladic's direct

13     superior?

14        A.   I did not understand that.  Who was General Mladic's superior?

15     Is that what you meant?

16        Q.   Yes.  Who was above General Mladic in the command chain?

17        A.   The one and only superior of General Ratko Mladic was

18     Dr. Radovan Karadzic, president of the republic.

19        Q.   Now, this is something you've talked about in your interviews.

20     Was Dr. Radovan Karadzic the president -- the commander, excuse me, of

21     the army or of the armed forces of Republika Srpska?  And could you tell

22     us what the difference is.

23        A.   Dr. Radovan Karadzic was the supreme commander of the armed

24     forces of Republika Srpska.  That means the following -- the organisation

25     of the armed forces is the following:  The army of Republika Srpska, the

Page 25445

 1     police of Republika Srpska, and the civil protection of Republika Srpska.

 2     The difference lies in the following:  Karadzic as the supreme commander

 3     of the armed forces does not command the army or the police or the

 4     civilian protection directly.  Rather, he does that through Ratko Mladic,

 5     he commands the army.  Through the Ministry of the Interior, he commands

 6     the police.  And through the chief or commander - I don't even know what

 7     the name of the position was - through the man who was in charge of

 8     civilian protection, he commands the civilian protection.

 9             Now I'm going to attack President Karadzic's advisors

10     immediately.  For example, in the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska, it

11     says that President Karadzic is the supreme commander of the Army of

12     Republika Srpska.  This made him directly responsible for the actions of

13     the military; however, he was not directly responsible.  He was

14     indirectly responsible through Ratko Mladic, or rather, through the

15     Main Staff.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could all other

17     microphones please be switched off while the witness is speaking.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So that is what his advisors

19     allowed.  They allowed that kind of sentence to be included in the

20     Law on the Army and also in many, many other documents it says "supreme

21     commander of the Army of Republika Srpska."  No.  He was the supreme

22     commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska.

23             MR. NICHOLLS:

24        Q.   Thank you.  Just since you brought up the Law of the Army, let's

25     take a look at it.

Page 25446

 1             MR. NICHOLLS:  That's P02603.  And could I have English page 24

 2     and the Serbian language page 17.  And I hope we have a legible version

 3     of the Serbian because -- yes, we do.  No, we don't.  One moment.

 4                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

 5             MR. NICHOLLS:  Your Honours, I thought we had a better version

 6     uploaded.  I'll come back to this topic since the Serbian's not visible.

 7        Q.   Let me move on now, General, again talking about the situation

 8     in, as you saw it, in May 1992 at the beginning.  You described how you

 9     worked on -- worked on the communications and getting the Main Staff

10     ready on 12 May.  What was the situation regarding armed forces at that

11     time that were defending the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina?  In

12     other words, when you were setting up the Main Staff, what armed forces

13     were there on the Serbian side, if I can put it that way?

14        A.   At the time when the Main Staff was established, in Bosnia and

15     Herzegovina there was the Yugoslav People's Army, which was withdrawing.

16     And through combat, it engaged the Muslim paramilitary forces because

17     they would seize their technical equipment and kill their personnel.  On

18     the Serb side, there were only organised units of the Territorial Defence

19     which came into being after the territorial units of the former Bosnia

20     and Herzegovina were replenished, or rather, the personnel was

21     strengthened because the Muslims and the Croats had left and they all had

22     weapons that they held at their homes.  This was done in municipalities

23     which were bordering on, let's say, the states of Croatia and the Federal

24     Republic of Yugoslavia, and then in the border areas of those

25     territories, Serb territories that had already been rounded off.  And I

Page 25447

 1     believe that that evening there was a fact provided by General Mladic

 2     that there were some 85.000 to 90.000 armed men on the territory of

 3     Republika Srpska who should now be organised into military units.

 4             And then in the territory of Republika Srpska there was several

 5     units, several paramilitary units of Serb composition, Serb ethnicity,

 6     such as Arkan's men, the Panthers of Mauzer, they operated in Bijeljina

 7     and its surroundings.  And there was several groups in Sarajevo,

 8     Aleksic's Chetniks, Vaska's Chetniks, and others.  I can't recall them

 9     all.

10             In the territory that was under the control of the Croat-Muslim

11     coalition there were still paramilitary units in existence, the

12     Patriotic League that had been established in late 1990; the

13     Green Berets, they were established sometime in 1991; the Croatian

14     Defence Forces, the HOS, I'm not sure when they were established; and

15     there was also the regular army of the state of Croatia which already by

16     late 1991 and especially in March 1992 - in other words, before Bosnia

17     and Herzegovina were internationally recognised - were active and

18     organised operations in the areas of Brod, in the Sava River valley, the

19     Neretva valley, western Herzegovina, the surroundings of Kupres, and for

20     a large part Central Bosnia.

