1 Friday, 30
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies
7 and gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth and the interpreters;
8 good morning to the legal assistants and court reporters; good morning
9 Mr. Harmon, Mr. McCloskey, and Mr. Cayley; good morning Mr. Petrusic and
10 Mr. Visnjic; good morning, General Krstic.
11 Good morning, Witness. Once again, I would like to remind you
12 that you are testifying under oath, and we shall now be continuing our
13 work with you answering questions put to you by Mr. McCloskey.
14 Your witness, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
17 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
18 Q. Mr. Butler, yesterday we left off as you were finishing the
19 discussion on the military aspects of two of the southern crime scenes,
20 the Kravica warehouse and the Cerska Valley. We'd taken it slightly out
21 of chronological order, but since we've started that, let's stay with the
22 13th of July.
23 Can you tell us about the Jadar River situation?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Factually, I can remind the Court we have a
25 survivor that was captured, he believed, by police. He was taken to a
1 small building which testimony has revealed was right outside the
2 5th Engineers in Konjevic Polje. He was interrogated by a person who
3 identified himself as Cica, and was eventually put on a bus with 16 others
4 that had men in camouflage uniforms and taken to the nearby area along the
5 Jadar River near where the Jadar River and the Drinjaca River meet, where
6 he survived an execution.
7 Q. Mr. Butler, what aspects of that situation have military elements
8 that fit into your analysis?
9 A. In that aspect, as with the previous ones, again the knowledge
10 that the facility at Konjevic Polje, the garrison of the 5th Engineer
11 Battalion, was an initial assembly point. Again the use of a bus in this
12 case, one of them that had to have come off the process of movement of the
13 Muslim women and children out of Potocari, again implies the knowledge
14 that, you know, the people controlling the buses, the corps staff, their
15 approval in order to start the diversion of buses away from the movement
16 of the women and children and into the process of collecting the Muslim
18 The fact that the individual was interrogated by somebody. Again,
19 an awareness piece that the Muslim prisoners were being collected at that
20 location, initially assembled there so this individual could be present to
21 interrogate them. The presence of uniformed military men guarding them
22 and uniformed Special Police guarding them, and then their transport to
23 the execution site. All, again, the individual pieces infer a plan or a
24 knowledge of a plan by first the individuals who captured the survivor and
25 those individuals who processed them, who were part of the process once he
1 was captured.
2 Q. One of the facts I left out, and I believe you touched on this
3 briefly yesterday, but this survivor said that the first thing the police
4 took from him were his documents and his ID papers. Again, would those
5 have been important for a military interrogation of a prisoner?
6 A. For the interrogation it would have been important to establish
7 the identity of the individual providing the information, and further down
8 the line in the processing and handling of prisoners, that personal
9 identification would have been necessary as well.
10 Q. All right. Let's go to Tisca, the area, perhaps more particularly
11 the Luke school area, the area where the women and children got off the
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And to remind the Court very briefly of those
14 facts, a survivor was separated from his family on the 13th of July and
15 taken with some 20 to 30 other Muslim males to a little school near this
16 area where he was guarded all day by soldiers -- and one soldier in
17 particular was talking on a military-type radio -- and then was
18 transported in a military truck that evening to an execution site where he
19 managed to survive into the woods.
20 Q. Can you tell us about the military aspects of that situation? I
21 believe you also mentioned earlier about the identification of a
22 Major Sarkic at that location on the previous day, 12 July, by
23 Major Boering. What does all this mean in a military context?
24 A. In this respect, that area was first in the zone of the Drina
25 Corps, although I'm still unclear as to whether it was the specific zone
1 of the Vlasenica or Milici Infantry Brigade. The physical geography would
2 suggest the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade; however, the physical
3 identification of Major Sarkic is an indicator of the Milici Infantry
5 Regardless of that specific, and as indicated on some of the
6 previous intercepts which were prior exhibits, certainly specifically
7 General Krstic and the Drina Corps staff had an awareness of; one, that
8 being the route that the buses would take, and that manifested itself in
9 the military presence there.
10 Pertaining to the specific aspects of the handling of the prisoner
11 when he was taken off the bus and placed into the nearby school or
12 facility, again, he's not able to identify many things that can be
13 inferred militarily, other than the school as a military-type facility in
14 use, and the fact that he witnessed a communications -- a field radio or a
15 field telephone, for lack of a better word, in which -- that this facility
16 was obviously in communications with some other headquarters. Again, the
17 inferred knowledge that at a designated point in time, somebody knew to
18 send a military truck, and pick these individuals up, and move them to a
19 designated location.
20 Q. Now, it's clear from a previous intercept that General Krstic made
21 very clear orders that the women and children or the people disembarking
22 should not be harmed, and we know that most of the women and children were
23 not harmed and were allowed to leave through Kladanj, though we also know
24 that at least one female was abused which we can assume is in direct
25 disregard of General Krstic's order.
1 What's the military likelihood that the Chief of Staff in charge
2 of the operation of the deportation and dealing with the Muslim prisoners
3 would not be aware that the men were being separated at this spot and
4 gathered together all day long, and then being taken off and executed?
5 A. In the scale of likelihood, I would judge that to be rather low.
6 Certainly with the communications network that we know existed at the
7 time, if these actions were occurring, particularly on the wide scope and
8 scale which we know that they did, and if in fact they represented a gross
9 series of individual violations of his orders, it's reasonable to assume
10 that somebody within the chain of command of the lower chain would have
11 notified him, or at least notified members of his staff.
12 Q. What is your understanding of Major Sarkic's position?
13 A. As identified by the prior witness or one of the previous
14 witnesses, and again, I don't know if he's a protected witness or not
15 so -- Major Sarkic's position was identified as the Chief of Staff of the
16 Milici Light Infantry Brigade.
17 Q. Have you placed him on your corps structure sheet exhibit?
18 A. Yes, sir, I have.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could get that set up, please, the corps
20 structure exhibit.
21 Q. And if you could take a moment, Mr. Butler, just to go over to
22 that exhibit and circle "Sarkic" so we can identify him, and I believe
23 we've mentioned Furtula also, if you could circle his presence on that
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Is there anyone else that you've discussed that we haven't circled
2 down there?
3 A. Colonel Blagojevic, the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade; Captain
4 1st Class Milenko Avramovic, the Commander of the 5th Engineer Battalion;
5 Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, the Commander of the Zvornik Infantry
6 Brigade; and Major Dragan Obrenovic, the Deputy Commander and Chief of
7 Staff of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. We've also discussed Lieutenant
8 Colonel, or in this case Colonel Svetozar Andric, the Commander of the 1st
9 Birac Infantry Brigade.
10 Within the corps staff we've discussed Lieutenant Colonel
11 Krsmanovic, the Chief of Transportation Services; we've discussed Colonel
12 Ognjenovic, the Operations; and again, in a dual role, Captain 1st Class
13 Avramovic as the Drina Corps Chief of Engineering; Colonel Ignjat
14 Milanovic, the Chief of Anti-Aircraft Defence; and I believe that is the
15 listing of names at present, sir.
16 Q. I take you back to the conversation between Colonel Beara and
17 General Krstic in reference to -- there was a reference to Blagojevic and
18 Nastic. Do you know what Nastic that may have been?
19 A. That would be then Major, later Lieutenant Colonel, Miomir Nastic,
20 the commander of the Milici Infantry Brigade -- Milici Light Infantry
22 Q. Thank you, you can take your seat.
23 Now, if you could discuss the crime scene of Bratunac which is
24 related to the Muslim men that were on the buses that spent the nights
25 there, July 12th, 13th, mostly, and at the various locations around
1 Bratunac. What can you tell us about that particular situation, and who
2 you would have expected to have known about that or been involved based on
3 the documents you have reviewed in your military experience?
4 A. The Muslim males who were taken from Potocari started arriving at
5 various facilities in Bratunac as early as the late afternoon of 12 July
7 The issue of facilities, again being multiple facilities, not just
8 one facility, implies that somebody had to have physically gone out or at
9 least designated those facilities and, further, had to take the necessary
10 actions to ensure that there was some form of a guard force at each and
11 every one of those facilities to guard the Muslim males who were being
12 brought in.
13 This job function, by position, would normally be associated with
14 the Bratunac Brigade Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security or
15 his office as the most logical place to begin that function. In
16 coordination with the local Bratunac municipal authorities, they would be
17 the ones who would have the best frame of reference as to what facilities
18 were available and would be most suitable to deal with the large number of
19 Muslim men that were arriving in the urban area of Bratunac.
20 As that situation continued, what was evidenced, going into the
21 13th of July, was those designated facilities filling up to capacity, and
22 Muslim prisoners taken along the road from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje and
23 down to Nova Kasaba, on the afternoon and evening as the transportation
24 became available, were either held in front of those facilities or
25 adjacent to those facilities in the buses or trucks or held in outlying
1 areas of the Bratunac area. In one specific case, a series of trucks with
2 prisoners, the evening of the 13th, in the town of Kravica itself. Again,
3 representing and underestimation of just how much space they would really
5 If you look in time sequencing of when the first movements or the
6 first known movements of Muslim men from the zone of the Bratunac Brigade
7 to the zone of the Zvornik Brigade occurred, it occurs in time sequence
8 almost at the conclusion or beginning at the conclusion of the movements
9 of the Muslim women and children out of Potocari. So essentially as the
10 women and children are cycled out, those buses are now cycled into the
11 movements of Muslim men from the holding facilities in Bratunac to the
12 Zvornik area. So from a staff planning/transportation aspect, it's just a
13 continual sequence.
14 The issue of the treatment of the survivors or the witnesses in
15 the facilities, notwithstanding their individual treatment per se, but
16 issues of the fact that there was no systemic process where these
17 individuals were fed, where the individuals received medical treatment,
18 where the individuals received, in some cases, even water, a recognition
19 on the part of the staffs, first the Bratunac Brigade staff and the Drina
20 Corps staff, that their stay in those facilities would only be temporary.
21 In respect to the individual abuse, particularly the shootings
22 which registered, by the witness accounts, throughout the city on the
23 12th, on the 13th, and in some cases the morning of the 14th, the aspect
24 of the physical location of the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade and a
25 number of senior officers from both the brigade, the Drina Corps staff,
1 and, in fact, the Main Staff there, as well as the numbers of dead bodies
2 which came out of those facilities as a result of the abuse, at a minimum,
3 numbers of 70 to 100, clearly in an urban area that represents a
4 significant sanitation risk, and in some effect there had to have been
5 coordination to dispose of those bodies.
6 Moving even beyond that to the aspect of transporting a large
7 number, several thousand minimum, of Muslim men from essentially the zone
8 of one brigade to facilities in the zone of another brigade would have
9 required extensive coordination between the staffs of not only those two
10 brigades but the staff of their superior headquarters, the staff of the
11 Drina Corps, and much of that is reflected in the movement of the multiple
12 convoys that departed Bratunac starting the evening of 13 July 1995.
13 Q. Do you know, from a particular document, where General Mladic was
14 located at this time?
15 A. Based on the material that we have, General Mladic was physically
16 seen, observed, on both 12 and 13 July 1995 in and around the zone of the
17 Bratunac Brigade up to and including the football field at Nova Kasaba.
18 Q. The Bratunac Brigade MP records indicate anything about looking
19 after General Mladic? I may be mistaken on that.
20 A. No, sir. We have the records of the Military Police Company or
21 platoon of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade which, in fact, indicates
22 that the Military Police Platoon was tasked with escorting General Mladic
23 around the area, providing for his physical security.
24 Q. With all those prisoners in Bratunac, what military facilities
25 were in Bratunac also?
1 A. The headquarters of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, which was
2 also being used as a forward command post for the headquarters of the
3 Drina Corps.
4 JUDGE WALD: Can I ask one question? Given what you've just told
5 us about these several crime scenes and given the earlier explanation of
6 Exhibit 462, which was the Zivanovic order on July 13th, followed by some
7 brigade orders about collecting people and putting them in collection
8 centres, et cetera, is it reasonable to infer that those written orders
9 were really more like a confirmation of what must have been earlier oral
10 orders, et cetera, given the time sequence of the fact that several of
11 these crime scenes had already occurred or were occurring simultaneously
12 on the 13th?
13 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, clearly some form of an order given followed
14 up by paper, yes, ma'am.
15 JUDGE WALD: Just one sub-part on that. Do you find it at all
16 unusual that those orders, the Zivanovic order and then followed by some
17 of the implementing orders by others, talk about taking people -- they
18 talk about people from the column, I think, specifically, and capturing
19 them, taking them to collection centres, making sure that they're well
20 guarded but that there's nothing -- is it at all unusual that there would
21 be nothing in that order suggesting how long they would stay there or
22 what -- would they be kept for prisoner exchange or anything? It sort of
23 just stops. Just tells people, "Put them in a collection centre and guard
24 them," and doesn't give any indication of how long, for what purpose, et
1 A. I wouldn't say that it would be unusual in the context of that
2 order, because most military units and certainly within this context the
3 JNA falls -- I'm sorry, the VRS falls there, of standard operating
4 procedures for how to deal with these issues. Once the orders were given
5 to physically put them and assemble them in a given location, what should
6 have naturally occurred were the same prisoner-handling processes which
7 the Drina Corps and any other unit had been following for the last three
8 years of the war.
9 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thanks.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. Mr. Butler, on that issue, did at least one of those orders
12 referring to prisoners make a specific reference to, "After you got them,
13 contact superior command"?
