1 Tuesday, 18 July 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen; good morning to our technicians, our interpreters, legal
8 assistants, court reporters; good morning, Madam Registrar; good morning,
9 Mr. Harmon, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Cayley; good morning, Mr. Petrusic and
10 Mr. Visnjic; good morning, General Krstic.
11 We will resume with our work today. Mr. McCloskey will continue
12 examining the witness. I think that Mr. Petrusic was not nervous
13 yesterday. We're all doing our job here. We will be working until 3.00
14 today so that we can finish with the examination-in-chief.
15 Let me propose a schedule for today. We will have three breaks
16 during our working day today. We will be working from half past nine
17 until 11.00. At 11.00 we will have a 20-minute break. Then we will be
18 working from 11.20 until 12.50, which will be followed by a half-hour
19 break. Then after that, there will be a working period from 1.00 [as
20 interpreted] until ten minutes past two, and then we'll have a half-hour
21 break and work until the end, that is, until 3.00. I will not interrupt
22 you, but this is a tentative schedule for today.
23 Good morning, Mr. Butler. You will continue answering questions
24 that will be put to you by Mr. McCloskey.
25 Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning.
2 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
3 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
4 Q. We left off yesterday going over some intercepts from 17 July.
5 I'd like to take us back in time for one document that I inadvertently
6 bypassed yesterday and that's taking us back to 15 July, to Exhibit 596A.
7 It may be in another binder, but Mr. Butler has got it and can get it on
8 the ELMO.
9 Mr. Butler, can you explain to us what this document is, who it's
10 to, what its relevance is to your analysis?
11 A. This is an intelligence report from the intelligence organ of the
12 Zvornik Infantry Brigade to the command of the Drina Corps, dated 15 July
14 What this document is and what it represents is the understanding
15 of Captain First Class Dusko Vukotic, the Chief of Intelligence of the
16 Zvornik Brigade, pertaining to the situation with the column that is
17 penetrating the rear zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
18 If you will remember back to the 15 July 1995 interim report
19 written by Colonel Pandurevic, much of the enemy information that's
20 described in this report is incorporated in that interim report to the
21 Corps as well.
22 If I can direct your attention to the second paragraph, this is
23 for the first time where the idea is surfaced that the Corps should give
24 some consideration to the effects and consequences of opening a corridor
25 for the armed head of the column, letting them through, and then closing
1 it and dealing with the remainder of the column in the Corps' zone -- in
2 the Zvornik Brigade zone, sorry.
3 As you can tell by this message and the date stamp underneath, it
4 was sent out at approximately 1213 hours on 15 July, so it arrived at the
5 Corps -- was sent to the Corps approximately four hours prior to the
6 interim combat report by Colonel Pandurevic.
7 Q. So this reflects the actual deal that Colonel Pandurevic did the
8 next day with the Muslim column.
9 A. That is correct, sir, yes.
10 Q. All right. Let's go on, then, back to where we left off
11 yesterday. It should be Exhibit 662A, an intercept of 17 July, 1244
12 hours. What can you tell us about this?
13 A. This particular intercept between an X subscriber, who's
14 unidentified, and Trbic of the Zvornik Brigade discusses X looking for
15 Pop, or Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, the Assistant Commander for Security
16 of the Zvornik Brigade.
17 Further down it notes that they're to leave right away for here,
18 "for Zlatar 01," he says. Zlatar 01, as we've previously discussed,
19 being the designator for the Commander of the Drina Corps, General
20 Krstic. He notes that -- in this case, Captain Trbic notes that it's
21 difficult for him to get in touch with him. "... it's very hard for me to
22 do that" from where they're located. The rest of the conversation, the
23 reflection of the fact that he'll do what he can and try and get in touch
24 with him.
25 Q. So what task do you think they're talking about that Pop is
1 involved in north of Trbic?
2 A. Working under the assumption that Trbic is, in fact, at the
3 Zvornik Brigade headquarters in Karakaj, in Zvornik, the only tasks north
4 on the 17th would be those related to the burial of bodies which occurs at
5 the Branjevo Military Farm on that day.
6 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, 664A, just a few minutes after this
7 conversation that we've just spoke of, at 1249 hours on the 17th.
8 A. This particular conversation, again, between an unidentified
9 subscriber and Trbic, the discussion that the guidance has changed. "Let
10 him" continue to "finish that work." Presumably we're talking about that
11 same "him" being Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. And then once he's
12 done, "have him report immediately here at (Golac's?)"
13 The closest that I infer from that is that they're referring to
14 Golic, which in that case would make it Zlatar headquarters, to Major
15 Golic, or where he's located. Trbic is confirming that he will let him
16 continue his work, he won't disturb him, and then he'll tell him when he
17 stops back here at Palma.
18 Q. The comment by Trbic, "The preparation is mainly finished," what
19 do you take that for?
20 A. I assume that in that particular instance what they're talking
21 about is the work related to burying the bodies.
22 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 666A, 17 July, 1622 hours; Popovic on one side
23 of a conversation and Y who is inaudible. What can you tell us about
25 A. For the most part, Popovic reporting back to somebody that he sees
1 as a superior figure, or it's inferred by him. Letting whomever that is
2 know that the job is done; it's all completed. Letting him know he's at
3 the base. In that respect, the base I believe he's talking from is the
4 headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade. The last line is letting it know
5 that the job gets an A, a grade A, that everything is done.
6 Q. A little mystery line at the bottom. "French is heard in the
7 background." You don't know anything about that, I take it.
8 A. I cannot explain that at all.
9 Q. Why they're speaking French in the Zvornik Brigade. All right.
10 Let's go to Exhibit 668A, 17 July, 1850 hours. Could you just
11 tell us about this?
