1 Tuesday, 17 April 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Before we begin today - if
7 you could be seated for the moment - I'd like to touch up on a couple of
9 First, Mr. Tieger, with respect to the accused's motion to
10 exclude Sarajevo evidence, dated the 16th of January, 2012, you last
11 stated that on the 12th of March that there was to be a meeting between
12 the Prosecution and the Rule 70 provider. Could we get an update as to
13 how your negotiation with the -- that Rule 70 provider are progressing
14 and whether we would be getting a response from the Prosecution any time
16 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. That meeting is imminent,
17 meaning this week.
18 JUDGE KWON: Second, on the 11th of April, 2012, the accused
19 filed a motion to admit transcript excerpts pursuant to Rule 92 ter,
20 Branko Djeric. In light of the expected witness calendar, the Chamber
21 would be assisted if it could get an expedited response from the
22 Prosecution. So I wonder whether you can file a response no later than
23 Thursday, 19th of April.
24 MR. TIEGER: Absolutely, Mr. President, and I can advise the
25 Chamber that I was -- have been in contact with Mr. Robinson about that,
1 most recently this morning, and have proposed an approach which I think
2 is eminently reasonable under the circumstances. That information will
3 be provided to the Court no later than Thursday, and the matter -- I
4 can't state it will be considered resolved because I don't think
5 Mr. Robinson is inclined to withdraw the motion just out of sort of
6 expediency, but I think the parties will be and the Court will be
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
9 Good morning to you, Mr. Butler.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
11 JUDGE KWON: If you could take the solemn declaration, please.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
13 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated and make yourself
16 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, for the record, could you introduce
18 your expert, military expert.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
20 Good morning to everyone. General Radovan Radinovic is with us, and the
21 Chamber has already had the occasion to listen to this or to see the
22 presence of this expert in the courtroom.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 Good morning to you, General Radinovic.
25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. Thank you. Good
2 morning, everybody. Before I begin, I have a few items to hand out to
3 the parties and to the Court, which I've discussed with Mr. Robinson,
4 that I think will be helpful. The first, if I could have some
5 assistance, are updated organisational charts that were originally
6 appended to Mr. Butler's narrative report of the Main Staff, Drina Corps,
7 Zvornik Brigade, and Bratunac Brigade.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters also get the
9 organisational chart, please. Thank you.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't have extra copies now for the
11 interpreters, I'm sorry, but Mr. Robinson should have a copy, please.
12 And for the interpretation, I'll have some additional charts brought
14 The second item is that in Mr. Butler's reports, which were
15 written some time ago, he refers to witnesses in prior cases often by
16 their pseudonym, so we've prepared a chart which correlates, for example,
17 Witness B, Witness C, to explain to the parties who those witnesses are
18 in this case, and if I could pass that out as well.
19 And finally, I have a CD with electronic copies of the reports,
20 and what is useful about these CDs is that the footnotes are hyperlinked,
21 which makes it quite simple when reading the report to read the document
22 which is cited to. I've spoken to Mr. Robinson about this. Although
23 it's likely, certain, that not all of the footnotes will be admitted in
24 this case, at the end we'll provide a chart with the exhibit numbers for
25 all the footnotes so that it's clear.
1 Thank you.
2 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Butler.
4 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Butler.
7 A. Good morning, sir.
8 Q. What I want to do now is go through now just very briefly your
9 background, mainly with your work here at the Tribunal and some of the
10 reports that you drafted while working here and actually subsequently and
11 then move quickly on into the subject matter of your reports, okay?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 02515 65 ter number, please.
14 Q. That's a CV that is, I think, slightly updated that you provided
15 to me this weekend.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could all unnecessary microphones please be
17 switched off. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: Correct, sir. That's my updated CV.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I would tender that --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I would tender that, please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4912, Your Honours.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. And is it correct as reflected in this CD -- in your CV that from
1 April 1997 through November 2003 you worked here in this building as part
2 of the OTP?
3 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
4 Q. And can you just briefly describe, very briefly, the -- your
5 duties, type of work you did in relation to the Srebrenica investigation.
6 A. Yes, sir. I was assigned as the military analyst for the
7 investigation team that was dealing with the Srebrenica investigation.
8 So my responsibilities as the team military analyst were to review
9 military documents as they were obtained, dealing with the various
10 military and police units that were believed to be associated with the
11 Srebrenica crime base. I also participated in interviews of military
12 witnesses and suspects in order to advise Prosecutors and investigators
13 on military-related issues that were coming out of a particular
14 interview. I participated in the analysis of various intercepts that
15 were taken by the 2nd Corps of the Bosnia Army on the communications of
16 the VRS, not necessarily in part to authenticate them although some of my
17 work in fact did that, but also to see how they dovetailed with the
18 military documents that were in the possession of the OTP as the result
19 of various search warrants and other documents that had been turned over.
20 So my role in -- in the sense of the investigation was to be
21 available to the investigation team to advise them of all things of a
22 military nature regarding the allegations of the crimes related to
24 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to run through some of the reports
25 you created.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could have 02517, please.
2 Q. Now, this is a report dated 5th April 2000, VRS Command
3 Responsibility Report. I think this was the first report, is that right,
4 that you drafted?
5 A. One of two, sir, yes.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I just bring up the next one. I'll now go
7 to 02520.
8 Q. And while we're waiting for that, that's the Srebrenica military
9 narrative revised Operation Krivaja 95. And just simply, this is a
10 revised version of a report you had done about two years earlier
11 concerning the Srebrenica events.
12 A. Correct, sir. The initial report which was called the Srebrenica
13 Military Narrative, along with the VRS Corps Command Responsibility
14 Report, were requested by the Office of the Prosecutor and ultimately
15 were tendered as exhibits in the Prosecution's case against
16 Radislav Krstic. Subsequent to that, I was asked to revise and update my
17 narrative report which was then tendered two years later in the
18 Prosecutor's case against Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic. The
19 version that is up on the screen now, 1 November 2002, is the most
20 updated version of that narrative report.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: And if I could have 02518. That's the VRS
23 Brigade Command Responsibility Report also from 2002.
24 Q. And while that's coming up, can you just tell us a little bit
25 about that report, your brigade command report.
1 A. Yes, sir. The corps report, of course, was tendered in the
2 Krstic case in light of the fact that the accused was a VRS corps
3 commander. The accused in the case of the Blagojevic and Jokic case, one
4 was a brigade commander, the second was a brigade engineering officer and
5 during some of the relevant period a duty officer. So I was asked by the
6 Office of the Prosecutor to author a report that was more tailored to
7 that particular echelon of command, that being a brigade. So in this
8 particular context, the Brigade Command Responsibility Report was
9 tendered as an exhibit in the case against Blagojevic and Jokic.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Now could I have 02527. That's a chapter 8
12 addendum to the revised narrative.
13 Q. And is that correct, that it's just what it says, an addendum
14 that you created to update some information from that report?
15 A. That is correct, sir. As the proceedings were underway, the
16 investigation was continued, and particularly with respect to this
17 particular addendum on chapter 8, new information was obtained by the
18 Office of the Prosecutor related to individuals who were known to be in
19 the custody of the VRS at a certain point in time during the month of
20 July 1995, specifically after the fall of Srebrenica, and who were
21 subsequently identified as either killed or missing. So this particular
22 addendum is how I incorporated that newly obtained information into the
23 revised narrative so it would be available for the Trial Chamber.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: And finally, 03742. That's from 2006, the
1 Main Staff Command Responsibility Report.
2 Q. Just briefly tell us about that report which you drafted actually
3 after you had returned to the United States.
4 A. Correct, sir. In this particular case or the next particular
5 case in chronological order that I was involved in was the Popovic case.
6 A number of the defendants in that case were members of the
7 VRS Main Staff. So I was asked by the Office of the Prosecutor, even
8 though I was no longer employed by them or working for them, to draft an
9 additional report which would tailor to the various regulations and roles
10 and responsibilities of the VRS Main Staff during the month of July 1995,
11 in effect in order to fill in the gap now that we had the issues of
12 command responsibility from the lowest brigade level, to finish it off
13 and have a view of the military organisation and its responsibilities at
14 the highest level, which would be the Main Staff.
15 Q. Thank you. And I won't bring it up, but --
16 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 I won't bring it up now - we don't need to - but 18809 is a
19 proofing note, Your Honours. It was on our notification. The only
20 section of that I would tender is section H. I discussed this with
21 Mr. Robinson this morning. That's pages 19 and 20, and simply because
22 that updates portions of the narrative. The rest of that proofing note I
23 would not tender, and the reports in that portion of the proofing note
24 which I've gone through are what I'd seek to tender. I do not seek to
25 tender the original narrative, 02519, or the comparison, 18808, or the
1 additional other proofing note, 18810. So I would tender those reports,
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
4 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE KWON: Very well. How many of them? Six of them? They
6 will be all admitted. Shall we give them numbers?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. 65 ter number 02517 will be
8 Exhibit P4913. 65 ter number 02520 will be Exhibit P4914. 65 ter number
9 02518 will be Exhibit P4915. 65 ter number 02527 will be Exhibit P4916.
10 65 ter number 03742 will be Exhibit P4917. And 65 ter number 18809 will
11 be Exhibit P4918, and that's pages 19 and 20 of that.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours. And we will need to
14 upload just that section H. It's not separated out yet.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. Okay. What I'd like to do now, Mr. Butler, is go through just a
18 little bit of background before we get to July 1995 and explain a little
19 bit of the context of what we see happening from March through
20 August 1995 in the Srebrenica area.
21 You were not able to do a specific report for this case, but
22 there is some information, quite a lot of information in your other
23 reports about the role of the Supreme Commander. In your VRS Main Staff
24 Command Responsibility Report, page 9, paragraph 2.1, you wrote the
1 "In accordance with the relevant laws of the Republika Srpska at
2 the time, the pinnacle of command of the RS armed forces was the
3 president of the republic functioning as a commander-in-chief of the
4 armed forces."
5 And there you cited to Article 174 and other relevant portions of
6 the Law on the Army. I'd just like to ask you to expand on that a little
7 bit as president and Supreme Commander, what forces would
8 Radovan Karadzic have had under his command?
9 A. Yes, sir. In the context of the armed forces of the
10 Republika Srpska there were two primary bodies that fell under that
11 umbrella. The first one was the army, and incorporated, of course, in
12 the army were the air and air defence forces; and the second component of
13 the armed forces was the forces of the Ministry of the Interior which
14 would include primarily in the context of battle-field operations the
15 various police and special police units that were raised and organised
16 and maintained during the war.
17 Q. Thank you. And over the next -- today and the next couple of
18 days we'll discuss the command function over those forces as well as
19 reporting down the command chain.
20 What I want to ask you about now is the creation of the
21 Drina Corps in 1992. You talk about that in your revised narrative,
22 chapter 1, page 6, paragraph 1, right at the beginning of the narrative,
23 and maybe it would help if we looked at the map book.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: 65 ter number 23519, map A3. That's page 5 in
25 e-court but it's easier to see, I think, in the hard copy but we can
1 bring it up in e-court.
2 Q. Now, can you just tell us if that's an accurate representation of
3 the boundaries in general of the Drina Corps and why this corps was
4 created as, I believe, the last of six corps of the VRS.
5 A. Yes, sir. This map is generally accurate to my knowledge. It
6 reflects the geographical boundaries that existed after November 1992
7 with the creation of the Drina Corps. Unlike the other five corps of the
8 Army of Republika Srpska that were organised at the very earliest part of
9 the war in April and May of 1992, the Drina Corps was not established
10 until November of 1992, in part because the other five remaining corps of
11 the VRS have what I refer to as a lineage back to the JNA. They were
12 based on the organisation and structure of existing JNA corps at the time
13 that the war began in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Drina Corps did not.
14 There were no significant JNA units of any size in Eastern Bosnia south
15 of Bijeljina at the beginning of the war, so that area was divided
16 between the East Bosnia Corps and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
17 As time and history would note, the forces that the VRS and the
18 attention that the VRS command paid to Eastern Bosnia was inadequate to
19 deal with the military threat posed by the considerable amount of Bosnian
20 Muslim military units that were operating in the area. And in late
21 October, as manifested in early November of 1992, the army determined
22 that the military situation could be best addressed by re-organising the
23 area designating a sixth VRS corps command headquarters, in this case the
24 Drina Corps in Vlasenica, and reassigning various combat units that
25 previously belonged to East Bosnia Corps and Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
1 under the command of the Drina Corps. So that particular geographical
2 area now had its own corps-level command to plan and execute larger
3 operations and subordinate brigades to it to undertake those operations.
4 Q. Thank you. And if you could briefly tell us you -- you spoke
5 there about the -- the threat or the -- from the Muslim forces. Could
6 you just tell us briefly, what was the situation facing the VRS or the
7 Bosnian Serb armed forces and the Bosnian Serb population in that area
8 around November 1st, 1992, when the Drina Corps was created.
9 A. Well, first off, particularly in the municipalities -- the key
10 municipalities bordering the Drina River, the Zvornik municipality, the
11 Bratunac municipality, the Vlasenica-Milici municipality, and even
12 further south towards Zepa, Visegrad, Rogatica, Bosnian Muslims were the
13 dominant population group. So even though Bosnian Serb territorial
14 forces and locally raised militia units were successful in capturing and
15 holding the town population centres such as Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica,
16 and even for a little while Srebrenica before it was recaptured, there
17 were wide areas of the countryside that were not under control of the
18 Bosnian Serb armed forces.
19 In the early parts of 1992 when the most critical terrain for the
20 establishment and survival of what would then become the Republika Srpska
21 was the Posavina Corridor, that corridor between the Krajina and
22 Eastern Bosnia, the Bosnian Serbs had no choice but to accept risk and
23 basically the Eastern Bosnia area was not the highest priority of the
24 conflict. Once the Posavina Corridor area was secured and the
25 Republika Srpska could count on continued territorial integrity between
1 Eastern Bosnia and the Krajina, that began the shift to the next critical
2 area for the establishment and -- or maintenance of the Republika Srpska
3 which is dealing with the military situation in Eastern Bosnia, where
4 they recognised by November 1992 was particularly dire from their point
5 of view.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just for our information, could you ask the witness
8 to mark the Posavina Corridor on this map.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE KWON: That may be helpful.
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. Yes. Mr. Butler, could you just mark the area you were talking
13 about, the corridor which was the first major military operation that
14 needed to be achieved by the VRS?
15 A. Yes, sir. It would be on this boundary region between the
16 East Bosnia Corps and the 1st Krajina Corps area. So both those corps
17 were particularly engaged in those combat activities for a number of
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. If you could date and your initial --
20 put your initials.
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P4919.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. And once that's saved, could we go to
24 the next page.
25 Q. And, Mr. Butler, what's going to come up in front of you is a map
1 have depicting the Drina Corps area of responsibility. So more detail on
2 the area than we see on the present map.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: So that's A4, map A4 of the same exhibit, e-court
4 page 6.
5 Q. Can you see that all right, Mr. Butler?
6 A. Yes, sir, I can.
7 Q. All right. Now, let's just speak now of summer of 1995. Can you
8 tell me if these boundaries are reasonably accurate regarding the
9 different brigades within the Drina Corps area of responsibility?
10 A. Yes, sir, they are.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that.
12 JUDGE KWON: Have we admitted this map?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: We haven't, Your Honour, and what I was going to
14 attempt to do later on at the conclusion of Mr. Butler's testimony - I
15 won't go through every map but several of these - is admit the map book
16 as a whole, because we've been using it throughout the trial so --
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I think that's fair enough.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. What I'd like to do now, Mr. Butler, is again briefly go through
20 some charts which were originally appended to your narrative. These are
21 slightly -- they are updated of the Main Staff, Drina Corps, and then of
22 the Zvornik and Bratunac brigades, the two key brigades for our topics
23 today, and I'll -- with the assistant of the usher if I could pass you a
24 copy of these.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: This is -- 23702 is the number we've assigned to
1 this packet.
2 Q. Now, I won't spend a lot of time on the Main Staff chart,
3 Mr. Butler, because we've had some evidence on it and some testimony, but
4 looking at this, could you just look at it quickly, look at the structure
5 we have here and the assistant commanders for the different sectors --
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you give the 65 ter number
8 MR. NICHOLLS: 23702, I believe.
9 Q. So as of July 1995, based on all the research you did into the
10 Srebrenica events, is this a good depiction of the different officers in
11 charge of the different sectors and their subordinates and the structure
12 of the Main Staff?
