1 Monday, 28 January 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
8 Just a second.
9 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
10 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. Before we begin, I'd
11 like to introduce Ms. Marlene Yahya Haage, who will be assisting me this
12 morning, who is sitting here to my right. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we turn it up, please.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
16 Good morning to everyone.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
18 Do you hear me well, General?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes, okay.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
21 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR MILOSEVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. The others have heard
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. General, last week we discussed the ways of waging war. Did the
3 warring parties use ruses, tricks and perfidies and did you witness that,
4 were you aware of it?
5 A. Certainly these things happened. As for perfidy, I have no
6 information and I was not able to assess that units of the
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps used that. And when we talk about certain tricks
8 and frame-ups, in my case and my reporting that would refer to the
9 1st Corps of the BH Army. And I do not include in that certain military
10 cunning that is normal and allowed.
11 Q. Could you indicate to us the distinction between military ruses
12 that are allowed under international law and those that are not.
13 A. This is certainly very clear, and when I say "legitimate military
14 ruses," I mean surprise attacks, attempts by the enemy to disguise his
15 axes of movement, mask his intentions and the actions he intends to
16 mount, that is not only allowed, that is necessary. However, speaking of
17 illegitimate actions, it boils down to illegitimate action against
18 civilians and facilities and installations that have nothing to do with
19 military purposes, not only buildings but also land. So I believe wilful
20 and disproportionate action to be not allowed, illegitimate, as well as
21 any irregular attitude towards civilian structures.
22 Q. Last week you mentioned provocations that were meant to elicit
23 our response. In which category would you place action, such action,
24 from hospitals, from places close to UN forces' bases, et cetera, would
25 you qualify that as legitimate or illegitimate?
1 A. The answer is unequivocal and obvious. To open fire from
2 hospitals, from rehabilitation centres and similar places, from areas
3 inhabited by civilian population, hoping that fire would not be returned
4 would certainly be illegitimate and perfidious, also if it is calculated
5 to provoke return and very damaging fire by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
6 Q. As commander and as a military unit, was it your interest to
7 engage in such provocations yourself and to engage them in combat from
8 such areas, in political media terms?
9 A. The commitment of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and its command and
10 its key commanding officers and the entire military structure of the
11 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was not to provoke or engage in any action, just
12 to portray ourselves as being threatened in an illegitimate way. The
13 entire structure of the SRK, and especially the command and brigade
14 commanders, were only interested in military solutions on the
15 battle-field between the warring parties. And we had strictly to adhere
16 to that so that the entire course of military actions and the image it
17 would create -- we had to be, in other words, seen to be doing that in a
18 chivalrous manner.
19 Q. Thank you. Did the Muslim side succeed in cashing in in the
20 media and politically speaking on all those incidents when you did return
22 A. Yes. I would call it superfluous and going over the top,
23 creating the impression that the Muslim side is threatened. Of course
24 the civilian population would certainly be threatened as a result of our
25 action, opening fire, carelessness, et cetera. I think they worked hard
1 to create that impression with major assistance provided by certain
2 players, but I don't want to go into that now. They did a lot to create
3 the image that they are threatened as a result of our irregular action
4 and pressure against the people.
5 Q. Were you aware of the nature of that conduct, their actions which
6 were not aimed at making a breakthrough but at provoking return fire?
7 A. I stand by what I said, that the corps command and our personnel
8 were perfectly aware of what was going on and what aims the enemy is
9 pursuing and what they want to blame the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps for. In
10 this respect we were united and there was no problem amongst us to agree
11 on that assessment and to adhere to that assessment and to agree on a
12 conduct that would prevent them from creating the wrong impression about
13 us. Of course that was not easy. It was not easy to resist that
14 propaganda and their attempts to create an atmosphere in which we would
15 look as if we were engaging in irregular action, irregular conduct, which
16 would not be soldierly.
17 Q. In such cases, when you put up with fire opened at you from
18 hospitals, civilian buildings, and other facilities that should not be
19 used for military purposes, what did you do? In what cases did you have
20 to just take it and in what cases did you have to return fire?
21 A. The position and the assessment I described before to the extent
22 that my command and myself and my subordinated commanders were aware of
23 it, aware of those attempts to set us up, we could not just make that
24 assessment once and for all. We had to continuously review the situation
25 on a case-by-case basis, based on all the information we had collected.
1 I have to explain in my own way that within the system of deployment of
2 forces of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps we had developed a system of
3 observation. That system of observation is something that you absolutely
4 must have when you are facing the enemy. We had separate observers for
5 artillery fire, observers of infantry action, movements and manoeuvre,
6 and of course there were, generally speaking, observers of air-space but
7 that was not relevant for us.
8 This observer structure provided us at each and every moment with
9 information about what was going on, what was happening, what intentions
10 are beginning to take shape, what is apparently in the offing, et cetera,
11 and that information would reach the commanding officer, who would then
12 make his assessment. Usually the commanding officer would have to
13 verify, although the observer was a trained observer, the commanding
14 officer would have to make his own assessment whether this information is
15 correct and reliable, whether the area concerned is a clearing with only
16 one combat vehicle opening fire or it is an area that is a populated area
17 where fire would cause damage to civilian situations -- civilian
19 There were situations that were perfectly obvious and clear. If,
20 for instance, we saw a building with lots of sandbags on the balcony and
21 a machine-gun nest between the sandbags, it did not require a lot of
22 assessment to decide whether that was a target that needed to be
23 neutralised or a target that could result in collateral civilian damage.
24 We concluded that if fire is opened from such bunkers on balconies, that
25 had nothing to do with the civilian structure.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 1D7503, a regular
3 combat report containing some of those things you just described related
4 to anticipation and expectations. 1D7503. This is a regular combat
5 report dated 8 December 1993. Could we look at the last page.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, could you present to us item 8. What does it refer to?
8 Could we see the previous page in English, item 8.
9 A. Yes, yes. What do I say on my part, not just pertaining to the
10 document but in general? These were such attempts to portray us as the
11 side seeking for the right moment to disturb life in Sarajevo in general,
12 especially the work of civilian organs, et cetera. Forecasts were made.
13 There was a conclusion and appropriate regulation was identified in order
14 to address specific events. When we believed that there would be an
15 attempt to make a move which would then shift the blame onto our side, we
16 tried to forecast such problems, issue warnings, and our ranks acted in
17 line with our proposals.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we admit this document, please?
20 JUDGE KWON: What is your proposals, General? You said "in line
21 with our proposals." What are they?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Proposals and instructions,
23 Your Honour. There were specific instructions issued to the units on how
24 to address specific situations. The first item was that it was to be
25 expected that certain provocations would take place which amounted to
1 nothing basically and that our reaction to such provocations should not
2 be provoked. The proposal was to -- well, I'd say not to get us
3 involved, to engage in certain actions which would be impermissible,
4 whereas the incident was merely a provocation. There were such forecasts
5 made that similar situations may occur and that we should bear in mind
6 that our actions should not be provoked as to portray it as illegitimate.
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll receive it.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2804, Your Honours.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, sir, what does this pertain to? It says the following:
11 "The decision remains intact or unchanged."
12 We'll see another document --
13 A. The decision for further action is unchanged. These had been our
14 previous position. So we had to make sure that we were not provoked,
15 that such provocations would be avoided in order to avoid creating
16 problems for our side. All of the regulation positions were in place
17 pertaining to specific situations. We always strove to avoid acting upon
18 any incidents in cases where it would be impermissible.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we next have 1D1641, please.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. It is your regular combat report as deputy commander dated the
22 9th of January, 1994. Item 3(a), please.
23 "At around 0900 hours, a 120-millimetre shell fell on the
24 Sarajevo airport. It occurred as the airplane with Mr. Akashi was being
1 And then we have Mr. Akashi's visit to Pale the next day referred
3 What does this refer to? It certainly was something that was
4 expected to take place during Ambassador Akashi's visit?
5 A. This clearly shows that there was an attempt to make use of
6 Mr. Akashi's arrival, to cause an incident which would then be blamed on
7 the Serbian side to show that the Serbian side did not honour any of its
8 agreements. It included international elements and the fact that the
9 airport had been handed over to the international community. They were
10 trying to get an indication that our side would seize such opportunities
11 when prominent persons came to engage in action. We believed that the
12 enemy was prepared to try and impose such scenarios on our side and that
13 we should not be provoked under any circumstances.
14 Q. Thank you, General. Can you tell us how successful was the other
15 side in order to tarnish the image of our side?
16 A. We always tried to show the international community that such
17 things, seeking to provoke us or such UNPROFOR activities which
18 shifted -- which seemed to shift the blame on our side, that it was not
19 the case, especially if the international community was supposed to act
20 as mediator. We always strove to show that such were not our intentions
21 and our actions. I'm glad to say that it was never successful on the
22 side of the other party. I don't think such assessments were finally
23 made on the Serbian side -- about the Serbian side.
24 Perhaps I can use an example. General Gobillard arrived in my
25 command, claiming that we had destroyed a house at Sedrenik when we used
1 excessive force allegedly. I took note of what he said and I simply had
2 to see it for myself. My commanders and fighters told me that the house
3 was full of sandbags and the balcony simply fell through, taking parts of
4 the wall with it because of the weight. And then it was reported that
5 our side brought the building down. I indeed saw numerous sandbags and
6 that this was no result of any action on our part. I conveyed that
7 information to General Gobillard, but it was my feeling that he didn't
8 believe me.
9 We always had to investigate and study, we always had to check
10 whether UNPROFOR information was correct. And I always tried to
11 influence my men to simply exclude any such possibilities of similar
12 action. We couldn't get rid of it easily, though, because we were
13 constantly being put in situations whereby we were portrayed as the
14 unfair side.
15 Q. Thank you. General, what kind of route did you have to traverse
16 as the corps command from your command post to Sedrenik, to verify
17 General Gobillard's allegations?
18 A. Your Honours, I understand the question, but the route was not an
19 issue for me, although I understand the thrust of the question. I'm
20 trying to convey something else, that there were attempts to do away with
21 this sort of anathema that was being imposed on the Sarajevo-Romanija
22 Corps as the side which wages war unfairly. I will try to answer. So in
23 short I had to cross over 50 kilometres, but it was an aside for me.
24 There were numerous other occasions when I went to the location where I
25 had to clear things up with UNPROFOR commanders or with the people on my
1 side who may have engaged in something inappropriate.
2 Q. Thank you. This is a strictly confidential report to the
3 Main Staff, or rather, to the forward command post. In item 3(a) it is
4 stated that the landing of 27 planes is planned for today, four planes
5 have landed, and Izetbegovic and Franjo Kuharic flew out of Sarajevo.
6 Did you envisage any alternative in case the Trebevic-Sarajevo
7 road was closed off for Mr. Akashi to be able to use it? How could that
8 take place?
9 A. Your Honours, it is a separate issue. As far as I recall, I have
10 explained some of that already here. There were several routes which
11 were chosen as a powerful force from Sarajevo to threaten our positions
12 or our axes. There was the route Sarajevo-Lukavica and Pale via
13 Trebevic. It was one particular area that they attacked incessantly with
14 all their might, trying to cut it off. That was the basic axis. I do
15 realise that additional routes had to be chosen which would take one the
16 roundabout way and it required construction machinery to clear off parts
17 of such routes in order to secure communication between Lukavica and Pale
18 via Trebevic should the original route be closed.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have this admitted?
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2805, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 1D1649, please.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We're going to stay with the topic, General. Could you discuss
1 item 8 for the benefit of the Chamber and the participants in the
3 A. I believe the text speaks for itself in item 8. It was our
4 decision that our further action remain unchanged. We pursued the same
5 line according to the same principles and regulations, in order to create
6 conditions, to further honour what had been decided earlier in terms of
7 principles and regulations to be followed.
8 Q. I believe everyone can see from the document that there were no
9 problems with UNPROFOR and the convoys.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the document admitted?
11 It is of the 23rd of January, 1994.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Correct? Can we scroll down.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. General, sir, the day before this document, did your forces open
16 artillery or mortar fire Alipasino Polje, and if you recall -- well, on
17 the 22nd of January, one day previously, did your forces open fire on
18 Alipasino Polje from heavy artillery?
19 A. I really don't recall that.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
22 MS. EDGERTON: That's a leading question.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, I think maybe we need some
24 agreement on what constitutes a leading question. When you say: Did
25 your forces open fire on Alipasino Polje from heavy artillery, that can
1 be equally answered yes or no, it doesn't suggest an answer. It is my
2 understanding of a leading question is a question that suggests the
3 answer, so I don't understand how that question is leading.