12 A. This is a rather long one. If I could just go through some of the
13 names. Participants: Mirko and X, X being unidentified. Mirko, I
14 believe, is Lieutenant Mirko Petrovic who is a Drina Corps officer who's
15 in charge of intercepting communications from -- I'm sorry, a Zvornik
16 Brigade officer who intercepts communications from the Muslim radio
18 He identifies first Jevtevic, which is Major Jevtevic of the Drina
19 Corps, the Commander of the 5th Communications Battalion. What the
20 context of the discussion pertains to is the fact that an individual has
21 been identified, a Muslim individual, who was the chief radio operator or
22 signalsman for Naser Oric, and it notes that he is in the custody of the
23 Zvornik Brigade. They identify the individual of -- they identify him as
24 Ibraham Becirovic.
25 He notes that he received that information from a "Colonel
1 Stankovic" who "was in Zvornik today." As we've previously noted and
2 we've seen on that 17 July Main Staff order, Colonel Stankovic is a member
3 of the VRS Main Staff. He further notes that what they want to do is,
4 because this is a high-value individual, that they want to get him and
5 they want to interrogate him, and as such they want to try and call this
6 guy up because of his intelligence value.
7 They also note, rather snidely, at the bottom of this that Colonel
8 Stankovic doesn't know the identity of the man he's talked to, so they're
9 going through some work trying to figure out who knows that Becirovic is
10 in the custody of the Zvornik Brigade.
11 Turning to the second page of the intercept, again, more
12 reflection that it's a notation that he is among one of them in the middle
13 of the column where they asked, "So he is over there among the
14 prisoners?" An acknowledgment by Mirko that the Zvornik Brigade does have
15 a considerable number of prisoners or at least some prisoners.
16 Further down, talking about, "We'll finish off that job. Because
17 I'd say he probably knows a great deal more about the 2nd Corps and the
18 Main Staff ..." I believe here we're talking about the BiH Main Staff
19 then, "than Tursun or Naser, and probably about the educated people and
21 Q. Before you go on to the next page, I just want to point out one
22 sentence in the middle. It says, "Go on, go and look for him and check
23 with him at home if he is anywhere so we can find him before some mafia
24 picks him up and kills him there and other things before I finish this
1 What do you think that is a reference to?
2 A. I believe that is a reference to the understanding that at least X
3 is aware that prisoners are being killed in the zone of the Zvornik
4 Infantry Brigade.
5 Q. But by 17 July, most of the of the organised executions, as we
6 know of them, have been finished already by the 16th; is that right?
7 A. That is correct, sir. In this instance, we also know from
8 documents that, for the most part, Muslims who were taken prisoner from
9 the column were also executed in small groupings and as we get into
10 additional exhibits further down the line, we will demonstrate that. But
11 again, the awareness of the fact that for the most part, prisoners who are
12 captured from the column by the Zvornik Brigade on the 15th, 16th 17th and
13 18th, they are being executed shortly after their capture.
14 Q. All right. Do you have anything else in that one?
15 A. The last line just concludes the conversation.
16 Q. All right. Now, let's go on to 671A, a conversation at 1950
17 hours, the participants: "Krstic - X - Commander (MLADIC)." What do you
18 make of this?
19 A. This, I believe, is related to Zepa. A discussion between the
20 Corps Commander, General Krstic on the 17th and General Mladic noting that
21 General Mladic is not accepting the conditions relative to negotiations at
22 Zepa and that General Krstic is to continue military operations. Further,
23 he notes that he wants General Krstic to get in touch with Miletic who is
24 General Major Miletic the Chief of Operations of the Main Staff where
25 presumably, General Miletic has additional instructions.
1 Q. They're talking about the Turks' conditions. Now, we've heard a
2 lot of deals and things about the Srebrenica/Zvornik area. Can you tell
3 us what you believe this is related to, what is the conditions in the Zepa
4 area, what are the conditions or what is that about?
5 A. Again, not being deeply versed in the activities relative to the
6 political situation in Zepa, what I believe that we're discussing here is
7 the issue pertaining to how Mladic was looking for the unconditional
8 surrender of the forces there, and how the BiH government did not want to
9 give up the enclave and was specifically ordering the military forces in
10 Zepa not to surrender to the army of the Republika Srpska.
11 Q. And up a little further in the conversation, General Mladic
12 appears to be referring to General Krstic as "Krle". Is that the same
13 Krle we heard on the videotape when Mladic and General Krstic came into
15 A. Yes, sir, that's a nickname for General Krstic.
16 Q. I also noted that General Mladic wants Krstic to get in touch with
17 Miletic on the secure line. Now, we've had a lot intercepts where we see
18 people speaking in open and sometimes in vague terms. Can you tell us
19 what you know, if anything, about their -- General Krstic's and the
20 brigade's ability to communicate in a secure means at this time?
21 A. Understanding the communications network that the VRS possessed at
22 the time, the standard open telephone network, the radio telephone network
23 that they had that was designed to operate in secure voice mode, and in
24 many cases was unable to do so because there were technical problems. So
25 primarily while it was designed to operate in a secure voice mode, it did
1 not do so, and most of the intercepts that we discussed come off of that
2 voice network that is being spoken, as we say, in the open or in the
4 We understand, particularly in the case of the Zvornik Infantry
5 Brigade, that during the period, their voice encryption devices were not
6 operating and as a result, their only voice mechanism was, for the most,
7 part unsecure. The other method that the brigades and other elements
8 could communicate through was the radio and teletype messages that we've
9 displayed prior in testimony. Those messages go over a secure data
10 network and as such are considered secure because the BiH side did not
11 have the technology necessary to decipher those communications.
12 So while in many respects it was understood that the BiH could and
13 did listen to the non-secure voice communications, it was also understood
14 that the BiH did not have the capability to decipher and intercept the
15 radio teletype communications. Consequently, those were known to be the
16 most secure means of communication and the most sensitive traffic went
17 over those means.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Just in passing, what value, then, would you give to
19 the unsecure communications if they had the secure means?
20 A. The one disadvantage that you have with the secure means of
21 communications, and as we've noted in previous testimony, the penalty that
22 is paid is the penalty of time. It takes time to write out the message,
23 and in some cases, it takes several hours from when the message is
24 actually written to when the message is actually transmitted. So in many
25 cases, with very time-sensitive information, commanders opted to use the
1 unsecure voice network because the timeliness of the information was
2 perceived to be more important than the risk if the Bosnian Muslims
3 intercepted it.