13 A. Yes, sir. The one thing would I note with respect to, of course,
14 the Drina Corps, is that from the 1st of July through the evening of
15 13 July 1995, the corps commander was, of course, General Zivanovic.
16 General Krstic, Major-General Krstic, was his Chief of Staff. On the
17 evening of 13 July 1995, General Zivanovic was ultimately reassigned and
18 retired, and General Krstic then assumed the position of Chief of Staff
19 of the Drina Corps. So within the context that the chart is labelled
20 July 1995, there were two corps commanders during that month because in
21 the middle of the month there was a command change.
22 Q. Okay. In the answer, you've just said that on 13 July in the
23 evening General Zivanovic was ultimately reassigned and retired, and
24 General Krstic then assumed the position of Chief of Staff of the
25 Drina Corps.
1 A. I'm sorry, he was the Chief of Staff. He assumed the position as
2 commander of the Drina Corps.
3 Q. Thank you. And I think that's clear if we go to the next chart
4 of the Drina Corps.
5 And sorry, one question - we don't need to go back to the map of
6 the Main Staff - before we go on. Do you recall the code-name and
7 communications used for the Main Staff in July 1995?
8 A. Yes, sir. In communications it was referred to as Panorama.
9 Q. Okay. And now we have the Drina Corps chart. Same question. If
10 you could look at this and tell us if this looks accurate to you, and we
11 see here the notation of Krstic becoming commander on 13 July 1995.
12 A. Yes, sir, it does.
13 Q. Thank you. And what was the code-name for the Drina Corps in
15 A. The common code-name for the Drina Corps in the communications
16 was Zlatar.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Next I just want to show the Zvornik Brigade
18 chart. If we could have that. Again, July 1995.
19 Q. If you would just take a look at this for a minute and it's the
20 same question. Does this accurately depict the structure for the period
21 we're going to spend most of the time on?
22 A. Yes, sir, it does.
23 Q. Thank you. And finally -- oh, I'm sorry. What was the code-name
24 for referring to Zvornik Brigade in communications?
25 A. Their -- their code-name was Palma.
1 Q. And finally, it's abbreviated the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
2 chart. And it's the same question, Mr. Butler.
3 A. Yes, sir, it is accurate, and the code-name for the Bratunac
4 Light Infantry Brigade in the telecommunications is Badem.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'm finished with that. I would
6 tender that packet, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be admitted.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4920, Your Honours.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Now, I should say, Mr. Butler, you've got some binders with you
11 that you brought into the courtroom. Is that a binder of your reports
12 and then a binder of documents which were notified to be potentially used
13 with your testimony that I provided you when you arrived here?
14 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
15 Q. Thank you. I want to talk now a little bit continuing in
16 November 1992. We talked about the creation of the corps in early
17 November, and I want to talk about directive 4 now for just a minute.
18 This is a topic you deal with in your revised narrative, beginning at
19 page 12, paragraphs 1.22, 1.23, and elsewhere.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: This is P00976. If I could have that up, please.
21 Q. I won't spend a lot of time on this, Mr. Butler because it's been
22 discussed quite heavily in this trial, but I would like you view on it.
23 Specifically if we look at English page 5. I think it's page 10 of the
24 B/C/S. Tasks for the Drina Corps.
25 While it's coming up, could you briefly tell us based on your
1 expertise, your study, how would you define a Main Staff directive such
2 as this directive? What are they?
3 A. While these particular directives are drafted by the Main Staff,
4 what they represented was the highest level of political-military
5 direction for the conduct of the war. I believe during the course of the
6 conflict there were a total of nine strategic directives that were
7 published, and at various points in time in the conflict, there were
8 occasions where the goals, and again the strategic goals, of the
9 Republika Srpska changed or were established or new ones were established
10 which were occasions where the Main Staff would draft a document for
11 ultimately the approval of the Supreme Command, which would reflect their
12 strategic understanding of the conflict as it was ongoing, their
13 understanding of what the political strategic goals of the leadership of
14 the Republika Srpska were, and their proposals in that sense as to how
15 the military forces of the Army of the Republika Srpska would be
16 organised and the operations that they would undertake in order to best
17 achieve those solutions. And again in this context, the military drafted
18 the document and the language after negotiation with the various other
19 entities that were involved, primarily the Supreme Command in the
20 Ministry of the Interior. They would send it up to the Supreme Command
21 for ratification, and you see that more in the later versions than the
22 earlier versions. The Supreme Command wasn't formed until late in 1992,
23 early 1993 period operational.
24 So those documents at the highest level represent the military's
25 view of how they're going to undertake the strategic conduct of the
1 conflict that they were engaged in.
2 Q. Thank you. I should have said this is at tab 1 of your --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. I should have said this is at tab 1 of your binder.
6 If we look at paragraph marked (D) which assigns task to the
7 Drina Corps:
8 "From its present position, its main forces are to defend with
9 utmost persistence Visegrad (the dam), Zvornik and the corridor, while
10 the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region are to exhaust the
11 enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on them, and force them with
12 the Muslim population to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas."
13 And this directive we've seen before was drafted by
14 General Manojlo Milovanovic.
15 My question is: If you could comment on that portion of the
16 directive and whether and how it relates to subsequent military
17 operations we see in the Podrinje area.
18 A. Yes, sir. As discussed, even in November of 1992, December 1992,
19 January/February of 1993, there were far more Bosnian Muslims residing in
20 Eastern Bosnia and particularly in the Drina Corps zone than there were
21 Bosnian Serbs, although the Bosnian Serb military held the towns and the
22 key communications routes, the roads, between them.
23 This particular operation again was not only to destroy the
24 various military forces but to create the conditions so that the
25 underlying Bosnian Muslim civilian population would leave those
1 particular regions, and in fact, if you go through the various months,
2 January, February, March of 1993, and watch how the operations are
3 conducted and the ultimate results, it's clear that the Bosnian Muslim
4 civilian populations in those areas, particularly, for example, the
5 Cerska area, took one of two courses of action. They either fled or were
6 pushed to the west and ultimately towards Tuzla, or they were -- they
7 fled or were pushed towards the south and clustered in and around the
8 Srebrenica area.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. If I could have P03037.
12 Q. That's at tab 2, Mr. Butler, of your binder. This is from the
13 Main Staff to the command of the Drina Corps, the approximately
14 three-week old Drina Corps. And it states:
15 "Pursuant to the request by the Supreme Command of the Army of
16 Republika Srpska (President of the Presidency Dr. Radovan Karadzic), and
17 with a view to carrying out timely preparation and holding a military and
18 political seminar at the level of the Drina Corps, I hereby order," and
19 then it continues to describe the seminar that will take place on
20 23rd November which will be chaired and attended by President Karadzic.
21 Can you just comment on that document and what it tell us about
22 the Supreme Commander and the political leadership's connection to this
23 newly formed corps.
24 A. Well, sir, at its face, I mean, it notes that the president of
25 the Presidency at this time, Dr. Karadzic, requests the Supreme -- he's
1 the Supreme Command -- in this case the Supreme Commander of the Army of
2 Republika Srpska, it notes that that there's going to be a meeting
3 specific at his request with respect to the newly organised Drina Corps,
4 and not only do they want the military commanders of the various units of
5 the Drina Corps at this particular meeting, they want the various
6 municipal authority presidents to attend this meeting as well. And
7 within the context of what was happening in the Drina Corps area at that
8 time, there was a lot of infighting and miscommunication between the
9 military and the civilian leadership of the various municipalities over
10 the goals and the objectives and ultimately even the control of some
11 military units.
12 So given the fact that this new corps headquarters is standing
13 itself up, it's organising its missions, it's organising its forces, and
14 from the timing it sounds like, you know, in context an excellent
15 opportunity for the highest political and military leadership to be on
16 the ground at the Drina Corps headquarters where they can fully
17 synchronise the military and political objectives of what's going to be
18 happening in Eastern Bosnia in the future.
19 Q. And this -- and this urgent order on the 20th of November, that's
20 the day after directive 4 that we just looked at; is that right?
21 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I now have P04248, please.
23 Q. That's at tab 4, Mr. Butler. It's the timetable for the
24 conference to be held on the 23rd of November and it lists the speakers,
25 beginning with Dr. Karadzic. And we see commander of the Drina Corps
1 Colonel Zivanovic will speak second, and then the various brigade
2 commanders, Krstic, Kusic, Pandurevic, on the next page Andric, and then
3 it's closed by Dr. President Karadzic. Could you just comment on this
4 document and also on who some of the people I named are, whether they are
5 still around performing roles in July 1995 in the Drina Corps.
6 A. Yes, sir. Again, most in this context it lays out the time
7 allotted for each brigade -- for each brigade commander to update the
8 situation in his brigade area as well as the capabilities of his units
9 and to essentially brief back to the key military and civilian leadership
10 what he understands his task to be.
11 Again, not necessarily the interesting but the unique thing about
12 this is that many of the individuals who are named here in November of
13 1992 are still key figures within the context of the Drina Corps in July
14 of 1995 respecting -- you know, reflecting a long three-year historical
15 association with all of the activities in Eastern Bosnia. For example,
16 at the beginning of July 1995, then General Zivanovic is still the corps
17 commander. So he's fully familiar with the history of Eastern Bosnia
18 from November of 1992 all the way until the last day of his command,
19 13 July.
20 Then Colonel Krstic is a brigade commander of the
21 2nd Romanija Brigade in July -- in -- in 1995, I think it's in March, he
22 becomes the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, and of course on
23 13 July 1995, he assumes command of the Drina Corps. So he has a long
24 historical association with the history of Eastern Bosnia.
25 Captain Kusic remains with his unit throughout the course of the
1 entire war.
2 Colonel Pandurevic at this time is the commander of the
3 5th Podrinje Unit -- or Brigade, otherwise known as the Visegrad Brigade
4 in this context. He -- well, I'm sorry, the Gorazde Brigade in this
5 context. He, in December of 1992, was appointed to be the commander of
6 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and he remains the commander of that
7 brigade through the end of the war in November of 1995. So again he has
8 a long historical association with what is happening in the
9 Eastern Bosnia area.
10 The same can be said of, the second page, Colonel Andric, who
11 begins the war as the commander of the Birac Brigade. At this time
12 they're still separating the Zvornik and Birac brigades out a bit.
13 But -- or in this context the Birac Brigade. He then turns around and,
14 you know, remains the commander through 13 July, and on 13 July of 1995,
15 he's elevated to take the role as the corps Chief of Staff.
16 So I mean this just reflects in the military context many of the
17 key individuals who participate in Srebrenica in July 1995 have a long
18 historical association with the VRS military operations in Eastern Bosnia
19 from almost the very beginning.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could have 65 ter 10881.
22 Q. This is back at tab 3, Mr. Butler. This is an urgent order from
23 Milenko Zivanovic, the corps commander, which states that this conference
24 we've been talking about will be led personally by the Supreme Commander
25 of the Republika Srpska Army.
1 Could you -- we've talked about this a bit, but could you just
2 comment on that portion of the document, what it tells us.
3 A. Well, again in this particular document, and I'm sure that people
4 have discussed prior to me, General Mladic was the commander of the
5 Main Staff. He was the senior uniformed army member, but it is
6 recognised ultimately that the president of the republic under the law of
7 the Republika Srpska is the Supreme Commander of the army and armed
8 forces in this particular context. It is their acknowledgement of such
9 that the president of the republic is going to be at this meeting and it
10 is expected that, you know, all of the key military principals, and that
11 will be the brigade commanders personally, will be there.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender that, Your Honours?
13 JUDGE KWON: Both of them, with the timetable as well?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I think the timetable is already admitted as
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, this will be admitted.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4921, Your Honours.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: May I please have 65 ter 10728.
19 Q. That's at tab 5 in your binder, Mr. Butler. This is dated
20 23 November 1992. It's a daily combat report. The part I'm interested
21 in most is paragraph 2 towards the end. It speaks about providing
22 security for the RS Assembly and then states:
23 "During the day, a military-political conference was held at the
24 garrison command attended by the representatives of the Supreme Command,
25 the Army of Republika Srpska, as well as members of the political
2 It's pretty self-apparent, but does this show that this
3 conference actually took place?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender this document, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: P4922, Your Honours.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Next could I have P02716.
9 Q. That's at tab 6, Mr. Butler.
10 E-court page 40 in English, I believe 41 in the original.
11 And, Mr. Butler, this is Mr. Karadzic's notebook from the time.
12 I'm looking at the heading, the entry for 23rd November 1992, the day of
13 the conference, and we've got written: Consultations, Drina Corps
14 commander, chief of GS [sic] Main Staff, Minister of Defence
15 Colonel Subotic, and General Gvero, brigade commanders, and municipal
16 presidents. And then we see Colonel Zivanovic, who we can remember was
17 the first speaker after President Karadzic at the conference, and the
18 notes read:
19 "Tasks. Vitinica, Sapna, Teocak," under 1; 2, Cerska; 3, Zepa;
20 4, Srebrenica; and 5, Gorazde.
21 Now can you tell us what is the military significance of those
22 areas spoken about by the corps commander General Zivanovic at this time,
23 November 1992, a couple days after directive 4's come out?
24 A. During that time-frame those were all areas that were either
25 already under the control of Bosnian Muslim military forces or
1 significantly threatened by them, and this appears to be a ranking in
2 priority of order of what the corps commander believes his priority areas
3 are to deal with.
4 Q. Thank you. That's -- excuse me. That's that topic finished. I
5 now want to move on to directive 7, moving into 1995.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have that up, please. It's P00838.
7 Q. We'll go through this pretty quickly, because Their Honours have
8 seen this quite a few times, Mr. Butler. It's tab 7 of your binder.
9 If we could get the English page 10 and the Serbian page 14.
10 Now, this is -- this is the section on the Drina Corps you're
11 very familiar with, I know, Mr. Butler. But the section which speaks of:
12 "... as many enemy forces as possible should be tied down by
13 diversionary and active combat operations on the north-west part of the
14 front using operational and tactical camouflage measures, while in the
15 direction of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves complete physical
16 separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be carried out as soon as
17 possible, preventing even communication between individuals in the two
18 enclaves. By planned and well-thought out combat operations create an
19 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
20 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
21 And then on page 14 of the English, which I believe is 21 of the
22 Serbian, under the section of the directive headed "Support for combat
23 operations. Morale and psychological support," we see:
24 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with
25 UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall through the planned and
1 unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits reduce and limit the
2 logistic support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
3 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill
4 while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the international
6 And I won't go through the other sections, just for time, of this
7 directive, but the question is: Can you comment on this directive and
8 militarily any connection you see with what we saw in directive 4 in the
9 goals that were announced in November 1992 now that we're in March 1995.
10 A. Notwithstanding the creation of the -- the UN safe areas of
11 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, the VRS's goal as reflected in the
12 military documents in that context has always been clear, and again even
13 as they note in the last line of the top paragraph of page 11 of
14 directive 7, they're still talking about the definitive liberation of the
15 Drina valley region. In their mind, particularly with the history of
16 what happened in late 1992 and in early 1993 in areas such as Bratunac, I
17 don't believe that there was any thought that there could possibly be
18 some form of an accommodation to live with a sizable Muslim population in
19 those areas. There was just too much bad history as a result of what had
20 happened. The Bosnian Serb military forces had always -- in various
21 other documents as well had made it clear that, one, they wanted the safe
22 areas eliminated completely for military reasons and that their history,
23 particularly with the Srebrenica and Zepa safe areas, was that allowing
24 the Muslim population to remain there in effect meant that there would be
25 Muslim military units there, which would be unacceptable.
1 So I mean, I think their goals from directive 4 to directive 7 in
2 that context never changed. It was just they had to accept a
3 United Nations presence for three years in Eastern Bosnia and seek
4 somehow to get around that.
5 Q. So what you just --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour.
8 Q. Just to continue on that, what from your analysis and then
9 looking at what happened afterwards, which we'll discuss, was the
10 objective of directive 7?