14 A. Yes, sir, it did.
15 Q. And how do you -- how do you look at that?
16 A. Again, within the context of the military units that would be
17 capturing the prisoners, it was a given that those units would not have
18 the capability to do anything more than assemble them in a given location
19 by having them walk to that location. The units themselves did not have a
20 capacity to place large numbers of prisoners on any form of transport and
21 move them anywhere.
22 Where I read that, is that by notifying the superior command, in
23 this case from the brigades the superior command being the command of the
24 Drina Corps, it would then be their job by function to arrange for the
25 required transportation assets to take these people from assembly
1 locations which, as you'll note geographically, were in close proximity to
2 where the column was still coming through, and to remove them to more
3 secure locations away from the combat activities.
4 Q. You've already commented that prisoners can, I believe, in an
5 interrogation, can provide military intelligence to the forces that have
6 captured them. At that time in the war, throughout the war, what else
7 were they doing with prisoners that could advantage the side that captured
9 A. One of the customary provisions that was observed throughout the
10 war was, in many cases, a formalised prisoner exchange system where
11 prisoners, live prisoners, were exchanged for live prisoners of the other
12 factions, and in some cases where live prisoners were exchanged for the
13 returns of the remains of soldiers who had been killed.
14 This evolved, certainly by 1994 and 1995, into a fairly formalised
15 procedure, whereas on the Republika Srpska side, it was a Prisoner of War
16 Exchange Commission, codified and established by the President of the
17 republic with designated members.
18 Q. Can we assume that on July 12th, 13th, there were many Serb
19 prisoners held in Muslim military prisons?
20 A. There were Serb soldiers held in Muslim military prisons. I
21 cannot speculate on what that number would be, but certainly not only the
22 Drina Corps command knew this, but other corps commanders were aware of
23 this as well to a point where in some cases prisoners were transferred
24 throughout the Republika Srpska to be exchanged by other corps.
25 Q. So by not using several thousand prisoners as exchange, the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 command was losing the ability to bring young Bosnian Serb soldiers home
2 to their families?
3 A. That is correct, sir.
4 Q. I think that finishes the area of the, what we referred to as the
5 southern crime area, so I think we can start moving towards Zvornik.
6 Mr. Butler, could you first briefly summarise the movement of the column
7 as it left the area that we've been talking about and went through
8 Konjevic Polje, Cerska, and up. And perhaps we should take off the
9 exhibit that's on the easel now and let Mr. Butler just give us a brief
10 explanation of what's happening, and then we'll get into the Zvornik
11 combat reports to help provide more background into that.
12 A. Moving now into the evening hours of the 13th and through the day
13 of 14 July 1995, as we've previously discussed, the column -- essentially
14 there was an advance guard, if you will, of the column, the armed -- the
15 extremely well armed part of the column, designed to break a hole through
16 the lines, and the remainder of the column moving up.
17 Throughout these days, and particularly the 13th and into the
18 14th, the column, coming through Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba area, moved up
19 through what the -- is referred to geographically as the wider area of
20 Kamenica and Cerska, in these two areas here.
21 Q. Excuse me. For the record, if I could just say, you're talking
22 about a large area north of Cancari.
23 A. As in the case of the movement of the column in the south, the
24 route was very much dictated by the terrain or the lay of the land. This
25 is an extremely rugged, hilly area, well forested with very steep
1 valleys. So the track that the column took, while on one hand, you know,
2 a narrow path, and also one that had been used for several years prior
3 back and forth by individuals or small groups transiting from Tuzla to the
4 enclave. And during the course of the two years prior, there was a rather
5 active smuggling operation that went back and forth, so the broad route of
6 the column was fairly well known.
7 By the 15th, the early morning hours of 15th, primarily the best
8 armed portion of the column and the remaining stragglers that were coming
9 up were engaging the rear areas of three battalions of the Zvornik
10 Brigade, would be the 7th Infantry Battalion, the 4th Infantry Battalion
11 and the 6th Infantry Battalion.
12 Q. Mr. Butler, we have got a more particular map, and as we get into
13 those dates we'll ask you to talk to us in more specifics, but I think
14 that's pretty good background for the 13th. And if you could take a seat
15 again, and we'll start with the daily combat reports.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, could we have the map 547, which is the
17 Zvornik map, put up. It's the one right behind that.
18 Q. And Mr. Butler, if you could turn to Exhibit 540/A while we're
19 doing this and take a look at this, which is a 13 July daily combat report
20 to the command of the Drina Corps from the Zvornik Brigade, and again, to
21 just give us a -- what do you glean from this as it tells the story of the
22 column and of our case?
23 A. This is daily combat report of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade to
24 the command of the Drina Corps. What it is essentially advising the
25 command of the Drina Corps is the situation as they understand it from two
1 aspects. The first aspect is the established front line which the brigade
2 held relative to the Bosnian Muslim II Corps; and the second one is their
3 awareness of the size and the strength of the column, the route it would
4 be taking, and those activities that the brigade was doing in order to
5 counter that movement.
6 Paragraph 2 lists in specific detail the primary tasks that the
7 Zvornik Brigade command. In this case specifically, the Chief of Staff,
8 Major Obrenovic, was taking in order to deal with the issue of the
9 approaching column.
10 Q. And where again is his commander, Colonel Pandurevic, at this
12 A. On the 13th of July, the Brigade Commander, Lieutenant Colonel
13 Pandurevic is physically located with those units of the Zvornik Brigade
14 south of Srebrenica that are conducting sweep operations in the Bandera
15 triangle area looking for the remnants of the 28th Infantry Division, and
16 also sequentially now beginning to move from the Srebrenica area to the
17 area of operations for Zepa.
18 Q. Okay, if you could move to Exhibit 541, and I don't think you need
19 to place it on the ELMO. That is a map that you've created to assist
20 anyone looking at these exhibits with some of the small villages that are
21 mentioned in the combat reports; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, sir, it is.
23 Q. And let's go to 542/A, which is a 13 July intercept at 2035 hours,
24 and can you tell us what this means to your analysis, if anything?
25 A. This is a conversation between an unidentified general and Major
1 Obrenovic, again, at this time the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of
2 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. And what Major Obrenovic is doing is
3 letting the designated general know that his advance units are reporting
4 on the column, they're reporting the size and the scope of the column, and
5 the fact -- essentially, it's a contact report, in simple terminology,
6 letting him know that he's in contact with the column.
7 One of the unique aspects when you look at this in a military
8 context which has ramifications in the coming days, is that Major
9 Obrenovic and the people in the Zvornik Infantry Brigade possibly had the
10 most accurate view and estimate of the size and the strength and the
11 threat that the column posed. And one of the reflections that you'll see
12 in the intercepts is their continued efforts to convince the command of
13 the Drina Corps that the size and scope and danger of the column was as
14 large as it was.
15 Q. Now, you've mentioned that the general is unidentified. At this
16 time, who would be options -- which generals would normally be checking in
17 or who would Obrenovic be checking in with? It's a little unclear who's
18 checking in with who on this.
19 A. The most relevant options would be he's checking in with either
20 the commander, then of the Drina Corps, General Major Zivanovic, or as the
21 time is 2035 hours, it may very well be the next commander, General Major
23 Q. Did Main Staff generals have interests in what was going on here
25 A. In some of the subsequent intercepts, we have one which indicates
1 that a Main Staff general might have had interest in what was happening as
3 Q. We'll get to that, but who do you think that may have been or do
4 you know?
5 A. I believe that general would have been General Major Miletic, the
6 Chief of Operations of the Main Staff. Within that context, he would have
7 been another logical general who would have wanted to have been apprised
8 of the military situation in the zone.
9 Q. All right. Now we're getting towards the later hours of
10 13 July. Again, as a factual reminder, there's been testimony that this
11 is the time that survivors and others were transported to the school at
13 Now, Mr. Butler, can you give us a brief idea of what kind of
14 military planning we could expect prior to or in preparation of the
15 arrival of hundreds and hundreds of Muslim prisoners to the area of
16 Orahovac, keeping in mind we also have Petkovci and Pilica. However,
17 we'll get to those as we get to those days.
18 A. In a sense, it's almost the reverse process of what would have
19 happened at Bratunac. The first thing would have had to have occurred
20 would have been the physical identification of the location in Orahovac as
21 being suitable, then would have been the preparations necessary to receive
22 the large number of prisoners that were expected, and arrangements being
23 made one, initially to guard them; and two, over the longer term, the
24 required life support that has to be done to hold the prisoners, to
25 provide food, water, and medical.
1 In the case of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade -- excuse me -- this
2 would have represented a considerable planning, security, and logistics
3 issue which would have had to have been dealt with. In a broad scope of
4 numbers, and we'll just pop out of the specific into the broad scope for a
5 second, looking at the Zvornik Brigade of 4.000 and the number of
6 prisoners coming in estimated between 3.000 to 4.000, for a logistics
7 standpoint for food alone, you have almost doubled your immediate food
9 These things, again brought down to the lower level now of the
10 facility at Orahovac, are all elements that the command and staff of the
11 Zvornik Infantry Brigade would have had to have anticipated and dealt with
12 in many cases prior to the actual arrival of the first prisoners.
13 Q. Could the 10th Diversionary Unit or the 65th Protection Unit have
14 managed all this planning and operation without the help of the Drina
15 Corps for the brigades in that zone on this movement up of thousands of
16 prisoners to the Zvornik Brigade area?
17 A. That is not possible. It's just militarily impossible to expect,
18 particularly in the case of the 10th Diversionary Unit, a unit of such
19 small size and scope, to be able to do that. And in the case of at least
20 the Military Police Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment to move into
21 another unit's sector and try to accomplish that doesn't make military
23 Q. How about Colonel Beara of the Main Staff? Did he have forces
24 under his command, aside from perhaps the two I've just mentioned? As a
25 security officer, does he actually have forces under his command or access
1 to them?
2 A. In the context of him being the head of the main security
3 administration, it's reasonable to assume that he'll have a number, and I
4 don't know the number, of security officers subordinate to him within the
5 framework of his office. That doesn't cover the scope of planning
6 activities and the scope of transportation activities and the scope of all
7 of the other activities that had to have been accomplished prior to the
8 arrival of the prisoners.
9 For the most part, those military expertise personnel reside in
10 other locations and under other people's command.
11 Q. From the materials that you've reviewed, are there any materials
12 that may provide some indication of part of the planning that you've
13 discussed, specifically related to Orahovac?
14 A. We have one piece of information which, taken in context with the
15 criminal activities that we know occurred on the 14th and later in time
16 the 15th, 16th, and 17th, which provides an indication of that planning
18 Q. Now, would you put OTP Exhibit 543/A up on the ELMO and tell us
19 what that is and describe the information on the -- on page --
20 A. This is the --
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. I'm sorry. This is the vehicle work log of a vehicle assigned to
23 the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade.
24 Q. Sorry, Mr. Butler. There it is again. Okay.
25 A. The Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
1 Q. Can you just describe the vehicle and who are the driver/users?
2 A. This specific vehicle is an Opel Rekord, registration number
3 P4528. The three vehicle operators are identified as Milorad Bircakovic,
4 Mirko Ristic, and Misko Arapovic.
5 Q. And have you reviewed the roster of the Zvornik Brigade to
6 determine where these people were assigned, if they were?
7 A. All three of these individuals are assigned to the Military Police
8 Company of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
9 Q. All right. Could you turn the page and go to the substance of
10 this document and tell us about what this reveals.
11 A. As I indicated earlier, fuel was a very precious commodity,
12 particularly for the army in Eastern Bosnia in 1995. As such, all vehicle
13 operators were required to note vehicle usage and kilometres on a daily
14 basis. This form is a standard form first of the JNA, and later of the
16 Specific to the activity in question, starting on 13 July 1995, we
17 see the vehicle making a multiple series of trips. "Standard," for
18 identification purposes, is the Standard Shoe Factory, which is the
19 headquarters of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. "IKM" is the forward
20 command post of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, which is located near the
21 location of the 4th Infantry Brigade command post. "Zvornik local area,"
22 the municipal area of Zvornik.
23 Later, trips are noted that day to Orahovac, return to Zvornik,
24 Orahovac, returning to the Standard facility, Bratunac, and then back to
25 Zvornik. For the day, the three individuals travelled a total of
1 209 kilometres.
2 Q. And what do you make of these locations, briefly? I know you
3 discussed many of them, but what do you make that these locations may
4 involve and with these MPs?
5 A. Orahovac clearly becomes the initial collection site for hundreds
6 of Muslim prisoners who are moved from Bratunac to the zone of the Zvornik
7 Infantry Brigade. Bratunac, at this time on 13 July, is still a command
8 post of the Drina Corps and, again, also the command post of the Bratunac
9 Light Infantry Brigade.
10 Q. Now, have you reviewed the June 1995 vehicle log?
11 A. Yes, sir, I have.
12 Q. And did any MPs go to this area, the Orahovac area, in June?
13 A. This vehicle made one trip to the Orahovac area during
14 the month of June.
15 Q. And was one of the -- at least one of the drivers part of that
17 A. Milorad Bircakovic.
18 Q. So let's jump sequence for a moment and go on in this document and
19 see what else it may tell us. If you would turn the page. I notice it
20 seems to start up again with a new report for July 14th. Can you explain
22 A. The pattern that occurs is as the fuel and dispersal listing fills
23 up, they'll go to a new form, and in this case, the previous form ended on
24 13 and they just went to the next form.
25 Q. Okay. So let's turn the page and just see the continuation then.
1 Can you refer to the 14 July segment and talk about those locations and
2 how you would analyse them?