21             Throughout the war, the state of Croatia had anywhere between

22     12 to 15 brigade commands which were part of the regular Croatian army

23     which numbered between 35.000 to 50.000 troops.  And I recently learned

24     that in Operation Storm in June, July, and August 1995, that number even

25     reached some 75.000 men.  Of the armed groups in the territory of Bosnia

Page 25448

 1     and Herzegovina or armed forces, there was also the UNPROFOR, as the

 2     peacekeepers of the UN; and after April 11, 1994, the NATO also became

 3     present and they -- as the enemy of the VRS and they engaged the Serbian

 4     side in Gorazde and also in a bombing campaign which went on from August

 5     through September 1995.

 6             So this was this whole conglomerate of various armed forces that

 7     were present on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time when the

 8     Assembly session adopted that decision.

 9             On the 4th of April, 1992, in other words, almost a month and a

10     week before the Army of Republika Srpska was established, they

11     implemented mobilisation.  And I have to stress one other thing.  In this

12     whole mess, armed mess, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was an agreement

13     that was reached between the then-leadership of Bosnia and

14     Herzegovina - in other words, before Bosnia and Herzegovina was declared

15     independent on the 6th of April, 1992 - and the leadership of the now

16     already-rump SFRY, a decision to the effect that the JNA would remain in

17     the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the following five years,

18     which would mean up until 1997.  The expectation being that by that time,

19     a peaceful resolution, political resolution, would be reached for all

20     these multi-ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21             In those five years the JNA was supposed to equally defend the

22     interests of all three major ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in

23     other words, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats.  Because in early April, the

24     Muslim-Croat coalition began attacking members of the JNA and the Serbs

25     saw members of the JNA as their protectors so they did not attack them,

Page 25449

 1     it appeared as though the JNA had actually engaged in hostilities the

 2     coalition, the Muslim-Croat coalition, which is not true.

 3             Now, this topic as to who fought whom in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

 4     that would be a very broad topic and I think I can't go into that --

 5             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just assist with the

 6     transcript.  On page 69 on line 2 after General Milovanovic said even

 7     before Bosnia and Herzegovina was internationally recognised, the

 8     Croatian army launched an aggression or committed an aggression against

 9     the Bosnia and Herzegovina of AVNOJ, A-V-N-O-J, and I do understand why

10     the interpreters did not get this because they don't know what AVNOJ is.

11     And this did not make it into the transcript.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.  The reporters will take a look into

13     that.

14             Yes, let us continue, Mr. Nicholls.

15             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honours.

16        Q.   You spoke about the 80- to 90.000 --

17             JUDGE KWON:  I'm sorry, but, General, can you confirm what

18     Mr. Karadzic said about AVNOJ?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is -- that stands for

20     Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia.  That was

21     a system of government that was established in 1943 at the second session

22     of this AVNOJ in Jajce when, for all practical purposes, the

23     Second Yugoslavia was established.  The international community then took

24     those borders as the legitimate borders, and whoever encroached on those

25     borders, for instance, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, would be treated as an

Page 25450

 1     aggressor against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 2             My apologies, I have to add one more thing.

 3             In the first half of the war up until 1994, the second half of

 4     1994, the Muslim-Croat coalition never referred to us as the enemy;

 5     rather, they referred to us as the aggressor.  Serbia was referred to as

 6     the aggressor, and as for us Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina, we were

 7     referred to as Serb Chetnik aggressors.  Of course it was impossible for

 8     us to commit aggression against our own state because under international

 9     law, aggression is when the troops of one state enter the territory of

10     another state.  So Bosnia and Herzegovina was an AVNOJ whole.  We had not

11     come from Iceland to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor did the Serbia

12     armed forces cross the Drina River.  It was only in the second half of

13     1994 that they began referring to us the way we referred to them, in

14     other words, the enemy.  Up until then they only referred to us as "the

15     aggressor."

16             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

17             Back to you, Mr. Nicholls.

18             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

19        Q.   Now, you spoke about how at the time the Main Staff was formed,

20     that General Mladic had said there were 85- to 90.000 men or thereabouts

21     who needed to be brought into the VRS, into that command.  Can you tell

22     us, in April/May, what was the role of the Serbian side Crisis Staffs in

23     relation to armed men in the territory?

24             Municipal Crisis Staffs?

25        A.   I'll be as brief as possible.  After the Patriotic League was

Page 25451

 1     established, and the Green Berets and the HOS, and the decision of the

 2     leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was taken, that the JNA

 3     should withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serb people in Bosnia

 4     and Herzegovina remained without any protection.  We were the only ones

 5     who did not have any armed force; in other words, an army.  Now, the

 6     leadership of the republic then proceeded to self-organise the people.