11 A. Well, directive 7 as noted here didn't call for a direct military
12 assault on the enclaves, and clearly with what was going on at the
13 international level, that was deemed to be too provocative. But what
14 they were looking to do was create a situation where either the UN
15 themselves would quit these areas or that the Bosnian Muslim population
16 residing in them would pressure their own leadership in Sarajevo to
17 withdraw them. I think I've said in previous testimony, ultimately they
18 wanted to recreate the situation that existed in the spring of 1993 where
19 the population of the Srebrenica safe area specifically was in such dire
20 straits that the United Nations was actively evacuating the population to
21 other -- other areas of Bosnian Muslim-held territory, and that
22 ultimately was what they would have liked to see again as a way of
23 finally handling the issue of the safe areas by the end of July -- or by
24 the end of 1995 or through the end of the operative period of
25 directive 7.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I now have P02246.
3 Q. Mr. Butler, this is at tab 8 of your binder, and it's directive
4 7/1. Directive 7/1 is from 31st of March, 1995. There's been some
5 discussion about it in this trial. It's much shorter than directive 7.
6 It doesn't contain all the language of directive 7 including the parts I
7 read out. Can you tell us what's the purpose? What does this operative
8 directive number 7/1 do, and does it supplant, replace, or negate
9 directive 7? Sorry, that's a compound question, but I think you can put
10 it together.
11 A. To answer the last question first, no, it does not negate or
12 otherwise supplant directive 7. What directive 7/1 represents is a
13 technical expansion of the goals of directive 7 more designed for
14 military planners. For example, when you look at this particular
15 document, it gives more concrete definable goals that can be carried out
16 by military organisations naming various towns, cities, and things of
17 that nature.
18 Q. Let me stop you for one second. Maybe we could go to page --
19 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Let me stop you for one second.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe we can go to page 5 then and look at
24 paragraph 5.3 of the English. Also page 5 of the Serbian.
25 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Butler.
1 A. No, sir. I mean, that is an excellent example. When you look at
2 directive 7.0, you have a broad task which is, you know, to create an
3 unbearable situation against the civilian population. For a military
4 planner, the first question is, well, what does that mean? What am I
5 supposed to do? As you notice now in directive 7/1 geared more toward
6 military individuals, they're talking in more concrete terms. There are
7 going to be various operations down various axes of attacks and these are
8 the things that we're going to seek to accomplish. So again it's not
9 replacing 7.0 in any way. This is just a more technical explanation of
10 what the goals of 7.0 are. So that is my interpretation of what 7-1 is
11 or 7.1 is.
12 Q. And under the way the VRS worked at the time based on your study,
13 you've talked about the level of directives at the -- at this sort of
14 highest level of goals, do the corps have a role in planning operations
15 themselves that are to take place in their area which are based on
16 directives or higher orders from the Main Staff?
17 A. Yes, sir. Particularly within the VRS, which for the most part
18 wholly adopted the doctrine of the former Yugoslav National Army which
19 was a well-developed military doctrine, their officers had been
20 intensively and significantly trained in it, there was a formalised
21 planning process which various military units undertook. While the
22 Main Staff is -- is obviously the pinnacle of the military leadership
23 with respect to the uniformed military in Bosnia, the reality is that the
24 corps commands and the corps commanders were the people who ultimately
25 were fighting the war on behalf of the Main Staff. These were the people
1 who best understood the capabilities and the limitations of their
2 military units as well as the terrain that they were be expected to fight
4 So the practice was that while the Main Staff would give general
5 guidance on various objectives and things of that nature, it was the
6 responsibility of the corps to plan the details of the operation, and
7 then once the planning of the operation was put together to the
8 satisfaction of the corps commander, the corps command itself would then
9 brief the details of that operation to their superior, which was the
10 Main Staff. The Main Staff would review that operation and ultimately
11 either seek -- approve the operation, they would disapprove it or they
12 would make whatever changes they deemed were required.
13 Not only did this process happen from the corps level to the
14 Main Staff, but subordinate units as well. Brigade commanders planned
15 military operations for their brigades, and those operations were
16 reviewed and endorsed or approved by the superior corps commander. So
17 that is the way that the former JNA military command and staff process
18 worked, and it was adopted and followed as such by the Army of
19 Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Thank you. And we'll talk about that a bit more when we --
21 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, Mr. Nicholls.
22 Going back to the directive 7/1, were there any other instances
23 than the case of directive 7/1 where either the command of the -- either
24 the Supreme Commander or the Main Staff issued a further directive which
25 you referred to as a technical expansion, other than the case of 7/1.
1 After issuing a specific directive.
2 THE WITNESS: I don't -- I'm not sure of the answer prior to
3 that. I think in the case of directive 9 there might have been a
4 supplemental if I recall correctly, but I just don't remember at this
5 point in time if in some of the previous directives or in the previous
6 ones, such as 6 or before that, they had a need to do that.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes Mr. Nicholls.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 Q. I'll come back to that topic raised by His Honour the
10 Presiding Judge in a little while, Mr. Butler, and ask you a couple
11 questions, but first to keep moving, I'd like to ask you now a bit about
12 the use of the MUP forces in military operations. In your brigade report
13 you discuss this, for instance, at pages 30 to 31, paragraph 6.0. You
14 talked about it a little bit at the beginning today. In that paragraph
15 you wrote:
16 "Aside from the forces of the army, VRS, the other component of
17 the armed forces of the Republika Srpska consists of the units and forces
18 of the Ministry of the Interior MUP police. These MUP assets when used
19 under the purview of national defence are directed by the president of
20 the republic under both the RS constitution and the RS Law on Defence."
21 MR. NICHOLLS: And with that I'd like to bring up 65 ter number
22 1882, please.
23 Q. That's tab 9 in your binder, Mr. Butler. This document is from
24 the Supreme Commander, Dr. Karadzic, has the seals and stamps of the
25 Republika Srpska president. It's from the 22nd of April, 1995, and
1 concerns the use of the MUP in combat. And I won't go through it all,
2 but could you tell us about this document, what it means?
3 And I'll just say as well that this is footnoted at footnotes
4 136, 138, and 139 of your brigade command report.
5 That's kind of a broad question, but if you could give us your --
6 your comment on this document and what it tell us about use of the MUP in
8 A. Yes, sir. The MUP had historically been used to fight in combat
9 operations with the VRS throughout the course of the conflict. They --
10 they represented a significant and potent fighting force. But
11 historically within the framework of that there had always been issues
12 related to the control of the MUP, co-ordination with those MUP forces,
13 logistical responsibilities, who would support them, who would feed the
14 soldiers, things of that nature. There were historical problems with
15 soldiers often trying to defect to MUP units, and as part of regulating
16 these things in a much more clearer manner, particularly in a state of
17 imminent threat of war or a state of war, a number of laws were passed or
18 revised relating to this.
19 This particular document actually talks about specific articles
20 of the law of the -- or the application of the Law on Interior -- on
21 Internal Affairs during the state of an imminent threat of war and state
22 of war, and it specifically talks about or clarifies issues relating to
23 MUP forces falling under the command of the army and what those types of
24 things meant.
25 Now, keeping in mind that by decree, an imminent threat or an
1 imminent threat of a state of war existed in the zones of the 1st and
2 2nd Krajina Corps since November of 1994, and again in June of 1995 that
3 state of an imminent threat of war was declared for the entire
4 Republika Srpska. So even though this document is dated in April, it's
5 laying out the legal framework by which MUP forces will operate under
6 army control and the limits to those controls that we would later see in
7 June and July of 1995.
8 Q. Thank you. And if we look at Articles 13 and 14 of the law,
9 which are -- Dr. Karadzic has set out in this order of his. Police units
10 shall participate in combat operations by order of the Supreme Commander
11 of the armed forces and Ministry of the Interior. The minister of the
12 interior commands police units via the staff of the command. And
13 Article 14, having been engaged in combat activities by order of the
14 Supreme Commander, and it continues.
15 So what -- what's the role of the Supreme Commander in the
16 designation of the use of the MUP in combat and the way they were used in
18 A. Well, for the first part, ultimately it is the Supreme Commander
19 who makes that decision, and it was a formalised process. The army would
20 make a proposal to use MUP forces, and they would identify which forces
21 they believed they need to -- through the military chain of command to
22 the Supreme Command, and a decision would be made by the Supreme Command
23 whether to accept that proposal, change it, modify it, or reject it.
24 Now, in this particular context it's noted that the Ministry of
25 the Interior is a member of the actual Supreme Command body that
1 consisted of about five members who were actually designated as part of
2 the Supreme Command. The military was represented there with respect to
3 their proposals and ideas, but they were not formally part of the
4 Supreme Command.
5 So minister in this case -- you know, the minister of the
6 interior was part of the decision to use his forces with the army. Once
7 that decision was made, an order was sent down, and that particular order
8 defined not what a particular MUP unit would do in a technical manner,
9 the attack or things of that nature, but it would define the fact that
10 this MUP unit was under military control for the duration -- I'm sorry --
11 for the duration of a particular operation, how long that would be, and
12 set limits such as this unit could not be used for other purposes, it
13 could not be disbanded, things of that nature.
14 So again, those decisions were made by the Supreme Command and
15 were transmitted down to the army and to the MUP for implementation.
16 Q. And just -- thank you. And just we can see that this one is
17 actually signed by the Supreme Commander, Dr. Karadzic; correct?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I? May I intervene? I believe
19 it's better to do it now than to burden the cross-examination with this.
20 I'm afraid that the translation of the document is not right. And
21 further on, it doesn't say that the minister commands. The minister is
22 in charge of, and there is a difference. The last line of number 13. I
23 cannot scroll down.
24 Perhaps the interpreters could help. If they could read this
25 out, but not line 13.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I thank Mr. Karadzic, but that's something we
2 could check.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that is noted. But would you like the accused
4 to read out that sentence now or -- I'll leave it to you, Mr. Nicholls.
5 In any event, your intervention has been noted and that will take care of
7 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender this document, Your Honour?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4923, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: If you agree, the more efficient way is to resolve
11 it right now.
12 Mr. Karadzic, why don't you read that, the second sentence of
13 Article 13. We need the next page for the B/C/S probably.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the interpreters please
15 interpret this. So it's the second sentence that reads as follows:
16 "The minister of the interior is in charge of or has under his
17 control the units of police through the staff of the command of the
18 ministry police forces."
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I take it, then, Mr. Butler, you agree
20 with that.
21 THE WITNESS: In the context of this document, I mean, a change
22 like that does not -- would not change anything that I've previously
23 noted about this particular document.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I'm afraid that again it hasn't
1 been translated properly. There is command and control, RiK, so it is
2 command and control, and there is a difference between the two. So the
3 minister directs, not commands.
4 JUDGE KWON: I think that's sufficient for now, and you'll take
5 up the issue during your cross-examination.
6 Yes. Thank you for your patience, Mr. Nicholls. Please proceed.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'm not -- are we -- is this time for
8 the break?
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll take a break for half an hour and resume
10 at 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please continue.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Before we get back to another question or two about the MUP, let
16 me ask you something about a question that the Presiding Judge asked you
17 before the break. At pages 29 and 30, His Honour Judge Kwon asked you:
18 Going back to the directive 7/1, were there any other instances
19 other than the case of directive 7/1 where either the command or the
20 commander of the Main Staff issued a further directive which you referred
21 to as a technical expansion, other than the case of 7/1.
22 And you weren't quite sure. I'm just going to see if I can
23 refresh your recollection a bit on that or get your comment on a couple
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 65 ter 09348, please.
1 Q. This is from the Main Staff. It's from 25th November 1992,
2 titled "Very urgent addition" to operative directive number 4, and then
3 the first line refers to directive 4. Under item 6, providing combat
4 support, that's from directive -- that's the section in directive 4 if we
5 were to bring it up again.
6 "Only basic principles were discussed. In view of the combat
7 situation in all our units, the supplement directive number 4 adds the
9 Now this isn't listed as 4.1, but is this -- could you just
10 comment on this document in relation to Judge Kwon's query?
11 A. Yes, sir. This would be an example of technically amplifying
12 some of the guidance in directive 4. In this particular case, as it
13 notes, only basic principles were discussed and then, you know, either
14 minor or substantial changes occur to a point where they'll issue
15 additional guidance but they don't feel that they have to create a
16 directive 5. This one, if you look at the orders, I mean, it appears in
17 paragraphs 1, 2, and 3, they talk about specific facilities that have to
18 be protected, specific groups that should be set up, preparation of
19 units, but again in paragraph 4, it notes, you know, make these decisions
20 in accordance with directive 4. So it doesn't change directive 4 or the
21 guidance therefore. It just supplements and provides additional
22 technical guidance.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender that, Your Honour? It wasn't on my
25 list, but in light of the conversation, I think it's relevant now.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It will be admitted.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4924, Your Honours.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Just in the same line briefly, if I could have
5 Q. Main Staff, 14 December 1993, very urgent, this time to the SRK,
6 supplement to directive number 6, and just ask you to comment on what we
7 see here in relation to this topic.
8 A. Yes, sir. I guess it would be the same as my previous comment.
9 We noticed that particularly with respect to paragraph 1, it is detailed.
10 There's a good amount of detail, technical issues, technical details in
11 that paragraph pertaining to various decisions as well as, you know, as
12 you go down on the English language page 1 and perhaps further down on
13 page 2, it talks about various military operations and things of that
14 nature. So again it kind of reinforces what I said earlier, that these
15 are technical supplements to the original base documents. They're not
16 changes to the overall directive.
17 Q. Thank you. Last one, 65 ter number 09475, combat order for
18 carrying out the following combat activities, addition to directive
19 number 6, again from the Main Staff.
20 Just take your time, Mr. Butler, and I'll want to direct you to
21 another page of this afterwards. Just tell me when you're done and we'll
22 go to the next page.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could we have page 2, please, of the English. And I'd also like
25 to show you the last page when you're done.
1 A. Please.
2 Q. If we could have the last page. And there we'll see -- ask your
3 comment in light of what we've been discussing on the section 5 at the
4 bottom: "Secure combat activities pursuant to directive 6," number 6,
5 signed Supreme Commander Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
6 A. Yes, sir. And again, just like the previous documents, these --
7 particularly with the military operation and tasks assigned they're
8 rather technical, so in this sense, again it amplifies in a technical
9 sense what was basically laid out in directive 6. And this is an example
10 of a good military document in that sense.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender this, Your Honour?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4925, Your Honours.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Butler. If we could switch gears back to
17 where we were just before the break. I want to show you another document
18 relates -- relating to the use of the MUP in combat.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 1875, please.
20 Q. This is at your tab 14, Mr. Butler, so it's a little out of
21 order. This is dated the 16th of June. It's signed and stamped
22 "President of the Republic, Dr. Radovan Karadzic." It's to the
23 government of RS, the ministries, all presidents of Municipal Assemblies,
24 the Main Staff of the VRS. I won't go through it line by line for time.
25 Paragraph 2 states the above-mentioned entities shall bring their
1 activities and behaviour in line with the laws governing a state of
2 imminent threat of war and cites the Official Gazette with this order and
3 other orders that will follow, and then talks about mobilisation and
4 refers to the MUP various places through it. So I won't go through it
5 myself but ask you if you can explain to us the effect or the effect of
6 this order from President Karadzic regarding the use of the MUP in
8 A. Simply to the degree that they were not already doing it, this
9 particular order on 16 June 1995, which is now applicable to the entire
10 Republika Srpska, validates that an imminent -- or that an imminent
11 threat of war exists and that all of the organs of the government, which
12 would include the MUP, are to operate in accordance with the various laws
13 that have been written and that were put out in the Official Gazette on
14 29 November 1994. Specific to the MUP there's a law on the use -- or the
15 Ministry of the Interior in time of imminent threat of war which then
16 references back to some of the prior documents we've looked at which talk
17 about regulating how MUP units are commanded by the military during
18 various operations and how that command and control is effected.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I would tender this document, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4926, Your Honours.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Thank you. So that's June 22nd, this order we've just looked at.
25 I want to now move on to July 1995 and Krivaja 95, which you've written
1 extensively about, and then go into the chronology of events which occur
2 after Krivaja 95. You discuss this in the revised narrative, beginning
3 at page 28, and it's footnoted quite a lot in your narrative.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P04481.