4 JUDGE RIAD: So it is a must sometimes?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. You mentioned that we had some communications like that. Were you
9 meaning we had BiH communications or VRS communications? What did you
10 mean by that when you are referring to "we had examples of secure
12 A. An example of the secure communications would be the daily and
13 interim combat reports from the brigades to the Corps. Those are
14 formalised written reports. They are sent over the secure radio teletype
15 network, sent to the Corps headquarters. Those are the types of reports
16 that I'm referring to that are sent over the secure communications means.
17 Q. But we received those combat reports through the search warrant at
18 the various brigades and not by -- not by the BiH actually capturing them
19 over the airwaves; is that right?
20 A. That is correct, sir. All of the reports of that nature we
21 obtained through seizures. No information pertaining to those reports
22 could have been collected by the BiH government over the airwaves.
23 Q. Okay. Let's go to Exhibit 673A, later in the day, 2026 hours.
24 This appears to be a reference to Pop and that he has gone home at this
25 point and is in no mood for some reason. So let's go on to Exhibit 675A
1 which now takes us into 18 July, and we've started off with the interim
2 combat report for that date. And can you, again, give us the highlights
3 of this report, what we can glean from it?
4 A. This report, again, an interim combat report discussing the
5 significant situation in the Zvornik Brigade. For the most part, it's
6 noting that the brigade is active in operations rounding up the remaining
7 formations from the column that are in the territory. Paragraph two, the
8 Brigade Commander rolls up or notes what his forces are at that time,
9 noting that his forces include a company from the Krajina 16th Brigade, a
10 company of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, two platoons of the
11 Bijeljina Military Police, and one platoon from the Vlasenica Light
12 Infantry Brigade.
13 So in that respect, he's reflecting that all of those forces are,
14 in fact, under his command.
15 Q. How does that work?
16 A. The forces in question as they come into his zone and are put
17 under his command are essentially for the period of time resubordinated to
18 him. In the case of the forces that come from the Drina Corps, for
19 example, the company from the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the
20 Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade forces, those would have been directed
21 into a zone by the Corps Command and then placed under his command for the
22 duration that they are there.
23 You'll note there are formations from well outside of the Corps
24 zone. A company from the Krajina Corps, the 1st Krajina Corps and from
25 the Bijeljina Military Police, those from the East Bosnia Corps. In those
1 instances for those units, they would have had to have been made available
2 to the Drina Corps first by the Main Staff in order to go into the Corps
3 zone by the Main Staff. And then, at that point, what would have happened
4 is they would have come under the control of the Drina Corps who would
5 have further given them to the control and -- command and control of the
6 Zvornik Brigade Commander.
7 Q. It also notes that he has no reserves despite this additional
8 help. So that is a difficult situation still.
9 A. That is correct, sir.
10 Q. And I note just below that the R, or perhaps, Reserve Battalion
11 has been mobilised and is involved in sealing off and searching. Wasn't
12 the person that was driving the truck to the Pilica cultural centre on the
13 day before, on the 17th from the R Battalion?
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. So the R Battalion, the day before was doing something else.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. All right. And I would also draw your attention to the last line
18 of point two where it says, "The brigade will continue to inspect the
19 territory of Zone 1," listing various names
20 including "Petkovci-Baljkovica-Memici front line."
21 Those three words will become relevant in an intercept. Can you
22 explain why that will be so we don't have to come back to this report?
23 A. Essentially, as one would expect, this report going up to the
24 Drina Corps Command, they are getting their information, the Drina Corps
25 Command is receiving their information from this report. And in the form
1 of one of the later intercepts that we have, there was some question
2 pertaining to where this line ran. Somebody at the Drina Corps was
3 updating a map and their graphics and had called down to the Zvornik
4 Brigade referencing this report to discuss where this line specifically
6 Q. Then we have a list of casualties up to that point for the
7 Srebrenica and Zepa operations.
8 A. What this listing does is it encompasses three lists: The
9 casualties recently incurred, the casualties from March of 1995 through
10 the beginning of Krivaja 95, and then a composite roll-up of the all of
11 the casualties pertaining to the first six months of 1995, noting that out
12 of an end strength of approximately 4.000 or so troops, 479 total
13 casualties were taken by the brigade in six months, almost ten per cent.
14 And this casualty roll-up sets the stage for a series of very critical
15 observations that come down in paragraph four pertaining to what the
16 brigade is being used for and why.
17 Q. And on that second page, just below the numbers, the writer of
18 this report is directing the attention to the Corps -- "I would direct the
19 Corps Command's attention to these alarming figures," so the author is
20 speaking to the Corps Command not the Main Staff.
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. How does that fit in with the theory that the Main Staff is the
23 one that is in charge of the Zvornik Brigade and is running the show in
24 that regard?
25 A. It doesn't fit into that theory at all.
1 Q. These casualties figures, is it possible that they could have been
2 reduced had the Drina Corps assets used for slaughtering Muslim prisoners
3 and guarding Muslim prisoners, if those had been put in the front line, is
4 it possible that these casualty figures may have been reduced?
5 A. Given the size and intensity of the combat and just the sheer size
6 of the column, it's possible that they would have been reduced by a little
7 bit. It would have meant an additional, perhaps, 50 to 100 combatants
8 that could have been involved in the combat operations. That part I can
9 say with some certainty, that it would have brought more to the battle,
10 but I'm not sure that I could speculate as to whether or not another 100
11 combatants would have affected the casualty rates.
12 Q. All right. You referred to paragraph 4 earlier. What do you get
13 from paragraph 4?
14 A. Paragraph 4 represents for the first time a number that the VRS
15 itself establishes for the number of military-aged Muslim men that were at
16 one time stored in schools in the zone of the Zvornik municipality.