4 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to respond, Mr. Tieger, instead of
5 Ms. Edgerton?
6 MR. TIEGER: Well, only because I think this will involve any
7 number of questions and answers and witnesses over the course of time,
8 and I think Mr. Robinson is aware that it's context-based. Information
9 can be conveyed in the context of a question that's framed yes or no that
10 provides the critical information at issue. So it depends on the nature
11 of the question. If where in a particular context fire was or shelling
12 was made and that information is provided, then the leading nature of the
13 question is manifest. So the answer is not simply going to be the
14 precise way -- whether or not the question is technically framed as a
15 yes-or-no question, but the nature of the information that's being
16 conveyed. I think that's a fair assessment and I know -- I can try to
17 find it - that in a previous situation Judge Morrison made that precise
18 point to one of the examiners and I don't even remember whether it was a
19 Prosecution or a Defence examination.
20 JUDGE KWON: Even if it had been a leading question, he didn't
21 succeed. The witness answered he doesn't know. I will consult my
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE KWON: The question as formulated in -- and with the
25 specific date included has element of leading question. Do you follow,
1 Mr. Karadzic? Please continue.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. I will
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. On the 22nd or the 23rd, did you receive a protest from the
6 United Nations? And if that was the case, would that have been contained
7 in your reports?
8 A. If I had received it, I would have included it. I can't say
9 whether I received a protest. I can't say whether there was anything
10 going on in Alipasino Polje. This is my answer. If a protest had been
11 received, we would have checked the situation, and in this case, as I sit
12 here today, I really don't remember any such thing. I don't remember
13 that that happened. I know that we did not do anything that was not
14 allowed and that we did not open fire inhabited by the civilian
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2806, Your Honours.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, sir, during your checks on that time or around that
21 time, did you establish that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had opened fire
22 on Alipasino Polje and caused some unlawful damage?
23 A. Whatever checks I carried out, whatever attempts I made to
24 establish the truth, i.e., whether fire was opened and how it was opened
25 after the warnings that there were illegalities involved in the fire
1 opening, I would check that. I went all the way to the place where the
2 crews were, those crews and those combatants that were in the sector. I
3 wanted to gain accurate information from them relying on the trust that
4 existed between me and them. At any given moment they could confide in
5 me as to what had been done. I never received an answer to the effect
6 that they were arrogant in what they were doing, that they opened fire on
7 the people that they should not have opened fire on. During my checks I
8 used several methods. I talked to the officers. I talked to the
9 combatants, to the observers, and I never received any information to the
10 effect that irregularities had happened.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I call up D1515. This is a
13 Defence exhibit, D1515.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, sir, please look at the bottom where it says --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we scroll up a little? Could
17 we go to the bottom of the page. I believe that in English it should be
18 on the following page, the following page in English.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please read what you did regarding the alleged fire
21 being opened on Dobrinja on the 4th of February, 1994.
22 A. Yes, yes. In connection with the allegation, I have to say that
23 whenever information was provided we had to check it. We received
24 information that an 82-millimetre shell was launched, but we did not want
25 to take that for granted. In order to verify the information we checked
1 what had happened. I didn't do it myself. That was done by Colonel
2 Kosovac. He obtained information that no such fire had been opened,
3 i.e., that that was refuted in the Republika Srpska media.
4 Q. In the last sentence it says:
5 "The Jewish convoy and activities in this respect are proceeding
6 according to plan."
7 Do you remember that convoy? I had negotiated that in New York.
8 One of the witnesses put these two events in relation. Did you notice
9 that there was a link between these two events?
10 A. First of all, I'm aware of those events. Let's be clear on one
11 thing. I don't know how the decision on the convoy of Jews was arrived
12 at. I know what happened next, that their request was met, our factors
13 were involved in that, and those people were allowed to leave Sarajevo
14 according to plan and according to their wishes. However, obviously I --
15 I'm trying to establish a link here. The idea was to say this: You
16 agree to something and then we will -- you would manipulate things in
17 order to make the whole thing pointless, i.e., to blame us for hindering
18 the departure of the Jewish community from Sarajevo.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we look at 1D7513.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, sir, could you please tell us what actions and what
23 preparations you undertook in order to -- you say here that on the
24 4th of February, 1994, you carried out certain activities. What did the
25 corps do? Did the corps carry out operations to prepare themselves for
1 an offensive?
2 A. First of all, we did not prepare an offensive. We were preparing
3 ourselves for defence. When you say "offensive," I translate that into
4 attacks on our part, but that's not the only thing that I want to say.
5 Furthermore, here I can see bullet point 2, where it says:
6 "To build and improve the basic defence positions.
7 "To build the reserve defence positions.
8 "To build the false defence positions.
9 "And protect all the shelters ..." and so on and so forth.
10 This is a period during which General Rose made it possible -- or
11 at least that's how I perceived the whole situation. He was the one who
12 made sure that there was a cease-fire between the two warring parties and
13 I congratulate him on that. What I'm trying to say here is that during
14 that period of time, a cease-fire was in place and a cease of all
15 hostilities, which means that we did not open any fire at that time. We
16 were reinforcing our positions. We did not have any other plans. We did
17 not open fire. We did not plan any actions because we did not have to do
18 anything despite their provocations.
19 Q. Could you please tell us what it says in bullet point 4 where a
20 dead-line is mentioned.
21 A. The dead-line? Yes, I can see that. A dead-line was given for
22 those actions to be completed by the 10th of February, 1994. Obviously
23 every time there is a decision, there has to be a dead-line. There was
24 always a struggle with dead-lines and other things as well, but the
25 timing was one of the key factors. And in this case the dead-line was
1 the 10th of February, and from then on, we were supposed to monitor the
3 Q. Thank you. Did the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps envisage, order, and
4 carry out the opening of fire by heavy artillery between the
5 4th of February and 10th February 1994?
6 A. My answer is no, it did not. We did not open fire. I know I am
7 a witness, an eye-witness to the developments that took place during that
8 period of time. I know how people perceived the whole situation. They
9 rejoiced at an opportunity to have a peaceful period. Nobody was keen on
10 opening fire, on provoking the enemy, or responding to their
11 provocations. In other words, we did not do anything. It was a period
12 of relief. We reinforced our positions and we arranged our own positions
13 in accordance with the circumstances that prevailed at the time. We
14 didn't do anything.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2807, Your Honours.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D7504.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. This is a regular combat report somebody signed on your behalf,
22 as we will see on the last page. This was issued on the 1st of July,
24 And now can we go to the last page which is page 2. Thank you.
25 And now could you please read bullet point 8 for us, conclusions,
1 forecasts, and decisions for further action.
2 Can we scroll down in Serbian and can we display bullet point 8
3 in the English version.
4 Maybe you can tell us in a nutshell what your forecasts were and
5 what you decided.
6 A. In this case we're talking about 1994 and the period is during
7 the month of August. For us that period was when we had obtained
8 conclusive information that the 1st Corps of the BiH army was increasing
9 in the number of troops and the number of weaponry. I believe that I
10 already said that they had started changing the strategy of their use and
11 that strategy of use could be explained by a saying: You don't open a
12 tin from the inside but from the outside. And that referred to Sarajevo,
13 obviously. That practice, that option, was an infernal machine which
14 imposed on us the need to organise ourselves. Actually, they launched
15 attacks from the outside in the direction of Sarajevo, but nobody
16 reacted. Nobody said that for that side, for that type of action, the
17 same decision on a cease-fire should be applied. When it comes to the
18 cease-fire, the only thing that mattered was what was going on in
19 Sarajevo; and as to what was going on outside Sarajevo, that didn't
20 really matter. They used strong forces to attack from the outside and
21 threaten us in Sarajevo. And our attempts to match that caused us major
23 Q. In the following paragraph you say what should be done. You say
24 that the cease-fire had to be respected and that lines should be held
1 A. Of course, of course.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2808, Your Honours.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, sir, I believe that last week we discussed the types and
7 manners the 1st Division acted from the city and from outside of the
8 city. Could you please tell us what were the effects of the activities
9 of the 1st Corps of the BiH army and primarily that applies to our troops
10 and the civilians?
11 A. There are a lot of indicators which were to say that those
12 activities -- and if we're talking about the military side, i.e., about
13 the combatants and units of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, we had a lot of
14 problems because of the threats to the civilian population. To be more
15 specific, the area and the people who were living in Nedzarici, a soldier
16 knows how to protect himself in a trench or in a building or behind a
17 wall or behind an obstacle and so on and so forth. Civilians, on the
18 other hand, don't know how to do that, they can't do that. The following
19 locality of that kind is Lukavica. It was the workers' quarters or the
20 workers' neighbourhood very close to the Energoinvest building. We're
21 talking about wooden houses where people could not protect themselves
22 although they were exposed to fire. Another neighbourhood that we called
23 Trapare because all the families there bore the same family name,
24 Trapare, that was a group of houses and people there were like clay
25 pigeons. Vogosca was under the constant fire of the artillery of the
1 12th Division. Rajlovac as well. Ilijas was under fire that was like
2 hell to them. Every day in Ilijas there were as many as four civilian
3 casualties up to 12 soldiers who were killed, but they were killed in
4 combat, whereas the civilians got killed in the street or in their homes.
5 I don't know whether I am making myself clear enough. I only
6 know that those were difficult situations that had is to be borne, that
7 people had to be protected, that solutions had to be sought in order to
8 open fire to curb their fire.
9 Q. Thank you, General. Just now you told us about this loss of
10 12 soldiers and daily losses of four civilians in Ilijas. Could you
11 recall some incidents involving major civilian losses as a result of
12 action by the 1st Division [as interpreted] of the BH army, starting with
13 the neighbourhood of Hadzici, Blazuj, Ilidza, Vojkovici, up to Rajlovac,
14 Vogosca, and Ilijas.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Just for the transcript, Dr. Karadzic said "corps"
16 rather than "division" of the BH army at line 25.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sorry, but I have to explain. The
18 14th Division of the 1st Corps was active in Hadzici, and in Ilijas it
19 was the 16th Division, so that the entire corps was firing upon the
20 Serbian part of Sarajevo. The 12th Division was opening fire from the
21 city itself.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I think we are now entering the region
23 where there is some doubt as to the relevance. While we understand that
24 it was during the war, please bear in mind you were indicted for specific
25 allegations. Please continue.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, thank you. I
2 will follow that, but the last sentence by General Milosevic, solutions
3 had to be sought in order to open fire to curb their fire, that means our
4 fire is directly linked to their fire and that is why I wanted to get
5 Mr. Milosevic to recall examples when he was not able to contain anymore
6 and return fire with consequences that were disastrous to us.
7 JUDGE KWON: But your question was a bit much broader than this.
8 Please continue. What is your question for the General?
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you still remember today some drastic examples of our losses
11 that dictated our responding with fire to their fire?
12 A. Moments of that kind and that nature were more than one - I
13 cannot enumerate them all now. And I suppose you want to hear about what
14 was going on in the urban part of Sarajevo, not in Nisici and Trnovo
15 areas because there were other incidents there where we had to look for
16 solutions. I know very well in the month of May 1995 unit commanders
17 were reporting that they were under heavy fire. The positions of troops
18 are covered with strong fire and the fire is spreading to civilian areas.
19 My response was to get to the procedure to see whether it was reliably
20 established from where the fire is coming, from which weapons, and to
21 what extent we would be threatening civilians if we responded. That was
23 The second thing I had to do was to inform UNPROFOR to enable
24 them to see what was going on exactly. All this required time and in the
25 meantime my subordinate commanders were very unhappy that I was not
1 giving them permission to respond with fire.
2 I know and I found it somewhere in the papers later, that the
3 UNPROFOR observer was observing this and could see how strong the fire
4 was opened by the 12th Division. That is one thing. Second, we also
5 established that the localities where we could respond with fire would
6 not hurt anyone but the shooters. That was the situation in May 1995.
7 In one of their reports that I saw later, they say that they had engaged
8 in a three-day action, the commander of the 12th Division is reporting to
9 his superior that he had used up all the ammunition and he's asking for
10 new ammunition, and those were thousands of destructive projectiles.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 65 ter 12388.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. One of your reports from 1993, a regular combat report.
14 Page 2 in Serbian. It's probably page 3 in English. Item 8.
15 General, sir, could you read out aloud this passage that says:
16 "In view of the frequency ..."
17 You signed this on behalf of General Galic; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you read out loud the entire paragraph that begins with:
20 "Given the frequency ..."
21 A. "Given the frequency of enemy operations, we foresee that certain
22 units will not be able to tolerate the consequences of enemy fire and
23 consequently will be forced to return fire to protect their personnel.
24 For this reason, a vigorous protest should be made at the fire the enemy
25 is launching from the city. UNPROFOR should take a firmer stand in
1 protection of our units and population."
2 I don't know what kind of comment you expect me to make, but that
3 was our experience, that the fire was going to be only stronger and
4 stronger and that we must protect our personnel and population, and we
5 must also ask for UNPROFOR's assistance, to put pressure on the enemy
6 side just as they were putting pressure on us to contain all types of
8 Q. You say that the enemy should be prevented from opening fire from
9 the urban area. You consider all the other fire to be legitimate;
11 A. We need to clarify this. There is no such thing as legitimate or
12 illegitimate. You can fire on the enemy as long as it's only the enemy
13 and his weapons. I did not want to observe any other rules and look at
14 nuances such as whether there would be more damage or less damage. If
15 fire was opened by a weapon or a group of weapons or by an enemy unit, we
16 can open fire at them. We could not make any other calculations and take
17 the risk of causing damage to others. I don't know if you understood
18 what I wanted to say.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this,
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2809, Your Honours.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, while you were still in the 1st Romanija, what kind of
25 orders did you get from the corps command regarding action targeting the
1 city? What was the position of the command? Especially with regard to
2 larger calibres.