 7     And as I've already said, by strengthening the Territorial Defence units

 8     that already existed, they began organising them as units in those

 9     municipalities where Serbs were in the majority.  Territorial Defence

10     members had uniforms and weapons even before the break-out of the war and

11     they held them at home.

12             Now, since most of these units were municipal in character, the

13     organisation of the Territorial Defence of the SFRY was as follows.

14     There was a staff of Territorial Defence at the republic level, and then

15     at the municipal level, there were municipal staffs of

16     Territorial Defence that commanded these municipal TO units.  The

17     Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina probably

18     established Crisis Staffs.  These were groups of men and for the most

19     parts the Crisis Staffs comprised presidents of municipalities, the

20     commissioners of the SDS, the ruling party, and then the chiefs of

21     police.  In some places they were called commanders and in others chiefs

22     of police.  Then there were also prominent people from that particular

23     municipality.  Now, their task was to supply -- to provide supplies for

24     these men in the brigades, the local brigades, to provide clothing, food,

25     arms for those who did not have any weapons.  And they elected to go by

Page 25452

 1     the system of - I would call it - readiness for defence.  For instance,

 2     if there was a raid on a Serb village or hamlet, the number of men who

 3     were members of the brigade would be assigned to defend that village,

 4     that particular village.

 5             So that was one of the main tasks of the brigade headquarters, to

 6     actually create these brigades as light infantry brigades, infantry

 7     brigades in other words, to organise them into corps.  There would be an

 8     operational corps, a strategic -- and then there were operational corps,

 9     strategic corps, Main Staff, and then the Supreme Command.  I don't know

10     if I've answered your question.

11        Q.   Yes, thank you.  And if you could -- just let me ask you briefly.

12     In the beginning, in the period after the establishment of the Main Staff

13     of the VRS, were there any conflicts or difficulties with the municipal

14     Crisis Staffs over who would command these local units and how they would

15     be integrated into the armed forces?

16        A.   The Main Staff expected that there might be possible problems,

17     and during that same night, on the eve of that Assembly session, one of

18     the conclusions that we adopted was that the Crisis Staffs should be

19     excluded from the system of command.  We wanted to bypass the military

20     command -- the chain of command.

21             It is true that these Crisis Staffs organised these brigades in

22     municipalities, that they armed them, equipped them, that they provided

23     personnel for those units.  However, we did not give them the authority

24     to command those units.  That right was exclusively within the remit of

25     the military.  This is how we drafted this on the 11th and 12th of May.

Page 25453

 1     The order was issued on the 20th of June.  It was obligatory for both the

 2     Crisis Staffs and the paramilitaries, although I think you will have more

 3     questions for me about paramilitaries so I won't dwell too much on it.

 4        Q.   [Microphone not activated] Thank you --

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

 6             MR. NICHOLLS:

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Let me ask you now, since we started talking about

 8     paramilitaries a bit.  Were you aware of Arkan's activities in Bijeljina

 9     in 1992 in March/April?  Did you see that on television or learn about

10     what was going on in Bijeljina with Arkan?

11        A.   No, I heard about Arkan when I arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

12     I was then concerned with not provoking a war in Macedonia.  I heard over

13     the television about certain volunteer units, detachments, that were

14     being formed mostly in the territory of Serbia.  They were being

15     infiltrated into Kosovo, the northern borders of Macedonia, Bosnia and

16     Herzegovina.  These were detachments with fancy names that belonged to

17     former -- that had the names of former Serbian warlords,

18     Stevan Sindjelic, for example, who was present in Montenegro [as

19     interpreted] and then was driven out.

20             I know that the Supreme Command of the armed forces was still the

21     SFRY.  In 1990, in June, I think, it took the decision according to which

22     all paramilitary formations in the territory of the SFRY should be

23     disarmed.  And the TO units, Territorial Defence units, throughout the

24     territory of the former SFRY should return weapons to the military

25     warehouses.  Some obeyed, some didn't.  On the whole, I know that Arkan's

Page 25454

 1     group - I think their name was the Tigers - didn't hand in their weapons,

 2     they didn't disarm.  Later I found out about what they had done in the

 3     surroundings of Bijeljina.  I found out much about them after the war

 4     thanks to you, or rather, to this Tribunal.

 5        Q.   And now that you know, what is your view of what Arkan and his

 6     Tigers, what their activity was in Bijeljina in 1992?  What's your

 7     personal view of what they were doing?

 8        A.   I have to go back to the part that concerns the Main Staff.  On

 9     that evening, amongst other things, we also adopted the decision

10     according to which commanders of paramilitary formations should be called

11     to have a conversation with us and we should set conditions for them.

12             First of all, they were to enter the structure of the future VRS.

13     They should be placed under the Main Staff command.  Those who refused to

14     be placed under the VRS command were to be disbanded and were to leave

15     the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Since most of them were from

16     Serbia, they were to return to Serbia and Montenegro.  Those who refused

17     to do that, who didn't want to be placed under our command and who didn't

18     want to be disbanded were threatened with being physically removed by us.