17 Again, the writer of the report -- I believe the writer of the report is,
18 in fact, Colonel Pandurevic in this case -- is noting that over the last
19 ten days, the municipality has been swamped with Srebrenica Turks, and to
20 him it is inconceivable that somebody brought 3.000 Turks of military age
21 and placed them in schools in the municipality, in addition to the 7.000
22 or so who fled into the forests. So very specifically here, Colonel
23 Pandurevic is differentiating between the Muslims who were part of the
24 column and the Muslim military-aged men who were in the schools at the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French an
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now --
2 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Butler, can I just ask you one question about
3 that figure that bothered me.
4 Most of the information that we've gotten so far has suggested
5 that the number of military-aged men who came up from Potocari, didn't
6 come up through the column but came up through Potocari, was much smaller
7 than this. I never heard this big a figure as opposed to what we heard,
8 the 7.000 or 8.000 or more in the column. I'm just wandering if that
9 scores with -- that's much larger than the figure I remember of
10 military-aged men who were bused out of Potocari.
11 A. In looking at this number, and this is their hard number --
12 JUDGE WALD: Sure.
13 A. -- the only way to really go back and look at that number is
14 trying to generate a series of numbers from those that were killed at the
15 execution sites and how many were being held at the schools. I believe
16 that the rough figures that the investigation has generated is somewhere
17 at approximately 1.000 at Orahovac, perhaps 800 to 1.000 at Petkovci, and
18 several thousand up in the Pilica area between the Dom Kulture, the
19 school, and a completely unknown number who may have been held at the
20 school at Rocevic.
21 JUDGE WALD: My understanding was those were composite groups;
22 that a lot of the people taken off who surrendered from the column or were
23 captured from the column were then marched off into these schools, or at
24 least that's the kind of testimony that we've been getting. So that the
25 school number represented a combination of some from Potocari, but
1 primarily people came off of the column. So the phraseology that he used,
2 "Somebody brought in 3.000 Turks and placed them in the schools in
3 addition to the 7.000 who have fled into the forest," and you remarked on
4 the differentiation made between the two groups. That's what confused
5 me. Because my understanding from previous testimony was that the people
6 in the schools or on the killing fields, et cetera, a lot of those were
7 people who were out of the columns.
8 A. Where I believe he is differentiating here is, the column breakup,
9 as he understands it, in the zone, we know that the people who were taken
10 from the column in the zone of Bratunac got incorporated in there.
11 JUDGE WALD: Right.
12 A. The Zvornik Brigade was not incorporating or not taking anyone out
13 of the column as it went into the zone of the Zvornik Brigade.
14 JUDGE WALD: I see.
15 A. So Colonel Pandurevic has only two frames of reference: those
16 prisoners that he received from Bratunac, which encompasses those
17 including the column down there, and the column, which is a separate one.
18 JUDGE WALD: Okay. That makes sense. Thank you.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Mr. Butler, let me ask you a bit again about this 3.000 number
21 that Colonel Pandurevic uses as military men placed in his schools.
22 Now, I want to go back to the 15 July conversation where Beara
23 says he has 3.500 parcels to distribute, and we know at the time of that
24 conversation, the people at Orahovac and the people at Petkovci have all
25 been murdered or killed.
1 So in that sense, how do you, if you can, analyse Colonel Beara's
2 number of having 3.500 people still left on the afternoon of the 15th to
3 deal with, and Colonel Pandurevic's number which appears to be a total
4 number of 3.000 for the schools?
5 A. In that particular case, it's hard to reconcile the two numbers.
6 I can only speculate that perhaps Colonel Pandurevic didn't count the
7 numbers from the schools at Orahovac and Petkovci, those who were already
8 dead when he returned back into the zone. But that's only speculation on
9 my part. I really can't explain the low figure that Colonel Pandurevic
10 gives and the higher figure that Colonel Beara gives; there is a
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, for the Court's information, the exhumation
13 figures, the various figures, we will provide in argument for you to help
14 deal with these various numbers and the situations there.
15 Q. All right. Anything else on this particular interim combat
17 A. The final series is, again looking at paragraph 7, a very pointed
18 request to the Corps to examine and review how their brigade is used, and
19 for future assignments, that they want to be very involved in the
21 Again, in its entirety, this is a rather critical report leading
22 me to believe that the only person in the Zvornik Brigade who would author
23 such a report, both in content and in tone, to the Corps Command would be
24 the Brigade Commander personally. I couldn't ascribe this report as being
25 done by either a deputy or a duty officer in that regard.
1 Q. Now, if we could go on to the next document, Exhibit 676. This is
2 just the regular report for the same day, the 18th. It seems to reflect
3 similar things, just less detail. Do you have anything to say on this
5 A. No, sir. Just the based premise that, again, this report is going
6 to the command of the Drina Corps.
7 Q. All right. Then let's get on to the intercepts of 18 July,
8 starting with Exhibit 677A, 0712 hours. Can you tell us briefly how this
9 fits into your analysis?
10 A. This intercept is a specific conversation between General Major
11 Krstic and Colonel Veletic. As we discussed earlier, Colonel Veletic,
12 normally the Chief of Artillery of the Drina Corps, is in this regard the
13 Commander of the temporary formation which was established, the 4th
14 Drinski Brigade, operating in the zone of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
15 What I infer or what I get from this message is just, again, a
16 notification or an instance where General Krstic is communicating with
17 other individuals pertaining to issues, in this case, outside the Corps
19 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 680A, 0716 hours, the 18th. Tell us about
21 A. The primary correspondents are General Krstic and Colonel Cerovic,
22 who previously was identified as the Assistant Commander for Moral, Legal,
23 and Religious Affairs of the Drina Corps. Discussing -- first of all,
24 making sure that he's put through to extension 385, and as we've noted
25 earlier on several occasions, the 385 extension drop leads directly to
1 General Krstic.
2 In this particular case, General Krstic is directing Colonel
3 Cerovic to go to a certain location, and I believe that this location is
4 the 1st Birac Brigade, and take command of "that part," that being an
5 unspecified part. He notes other personalities: Lazic and Vlacic. I
6 believe in this context, Lazic is Colonel Milenko Lazic, an operations
7 officer from the Drina Corps, and as we've previously noted, Lieutenant
8 Colonel Vlacic is the Chief of Staff of the Birac Brigade.
9 You can't see it on the ELMO, but at the bottom, a particular
10 notation, a verbal order from General Krstic to Colonel Cerovic letting
11 him know that when Colonel Cerovic gets there, he is to take charge, and
12 reiterating, "so you command."