3 A. I understand your question perfectly well. I want to answer as
4 follows. General Galic, who was the corps commander, was far more
5 restrictive and strict than what I am describing. I take my hat off to
6 him, and I can say I have learned from him a lot in terms of how strict
7 you have to be in restricting behaviour that is not legitimate in combat.
8 In other words, not even his predecessor, Sipcic, had a different
9 approach. He was only less demanding. But Galic constantly issued
10 warnings and orders and really insisted with commanders that they must
11 not engage in such behaviour. And that was an encouragement to me to
12 continue in the same vein and only our styles differ.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 1D3441. The
14 English version is all right. The Serbian is something else. But it's
15 the same date, 31st October 1992.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can I read this to you in English, General? It will be
18 interpreted to you. 31st October 1992.
19 [In English] "To: All SRK units.
20 "Beginning on 1st of November, 1992, until further notice, it is
21 strictly forbidden to use weapons with a calibre greater than
22 12.7-millimetres without the permission of the Corps Commander or his
24 "Deputy commander ... Marcetic."
25 [Interpretation] Did your brigade receive this order and is this
1 consistent with your knowledge?
2 A. I remember this order, and of course, since I remember it, we
3 received it and I'm aware of it. Yes, yes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the usher give the General a
5 hard copy in Serbian.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's no problem. [In English]
7 Thank you.
8 [Interpretation] I can only confirm that this is correct and this
9 was a regulation issued by the corps command, and of course it says that
10 this is a ban on the use of calibres greater than 12.7 millimetres. It's
11 all types of mortars, artillery, anti-aircraft machine-guns, guns,
12 et cetera.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted, please?
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, can you understand from this document
15 that any shells that were fired from the Serb side and that were greater
16 than 12.7 millimetre in calibre were fired with the permission of the
17 corps commander, if any?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is not the
19 position. The commander made his position known and it was abided by.
20 So irrespective of the fact whether a fighter awaited the commander's
21 approval or not, he had to rely on the clear decision not to engage. In
22 situations when there was no strict prohibition, the fighter in question
23 had to involve the procedure which I have referred to a number of times
24 here, which means that it required full analysis. The brigade commanders
25 who, within the system of authority, certain powers were delegated to,
1 they could act in accordance with certain prearranged decisions if there
2 was a sufficient degree of threat. Their decisions were the same as if
3 they had been received from the corps commander.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
6 We'll receive this.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2810, Your Honours.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we next have
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, sir, we'll see on the next page -- well, perhaps we can
12 go to that page immediately. It is your document as the Chief of Staff
13 dated the 20th of October, 1993. Item 2, please, "our defence lines ..."
14 Is this your signature?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Go back to page 1, please, item 2.
17 We can see it in the English version.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What is stated there about the defence lines as well as response
20 to enemy fire?
21 A. The position was as stated here. The defence lines remained
22 unchanged. This was a report. Since there were attempts to attack, our
23 defence stood ground and there were no changes in terms of our forces
24 being pushed back. However, irrespective of the degree of our
25 protection, the units were still cautioned not to open fire on the
1 central part of town, on Sarajevo. There was always a need to be aware
2 of movements and goings-on in Sarajevo because it was an important issue.
3 In Sarajevo, international activity took place as well. That is why
4 there was an order that no fire should be opened even if we were
5 threatened directly.
6 Q. What does the document say about observation and surveillance?
7 A. Well, surveillance is a separate profession, so to say. It
8 always had to be in place and all movements had to be observed. I don't
9 think it requires any additional explanation, if you understand what I
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE KWON: The third page of the B/C/S version is nothing to do
15 with the document, so we'll admit only two pages. Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2811, Your Honours.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just before the break, could we
18 cast a glance on D2567. It is a short document.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, sir, it is an order to all brigades, regiments, and
21 independent battalions dated the 22nd of May, 1993. Some consequences
22 are referred to following the activity of the other side, but
23 irrespective of that, General Galic - and it was Sladoje who issued this
24 on his behalf, I presume - prohibited the firing of any weapons larger
25 than 12.7-millimetre calibre and requires that all means of firing be put
1 under control.
2 Can you recall what consequences are referred to on the
3 22nd of May, 1993?
4 A. I can't say anything about that. Unless I'm mistaken, I wasn't
5 in the corps at the time, in May 1993. I can confirm, though, that this
6 is a normal standard request or caution stating what is to be done. As
7 far as I know, I was still not with the corps at the time. This strikes
8 me as a normal, regular order referring to certain events which had
9 preceded it.
10 Q. You were in the brigade. It is addressed to all the brigades.
11 Does it mean that the 1st Romanija Brigade received it as well?
12 A. I wasn't in the brigade at that time either.
13 Q. I apologise, then.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, we can have a
15 break whenever you wish to have it.
16 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at
18 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. Could
22 we have a Prosecution exhibit, the number is P01641.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, sir, are you familiar with this document?
25 Perhaps we can see the other page too. Can we have the next
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Let's go back to page 1, please. The first paragraph, can you
4 explain this proposal for setting artillery aside. Why did you send this
5 proposal and what were the reasons that guided you?
6 A. It is my proposal and I see it as such. It was my estimate that
7 it was up to me to propose this, whereas the decision was to be made by
8 those whom I addressed, that is to say, the Main Staff. I'm familiar
9 with this document. It was to the effect that a manoeuvre should be made
10 to keep some of the pieces, and I am not trying to hide that. It is true
11 that I proposed it as such. It was all based on my experience until then
12 with the way the war was going on and in light of our co-operation with
14 When the decision was made to withdraw the weapons, it was my
15 conclusion that all of our weapons were to be withdrawn and its use
16 restricted, whereas the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, their
17 1st Corps, had such weapons which even when withdrawn had the range and
18 possibility to be used against the area that was supposed to be under
19 prohibition, the area where the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had its lines of
20 defence. If they had the so-called NORAs, that is to say,
21 155-millimetre howitzers which could reach as far as 32 kilometres, it
22 was all the same to them whether the pieces would be at a permitted
23 location or a location that was not permitted. They were still within
24 the range where they could open fire. That is what guided me to propose
25 to my superior command that a contingent of weapons should be retained as
1 a floodgate, as a means of protection in those circumstances when we were
2 under threat. Of course, I am by the same token not saying that it was
3 the wisest thing to do on my part.
4 Q. You mentioned that you proposed this based on your previous
5 experience. What was that experience that drove you to proposing this?
6 What was the nature of that experience?
7 A. Yes, this is already 1994 and there was plenty of experience.
8 There were continuing warnings and assertions that we opened fire,
9 whereas allegedly the other side did not. And we all know from practice
10 that they did. Next, the weapons and measures that were supposed to take
11 place were not to be implemented the way as envisaged by the negotiator
12 or whoever accepted this decision, and we knew it would be like that.
13 They hid their pieces in tunnels or other places of low visibility, and
14 UNPROFOR did not see them. I know and I believe that UNPROFOR did see
15 those weapons, but there was no pressure or reason enough to indeed have
16 those weapons truly moved out of their range or stop from being active.
17 Q. How was the cease-fire implemented? Were there violations of
18 cease-fire before and after this date?
19 A. The issue of the cease-fire, well, it's something -- but before I
20 answer let me add this: It was our decision to have a full record of how
21 the cease-fire was honoured by the other side. We knew what we were
22 doing, of course, and it was our decision not to use those means and not
23 to violate the cease-fire. The register of violations of the terms is
24 quite long. I know it's somewhere out there because we created it, and
25 it follows from one day to the next their violations and the
1 characteristics of their activities. We used it as an indicator to show
2 that all agreements and decisions were in vain when they kept being
3 active from one day to the next and violated the agreement.
4 Q. In the agreement of the 18th of February, that is to say, one
5 week later, was this proposal of yours adopted? Was it made part of the
6 agreement or not?
7 A. Of course not. I don't have any regrets. I know that there were
8 people who wanted to observe this, those who were in charge of
9 implementing that decision, and those people did it. All the assets were
10 moved to Krivoglavci, Poljane [phoen], and so on and so forth, as agreed.
11 I was personally there when those things were happening, the assets were
12 being brought over, and the UNPROFOR deployed Bruno's elements, fenced
13 those assets off, and they could no longer be used. I was there when
14 General Soubirou was there and I saw in him a firm position that we were
15 supposed to observe because it was well sounded. The General did not
16 want to greet me. I did not hold it against him. I saw that he was an
17 honest man doing an honest job in order to stop the conflict. My
18 conclusion was that that was his decision; however, once the assets were
19 fenced off, fire was opened from their assets on us - I don't know where
20 they were fenced off, whether they were fenced off at all, who controlled
22 Q. General, sir, you mentioned that after that, or rather, that you
23 kept records on the violations of the cease-fire.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 1D7033. I
25 am not tendering the previous one because it has already been admitted
1 into evidence. 1D7033.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is this the record of truce violations starting with the
4 10th February? And that date is also the date of your previous document.
5 A. Yes, this is the record. I'm sorry that the letters are a bit
6 small, but I'm sure you can follow the dates, the places, the times when
7 those truce violations happened. You can see when fire was opened as a
8 result of the fact that the 1st Corps did not observe the cease-fire. We
9 monitored those things continuously, not only on those dates, but even
10 later than that.
11 Q. Can you tell us something about the precision of the record,
12 9.15, 8.45, was that a task? Does this truly reflect the times when fire
13 was indeed opened?
14 A. Of course, where there is a will to have certain information,
15 then that information has to be complete, not only as regards the date
16 but also the time. So we wanted to be perfect in recording those
17 incidents. I dare say that we were even overzealous, maybe we even
18 over-recorded things.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
21 JUDGE KWON: If you would like to tender the whole document,
22 could you put some overall foundation as well as some content of it. The
23 last part of document seems to be of different format. Probably we need
24 some further explanation.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can go to the last page,
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, sir, something has been added by hand, 88 times. What
4 is this and why has the structure of the record been altered here? What
5 is this about?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the Serbian version be zoomed
7 in for the benefit of the General.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not necessary. It's big
9 enough. I can't say yes. I don't know -- well, I personally cannot tell
10 you what the difference is between the beginning of the record of truce
11 violations and what I see here now. The format is changed. The columns
12 have been changed. What is missing is the hour when a truce violation
13 happened, but the gist is the same, the number of shells, the time,
14 where, in what area, and what our response was.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Aha. Did I understand you properly when you said that the format
17 has been changed?
18 A. Yes, the form, the format has been changed, nothing else. The
19 only thing that is missing are the hours, for example, that things
20 happened at 9.00 a.m. or 9.00 p.m., but the date remains as well as the
21 type of fire which was opened on that particular day and how we responded
22 to that kind of fire.
23 Q. And what about the last column, whether it was responded, is that
25 A. Yes, whether it was responded or not, yes, which means that the
1 words "yes" and "no" provides the answer to everything.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go back to the previous
5 JUDGE KWON: Can I interrupt you here. Can we see the B/C/S
6 page 31, in English page 55. This is the last page of the first format.
7 Could you see the date, General? That's -- I think it's sometime in
8 April 1994. Do you agree? 30th of April, 1994. And shall we see the
9 next page in the B/C/S while remaining on the same page in English but
10 the bottom of the page. From April it says it's sometime in November.
11 November in what year? Would you like to see the previous page again?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand what is missing here
13 is the year, the year. Probably the record-keeper, the person who
14 collected this information, he probably thought that the year could be
15 only the year when those conflicts were taking place.
16 JUDGE KWON: So --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But there is a year. There must be
18 a date containing the year. During the night between the 11th and
19 12th November 1999 [as interpreted], the enemy opened fire on all the
20 front lines in the direction of Olovo and Kladanj, for example.
21 JUDGE KWON: If it was 1994, would it mean that there was no
22 violation of truce between May and October?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that wouldn't mean that.
24 Perhaps no information was collected, perhaps no record was established
25 to that fact. If the information was not complete, it was not entered.
1 If the record was not made, if the note was not made on the day when fire
2 was opened, then it was not registered post festum, after the event,
3 based on memory.
4 JUDGE KWON: Now, having seen part of this document, do you know
5 who produced this document and when?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document was compiled by the
7 operative organ of the command of the 4th Corps [as interpreted]. This
8 means that it was compiled by the operatives who were officers in charge
9 of receiving information, analysing it, reporting to the commander or the
10 Chief of Staff about the developments, and then came up with the analysis
11 that served as our base for future contacts and work with the UNPROFOR.
12 JUDGE KWON: General, did you say "4th Corps," "command of the
13 4th Corps"? I don't follow.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I could not have said the
15 4th Corps. I only said the corps command and what I meant was the
16 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
20 JUDGE KWON: Page 3 was admitted previously with
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic. Shall we admit them in its entirety?