3 A. "Standard" again being the headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade,
4 trip to Orahovac, a trip to Divic, back to Orahovac, an area referred to
5 as Rocevic, back to Orahovac, Zvornik local area, Standard, and then the
6 local area.
7 Q. Do you know what's in Divic?
8 A. Divic is a small -- is a small community. I believe it's to the
9 north in the area of Pilica.
10 Q. All right. How about Rocevic?
11 A. Rocevic is an area along the road south of Pilica which is
12 believed by the investigation to have held Muslim men in the school
14 Q. So on the 14th, would that be consistent with your knowledge of
15 some of the locations of Muslim men?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. All right. Go on to the 15th.
18 A. It notes the area of Karakaj, a suburb of Zvornik; back to
19 Rocevic; local area; back to Standard facility; Divic; Zvornik. And then
20 continuing on the 15 back to Standard, Kozluk, Standard, Rocevic, Kozluk,
21 and local.
22 Q. Now, Kozluk is obviously a crime scene. It's also the location of
23 a military unit; is that right?
24 A. That is correct, sir.
25 Q. It's also a relatively big town in that area.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. All right. How about the 16th?
3 A. Kula, Pilica, local, then back to Standard, Kozluk, Rocevic,
4 Pilica, and then a location Sem, which I've been unable to locate.
5 Q. Where is Kula?
6 A. Kula is identified as the school in the village of Kula near
7 Pilica, and the investigation has determined that Muslim men were detained
8 in that school.
9 Q. So taking all of these villages and locations into account, what
10 does that tell -- what can you conclude from that?
11 A. Knowing after the fact the locations of the crime scenes and the
12 events which occurred and looking at this travel pattern, it's consistent
13 with the fact that the vehicle was involved on the 13th and perhaps the
14 14th with the identification of facilities, and certainly on the 14th and
15 15th, some form of a monitoring process at areas which are known crime
17 Q. And I believe you've talked about this, but do military police
18 generally have responsibility over prisoners of war?
19 A. One of the primary responsibilities of military police is issues
20 dealing with the handling of prisoners of war, yes, sir.
21 Q. Now, are all the locations that were just mentioned in that
22 specific document that are related to scenes in the indictment, are those
23 all within the Drina Corps area of responsibility?
24 A. Every location mentioned from the 13th through the 16th is within
25 the zone of the Drina Corps. With the exception of Bratunac, they're also
1 all located within the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
2 Q. Was there another military option to take prisoners at that time,
3 as far as you know?
4 A. The general procedure with prisoners as they were taken by most of
5 the units in Eastern Bosnia was, particularly in Northeastern Bosnia to be
6 specific, was to transport them to the established military prison of
7 Batkovici located in the area of Bijeljina.
8 Q. And where is Bijeljina?
9 A. Bijeljina is not on this map, but it's located about 15 to 20
10 kilometers north of where Pilica is located on this map.
11 Q. And which corps is that in?
12 A. That would be physically or geographically within the zone of the
13 East Bosnia Corps of the army of the Republika Srpska.
14 Q. And if you could go briefly to Exhibit 544, 545, 546, and tell us
15 what that is, what they depict, how it relates to what you're telling us.
16 A. This is an aerial image provided by the United States government
17 pertaining to Batkovici prison on 16 July 1995. At this time, a minimum
18 of several thousand Bosnian-Muslim males are in the custody of the army of
19 the Republika Srpska. This view indicates the normal view of the prison.
20 It does not show any indications of any preparations being made whatsoever
21 to prepare for the arrival of several thousand prisoners.
22 Q. And could you just take us through the other photographs? Next
23 exhibit is 545 and then 546, basically the same place, different dates.
24 A. 17 July 1995, and again, no visible signs of preparations being
25 made to accept a number -- a large number of prisoners. Same facility, 21
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 July 1995, again, no visible indicators of preparations being made to
2 accept a large number of prisoners.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that finishes July 13th. It may be
4 a good time to take a break.
5 JUDGE WALD: One last question. Do we know what the capacity of
6 this military prison Batkovici or whether it was full at the time or --
7 A. The International Red Cross monitored this facility, but I do not
8 have the number, the prisoner population number, available to me, and I
9 don't believe that they've been giving it to us.
10 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, Mr. Butler, what kind of facility would
12 you expect when you say no visible facility to receive prisoners? I mean,
13 the size was not adequate, or what preparations should there be, judging
14 by the pictures?
15 A. The phrase I use is "no visible preparations of the facility --"
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 A. Judging from the large number of prisoners, and again, not knowing
18 myself what the capacity of the facility is, there are visible indicators
19 that I, as an analyst, would expect to see for a facility like this to be
20 ready to accept or be capable to accept a large number of prisoners.
21 Assuming that the buildings were even at half capacity and knowing
22 that there were several thousands prisoners inbound, one would certainly
23 expect to see additional military activity related to the guard force
24 necessary to guard them. One might expect to see some of the buses which
25 would have been taken -- taking them to the facility still there at the
1 time the image was taken. If the facilities flowed over, one might expect
2 to see the erection of tents or other temporary structures. Certainly
3 with the series of several thousand prisoners coming in for an
4 undetermined time, you would expect to see an increase in the sanitation
5 facilities, water supply facilities, those more permanent life support
6 things which had to have occurred.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We're going to have a break now
10 of 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, we are ready to
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Butler, I want to take you back briefly to Exhibit 543/A, and
17 was there a small mistake in your testimony on that exhibit?
18 A. Yes, sir. The location of the town of Divic, in fact it is a town
19 south of Zvornik. It is not located to the north of Zvornik, and it is
20 not located in the Pilica area.
21 Q. Okay, thank you.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would also like to call your attention to a
23 new exhibit which is out of the -- just delivered to us. It was not in
24 the binders, but you should have a copy of it, Exhibit 713/A. It's an
25 article of the "Drinski Magazine" from December 1995, and it is about
1 Milomir Savcic from the protection regiment, and just gives some
2 background on him and relates to an operation he was involved at Osmace.
3 And the Court recalls the Jadar River survivor who testified a bit about
4 the discussion that this person named Cica had about these various
5 subjects. So this will provide the Court with some additional information
6 on the -- in regard to the testimony of the Jadar River survivor and this
7 particular individual, Milomir Savcic.
8 Q. Mr. Butler, this is an article that you have reviewed as part of
9 your analysis.
10 A. Yes, sir, it is.
11 Q. All right. Now, let's go on to Exhibit 548/A, but now we're into
12 14 July, so we'll start with a brief background of the column from the
13 point of view of the daily combat reports, and then we'll get into some
14 more intercepts, and then we'll get into some military documents.
15 So if we could start with Exhibit 548, the 14 July regular daily
16 combat report of the Zvornik Brigade, and what does it tell us about the
17 column and the situation in the Zvornik Brigade area of the
19 A. Again, the report is to the command of the Drina Corps, and it's
20 discussing the two aspects of the military threat relevant to the Zvornik
21 Infantry Brigade, that of the forces of the Bosnian Muslim 2nd Corps along
22 the front line and that of the column approaching from the south.
23 Paragraph 2 again specifies the tasks for the units or that the
24 units subordinate to the brigade are doing or taking, and the last item
25 further notes that the Zvornik Infantry Brigade is receiving information
1 on the activities of the enemy column by virtue of their intercepting
2 communications between the military leaders of the column and military
3 individuals in Tuzla or associated with the Bosnian Muslim 2nd Corps.
4 Q. So the VRS was doing the same thing that the BiH was doing
5 regarding intercepts.
6 A. Yes, sir, it was.
7 Q. Can you step to the easel and just give us a little background on
8 the military units in the Zvornik area, and especially tell the Court
9 about the front line and who's on that front line. You just mentioned the
10 2nd Corps and the threat. Sort of describe the military situation for the
11 VRS as the column approaches in one direction and 2nd Corps sits on the
12 line in the other.
13 A. Within the date context of 13 and 14 July 1995, this map graphic
14 represents the tactical layout on the ground, if you will, or the
15 disposition of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and these representations are
16 derived off of map graphics that were seized as a part of the search of
17 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade by the OTP.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I can refer the Court to Exhibit 2. That was
19 a long time ago, but that was a map of the Zvornik Brigade area of
20 responsibility captured during our search warrant. That is what
21 Mr. Butler has just referred to.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, perhaps it would
23 be convenient if you indicated -- that is to say, I don't know whether
24 this map has a number, but perhaps you could tell us the number so that we
25 should know what we're talking about, because now we have this
1 communication code between ourselves. So although Mr. Butler knows what
2 it's all about, perhaps you should indicate it. Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Yes. That is
4 Exhibit 547. Excuse me. The exhibit Mr. Butler is now referring to, the
5 large map of the Zvornik area.
6 A. The units of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade to the far north, and
7 the most northern unit in the Zvornik Brigade sector, and by virtue of the
8 line between the Drina Corps and the East Bosnia Corps, the northern most
9 unit of the Drina Corps is the 1st Infantry Battalion. Further to the
10 south the 5th Infantry Battalion, the 2nd Infantry Battalion, the
11 3rd Infantry Battalion.
12 For the most part, the elements of all four of these battalions
13 were engaged on the line, this grey line, the line of contact between them
14 and the forces of the Bosnian Muslim II Corps.
15 The Muslim column approaching from the south, as you can tell by
16 the route, did not militarily affect these units per se from their static
18 The southern three battalions, the 6th Battalion, the
19 4th Battalion, and the 7th Battalion, again the majority of their forces
20 arrayed along the line of contact, and the column was to have a line of
21 impact on the rear areas of the 7th, 4th, and 6th Battalions and have a
22 very significant impact, detrimentally, to the 4th Battalion which
23 absorbed the brunt of the attack.
24 As previously discussed, the 8th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade
25 was operating in the zone of the Bratunac Brigade as their 4th Battalion.
1 And it's also important at this time to remember that the remaining mobile
2 forces of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the Drina Wolves or 1st Podrinje
3 Detachment from Kozluk, as well as the Armour Company, the Armoured
4 Personnel Car Company, and a lot of the other mobile infantry assets, the
5 reserve components of many of these units, had already been withdrawn from
6 the front lines and had, in fact -- and were still, on 13 and 14 July,
7 deployed either at the area of Srebrenica or moving towards Zepa.
8 That's important in the context from a military sense because
9 essentially there are no mobile reserve forces left in the Zvornik Brigade
10 of a military nature to deal with the new threat of the column. And as we
11 go through both the combat reports and the intercepts, one of the comments
12 that Major Obrenovic first, and later Colonel Pandurevic will be making,
13 will be the fact that all of his reserves are committed. He has no other
14 forces. Again, the necessity now of the Drina Corps to find additional
15 forces to send into the zone as this combat situation develops.
16 For the purpose of 13 and 14 July, the only reserve forces that
17 Major Obrenovic has left constitutes one or two small Intervention
18 Platoons, the Military Police Company, and an ad hoc grouping from the
19 Engineer Company which was thrown together and deployed in this wider area
20 on the 13th and 14th in ambush positions to await the column.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. And for the record, you made reference to the area south of
23 Hodzici and Liplje.
24 A. That is correct, sir.
25 Q. Let's move on to the next exhibit, 549, which is again a map where
1 you've designated the rough areas of certain villages that may be
2 associated with the various daily combat reports; is that right?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. So let's then go on to 550/A. Now, this is a document dated
5 14 July 1995. It's an interim report. Can you again tell us the
6 significance of an interim report? We know about the daily combat
7 reports. Tell us a bit more about the interim report, especially as to
8 how it may relate to Zvornik.
9 A. While the daily combat reports provide the corps with the broad
10 situation and the daily wrap-up of events within the brigade sector, an
11 interim report, as defined under their operating methodology, was the
12 report to provide information that was of immediate importance or
13 significance to the corps command for their knowledge, awareness, and in
14 some cases, for them to take action on.
15 Q. Okay. So what is the substance of this interim report?
16 A. This interim report to the command of the Drina Corps indicates
17 the situation which is essentially at 2020 hours on 14 July. A large
18 group of Muslims have essentially overrun the ambush positions. Based on
19 where they're being located and identified, the brigade commander or in
20 this case the brigade Chief of Staff acting as the brigade Deputy
21 Commander, Major Obrenovic is making it clear to the corps command that
22 he's expecting a significant breakthrough of the column in the rear areas
23 of the 4th and 7th Infantry Battalions either later that evening or
24 tomorrow morning. The last notation being the corps needs to find some
25 intervention forces or additional forces and send them up as soon as
1 possible to assist in the dealing of this issue.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, Mr. Butler. Speaking of the column, what
3 real threat, in military terms, did this column present?
4 A. It presented a significant military threat. It was well armed, at
5 least the head of the column was. They were -- they grossly outnumbered
6 the amount of forces initially that the Zvornik Brigade was able to defend
7 against. It was approaching from the rear of the fixed or static
8 positions of the battalions on line, so they weren't even in the position
9 to use their fixed fortifications, and at the same time, they had to also
10 be prepared to deal with the Muslim forces in front of them. So in
11 effect, for these battalions, they were being sandwiched between two
12 well-armed and hostile forces. It was a significant military threat.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Could you step to the exhibit again, 547, I believe, and point out
16 what you just said, without repeating yourself if you can too much so we
17 can see what you mean. When they say "expect a breakthrough deep in the
18 area of the responsibility," tell us what a "breakthrough" is and show us
19 where they expect that.