5 Q. That is Krivaja 95. And that's at tab 20, Mr. Butler. If we
6 could go first to page 3 of the English, which is also page 3 of the
8 In paragraph 2, and we've seen this before but it's from 2nd
10 "The command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to operations directive
11 number 7 and 7/1 of the VRS Main Staff and on the basis of the situation
12 in the corps area of responsibility, has the task of carrying out
13 offensive activities with free forces deep in the Drina Corps zone as
14 soon as possible, in order to split apart the enclaves of Zepa and
15 Srebrenica, and to reduce them to their urban areas."
16 Further down in paragraph 4 we see the objective for the
17 Drina Corps:
18 "By a surprise attack, to separate and reduce in size the
19 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, to improve the tactical position of the
20 forces in the depth of the area, and to create conditions for the
21 elimination of the enclaves."
22 And what I'd like to ask you first is this portion I read out
23 refers to direct 7 and 7/1. Can you tell us -- can you comment on this
24 order's basis in those directives and whether this tells us whether 7/1
25 replaced or supplanted directive 7.
1 A. Yes, sir, and I think as noted in paragraph 2 of this document,
2 the individuals who drafted this particular document understood 7 and
3 7/1, knew that they were the operative documents --
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Are there any problems with
6 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. Professor Radinovic is not receiving any
8 THE ACCUSED: Me too, but I did not ...
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, we need to fix that.
10 THE ACCUSED: Yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: Shall we repeat the last question of yours?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: From line 7.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Can Mr. Radinovic hear me now?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, he nodded.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. I'll read out the last -- I think this is fine, Mr. Butler, and
18 what I'd like to ask you first is this portion I read out refers to
19 directive 7 and 7/1. Can you tell us -- can you comment on this order's
20 basis in those directives and whether this tells us whether 7/1 replaced
21 or supplanted directive 7.
22 A. As indicated in paragraph 2 of this particular document, the
23 individual officers who drafted this document, this operations plan, it
24 was their understanding that both directive 7 and 7/1 were the base
25 documents that they were drafting this operations order in accordance
1 with. I don't read this particular passage as an indication that
2 directive 7 no longer existed or was no longer an operative document. I
3 read it as it's written here, which is simply that they're referring to
4 directive 7 and 7/1. The people who drafted this operations order
5 clearly understood the role of both of those documents as a planning
7 Q. Thank you. And this is signed by the Drina Corps Commander,
8 General Zivanovic; correct?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. If we go to page 10 of the English, and it would be the last page
11 of the -- that's correct. And the last page of the original. I want to
12 ask you about what this means, the distribution list. We have typed in
13 two copies and delivered to, 1, original in the archive of the
14 Drina Corps command, 2, Main Staff VRS, and then the seven copies made
15 and delivered to these other various units and the IKM of the Drina Corps
16 command. Can you just explain to us what this means where we see this
17 here on the document?
18 A. Well, this is the standard distribution, who copies of this
19 operations order would go to, clearly one for the unit archives. You're
20 always going to have a copy of this order at the higher headquarters.
21 And in fact, even before this document was finalised, at some basis the
22 corps would have had to brief the document and the plan to the Main Staff
23 for their approval, and then of course once the plan is finally fixed and
24 all the details are worked out, then copies are sent to the subordinate
25 formations, units, and command posts that would be responsible for
1 implementing the operation.
2 Q. So with the -- if you could explain to us, would the fact that
3 now this has been signed and stamped and a copy is sent to the
4 Main Staff, does that indicate whether or not the Main Staff has, in
5 fact, approved the plan at this point?
6 A. Correct, sir. This document, before it was signed, stamped, and
7 finalised, at least a rough draft of this particular document, as well
8 as, you know, a briefing of what the actual plan was intended to be,
9 would have been briefed to the Main Staff subject to their approval prior
10 to General Zivanovic and his officers finalising the plan. So the fact
11 that General Zivanovic has signed this particular document, it has the
12 Drina Corps stamp and it's going out for distribution, the implied behind
13 this is that this plan has already been briefed and approved by the
14 Main Staff. Had it not been so, this plan wouldn't be going out.
15 Q. Thank you. In line with that I'd like to show you a map now.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: This is in the map book, 65 ter number 23519.
17 It's map C17, Your Honours, C17 having the English translations on the
18 map. And it should be at e-court pages 28 and 29 for the original and
19 the English.
20 Oh, sorry. Strike that. I've picked the wrong map. E28,
21 Your Honours. I apologise. E29 being the English. At B/C/S -- at
22 e-court pages 35 and 36. And this map is entitled "Decision of the
23 Drina Corps commander for active combat operations, military secret,
24 confidential, Krivaja 95, copy 1."
25 Q. I'll ask you to take a look at this map when it comes up,
1 Mr. Butler.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: And if we could have the English version as well.
3 It should be page 29 -- page 36 of the e-court.
4 JUDGE KWON: Probably we can use only one page, the English
5 version where the legends are interpreted -- translated.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. That would be good. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE KWON: Let's collapse the B/C/S version.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, in the meantime, I could give Mr. Butler --
9 here we go. Yes. And I think -- perfect.
10 Q. Now, very simply if we look at this, I don't know if you can read
11 it. It's kind of small, Mr. Butler --
12 JUDGE KWON: We can zoom in.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah. If we can zoom in on the top left of this
14 Krivaja 95 map, we see:
15 "I approve, Commander Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic."
16 And if we go down to the bottom, please, on the right, we see the
17 signature of the Drina Corps commander General Zivanovic.
18 Q. So if I can just ask you to tell us what this map and the
19 signatures tell us about the Krivaja 95 operation.
20 A. Yes, sir. And going back to the previous discussion on briefing
21 the Main Staff, while clearly you would have the draft operations order
22 for the staff to review, one of the most effective ways to brief your
23 superior commander about an operation is to do it off of map graphics,
24 and that was the one of the customs of the VRS for particularly large
25 operations. As part of their military practice, the corps and the corps
1 commander would submit this as part of the package, and they would
2 either -- they would physically travel to the Main Staff for this
3 briefing or the Main Staff representatives and the commander would travel
4 to the corps command in cases like this, depending on which one it might
5 be, and there would be a formalised briefing where the plan would be
6 discussed in detail and ultimately proposed by the corps. The custom was
7 as part of their review practice that when the plan was approved by the
8 superior command, it would be noted as such, and you see again on the
9 bottom right-hand corner the submission by the corps commander. And if
10 you go to the top left-hand corner, there's notations there that the plan
11 was approved by the commander, in this case General Ratko Mladic.
12 So this particular document in effect graphically depicts the
13 rather complex JNA staff and planning process that the VRS followed with
14 all of the steps inherent in coming up with a draft operational proposal,
15 flushing it out, putting all the details together, briefing it to the
16 superior command for their comment and ultimately approval, and then
17 disseminating it out to the affected military units that would implement
18 the plan.
19 Q. Thank you. And just while we're here, it's moving ahead
20 chronologically a bit in the events, but on the right we can see:
21 "Completed. This was Serbian and now it's Serbian!
22 12 July 1995."
23 Another signature of General Mladic.
24 Can you comment on your interpretation of what that means, the
25 12 July, Mladic has signed this as completed and that it's now Serbian or
1 remains Serbian.
2 A. Yes, sir. My understanding of that particular writing at the map
3 was that it was -- this writing or annotation was placed there on the map
4 by General Mladic on the 12th of July, 1995, when they had many of the
5 brigade commanders from the Drina Corps at the Bratunac Brigade
6 headquarters where they were beginning to plan the next military
7 operation against the Zepa enclave. And then as part of that celebratory
8 dinner and planning conference, General Mladic made these notations on
9 the former operation plan map for Krivaja 95.
10 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to show you another map.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: This is the one I called out earlier, C17, e-court
12 page 22. Again, I think the simplest way is probably to show the version
13 which has the English markings, the translations on the map.
14 This one at the top, if we could blow it up. It states:
15 "Disposition of our enemy and UNPROFOR forces around the enclaves
16 of Srebrenica and Zepa."
17 On the top right: "Military secret, strictly confidential."
18 And then if we scroll down, under where we see the outlines of
19 the enclaves there are notations on the population, military strength,
20 structure, the ABiH forces, et cetera, as well as UNPROFOR's structure
21 and personnel.
22 Q. Can you just comment on what this type of map is for prior to
23 Krivaja 95 and -- I'll just ask that to begin with.
24 A. I take it from the writing on this map and the topical area of
25 this particular map that this would be one that would be created by the
1 corps intelligence staff. It's what in my military we would call a
2 graphic intelligence estimate.
3 What it depicts and how it relates to Krivaja and Stupcana 95 is
4 it reflects their intelligence estimates of the forces or the -- in this
5 case you include the civilians are right against them inside the
6 enclaves. So this gives an idea of what their understanding was and the
7 accuracy of the information that they had available to them related to
8 the UNPROFOR forces in both the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, the
9 military forces of the 28th Infantry Division within those particular
10 enclaves, as well as overall numbers relating to the civilian population
11 in those particular enclaves.
12 So this is their reflection -- this is their understanding of
13 what the situation was like at least in terms of military and civilian
14 manpower and UN strength for both of these enclaves.
15 Q. And my next question is: If you can, based on all of the work
16 and study you've done on the Srebrenica campaign and events in July 1995,
17 in your assessment, how -- what is the level of accuracy of the estimates
18 relating to the Srebrenica enclave which we see written here regarding
19 the enemy ABiH forces, civilian population, et cetera? And if you have
20 any trouble reading it, I can give you my hard copy.
21 A. Yes. I mean, I've seen this before, so that's not necessary.
22 But it reflects, in my opinion, that the intelligence staff of the
23 Drina Corps had a relatively good picture and an accurate one with
24 respect to the Muslim military forces inside the enclaves, with respect
25 to the UN forces, and the overall population numbers that they use are --
1 while at the high end, they are consistent with the number ranges that
2 the United Nations themselves were estimating of civilians inside those
3 enclaves. So they had a relatively accurate -- or were receiving
4 relatively accurate information with respect to what they perceived to be
5 the situation in those enclaves.
6 Q. Thank you. I'm done with that map now.
7 JUDGE KWON: Do we have a time-frame for this map?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't have an exact one, Your Honour. I'm
9 trying -- it should be something we can figure out. It's just -- clearly
10 it's before Krivaja 95, and I -- but I don't have the -- an exact date.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. You agree with that?
12 THE WITNESS: I would -- if I had a take a stab at this, I would
13 say that we're probably looking at March, April, May of 1995, for where
14 these numbers would correspond to what was in the enclaves.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. All right. We looked at the -- we've looked at directive 4,
18 directive 7, Krivaja 95, and the planning map. I want to now start going
19 quickly through the build-up to the fall of Srebrenica and then the
20 events afterwards and talk a little bit now specifically about reporting
21 and information going up the chain.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 65 ter 23684, please.
23 Q. That's at tab 22, Mr. Butler.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I should point out, Your Honours, to everybody
25 that this is a document I sought leave to add on the 3rd of April
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Given there's no objection, it's granted.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, and thanks to my friends.
4 Q. All right. I'd like you to just tell us a bit about what this --
5 the significance of this document to you. On the top left we see RS MUP
6 Bijeljina, RDB State Security Department Centre Bijeljina, and the date,
7 6 July 1995. On the right, for the VRS security department, again
8 signed, and it begins in the first paragraph:
9 "Our source 'Proton' informed us about the contact between
10 political and military leadership in Srebrenica and leadership in
11 Sarajevo that took place early morning 6 July 1995 ..."
12 And I won't read it all, but it is about the Srebrenica
13 representatives asking for a way for Naser Oric in Tuzla to send some
15 In the last paragraph it states:
16 "RDB measures. We will continue to monitor further development
17 of situation in Srebrenica battle-field through our sources and inform
18 you about further developments in due time."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please provide the reference
20 for interpreters.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: This is the bottom last paragraph that begins "RDB
22 measures." And I'll wait a minute.
23 "We verbally informed the representatives of the VRS OB about
24 the said information source Merkur and personal observations of the
25 operative information reliable."
1 And I think there's actually a typo that I read out, I'm sorry.
2 In the first paragraph where it says "our source 'Proton'," in fact that
3 should be Merkur as well.
4 Q. So could you please tell us what this document indicates about
5 sharing or first of all about monitoring of military events by the RDB.
6 A. I guess to step back one, within the context of at least the
7 enclaves in Eastern Bosnia, it was not just the military intelligence and
8 security apparatus that was collecting information on them. The MUP
9 Ministry of Interior was impacted by those enclaves as well and collected
10 information on them.
11 So effectively within the context of the armed forces of the
12 Republika Srpska, there are three chains of information that exists by
13 which information relating to the enclaves are being passed up and down
14 the various communications chain. First you have the army reporting on
15 issues; second, that you have the police reporting on issues; and the
16 third is that you have the State Security Service reporting on issues.
17 And as indicated in this particular document, they are doing so
18 in co-operation with each other. The RDB is not keeping information from
19 the military. The military is not keeping information from the RDB.
20 They're not keeping information from the police. So all three of these
21 intelligence collectors, so to speak, are -- are working in co-operation
22 with each other to ensure that everyone has the most accurate and common
23 picture of the events as they are occurring.
24 So from that perspective, the -- the intelligence apparatuses of
25 the state are working as they should. They're also doing the second part
1 of intelligence which is they're reporting that up to the various chains
2 of command. So they're ensuring that their higher levels within both the
3 military and the Ministry of the Interior are informed of the things that
4 they are learning as well and what they are telling the VRS and what the
5 VRS is telling state security.
6 So this particular document is an excellent example of that type
7 of co-operation between the army and the MUP with respect to obtaining
8 and passing what they believe to be important information about the
9 opposing military forces in the enclave as the operation is beginning.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I would tender this, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4927, Your Honours.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. If I could now have 23658, please.
15 Q. That's at your next tab, Mr. Butler.
16 Just same topic. This is from the RS -- this is headed RS MUP,
17 RDB state security department, to Republika Srpska deputy minister of the
18 interior personally, and RS MUP public security department personally.
19 And it's dated 6th of June at the top but we see immediately that it's
20 discussing the 6th of July.
21 First of all, do you recall who the deputy minister of the
22 interior was at that time?
23 A. I believe in June and July of 1995 it was Mr. Kovac.
24 Q. And the head of public security, if you recall?
25 A. I always get him and the head of the RDB confused. I think Kajic
1 is RDB and the name is escaping me for that. I'm sure we'll see it in
2 another document.
3 Q. Okay. Can I just remind you? Is it Karisik? Does that ring a
5 A. That's -- that's the name, yes, sir.
6 Q. So this going to them and it states:
7 "Early in the morning of 6th July 1995 representatives," I'm
8 reading from the top, "of the political and military leadership of
9 Srebrenica established radio contact with the leadership in Sarajevo."
10 The Srebrenica representatives wanted some way to be found for Naser Oric
11 to return to their area urgently and it again discusses three units, as
12 did the previous document we looked at, which was dated also 6th July.
13 Could you just comment on this document as to what you started
14 talking about a moment ago about information through various branches
15 being sent up the chain.
16 A. Within the context of the armed forces of the Republika Srpska,
17 information was reported to the highest levels at least on a daily basis
18 by the Main Staff in what they would call their daily combat activities
19 report, which went to the Supreme Command, and from the MUP side they
20 also published not only daily but as necessary intelligence information
21 reports to their leadership. In the case of the MUP, it would be the
22 minister of the interior, Mr. Kovac, who again is a member of the
23 Supreme Command body.
24 So these particular documents, you know, reflect the fact that
25 there was an established mechanism, formal mechanism, by which
1 information about not only Srebrenica but the entirety of the Republika
2 Srpska and the armed conflict that was occurring and those issues from
3 both a military as well as a political perspective were transmitted to
4 the highest levels of the Republika Srpska leadership.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender that, Your Honours?
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4928, Your Honours.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. I'm going to continue to move
10 chronologically now, so we'll come back to some of these reporting issues
11 later as it works in. We were just at 6th July. I'd like to now show
12 you P04484. This is an intercept that we've looked at -- it's not an
13 intercept, excuse me. It's a dictaphone audio recording of a
14 conversation between President Karadzic and General Zivanovic that I
15 believe you hadn't seen before we met and talked about these issues this
17 A. Yes, sir, this is correct. That's the first time I'd seen this
19 Q. Now, this is at your tab 26, Mr. Butler.
20 Looking through this tape -- and it's not dated but we'll look at
21 some documents later that may help explain approximately when this
22 occurred. I won't read the entire document out, but President Karadzic
23 asks at mid point down the first page in the English:
24 [As read] "... so it looks that immediate task is completed,
1 The answer from the Drina Corps commander Zivanovic is:
2 "It is."