22 Ms. Edgerton.
23 MS. EDGERTON: I have no problem with it coming in in its
24 entirety now, Your Honour, given the General's explanation.
25 JUDGE KWON: If the court deputy could remind us of the exhibit
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, Exhibit D2803.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency. And now I
6 would like to call up P2420.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, sir, take a look at the document. Tell us whether you
9 remember the document and its contents. Lieutenant-Colonel Sehovac
10 forwarded, and I mean literally, the contents of a telegram he received
11 from the Main Staff. Could you please explain?
12 A. Could I please be shown the signatures. Okay. Thank you. I
13 would have a lot of to say about this document; however, it seems
14 superfluous for me to say anything.
15 This is information that reached General Mladic - I don't know
16 how, in what ways - and then General Mladic issued some sort of a warning
17 not to do what is outlined in the context as something that was being
18 planned. First of all, without going any further into the details of
19 this issue, because this would be out of my character, I'm wondering how
20 come that General Mladic sent a piece of paper like this to
21 Colonel Sehovac as a brigade commander. What he wants to forbid or what
22 he wants to warn about, what he wants to prevent, I commend him for that
23 but he should have done it directly with the corps command or the corps
24 commander. In this case, it seems to me that somebody wanted to invent
25 things and a plot against Mladic wanted him to issue the warning. I
1 don't know whether it was a form of self protection, but in any case
2 there is no action that was ever followed that might prove that any kind
3 of intention on the part of the corps commander ever existed to that
5 It says here that the corps commander held a meeting with
6 civilian structures. First of all, I never held any meetings with the
7 civilian structures. If I had, then we only talked about bringing units
8 to strength. I never discussed combat activities with anybody. For me
9 this is incorrect information, this is superfluous information, and this
10 is what I claim. A meeting of that kind absolutely never took place.
11 Q. Thank you. What kind of orders did you issue with regard to fire
12 being opened on town, were they similar to what it says here or not?
13 A. I don't understand what it says here. The orders that were
14 issued, the measures that were undertaken, I have already described and
15 explained. Any kind of new approvals, any kind of changes in the
16 position or conduct or giving permit to anybody to open unlawful fire on
17 the city of Sarajevo and its citizens, I never issued any such orders.
18 No such orders should have been issued at all in the first place.
19 Q. Here somebody forwarded information to Mladic about that meeting
20 that took place on the 5th of November, 1994. Can we see what happened a
21 week earlier on the 27th of October. I'm calling up your document
22 65 ter 20823.
23 JUDGE KWON: Before doing so, General, could you tell us what
24 brigade was Mr. Sehovac commander of?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, he was commander
1 of the 2nd Sarajevo Brigade, Light Brigade, because it did not have a
2 large number of personnel.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 20823.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, first of all, could you look at the second paragraph.
7 "Since our enemy is not abiding by any rules or principles,
8 although we have tried so far to obey -- to observe all the Geneva
9 Conventions until now, as well as direct our actions exclusively towards
10 military targets, if the enemy continues in this way, they will force us
11 to respond as of today to every bullet fired at the Serbian settlement by
12 firing at the selected target under the Muslim control in Sarajevo."
13 And then look in the last paragraph. It says:
14 "Brigade commanders, immediately inform the UN monitors in your
15 area of responsibility about this warning ... never open fire first."
16 And now tell us what you ordered in the last paragraph.
17 A. "We bear great responsibility for saving the Serbian people from
18 the born-again Islamic fanatics. In doing that, we should remain
19 energetic and persistent and humane above all. With that aim, I forbid
20 perfidious killing, wounding, or capturing, and other actions which are
21 not in accordance with the international law of war and the Geneva
23 This is just the reiteration of previously stated positions and
24 commitments. This is not a watershed, this is not a change in our
25 conduct. I'm saying that regardless of whether their fire is selective
1 or restricted or not, whether we are in too great a danger, there is no
2 chance that we will cross the Rubicon and do things against the rules.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I tender this, please?
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2812, Your Honours.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. What was the stance of superior commands, that is to say, the
9 Main Staff, relevant to your orders?
10 A. I hope this will not sound too frivolous, take this with a
11 certain reservation, I would say that you were really nagging us. My
12 fighters and I wondered: Why do you keep cautioning us? We know that.
13 We have nothing to do with any other structures, apart from military
14 structures, the man wielding a gun and opening fire. Your warnings and
15 the warnings we received from the politicians and the Main Staff were so
16 persistent that I understood it as keeping pressure on us so that we
17 would never take any action that would threaten the civilian population
18 in Sarajevo. I respect that. We received those warnings regularly.
19 We also received certain warnings that I liked. I liked them as
20 an expression of a humane approach towards events. We don't want to
21 destroy anyone. We don't want to carry a victory against anyone. We
22 don't want to harm anyone. And whatever is to happen is to happen in a
23 military joust, on the battle-field. In addition, I can say that my
24 brigade commanders shared this feeling and this commitment that we can
25 only engage in military rivalry. Anything else would be a pyrrhic
1 [Realtime transcript read in error "puric"] victory. That was out of the
2 question. We could not carry a victory if we opened fire against
3 civilians because civilians were not our enemies.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the Prosecution
5 Exhibit P5642.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This is your conversation with General Mladic intercepted by the
8 other side.
9 Page 4, please.
10 The date is 16 June 1995. What were the military circumstances
11 on that day, if you can tell us?
12 A. In the night between the 15th and the 16th June 1995, I recall
13 everybody who was there and still alive. I remember that very strong
14 forces moved against the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, both from Sarajevo and
15 the surrounding theatre. They were advancing towards us and our civilian
16 population. It was the beginning of an offensive that had been planned
17 by the Supreme Command and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina to, as they called it, lift the blockade of Sarajevo.
19 If -- or, rather, we knew very well what they had planned, what
20 forces they had prepared, in which direction they are moving, et cetera,
21 because they had brought forces earlier on from Fojnica and other places
22 and they wanted to launch this offensive a bit later. But when they saw
23 the unrest among their troops, even we could hear the exchanges of fire
24 from their areas. We knew exactly what needed to be done and what needed
25 to be organised. I made a decision, together with my brigade commanders,
1 how to deploy our forces and to fortify ourselves to repel that
3 They selected renowned commanders. Famous General Alagic
4 commanded the 7th Corps and we felt the full force of their strike. They
5 came in waves. They sent one contingent of forces into an assault, and
6 when they are repelled, they sent another wave. They kept trying to
7 break out through our positions. They failed.
8 I reported to the Main Staff, to General Mladic, our command,
9 what was being prepared in the night between the 15th and the 16th, and
10 he's asking here how things are coming along. And I tell him:
11 Everything is coming along as I had reported to you earlier, the same
12 scenario. He was fully informed by that time. He needed to ask no
13 questions. He could get his written reports.
14 Q. Somewhere in the middle he says:
15 "That is the method. Hold on. Congratulations. I hear you've
16 inflicted major losses on them."
17 Is it true that you inflicted major losses on them?
18 A. I've already said what kind of operations they mounted and how
19 they employed their units. When one contingent of forces fails to break
20 through, they bring them back and have them rest and then they send
21 another wave. Why they did that and why they used their personnel in
22 that way, I don't know and I don't want to go into that; but we did
23 inflict losses on them.
24 Q. Further down below it says Mladic says:
25 "They are moving at all costs."
1 I'm not sure this is correctly translated.
2 [In English] "They're fighting tooth and nail and they should be
3 made to pay for it."
4 [Interpretation] What does it mean, that they are going forward
5 at all costs?
6 A. I don't see anything unclear here. He has information that they
7 are going for a breakthrough at all costs and that's the only thing he
8 can mean. Their idea was to solve the situation. Ratko Mladic must have
9 meant the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I only meant the area where
10 these forces under the command of Alagic and the other generals were
11 marching towards our front line. They did, they were going for it at all
13 Q. And further down he says:
14 "One by one, destroy, attack, only military targets!"
15 You say:
17 Mladic says:
18 "Only military targets ..."
19 Was this something new? Was there complete agreement between you
20 and the Main Staff regarding military targets?
21 A. The agreement was absolute. I am not aware of any waverings, any
22 vacillation regarding the principal decision how to wage this war. There
23 was no change of position, no change of approach. On the contrary, we
24 were completely in agreement - I believe that's clear. We also agreed
25 that we should target only military targets.
1 Q. General, how long did this offensive in the area of the
2 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps last in June 1995, beginning with June 1995?
3 A. It ran its course. They must have made assessments of what they
4 have managed to do. There must have been subsequent decisions to change
5 axes of attack, change tactics, et cetera. This offensive lasted the
6 whole month of June and July, with varying intensity, and they kept
7 trying to harmonize the action from Sarajevo with the action of the
8 forces that came from a completely different territory, the forces of the
9 1st Corps that were outside. That was a constant problem for them.
10 Now, look, that is the situation, if you allow me, Your Honours,
11 to present this situation to the Chamber.
12 We had come to a conclusion, we made the estimate that in this
13 overall restructuring of axes of attack, they decided, from the area of
14 Sirokaca, which is just under Trebevic, Mount Trebevic, and from the area
15 of Mojmilo hill, to encircle Grbavica and part of Lukavica. That was
16 felt. I have to add - and this is intended for everyone, primarily to
17 me - that we could not sit on our hands. We had to do something to
18 prevent that. And only thanks to our efforts would the population in
19 Grbavica and other areas be saved. The population addressed us
20 frequently through their delegations, they made requests, they pled with
21 us to provide them with protection.
22 Q. You said something about their losses. What losses did the
23 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps suffer through this sustained offensive and what
24 were the civilian casualties, if any?
25 A. When the 7th Corps moved towards the forces of the Igman Brigade,
1 the first losses we had on that axis, that is, the sector and the village
2 of Vela, the territory of Hadzici municipality, in this first wave of
3 attack their battalion commander, Captain Bratic, was killed. And then
4 at this very difficult moment that was a harbinger of impending
5 catastrophe, the fighters rose and did not let them succeed in this
7 The next day, on the 17th, they were facing a choice. I don't
8 know who prepared them and who suggested ways in which they should make
9 their break out. That is part of the Russian strategy, actually. But
10 their way was to choose a narrow axis and then spread their positions
11 further on. They chose that axis in the neighbourhood of Ilijas which
12 was partly encircled and under attack from all sides, but this area was a
13 hill. I could not find it on the topographic map, but I found it on
14 another map. It's a hill called Pijesak where they deployed several
15 artillery weapons and more projectiles landed there than on some major
16 cities in the Second World War.
17 In this fighting, which was very dramatic, I could see that the
18 civilian population, the elderly people were coming from their homes to
19 help carry ammunition, to help the fighting men. In that situation, the
20 grandson is getting killed, the grandfather is trying to save him and he
21 gets killed himself. Then the boy's father comes out to save his son and
22 his father and gets killed too. That was a situation when people were
23 dying like flies but they did not let the front line be broken.
24 Then their forces tried another breakthrough in the area of
25 Nabozici [phoen], but we repelled them again. My assistance to those
1 forces was minimal. I sent only one platoon-strong units to help them
2 because I had no more to give. But I was on the spot.
3 It's very embarrassing for me because I'm getting emotional,
4 Your Honours. To that young commander who was 28 years old,
5 Captain Savic, I came there to help him. Those were the losses and our
6 suffering. On the same day, in Ilijas, 48 civilians got killed. Let me
7 not tell you how many people got killed on other axes of attack. But I
8 remember this moment, very dramatic moment, that remains etched in my
10 Q. One other question regarding that offensive. What forces, which
11 corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did engage the SRK?
12 A. The 1st Corps of the Army of BH with all of their assets, the
13 entire corps, that is, including the divisions in the outer area as well
14 as the 12th Division in Sarajevo itself. In addition to those units,
15 from the 1st Corps, there was also the MUP brigade. It was a
16 brigade-strong force amounting to some 7.000 MUP personnel, not in that
17 brigade alone but in total. The special MUP brigade Bosna as well as
18 other special units were engaged too. They call them "special," although
19 I'm not sure how special they were. But we could feel their effect.
20 Next there were also parts of the 2nd Corps of the Army of BH,
21 that is to say, the Tuzla Corps, with the forces that were in contact
22 with us, that is to say, the 101st Olovo Brigade. There were another
23 2.000 outside the brigade from the 2nd Corps. So that concludes the
24 2nd Corps.
25 Then the 3rd Corps commanded by General Mahmuljin. In the corps
1 there were between 12- and 18.000 people. There was also a Mujahedin
2 squad of some 800 fighters.