19             After that ultimatum had been issued, we also issued an order to

20     that effect, which I have already mentioned.  The date of the order is

21     the 28th of June, 1992.  And then it was stated that the VRS should go

22     into action.  Those were the regulations.

23             Arkan then left Bosnia and Herzegovina.  There was someone called

24     Captain Dragan whom we drove out in a cheap manner, or rather, he

25     received a task he couldn't carry out.  We drove him out under the

Page 25455

 1     pretext that we didn't need such troops, that couldn't carry out their

 2     tasks.  Mauzer, together with his Panthers, placed himself under the

 3     Main Staff's command initially, and later he was integrated into the

 4     Eastern Bosnia Corps.

 5             There was several small groups that remained around Sarajevo.

 6     They went by such and such names.  They called themselves Chetniks of

 7     this kind or of that kind.  They didn't bother the army.  Sometimes they

 8     co-operated with us, took joint action with us.  I think they were under

 9     the MUP.

10             As to what Arkan did, I found out about this through the media.

11     As to what he did in Bijeljina in 1992, I found out about that through

12     the media and by following the proceedings here.  So I didn't see

13     anything of the events that are concerned.  I know as much as you do, and

14     you probably know more than I do.  But I do know that he committed war

15     crimes, and this was not within or on behalf of the state.  So he was

16     committing acts of private terrorism, private crimes, if you like.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Now, just while we're still talking about Arkan, did

18     you see or meet with Arkan in 1995 in the RS?

19        A.   In 1992 or 1995?

20        Q.   I'm speaking about the summer of 1995.

21        A.   In the summer of 1995 I met with Arkan in the presence of members

22     of our Supreme Command, Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Koljevic, and I

23     believe Biljana Plavsic too.  I insisted on holding this meeting, and

24     this was conveyed through the supreme commander, Mr. Karadzic.  I think

25     we spoke on the phone on three occasions.  The meeting wasn't organised.

Page 25456

 1     I asked for the meeting because Arkan appeared in the combat zone for

 2     which I was responsible, and no one could enter that zone without my

 3     knowledge.  And even the supreme commander abided by those rules.  He

 4     would always inform me that he was coming or his representatives, mostly

 5     Biljana Plavsic would act in this manner.

 6             I found out about Arkan when he beat up my Colonel

 7     Svetozar Andric somewhere near Prijedor, and that colonel,

 8     Colonel Andric, before the war was the commander of the military police

 9     company in some sort of unit in Belgrade.  And he arrested Arkan as an

10     under-age delinquent.  When this colonel reported to me and told me that

11     he had been beaten up by Arkan, I first tried to joke about it with the

12     colonel.  And I said he was taking vengeance for the past.  But later

13     several other officers were beaten up and their heads were shaven, and I

14     then tried to get the supreme commander to organise a meeting between

15     Arkan and myself.  I wanted to see who had called him or provided him

16     with authorisation to go to the territory of Republika Srpska, but then

17     he suddenly appeared with a combat formation in the vicinity of Kljuc.

18     Recently I found out how this actually occurred.

19             I met up with him in the evening.  That was the third time I

20     contacted the supreme commander about the matter.  I met with him in the

21     Banski Dvor building in Banja Luka.  The conversation was not very

22     dignified, it wasn't a conversation between officers.  Initially -- in

23     the end I gave him an ultimatum, and General Mladic and myself had agreed

24     earlier to drive Arkan out of the territory of Republika Srpska.  And on

25     the following day he did leave the territory of Republika Srpska.  I

Page 25457

 1     think that was on the 1st of September or perhaps the 30th or 31st of

 2     August, because on television, on the 2nd of September, I saw that he was

 3     escorted out of Bijeljina.

 4        Q.   Do you recall whether you asked Arkan in the president -- in the

 5     presence of President Karadzic who had authorised him to come onto the

 6     territory of the RS and what he said?

 7        A.   When we entered the premises where the conversation was to be

 8     held, General Momir Talic, the commander of the 1st Corps, and his Chief

 9     of Staff, Bosko Kelecevic, entered the premises, all the members of the

10     Supreme Command whom I have already mentioned stood up.  He remained

11     sitting.  I approached the seat where I was to sit down, and I said, "Get

12     up."  He got up.  I was somewhat surprised.  He first started speaking

13     and he said, "I'm the son of a colonel and I know what the army is.  A

14     Serbian soldier needs to be given 25 strokes to the buttocks every day."

15     I don't know what his exact words were.  Perhaps I wasn't functioning

16     properly then, but I said, "How do you, as a colonel's son who was

17     rejected by his father when you were 14, how can you know more about the

18     army than the three active-duty officers here?"