13 Colonel Cerovic reports back that he "spoke to Vinko last night."
14 He'll send an additional report today; that report being the interim
15 combat report of the 18th July which we've just reviewed. He's letting
16 General Krstic know that he's stabilised the situation.
17 At the bottom, again, General Krstic noting that he expects
18 Colonel Cerovic to restore order there and command. Cerovic acknowledges
19 that order.
20 Q. Are these the normal actions of a commander in this situation?
21 A. These represent the normal actions of a corps commander,
22 absolutely. He's keeping -- not only is he keeping fully advised of the
23 situation within his own corps zone, he's going the additional step and
24 designating -- because he perceives a problem with a specific unit or a
25 specific situation, he's designated one of his own assistant commanders to
1 go up there, take command of the issue and to deal with it. So he
2 certainly has an awareness of what's going on.
3 Q. And that's not Zepa.
4 A. I don't believe we're talking about Zepa here, no, sir.
5 Q. All right. Let's go briefly to Exhibit 681A, a 0729 hours
6 conversation. What can you tell us, if anything, about this?
7 A. The one conversation is X, the other one is identified as Cero,
8 which may be a nickname for Colonel Cerovic. It notes, "Miljanovic was
9 supposed to go down there too." There are several people who fall into
10 that -- who that name could be so I don't want to speculate. But the
11 reference down towards the end under X, "Well, somewhere in that part.
12 Pop and I were in charge over here in this part," a reference, again, to
13 the slang of Popovic.
14 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next exhibit, 684A, 18 July, a
15 conversation at 1245 hours between B and X, which is -- do you know who
16 these people are, and can you tell us what they're talking about?
17 A. In this context, I'm not able to identify B and X, other than to
18 be able to say that whoever they are, at this particular time, they were
19 rather informed individuals.
20 What I use this particular intercept for is what I call an
21 awareness piece, to show that a lot of individuals have a general
22 awareness of what has been happening in East Bosnia over the past several
24 In this context, they're certainly talking about the issue of men
25 from Srebrenica. They identify the situation in Zepa. They note Savcic,
1 who in this regard is Colonel Milomar Savcic, the Commander of the 65th
2 Protection Regiment, whose forces were deployed in the area of
3 Savcic [sic]. They note what was happening with the column, that
4 Pandurevic had to let them pass because he couldn't kill them all.
5 Q. I'm going to interrupt you, Mr. Butler. I think we may need to
6 correct the transcript. It says: "... the 65th Protection Regiment who
7 were deployed in Savcic," but that's not correct, is it?
8 A. No, sir. They were deployed near Zepa.
9 Q. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
10 A. They note further down in the conversation a fierce attack in the
11 zone of the 2nd Romanija -- the 2nd Romanija Brigade of the Drina Corps
12 and their zone at Olovo.
13 Q. What's the significance of that?
14 A. Again, just primarily the fact that the subscribers are aware or
15 very knowledgable about what's happening in the zone of the entire Drina
16 Corps headquarters or the entire Drina Corps zone. Olovo is, in fact,
17 part of the Drina Corps zone under the control of the 2nd Romanija
19 Q. Okay. Before you go on, let me take you back to the first page.
20 X says they had close to 10.000 men of military age in Srebrenica. The
21 next question is: "Have they reduced them by half?" and the next says,
22 "Well, it must be close to half. 4,000 to 5,000 have certainly kicked
23 the bucket."
24 Now, of course, this term in English "kick the bucket" is a slang
25 term for having died. It's not a literal translation of the B/C/S, but
1 the B/C/S, I'm sure, means the same thing, and I have no idea how that
2 would have been translated into French. But "kick the bucket," in your
3 view, means people who have died; is that right?
4 A. That is correct, sir.
5 Q. And does that number, 4.000 to 5.000 having died, connect at all
6 to the investigation in your analysis as you've reviewed the
8 A. I can certainly note that in the case of 4.000 to 5.000, that
9 those numbers would be high if they were only discussing the combat
10 involving the column going through the zone of the Zvornik Brigade because
11 certainly there were nowhere near 4.000 to 5.000 killed in that column in
12 the combat between the 14th and the 17th or 18th of July. I can only
13 speculate that that 4.000 to 5.000 has to include the Muslim men who were
14 taken up and executed in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade.
15 Q. Okay. And then on page two, in the middle of the page, X says,
16 "Yeah, Pandurevic had to let them pass because he couldn't kill them
17 all. They surged at them. He lost men. He was afraid that they would
18 break through his line from the other side, you know, because they are
19 close to the line and they attacked from over there."
20 Now, how close does this description match what you know from the
21 daily combat reports and from the other information about Pandurevic
22 opening up the corridor temporarily?
23 A. That is, in fact, an accurate description.
24 Q. Okay. Then why don't you continue on with your analysis.
25 A. A series of names that come out talking about who was injured, one
1 name that we understand or that we at least believe we can identify is in
2 the case of Basevic, who was in fact Naser Basevic, the Chief of Technical
3 Services for the Drina Corps. It discusses further down the situation, as
4 they understand it, at Zepa. And in a reflection at the very bottom, one
5 of the very early issues that was brought up and that we saw reflected in
6 the supreme command and Main Staff documents directive number 7 and Main
7 Staff Order 7/1, the recognition that how many units are being tied down
8 or were previously tied down as a result of those enclaves.
9 Q. That is that a roughly correct figure, three to four brigades?
10 A. In the case of the enclave at Srebrenica, it tied down the entire
11 Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade, elements of the Skelani Separate
12 Battalion. In the case of Zepa, it tied down the Visegrad Brigade and the
13 Rogatica Brigade. In the case of the enclave at Zepa, that tied down
14 additional Drina Corps assets. So that actually may be a low figure.