3 The next corps was commanded by the famous General Alagic, the
4 7th Corps. He brought his corps to the general area of Visoko and Godusa
5 and Fojnicka Reka. His intention was to continue further afield to
6 Sarajevo and via Igman to Trnovo.
7 Then the 4th Corps, but only some of its parts. The 4th Corps
8 was from Konjic, and they only used a part of their forces that were in
9 immediate contact with the rest of the 1st Corps which had its forces at
10 Igman, Treskavica, and Bjelasnica, and the general area of Pazaric.
11 Those were the forces which meant to destroy us, I dare say.
12 Q. When you say the Mujahedin squad of 800, what do you mean by the
13 term "Mujahedin"?
14 A. I'm not sure exactly. I know what a Mujahedin is, but I thought
15 it was a matter of common knowledge and understood as such. They were
16 members of units who were foreign nationals or foreign mercenaries. In
17 any case, they were not from Bosnia and Herzegovina. They arrived from
18 certain countries outside Bosnia and Herzegovina and even outside Europe,
19 of course from non-Serb lands. I didn't try to verify their origin, but
20 I know who they were. It wasn't so much the matter of who it was, but
21 what kind of sentiment, what kind of fear the population felt when they
22 heard of them being blood-thirsty. And we had to work on the perception
23 of the population. In any case, the popular image was that of
24 executioners of people who were ready to do anything.
25 Q. The 2nd Sarajevo Light Unit you mentioned a moment ago, how
1 strong was it?
2 A. The 2nd Sarajevo Brigade was a small brigade. In total, they had
4 up to a maximum of 800 to 1.000 people from the 2nd Sarajevo Brigade.
5 Q. Thank you. What about the corps as a whole, how many people
6 could it engage in June 1995? How many people could be introduced into
8 A. The corps used all of the people it had, that is to say, the
9 maximum strength or force that existed, including commands,
10 communications personnel, logistics, technical services, et cetera. In
11 total, it was in the area of 18.000.
12 Q. Thank you. Given the fact that you were exposed to attacks
13 from -- units from several different corps, what was the situation like
14 in your neighbouring Serb corps? Could they lend you assistance? For
15 example, what was taking place in the Drina Corps area at the time?
16 A. Do not hold this against me, please. I don't know exactly what
17 the situation was with those corps, not because I didn't want to know,
18 but you have to understand that I was worried with the situation in my
19 corps. I did ask for reinforcements, although I knew that the
20 Drina Corps -- well, it's a different matter, something that occurred
21 afterwards. In any case, it drew the forces of the 2nd Corps of the Army
22 of BH to pull out their forces in that part of the offensive when the
23 situation around Srebrenica arose. In any case, I do know that the corps
24 had their difficulty, their areas of responsibility, and their problems.
25 I also know that General Talic in a private conversation later told me,
1 "Yes, General, I do know that the SRK was in a difficult situation at the
2 time in June, July, and August, but do not forget that we were in the
3 same kind of difficult situation." I told him, "Well, I'll take your
4 word for it, although I don't know what your situation was like."
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at 1D7510 to see
7 what happened in early August that same year and how the Main Staff sent
8 this order. 1D7510.
9 JUDGE KWON: Before going further, yes, Ms. Edgerton.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Just a very small matter before we go too much
11 further and it's a transcript matter. Page 39, line 8, instead of
12 "puric," p-u-r-i-c, I think the word should read "pyrrhic,"
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It says the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and there's a handwritten
17 note that the Chief of Staff should draft our order; correct?
18 A. I can't see the whole page.
19 Q. The handwritten note.
20 A. Yes. I can't read all of it. This is fine.
21 Q. As for the part towards the bottom, can you just describe the
22 contents of item 2, what is it that the Main Staff is asking the corps to
24 A. Please bear with me. I'd like to read it first. What it says is
25 what we could see in earlier notifications, warnings, or orders. There's
1 no particular reason for me to comment upon this. It pertains to certain
2 prohibitions, caution, and the process of decision-making that only
3 military targets could be engaged.
4 Q. How about this, we see that observation posts are ordered to be
5 on duty around-the-clock in order to guide artillery and mortar fire, in
6 order to achieve as great effects as possible with the least amount of
7 ammunition. Fire should not be opened on targets which had not been
9 A. I understand that. I can only repeat what was stated in the rule
10 that we had put in place and we honoured it without anyone's caution. It
11 rose out of necessity. One cannot do anything running blind. One needs
12 appropriate information. One couldn't undertake an activity in order to
13 create an impression of strong fire. One gains nothing by that. All of
14 my men needed time to understand that our fire amounted to nothing unless
15 the target is hit. When hitting barriers like a street or something like
16 that, it means nothing unless we hit the target. Collateral casualties
17 were of no effect and only accurate fire should be opened.
18 I demonstrated to my staff in the following way.
19 When I was in the village of Ostojic at the foot of Treskavica,
20 there was a battery from the 1st Corps. They had 105-millimetre pieces
21 attacking the village the whole day and I happened to be there and I told
22 the fighters, "See, no effect," after all that had been done, and they
23 didn't know that all their efforts amounted to very little. We could
24 engage in action only if we wanted to prevent them from having any effect
25 and we could only do that by direct hits. And the observation system was
1 in operation around-the-clock and the rules that applied were always in
3 Q. In your view, how do you see the allegations from the indictment
4 that we opened fire at the city randomly and that we used
5 disproportionate response?
6 A. I am aware of that category of interpretation. Let me address
7 the issue of proportionality first when opening fire. In order for the
8 SRK or anyone else to open fire proportionately on a target, there are
9 rules in place. If there is a target that is actually a battery which
10 would amount to a firing squadron in position of defence, then the target
11 needs to be either neutralised or destroyed. There is a big difference
12 between the two in the amount of ammunition that is to be expended. No
13 matter how well regulated by the rules, there is no complete destruction.
14 It would be a mere chance to have someone destroy another in totality.
15 Such ambition should not be contemplated unless one had very solid
17 We had our ammunition quantities approved in our combat kits and
18 our units were provided with certain quantities of ammunition that the
19 brigade commanders asked for and I was usually chased about by the
20 brigade commanders because they wanted more ammunition. I wasn't trying
21 to shun or run away from the responsibility. I simply had to tell them
22 that we hadn't any more. Any quantity had to be so limited that they had
23 to come up with different solutions and they realised that. So you set a
24 limit to his ammunition quantity and then they cannot engage in any
25 excessive fire or minimum fire. They only fired when they were certain
1 that they would hit the target.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2813, Your Honours.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, sir, when it comes to neutralisation or destruction,
8 when are you satisfied? What is the difference in the level of use? How
9 do you know when the target was sufficiently destroyed?
10 A. Everything can be established. Everything is well-known. First
11 of all, it was not inexperienced people who waged the war or amateurs who
12 didn't know what they were doing. Everything had to be known, everything
13 had to be well ascertained. If a target was hit, it was also neutralised
14 which did not mean that it was completely destroyed, but it was no longer
15 what had happened to that target. The most important thing was that the
16 target was hit. That target could have remained alive because people
17 don't often die from just one bullet. It takes a lot of bullets
18 sometimes and everybody who participated in the war know that. They knew
19 what was happening to us. We knew what was happening to them. And there
20 is a saying that not every bullet hits the target, but it doesn't really
21 make sense. What makes more sense is that not every shell hits the
23 What else can I tell you about this term of "neutralisation"?
24 The measure of destruction is something that we did not carry out because
25 it was not -- impossible to implement. Neutralisation means that the
1 target is rendered quiet by our activity.
2 Q. If that is achieved with one or two shells, does the shelling
3 continue, General, sir?
4 A. No, it does not continue.
5 Q. Thank you. A foreign witness, a monitor, I apologise that I
6 cannot quote the page, to my question which was how he knows what terror
7 is and what it is not. He said that one or two shells constitutes
8 terror. When there is a large shelling campaign, it's militarily
9 justified. What do you have to say?
10 A. Well, it depends on the target because you can hit a group of
11 people who have nothing to do with fighting with one shell. If that
12 shell hits them, for them it's more than terror. I'm not talking about
13 that. I could not follow that witness's thesis because when it comes to
14 the use of assets, I'm not talking about them in that way. However, when
15 a target is hit directly, it does not constitute terror. On the
16 contrary, I have failed to mention that sometime in May when my
17 commanders were exposed to fire and they wanted us to curb their
18 artillery fire, we did not respond to their artillery fire. We launched
19 some direct hits and CNN recorded us targeting their bunkers, but that
20 was never aired. Because some people who watched, some viewers, wondered
21 how could you implement such direct hits in order to prevent their fire.
22 We did it because it was a necessity. Later on, people portrayed it --
23 portrayed those campaigns as our shelling the city. Let me conclude.
24 When you hit a target, then it's not terror.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 1D7512.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You were hospitalised at the time on the 19th of August; however,
3 your Chief of Staff was there. I am interested in this as an expression
4 of the corps' policy and position. Please look at bullet point 1, where
5 it says that the system of observation should be improved in platoons and
6 battalions and so on and so forth. How does this tally with the policies
7 and position of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and its tactics?
8 A. This fits really well with all that. I've already said I believe
9 that warfare cannot be done by blind people. Every officer and every
10 command as a whole knew how they could organise their defence system, how
11 they could implement their war tactic. I am glad to see that the
12 continuity is very clear. I said it very clear that the continuity
13 starts with the corps commander, who was Galic, then it came down to me.
14 We can see that Colonel Sladoje, who remained in charge of the forces,
15 firstly knew very well what to do; and secondly, he applied the same
16 methods, the same practices, and he had the same demands of his unit.
17 There was no discontinuity there. There were no changes in the policies.
18 There were no changes in conduct. There was no slacking on anybody's
20 Q. Thank you. He says here fire has to be planned. And under 3, it
22 "In all units, ensure that fire is opened according to plan and
23 that units, adjacent units, and the population are previously informed so
24 as to avoid unnecessary losses when the enemy returns our fire."
25 Could you please tell us what your obligations were vis-a-vis the
1 population that resided close to your assets, i.e., what were your
2 obligations and what was your attitude, i.e., what is implied with bullet
3 point 3?
4 A. I am not going to say here that we did everything perfectly, a
5 hundred per cent. However, protection measures for civilians were
6 implemented, and the basic measure was not to allow the civilians to
7 remain in the area where there were artillery assets and combat
9 Let's understand each other. The civilians never even tried to
10 find themselves in such areas. The exceptions were those who were
11 carrying ammunition, who moved with the columns. This does not apply to
12 the prevention of their presence there. I am here talking about the
13 exclusion of a civilian population from such areas. We could not
14 implement that by way of moving people physically from the areas of
15 combat activities. We could warn them. And I bear the responsibility
16 for those people in the workers' log cabins near the Energoinvest
17 building and the school of electrical engineering. There were people
18 there. There were no artillery assets there, but those people
19 nevertheless got killed. Men, women, and children got killed by
20 artillery fire particularly during this offensive. I did not issue any
21 decision to move them out because there were no artillery assets there.
22 To be honest, I didn't do anything because I never expected that they
23 could be targeted. And, unfortunately, they got killed.
24 Q. Can we now look at the following page, bullet point 7. Let's see
25 what Colonel Sladoje ordered. It says here:
1 "Inform the population and prepare it to leave and stay in
2 shelters. Use the police force to prevent the civilians from moving in
3 the area of combat activities and completely stop civilian traffic."
4 Is this in keeping with the commander's obligations towards
6 A. This is self-explanatory. This shows clearly what he as
7 commander did. There is no ambiguity here. This is something that he
8 was duty-bound to do and he did it. These are facts that demonstrate
9 that everybody knew what needed to be done to protect people. This is
10 excellent. I think that he did very well here.
11 Q. What were the obligations of the officers of the other side with
12 regard to their own civilians and how did they comply with those
14 A. My answer is this: I'm not going to discuss their obligations.
15 I believe that they are self-explanatory. They should have known what
16 they were supposed to do. In the overall constellation of relations, we
17 could not seek justifications. We could not say they were duty-bound to
18 protect the area from which they opened fire to move the population out.
19 It was our task to establish whether that area was still inhabited by
20 civilians, and if there were civilians, we should not have opened fire on
21 those areas and we did not. If the area was not cleared, we applied the
22 procedure that I have already mentioned several times. First of all,
23 there would be observation, information would be provided as to what was
24 observed, what kind of assets were there, and then the officer assess
25 their threat, and after that we either used our assets or we prevented
1 their use. It is only normal that they were supposed to protect their
2 own population. They should have disallowed them to remain in the
3 locality where combat activities were taking place.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document be admitted?
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2814, Your Honours.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, sir, you mentioned the profitability of a target and the
10 acceptability of collateral damage. How were these things guiding you in
11 your actions? Were those principles your guide-lines?