20 A. Within the context of this 14 July interim report, the battalions
21 in question, the 4th the Infantry Battalion and the 7th Infantry
22 Battalion. Again, looking at the terrain and the known infiltration and
23 exfiltration routes between the area of Tuzla off the map, we call it the
24 general area of Nezuk here, and Srebrenica, the terrain dictated that the
25 majority of the column forces, if they were passing through the Muslim
1 territory, would be passing through the series of valleys that ran in the
2 area along Baljkovica.
3 Keeping in mind the military threat, arrayed -- most of the combat
4 power as defined in the battalion would be arrayed against the forces of
5 the Bosnian Muslim II Corps. From the rear, never expecting a military
6 threat certainly of that scale from there, there were very few positions
7 established, and even those positions established would have been prepared
8 to deal with the threat approaching from the direction of Muslim-held
9 territory to the west, not dealing with a massive threat coming from the
10 south and west -- I'm sorry, south and east.
11 So within that context, essentially the units are facing the wrong
12 direction. The sharp end is in the wrong direction. And what is
13 reflected in the combat reports are the rather rapid and frantic efforts
14 of the brigade commander, or in this case Major Obrenovic, the Chief of
15 Staff, to establish small ambush locations in an effort to at least delay
16 the column, certainly not expecting the column to be stopped.
17 That is the context of the broad military threat which these units
19 JUDGE WALD: Do we have any idea how many were in the units, in
20 the column? We're now on the 14th and there have been some substantial
21 surrenders or people, you know, off the road on the 13th, and we've also
22 had a lot of testimony that only about a third of the column was armed,
23 the front, the front. The rest were civilians dragging along. But when
24 you say "significant military threat," that would mean a combination of
25 some substantial numbers that are armed, I suppose.
1 A. We have asked a question relative to the Bosnian Muslim II Corps
2 on what their accounting is of the number of soldiers who finally came out
3 of there and were present for duty at the end of the operation in order to
4 try and get that number of just how many armed fighters there were and we
5 have not been able to obtain that number.
6 Based on the VRS accountings, and those being specifically those
7 of the Zvornik Brigade, I'm comfortable with at least as a minimum of a
8 thousand armed fighters and an untold series of other thousands with the
9 column. Again, given in the context with the smaller, much smaller
10 numbers that the Zvornik Brigade had there, they were significantly
11 outnumbered in a military context.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Can you briefly describe the weaponry the column would -- expected
14 to have, at least before the hand-to-hand combat started, and also the
15 weaponry that the 2nd Corps could have been expected to have?
16 A. Starting with the column, there would have been a series of light
17 weapons, we would call them, hand-held weapons: rifles, machine guns,
18 light machine guns, things of that nature. Despite the demilitarised
19 aspect of what was supposed to have happened in Srebrenica with the 28th
20 Infantry Division, they were never fully demilitarised, and as such,
21 the -- they were armed, and at least the initial portions of the column
22 were capable of defending themselves. Now certainly as time went on
23 within the context of ammunition and everything else, that did run low.
24 On the other side, the forces of the Bosnian-Muslim II Corps are
25 right against it, were well armed insomuch as light weapons. They also
1 had mortars, heavy machine guns, and artillery. And as will be reflected
2 in the future daily combat reports and interim reports, and as already
3 alluded to by the 14 July 1995 report, the actions of the column and the
4 actions of the Bosnian-Muslim military forces outside of 2nd Corps were
5 being coordinated, and in many aspects, elements of the Bosnian-Muslim II
6 Corps were launching artillery, mortars, or heavy fire from the lines here
7 to support the activities of the column.
8 So again, the threat, not isolated either a north or a south, or
9 in this case, you know, from the column or from here, but a combined
10 threat that militarily the people in the Zvornik Brigade had to deal
12 Q. And in addition, there was a large urban population in Zvornik; is
13 that correct?
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. And across the river, of course, is the FRY. Do you have any
16 indications of any of the materials that the FRY ever made any noises or
17 indications or movements in the direction of Zvornik and the combat
18 activity that was going on during this time period?
19 A. We have no information, and I've seen no information in the
20 material that I've reviewed that would indicate in any way, shape, or form
21 the FRY performed any military activities or made any military movements
22 related to the combat activities occurring or that would occur in and
23 around the Zvornik area across the river.
24 Q. So with this background, how urgent is Major Obrenovic's request
25 to bring in more intervention forces, Exhibit 550/A?
1 A. In isolation, it clearly is an urgent request. And coupling this
2 with some of the previous intercepts and some of the other intercepts that
3 will follow, you can see a very frenzied pattern of activities as Major
4 Obrenovic is desperately trying to assemble forces to deal with the
5 military threat.
6 Q. Major Obrenovic makes this urgent request to the command of the
7 Drina Corps by this document. Would this be consistent with a theory that
8 the Main Staff was now in charge of the brigade directly and was handling
9 the activities of the brigade directly without the Drina Corps having any
10 authority there?
11 A. No, sir, it is not.
12 Q. Okay. Let's now start going through the intercepts that we have
13 on 14 July. Let's go to the first one, Exhibit 551/A bis on the one I
14 have, but just watch out for those initials if we find any. And what we
15 have here is a 0805 hours conversation between General Mladic and an
16 unidentified male person "X". How does this add to your analysis?
17 A. This conversation with Mladic and the unidentified individual, I
18 believe we've dated to 13 July 1995, and it sets the scene and indicates
19 that an awareness from General Mladic that he will be leaving the field
20 for a several-day period within the next day.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And our records indicate 14, but we'll
22 clarify -- clarify that.
23 Q. And I want to point you specifically to down near the bottom of
24 the page, "Until 1500 hours and then I'm going to the field. I'll be busy
25 for two or three days and then I'm coming back."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the witness has -- a previous witness did
2 identify this as the 14th, so just to clarify the record. And now I would
3 like to address the Court to OPT Exhibit 64/A which should be in the
4 possession of the registry, and I will just begin reading it for you. It
5 is a statement of Major General C.L. Elliott who was the attache for Carl
6 Bildt, and this is the subject of an agreement with defence counsel.
7 "My name is Major General C.L. Elliott. I am a career officer
8 severing in the British Army and hold the rank of Major General. From
9 June 1995-January I served as a military advisor to Mr. Carl Bildt
10 (Representative of the European Union at the UN International Committee
11 for Former Yugoslavia).
12 " On 14 July 1995, I travelled to Belgrade with Mr. Bildt, General
13 de La Presle (another military advisor to Mr. Bildt) and others.
14 Mr. Bildt attended a meeting with President Slobodan Milosovic of the
15 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) between approximately 1300 and 1700
16 hours. At the conclusion of this meeting, Mr. Bildt debriefed the other
17 members of his delegation, including myself, on issues relating to his
18 meeting with President Milosovic. Later that same evening, at
19 approximately 1900 hours, Mr. Bildt and General de La Presle met with
20 President Milosovic and General Ratko Mladic, Commander of the Main Staff
21 of the Bosnian Serb Army. This meeting concluded at approximately 2200
22 hours on 14 July 1995.
23 "On 15 July 1995, in Belgrade, Mr. Bildt, Ambassador Stoltenberg,
24 Mr. Akashi (Special Representative of UN Secretary General), Lieutenant
25 General Rupert Smith (Commander Bosnia-Herzegovina Command, UNPROFOR),
1 David Austin (political advisor to Mr. Bildt), General de La Presle, and I
2 attended a meeting with President Milosovic and other members of his
3 delegation. In attendance at his meeting was General Ratko Mladic. The
4 meeting commenced at about 1200 hours and concluded at about 2200 hours.
5 During this time, General Mladic remained in my presence until the
6 conclusion of the meeting.
7 "The contents of this statement, consisting of one page, signed by
8 me, is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing
9 that if it is tendered in evidence I will be liable to prosecution if I
10 have wilfully stated in it anything which I know to be false or do not
11 believe to be true.
12 "Signed this Sixth day of June 2000 at Trenchard Lines, Upavon,
13 Wiltshire. Signed by Major General C.L. Elliott. Witnessed by Major
14 E.R.H. Marlow."
15 And as I mentioned, this was the subject of an agreement with the
16 Defence to provide with you this statement.
17 Q. So let's go on, Mr. Butler, to the next exhibit, which should be
18 552/A bis, a very brief statement on 0850 hours on the 14th. Can you make
19 anything of this?
20 A. Again, just an awareness piece that an individual identified by
21 the intercept operators as Zivanovic is still physically on the ground,
22 and there's a presence.
23 Q. Now, let's go to Exhibit 555/A, noting that we have provided all
24 the various versions of these conversations, but I'm choosing ones that
25 appear to be the most complete. And this is a CSB intercept, 14 July
1 1995, at 0910 hours, and what, if anything, does this add to your
2 analysis, or what can you tell us about it?
3 A. The intercept is between Major Jokic, the engineer staff officer
4 of the Zvornik Brigade, who on 14 July 1995 was also performing duties as
5 the duty officer of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and with General
6 Zivanovic. The time, 9.10 in the morning, and an awareness piece where
7 the duty officer of the brigade is informing General Zivanovic of the size
8 of the column based on their information, and the threat that it's posing
9 to them.
10 He mentions further when Major General Zivanovic -- General-Major
11 Zivanovic, excuse me, is clearly skeptical, you know, we were told by the
12 intelligence officer who said this, the individual identified as Dusko
13 Vukotic, who was, in fact, an intelligence officer with the Zvornik
14 Infantry Brigade. They're tracking the route of the column and where
15 they're heading.
16 Going into the second aspect or the second page of the
17 conversation, General Mladic notes that Mane needs to be informed
18 immediately. Mane, in fact, in this context is I believe to be Mane
19 Djuric, the Deputy Chief of the Zvornik CSB, and again, telling him that
20 he needs to mobilise every available individual, noting that the army is
21 busy with other assignments at the moment.
22 And the last aspect of the conversation, Major Jokic notes that
23 Chief of Staff Obrenovic is coming now and will take some steps
24 immediately. General Mladic noting that Mane should do that for you
25 because he has policemen in Konjevic Polje and in Zvornik. And again,
1 General Mladic noting -- I'm sorry, General Zivanovic noting that, "we are
2 not talking about such a large number of people, they're lying."
3 Q. And just for the record it says General Mladic, but I think you
4 misspoke and said Milanovic. You meant General Zivanovic is the only
5 general involved in this conversation?
6 A. That is correct, sir.
7 Q. Now, the other subject we were speaking about yesterday, and you
8 did make reference to, with General Krstic as Commander of the Drina Corps
9 in the evening of July 13th, but we now see General Zivanovic active on
10 the radio with the situation, the emergency situation as you described
11 going on at Zvornik.
12 If General Krstic is now the Commander of the Drina Corps, how do
13 you account for General Zivanovic being involved in this emergency
14 situation in Zvornik?
15 A. When looking at the analysis of this issue, one of the things
16 that's not noted particularly during the morning, afternoon, and early
17 evening hours of 14 July 1995 for the intercepts in their entirety is that
18 we don't have conversations directly between the Zvornik Infantry Brigade
19 and General Krstic. While there are a variety of reasons why that could
20 occur, the short answer is I don't know, and I would prefer not to
21 speculate on those.
22 Having said that, looking -- one, we are aware that General
23 Zivanovic did remain in the area, and by the communications he was able to
24 be and was in contact with the elements of the Zvornik Brigade or the
25 command elements of the Zvornik Brigade in Zvornik, that being the Chief
1 of Staff and his representative, the duty officer, and that is the pattern
2 we see.
3 Clearly my inference here is that General Zivanovic, still being a
4 general, still being a responsible general, wouldn't be the type of person
5 who, seeing this situation develop as it develops as an emergency, is just
6 going to stand back and going to say, "This isn't my problem." He has, in
7 fact, commanded these units for the last three years, and as evidenced in
8 the volumes of material, these people have been working together and
9 operating as a corps entity and within these command relationships for
10 several years. It would not be an unexpected behaviour at all for General
11 Zivanovic or, for that matter, any competent general to step in and deal
12 with a rapidly developing and urgent situation that needed to be
14 So while I cannot account for why there are no direct contacts
15 noted between the Zvornik Brigade and General Krstic over these issues, we
16 do know, developed through the investigation, that there were contacts
17 between General Zivanovic and General Krstic pertaining to this issue, and
18 within all of that, it's not unsurprising [Realtime transcript read in
19 error"surprising"] that General Zivanovic is involved to the degree that
20 we note him to be involved.
21 Q. General Zivanovic, stepping in in this emergency situation --
22 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. You said it is not "unsurprising" or
24 A. "Unsurprising."
25 JUDGE RIAD: Because it's written here "surprising." It changes
1 the whole meaning.
2 A. No, sir. It is"unsurprising."
3 JUDGE RIAD: It is"unsurprising."
4 A. At least to me.
5 JUDGE RIAD: To me too, but it was written differently. Thank
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. With General Zivanovic stepping in to assist in this situation,
9 would he have a reporting responsibility to the commander of the Drina
11 A. Yes, sir, he would.
12 Q. Are you aware of any direct rules or regulations General Zivanovic
13 would have been violating by speaking to the duty officer and helping
14 direct the defence of Zvornik during this time period?
15 A. Under the circumstances of the situation, I can't envision it
16 being a violation of the operating methodologies for this to occur,
17 particularly within the sense that General Zivanovic, as the former Corps
18 Commander, certainly wouldn't be viewed as an outside entity. In this
19 context, the -- Major Obrenovic -- I'm sorry -- Major Jokic is advising
20 the general of the situation and General Zivanovic is giving him direction
21 on mobilising the civilian police.