15 Q. Anything else to say about this?
16 A. No, sir.
17 Q. So the participants in the last line perceived the International
18 Community as interfering with them. All right. Let's go to the next
19 exhibit, 685A, and I would just direct the Court down to line five where
20 it says, Petkovci, Baljkovica and Memici.
21 Mr. Butler, can you explain how that fits in with the previous
22 combat report that we looked at?
23 A. In the micro sense, the reflection that they are going back and
24 trying to get the exact line and the exact map line of where that report
25 reflects, and we've discussed this previously. In the larger sense, a
1 confirmation, if you will, that the reports are, in fact, being read and
2 that actions are being taken off of them or certainly that there is an
3 awareness of them.
4 Q. For the record, it's Exhibit 675A. The interim combat report at
5 the end of line two specifically refers to Petkovci, Baljkovica and Memici
6 and that was also a report sent to the Drina Corps.
7 Mr. Butler, how credible do you find these intercepts?
8 A. Overall, I find the intercepts relative to the information that's
9 contained in them to be very credible. In a very large number of cases,
10 we've been able to go back off of material from the intercepts, and by
11 virtue of examining the documents that we've seized from the Zvornik
12 Brigade or the Bratunac Brigade, we've been able to go back and validate
13 that what the BiH 2 Corps operators were intercepting, the conversations
14 that they were intercepting were, in many cases, very or directly linked
15 to actions that were happening on the ground and are reflected in other
16 documents. This is one example of that.
17 Clearly, from an analytical perspective of my own view, we
18 received these documents from the BiH government and very candidly, I have
19 to note that one of the first things that I, as an analyst, looked for was
20 to determine whether or not the information that we had received from them
21 was information that was being fed to us for a purpose. So initially, I
22 was very skeptical about this material and I examined it extremely
23 critically with an eye towards finding information that nobody within the
24 BiH government or military could have possibly known or had access to to
25 validate this information.
1 This is one perfect example of how that does occur. This type of
2 intercept couldn't necessarily be manufactured without having knowledge of
3 the 18 July 1995 interim combat report from the Zvornik Brigade which
4 clearly the Muslim government would not have had. Another perfect example
5 of that is the intercepts pertaining to Colonel Popovic, the Assistant
6 Commander for Security, requesting fuel, 500 litres of fuel for the Drina
7 Corps. A very specific amount of fuel, a very specific request, and not
8 only do we see that embodied in the intercepts, but we further see when we
9 look at the Zvornik Brigade technical records, that that fuel was, in
10 fact, dispersed to Colonel Popovic on the days that it was intercepted as
11 doing so.
12 So in a significant number of cases, I am able to validate what
13 the intercept operators heard and information that we received from other
14 sources that, in my mind, there would have been no conceivable way that
15 they would have been aware of otherwise.
16 JUDGE WALD: Let me ask you though, do you get any sense, from
17 looking at all of these and putting them in the context of other material,
18 of the completeness of it? In other words, we know we certainly don't
19 have all intercepts and some must have been done on secure lines and maybe
20 we didn't get some. But do you get any sense that there might be a whole
21 parallel group of communications that we don't have access to that might
22 change the way in which we construe the ones that we have access to? Or
23 do you get some impression that probably we got all the main lines of
24 communication that were going through?
25 A. With regards to the telephonic intercepts, these documents, we
1 know -- and I know because we've discussed this issue with the operators
2 on what they were collecting and what they were discarding -- that in that
3 respect, we have everything that they think was militarily relevant.
4 Clearly, there would have been conversations that have occurred that they
5 didn't believe were militarily relevant which may very well be relevant to
6 the criminal aspect of the case. The reality presumption that they didn't
7 know about the context of the crimes as they were occurring and some
8 intercepts that they might have received that would have dealt with that
9 would not have met their criteria for military collection.
10 So in that respect, we don't know. But my overall review of the
11 intercepts is that we probably have the 80 or 90 per cent solution
12 relative to voice intercepts. Relative the other communications, and as
13 discussed, those over secure means, we didn't get those from the BiH
14 government. And in this case, because of the information that we do have,
15 I, as an analyst, have a fairly good understanding of -- I know what I'm
16 missing. Those being certainly the reports from the Drina Corps as well
17 as some from the Main Staff that, because of the way that the material was
18 archived at the Zvornik Brigade and at the Bratunac Brigade, those
19 documents were destroyed years ago.
20 So with respect to the intercepted communications, there are radio
21 teletype messages that are out there that we do not have and some of them
22 that we do not know about, I'm sure. But relative to the voice
23 communications, what I think we have is about the 80 or 90 per cent
25 JUDGE WALD: Do you think from looking at all that --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Your Honour, please.
2 JUDGE WALD: I'm sorry.
3 Do you think that it is possible or likely that there could be a
4 lot of orders or commands coming from the top down, from the Drina Corps
5 down that we don't have, to the people in the field?
6 A. That is a possibility, ma'am. I don't see that much of a
7 reflection of it in cases where we have the brigade orders. In many
8 cases, they reference Drina Corps orders that, even though we don't have,
9 we have identification, reference numbers to them. So in that regard, I
10 think I know what I don't know with respect to the orders that were
11 issued. But with respect to other orders that may have come down,
12 that's -- I can only speculate that some certainly did and I'm not aware
13 of them.
14 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Butler, did you detect, in your analysis, that
16 some intercepted communications were being used to mislead the enemy?
17 A. Certainly the VRS was fully aware that the voice communications
18 were susceptible to intercept and we know that from previous directives in
19 March and April that there was, in fact, a concerted effort to try to
20 attempt to do that. I looked at that from that perspective and, as an
21 analyst, when one looks at a deception or a potential deception operation,
22 the question becomes what are we trying, we as the people who are
23 launching the deception operation, what are we trying to draw away an
24 enemy's attention from and to?
25 Clearly, in this case, the military objective would have been to
1 try and draw the enemy's attention away from Zepa. The reality was that
2 the entire International Community as well as the BiH and as well as VRS
3 public negotiations were going on, pertaining to Zepa, they could not have
4 realistically hid that fact. The best that they could have potentially
5 done is to mislead or deceive both the International Community and the BiH
6 government as to the strength or the lack of strength of the forces that
7 were attacking Zepa.