12 A. It was very important for any shelling campaign if it was
13 considered that there would be a lot of casualties on our side, the only
14 thing that we did was to carry out the necessary assessment in order to
15 obtain some information. Even if there was a possibility for people to
16 get killed although they were not direct participants in fighting, in
17 order to minimise the collateral damage and to be different than the
18 damage we suffered from their fire, if there were to be losses due to
19 heavy fire from that area, that locality was targeted only if there was
20 minimal collateral damage among civilians and that amounted to one or two
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D8012.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You just told us that the number of shells does not have anything
1 to do with the number of victims. Which shell is the most dangerous in
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, if I may, I wonder -- I've just been
5 listening to a couple of different channels of interpretation. I wonder
6 if Dr. Karadzic and General Milosevic could be encouraged just to measure
7 their pace in their questions and answers a little bit so that our
8 colleagues can keep up with the speed of the evidence.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Edgerton.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We have to make pauses, but I wanted to accomplish as much before
12 our lunch break. You mentioned the fact that the number of casualties
13 does not depend on the number of shells. What happens after the first or
14 the second shell? Which shell is the most dangerous for manpower in
15 their sequence of being fired?
16 A. Let us agree on one thing. When I say that the number of shells
17 is not the right measure, I'm talking about our military positions. I am
18 not saying that one, two, or a hundred are perilous if none of them have
19 hit the target. I don't know whether I am making myself clear. I know
20 what I'm trying to say. I'm trying to say that not every shell kills.
21 Shells don't kill people who are protected. This was my intention. I
22 wanted to convey that message to my artillery men. I didn't want them to
23 think that when they launch a great number of shells that they are
24 effective. They're only effective if they hit the target. That's the
25 rule and that's what I tried to convey as a message to my artillerymen.
1 And when we're talking about shells missing targets, nobody knows
2 what the collateral damage will be and nobody knows which one in the
3 sequence will be the most dangerous. The first one is the warning one
4 and every next shell is dangerous. But the first one is the most
5 dangerous because after the first one, everybody tries to find shelter
6 and it is especially dangerous and perilous if it hits the target.
7 Q. Can you please look at what your Chief of Staff wrote on the
8 30th of August while you were still on sick leave. What he said happened
9 after the alleged Serbian massacre of civilians at Markale. He says that
10 an air-strike started, and in the third paragraph he says that several
11 thousands of projectiles fell, that there was civilian damage in Hadzici,
12 Ilidza, and in the general sector of Lukavica. When you returned from
13 your sick leave, did you get informed about the consequences of that
14 shelling campaign?
15 A. 30th August, yes. I returned to the corps on the 9th or the
16 10th September, which means ten days later than the events described in
17 the document. Of course they told me what had been going on. Among
18 other things, the corps command had to relocate. It was no longer in the
19 same place where I left it because it was exposed to direct fire, but I
20 would say very sophisticated and very precise fire by rapid action forces
21 from the Mount Igman. Let me not tell you now about this Rapid Action
22 Force. Of course they reported to me and they told me about the aviation
23 attacks, but I also saw some of that action when the bombs fell on an
24 area overlooking Lukavica. And I know why they landed there. There used
25 to be a base for the 247th Self-propelled Rocket Regiment which had moved
1 out of there as early as 1992 and moved to Novi Sad. But their
2 installations remained there and people used that for cover. And the
3 NATO aviation dropped a lot of its load in that area. I was -- I got
4 there early enough to see some of that action.
5 JUDGE KWON: Shall we stop here? What's the relevance of this
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I need two minutes,
8 Your Excellency. Because you will see from further questions that it is
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: Two minutes, yes. Please continue.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, did you ask your associates to report to you about the
14 events of the 28th of August and what kind of information did you get
15 about the origin of the shell?
16 A. I did not ask for that and I have to say clearly here I was not
17 aware of the incident. Because I was not aware, I couldn't ask for the
18 information. But they did tell me of their own accord what happened at
19 Markale on the 28th of August. Quite naturally, people told me. They
20 told me that an anathema fell on the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps because
21 people said it was their mortar who fired their shell. However, on that
22 day, no such fire was opened, no such shell was used. That is what I
23 heard from Cedo Sladojevic, Colonel Lugonja, and some other officers from
24 the inner circle of the brigade.
25 Q. Then in item 4 it says:
1 "Continue to refrain from opening fire on the city with artillery
2 weapons and do not fire on UNPROFOR personnel and assets."
3 A. Yes, that was our continuing position the way we had agreed to
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this, please?
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2815, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll have a break for 45 minutes and
9 resume at 22 past 1.00.
10 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.37 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.22 p.m.
12 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, you mentioned decision-making procedures. Can you tell
16 me, what was the process of making the decision whether larger calibres
17 will be used? What was the input from the ground and who made the
18 decision ultimately?
19 A. The first requirement that had to be met was to find out whether
20 the target is detected. It was not enough for fire to be observed from
21 that area. It was necessary to narrow down the area, to identify the
22 target, its surroundings, that is to say, its immediate locality. The
23 second thing that needed to be established was the type of weapon, the
24 type of fire, and the number of weapons, whether it's one, two, three, or
25 five guns, and of which calibre.
1 Q. Excuse me, whose weapons are you talking about when you say type
2 of weapon and number of weapons?
3 A. I thought that was implied. If we are considering and discussing
4 targets, then I'm talking about fire opened by the 1st Corps by their
5 guns, their assets, and the military targets they represented.
6 Q. I just wanted it to be crystal clear to the participants.
7 A. These decisions had to be taken very quickly because action is
8 sometimes pointless if it comes too late. And of course we were not
9 computers. We were not machines to analyse this data very quickly. So
10 the next thing to be considered was the damage that could be inflicted on
11 things other than the target, the surrounding people, buildings,
12 installations, et cetera. We needed information about that from our
13 sources. The commanding officer on the ground had to verify all that and
14 to check if the initial report is really accurate. Sometimes even a
15 trained observer is not always qualified to represent the situation
17 If we had a target who posed a danger to the forces of the SRK,
18 then we would open fire with the most profitable weapon, such as mortars,
19 or stronger weapons that would enable us to neutralise that target and
20 prevent it from opening fire against us again.
21 Or are you asking me who makes the decision? The brigade
22 commander or even I if I'm there on the spot. If I'm not, then the
23 person whose units are in danger will make that decision.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 8, next to the word
25 "danger," I should like to add the word "great" because the General said
1 if there is a "great danger" then the fire would be opened. We could
2 hear it on the tapes if necessary.
3 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Milosevic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Of course, I understand that you could make that decision as the
8 highest commander, but what is the lowest level for such decision-making?
9 A. It could not be anyone lower than brigade commander.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. Excuse me, may I add this? We are not talking about the urban
12 area. This whole discussion is about the urban area. In other areas I
13 believe it is perfectly clear that our problems were not just in the
14 narrow area of Sarajevo, but the whole broader region. If we are talking
15 about areas outside the city, about clearings, then this decision to open
16 fire could be made by a company commander as well.
17 Q. But speaking of the decision to use heavy weapons, what resources
18 did brigades have and what resources did battalions have and what were
19 your orders in that respect?
20 A. I hope it is perfectly clear and that detailed explanation is
21 perhaps superfluous, but I'll try. The basic assets used on the targets
22 we discussed before were the assets at the disposal of the brigade
23 command. It could be howitzers, 100-, 105-millimetres mortars,
24 120-millimetres, and those were the heavy weapons they had. They didn't
25 have any other heavy weapons. The corps artillery had more powerful
1 weapons that were not in use, such as howitzers 155. They were
2 eliminated from use in 1994 when they were withdrawn and placed under the
3 supervision of UNPROFOR.
4 Q. Artillery groups, how are they grouped? There were some on the
5 level of brigade, some on battalion level, some on the corps level.
6 Companies did not have them; right?
7 A. No, companies could only have 60- and 82-millimetre mortars, but
8 not all companies had them because they had to be scattered over such a
9 large area and not every company commander could have his own artillery
11 Q. And how about the outside forward line of defence facing the
12 2nd and 7th Corps and the 14th and 16th Division, how did the line run
13 through populated areas and did you have any restrictions imposed on the
14 use of artillery there?
15 A. Those areas were mostly clear, unpopulated -- mostly unpopulated.
16 However, specifically in the area where the Ilijas Brigade was fighting
17 parts of the 16th Division near Breza and Visoko, they were also in
18 contact with the urban area. It's good that you reminded me about this.
19 There was never a problem if a shell landed in Visoko, but when a shell
20 landed in Sarajevo, then whole world saw it as artillery rampage. They
21 did not respond to action in higher ground. There was always this
22 tendency to concentrate on Sarajevo as a city in danger, and Visoko is
23 also a town just like Sarajevo.
24 Q. How many Muslim shells landed in Ilijas, an urban area in
25 Sarajevo, on average during the war? Did you have any sort of records,
1 even rough?
2 A. I did not keep that kind of record. I would take the liberty now
3 of saying that there was too much fire of that kind, but we did not count
4 the shells. That's why I cannot give you a precise number. But I can
5 tell you that Ilijas was under fire, not only artillery fire but also
6 under 12.7-millimetre fire because it was such a compact area. Ilijas
7 was a place that was -- whose surroundings were crawling by all sorts of
8 forces and it was constantly under mortar fire.
9 Q. Were neighbourhoods like Visoko, Breza, Zupca, a large Muslim
10 concentration, in the range of SRK artillery? Did you target them and
11 did you raze them to the ground?
12 A. It was not impossible to reach. It was not impossible to fire
13 there. I'm talking about Visoko. As for Breza, that locality was far
14 enough to be out of our range.
15 Q. What about Zupca, it wasn't far, was it?
16 A. It's actually Zupca. As far as I remember, that's a village. It
17 was not too far but it was not under fire.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you remind us, what kind of relationship did
19 Republika Srpska have with Yugoslavia in 1995 at the time of this
20 offensive that three or four corps launched against the Sarajevo-Romanija
21 Corps? I don't mean the political relationship. I mean trade.
22 A. I understand. I understand. Concerning these specifics, I know
23 there was a decision to impose an embargo on import of assets. This
24 embargo was imposed by Serbia and they banned all deliveries to
25 Republika Srpska of equipment, food, fuel, all sorts of supplies. And
1 I'm trying to tell you and you, Your Honours, I am only aware of this.
2 I've read about it but I did not deal with that directly.
3 Q. And where did we produce shells in your area of responsibility?
4 A. This production was at the Pretis factory in Vogosca.
5 Q. Where did we get steel for these shells?
6 A. Somebody else might know that. The situation was like this: The
7 director of that factory was complaining to me that he had no imports,
8 nothing to produce anything with. So by coincidence I went to Ilijas to
9 deal with something else and I saw there the ironworks, the former
10 factory of Ilijas, and I saw behind the factory a huge heap of steel.
11 And I asked if they don't need it to give it to Pretis, but they said
12 it's not the type of steel they need. So I was actually so ignorant
13 about these things that I could not distinguish between what is good for
14 military production and what's not. I was simply barking up the wrong
16 Q. I'm trying to avoid leading questions, but tell us about this
17 embargo imposed by Yugoslavia in 1994. Did it also apply to the steel
18 from Niksic in Montenegro?
19 A. Yes, yes, I know that. That was the key product. Looking in
20 hindsight, I realise now that we needed it more than food.
21 Q. Let us move on to air bombs and that is why I asked about the
22 situation with logistics in the SRK at the time. Do you know whether the
23 Muslim side had or used air bombs?
24 A. My knowledge and in this case my assertion is that they did have
25 air bombs. To be more precise, around the 18th or perhaps the 22nd of
1 April, 1992, the special forces of MUP commanded by Dragan Vikic entered
2 the Pretis factory and started taking away certain quantities of
3 ammunition and they even took the stock of air bombs that there were in
4 the warehouses. There was a skirmish, a conflict, between those who
5 protected the factory and those forces. And once it was over, some of
6 those assets were taken away. It only confirms that they had a certain
7 amount of air bombs at their disposal.
8 Secondly, I do know, although I'm unaware as to how extensively
9 they used it, they did have an arsenal of anti-aircraft weapons -- I'm
10 sorry, I'm sorry, air lethal assets. The main depot was in Busovaca,
11 which is in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was Croatian
12 territory, to tell you the truth, but how they divided the loot from
13 Busovaca is something I don't know. But they did certainly have
14 preconditions to receive supplies of air bombs. In this particular case,
15 in addition to other lethal assets, air bombs were there as well. And I
16 do know that because I used to command a military police battalion and,
17 as such, I was aware of the situation in each and every warehouse and
18 what was being held where back then in the time of the JNA and in peace
19 time. I stand by my assertion that potentially they did have it at their
20 disposal, but I don't know how diligent they were in keeping matters
22 What I also know is that in the location of the national park at
23 Vrace, there are certain monuments there as well, there were three air
24 bombs that were dropped there but went unexploded. Colonel Cedo Sladoje
25 called me because he was astonished and he wanted to show it to me. He
1 wanted me to see something that on one hand was a dangerous asset for us
2 and, on the other, we were happy that they did not explode. One landed
3 in a civilian's garden and the other two landed in the park itself. We
4 were very happy that they went unexploded. This tells you a lot about
5 whether they did have it or not. If they managed to drop it on our
6 heads, they must have had some.
7 Q. Can you remember how they launched them, how were they able to
8 reach Vrace?
9 A. I don't know how they launched them. There's nothing else I can
10 say. We all know how they could have launched them, the same way we did.