19             And then there was some nonsense.  For example, "It's easy for

20     you, I have a 22-year-old wife who is pining after me."  He was then 49

21     years old, something like that.  I said, "My wife is 52 years old, so she

22     can't even pine after me or suffer because of me.  She leaps from trench

23     to trench with me."  I said, "Who ordered you to be present here?"  And

24     he said it was in accordance with the order issued by the

25     Supreme Command.  And I asked him whether he had the order and he said

Page 25458

 1     that he had.  "Where is it?  Give it to me."  He said, "It's in the Bosna

 2     hotel."  I said, "Go and fetch it."

 3             He got up, however, he sat down again very quickly and he mumbled

 4     something about having it or not having it, and then I came to the

 5     conclusion that he didn't have it.  That is what he said, but I came to

 6     the conclusion that he didn't want to give it to me or couldn't.  I then

 7     asked the supreme commander whether he had been issued with such an

 8     order, and Mr. Karadzic did not reply.  He didn't say yes and he didn't

 9     say no.  And then since I saw that any further conversation would be

10     futile, I told him about the agreement reached between General Mladic and

11     myself.  We had agreed that I should go to Manjaca since they had a camp

12     there.  I'd drive out, disband the camp, and General Mladic on the way to

13     Han Pijesak would go to Doboj, the village of Doboj, where he had the

14     second part of that camp and Mladic would disband that camp.

15             The meeting came to an end around 2.00, around 2.00 in the

16     afternoon.  When I arrived in the command, I saw a message from

17     General Mladic, stating that I didn't have to do anything.  They were

18     already withdrawing.  I contacted General Mladic, and he told me that he

19     immediately acted on the basis of the ultimatum that I had issued.  And

20     that was the end of my story with Arkan.

21             We clashed once again after the war in 1996.  That was during the

22     pre-election campaign.  But I don't think that that clash has any

23     importance for this Tribunal.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Let me, if I can with Mr. Reid, play a quick

25     video-clip.  This is P02858.  This video-clip should come up in front of

Page 25459

 1     you in a minute, General, sir.

 2                           [Video-clip played]

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:

 4        Q.   Let me just stop here quickly at 00:14.8.  Do you recognise where

 5     this is, General?  Can you tell by that building?

 6        A.   The frozen image or the image that is very dark, it's the darkest

 7     image.  I've seen this now about ten times.  This is Bijeljina.  I think

 8     the building in the background is the Municipal Assembly building in

 9     Bijeljina.

10        Q.   Thank you.

11             MR. NICHOLLS:  I don't know if somebody can --

12             JUDGE KWON:  It shouldn't be that dark --

13             MR. NICHOLLS:  Yeah, I was just --

14             JUDGE KWON:  -- could you adjust the angle.  If the usher could

15     assist the General.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While they were approaching, I saw

17     Arkan quite clearly, but now I can just see the chin and the nose that

18     are clearly visible.

19             MR. NICHOLLS:  We'll just play it to the end of the clip now,

20     please.

21                           [Video-clip played]

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Mr. Reid.

23        Q.   Now, General, is that clip we saw, you talked about after this

24     incident you described in Banja Luka and the confrontation that Arkan

25     left via Bijeljina soon after, is that what we saw just now?

Page 25460

 1        A.   Yes.  That is two days after that meeting of mine with Arkan at

 2     the Supreme Command.

 3        Q.   Thank you, General.  Before we move on from the paramilitaries,

 4     let me ask you this question:  Coming back to Sarajevo, you mentioned

 5     that there was several groups in Sarajevo, Aleksic's Chetniks, Vaska's

 6     Chetniks.  In Sarajevo did those paramilitary groups pose any problem to

 7     you in the Main Staff in terms of military command --

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  On what basis, Mr. Karadzic?

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness did not mention a

11     single name; Mr. Nicholls is.

12             JUDGE KWON:  I think I heard them.

13             MR. NICHOLLS:  I have to check, Your Honour, but I think I heard

14     some names.  I'll take a quick look.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You don't have to look any further.

16     I did mention these names.

17             MR. NICHOLLS:  Yes, but let me just say --

18             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, I think so.

19             MR. NICHOLLS:  -- I take Mr. Karadzic's word that it was a

20     mistake.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do apologise.

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  Page 68, for the record, lines 18 and 19.  Several

23     groups in Sarajevo, Aleksic's Chetniks, Vaska's Chetniks, those are the

24     ones I'm talking about.

25        Q.   Thank you.  If you remember the question, did they cause problems

Page 25461

 1     for the Main Staff?