3 And President Karadzic asks:
4 "Are Sise" - if I pronounce it correctly - "ours?"
5 And then Zivanovic says:
6 "They are."
7 And there's a little bit of discussion about that. I'll stop
8 there. What does that refer to, Sise, if you know?
9 A. There's a series of hilltops that geographically on the map
10 are -- are south of Srebrenica, the town, that are essentially along the
11 road from Zeleni Jadar to Srebrenica. The main axis of the attack was
12 from Zeleni Jadar to Srebrenica. These hills had a -- of course a slang
13 nickname that were referred to by the local soldiers and of course the
14 leaders knew it as well, but militarily, it was recognised that for any
15 attack into or towards the actual town of Srebrenica to succeed, that the
16 Bosnian Serb military forces that were attacking were going to have to
17 take and control these hilltops. So essentially what they were referring
18 to is the fact that their forces have achieved those initial objectives
19 and that they're controlling those terrain features.
20 Q. It might be clearer let me bring up -- bring up a map and have
21 you, if you can, show us where these three features are. This would be
22 D20 in the map book, e-court page 26, I think is a good page.
23 Now, my only interest in the map at this point, Mr. Butler, when
24 it comes up is for you to just show us where these three elevations are,
25 if you can.
1 THE ACCUSED: Excuse me just a moment. Translators didn't,
2 neither we, didn't see the whole document in Serbian version so to follow
3 what is presented to witness.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: You're referring to the audio recording?
5 THE ACCUSED: Yeah, but Serbian version is not scrolled as
6 according to what you've been talking.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, what is your question about? In
8 English translation says, "Are the tits ours," but you refer to something
10 MR. NICHOLLS: No, that is what I'm referring to, Your Honours.
11 The Serbian word is "Sise." That's what I was reading --
12 JUDGE KWON: But you said in B/C/S when you referred to "tits."
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, yes. Yes. It's the three mountains that
14 are referred to as "the three tits" that are at the Zeleni Jadar area, to
15 be clear.
16 JUDGE KWON: So now you understood, Mr. Karadzic? Yes. Let's
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: We just need the map up for Mr. Butler. And
20 that's 65 ter number 23519, e-court page 26.
21 Q. Okay. And I think it's kind of towards the bottom right,
22 Mr. Butler. Is that the part we should blow-up?
23 A. Yes, sir. The lower right-hand side of the map.
24 Q. And just tell us how -- how much you need it enlarged.
25 A. That should suffice.
1 JUDGE KWON: Before we proceed, Mr. Nicholls, is this a separate
2 map or part of a --
3 MR. NICHOLLS: It's an excerpt, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: So which is zoomed in.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I'm just using it for the purpose of him
6 showing where these mountains are.
7 THE WITNESS: You'll note that I've circled in red three
8 corresponding hilltops which are what colloquially they referred to as
9 "the three tits." Militarily or geographically you can see that they
10 control or they dominate the road from Zeleni Jadar in the south towards
11 Srebrenica in the north, and that before you could launch any effective
12 attack toward Srebrenica, you had to secure those three terrain features.
13 So that was a key early military objective for the attacking forces of
14 the Army of the Republika Srpska.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. And I would tender this marked
17 JUDGE KWON: Probably it may be more useful if we zoom in
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KWON: And then let's ask the witness to mark it again.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay, Your Honour. And --
22 JUDGE KWON: So that we can see the features more clearly.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: And could you --
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, just zoom in that part. Further. We can zoom
25 in once again so that we can read the numbers even. Yes. I think that's
2 Please wait. Probably you need to push the button for the colour
3 or something. No, no. Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: Okay. So those are the ... [Marks].
5 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS:
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I'd ask to give this a number.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be Exhibit P4929.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Now if we could go back to the audio recording, P04484, that we
12 were looking at a moment ago. And that's at tab 26, Mr. Butler. And to
13 save time, I will just read a bit before it comes up. Lower down after
14 Mr. Karadzic says:
15 [As read] "That's good. We shouldn't give Sise, the tits, at any
17 And there's some laughter. And then President Karadzic says:
18 "So, what's going on? There were some blue ones with us, right?
20 "There are the blue ones on our side, right?
21 "They should be treated well.
22 "Properly, properly."
23 And then a discussion how there were no losses.
24 Based on what you know was going on at about the time that this
25 operation took place which seized the Sise, these three elevations, what
1 would that conversation about the blues refer to, do you believe?
2 A. In this context they're already taking custody of some of the UN
3 soldiers who were at check-points which the UN was observing and actually
4 had on some of these heights, and rather than fall back through the
5 battle-field area which they deemed to be too dangerous, a number of
6 these UN detachments essentially came over to the Bosnian Serb side and
7 were taken into custody by the Bosnian Serbs. So I believe that in this
8 particular context what they are discussing is the confirmation that
9 President Karadzic is aware that, you know, they -- that the Army of
10 Republika Srpska has custody of some UN peacekeepers who are there and is
11 noting that they should be taken care of.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: If we go to the next page in the English. Sorry,
14 it must be -- I may have a different version on the first page then.
15 Back to the first page of the English. Yes, first page of the English,
16 please. If we could look at the -- towards the bottom where it states:
17 [As read] "Fine. So I can't give any of the," and then there's a
18 word we can't hear, "to you. Everything is taken and only if you need
19 any large ones, it should be checked through the Main Staff. I know that
20 there is some and where it is, so we could probably reinforce you a
22 Zivanovic: "We will also need that."
23 Karadzic: "Pardon?"
24 "That will also be ... needed."
25 President Karadzic:
1 "All right, call the Main Staff up there, and I know that it came
2 in, and you can call me via Barijera and we could talk and reinforce."
3 And then a little bit further down, Zivanovic says:
4 "They're escaping that way. I've urged Gvero up there that the
5 Milici and Bratunac radio stations be put at a higher intellectual level,
6 so to speak, and to start working on it a bit through the media. I don't
7 mean soft persuasion, not persuasion."
8 Q. Now, first of all I'm going to look at some documents in a
9 minute, but based on your study of this document that we saw this
10 weekend, what is President Karadzic saying to General Zivanovic about
11 reinforcements and calling up there to the Main Staff?
12 A. Yes, sir. There -- even with the forces that they already had
13 available to them, they already knew that they were looking to get more
14 combat forces, and one of the options that was out there was potentially
15 to use some of the MUP forces that were deployed in other areas of the
16 battle-field to be reallocated to the Krivaja 95 operation. And in fact
17 if you look several days later, that is in fact exactly what happens.
18 So I mean in this context, President Karadzic is reminding
19 General Zivanovic he has a general awareness of the overall situation, he
20 knows what's going on, saying, Look, if you need those additional forces,
21 you know, begin the process of doing that through the Main Staff and we
22 may be able to get them to you.
23 Q. Okay.
24 And could we go now to the next page in English, please.
25 And continuing the conversation that we just talked about, about
1 the media and the radio stations, President Karadzic said:
2 "All right, have someone prepare instructions for the journalists
3 and I will approve them, the minister for ..."
4 And Zivanovic says:
5 "I told this to Gvero and hope it will be carried out in that
7 And then a minute later President Karadzic says:
8 "All right, just tell Krle that I can't get to him right now,
9 well, the entire MUP is engaged. I really don't have -- these from
10 Zvornik are the last reserves of these in Sarajevo, at Treskavica, in
11 fact at Trnovo.
12 Zivanovic says: "Yes."
13 President Karadzic says:
14 "So there is no other way. You have to go with your own forces."
15 First of all, do you know from your study of this what the
16 nickname Krle, whose nickname -- who that refers to?
17 A. Yes, sir. That's the nickname for General Radislav Krstic who at
18 this time is the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps but is physically
19 located now at the Drina Corps forward command post south of Srebrenica
20 where he's actively directing Krivaja 95.
21 Q. And then just a little bit further down, Karadzic towards the end
22 of the conversation says:
23 "All right, General, full speed ahead. Tell Krstic order them to
24 go full steam ahead."
25 And Zivanovic replies:
1 "We are working pretty much according to plan and it's going
2 well, and thank God that we don't have any losses. That's the key,
3 especially in these first attacks."
4 And then there's some more.
5 If you could just comment what this conversation we see tells us
6 about the Supreme Commander's ability during combat operations to consult
7 with corps commanders.
8 A. Well, I believe this particular document is illustrative of
9 several points. The most obvious one is that the Supreme Commander is
10 not limited to receiving formal reports about the military situation in
11 any particular area of the battle-field. He has the physical ability and
12 obviously in this particular case chose to exercise it to directly call
13 the corps commander of the corps that's conducting this operation,
14 General Zivanovic, to get a situational update and to directly pass on
15 instructions through General Zivanovic to his subordinate which is
16 General Krstic. So in that particular sense, it reflects the fact that
17 President Karadzic as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces is
18 engaged in this process.
19 It also reflects the fact that he has a detailed awareness of not
20 only what's happening on the ground at Srebrenica, because he has chosen
21 to inquire, but also he has detailed awareness of military operations in
22 other areas. In this respect, he's talking about the MUP forces deployed
23 at Sarajevo, Treskavica, Trnovo. And he has enough of a knowledge base
24 to know that it would be problematic at that particular point to have to
25 pull out MUP forces from one axis to reinforce the Drina Corps in another
1 one. He's not saying that it can't be done or that a way wouldn't be
2 found, but he's not making any knee-jerk reactions. He has an
3 appreciation of the various risks on other areas of the battle-field and
4 is managing those risks. So it reflects to me an individual who is
5 suitably engaged in what's happening within the context of the conflict
6 at Srebrenica.
7 Q. Thank you. I now want to go quickly through a few documents that
8 are all dated 8 July 1995 and just see if it gives us some context to the
9 phone conversation -- or the conversation, I should say, that we just
10 talked about and to help date it. The first one is --
11 JUDGE KWON: Before we do so, just out of curiosity --
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: -- if you could help us as regards who or what
14 Barijera is, when Mr. Karadzic said to inform him via Barijera on the
15 previous page.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. And I can't, unfortunately. I don't
17 believe I know the answer to that question.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. If I could just have one
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 23465, please.
23 Q. That's at tab 27, Mr. Butler, of your binder. This is a
24 Drina Corps command 8 July 1995 urgent regular combat report to the
25 Main Staff. Time stamp is processed at 19.36, and if we could look at
1 page 2, requests made by General Zivanovic. Paragraph 9.
2 "Due to the possibility of enemy attacks in the north-western
3 part of the front," I'll skip a couple words, "please engage MUP forces
4 from Zvornik, their 1st Company, through the RS MUP as reserve forces for
5 the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade on standby to intervene along the
6 endangered axis."
7 Again, signed by General Zivanovic.
8 I'd just ask you if you can comment on this paragraph and its
9 relation, if any, to the conversation we looked at.
10 A. Yes, sir. It talks about the 8 July conversations -- or not
11 conversation, but it talks about the situation on 8 July, the recognition
12 that they're receiving information that there may be other attacks
13 against the Drina Corps in part to relieve pressure on Srebrenica. In
14 this particular thing they talk about the access from Kalesija, Kladanj
15 and Olovo, and they're already talking about the possibility of a MUP --
16 the 1st MUP Company from Zvornik, which is down at Trnovo, to at least
17 put them on standby to have to deploy to these areas if the situation
19 Q. And is this a request -- you talked about earlier the way use of
20 the MUP forces worked. Is this a request, I think you used the phrase
21 "to get the process started" or something like that, to engage the MUP?
22 Is this the right way to do that?
23 A. Yes, sir, this would be an example of the correct way to do that.
24 This report would go to the Main Staff. The Main Staff, having a better
25 view of the entire battle-field, would be able to sit down and make
1 determinations as to what the overall battle-field situation was, where
2 these forces or if these forces could be redeployed or made available and
3 what risks they would assume in doing so, and would those risks be worth
4 the gain that they anticipate. So this is part of, you know, that
5 overall military planning process that's always ongoing.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd tender that, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4930, Your Honours.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. All right. Moving along to another 8 July document, Mr. Butler.
12 This is at your tab 28, P04482, please. It's a Drina Corps IKM
13 Pribicevac urgent interim combat report. And I won't read it out to save
14 time, but if you could take a look at paragraphs 2 and 5 and tell us if
15 this 8 July document relates to the conversation between Mr. Karadzic --
16 President Karadzic at the time and General Zivanovic.
17 A. Yes, sir. Again they're talking about in this particular interim
18 report, which is drafted by General Krstic who is at the forward command
19 post in Pribicevac, where this interim report is updating both the
20 command of the Drina Corps and the Main Staff on the overall combat
21 situation, and again as part of that, you know, it dovetails in with the
22 conversation that we heard previously with respect to General Zivanovic
23 and President Karadzic.
24 Q. We see in paragraph 2:
25 "Our forces seized control over the key installations on this
1 axis including the Tri Sise," the three tits.
2 And in paragraph 5 a reference to UNPROFOR forces who
3 surrendered, seven of them, to the VRS because they felt they needed to
4 be protected from Muslim forces. It says they were sent to Bratunac.
5 Is that -- does that connect to the conversation?
6 A. Yes, sir, it does.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I intervene once again? It
8 seems to me that seven were sent to Potocari. That's the first part of
9 the sentence, to their base, to Potocari.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. There's another reference to seven to
11 Bratunac, but the document says what it says.
12 JUDGE KWON: This is a document that has already been admitted.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Very quickly, if I could have 23464, please, again 8 July. This
15 is from General Zivanovic to the Main Staff, to the assistant commander
16 for morale, religious and legal affairs.
17 Q. Just recalling in the conversation there was a discussion where
18 Zivanovic said, "I already told that to Gvero," and spoke about using
19 radio stations in Milici and Bratunac. This document from Zivanovic to
20 the assistant commander for morale, religious and legal affairs
21 personally at the Main Staff, who is that?
22 A. The -- the actual assistant commander at the Main Staff would be
23 General Gvero.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. May I admit this, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4931, Your Honours.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Finally in this same -- to round up these
3 documents from 8 July, D02099.
4 Q. That's at tab 30, Mr. Butler. This is the Main Staff of the army
5 of the RS, 8 July, very urgent report to the various corps and command
6 posts but, at the top, to the president of the Republika Srpska.
7 If we could go to page 3 of the English. It's also page 3 of the
8 Serbian original. Paragraph 6. I think it's kind of self-evident, but
9 again if you can tell us where we see here on the part of the front
10 towards Srebrenica, "the Tri Sise feature was seized by us." We saw the
11 conversation with Mr. Karadzic. Can you tell us what this shows about
13 A. It just reflects the consistency of the reporting by the military
14 of the information up the chain, up the reporting chain. As it initially
15 came from the forward command post, the IKM, through the Drina Corps
16 command to the Main Staff and then is being reported by the Main Staff to
17 not only its corps and other army elements, but for the benefit primarily
18 of the president of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. Thank you. Now moving on to the next day, 9 July. I'd like to
20 show you D02080, Drina Corps IKM, Pribicevac, very urgent interim combat
21 report from Chief of Staff Radislav Krstic. It's got handwritten time
22 stamp of -- not stamp but handwritten time of 23.20, received, on the
23 bottom. And if you could just take us through this, your knowledge of
24 the chronology of the events of the fall of Srebrenica. What is Krstic
25 reporting on here? What's happened? Where is the VRS now, the night of
1 9 July, in terms of the objectives in directive 7 and Krivaja 95?