11 They asserted that alleged bombs came from our side which fell into the
12 Miljacka, and they said they extracted them, used powder for their rifle
13 grenades. But what I actually fear is that they dropped the bombs which
14 they had extracted that way to attack us with them.
15 There was another thing that I wanted to share with the Court. I
16 had information that the person who created those assets to be launched
17 from their side was Mr. Berko Zecevic, who had worked at Pretis, and he
18 had advocated the use of such assets even before. I'm simply sharing the
19 information I had at the time although I'm not claiming anything. I know
20 that he tried to produce such assets even back when he had worked at
21 Pretis. He was competent and intelligent enough to design such an asset
22 which was of significant force, significant power.
23 Also, one needed a level of technical education to have them
24 launched as well.
25 Q. We'll get to that, General. Let me ask you another thing about
1 this topic. Were there any classical-type JNA weapons that the SRK or
2 VRS had that the Army of BH did not?
3 A. It was the other way around, depending on the type of weapon. I
4 am not discussing the VRS as a whole. I'm only discussing the SRK now.
5 We did not have the NORA howitzers, whereas the 1st Corps of the Army of
6 BH did and the 1st Corps did as a matter of norm, standard. They
7 produced it in the Bratstvo factory and they kept developing them during
8 the war. We did not have that kind of asset. As for the rest we had,
9 they had it too. All of that had come from the same armed force. Both
10 forces were created out of the same basis and we had the same assets.
11 Q. In addition to the NORA howitzers, did they have 133-millimetre
12 cannons called Sultan? Did they have such cannons at Igman?
13 A. Yes. Actually, it was a 130-millimetre gun. It has a long
14 barrel and the calibre was 130. It wasn't as large as you said because I
15 don't think they would have been able to manage such large calibres. As
16 a professional, I'm not even aware of that calibre.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 1D7031, please. This
19 is the audio recording of the 10th of August, 1995, session of the
20 Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Could we have
21 page 7 in the English and we'll move on to page 8, whereas in the Serbian
22 we need page 10.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, did you suffer the consequences of the attacks of such
25 air bombs even before the 10th of April?
1 A. I told you we suffered no consequences. I simply realised that
2 they had them. Our problem was the dynamics of activities that were
3 underway. It was reported to me literally that some kind of contraption
4 landed in Nedzarici, apparently having large destructive power. To tell
5 you the truth, I had no time to verify at all because combat was of such
6 intensity that we could only establish whether there was any resulting
7 damage to Nedzarici so as to enable a breakthrough on their part; and if
8 that was negative, we no longer bothered. It seems that some kind of
9 contraptions also landed at Ilijas. At times of their aggressive action,
10 we simply did not have time to carry out on-site investigations and keep
11 records. We just moved on. If we could protect ourselves in spite of
12 such danger, we simply continued fighting.
13 Q. Thank you. In line 13 one reads, as you said, that "we were
14 aware that we had them," whereas you say that "we were aware that they
15 had it." Were you aware of the Muslim side having air bombs?
16 A. Yes, that's what I said basically. That's what I meant.
17 Q. Thank you. Let me read out Silajdzic's reply, the last sentence
18 before the president. He says:
19 "There is some talk of some 26 airplanes that arrived in the last
20 few days. If this refers to about 10.000 multiple rocket-launcher
21 rockets and 10.000 ARPDZ and 800 aerial bombs, et cetera, then I can say
22 if this is about this and this was among other things ..."
23 And then the president says:
24 "This has not arrived yet. We are waiting."
25 And then Silajdzic says:
1 "When I mentioned the four flights, they had already gone by
2 then, which means that stuff was being brought in. If that's what it's
3 about, I can tell you that my sister, our ambassador to Pakistan,
4 procured it. However, she resigned but I took care of the money. So it
5 was paid to them via Malaysia."
6 Did you know that they were buying assets in these far away
8 A. I knew about the rockets mentioned here, that they were used
9 against the units of the SRK. The kind of procedure they had concerning
10 procurement and their connections, that is something I was not aware of.
11 It wasn't within my remit to know. What was much more important for me
12 was that I could feel the impact of such weapons after a wave of
13 additional reinforcement which occurred as of the second half of 1994 and
14 in early 1995.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that the page in English
16 does not correspond to the one in Serbian.
17 Can we have this admitted, Your Excellencies?
18 JUDGE KWON: Let me check whether we have correct English.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Pages 7 and 8 in English. So the
20 previous page -- the bottom of the previous page in the English. Yes, we
21 see there where it says "800 aerial bombs." And the rest is at the top
22 of page 8.
23 Your Excellency, I seek to tender the entire transcript because
24 we also admitted all other similar Assembly transcripts en bloc, as a
25 whole, a package.
1 JUDGE KWON: That's the case of Serbian sessions. I'm not sure
2 if we need to admit them all. We'll admit English pages 7 and 8. I
3 think that's sufficient.
4 Ms. Edgerton.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Well, actually, having read the whole document, I
6 think Your Honours would be better able to understand the context within
7 which the remarks at pages 7 and 8 are placed if you had the whole
8 document. I'm not normally --
9 JUDGE KWON: If necessary you may --
10 MS. EDGERTON: -- out to burden the record --
11 JUDGE KWON: But you may tender it if necessary.
12 MS. EDGERTON: That's fine.
13 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2816, Your Honours.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I ask -- thank you.
16 May I ask whether the documents of Muslim authorities should be
17 treated as Serbian documents and admitted as a whole so that we could all
18 rely on them during our closing arguments and submissions?
19 JUDGE KWON: Let's move on, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did we have aerial bombs? Why did we have them and how did we
23 use them?
24 A. Yes, we did have aerial bombs. As an asset which proved itself
25 useful. It was something we needed. We were put in a situation where we
1 needed to have more destructive or stronger weapons which would address
2 the situations and circumstances which could not have otherwise been
3 resolved if we wanted to use smaller types of weapon.
4 Q. Did you have these smaller types of weapon in sufficient
5 quantities, such as shells of different calibre that were being produced
6 in the Pretis factory?
7 A. The Pretis factory was one thing, whereas the VRS is a much
8 larger entity than the SRK alone. We received some of it from the Pretis
9 company but not enough. It confirms what I said before. The Pretis
10 factory could not produce sufficient quantities because they did not have
11 enough raw materials. We did not have sufficient assets to conduct our
12 defence adequately.
13 Q. Thank you. When the Prosecutor calls those bombs "modified air
14 bombs" in its documents, can you tell us, is it the bomb itself that was
15 modified or is it the way it was launched modified? What was it that was
16 actually modified?
17 A. There was no modifications done to the air bomb in terms of its
18 power, the way it exploded, and so on and so forth. It remains a
19 classical bomb, just as it used to be, and that's as far as the air bomb
20 is concerned. The modification in question and the term that was used
21 had to do with the way it was launched. It was not us who called it a
22 modified aerial bomb. We just called it an aerial bomb. What was
23 modified was the way it was launched. It was no longer thrown from the
24 air. It was launched from the ground from a launcher.
25 Q. How was it launched? What was its fuel? What powered it?
1 A. First of all, if I may be allowed to say something. I went
2 through all of those stages in my case and what arose was a statement
3 that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps actually invented that kind of bomb,
4 that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps used it first, ever. My information is
5 different so I'm going to give you a totally different story.
6 As early as in 1981 or in 1982, I was a battalion commander. I
7 attended a training course after Strela 1, a type of anti-aircraft
8 weapon, was launched. That training took place in Slovenia and we were
9 trained to launch that type of weapon. And then I saw a launcher and a
10 model of an aerial bomb launched from it. The crew was thus trained to
11 use that Strela anti-aircraft weapon. I paid good attention to that
12 Strela weapon and to what we were being told. Unfortunately, I did not
13 pay as much attention to the launcher and the way that asset was fired.
14 It was only later that it occurred to me that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
15 could not have been a creator of that aerial bomb because that had
16 already been done and tested in other places. And the change consists in
17 the way that bomb was launched, not from the air but from the ground, and
18 it was not our product.
19 Q. What about the fuel? What about the way those bombs were fired?
20 What was their nature? How precise they were?
21 A. I can tell you everything and I can explain. At the corps
22 command we designated Lieutenant-Colonel Milan Ugresic and we engaged him
23 to be that link. But before that, before that, I have to tell you that
24 the Sarajevo region and the factories in Sarajevo, such as Pretis, Orao,
25 and so on and so forth, they all had purpose production. In that area
1 there was a host of engineers, a host of experts in weapons. They always
2 offered us to improve things or to create things for us. We could not
3 rely on the know-how of those people because they maybe harboured other
4 ideas. That's why the Lieutenant Ugresic was the link between those
5 creative factors, those who were engaged in manufacturing the launcher
6 and mounting the engines to fuel the aerial bomb. A person who was an
7 expert, who was very moderate, very conscientious and diligent, he was
8 vigilant. He monitored their work in order to tell us whether what they
9 were doing could be used or not. He was personally in the testing ground
10 where those assets were tested until they ended up with something that
11 could be used in combat, if you people understand what I'm saying.
12 JUDGE KWON: Could you give the name of that Lieutenant-Colonel,
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ugresic, Ugresic.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Which rockets, which engines were used to be attached to the air
19 bomb? Did you know? Do you have that technical data?
20 A. I already told you who was in charge of that, who was designated
21 to monitor that and to inform us. I cannot repeat the details and the
22 description of those engines that he gave me, their construction and use.
23 As far as I know, those engines were taken from the -- from
24 multi-barrelled rocket-launchers. They were rocket engines. I don't
25 know the details.
1 Q. Thank you. KDZ3083 [as interpreted] was a witness here and he
2 testified to the fact that before that aerial bomb was used, it was
3 tested at Zuc. Did you know anything about the testings of that aerial
4 bomb before they finally were used in combat?
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, before going further, yes,
6 Ms. Edgerton.
7 MS. EDGERTON: I think on this one I'd like to ask Dr. Karadzic
8 for a citation, Your Honour. I think that's a misstatement of the
9 evidence and it's a very leading question.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. And it -- what's the witness number again?
11 MS. EDGERTON: Something that I think doesn't exist. The
12 translation or the transcript says "3083." That's also what I heard from
13 Dr. Karadzic.
14 JUDGE KWON: That's why I'm asking.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said "383." I did not mention
16 any 0s. I don't think that he was protected, but I don't want to take
17 any chances with that.
18 JUDGE KWON: I don't see that number. Can we get the name,
19 Ms. Edgerton, if he's not protected.
20 MS. EDGERTON: Let me just ask, please.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, do you have the number?
22 MR. ROBINSON: I'm not exactly -- I have someone in mind, but I'm
23 not exactly sure if it's the same one in Dr. Karadzic's, so I'm not --
24 perhaps we can rely on the Prosecution for this.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can say. Milomir Soja. I don't
1 think he was protected. If he was, then we need to redact this.
2 JUDGE KWON: No, he was not protected.
3 MR. ROBINSON: And he was number 383.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, thank you.
5 And did you, in the meantime, check the -- check your reference
6 as regards Ms. Edgerton's objection?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Sladojevic is looking for it
8 and he will tell us.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But even without that, General sir, did you know anything about
11 the accuracy of these assets and the ways the accuracy of those assets
12 was established?
13 A. Yes. Ugresic claimed that the experts who worked on those assets
14 practically perfected the weapon to the point at which it could be
15 considered precise. If the target was visible, if the calculations were
16 properly made, that weapon could hit the target.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript 7217, lines from 16
19 through 20, Witness Soja.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Did he inform you where those testings had taken place?
22 A. At Kalinovik, at a testing ground which is an open space in the
23 direction of Mount Zelengora.
24 Q. Thank you. Where were those bombs fired from? How significant
25 was their precision for your forces?
1 A. Those assets were fired from the area of responsibility of the
2 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. That area or that zone is behind the lines of
3 the units which were in their trenches, and if there were residential
4 areas on the axis, those bombs would go across those areas. But those
5 situations were mostly avoided and they chose such localities where such
6 aerial bombs would have to overfly only our units. Those were the
7 circumstances which required caution and it had to be made sure that
8 there was a high degree of precision, otherwise the bomb may have landed
9 on our forces.
10 And let us be clear on one thing. I know that when we're talking
11 about Soja, Soja reported, or rather, I apologise, he testified about
12 some sort of testing and that that aerial bomb fell on a hangar in the
13 territory that was under the control of the VRS. I don't know anything
14 about that period. When it fell over there, all further work was
15 abandoned until conditions were put in place for the electronics to be
17 Q. Thank you. How many aerial bombs were used in the forward part
18 of defence in the outer ring and how many in the city of Sarajevo itself?
19 A. When dealing with aerial bombs, I perceive that question as
20 having its specificities in the following sense and let me tell you what
21 they are. We used two aerial bombs, one in Nisici and the other in
22 Trnovo, in the direction of Treskavica. That was at the time when their
23 offensives were already in full swing. They did not react. They did not
24 say that they had been hit by something, but they were stopped in their
25 advancement. Neither was anybody else interested in the bomb being used
1 in those localities. It was construed as the aerial bombs were something
2 good and not dangerous, and later on, it became the biggest bogeyman for
3 the urban territory. They were used in both areas but not with the same
4 significance. All of a sudden it occurred to somebody to say that that
5 bomb was the biggest bogeyman for the mass murder of the population.