 2        A.   No, they did not cause any problems for the Army of

 3     Republika Srpska.  As a matter of fact, with me specifically they acted

 4     in concert - Vaska's Chetniks did - at Brgule; that involved expelling

 5     the Muslim forces from the Nisici plateau.  Because on the 2nd of August,

 6     1994, they slaughtered a few families and my task was to expel them, even

 7     from Mount Cemerno.  As far as I remember -- or rather, as far as the

 8     supreme -- if the supreme commander remembers, it was called Brgule, this

 9     operation, it started on the 16th and we expelled them from Cemerno.

10     That is when this unit of Vaska's Chetniks, as they were known, acted

11     together with me, in co-ordination with me, a group of 40 or 50 men, well

12     armed.  And let me tell you, at the time they were good soldiers.  When

13     we finished that operation at Mount Cemerno, I don't know what happened

14     to them.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, sorry.  One more thing.

16     The General said that Muslim forces were expelled after they slaughtered

17     some Serbian families, and that is not reflected in the transcript.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  It is reflected in the

19     interpretation and the pace is too fast for court reporting.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were slaughtered on

21     St. Elijah's Day, the 2nd of August.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Thank you to the interpreters and

23     reporters, we appreciate it for their contribution.

24             Yes, back to you, Mr. Nicholls.

25             MR. NICHOLLS:

Page 25462

 1        Q.   Now what I want to do is go and talk about some meetings between

 2     the VRS and the political leadership after the Main Staff began

 3     functioning.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  Could I have 01899, please.

 5        Q.   While that's coming up, this is a document dated 26th of May,

 6     1992, Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Main Staff.

 7     Could we show the -- you've seen this document before, I think, General,

 8     but could we just go to the second page in both versions.  And do you see

 9     your name there in the Serbian version, and your position, your rank?

10        A.   Yes, yes, I do.

11        Q.   Now, the document, if we go back to page 1, states:

12             "At the meeting on 26 May 1992, the commanders and the Chief of

13     Staff of the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH and the top political

14     leadership of the republic discussed possible options for the

15     Serbian Republic Army of organisational and establishment structure."

16        A.   May I have something done with the volume so that I can hear the

17     interpreter better -- well, yes, now it's fine.

18        Q.   Thank you, General.  Can you hear me?  Is it okay?

19        A.   Now I hear you but you have to repeat your question because I had

20     problems with my headphones and with my spectacles and with the volume.

21        Q.   No problem.  I will repeat.  The first sentence states:

22             "At the meeting on 26 May 1992, the commanders and Chief of Staff

23     of the Army of the Serbian Republic of BH and the top political

24     leadership of the republic discussed possible options for the Serbian

25     Republic Army of organisational and establishment structure."

Page 25463

 1             And then it continues.

 2             Can you just tell me who attended this meeting and briefly what

 3     it was about, what structures were -- what the purpose of this meeting

 4     was, which is quite shortly after the 16th Assembly Session on 12 May,

 5     two weeks later.

 6        A.   Who attended that meeting, I don't know.  I mean, I cannot

 7     remember.  But it says here that General Mladic and I were there.  Also

 8     some other commanders, because it says commanders in the plural.

 9     Probably some of the corps commanders of the Sarajevo Corps or I don't

10     know which corps.  And there was a discussion on what kind of army we

11     actually wanted.  I see that I wrote this and signed it, and I said that

12     I wanted fast mobile units.  And I don't see anything controversial about

13     that.  Heaven forbid that I would have written that we wanted army that

14     was not fast, that was slow, lackadaisical, with a lack of discipline,

15     and so on.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Let me just see if I can help you remember, just if

17     this helps you.  When we spoke a few weeks ago, I asked you about this

18     document and asked who was present when it refers to top political

19     leadership.  And you said members of the Presidency, it was

20     President Karadzic, Vice-Presidents Plavsic and Koljevic, President of

21     the Assembly Krajisnik, and the Prime Minister Branko Djeric.

22             For my colleagues, that's 65 ter 23628 is -- and that's the

23     meeting on the 1st of February, 2012, on page 4.

24             Does that help you remember at all who was present?

25        A.   A few weeks ago, as you said, I gave you an aide-memoire of mine

Page 25464

 1     regarding my meetings with President Karadzic.  I think that this is what

 2     follows.  This document is dated the 26th.  And I think that what I wrote

 3     there was that we met on the 16th of May.  My first contact with

 4     Mr. Karadzic was on the 14th of May, 1992, by telephone, when I conveyed

 5     to him what General Simunovic had told us, General Simunovic from the

 6     Army of Yugoslavia, who had come to free the imprisoned Serb officers,

 7     their families, cadets from military schools, and that involved an

 8     exchange that was carried out by giving the other side ammunition.  I

 9     told President Karadzic about that on the telephone.

10             The first time we ever met, President Karadzic and I, was on the

11     16th of May.  All these persons were present, the persons that you

12     mentioned just now.  From the Main Staff I attended and so did Mladic.

13     And also the meeting was attended by all presidents of municipalities of

14     the Sarajevo region.  I don't know whether you mean that we discussed

15     that meeting on the 16th.