8 The counterposition to that is what do you -- what kind of picture
9 does one present to deceive the enemy and to draw their attention? And
10 while there is, in fact, a volume of traffic in the zone of the Zvornik
11 Brigade with the column, the one thing that stands clear on many of these
12 intercepts which do, in fact, discuss criminality is the fact that it
13 would be a very illogical sequence of events to try and deceive an enemy
14 by forwarding traffic related to criminal events which are occurring.
15 That would almost invite additional attention.
16 So looking at all that and given the circumstances on the ground
17 and given the military situation on the ground, and plus the fact that
18 given the combat that is happening in that zone at the time, I just do not
19 see a pattern which would suggest that any of the material being
20 intercepted here by the BiH is the result of some form of a VRS deception
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Butler, in that light, how
25 do you see the fact that there is frequent mention in the communications
1 between several correspondents that this is not a secure means of
2 communication? There is frequent mention in these intercepts that, "We
3 should be careful because we are not communicating along secure lines."
4 A. That is correct, sir. And under normal conditions, one would
5 expect that those sensitive communications would be passed only via secure
6 means. And when you examine the bulk of the intercepts for the period of,
7 say, an example, July, what you will see is a low level of voice
8 intercepts up to the period of 11 July. You'll see a very high period of
9 intercepts between the period of 12 July to 18 July and then as the
10 situation calms down again, or becomes less dramatic or critical, the
11 information tapers off.
12 What we see is the bulk of the intercepts occurring between the
13 period of 11 July and 18 July, reflective of the significant changing
14 situation in the Corps zone where. Because of the combat activities,
15 because of the continual changing of the plan based on the combat
16 activities and the rapidly changing situations faced by the commanders to
17 have to make decisions, the overriding theme appears to be that because of
18 the speed and because of the necessity to get the information out to the
19 subordinate commanders, that they are willing to sacrifice or set aside
20 their own operational security posture in order to effect a more rapid
21 exchange of information with subordinate or lateral commands.
22 Again, a reflection of the approaching crisis situation that
23 occurs in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade and as that period diminishes,
24 in many cases, you see more of a reflection of less traffic and less
25 sensitive traffic being passed over the open network.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Mr. Butler, you mentioned that reports coming into the brigades
3 were destroyed. I just want to clarify. Can you tell us about that, what
4 reports are destroyed and where -- are they completely destroyed or do
5 these reports exist somewhere else, ideally?
6 A. In one of the very first searches that the Office of the
7 Prosecutor did, which I was a member of, when we searched the headquarters
8 of the Krajina Corps, during that search we had an opportunity to sit down
9 with the Krajina Corps archivist, the person responsible for maintaining
10 the records, and we requested from her an explanation on how the VRS
11 maintains its records. And one of the -- the explanation that we were
12 given was that it is the responsibility of each unit to permanently
13 archive the material that it originates.
14 So in a sense when I say "destroy," it's not a deliberate
15 destruction attempt in order to deceive anybody. What it reflects is that
16 at the end of a year or a two-year period, the units in question, these,
17 the brigades, will go through all of their records, they will bundle up
18 the records and documents that they originated and they will destroy the
19 orders and documents that they did not originate with the knowledge that
20 those will be maintained by the headquarters that originated them.
21 That, of course, is reflected by the documents that we seized, for
22 the most part, from the Bratunac and Zvornik Brigades where we have
23 thousands and thousands of records from those particular brigades but only
24 a few documents from the Drina Corps. Presumably, the Drina Corps would
25 have maintained all of their own documents themselves. So again, not part
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French an
13 English transcripts.
1 of a deliberate destruction attempt, but just a reflection of how the army
2 of the Republika Srpska archives its documents.
3 Q. You discussed briefly some of the written orders you've analysed,
4 what kind of oral orders, if any, can we expect, not the kind of orders,
5 but could we expect oral orders to play a role in any kind of a operation,
6 be it a military operation or even a criminal operation? Just briefly,
7 where do oral orders fit into the scheme of the VRS?
8 A. Certainly oral orders fit into the scheme of not only the VRS but
9 of any army. And as we've noted in the previous intercept, General Krstic
10 giving an oral order to his assistant commander to go up to a specific
11 location and to take command and to accomplish a function. How those
12 orders are accounted for is a more formalised process within the VRS.
13 Each command maintains an orders log or journal out of the duty officer's
14 shop, in many cases, and it is his responsibility to notate in that
15 written log, oral orders, who they are received from, the context of those
17 So while certainly the provision is made in the VRS that oral
18 orders are going to be a part of operations and certainly in the context
19 of these operations, the rapidly changing combat, one would expect a lot
20 of orders being given orally as reflected by the intercepts. But they do
21 not remain oral. It's the responsibility of the receiver to note those
22 down in the brigade or in whatever echelon's documents that they have
23 received these oral orders from these individuals and how they are
24 reacting to them.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go back to our intercepts of 18 July. The next one
1 is Exhibit 687A and the participants are Krstic and X, who's
2 unidentified. Could you tell us what's happening in the first several
3 lines of this, and then we're going to get to this part where X refers to
4 Krstic as "Chief," we talked about that yesterday, and then I want you to
5 finish up that analysis.
6 A. The first series of lines, essentially General Krstic asking
7 somebody, was he supposed "to come, up here or there?" Based on the date,
8 presumably we're either talking about does somebody want Krstic to wait in
9 or around Zepa or does he want him to come up to Vlasenica. In this case,
10 it's said: "... the boss said that you should wait for him there in
11 Vlasenica," a reference being that at this point in time, General Krstic
12 is physically located at the Drina Corps headquarters in Vlasenica.
13 Q. And "the boss," whom might that be?
14 A. In this regard, one would think it would be General Mladic.
15 Q. Now, then, shortly after that there's a line that says, "Fuck
16 it ... we pushed them, but it's hard, let me tell you, we didn't have a
17 break." Could that be a discussion about Zepa?