22 These aspects of these orders, while, yes, they should and would
23 be coordinated with General Krstic as well as others so everyone in the
24 corps would know what was going on and why, again it's unsurprising that
25 he would do this.
1 Q. All right. That exhibit being noted at 0910 hours on the 14th. I
2 would just remind the Court of the 0935 hours conversation spoken of in
3 more detail that is most memorable by the comments of General Zivanovic
4 that he is slowly packing his bags, that he's been asked to go somewhere
5 else. That occurred at 0935 on the morning the 14th.
6 Q. Now, if we could go to Exhibit 556/A, 14 July, 2038 hours
7 conversation. Again, General Zivanovic at Zlatar and Major Jokic, Palma
8 Duty Officer, which we know to be Zvornik. Zlatar we know to be Drina
9 Corps HQ, Vlasenica.
10 What can you glean from this conversation, if anything?
11 A. The correspondents being the same, General Zivanovic and
12 Major Jokic. One of the analytical comments noted prior to that, the
13 frequency not being active from 1130 hours until 2020 hours. Again, a
14 possible explanation as to why on 14 July 1995 we don't have intercepts
15 between General Major Krstic and the command of the Zvornik Brigade as it
16 was up there, a possible technical failure of equipment. But again based
17 on this one piece, I wouldn't make that assessment, and I would stay with
18 what I've said earlier, which is, I don't know.
19 Looking into the context of the discussion, in many aspects it
20 mirrors the interim report that was noting the situation at 2020 hours on
21 14 July 1995.
22 One of the things which occurs here is General Zivanovic first
23 instructing Jokic to take what he's going to say as an order, instructing
24 him to tell Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff, and noting that, one, that
25 they're trying -- that they should try to surround the column or hold it;
1 pressure on it. And further noted that they'll come, they'll bring the
2 new ones in the morning as replacement. Excuse me. And Zivanovic is
3 trying to talk around the issue, General Zivanovic, that reinforcements
4 are on the way.
5 Turning to page 2 of the translation, again an update of the
6 current situation, an urgency as it was understood at the headquarters of
7 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the early evening hours of 14 July 1995.
8 And again the last line, an analytical comment, General Zivanovic spoke
9 with a distorted voice and was quite unintelligible, a potential
10 reflection of a technical difficulty with the communications system.
11 Q. Now, Major Jokic was the -- was a staff officer in charge of the
12 Engineering Unit. What was his particular job title and position?
13 A. He was the Chief of Engineers for the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, by
15 Q. Now I notice in this conversation General Zivanovic says: "Hey,
16 Jokic, listen." And he says: "Take this as an order."
17 Does a general usually have to tell a major, who is a duty
18 officer, whether something's an order or not?
19 A. As an officer, when a general talks to you, it's self-evident that
20 it's an order.
21 Q. And if General Zivanovic was no longer the Commander of the corps
22 on the 14th, the communication would have been sent to the Zvornik Brigade
23 regarding that, wouldn't it?
24 A. I am presuming that the same order that was sent to the Bratunac
25 Brigade on 14 July 1995 would have also been sent to the Zvornik Brigade
1 and every other brigade of the Drina Corps informing them of that fact.
2 Q. When a general that's been taken from his duty and been replaced
3 calls up his old unit, does that create some kind of ambiguity about his
4 ability to command as the commander of the corps?
5 A. No, sir, it shouldn't.
6 Q. All right. Let's now go to the next exhibit. I believe it's
7 557/A bis. 2056 hours, again General Zivanovic. And I note that someone
8 identified as "M" down the line says:
9 "How can I find out where General Zivanovic is? I've been
10 waiting here for him on his orders since 17 hours."
11 So again it appears General Zivanovic has been -- given some
12 orders to whoever this is. How do you evaluate that?
13 A. Again within the context of him being a general, not knowing who
14 the "M" subscriber is, it's difficult to place that in context. But
15 clearly somebody has been waiting for General Zivanovic who General
16 Zivanovic has asked to wait there for him.
17 Q. All right. Let's go on to Exhibit 559/A, 14 July, 2102 hours.
18 This is a somewhat --
19 A. I'm sorry, 559/A.
20 Q. Yes. This appears to be a conversation between Beara,
21 Colonel Beara, and again Jokic. Let me read some of the relevant
22 passages. Near the bottom of the page, after Beara has been put on the
23 line and Jokic's name is mentioned, under "J" it says:
24 "J: Yes. Hey, we have huge problems over here."
25 Beara can't be heard. Then "J" says:
1 "J: There are big problems. Well, with the people. I mean
2 with the parcel."
3 Beara can't be heard. "J" says:
4 "J: Who? Drago is nowhere around. I don't know where the
5 others are all day."
6 Beara can't be heard.
7 "J: What? Call up the number 155 in the superior command and
8 that's it? Okay, boss."
10 "BE: ...
11 And then:
12 "BE: Number 155. Where is that?
13 J: Well, I can't tell you on this line, you know. You have it
14 over there at the signal man, who that is."
15 Now, let's go to your interpretation of the substance of this
16 information. What can you tell us about that?
17 A. With respect to problem or people and parcel, a consistent pattern
18 we've seen in the intercepts where talking around the fact that or knowing
19 that the communications are, in effect, in the clear and can be
20 intercepted, they use the reference or euphemism "parcel" to describe
21 people or prisoners. Drago, within the context of the Zvornik Infantry
22 Brigade, the people who clearly Jokic is indicating, Drago Nikolic, the
23 Assistant Commander for Security of the Infantry Brigade or the Zvornik
24 Infantry Brigade.
25 "The number 155 in the superior command." The designator 155,
1 and again a reflection of the fact that the communications lines were not
2 secure, as part of the communications plan, individuals within the
3 organisation were given a three designator number that changed every ten
4 days, and these numbers were distributed to the entire corps. We don't
5 have the communications plans to identify who 155 was on 14 July 1995,
6 but what Major Jokic is doing is telling Colonel Beara, who is located at
7 Badem, the headquarters of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, is that
8 155 either was here or gave an instruction or "wants you to contact him,"
9 as noted earlier, and that Colonel Beara can find out who number
10 designation 155 is by going over to the communications section of the
11 brigade and looking on that particular list.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. With regard to the word "parcel" in
13 particular, to your knowledge and assessment, would the word "parcel" be
14 used indiscriminately for corpses and living people or would it apply to
15 only -- I mean, is it for living things or is it for dead things?
16 A. I have never, in my review of the intercepts, come across the
17 phrase "parcel" being used in context with the reference to corpses or
18 dead bodies.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Do you ever see the word "parcel" referred to as the Muslim
22 military column?
23 A. I've never seen the word "parcel" referred to as the Muslim
24 military column, no, sir.
25 Q. So on 14 July when Jokic says: "There are big problems. Well,
1 with the people. I mean with the parcel," just to briefly sum, the
2 Zvornik Brigade since the early morning hours of 13th, all day on the
3 14th, was guarding hundreds and hundreds of prisoners at the school in
4 Orahovac, the same at the school in Petkovci, and from the early afternoon
5 of Orahovac was executing people nearby and was doing the same thing that
6 evening at the dam at Petkovci and through the night. So by the time of
7 this particular call, 2102 hours, most of the people at the school in
8 Orahovac were dead.
9 And if we can go on to the next exhibit, OTP 561/A. This is, I
10 believe, a 14 July conversation, 2227 hours, and mentions to
11 General Vilotic and again Mr. Jokic.
12 What can you make of this conversation?
13 A. In the context of the correspondents first, clearly Major Jokic.
14 And as for General Vilotic, I'm unsure. We have gone back through the
15 existing records that we have and all of our sources of information, and
16 we've been unable to identify any army or police general named Vilotic,
17 certainly within the time context of 1995 or July 1995 specifically. The
18 closest match would be General Major Miletic who is the Chief of
19 Operations for the Main Staff of the VRS.
20 Getting into the text of the intercept, one, this general is
21 looking for Obrenovic the brigade Deputy Commander, Chief of Staff at the
22 time, and the slang phrase "Chief" refers -- is frequently referred to as
23 the Chief of Staff, and Major Jokic indicating that he's in the field,
24 meaning he's out with the soldiers. "We had problems up at Perunika. The
25 rest is being done."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 Miletic is discussing the tactical situation on the ground with
2 him. A group being cut off. They're being pushed towards the asphalt.
3 Clearly they're trying to talk around the situation, knowing the
4 communications are liable to be intercepted, but Major Jokic is trying to
5 bring General Vilotic, as identified, you know, up to speed with what's
7 On the second page of the intercept, Jokic notes that they've been
8 promised reinforcements, some still haven't arrived, and further notes
9 that to his knowledge, the "blue ones", we see that euphemism used a lot
10 to identify police forces which have bluish camouflage uniforms rather
11 than the military forces which traditionally use green ones, and those
12 blue ones are very specifically tagged to the municipal police. The name
13 again Vasic, Vasic being the Chief of the Zvornik CSB, the municipal
15 The next part further down, Major Jokic explains to the general
16 that Obrenovic is engaged to the maximum, "We are all engaged in the
17 programme"; then a phrase, "This packet has done most to ruin us and since
18 this morning we have been reporting on the numbers of people," and it
19 tails off. Vilotic cuts him off to a point and says, "Don't talk to me
20 about that." Jokic says "Yes". Vilotic, "Well do we understand each
21 other," or did we understand? "Yes."
22 Vasic again and also a notation that says, "Let Tripkovic go."
23 Tripkovic, the close match there or the identification there is a Colonel
24 Tripkovic who is a Main Staff officer, indicating a presence there as
25 well, or at least General Vilotic has noted or believing his presence
2 Q. Now, taking you back to Jokic's comment, "This packet has done
3 most to ruin us," this again -- this term "packet" is similar to parcel,
4 and "We've been reporting on the number of people." We've just seen Major
5 Jokic get "people" and "parcels" mixed up. Would it be normal in a
6 military context to report on the operation that you're conducting, and if
7 your operation is conducting dealing with hundreds and hundreds of
8 prisoners, would it be normal to report on those people in some fashion?
9 A. Yes, it would, sir.
10 Q. Now, if this is a Main Staff general or a general outside the
11 Drina Corps, this would be a general that is dealing directly with a
12 brigade over the telephone, a brigade duty officer. Is that unusual? Is
13 that an indication that the Main Staff has taken over direct control of
14 the brigade?
15 A. I don't read it that way at all, sir, no.
16 Q. Why not?
17 A. Again, looking over the large context of information, particularly
18 within the context of the military situation and the growing crisis in the
19 zone of the Zvornik Brigade, it certainly would not be unusual for the
20 chief of operations of the Main Staff, if that is in fact who this General
21 Vilotic is, General Miletic [sic], to have a great interest in the
22 situation as it was occurring.
23 Particularly with respect to the rapid gathering of
24 reinforcements, and keeping in mind which echelon does what within the
25 command of a brigade, a command of the corps, and in the Main Staff, it
1 would be the responsibility of the Main Staff chief of operations to have
2 to assemble military forces from outside the zone of the Drina Corps and
3 bring them in to the zone of the Drina Corps if the situation warranted.
4 That is not an action that the corps command can in and of itself
5 accomplish, reaching outside of the units that its responsible for and
6 having forces or reinforcements sent in.
7 Q. All right. Let's go to the next conversation, 562/A bis, 2236
8 hours, participants "X" and then it says "/Malinic (inaudible)". What do
9 you make of this, if anything?
10 A. If I remember correctly, this is the first conversation that we
11 have where Krstic is essentially intercepted by the Bosnian-Muslims on the
12 communication network on 14 July 1995. It doesn't have Krstic as a
13 correspondent. The correspondent is Malinic, who again identified Zoran
14 Malinic the Commander of the Military Police Battalion 65 Protection
15 Regiment. He is noting that Krstic has just come up here. "Here", it's
16 tough to tell whether "here" being Nova Kasaba or "here" being another
17 location because we don't know who "X" is.
18 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Butler, it looks to me like it says Malinic is
19 inaudible and we're getting a conversation from "X".
20 A. Okay, I'm sorry. In this context, yeah, "X" is Malinic.
21 Q. "X" is or is not Malinic? I note there's been a lot of these
22 things. Why don't you just take a moment and see what you think.
23 A. Okay, no, "X" is not identified as Malinic. If you look at the
24 last line, the phrase, "Take care Malinic," that is the designator for
25 what -- the individual that "X" is talking to. So again, I would not
1 identify "X" as Malinic.
2 Again, going through the context, the correspondent "X" is letting
3 Malinic know that Zivanovic has spoken to him. He's letting -- "X" is
4 letting him know that, "Now I've told Krle about this," suggested what
5 should be done, and the expectation is that Krle will give orders.
6 Q. You get that from where he said, "So he'll do something." Okay.
7 All right, let's go to the next conversation, 2241 hours. We have
8 "X/Malinic/Nastic". What can you -- Exhibit 564/A. What can you tell
9 us, if anything, about this? And I now note that there is a General
10 Miletic that arrives into the conversation, or his name does, excuse me.
11 A. Again, the correspondents here, Major Malinic and a correspondent
12 Nastic, who, when you look at the context of the conversation, my belief
13 is that this Nastic is in fact Major, later Lieutenant Colonel, Nastic,
14 the Commander of the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade.
15 Malinic notes that he talked to General Miletic. They're also
16 discussing, in many aspects very broadly and in very strange context, the
17 situation, one, around the road, and other situations that they're aware
18 of. But in this case, they're doing a rather good job in the early
19 portion of the conversation, it's tough to infer exactly what they're
20 talking about.