16             As for the 26th, I stand by that.  I wrote it, I signed it, fine.

17     It has to do with the establishment of the corps.  However, I cannot

18     remember how, where, when we met on this 26th of June.  I don't have that

19     aide-memoire of mine.  I'd have to look this up.  There should be a

20     record of a meeting with Mr. Karadzic then.

21             Mr. Prosecutor, I don't see what is in dispute here.  Do I

22     recognise this document as my own or do I not recognise it as my own or

23     what?

24        Q.   No, there's nothing in dispute.  There weren't any trick

25     questions.  I was simply trying to see if you remembered who was present

Page 25465

 1     at this meeting where it says "top presidential -- top political," excuse

 2     me, "leadership."  And if you don't remember now, that's fine.  I'll move

 3     on to another document.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  May I tender that, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, we'll admit this as next exhibit from

 6     Prosecution.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit P4492, Your Honours.

 8             MR. NICHOLLS:  Could I have P01508, please.

 9        Q.   General, this is a 1st of June, 1992, Main Staff document that

10     also has your name at the bottom.  I just want you to take a look at this

11     for a minute.  This is also one that we talked about a few weeks ago.

12     See if you remember it.

13        A.   I still have the document of the 26th of May, 1992, here.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Could you repeat the number.  1518?

15             MR. NICHOLLS:  1508.

16        Q.   And that's right, General, it will come up in a minute.

17             MR. NICHOLLS:  That's right.  And could we blow it up, please,

18     for the witness and scroll through it for him.

19        Q.   Now, there's nothing in dispute about this document or whether

20     it's valid or anything like that.  It begins:

21             "Pursuant to the decision of the Presidency of the Serb Republic

22     of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Main Staff of the army, a meeting of

23     the political leadership of the republic and the military commanders is

24     to be held in Pale on 3rd June 1992, Wednesday, at noon.  In order to

25     ensure timely preparations and arrival of the corps commanders and THE

Page 25466

 1     commander of the air force and AA defence, I hereby order ..."

 2             And then it continues and talks about briefings to be made.  And

 3     then we see your name and the distribution list, that it was sent to the

 4     1st and 2nd Krajina Corps, the 1 and 2 KK Sarajevo Corps, East Bosnia

 5     Corps, et cetera.

 6             So first:  Do you remember this document?

 7        A.   I do remember this document because on that day when this meeting

 8     was held, it was the first time that I was frightened ever in my life.

 9     First of all, I did not attend the meeting.  Let's be clear on that.  But

10     I was in charge of organising the meeting and I regulated the

11     transportation involved.  The transportation was carried out by

12     helicopter and at daybreak I was still in some bed when helicopters

13     attacked.  They were V-8s, and I think that someone was attacking the

14     Main Staff, and that's why I remember this document.

15        Q.   And just briefly, what was the purpose of the meeting and of the

16     briefings which were going to be given?

17        A.   The purpose of the meeting was -- if you remember those earlier

18     orders that we saw that discussed what needed to be done in the corps and

19     what types of units we wanted, the corps commanders were tasked to report

20     by the 27th of June what status they had in their areas, what kind of

21     units, arms, and so on.  So they had to report how they had implemented

22     the order, I believe, of the 26th of May.

23             And simply put, the other purpose was for the corps commanders to

24     get to know each other and also for the supreme commander to meet their

25     commander -- the commanders, the second in command, that level of

Page 25467

 1     command.  It was just a working meeting, nothing special.

 2        Q.   Thank you.

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:  I'm done with that document which is already an

 4     exhibit.

 5        Q.   I want to move on now, General, we've -- in the time we have left

 6     today and talk about the creation of the Supreme Command in

 7     November 1992.  Can you tell us about that event and how it -- what it

 8     meant for the Main Staff.  I know that you think that there was some

 9     mistakes made in the way that the Supreme Command was constituted.  Can

10     you tell us about that body.

11        A.   Yes, I can.  On the 6th of December, 1992, General Djordje Djukic

12     and Colonel Zdravko Tolimir returned to the Main Staff, in other words,

13     the chief of the logistics department and the chief of the security and

14     intelligence department.  I don't know where General Mladic was at the

15     time, but they were supposed to report to the superior officer who was

16     present there on their visit to Pale.  Among other things, they told me

17     that work was being done to establish the Supreme Command and that part

18     of that Supreme Command should be the president of the republic, the

19     president of the Assembly - the popular Assembly - the president of the

20     government, the prime minister, the minister of the interior, and the

21     minister of defence.  I asked whether General Mladic appeared anywhere on

22     that list and they said no.  From -- by looking at the list, I also

23     noticed that the vice-president of the republic's name was also absent.