2 A. In this particular context of time, what is happening by the end
3 of the evening here of 9 July is that despite what they have described as
4 significant resistance by enemy forces, that the VRS has now taken all of
5 the relevant necessary terrain features to the south of Srebrenica which
6 would not only allow them to move north now into the town of Srebrenica,
7 but as they've also noted, we've taken additional terrain features which
8 serve to physically separate the known smuggling and communication routes
9 between Srebrenica and Zepa or -- essentially cutting the military
10 communications routes between the two enclaves. General Krstic is
11 essentially saying, We've achieved all of the initial objectives laid out
12 in Krivaja 95, and as a result, the conditions are now set for us to
13 continue to advance and again carry out a decisive attack towards
15 So I mean he's -- he's relatively optimistic about what is --
16 what he's accomplished so far and is making sure that the Drina Corps
17 command as well as the Main Staff are aware of the fact that, you know,
18 as he sees it, the initial and potentially the hardest phase of the
19 operation is completed, is done successfully, and now the stage is set
20 for the next follow-on, which is to really push towards the urban area of
21 Srebrenica as far as he can.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'd like to look now at P02276. Again from
24 9 July.
25 Q. This is the next tab in your binder, Mr. Butler. Main Staff to
1 the president for information. To the Drina Corps IKM, where we just saw
2 General Krstic was. And to Generals Gvero and Krstic personally, it
3 states. The Chamber has even this before so I won't go through every
4 line of it, but it starts off:
5 "The President of Republika Srpska has been informed of
6 successful combat operations around Srebrenica by units of the
7 Drina Corps and that they have achieved results which enable them to
8 occupy the very town of Srebrenica. The President of the Republic is
9 satisfied with the results of combat operations throughout Srebrenica and
10 has agreed with the continuation of operations for the take-over of
11 Srebrenica, disarming of Muslim terrorist gangs, and complete
12 demilitarisation of the Srebrenica enclave."
13 And then the president has ordered to ensure that UNPROFOR
14 members and Muslim civilians are protected and guaranteed safety,
15 et cetera, and to obey the Geneva Conventions and not burn down homes.
16 There are stamps here for 2350 hours on 9 July. The other stamp
17 we saw was 23.20.
18 I would just like your view on this document, what it indicates
19 about Karadzic as Supreme Commander at this time, July 1995, receiving
20 reports from the field and being able to make decisions and issue orders
21 based on those reports, if you can.
22 A. Well, certainly within the time-frame, this is a classic example
23 of two orders passing each other in the night about the same time. You
24 can infer that at some juncture prior to him actually writing out his
25 interim report, General Krstic has at least verbally briefed his
1 commander, the Drina Corps, and the Main Staff, about the military
2 situation and the opportunities that are available. So that even before
3 they receive his interim report officially on paper, they have enough
4 information to go forward and brief the Supreme Commander as to the
5 ongoing military situation, the current opportunities that are available
6 to the army as a result of successful operations to date, and to, you
7 know, receive guidance as to what should be the next objective or, in
8 this particular context, the final objective.
9 So even though when you look at the time stamps of the documents
10 coming back and forth, it's clear that there's a very detailed discussion
11 going on between the military commanders on the ground and the
12 Main Staff, and that they're comfortable enough with the overall picture
13 that they brief the president of the republic about what opportunities
14 are out there, what are the potential military objectives that could be
15 taken, and in fact this particular document reflects that the Main Staff
16 did that and that they received the authorisation from the president of
17 the republic to actually move forwards and occupy the town of Srebrenica.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tolimir -- sorry. Mr. Butler. I apologise. If
20 you could help us understand the structure in which this kind of order is
21 sent out -- why -- why General Tolimir is sending out this order. And
22 where were General Mladic -- Mladic or General Milovanovic? Why were
23 they skipped, if you could?
24 THE WITNESS: I don't -- well, in the case of
25 General Milovanovic, I won't say that he was skipped, but certainly we
1 can account for his absence based on the fact that he was dealing with
2 issues in the Krajina during this period. I don't know that in the case
3 of General Mladic, whether General Mladic was personally present at the
4 Supreme Command briefing General Mladic [sic] and that what you're
5 looking at is Mladic calling General Tolimir back at the Main Staff
6 headquarters to relay the order to General Krstic or whether or not
7 General Mladic was not physically present because he was en route to
8 somewhere else, but General Tolimir as the senior officer there was doing
9 in effect -- representing General Mladic.
10 This particular document doesn't lay it specifically out that --
11 that framework of who attended that meeting. So I mean, I can't infer
12 too much about whether or not various military officials were or were not
13 skipped. I don't -- from my historical research on this particular
14 document and everything else, there's nothing irregular about it in the
15 sense that it's General Tolimir relaying the message to General Krstic
16 and General Gvero, who we know on the 9th of July is at the forward
17 command post. I don't know again where General Mladic was and whether he
18 was the person physically briefing General Karadzic -- I'm sorry,
19 President Karadzic, whether he was en route somewhere else, and how these
20 orders were relayed through General -- from General -- or from the
21 Supreme Commander to General Tolimir. So I mean, it's just not implicit
22 in the actual document.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated] It might be a good time.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It's time. We will break for an hour and
1 resume at 1.30. In the meantime, if you could excuse yourself for a
2 moment, there's one thing I would like to deal with in private session.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE KWON: Could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
5 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will resume at 1.30.
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Okay, Mr. Butler, if you could go to tab 34 in your binder.
25 That's 65 ter 23686, a document from 10th of July, another RDB Bijeljina
1 document signed by that centre chief, Goran Radovic. And I'm just going
2 to ask some more questions now as we move along chronologically about
3 information being shared and processed.
4 This document has handwritten on the top right: "For the VRS
5 security department," signed by Dragan somebody. We don't have the last
6 name. More RDB intelligence. The first paragraph states:
7 "Please be informed that the VRS units deployed in Srebrenica
8 battle-field further moved the front line reaching the line Pribicevac
9 Olivine, Bojna," and then some elevations, "and Pusmulici in the late
10 evening hours of 9 July ..."
11 And states at the bottom:
12 "We will continue to monitor further developments of situation in
13 Srebrenica battle-field through our sources and inform you about these
14 further developments in due time."
15 Now before I ask you a question about that if I could have
16 65 ter 23687 up and I'll ask you a question about both documents. That's
17 tab 35, Mr. Butler, the next one.
18 This document is from the RS MUP state security department
19 Sarajevo, signed by head of RDB Dragan Kijac, to the deputy minister of
20 the interior personally, and we established that that was Tomo Kovac.
21 And in the first paragraph it begins:
22 "On 9 July this year, the army -- VRS units on the Srebrenica
23 battle-field shifted the front line," and contains the same information
24 as we saw in the one from Goran Radovic of the Bijeljina centre, "up."
25 So if you look at these two documents together, can you again
1 just comment on what it says to you, including the reference in the first
2 document that it's to be shared with VRS security?
3 A. Yes, sir. I believe this reflects a positively functioning
4 information and intelligence chain where information is being collected
5 at the lower levels. It is being disseminated up to the various chains
6 to the leadership levels, first to the head of the RDB, which then uses
7 the same information to send it to the minister, in this case the deputy
8 minister of the interior and the head of the public security department.
9 And it notes in the initial document that the information is also being
10 shared with the army. So it reflects the continuing close co-ordination
11 and co-operation that the intelligence collection and reporting units or
12 agencies have at the lowest level and rising upwards through the
13 information chain on making sure that all parties have a detailed view of
14 what is happening and, again, more importantly, making sure that that
15 accurate detailed view is being transmitted to their superiors.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: May I tender those two documents, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: They will be admitted as Exhibits P4932 and P4933
19 respectively, Your Honours.
20 MR. NICHOLLS:
21 Q. All right. Now I'd like to look at another MUP document from
22 10 July, the same day. This is at tab 38, Mr. Butler.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P02992. That may be the wrong
25 That's the correct document. Thank you.
1 Q. Now, you talk about this in your revised narrative at pages 32 to
2 33, paragraph 3.20, and you footnote it in your brigade command report at
3 footnotes 140, 141, and 142, and in the revised narrative at 194, 195,
4 and some other places. I won't read them all because it's footnoted
5 quite a lot.
6 This is the 10 July order type-signed by Tomo Kovac. Pursuant to
7 the order of the Supreme Commander of the RS and in order to crush enemy
8 offences being carried out from the safe area of Srebrenica. I won't ask
9 you any specific questions right now. I'd like you to just explain the
10 significance of this document which you included in your reports.
11 A. In this context, the significance is reflected at the very
12 beginning where it talks about, you know, an order -- based on an order
13 from the Supreme Commander of the armed forces and for the purpose of
14 defeating, crushing, the enemy offensive from the Srebrenica protected
15 zone, a series of orders are being given out by Mr. Kovac. This
16 dovetails with the provisions of the Republika Srpska Law on the Interior
17 Ministry during time of imminent threat of war or state of war, where it
18 discusses the fact that when the MUP units are going to be used by army
19 forces, then it's the MUP that decides what forces they are and to what
20 degree that they will be resubordinated to the army and under what
22 So they're particularly identifying which units will be pulled
23 out from which battle-field areas, who is going to be in command of those
24 particular units, when they're supposed to depart, where they're supposed
25 to go, and in paragraph 5, when they arrive at that location, who that
1 they're supposed to report to. In this case, General Krstic, the Chief
2 of Staff of the Drina Corps.
3 Q. Thank you. And we see in here in paragraph 2 that one of the
4 units -- well, the units are the 2nd Special Detachment -- the
5 2nd Sekovici Detachment of the Special Police, the 1st Company of the PJP
6 unit from Zvornik SJB, and then the mixed company of the joint RSK
7 Serbian and RS MUP forces. But speaking of the 1st Company from Zvornik,
8 can you link that at all to the telephone -- to the conversation we saw a
9 couple of days earlier between President Karadzic and General Zivanovic
10 and the subsequent request by General Zivanovic for the 1st Company from
11 Zvornik to assist?
12 A. Yes, sir. I believe that that's the same unit, so of the number
13 of military -- of Special Police Units that they're getting, certainly
14 one of them is the unit that they specifically asked for, the
15 1st PJP Company from Zvornik CSB.
16 Q. And in fact -- and we'll see some more documents later, but based
17 on your research and understanding, did Commander Borovcanin and these
18 units come and assist on the Srebrenica battle-field or the Srebrenica
20 A. Yes, sir. They ultimately arrived in the Bratunac area in the
21 late afternoon of the 11th of July, 1995. So by then the town of
22 Srebrenica had already been captured by the VRS forces advancing from
23 Zeleni Jadar, but, you know, the 1st Sekovici Detachment did arrive, the
24 1st PJP Company did arrive. The one company from Jahorina training
25 centre did arrive. The one unit that did not appear to come down there
1 to participate was the joint MUP forces of the Republic of Serb Krajina,
2 Serbia and the Republika Srpska. There's no evidence that that
3 particular mixed company ever showed up at Potocari on the 11th with the
4 other formations.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. If I could quickly look now at P02242,
6 e-court page 89 in English and Serbian.
7 Q. And this is at your tab 36, Mr. Butler. And this is
8 President Karadzic's appointment diary for 10 July 1995, when it comes
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I think we need page 89, if I have my
11 numbers right. There we go.
12 And we see the entry at 1700, Dragan Kijac and Milenko Karisik
13 meeting with the president the same day that this MUP order was issued
14 sending the units.
15 Q. Bearing in mind that this is the head of state security and head
16 of public security meeting with Mr. Karadzic that day at that time, can
17 you comment on what this tells you, if anything, about the communications
18 of information from the field up to the Supreme Commander?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that this calls for
21 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I was actually think the very
22 same thing, and also believe that this is really beyond the expertise of
23 this witness. There's nothing more that he can add as a military analyst
24 to what you can already infer from the evidence, and I don't believe that
25 this is a necessary part of his expertise in which his opinion would be
1 helpful to the Chamber.
2 JUDGE KWON: But the MUP was part of armed forces of the Serb --
3 Republika Srpska.
4 MR. ROBINSON: That's absolutely true, but you now have before
5 you the fact that these two people met with Dr. Karadzic and that there'd
6 been this communication and what can he tell you any more than what --
7 he's inferring just the same the thing that you can infer. There's
8 nothing from your military expertise that would inform you or assist you
9 about. It's just speculating and drawing inferences that the Chamber
10 should be drawing itself.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Can I hear your position, Mr. Nicholls.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I disagree, Your Honour. As you say, it's a
13 member -- these -- the MUP is a branch of the armed forces which
14 President Karadzic as Supreme Commander commands. These two men are the
15 head of two branches, the state security and public security of the MUP.
16 It's no different than if Mr. -- President Karadzic at this time is
17 meeting with a VRS subordinate, such as he meets later with Petar Skrbic,
18 for example, during this time period, and he's communicating as we've
19 seen with other -- and we will see with General Gvero during this time
21 So I think it's completely within this expert witness's remit to
22 talk about the significance -- I haven't asked him to say what they
23 talked about or speculate on the topic, but to talk about whether the
24 fact that the Supreme Commander not only receives reports, calls
25 commanders in the field, but actually meets in his office with his
1 subordinates during critical periods of a military campaign at the same
2 time that important military orders are being issued has any significance
3 to the way communication and command is exercised, because probably in
4 some cases commanders don't meet in person in their offices with
5 subordinates in this manner.
6 JUDGE KWON: I understand your point but the issue is whether we
7 need the assistance of this witness to interpret this event. I will
8 consult my colleagues.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. --
10 JUDGE KWON: I will hear from Mr. Nicholls, yes.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I was just going to say I don't know what the
12 answer will be, but it's conceivable that personal meetings with
13 commanders are part of a rubric that the witness can comment on that adds
14 something to the picture in addition to other forms of communication
15 through phone, radio, or written reports.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
17 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Just in brief reply. The
18 example of Petar Skrbic is an excellent one, because you have a similar
19 situation. Petar Skrbic meets with Dr. Karadzic during this time period.
20 We're fortunate enough to have his testimony here, and he testified that
21 he never discussed anything about Srebrenica during that time. So to ask
22 for comments for this -- from this witness is just the kind of
23 speculation that you don't need any help in making. Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Butler hasn't come as a fact
1 witness, and the Chamber can draw its own conclusion on these facts, so
2 we don't think we need his assistance in interpreting this event. Let's
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
5 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, moving up to -- just moving quickly to
6 11th of July.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: And to try to save a little bit of time, I'll just
8 bring these intercepts up quickly. Could I have P40629.
9 Q. That's at tab 42, Mr. Butler.
10 JUDGE KWON: Number again.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, P04629. My mistake. Sorry.
12 Q. This is an intercepted conversation between General Gvero and
13 President Karadzic at 16.23. And do you recall -- I won't ask questions
14 about it now, but do you recall having seen and read this intercept
16 A. Yes, sir, in a different iteration. I am familiar with this
17 particular intercept.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Now could I have P04630.
20 Q. It's at tab 43, Mr. Butler. Twenty minutes later, so at
21 approximately 16.43, on the same day. Now, in the first intercept we saw
22 General Gvero saying everything's going according to plan, don't worry,
23 and in this one we see - I won't go through it because of time - the
24 conversation where we can only see what General Gvero is saying.
25 [As read] "President, Serbian silver, the Serbian church, the
1 Serbian flag. But they don't have a reason for it. The Turks probably
2 shot at them, if they shot at all at UNPROFOR. They are in the air
3 again. They are setting up again like before. Good, President, good
5 The last one in the series, P04633, just about the same time on
6 11 July, 16.41. This intercept in which we can hear President Karadzic:
7 "They're not allowed to attack us."
8 The unidentified person:
9 "They have no reason probably."
10 Some of the same words.
11 And Karadzic says:
12 "Yes, I believe so, but if they start diving, shoot them down."
13 Now what I'd like to ask you is about what this tells you, from
14 your military background, about the level of communications available to
15 the Supreme Commander to contact a member -- one of his generals in these
17 A. Putting the three together, there are three general thematics
18 that they're discussing. The first one is the acknowledgment that the
19 VRS has captured Srebrenica. They're talking about who, if anybody, has
20 been firing on UNPROFOR. And then the third issue that they are
21 discussing is the fact that, again, having been previously attacked by
22 NATO Air Forces over the Srebrenica enclave, and I think those air
23 attacks went in at about 1300, 1400 on the 11th of July, they are noting
24 that there is still aircraft flying over the enclave and instructions
25 being passed what to do if they're attacked again.