21 Looking at the second page of the intercept, and as the
22 conversation goes on, they're discussing issues of transfer or moving them
23 more over here to the east. And again, as these are adjacent units on the
24 battlefield, the military activity related to the area of Nova Kasaba and
25 Milici is still occurring. In many aspects, they're discussion here,
1 again, the tactical aspect of making and linking up their lines.
2 One of the last pieces is a discussion or a part where Nastic
3 indicates to Malinic, "Your colleague is down here," "here" I'm presuming
4 is Milici; and "I've just spoken with him," and further noting "He has a
5 meeting with his commanding officers. Go up there to his place and ask
6 for help."
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this may be a good time to take a
9 JUDGE WALD: I just have one last question again. You suggested
10 that based upon your analysis, you don't feel that you could gain a strong
11 or a sure indication of what this conversation is about as relating to
12 primarily the disposal of the prisoners as opposed to a military combat
13 operation that might be dealing with the column; is that right?
14 A. That is correct, ma'am. What I've tried to do in all of my
15 analysis broadly, as just a matter of course as an analytical tool to,
16 when I look at either conversations in specific or analysis in general, if
17 there were any way to infer or presume that the activity that is being
18 discussed or the actions ascribed are military in manner as opposed to
19 anything potentially criminal, I've defaulted back to the military aspect
20 of that, and I tried to make that consistent throughout my entire
21 analytical process. So from my perspective, unless it's blatantly clear
22 that the topic of the discussion is criminal, I would default back to a
23 military interpretation of that.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us have a
1 half-hour break now. Afterwards we'll have an hour and a half left which
2 will take us up until 2 o'clock. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you have the
6 floor. We may continue.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Butler, I apologise, but I want to take you back briefly to
9 Exhibit 561, the conversation between the Duty Officer Major Jokic and a
10 General Vilotic or perhaps Miletic from the Main Staff.
11 We've noted something that I want to ask you in particular about
12 on the second page. About the sixth line down "V" or Vilotic says:
13 "Everybody who can carry a gun must go up there.
14 "Yes, sir, Colonel ... General."
15 Then Vilotic says:
16 "Do as I order you."
17 And then Jokic says:
18 "Yes, sir, General."
19 And then:
20 "Everyone, everyone there has to be mobilised."
21 Now, that appears to involve the emergency going on in Zvornik,
22 but what I want to ask you about is if this is a Main Staff general, he is
23 making it very clear that he is giving a direct order to a brigade duty
24 officer. How do you account for that?
25 A. First within the specific context of the message, the prior
1 lines, "Well, check that out with Vasic. Everything has to be mobilised.
2 Sound the alert. Yes, sir. Everyone must carry a gun, and then, do as I
3 order," again I read that less as an order directive in nature and more of
4 affirmation that they have the authority to mobilise everybody that they
5 need to do the job.
6 Second, on a more broader aspect, I keep in mind that Major Jokic
7 is functioning as the duty officer. He's not empowered to do much of
8 anything. He is the focal point where all of the information comes to and
9 comes from as the representative of the commander, and in instances like
10 this, this information is passed to the commander or, in this case, Major
11 Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff.
12 So putting this all together in context, I don't look at this as
13 to be an authoritative order in nature representative of the Main Staff
14 assuming command of a subordinate brigade of another corps. And
15 consistently, one, throughout this series of intercepts and other
16 information we have where statements like this which, in isolation can be
17 taken as an order or directive in nature, in the larger context aren't
18 meant to be that and certainly are not meant to be a formal
19 resubordination or even a less formal grabbing control, if you were, of a
21 Q. All right. Now let's go on to some of the military aspects of
22 some of the crimes charged. I want to take us now chronologically to the
23 first in a series of charged mass executions, and that is of Orahovac,
24 that testimony has established took place on the afternoon of 14 July and
25 through the evening hours.
1 We've got many Zvornik Brigade documents to go through related to
2 those charges, and first, if we -- before we get into those papers and
3 documents, can you provide the Court with a brief outline of the three
4 Zvornik Brigade units that these documents involve and just very briefly
5 how they fit into this Orahovac situation? And then we'll go through the
7 A. At Orahovac on 13, 14, and for some aspects 15 July 1995, we see
8 elements, or three separate elements of the Zvornik Brigade involved in
9 different parts of the mass -- of the first -- the holding of the
10 prisoners at the school and later the mass execution and subsequent burial
11 operation. Those assets include units and equipment from the Engineer
12 Company of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the Military Police Company of
13 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and from the 4th Battalion of the Zvornik
14 Infantry Brigade.
15 Relative to the dates we first see, in the late evening of 13
16 July, early morning 14, the appearance of the military police and their
17 remaining in the area through the day. We see, and again based on
18 survivor testimony, the presence of one Gojko Simic, who is identified as
19 a member of the 4th Infantry Battalion, who is believed by the survivor to
20 be leading the execution squad. And what the records will indicate is the
21 fact that he is the platoon Commander of the Heavy Weapons Platoon of the
22 4th Battalion. And as the executions occur throughout the 14th and burial
23 operations of the 15th, we see the involvement, in the records, to
24 corroborate the survivor accounts of the presence of engineer equipment
25 there first burying the bodies and that process continuing through the
1 15th of July 1995.
2 Q. All right. If we could go to the first exhibit, 566. If you
3 could place that briefly on the ELMO. This is a reproduction of part of a
4 map obtained from the Zvornik Brigade during the search; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. This is a blow-up of the Orahovac area. Could you just briefly
7 orient the Court on the location of the school as it's marked. If you
8 could just point to where the school is.
9 A. [Indicates]
10 Q. And that's the little area marked "SK" for Skola. And if you
11 could mark the area of the charged execution site. There's a big black
12 dot there.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. Now, if we could go to the next exhibit, 567/A. Tell us, if you
15 could -- could you put on the first page and just tell us what this is.
16 As I know, this is just a photocopy of it, but can you tell us what this
17 was photocopied from?
18 A. When the records of the 503rd Motorised before -- that the Zvornik
19 Infantry Brigade were seized, one of the documents was a book, a ledger
20 book which was used to chart the activities and the deliveries of a
21 vehicle of the Zvornik Brigade which, while the mission is not specified,
22 when you look in context of all the entries, it was a vehicle which
23 delivered food to various aspects of the brigade. What this is is the
24 translation of, at least in this case, one page of that book.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go to the relevant page, which is marked page 8 on
1 the English translation, and if you could go to the spot. Point out the
2 spot that you're gleaning information from, and tell us about what kind of
3 information you get from this.
4 A. The bookkeeping was not very well done from a standpoint of date
5 and time chronology, so there's not very much information which can be
6 gleaned from it.
7 The time that is, for me, or the information that's most relevant
8 on 13 July is a notation that a delivery was made at Orahovac to the
9 police. And this is the first indicator that I have that puts a police,
10 and I presume, military police because this is a military vehicle,
11 presence at Orahovac on 13 July. And while it's not legible in the copies
12 of the information, what I believe is that the time they're referring to
13 is the late evening of the 13th July, 1995.
14 Q. Can you put on your photocopy of the original?
15 A. As you can see, it's not consistently clear, and what I believe
16 happened is that even though these issues are 13 July and they are roughly
17 chronological, they're not totally. We start with the earlier ones and go
18 later, and what I believe is we turn the corner and this is 0100, and
19 we're looking at 0100 on 14 July.
20 As I say, I don't put very much weight into that because it is a
21 very ambiguous piece of information and it's not clear as to the exact
22 time, and I use it as an indicator just that on the 13th and 14th there
23 was a military police presence at Orahovac and that at least some food was
24 delivered to them.
25 Q. All right. Now I would like to take you to the next exhibit,
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: For this exhibit I would like to do something,
3 Mr. President, out of the ordinary and provide the Court with the actual
4 original document for your review as Mr. Butler discusses the photocopy,
5 because I think it's only by taking a close and careful look at the
6 original document that the information on it becomes most clear.
7 Now, we would like to retain this original document for the
8 archives, so that's why we haven't given it in an exhibit list and noted
9 it into evidence. But if I can provide that to you through the usher, and
10 of course feel free to take it out and look at it. It will be very clear
11 what there is to look at in a moment.
12 Q. Mr. Butler.
13 A. Again, as part of the material seized, one of the documents was
14 the personnel accountability register for the Military Police Company of
15 the Zvornik Brigade for July of 1995.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me one second. Mr. Harmon reminds me that
17 we want, of course, the Defence to be able to see this original document
18 also. They have had a photocopy of it, and they had a copy of the expert
19 report analysing the document, but for the record, I hear that they have
20 inspected it; I wasn't aware of that. Thank you.
21 Q. Okay, I'm sorry for the interruption, Mr. Butler. Go ahead.
22 A. This essentially is a daily accountability chart for the
23 individuals assigned to the Military Police Company. It reflects through
24 a series of characters the general locations where everyone is during the
25 day, and on the back of the original product that you have, you can see in
1 pencil the index that the author of this document put together to cover
2 this. The significance for me in the aspect of analysis and looking at
3 where it fits in is trying to determine the military police activities and
4 locations on 13, 14, and subsequent days of July 1995.
5 What you will be able to note on the original and which doesn't
6 show up clearly on the copy, hence the reason for the original, is that
7 for approximately 13 individuals, to include the company commander, on 14
8 July 1995, the previous location "O", which is listed on the back index of
9 Orahovac, has been poorly erased and changed to reflect "T", which stands
10 for "out on the terrain".
11 Q. Mr. Butler, just -- I noticed you have a copy of the original on
12 the ELMO. Could you -- I've just provided you a highlighted version of
13 those first two pages which are highlighting the names of the people who
14 had -- that we're most concerned about. Could you explain what the
15 highlights indicate, and especially as they relate to 14 July for those
17 A. The highlights are those individuals who were initially listed in
18 the attendance record as being located at Orahovac on 14 July, and
19 subsequently had that location changed through erasure, an overwrite, to
20 reflect them being at a different location. Of note, the first name
21 Miomir Jasikovac, the Commander of the Military Police Company. And to
22 complete it, the second page, again showing an additional three
24 Q. So what would be the total number of MPs at Orahovac by that
25 record on the 14th of July?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 A. The number would be nine military police and the military police
2 commander, total of ten.
3 Q. All right, you can take that off now.
4 Does this roster also include the three people that were in the
5 Opel Rekord of the exhibit that we looked at before dated 13 July?
6 A. Yes, sir, it does.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, the next exhibit, Your Honours, is Exhibit
8 569/A, which is an expert report filed 18/5/00, accepted by the Defence,
9 2/6/00, and is an expert report from the Dutch crime lab analysing the
10 erasure marks, and most importantly, the commander of the unit as also
11 having been erased on the 14th, because that's the one that is a little
12 bit harder to see with the naked eye from looking at the actual original
14 Q. And I would refer Mr. Butler to Exhibit 570/A. Can you tell us
15 briefly what this is and how it fits into your analysis?
16 A. This is a personnel-related order from the Zvornik Infantry
17 Brigade, again, verifying the previous appointment of Captain Miomir
18 Jasikovac as the Company Commander of the Military Police Company.
19 Q. Okay. Then going on to Exhibit 571/A, that is just a repeat of
20 the Opel Rekord record showing the military police going to the various
21 locations which was 543/A.
22 So we don't need to get into that any further, Mr. Butler, I think
23 we've discussed that. But before we get on to the infantry soldiers that
24 were at Orahovac, what do you make of the -- this information that we have
25 ten MPs, including their -- one of whom is the commander, in Orahovac at
1 14 July in the context of everything else that's going on?
2 A. Particularly with respect to the fact that on the 13th of July,
3 1995 and through the evening of the 13th, the military police, as we've
4 previously noted, were deployed to include one specific reference of the
5 commander being deployed on the terrain, to deal with the ambushes and the
6 Muslim military column coming to the north.
7 Sometime the late early -- or the late evening hours of the 13
8 July or the early morning hours of the 14 July, the military police
9 commander and nine of the military police soldiers were detailed to leave
10 those ambush locations and to proceed to Orahovac. Taken in time and
11 context there with what happened there with the first arrival of the
12 prisoners, that would make military sense. The prisoners starting to
13 arrive in the early morning hours of 14 July 1995, it would make sense for
14 the military police to be at the location either just prior to, or at
15 their arrival in order to ensure the security of the facility and to
16 maintain security over the prisoners as they came off the bus and went
17 into the facility.
18 Q. What significance, if any, do you give the fact that the commander
19 of the unit has been pulled out of the defence line of Zvornik to look
20 after prisoners in schools?
21 A. Somebody thought it important enough that he be there personally
22 to deal with the issue, and in the context of command and control of the
23 Zvornik Brigade on 14 July 1995, that somebody would have been Major
24 Dragan Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And before going on to the next
1 segment, I would just briefly bring up some of the testimony to help put
2 this in context. If we go back to the testimony of one of the Orahovac
3 survivors, and I will provide his letter name shortly, if you recall, he
4 described as he's laying in the execution field, he hears a voice of a
5 person that he recognises, the voice; and he cannot see that person, but
6 he was -- testified that he was sure this was the voice of Gojko Simic.
7 He heard other soldiers referring to this person as Gojko, and he
8 recognised the voice as a person that he'd worked with for many years
9 named Gojko Simic. And by what he recalled, Gojko Simic was issuing
10 commands to the other soldiers to take the ammunition box and go on the
11 other side of the hill to continue. He also recalled the first names of
12 two other soldiers, one Vojo and one Risto, common Bosnian Serb names.