6 Q. And what was its precision in Nisici and in Trnovo? Can you tell
7 the Trial Chamber how far are the two locations from the city and in what
9 A. Yes, yes. The locality of Nisici and all the sectors around it
10 are some 40 to 42 kilometres from the city or thereabouts. The same
11 applies, it may be somewhat shorter, towards Trnovo and Treskavica, when
12 the bombs were fired from Trnovo to Treskavica. I can't speak about
13 precision, save for the fact that their attacks were stopped which means
14 that our aerial bomb achieved its goal.
15 Q. When did the use of those bombs start in the city of Sarajevo
17 A. We assessed periods in order to see what kind of combat
18 operations lie ahead of us. We arrived at the assessments that I have
19 mentioned on several occasions. We decide to opt for a new strategy and
20 for reinforcement. We saw that they opened fire from out of the city
21 because they had concluded that they were less successful in trying to
22 break through from the city. And that's why we started coming up with
23 reinforcement in order to stop their onslaught from those axes.
24 The situation was well assessed; however, what happened next was
25 not based only on those assessments. When they got reinforcement and --
1 during the offensives, they became very efficient and they could break
2 out from the city of Sarajevo. The 12th Division had grown to such
3 proportions in terms of manpower and equipment that we realised that we
4 needed to open fire on those forces that were breaking through from those
6 Q. Thank you. In my indictment I am charged with an incident which
7 happened on the 24th of May, 1995, in Safeta Zajke Street. Allegedly
8 100 -- a bomb fell 100 metres away from the industrial compound, i.e.,
9 from the wire. It is said that two people were killed. Do you recall
10 the circumstances of that date, 24 May, and the incident in the
11 Safet Zajke Street, I believe it used to be called Drinska.
12 A. There is nothing that I don't remember if it has to do with
13 military operations and developments in that period and especially in
14 that locality. When we'd get information that they concentrated certain
15 weapons and especially 120-millimetre mortars, because in this case we
16 are discussing they were attempting to cut off our road from Lukavica to
17 Pale through Trebevic in a place called Zlatiste, near that feature.
18 They did it in such a co-ordinated way that they were attacking on one
19 axis with weapons and in another area they were preparing a breakthrough
20 towards Nedzarici.
21 Now, concerning this incident in - what's the name of that
22 street? - Safet Zajke.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Yes. That's where they had six 120-millimetre mortars covering
25 Nedzarici and part of Ilidza with strong artillery fire, and they brought
1 their forces close to the Stupsko Brdo area so that after that artillery
2 attack, their infantry could move in. With the air bomb we stopped them
3 at Safet Zajke Street and neutralised those six mortars, to the best of
4 my recollection.
5 Q. What kind of their operations do you recall on the 24th of May,
7 A. Before that they were trying to mount these offensives, but it
8 turned out that these operations of theirs - I cannot now find a good
9 word for it to explain - but that made it clear to us that they were
10 trying to change the whole course of the war. Our response to this
11 fierce attack was again seen as us endangering Sarajevo and very soon
12 afterwards NATO air-strikes began.
13 Q. You're talking about the 25th of May, right, not August?
14 A. Yes, May. We're not discussing August now.
15 Q. In the same indictment concerning the same day, 24th of May, I am
16 charged with the incident in Majdanska Street, where allegedly an air
17 bomb flew into a residential area killing two and wounding six. Can you
18 tell us, was that street also engulfed in the offensive and what were the
20 A. All this is the same locality, parts of Novo Sarajevo, from which
21 they launched their operations with the proviso that this area,
22 Majdanska Street, territorially belongs to the 101st Mountain Brigade.
23 And their forces attempting a breakthrough went through the well-known
24 Ozrenska Street, that's the street which leads to Majdanska, and their
25 forces were trying to cut off that Ozrenska Street. And this
1 Ozrenska Street is like a knife's edge. Whoever manages to get to the
2 south side has made it; we no longer have a chance to stop them. So they
3 were attacking with mortars from that locality. I know that their air
4 bomb landed in a certain place killing nobody. I know from their
5 reports. The indictment says otherwise, that it killed people. That's
6 all I know.
7 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, G-11 in the indictment only refers to
8 a missile projectile. Is it your or Prosecution's case that the bomb
9 landed in this Safeta Zajke on the 24th of May was indeed a modified
10 aerial bomb?
11 MS. EDGERTON: It is.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, I was not clear enough before. This one in
16 Majdanska Street hit a transformer station. The closest residential
17 building was a hundred metres away. Do you believe that it was a
18 legitimate hit, in view of the precision of air bombs?
19 A. I don't want to assert anything because I don't know how the
20 Court will understand whatever I say. I know that we were targeting a
21 position that posed a danger to us, and that is how I see it and that's
22 why I estimate that it was justified to neutralise that fire. As for the
23 distance, 130 metres or 140 metres to the residential building, I still
24 believe that it was far enough to be safe. It cannot be damaged by our
25 action. Of course people will be unhappy about it, but there are no
2 Q. On the 26th of May, the indictment states that in Safeta Hadzica
3 Street a bomb landed, two people were killed and 12 were -- sorry, two
4 people were seriously wounded and 12 lightly injured. What was the
5 purpose of firing that projectile? Was it still during the Muslim army
7 A. I'll first answer about the offensive. It's impossible that we
8 would have fired if everything was quiet and nobody was attacking us. In
9 that incident, what I know and what I recollect and what the reports that
10 reached me said, fresh forces had been brought in to attempt a
11 breakthrough. They were trying and they had the firm intention to link
12 up with 104th Brigade through Nedzarici and that reinforcement they had
13 brought was about battalion strength and they were in the expecting
14 sector. And it was clear their intention was to bring in that
15 reinforcement for attack in the sector, in the expecting sector, of the
16 brought-in battalion which had about 600 men.
17 Q. Thank you, General. Concerning the 16th of June, what was the
18 situation in the Sarajevo theatre on that day, 16 June 1995?
19 A. We have already discussed this date, going through the intercept
20 with General Mladic. I provided information and explanation that the
21 well-known Tehber offensive had commenced. It was a situation from which
22 we had to find a way out. Now, the 16th of June -- I know all these
23 situations here, but speaking about the 16th of June, the air bomb that
24 is said to have been fired at Dositejeva Street in the centre of
25 Sarajevo, I know that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps did not do that and it
1 was not its air bomb, if it had been fired at all. The same applies to
2 the street, although it doesn't feature in your case, called Cobanija,
3 formerly Masarykova Street. They claim that one of our air bombs fell
4 there, damaging, hitting, part of a boiler room.
5 Now, as for the Dositejeva Street, it destroyed a toilet. And
6 they claimed it destroyed five businesses. How can anyone claim that
7 because it's the heart of Sarajevo? There could not have been five small
8 shops there. Anyway, I assert that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps did not
9 fire these bombs.
10 Q. Did you know of any military target in Dositejeva Street,
11 regardless of whether it was the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps that fired or
12 not or whether there had been a bomb all? Were there any military
13 targets there?
14 A. I did say before that I knew everything, but, of course, there
15 may have been things I didn't know. I knew about Dositejeva Street that
16 the 1st Corps command is headquartered in the vicinity. I knew that
17 there were people -- the crew of chopper squadron, I received a report
18 about that, that they had their residence there, but I did not go there
19 to check.
20 Q. The indictment alleges that three people were lightly injured.
21 What kind of damage would you expect if that place had really been hit by
22 an air bomb?
23 A. That is why I'm saying, if it had indeed fallen there, it must
24 have caused much greater destruction. And if it caused no destruction at
25 all, then I wonder what this is all about. This incident was mentioned
1 in my trial too. Not a single witness was brought to testify about that
2 incident, to say yes or nay. Mr. Berko Zecevic spoke about this.
3 One of the first allegations of the investigative organs was that
4 the air bomb was fired from the area of Pionirska Dolina, and if you
5 fired anything from that place, you would hit several high-rises before
6 getting to Dositejeva. But then Berko Zecevic comes and says: No, it
7 was fired from the Pretis factory. So there are different versions. In
8 my mind it was neither.
9 Q. On the 16th of June the indictment states that our air bomb hit
10 the Square of International Friendship - you will tell me which brigade's
11 area that was - lightly injuring seven people. Part of what military
12 operations was this and whose area was this Square of International
14 A. I'm certain that it was the area of responsibility of the
15 102nd Mountain Brigade which had direct contact and was jointly attacked
16 with this battalion of ours and was attacking --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- our battalion in Nedzarici and
19 again this was an attempt to stop their attack.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I understand you have reservations about the number of casualties
22 in one incident. Even the indictment says that the total number of
23 casualties, the total number of people killed by this air bomb was five.
24 How do you see that and what does it look like to you from the viewpoint
25 of international law of warfare? Even if we had done all that, even if
1 we were responsible, what do you say about five people being the total of
3 A. In terms of law, I'm not saying that five people killed is
4 nothing. That's a lot. That's one thing. Two, if they were portraying
5 this image of a hugely destructive weapon, then this number would seem to
6 indicate that it isn't. But with a good selection of target and
7 precision of fire, it is possible to avoid civilian casualties if you
8 target only militaries.
9 Q. Is it the case that a major offensive was underway at the time of
10 these incidents?
11 A. Yes. Very clearly, the enemy was engaging a huge force in order
12 to solve their problem and their problem was to how to create this space
13 for linking up, for further integration and unification of Bosnia as they
14 saw it under their control. I didn't want to go into whether their plans
15 were realistic or nonrealistic. But in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
16 everyone to -- down to the last man was determined to protect their own
17 homes and their areas. In the end, of course, they had to leave or they
18 were driven out, but still they were happy that they were not militarily
20 JUDGE KWON: What's the schedule number that happened on 16th of
21 June at the Square of International Friendship? Ms. Edgerton.
22 MS. EDGERTON: That's G-15, and of course the number of victims
23 is seven lightly injured and not five.
24 JUDGE KWON: Does it talk about any killed persons?
25 MS. EDGERTON: No.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I did not count
2 the wounded, but there were five killed people in all of the incidents
3 put together.
4 JUDGE KWON: Now I understood, yes.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Finally, at first instance of use of an aerial bomb in the area
7 of responsibility of the SRK and in the town itself took place on the
8 7th of April, 1995.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For that -- to that end, let's look
10 at P01201.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I wonder if Dr. Karadzic can
12 rephrase that question, which --
13 JUDGE KWON: You're not giving evidence, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was interpreting the indictment,
15 Your Excellency. In my indictment, the incident is referred to under
16 that date, so I am pursuing the allegations in my line of questioning.
17 But if you wish, we may well continue this tomorrow.
18 JUDGE KWON: Can you take a look, what paragraph is this?
19 MS. EDGERTON: G-10, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Would you like to ask the last question for
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, only this: Do you recognise this document and can you tell
24 us why you issued the order? What were the circumstances? What were the
25 circumstances of issuing the order?
1 A. I think I have explained in my prior testimony what kind of
2 events, activities, and actions there were in the area of Hrasnica,
3 Sokolovic Kolonija, and Butmir. The Ilidza Brigade, in the area they
4 defended, were constantly under fire from the forces at Hrasnica. They
5 were under threat of extermination of all soldiers and civilians. The
6 area defended by the 2nd Sarajevo Unit at Grlica, Vojkovici, and the area
7 towards Lukavica was attacked even more fiercely. If need be, I am ready
8 to show how active they were in the area. All of the weapons that were
9 supposed to enter Sarajevo were held there. The weapons arrived across
10 Igman where there was a selection made and then they kept much of the
11 good pieces. The 104th Motorised Brigade, for instance, it was the
12 ringleader, I would say, and dealt unfairly even vis-a-vis its superiors.
13 They didn't care about anyone. They were more extremist and they were
14 busy with that rather than trying to make a breakthrough. They usually
15 took it out on our civilian population. That was one thing.
16 Another thing, weapons were arriving through that area, units
17 were leaving, deploying themselves in Niksici and Trnovo, it was a
18 military space boiling with a number of soldiers, activity, attacks on
19 the engine factory, et cetera. When my subordinates told me that it
20 became unbearable to sustain any further fire from certain locations at
21 Hrasnica - there was mortar fire and ZIS cannons of 76 millimetres - they
22 suggested that we should use an aerial bomb. I decided so. I used it.
23 But first I asked them to pin-point a target, which would make sure that
24 their attacks ceased or were reduced.
25 Q. That's what the first paragraph refers to. There seems to have
1 been an attack underway for three days in the Famos factory area.
2 A. Yes, yes. The text speaks for itself.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, this has already
5 been admitted as a P exhibit and we may conclude for the day.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 We'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. The hearing is now
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.48 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of
11 January, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.