1 In light of the obvious political sensitivity of all three
2 issues, it's not surprising that the president of the republic would be
3 personally inquiring as to what the situation is, what the army was doing
4 or intended to do about things, and telling General Gvero what
5 instructions should be followed. It reflects that when it mattered and
6 when it was deemed important to the supreme leader or the Supreme
7 Commander in this case, he wasn't shy about directly reaching out to his
8 subordinate military officers in order to get an accurate picture of what
9 was happening and to ensure that they understood what his guidance was
10 under those circumstances.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'd now like to move to P04450. We
12 won't go through all of the VRS Main Staff reports to the president, the
13 daily reports during this period, but this one I'd like to.
14 Q. This is at your tab 46, Mr. Butler.
15 And if we look at page 3 of the English and of the Serbian, we
16 can see the section on the Drina Corps zone of responsibility. At the
17 bottom of subsection (a), The enemy, it states:
18 "In the Srebrenica enclave the enemy has been putting up fierce
19 resistance to VRS units. The NATO Air Force has been pounding our forces
20 in the following sectors," et cetera. "An interim report on the
21 situation in Srebrenica and the NATO Air Force is forthcoming."
22 (B), Situation in the corps. If we can turn the page.
23 "The corps units are in a state of full combat readiness. The
24 main forces are being used to mount a persistent defence and part of
25 these forces are involved in offensive operations around the Srebrenica
1 enclave. In the course of the day, our forces entered the town of
2 Srebrenica," and it says that more reports will be coming.
3 This is from General Miletic. He's at the Main Staff. Can you
4 just discuss here the portion I've read out, the reporting on the entry
5 of the forces into Srebrenica, and comment on the accuracy and working of
6 the VRS chain of information up to the president.
7 A. This is a reflection again of the fact that the president is
8 being kept adequately informed by at least one of the three existing
9 reporting chains that -- that are documented, in this case the military
10 reporting chain. We have an opportunity, when we look at the documents,
11 to see that the reporting is going from the lower military units to the
12 intermediate units to the Main Staff, it's being then processed and it's
13 going directly to, you know, the president of the Republika Srpska, and
14 it's consistent with what the president of the Republika Srpska is
15 hearing from other individuals associated with the army, for example,
16 that discussion with General Gvero. It's a reflection that at this
17 particular point this reporting chain is working just as it's supposed to
18 be working.
19 Q. Now, since we're not going to go through every single one for
20 July 1995, if you've reviewed them, can you just tell us generally your
21 view of the reporting during this month these -- and I'm speaking
22 specifically about these VRS Main Staff reports which go up every day to
23 the president, since we won't look at every single one.
24 A. From my review of them in previous situations, they reflect a
25 consistent and conscientious effort by the military to accurately report
1 on the facts from lower levels to higher echelon levels to the Main Staff
2 and ultimately to the president of the republic. There's details --
3 obviously, as you go higher up the chains, you know, the smaller details
4 tend to get left out because individuals deem that, you know, that's not
5 newsworthy to the President of Republika Srpska. But when you look at
6 the body of reports from the forward operating units to the highest
7 levels, I mean you can certainly see the consistency of the reporting.
8 As we call it in the US military, the major muscle movements are all the
9 same. It's just a question of how much minutia from any particular unit
10 is deemed valuable enough so that the president of the republic needs to
11 know of it.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to now bring up D202055. This is the
14 decision on the appointment of the civilian commissioner for the Serbian
15 municipality of Srebrenica.
16 Q. We're still going in chronological order. It's 11 July 1995,
17 signed by President Karadzic. This is footnoted in your Srebrenica
18 revised narrative, footnotes 199 to 201. It's at tab 47, Mr. Butler.
19 And what I wanted to ask you about was paragraph 4 specifically.
20 It states, and I'll read it while it's coming up in the English -- oh,
21 there it is.
22 "The commissioner shall ensure that all civilian and military
23 organs treat all citizens who participated in combat against the
24 Army of Republika Srpska as prisoners of war and ensure that the civilian
25 population can freely choose where they will live or move to."
1 And can you just comment about what it says here in paragraph 4?
2 Who's responsible at this point for the treatment of prisoners of war
3 under the regulations and practice as you understood it?
4 A. I don't read -- I mean, in short, I don't read paragraph 4 to
5 reflect that the president of the republic has given Miroslav Deronjic
6 the responsibility for the treatment of all prisoners of war. His job is
7 to ensure that civilian and military organisations are treating them as
8 such in the prescribed manner, but he ultimately isn't responsible for
9 that. The prisoners initially are in the custody of the military or the
10 police units that capture them. How the prisoners are going to be
11 detained, the protocols, and who they ultimately belong to within the
12 context of the state of the Republika Srpska are well defined in the
13 applicable regulations as to the Law of Armed Conflict on the former SFRY
14 which the JNA -- or which the VRS adopted.
15 So again, while Mr. Deronjic's job may have been to, you know,
16 monitor what was happening with these individual units and presumably if
17 they were not being complied with report that up to Karadzic as the
18 president of the republic, Miroslav Deronjic of himself would not have
19 had the authority to tell the military units or the police units that
20 they had to stop or do certain things with them. I mean, that authority
21 remained vested with the appropriate military and police organs as part
22 of the armed forces and ultimately with President Karadzic as the head of
23 the state.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. Now moving into 12 July, and we'll
1 start moving a little bit quicker, I think, through the days. I'd like
2 to look at 65 ter 21950.
3 Q. This is at tab 51, Mr. Butler. This is the RS Ministry of the
4 Interior police force staff Pale order from the next day, 12 July 1995.
5 "In order to take over urgent task of mopping up the terrain in
6 the Srebrenica sector, I hereby order:
7 "1 --" I'll wait, for the interpreters, until the document comes
9 JUDGE KWON: I was told, Mr. Nicholls, that it hasn't been
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Oh.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, yes.
13 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, excuse me. Just while we're waiting
14 for the document to come up, I just want to note that I'll need
15 five minutes at the end of this session to raise something in private
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated] All right. I'll come
19 back to that one.
20 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll come back to that one in a minute.
23 Let's look at another 12 July document. This is P04680. It's an
24 intercept of a conversation on 12 July, 0735 hours. Actually, I think
25 this should not be broadcast perhaps, but I can read the main text.
1 It's an intercept of a conversation between Krstic and
2 Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic.
3 Q. Now, first question: Was there a Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic
4 in the Drina Corps?
5 A. Yes, sir. Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic was the chief of
6 transportation services for the Drina Corps in July of 1995.
7 Q. And at this point General Krstic is Chief of Staff still;
9 A. Correct, sir.
10 Q. Can you just tell us your understanding of what this document
11 is -- the significance of it at 7.35 in the morning of the 12th of July,
12 before the last Hotel Fontana meeting?
13 JUDGE KWON: But before Mr. Butler answers the question, I'm not
14 sure whether we should not broadcast this. I think -- I was told that
15 this is admitted publicly.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: In that that case, I apologise, Your Honour. We
17 can broadcast. I just wasn't sure.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Butler.
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir. Well, at this point in time this
20 particular intercept discussion is relating to the knowledge of both
21 parties, General Krstic and Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, where they're
22 talking about buses from various locations, various municipalities, are
23 going to be arriving at the Bratunac area at a certain time, and in this
24 context by 1700, and they're going to make sure they arrive and all of
25 the other associated work that needs to be done with them is done.
1 There are a number of other documents that are in my report which
2 reflect earlier orders from the Main Staff and requested from the
3 Main Staff to the Ministry of Defence where they're requesting the
4 mobilisation of buses from various municipalities to go to Bratunac at
5 this time. So these orders are going out sometime during the late
6 evening hours of the 11th, early morning hours of the 12th of July, 1995,
7 and so this conversation kind of is on the back end of that process where
8 you now have the local military individuals, General Krstic and
9 Colonel Krsmanovic discussing the issues of inbound buses.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I think I can go back to 65 ter 21950. And
11 that's at tab 51, Mr. Butler.
12 All right. This is again type-signed by Deputy Minister Tomislav
13 or Tomo Kovac, dated 12 July 1995, very urgent, to the command centre for
14 the breeding and training of police dogs.
15 "In order to take over urgent task of mapping up the terrain in
16 the Srebrenica sector, I hereby order:
17 "1. Urgently dispatch all available guides with police dogs to
18 the Srebrenica sector.
19 "2. Upon arrival in Srebrenica contact Ljubisa Borovcanin,
20 deputy commander of the Special Police Brigade who commands the police
21 forces in Srebrenica, and make arrangements on what to do next."
22 And can you just tell us at this point, 12 July 1995, the order
23 from Tomo Kovac assigning these units, can you comment on what that shows
24 about the way MUP forces are being deployed at this time in this
1 A. Yes, sir. We know from other documents that at this time there
2 are at least the three MUP companies that are there by the afternoon or
3 early evening hours of the 11th of July. The commander of those forces
4 was Mr. Borovcanin. The implied issue behind this is that for whatever
5 reason Mr. Borovcanin believed that he required to have these dogs from
6 the training centre, he made the formal request to the police staff and
7 that request was granted. So a functional chain of command in this case.
8 A subordinate makes a request. It goes to the higher staff, in this case
9 the police staff, and in the name of the minister of the interior, the
10 order is given and these dog guide units are, in fact, sent to
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P02995, please.
14 Q. This is at tab 54, Mr. Butler. Another MUP document.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we ask Mr. Nicholls to show
16 us the entire page. Hopefully there is a receipt stamp indicating when
17 Kovac received it and the time.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: My original copy doesn't have any time stamp.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I've been reminded. May I tender
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4934, Your Honours.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Now, if you take a look at this document, Mr. Butler, it's from
1 the RS Minister of the Interior, or the office of the minister, 12 July.
2 Again from Deputy Minister Tomo Kovac. This one does have a time at the
3 top, 0235 hours. Again, very urgent. It's to the Zvornik public
4 security centre chief. And just if you recall, do you remember who was
5 the chief in Zvornik in July 1995?
6 A. That would be Mr. Vasic, sir.
7 Q. Thank you. And what we see here is that Tomo Kovac is sending a
8 full text of the order of the President of Republika Srpska down to
9 Zvornik. And if we look at page 2, we see that on the basis of the above
10 order by President Karadzic, Deputy Minister Kovac has issued the
11 following order: Establish a public security station in Srebrenica on
12 12 July, appoint commanding officers, et cetera, take all necessary steps
13 to ensure the protection of vital and other business facilities and
14 property in general, the safety of citizens, and prevent the commission
15 of crimes and breaches of law and order. And while implementing these
16 measures ensure close co-operation with civil commissioner
17 Miroslav Deronjic. Send daily reports on the progress of implementing
18 the above measures to the office of the minister referring to the
19 dispatch number as stated above.
20 So if you can, if you have an opinion on this document, what is
21 the significance of this order and the transmission of the president's
22 order this way?
23 A. Well, at its base value, it's an accurate reflection of how the
24 order chain works, at least on the Ministry of the Interior side. When
25 you read into the document, it reflects that the individuals have
1 received by some means an awareness of what is happening in the town of
2 Srebrenica and what steps need to be taken there in order to assert or
3 reassert appropriate civilian control of the town. So in this case, I
4 mean they're aware of what needs to happen. They're sending out various
5 orders. They're reflecting that they know who needs to be co-operated
6 with. In this case it's Mr. Deronjic. And again a verbatim listing of
7 what orders are to be accomplished. And the fifth one that closes the
8 loop on the orders and reporting chain is paragraph 5, where there is the
9 expectation or order, if you were, just -- that daily reports on the
10 progress of implementing these measures are to be sent to the office of
11 the minister.
12 So it's not a question of an order being given and no thought
13 whatsoever as to whether or not compliance is -- is voluntary or
14 whatever. He's making it clear that, you know, I want daily reports on
15 this to ensure that -- that all aspects of the order are being complied
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: And we can see if we look at the first page of
19 this document again that its number is 407/95.
20 I'd like to now go -- this -- this exhibit has two exhibit
21 numbers, Your Honour, the next one. It's P02996, and it's also P04373.
22 So it's a duplicate, but either one of those, if I could have it up.
23 Q. This is a document from chief of the CJB Zvornik, Dragomir Vasic.
24 It's in tab 53, Mr. Butler. And we see at the top, Re: Dispatch number
25 and it includes 40795. Acting -- in paragraph 1:
1 "Acting in accordance with your dispatch I contacted the civilian
2 commissioner in Bratunac, Miroslav Deronjic.
3 "2. A meeting with General Mladic and General Krstic was held at
4 the Bratunac Brigade command at 0800 hours," this is still 12 July, "at
5 which tasks were assigned to all the participants.
6 "3. The military operation is continuing according to plan. The
7 Turks are fleeing towards Suceska while the civilians have gathered in
8 Potocari, about 15.000."
9 And then it goes on to talk about the establishment of the police
10 station in Srebrenica, and in paragraph 5:
11 "A meeting will be held at 10.00 with representatives of UNPROFOR
12 and the International Red Cross and a Muslim representative from
13 Srebrenica at which an agreement will be reached on the evacuation of the
14 civilian population from Potocari to Kladanj."
15 It's got in parentheses: "For them to have more problems there."
16 It talks about trailer trucks for transport.
17 And then 6:
18 "Joint police forces," which we've seen in earlier documents,
19 "are advancing on Potocari with the aim of taking UNPROFOR personnel
20 prisoner, surrounding the entire civilian population and clearing the
21 terrain of enemy groups."
22 "You will be promptly informed of further facts and
23 developments," in number 8.
24 So I'd like your comment on this document keeping in mind the one
25 we just saw from Tomo Kovac with the same number.
1 A. The previous document was the order with instructions to report
2 back on compliance. This particular document is the first from
3 Dragomir Vasic which essentially acknowledges, "I have received the
4 order, and I am carrying out -- or beginning the process of carrying out
5 the instructions that I've received." More than even that, Mr. Vasic is
6 also providing additional information back to the benefit of the police
7 forces staff in the office the minister as to what is happening in and
8 around the Srebrenica area with respect to meetings with the military
9 personnel, General Mladic and General Krstic, about tasks being assigned
10 to participants, the military situation as Mr. Vasic understands it at
11 the time, meetings that are upcoming with UNPROFOR and other
12 representatives, and even noting that trailer trucks -- or in this case
13 over a hundred trailer trucks have been provided for transport already.
14 So even above noting that he has received and is complying with
15 the orders, he's providing additional information to ensure that his
16 superiors have full situational awareness.
17 Q. Thank you. And just -- we've heard a lot of evidence on it. I'm
18 not going to try to go through all the events in Potocari on the
19 12th with you, but just remind us, what's the situation, if you recall,
20 on the ground in Potocari early morning on the 12th of July?
21 A. At this point in time, the VRS and the police units have not yet
22 moved into Potocari. They don't do that until after the third meeting
23 which takes place beginning at 10.00 at the Hotel Fontana. So at this
24 place in -- what you have in Potocari right now are the number of
25 civilians from Srebrenica who have fled to Potocari, and they are still
1 under the positive control of the Dutch UNPROFOR battalion forces that
2 are in Potocari. So that is the situation as it exists in Potocari when
3 this dispatch is being sent out.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could now have 65 ter 3990.
6 Q. That's at tab 55, Mr. Butler. Another dispatch from chief of
7 CJB. It's -- it says "illegible," but that would be Vasic. This is
8 12 July 1995. Very urgent. In the original we can see that handwritten
9 at the top it says "Vasic." On the right. It's to police headquarters
10 in Bijeljina and the office of the minister in Pale. And begins stating
11 that at 1030 hours, a meeting was held at a hotel in Bratunac attended by
12 the following: General Mladic, chief of centre Vasic, Miroslav Deronjic,
13 president of the Municipal Assembly and Executive Council in Bratunac,
14 Colonel Karremans, and I won't read through all the names of the people
15 there, and then goes through a set of conclusions.
16 According to Muslims there are 25.000 people in the base at
17 Potocari, mainly small children, women and the elderly, and only
18 10 per cent are conscripts from 17 to 60 years old. They want to leave
19 the camp voluntarily and go to Tuzla or Kladanj and they request
20 assistance. They also request the free passage for able-bodied men
21 because allegedly they are unarmed and they are not in contact with their
22 army in the woods.
23 Number 4: "After inspection depending on Mladic's decision,
24 able-bodied men may be allowed to go in order to have others in the woods
25 to surrender since our command urge them to do so."