13 He also recalled the date of birth or the year of birth of Gojko
14 Simic, 1952, because it was his own; and he recalled that he worked with
15 Gojko Simic for I believe at least ten, ten years, I think more, at a
16 Belgrade construction company whose name we'll -- escapes me, but we'll
17 see it in the death record of Gojko Simic. It's something like Mitrovic.
18 Q. Now, with that factual background, Mr. Butler, did you go through
19 the various records at the Zvornik Brigade trying to identify information
20 on a person named Gojko Simic?
21 A. Yes, sir, I did.
22 Q. And can you start with Exhibit 572/A and tell us what that means
23 and what you found out about a Gojko Simic?
24 A. This document is consistent with a variety of other documents that
25 we have that pertains to how the Zvornik Infantry Brigade tracks
1 commanders and various personnel of the units as time goes by. It is --
2 essentially, it matches up the name of the individual with the position
3 number or billet number, if you will, against the formation where he is
4 assigned. This specific one deals with the 4th Infantry Battalion of the
5 Zvornik Brigade.
6 Q. And if you could go to page 6, we've provided the Court with the
7 entire roster, but if you can go to page 6, close to the bottom, page 6 on
8 the English translation.
9 A. This document indicates that in the 5th Infantry Company, Gojko
10 Lazar Simic, rank, Corporal, was previously designated the commander of
11 that formation. You will note his name is crossed out there.
12 Q. That would be of the 5th Infantry Company, 4th Battalion?
13 A. That is correct, sir.
14 Q. And the 4th Battalion -- well, let me ask, what battalion is
15 Orahovac in the area of?
16 A. The 4th Infantry Battalion, sir.
17 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, 573/A, and then to page 6 -- excuse
18 me, page 6 of the English translation, number 22. What is this document,
19 and what does it tell us?
20 A. This document, if I can start on the first page very quickly,
21 again, the personnel order from the Zvornik, this time Light Infantry
22 Brigade as it was previously organised, reflecting the assignments of
23 individuals within the 4th Battalion.
24 Page 6, item number 22, reflecting the appointment of Gojko Simic
25 as the Fire Support Platoon Commander for the 4th Battalion.
1 Q. Can you date this appointment at all or can we -- is there any way
2 to determine the chronology of his rise through the ranks?
3 A. This specific document is dated 8 April 1994. However, with the
4 case of Gojko Simic, he has been associated with the Zvornik Infantry
5 Brigade since at least November 1992, the earliest times that we're able
6 to track him in the personnel rosters of the brigade. And as he goes
7 through the rank, essentially he's given positions of greater and greater
8 responsibility, first starting as a conscript, later company commander.
9 While this one, in fact, is a platoon commander position, it is the Heavy
10 Weapons Platoon directly subordinate to the battalion commander and
11 command. So he's consistently performing on a consistent track function
12 of a good performing soldier.
13 Q. The documents that you have, can you tell whether the documents
14 related to the 4th Battalion are complete, and was there some reason why
15 they may not be as complete as others?
16 A. The documents relating to the 4th Infantry Battalion specifically
17 are incomplete when compared to the battalion documents that we have for
18 the other eight battalions of the Zvornik Brigade at the time. In
19 researching why this was the case and as we'll be able to note through
20 this discussion on the conduct of the column's operations, one of the
21 things which occurred on 15 July 1995 was the Muslim column overran,
22 essentially captured and destroyed, the headquarters of the
23 4th Battalion.
24 In the process of doing so, and our interviews with some of the
25 Muslim survivors from that column who were, in fact there, noted that
1 anything that couldn't be carted away of military value, and most of these
2 records clearly didn't fall into that category, was destroyed or burned.
3 So when the war ended and the battalions, in effect, were demobilised and
4 their records moved to the parent brigade headquarters, the records of the
5 4th Battalion were very incomplete. So again acknowledging they're
6 incomplete and understanding why they're incomplete.
7 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, 574/A. Is this another document
8 that you found in the Zvornik Brigade during the search and can you
9 explain what it is?
10 A. This document is the military death certificate for Gojko Simic.
11 We found it in the personnel office of the brigade, in binders with all of
12 the other death records and other injury records of the brigade.
13 The document reflects that Gojko Simic, a member of the Army of
14 Republika Srpska was killed defending or he was shot dead in the position
15 of Baljkovica, the village area, and that he was buried in Orahovac on
16 18 July 1995.
17 Q. Now, 16 July, Baljkovica, that's something you will discuss, but
18 briefly can you tell us, was there a large action there on the 16th?
19 A. Yes, sir. Again moving with the column through that date, the
20 extremely significant fighting on the 15 and 16 July. And when you look
21 at the casualty records of the brigade in time sequence with those dates,
22 the 15 and the 16 of July were the days which the units took the heaviest
23 casualties, most of those casualties reflecting to have occurred within
24 the 4th, the 6th and the 7th battalions.
25 Q. Now, I note this death record says that Mr. Simic was from
1 Oravac. Is Oravac related to Orahovac in any way as far as you can tell
2 from these records?
3 A. Yes, sir, it is.
4 Q. How so?
5 A. Again relative to a translation issue, I've discussed this issue
6 with various translators who have been able to put it in the language
7 context and have determined that we're talking about the same area.
8 Further, on subsequent pages of the record, other individuals write out
9 the village of Orahovac more clearly or in a different context again to
10 the same village. But based on both of those pieces of information and
11 researching the matter, I'm confident that we're talking one in the same.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I should note for the Court I believe I forgot to
13 mention but the witness also recalled his colleague from work, Gojko
14 Simic, was from Orahovac.
15 Q. Now, could we go in the next exhibit, which seems to be another
16 certificate, but this time instead of dated 27 July, this exhibit, 575/A,
17 is dated 18 August 1995 and would at first appear to have the same
18 information in it as the last. Is that correct?
19 A. That is correct, sir.
20 Q. However, when we get to page 3 of that exhibit, there's another
21 sheet of more information?
22 A. That is correct I sir.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would note the Court to line 3 employed and
24 where, the Ratko Mitrovic Construction Company in Belgrade, which I can
25 tell the Court is the same company that the survivor from Orahovac worked
2 Q. And on line 7 his rank is listed as "Company Commander". Is that
3 consistent with the record that we'd previously seen?
4 A. In so much as the formation being subordinate to the battalion, I
5 can understand why they would call it the company commander as the
7 Q. And going to Exhibit 576.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would just note this for the Court: This is the
9 photograph taken from a line-up -- not a line-up but a group of other
10 photographs of other soldiers that were killed. It was a page taken from
11 the Drinski Magazin, and the witness testified that this face on this
12 exhibit, 576, that he recalled as being the face of Gojko Simic.
13 Q. Mr. Butler, I know you've studied in document, and I know you
14 don't read Cyrillic, but does this in fact give the name of Gojko Simic
15 and his birth date?
16 A. This is that document. Yes, it does that.
17 Q. As well as, I believe, as Orahovac underneath it, or Oravac.
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Now, many months ago did I ask you and your investigative team to
20 look through the 4th Battalion records to determine whether or not there
21 were any soldiers in the 4th Battalion that might have the first name of
22 Vojo and Risto and be associated in any way with Orahovac?
23 A. Yes, you did, sir.
24 Q. All right. And can you turn to Exhibit 577/A. And does that
25 reflect the -- what you found in your review of the report or -- excuse
1 me -- of the records?
2 A. This reflects the listing of individuals who would have the first
3 name Vojo and Risto specific to the records that we possess for the former
4 5th Company of the Orahovac -- or the 5th Company of the Orahovac Company
5 of the 4th Battalion.
6 Q. So while there's many Vojos and Ristos, at the very least this
7 indicates that there were some Vojos and Ristos from Orahovac associated
8 with the 4th Battalion?
9 A. That is correct, sir.
10 Q. In the past, in 1995, were Gojko Simic and any of these people
11 actually associated with a unit in the 4th Battalion?
12 A. As I previously noted, they were associated with the former
13 5th Infantry Company of the 4th Battalion, and that 5th Infantry Company
14 was geographically associated with the village of Orahovac.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would point the Court to Exhibit 577/B as
16 the --
17 Q. In fact, Mr. Butler, can you take a look at that and tell us what
18 577/B is and how it relates to 577/A?
19 A. 577/B, and this is the cover, is a reflection of a personnel
20 roster that is maintained not on a daily basis but it is a logbook that
21 gives personnel data for all of the information assigned to the unit,
22 reflecting the individual's name, his national identity number, when he
23 joined the army, when he was assigned into the unit. As these records
24 continue on through the war, when they were killed or when they were
25 wounded, and then ending the war, when they were demobilised.
1 Q. All right. And these are just the documents that help support
2 577/A, which to make perfectly clear, is your staff and yourself's typed
3 up version of those -- or the typed up summary of what those records show
4 regarding my request to look for Vojos and Ristos?
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. So just to briefly summarise, if you have concluded that the
7 military police was in Orahovac on the 14th and Gojko Simic was there
8 with, I believe it was five -- something, five to ten soldiers, this would
9 have been an actual infantry unit from the Zvornik Brigade that was also
11 A. That is correct, sir.
12 Q. Actually, by the testimony of the survivor, spending the afternoon
13 and the evening shooting Muslim prisoners.
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. And that would be consistent with him being in the 4th Battalion?
16 Orahovac is within the area of the 4th Battalion?
17 A. It is geographically consistent, yes, sir.
18 Q. Let's move on to the next subject, the engineering records, and if
19 you could go to Exhibit 578/A. Tell us what you've learned from your
20 study of this record, what it is, and what you can get from it.
21 A. Just as in the case of the cars, trucks, and other vehicles of the
22 Zvornik Infantry Brigade, heavy equipment and engineer equipment, their
23 time and fuel usage was accountable as well.
24 This document reflects that usage for the month of July 1995 for a
25 backhoe excavator, registration number C-3117. It notes that on 14 July
1 1995, 40 litres of fuel were provided to the vehicle.
2 Q. Does it provide the name of the driver/users?
3 A. Yes, it does, sir. The driver/user identified is Cvijetin
4 Ristanovic and Milos Mitrovic.
5 Q. And what do you get from the information side, the next page?
6 A. The operator's notation of activity for 14 July 1995 reflecting
7 work for the Army of Republika Srpska, the movement or route from base
8 which we believe is the base of the Engineer Company, to Orahovac and
9 return; the activity of trench digging; and the time, six hours.
10 Q. Are you aware, from the records, of any military use for trench
11 digging around Orahovac on the 14th of July?
12 A. There was no military engineer activity or no engineer activity
13 related to military use in Orahovac on 14 July.
14 Q. And is this piece of equipment roughly similar to that that was
15 described by one or more of the survivors?
16 A. Yes, sir, it is.
17 Q. All right. Going to Exhibit 579/A, this is a list of the
18 Engineering Company.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would just reference the Court to page 6 in
20 the English translation, number 9, Cvijetin Ristanovic, RGM, translated at
21 the bottom as construction machine operator, and Milos Mitrovic, also as a
22 construction -- machine construction operator for the Zvornik Brigade
23 Engineering Company, the Drina Corps.
24 Q. And if we could go on to Exhibit 580/A. This appears to be a
25 similar exhibit but for something called a Torpedo excavator. The same
1 driver/users. On the 14th of July it was digging trenches in Orahovac for
2 five hours. Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct, sir.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would also note the Court that on 16 July,
5 the same machine goes from the base to Kozluk and was digging trenches in
6 Kozluk for eight hours. Kozluk we'll be coming to, of course.
7 Q. And going to the next exhibit, 581. Mr. Butler, is it your
8 understanding that this machine resembles a Torpedo excavator?
9 A. Yes, sir, I believe that's the case.
10 Q. Did you learn that from one of the investigators that has more
11 knowledge in this than you do?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And this is a combination backhoe, which is noted from the front,
14 the big arm, the front of the photograph, that is. And then you can see
15 on the other side of this machine the scoop or loader that has -- which
16 this machine also has part of it.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, going to Exhibit 582, and Mr. President, I
18 understand this is quite a bit of leading, but perhaps we can get through
19 this if I can help provide some of the information as opposed to having
20 Mr. Butler just read it.
21 JUDGE RIAD: By the way, could you tell us what a Torpedo
22 excavator does?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Mr. Butler, did the investigator that you spoke to give you any
25 idea about the uses of this kind of a combination excavator?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.
1 A. As described, the function of the vehicle is to, first with the
2 spoon or bucket type, to break through the ground and dig, first narrow
3 trenches and larger ones, and with the scoop on the back or back-load
4 thing, move the dirt away; physically put it in a different location, or
5 from a soft pile, pick that dirt up and put it back in a given location.
6 A dual-use engineer vehicle.
7 JUDGE RIAD: It goes quite deep in the ground?
8 A. I'm not qualified to give you the specifics on that type of stuff,
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. Mr. Butler, can this loader thing, not the arm, can it load up
13 dirt and actually load it and drop it in the back of a big truck for
15 A. Yes, sir, it can.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 582/A, which is a log for a TAM
17 75. What is that?
18 A. A TAM 75 is a standard military vehicle. It's designed for
19 carrying some personnel, small amounts of cargo. Not extremely large.
20 Q. And going on to the next -- well, staying on that front page, the
21 driver/user is Ostoja Stanojevic. Do you recall running his name through
22 the records to find out where he came from?