24             When General Mladic returned - and I can't recall where he was -

25     I told him, I briefed him on the reports of these two and then a debate

Page 25468

 1     opened on why there was no one there to represent the army, or rather,

 2     why General Mladic wasn't there.  And it was surprising why the first and

 3     second vice-presidents of the republic weren't there, Nikola Koljevic and

 4     Biljana Plavsic.

 5             I don't know whether it was Mladic or whoever else who reported

 6     this to the Presidency, but at the first session of the Supreme Command,

 7     which was held on the 20th of December, 1992, I was invited as a member

 8     of the Main Staff to attend as an observer, as it were.  I asked the

 9     Supreme Command the same question, I put the same question to them and

10     President Karadzic said that the two of us would talk about this in

11     private.  I can't recall what was discussed at that Supreme Command

12     session, but not waiting for this one-on-one meeting in his office, I

13     tried to explain that an error had been made, that it was on error on

14     organisation and establishment.

15             Had General Mladic been a member of the Supreme Command, then the

16     Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, which was still incomplete at

17     the time and not fully capable and not fully able to produce the

18     documents that are supposed to come out from the Supreme Command, in

19     other words, directives, mobilisation documents, and so on, army

20     supplies, et cetera, a whole host of problems that they were supposed to

21     deal with.  In other words, by the fact that General Mladic was not a

22     member of the Supreme Command, the Ministry of Defence would not be part

23     of the Supreme Command.  Had that happened, the Main Staff would have

24     been the professional body that would advise the president, the

25     Supreme Command, on the use of the army.

Page 25469

 1             The Muslims already had a staff of -- in the Supreme Command.

 2     All the other countries that fortunately never waged wars did have

 3     Supreme Commands -- did have staffs and Ministries of Defence would

 4     automatically become staffs of supreme -- of the Supreme Command.  And if

 5     you look at history and all the socialist countries that existed at the

 6     time, Ministries of Defence were professionals.  In Russia they were

 7     marshals, they were called marshals, and in our case it was generals.

 8     Ex officio, the minister of defence would be the first, the right hand of

 9     the Supreme Command.  He would be the main boss in the army for issues

10     that had to do with the army.  So we could have just -- the Main Staff

11     could immediately then be renamed to be called the General Staff.

12             Now, a few days later there was a correction and we learned that

13     the first and second vice-president did become members of the

14     Supreme Command, but General Mladic was still not there.  So now the

15     Main Staff was put in a spot where they had to implement the orders of

16     the Supreme Command, but because we were not part of the Supreme Command,

17     the only connection between us and the Supreme Command would be the

18     supreme commander, under the constitution.  In other words, all other

19     members of the Supreme Command were excluded from the chain of command.

20             So, for instance, Momcilo Krajisnik would never issue any orders

21     to the army; and if he ever did try, we would never act on it without

22     informing the supreme commander.  Nikola Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic as

23     vice-presidents could not issue orders for the use of the army.  However,

24     whenever President Karadzic was absent from the theatre of war, when he

25     was visiting abroad, he would leave behind Biljana Plavsic as his deputy.

Page 25470

 1     He had nothing against that, but simply put, there was an error in the

 2     organisation and establishment in setting up the chain of command within

 3     the army.

 4             True, that Supreme Command did not frequently bypass the

 5     Main Staff, which was a good thing, and it went on like that throughout

 6     the war.  However, whenever military decisions had to be made, whenever

 7     decisions on the use of the army had to be made, we were invited as

 8     guests - either Mladic or me or other assistants - to these

 9     Supreme Command sessions.  But we didn't have any voting rights.  I do

10     have to say that our proposals would usually be heeded, but all of this

11     was done without the Main Staff, with bypassing the Main Staff.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Again in the transcript I have to

13     intervene, without the legal protection of the Main Staff, without the

14     legal provisions for the Main Staff.

15             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant to say this.  The

17     Main Staff did not have any legitimacy, any legal protection for their

18     own decisions.  In other words, it was not the Main Staff that was

19     supposed to provide legal protection for anyone else.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Yes.

21             MR. NICHOLLS:

22        Q.   Thank you, General.  And tomorrow we'll look at some minutes, one

23     of -- one of the few we have of a meeting of the Supreme Command where

24     you were present.  And we can talk about the way it functioned then.

25             MR. NICHOLLS:  I'm about to start a new topic.

Page 25471

 1             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.

 2             MR. NICHOLLS:  I can either go for --

 3             JUDGE KWON:  If it is convenient, we shall adjourn for today.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, General.  We will continue tomorrow

 6     morning at 9.00, but you are aware of this, I take it, that you are not

 7     supposed to discuss with anybody else about your testimony.  Do you

 8     understand that, sir?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do understand and this is the

10     sixth time that I've been advised of this.

11             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

12             Tomorrow at 9.00.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.56 p.m.,

14                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of

15                           February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.