1 Five: "Acting upon President Karadzic's order which was conveyed
2 to us today over the phone, the 2nd Company of the Zvornik PJP,
3 two platoons, 60 men, shall be dispatched to Srebrenica with the task to
4 secure all facilities of vital importance in the town and protect them
5 from looting and misappropriation. They will carry out the task without
6 co-operation of the military police which is busy with other tasks.
7 "A platoon of this company will lie in ambush at Ravni Buljim,
8 since Muslim groups were been spotted fleeing along this axis. You will
9 be informed of further developments and facts."
10 Can you comment on this document now after the last Hotel Fontana
11 meeting on the 12th and what it says about the communications and command
12 within the MUP chain?
13 A. With respect to the information that Mr. Vasic is providing, I
14 mean he's making a concerted and diligent effort to ensure that his
15 superiors are informed of all of the developments that occurred relative
16 to that third meeting, informing them of what General Mladic and the
17 military have decided, what they have heard from the Muslims as to the
18 number of civilians in Potocari and out of that number of civilians what
19 the Muslims believe to be the percentage of military-aged men.
20 It talks about the fact that General Mladic has made a decision
21 regarding potentially screening the able-bodied men and that he may allow
22 them to go as part of an effort to get other people to surrender.
23 Paragraph 5 is particularly noteworthy insomuch as the fact that,
24 you know, it notes a -- that Mr. Vasic received a telephonic order over
25 the phone to dispatch elements of another PJP company to Srebrenica, and
1 it was noted again -- whether it was President Karadzic personally
2 calling or whether or not the person who called told Vasic that the order
3 comes from President Karadzic is not quite clear, but certainly Mr. Vasic
4 took it as an order from a proper authority and is letting his superiors
5 in the chain of command, MUP chain of command, know that he is complying
6 with it.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. May I tender this, Your Honours?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be admitted.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4935, Your Honours.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Now D0 --
11 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. Could I now have D02023.
13 Q. This is at tab 56, Mr. Butler. This is a 12 July, 1240 hours
14 intercept. And I'll just bring it up and then we'll go to another
15 intercept from the same day.
16 This is at -- we can see frequency 785.000, channel 5. It's
17 headed: Inaudible, Panorama X-Y. Just again remind us what Panorama is?
18 A. Yes, sir. Panorama is the telephonic code-name for the
19 Main Staff of the VRS.
20 Q. And it says:
21 [As read] "This morning," at the bottom, "we organised it here.
22 We'll give them everything I talked with them and we will accept all of
23 the civilians who want to and they can stay. Those who don't want to can
24 choose where they'll go."
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, if I could have P04254. That might be MFI'd.
1 This is another frequency, same channel, ten minutes later, between
2 General Mladic and an unidentified male person. I'll just read it
4 X says: "Go ahead, General."
5 Mladic says: "Have these buses and trucks left?"
6 X: "They have."
7 Mladic: "When?"
8 X: "Ten minutes ago."
9 Mladic: "Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the situation.
10 Don't let small groups of them sneak in. They've all capitulated and
11 surrendered and we'll evacuate them all - those who want to and those who
12 don't want to."
13 X: "I understand, General."
14 And then there's some more conversation which I won't read out.
15 What I want to ask you is: Militarily, what is the situation now
16 at 12.50 on the 12th of July facing the VRS in Potocari in terms of
17 threats or presence of the ABiH?
18 A. In Potocari?
19 Q. In that -- yes, in Potocari where the civilians are gathered?
20 A. Militarily there isn't any. At this juncture and time, the
21 police and military forces that came down the road over the Yellow Bridge
22 and into Potocari from the Bratunac area have entered the compound.
23 Buses and trucks have entered the compound. They are already dealing
24 with sorting individuals and putting the first people on buses. I
25 believe the first bus convoy leaves Potocari somewhere around between
1 12.00 and 1230 hours on the 12th of July. And it's eminently clear to
2 everyone that's there that there are no organised military forces of the
3 ABiH at Potocari. It is completely demilitarised in the sense that not
4 only is it mostly women, children, and elderly, those military-aged men
5 who were there, they're not armed, and there's no indication overtly that
6 they're even members of the armed forces. So they would have had that
7 awareness very early on once the VRS and police forces entered Potocari
8 on the 12th of July.
9 Q. Now, slightly wider than Potocari, what is the military situation
10 for the VRS in the former enclave this time around 1.00 p.m. on the 12th?
11 A. By about 1300 on the 12th, the VRS which had been getting
12 persistent reports of small enemy groups forming in columns near Jaglici
13 and Susnjari and working their way out of the enclave and attempting to
14 cross the road at Nova Kasaba and Konjevic Polje, there are now becoming
15 enough of those reports that there's a -- a serious recognition on the
16 part of the army that the forces of the ABiH aren't where they thought
17 they were. The army's position going into the morning of 12 July 1995
18 was that since they did not encounter the bulk of the 28th Infantry
19 Division in Srebrenica and there was no evidence that it was actually in
20 Potocari, their view was that it had fallen further into the heart of the
21 enclave area in an area referred to as the Bandera Triangle, which the
22 United Nations had been prohibited by the Muslims from ever inspecting,
23 and presumably preparing to break out towards the direction of Zepa from
25 So most of the mobile military forces, the elements of the
1 Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the Birac Infantry Brigade, the
2 Romanija Infantry Brigade, and the units that had actually -- you know,
3 the Drina Wolves, the units that had actually captured Srebrenica were
4 now moving to the west in order to engage the remaining forces of the
5 28th Infantry Division in the Bandera Triangle. By 1300, everyone's
6 recognising that there's no contact being made with those forces.
7 So by this point in time, everybody within the leadership
8 structure of the military and the police there are recognising that the
9 army isn't in fact in the Bandera Triangle. The ABiH forces are forming
10 this column and attempting to go out over the road between Nova
11 Kasaba-Konjevic Polje, and they also recognise that there are almost no
12 forces there to interdict them.
13 Q. And you said earlier in the previous answer that the -- Potocari
14 had effectively been demilitarised at this time, which was one of the
15 goals of the leadership for the enclave; is that right?
16 A. Well, correct in that sense, but I mean, the way that I look at
17 it, there weren't armed elements of the 28th Infantry Division that
18 accompanied any of the civilians from Srebrenica to Potocari. There were
19 not armed soldiers there. There was no military presence there other
20 than UNPROFOR. And as there has been, I presume, testimony and certainly
21 evidence in other cases that I'm aware of, shortly after the VRS started
22 arriving in Potocari, they begin disarming the Dutch Battalion soldiers.
23 So very quickly, by the time the VRS and police forces arrived in
24 Potocari on the 12th, there was absolutely no threat against them.
25 Q. And then at that time, the time of this intercept we see with
1 General Mladic saying, "They've capitulated and surrendered and we'll
2 evacuate them all - those who want to go and those who don't want to,"
3 from your analysis is there any military -- military justification for
4 removing the civilian population?
5 A. The -- in an abstract, clearly military commanders would want to
6 remove or safeguard civilians from an area that they understood would be
7 a potential battle-field where they can.
8 While -- when one looks at -- there's the initial bit of
9 confusion in the early morning hours of the 12th of July as to where the
10 ABiH 28th Infantry Division is, whether it's in the Bandera Triangle or
11 whether it's in the, you know, the column escaping out, there's no one
12 from the VRS leadership, either in the Bratunac Brigade, the Drina Corps,
13 the police staff, or the Main Staff, who's -- who's thinking that the
14 ABiH 28th Infantry Division will somehow turn around and seek to attack
15 Potocari. So there's no military threat in that context that would
16 necessitate removing the population out of Potocari on that day under
17 those circumstances.
18 Q. All right. I'm going to move on to another document from about
19 this time, 12 July, this is P04388. It's at tab 58, Mr. Butler, in your
20 binder. This is a document signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic.
21 It's a few hours later, actually, dated 12 July 1995, and it says
22 1730 hours on it. It's also got handwritten "Security administration
23 chief of operation and training." It's to the Main Staff of the VRS,
24 sector for intelligence and security and the command of the Drina Corps
25 security. And it's been -- just remind us, who's Colonel Popovic in the
1 Drina Corps?
2 A. Colonel Popovic is the chief of security for the Drina Corps.
3 Q. He reports in paragraph 1:
4 "In the course of the day our forces and MUP forces did not have
5 any heavy exchange of fire with the Balijas. MUP forces entered Potocari
6 in the morning without combat."
7 And on the next page, paragraph 3:
8 [As read] "A refugee group of about 30- to 35.000 women,
9 children, and elderly, the infirm, and the sick is located after, beyond
10 the UNPROFOR base towards Srebrenica, on the road and inside the
11 facilities of the former factories. The security was established and the
12 evacuation to Kladanj started. About 5.000 women and children were
13 evacuated so far. We are separating men from 17 to 60 years of age and
14 we are not transporting them. We have about 70 of them so far and the
15 security organs and the DB," state security, "are working with them."
16 So I wanted to ask you what you see as the significance of this
17 very urgent report but also, from the military's perspective, what you
18 would have to say about the fact that VRS security and state security are
19 working with the prisoners, whatever that means exactly at the time.
20 A. Well, answering that particular question first, from a security
21 perspective, either the military security organs or the state security
22 organs, there would be legitimate purposes for wanting to question those
23 captured men between the age of 17 and 60, presuming that some, if not
24 all, had at least some knowledge of the military structure and situation
25 as it existed in Srebrenica, who leadership figures might be, and what
1 other valuable military or political information might be obtained from
2 these individuals. So in that context, the fact that both the state
3 security organs and the military security organs are working with them,
4 and I take this working to be they are interrogating them to obtain this
5 type of information, is what you might expect those organs to be doing.
6 On the -- you know, there's another level because particularly
7 within the context of state security organs and the security organs,
8 there's also a law enforcement component. There are -- there was at
9 least one list floating around and another list as well on individuals
10 who are wanted potentially for their involvements for war crimes against
11 the Serbs. And so there would also be a legitimate purpose to want to be
12 questioning these individuals as to who they are, what their identities
13 are, to ensure or to vet if these individuals are on those particular
14 lists or, if not, do they know who these individuals are and where they
15 might be located.
16 So there would be -- there are normal legitimate purposes why
17 these individuals will be interrogated by both the military and the MUP
18 security organs.
19 Q. Can I ask you -- can I ask you in relation to that, we see this
20 here on the 12th of July with the male prisoners. In your view, would it
21 be routine or out of the ordinary in the context of captured prisoners in
22 general, not specific to the Srebrenica operation, for both state
23 security and VRS security to have contact with the prisoners and -- and
24 question them, interrogate them?
25 A. That would not be out of the ordinary.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd now like to go to 65 ter 1942.
3 Q. That's in the second binder, Mr. Butler, tab 104. So it's far
5 Now, this is from the head of the RDB, Dragan Kijac,
6 12 July 1995, to the deputy minister of the interior personally,
7 Tomo Kovac, head of public security, and chief of RDB Bijeljina.
8 Representatives -- I won't read out the whole thing but it's a
9 report on the situation in Srebrenica and reports from international
10 humanitarian organisations, and it states that -- what their information
11 is that the morning on 12 July, the humanitarian situation was "worse
12 than ever. The population lacks food, medicine and clothing." The
13 estimates of 30.000 people around the DutchBat base, and it states that
14 according to reports by military observers there's not a single armed
15 soldier of the so-called BH Army among these people. Speaking about
16 Potocari. The -- in the event of evacuation of the population via
17 Zvornik as reportedly proposed by the Serbian side, the DutchBat
18 commander propose that UNPROFOR provide 20 buses and complete the
19 evacuation in rounds of about 1.000 people.
20 So my question is: We saw state security working with the
21 prisoners being present in Potocari in the last document. Can you
22 comment on the information we see here being distributed up the MUP chain
23 to various heads?
24 A. It reflects that state security is not exclusively talking to
25 prisoners to gain information. They are also talking to members of the
1 humanitarian organisation, and I take it from the context according to
2 the reports by military observers, they're talking about the
3 United Nations military observers who came up from Srebrenica and who
4 were in Potocari and also sending reports back to the UN chain of
5 command, that they're either accessing or they're talking to these
6 individuals and gleaning information out of what they are reporting to
7 their superiors. And in the context of that information, Mr. Kijac
8 believes that it's important enough to ensure that the minister of the
9 interior, the chief of the centre in Bijeljina and the head of the RJB,
10 the public security department, they all personally see this report
11 because it is of significance to what is developing, I would suspect
12 primarily on the reports of the growing humanitarian crisis which would
13 have an impact on the Republika Srpska from the international community.
14 Q. And based on your work in the Srebrenica investigation and your
15 work on this case for the years that you were with the ICTY, the
16 information regarding the humanitarian crisis that they're passing up,
17 how accurate is it based on what you've seen from other documents, other
19 A. This is an accurate reflection of what the United Nations and the
20 international observers and the NGOs are reporting up their chain. So in
21 this particular context, they are accurately reporting the information
22 they are receiving.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. May I tender that, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4936, Your Honours.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 65 ter 09130, please, 09130. This is
2 a -- still continuing to talk about MUP reporting on 12 July 1995.
3 Q. This is at your tab 59 in the first binder, back to the first
4 binder, Mr. Butler. It's again to the RS MUP, Bijeljina police forces
5 staff from Chief Vasic.
6 "We notify you that the evacuation and transportation of the
7 civilian population from Srebrenica is underway."
8 Then it begins to talk about the majority of men of military age,
9 about 8.000, of whom 1.500 armed, led by Ejub Golic and Ibrahim Mandzic
10 are in the Konjevic Polje and Sandici sector, the Sekovici Special
11 Detachment, the 1st Company of the PJP, the same units we were talking
12 about earlier, and the 5th Company of the Zvornik CJB are blocking this
13 section with the goal of destroying these forces.
14 [As read] "For the above reasons I've ordered the roads,
15 Drinjaca," et cetera, "and am hereby notifying you we obtained all the
16 above information from the four men we captured in Konjevic Polje an hour
17 ago at about 1630 hours."
18 So this report's at approximately 1730, around the time of
19 Vujadin Popovic's report. Can you comment now about, first of all, again
20 the efficacy of the reporting chain through the MUP about military
21 developments on the field?
22 A. Yes, sir. And in fact, there are corresponding military reports
23 discussing this same topic from these same four prisoners. So the MUP
24 and the army people at least within the security and intelligence organs
25 are talking to each other to ensure that information is being shared.
1 And again going back to my earlier discussion on the legitimate purpose
2 why the RDB and the state security organs and the military security
3 organs would want to be interviewing people, it is precisely to identify
4 relevant, pertinent combat-related information to gain an understanding
5 of what the enemy is doing in the immediate future so you can react to
6 it. So this is an excellent example of that as well.
7 Q. And my second question is: What this document, from your
8 knowledge and your study, tells us about the role of the MUP where Vasic
9 speaks about -- that the various MUP forces, Sekovici Specials,
10 1st Company PJP from Zvornik, et cetera, are now going to engage in
11 blocking the road knowing about this group of Muslim men who were trying
12 to break through.
13 A. Yes, sir. And in fact, later on the day of 12 July, those units,
14 those police units that were in Potocari were ordered or most of them
15 were ordered to be withdrawn from Potocari and redeployed along the
16 Konjevic Polje-Kravica-Bratunac road because the army recognised that
17 there were inadequate forces along that particular area to prevent the
18 column from breaking through. So we know that that in fact occurred. So
19 Vasic is again giving an accurate report as to what is happening with the
20 situation on the ground and what the orders of the various police units
21 are in relation to the growing military threat.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, we'll admit this document.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I think I have --
24 JUDGE KWON: And this maybe a proper moment.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: This will be admitted as Exhibit P4937. Yes. We'll
2 stop here.
3 And if you could excuse yourself, Mr. Butler, I'll see you
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
6 JUDGE KWON: We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00. Yes. Shall we move
7 into private session.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 MR. TIEGER: Before we do, Mr. President, there's one quick
10 matter I can raise in public session. That is with respect to the
11 Registrar's filing of the time estimates. We wouldn't be disputing that,
12 so perhaps it's unnecessary to submit anything in writing and this
13 acknowledgement can take care of that.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes. Now could the Chamber move into private session briefly.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 27530 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Hearing is adjourned for today and will resume
4 tomorrow at 9.00.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.59 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day
7 of April, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.