23 A. I believe that this individual is also associated with the -- or a
24 member of the Engineer Company of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
25 Q. And noting the next page of this document for 14 July, 15 July, 16
1 July, 17 July, can you, again just briefly, talk to us about these
2 locations and how you think they're relevant to your analysis?
3 A. In sequence of travel, starting on 14 July, a series of two trips
4 -- three trips is ascribed to Orahovac and return to base where they stop
5 in Zvornik. Additional trips to Orahovac on the 15th. On the 16th, we
6 see one or two trips to Orahovac, and now we start seeing Kozluk. On 17,
7 Kula, and then back to base; and specifically in the sense of the engineer
8 activities that we know occurred in Orahovac and at Kozluk, clearly this
9 vehicle running back and forth between the multiple engineer activities,
10 perhaps to provide fuel, water, or other needed material.
11 Q. Future records will show that there was more digging going on in
12 Orahovac on the 15th and 16th; and you've already spoke of Kula, but we'll
13 get to Kula, and we can wait there.
14 Now, if we can go to Exhibit 583/A. This is the engineering
15 roster, and I can direct the Court to what is in the English translation
16 page 6, number 9, Ostoja Stanojevic, and his job as driver.
17 And then if we could go to Exhibit 584/A, and if you could put
18 that on the ELMO. This is a new document, and perhaps you should put the
19 handwritten version on first just to give a feel for what this is and
20 where this was found.
21 A. The document in question is what I refer to as the engineer daily
22 orders journal. One of the military requirements within the VRS, and
23 again a carryover from the former JNA, was the fact that orders were to be
24 written down as received, and part of the context in this one is the daily
25 orders for the unit were posted in this document, and underneath, signed
1 by the commander. What this document is in its entirety is for a
2 four-month period, the daily orders as understood by the Engineer Company
3 of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and they are updated on a daily basis.
4 This specific document was found in the engineer staff office of
5 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade or the 503rd Motorised Brigade during the OTP
7 Q. Could you go back to the English translation, and under the task
8 list, tell us the relevancy of the information?
9 A. It discusses the group tasks. Line one, "pioneers to work in the
10 area of Petkovci." Pioneers in this sense, combat engineers who lay
11 mines, do battlefield-related engineer tasks, very light engineers.
12 Number two, "power saw operators working in the area of Petkovci." Number
13 three, reflecting the fact that some of the engineers are on ambush
14 position on the orders of the brigade Chief of Staff. Number four, "work
15 with the BGH 700," a specific engineer vehicle at Orahovac. Five, "work
16 with the ULT 220," again, another ditch-digger, bucket-loader type, at
17 Orahovac. Item 6, "work with an ULT at Petkovci," and item 7, "work with
18 excavator at Petkovci." And at the bottom, the signature, Block 4, the
19 company commander, Captain Dragan Jevtic.
20 Q. Now, as we'll see in the next few pages, the BGH 700 is a big
21 backhoe; is that right?
22 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
23 Q. An ULT 220 is a big loader?
24 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
25 Q. Now, does this engineering log provide information related to our
1 crime scenes for July 13th and 14th? I noticed this is 15 July.
2 A. One of the aspects when you look at this document and the pattern
3 that becomes clear is that the orders were posted sometime early in the
4 morning, the signature was fixed, and activities which occurred after that
5 during the day were reflected in the next day's posting of orders.
6 In a sense, when you look at the order for 14 July 1995, you do
7 not see a reflection of the work of the engineer equipment at Orahovac and
8 Petkovci, even though we understand from witness and survivor accounts
9 that certainly by the late afternoon of the 14th, the engineer equipment
10 was operating, corroborated by the vehicle utilisation records of that, as
11 well as the late evening, early morning hours of 15 July where witnesses
12 note engineer equipment operating subsequent to the execution at the foot
13 of the dam. In that respect, the orders journal is approximately one day
14 behind the actual series of events as they occur.
15 Q. Okay. And if we could go to Exhibit 585, this is a diagram the
16 investigation -- or a brochure that the investigation was able to find on
17 the BGH 600. And Mr. Butler, what did the investigator tell you about the
18 difference between the BGH 600 and the BGH 700?
19 A. Essentially, the difference in designation reflects the capacity
20 of the front bucket in cubic centimetres.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Going to Exhibit 586, this is a
22 photograph that investigators took of a BGH 600 in the Tuzla area, not
23 meant to be related in any way to the charged offences, but just to give
24 you an idea of an actual BGH machine.
25 Going to Exhibit 587, this is also a picture taken by
1 investigators of an ULT 220, as you can see written on the right-hand side
2 of the machine near the person's right hand. Again, this is in the Tuzla
3 area, not meant to the associated with the crime scene. You'll note the
4 bucket on the front of this has no teeth, but you may recall from the
5 archaeological testimony that a lot of teeth, teeth marks were seen on
6 various crimes, and so the investigation found a brochure for an ULT 200,
7 and that's what the next exhibit is, 588, showing you an ULT with teeth.
8 Q. And Mr. Butler, were you informed by the investigator what the
9 difference between an ULT 200 is and an ULT 220?
10 A. In this instance, the number designator 200 and 220 reflects the
11 difference in engineer horsepower.
12 Q. And let's go to the next exhibit, 589/A, appears to be another
13 vehicle log for an ULT 220 backhoe excavator, is what they're calling it
14 now -- that's the translation in English -- with a driver Veljko
16 Now, there's also a notation of "construction machine owned by
17 Birac Holding." Is that something new to these logs, compared to the last
18 logs that we were looking at, is what I mean?
19 A. This is new in that respect, reflecting the ownership of the
20 vehicle is not with the army, but that the ownership of the vehicle
21 belongs to the Birac Holding Company, which is a large, state-owned
22 company in the Zvornik area.
23 Q. And did you run the name Veljko Kovacevic through the Zvornik
24 Brigade army records?
25 A. I believe that we checked this name, and I do not recall exactly,
1 but I don't believe he is a member of the brigade.
2 Q. Is that consistent with this being a machine owned by someone
4 A. Yes, it is, sir.
5 Q. Let's go to the next page that actually shows the substance of
6 what was going on, and if you could look at the date 15 July, also --
7 there's also a heading "Working For", and what is that? What's the
8 significance of that?
9 A. Again, a reflection that the vehicle is performing tasks under the
10 direction of the army.
11 Q. And it was digging trenches in Orahovac for five hours on the 15th
12 of July?
13 A. That is correct, sir.
14 Q. Are you aware of any other engineering activity aside from the
15 area that had been discussed by survivors going on in the Orahovac area on
16 the 15th of July?
17 A. With respect to the heavy equipment and the digging activity, the
18 only other activity occurring at 15 July -- on 15 July 1995 would have
19 been that engineer activity associated with the Petkovci execution site.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we're not there yet, but I note on this
21 there's a 17 July, also working for the VRS, and it says, "Digging
22 trenches in Branjevo," and it's got 8.5 hours. And we'll be coming to
23 another -- an exhibit when we get to Branjevo of a large -- what appears
24 to be a large piece of excavating equipment near a big hole on 17 July at
25 Branjevo Farm.
1 Q. Right. If we could go to the next exhibit, 590. Is this a
2 blow-up of the -- one of the large VRS maps that was captured from the
3 Zvornik Brigade?
4 A. Yes, sir, it is.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would call the Court's attention to the word
6 vertically written as Petkovci, P-e-t-k-o-v-c-i, right across the
8 Q. Can you orient the Court on where the crime scene as alleged in
9 the indictment is?
10 A. The crime scene is located at the foot of the dam here, and the
11 holding area is off the road, off the side of the map.
12 Q. Briefly before going into some more of these records, militarily
13 on the 14th and 15th at both Orahovac and the Petkovci dam area, was the
14 column up and around those particular areas at that time?
15 A. When you track the movement sequence of the column based on the
16 VRS reporting of the column and place it by time, one of the things that
17 appears is that at the beginning of the Orahovac executions which started
18 in the early afternoon, the column was significantly south of Orahovac.
19 As the day and evening wore on, the column moved in a northwesterly
20 direction which brought it closer to Orahovac.
21 As the witness and survivors from Orahovac recount, somewhere
22 around midnight, all of the engineer activity ceased. The executions were
23 completed and the burial activity completed for that day. Bringing that
24 back to the location of the column, at that time the column was
25 approximately -- or elements of the column were approximately four
1 kilometers south of Orahovac, or southeast more accurately.
2 More importantly, looking at the terrain as rugged and
3 cross-compartmented as it is, they were one valley over as well. So there
4 was not a direct access, so to speak, from where the column was located,
5 and the execution sites at Orahovac. Further, as you can note on the map,
6 Petkovci, the dam specifically, is located another five, six miles
7 straight line -- or six kilometers, excuse me, in straight line distance
8 to the north of Orahovac. And again, that distance also does not reflect
9 the terrain isolation aspect.
10 So in these regards, there was no combat activity which is related
11 to these physical locations of the executions at the time the executions
12 took place.
13 Q. We've seen heavy equipment logs for Orahovac as well as Branjevo
14 and Kozluk. Do we have any actual vehicle logs reflecting work done at
15 Petkovci, at the dam, during the time period of the 15th, 16th, 17th?
16 A. No, sir, we do not.
17 Q. But we did see engineering log records showing heavy equipment,
18 particularly described, doing work at Petkovci. How do you explain that
19 you've got a log entry in the engineering log but you don't have a vehicle
20 log like you did for Orahovac?
21 A. The issue of that, when we looked through that, particularly from
22 the analytical perspective and as the investigation worked into that issue
23 as well, what we found was that particularly in the Zvornik area -- it was
24 a former mining area -- there was a good number -- a good deal of engineer
1 What we have, essentially, is the fact that no engineer equipment
2 assigned to or in the case of the one issue contracted or immediately on
3 long-term loan to the army being used at the Petkovci site. What we do
4 have is an awareness by the Engineer Company Commander that engineer
5 equipment which he is accounting for in his log and implying that he's
6 responsible for is operating at that location at that time.
7 The best theory that I could come up with that is supportable is
8 that such equipment was requisitioned on an immediate basis from the local
9 community, and, again, that wouldn't have been too difficult being most of
10 the large firms were state-owned and used to deal with the issue of
11 burying the bodies. This is specifically borne out in the case of the
12 BGH 700, where we have multiple instances of, one, that vehicle being used
13 by the army, that specific vehicle not showing up on listings of vehicles
14 owned by the army but army fuel being put in it at various points in
16 So while I'm not able to conclude that the engineer equipment at
17 Petkovci belonged to the army and specifically belonged to the Zvornik
18 Brigade's Engineer Company, the fact that in the Engineer Company orders
19 book the Engineer Company Commander is reflecting his knowledge of their
20 usage in his orders thing or in his orders listing leads me to conclude
21 that the vehicles are operating under army control and specifically under
22 the control of the Commander of the Engineer Company.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the Court may recall the testimony of the two
24 dam survivors. The morning after, when the sun rose, they saw heavy
25 equipment loading bodies onto some kind of a trailer that were taken away
1 in some direction.
2 Q. Mr. Butler, let's go to some 6th Battalion records, and that is
3 the battalion in the area of the Petkovci dam. That would be Exhibit
4 number 591/A. It's a TAM-75, another one of these little military trucks
5 that you mentioned. Can that carry people?
6 A. Yes, sir, it can.
7 Q. In the back? How would it do it?
8 A. It's a light cargo truck. I mean relatively open bed. You could
9 just carry people in there.
10 Q. All right. And if you can go to the second page of that document,
11 and let's go to 15 July. First of all, it's under the "Working For"
12 section. Is says "6 PB." What does "PB" mean?
13 A. "PB," translated, is "Infantry Battalion."
14 Q. So 6th Infantry Battalion.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Then it says "Petkovci/Brana/Petkovci." What does "Brana" mean?
17 A. As translated, "Brana" means "dam."
18 Q. Four journeys, 1 plus 8 people. And what's the "35 achieved
19 TKMPK," if you know?
20 A. I'm not sure of the answer to that one. We've not been able to
21 get a technical explanation.
22 Q. Now, 15 July, from the testimony, was a day there were hundreds
23 and hundreds of bodies lying on the plateau of the dam, being put onto a
24 flatbed. Are you aware of any other 6th Battalion military activity or
25 anything that would have necessitated this kind of four journeys back and
1 forth from Petkovci to the dam on 15 July?
2 A. No, sir, I'm not.
3 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next exhibit, which I believe is the roster
4 for the two people mentioned, Dragomir Topolovic and Vlado Josic, the
5 people that were the driver/users of that TAM 75. Do you see them noted
6 on those -- on that roster?
7 A. Members of the Logistics Platoon of the 6th Infantry Battalion.
8 Q. Is there one that's in some kind of a command role, do you
9 recall? I may be wrong about that. I believe --
10 A. One of them identified again --
11 Q. Dragomir Topolovic is identified as a driver?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. And Vlado Josic. Do you see Vlado Josic anywhere? Well, we'll --
14 A. Vlado is not on this specific listing.
15 Q. We'll track down Mr. Josic.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I note it's just about 2.00 p.m.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, it is 2.00. So I
18 think we have to adjourn and have a rather long break for this case. I
19 should still like to remind you -- and I am addressing Mr. Harmon in the
20 first place -- that we agree to finish this on the 28th of July. So we
21 must do everything to achieve that.
22 We're not going to have a holiday, we'll be working, but for the
23 time being, have a good weekend and successful work.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 2 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day of
1 July, 2000 at 9.30 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English transcripts.