18 A. That's how I read it, sir, yes.
19 Q. And then X says: "OK chief, OK." Now, have you looked into the
20 translation of "chief," as we discussed yesterday? What word are we
21 talking about here in the B/C/S language?
22 A. In this regard, we're talking not the word "chief" as in "naccel,"
23 normally referred to as Chief of Staff, but we're referring to the more
24 slang version of that, "Dobro, sefe, dobro." "Okay, boss, okay." "Okay,
25 chief, okay." The slang variant, not a specific reference to "chief" as
1 in Chief of Staff.
2 Q. I would note that the reference to chief yesterday in another
3 exhibit, that was actually the Chief of Staff word and "Chief" was
4 capitalised by the translation unit.
5 Also, at the bottom of that translation, there's a reference to
6 the "KZ, man" and a problem there. What's that problem that they're
8 A. A reflection of one of the observations that I noted earlier, that
9 they were having problems in ciphering/securing their communications
10 network, and that as a result of that, you know, they will be able to talk
11 in the secure.
12 Q. All right. Let's go on to Exhibit 691A. This appears to be a
13 conversation in the evening, the 18th, 2341. Krstic is giving orders to
14 fire at the centre and other things. How does this fit into your
15 analysis, if at all?
16 A. In this regard, this is General Krstic giving instructions which I
17 would believe pertain to an artillery fire mission related to Zepa.
18 Q. Now, that's going over the open airwaves, but I take it that the
19 artillery round should hit its target before the Muslims have time to
20 transmit this down to Tuzla to get out of the way?
21 A. Well, presumably, the theory is that before they can do anything
22 about the information the impact is already made.
23 Q. Okay. Let's go now to July 19th intercepts, Exhibit 694, a
24 conversation at 0812 hours. Again, what, if anything, do you make of
1 A. For the most part, again, a conversation occurring between Colonel
2 Cerovic, the Assistant Commander for Moral, Legal, and Religious Affairs
3 of the VRS Drina Corps -- again, all these figures are circled on the
4 Drina Corps order battle map there -- and Colonel Pandurevic. Discussing
5 the situation, and it's a rather long wrap-up of that situation.
6 They discuss, on the second page, a shift rotation to the
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and what they're going to do about that, and he
8 notes somewhere down in the middle, on the shift rotation, Cerovic
9 saying: "I'm telling you, the report he sent - there's no way it can be
10 done ... That's Krstic's order, there are no shift rotations until
11 further notice." Again, in this case, General Krstic is noting that in
12 this respect -- you know, he's taking responsibility for the Corps and
13 saying, "We're not doing shift rotations for all the brigades."
14 What is even more significant here is several lines down, Vinko
15 Pandurevic discusses, as a result of casualties and everything else, with
16 Colonel Cerovic, he says: "No, seriously, I've sent you a report
17 yesterday. You could see what kind of losses we sustained." A clear
18 reference to the 18 July 1995 interim combat report.
19 Cerovic, Colonel Cerovic, confirms: "Yes, and I presented that to
20 Krstic and wrote him my own report or a special report based on your
21 interim daily reports." So in this aspect, the Assistant Commander for
22 Moral, Legal, and Religious Affairs of the Drina Corps is confirming to a
23 subordinate brigade commander that "General Krstic," the Corps Commander,
24 "has in fact been presented with your report and he has seen it," as well
25 as his, Colonel Cerovic's, interpretations as to what's going on and what
1 that means. At the end of the day, very much a reflection of the
2 information reporting chain up and down.
3 The final segments are, again, talking about issues of discussions
4 with the duty officer, with Colonel Cerovic making some remarks about one
5 of Colonel Pandurevic's officers that he doesn't see as being up to
6 speed. But those are the primary things that I would pull out of this
8 The last piece of information again reflects back to the first
9 page, a reflection as of the time on the 19th, that they're still chasing
10 around, in his words, "150 of them," meaning even at these late dates, the
11 19th and beyond, elements of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade are still
12 dealing with and encountering significant numbers of Muslims from the
13 long-since-gone column.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's 11.00. It's a good time to
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, it is a good time for a
18 I don't think the transcript was quite correct regarding what I
19 said regarding the timetable for today. The last break will be a
20 ten-minute break, not a 30-minute break, as the interpreters understood me
21 to say. We can't have such long breaks.
22 So we're now going to have a 20-minute break. Then we're going to
23 work from 11.20 on. After, 1.20 until 2.10, a ten-minute break, and then
24 2.20 until 3.00. I think that is correct now. Yes.
25 A 20-minute break now.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you can
5 We will [as interpreted] have a 25-minute break in the end and not
6 a 20-minute break as I previously indicated.
7 You may now continue, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify, Mr. President, what time is the
9 next break?
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] 12.50, more or less.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
12 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, let's now go on to the 19th, Exhibit
13 693A. It's the regular combat report from the Zvornik Brigade. Prior
14 to --
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, sorry to
16 interrupt you but there seems to be a misunderstanding here.
17 I didn't say that we would have a 25-minute break, I said that we
18 had a 25-minute break although I had indicated that there would only be a
19 20-minute break. Because I can read on the transcript, "We will have a
20 25-minute break in the end and not a 20-minute break." So that was the
21 reason for your question, and I understand it quite well. It seems that
22 there are some problems with the schedule. I had said that there would be
23 a 20-minute break and not a 25-minute break, which means that we have to
24 be ready after 20 minutes and not 25 minutes.
25 Sorry for this interruption, Mr. McCloskey. Please continue.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Butler, before getting into the substance of the 19 July
3 Zvornik Brigade combat report, can you briefly summarise for the Court
4 your recollection of who we call the Nezuk survivor, his testimony,
5 because now we're going back into one of our last known crime scenes.
6 A. The Nezuk survivor, as identified, is an individual who is a
7 member of a small group of Muslims who, on about the 18th or 19th of July,
8 were captured by the VRS. A group of those survivors were then
9 subsequently executed by the people who captured them. I believe, if the
10 survivor's accounting is correct, two individuals from the group were held
11 by the VRS and the remaining individuals were shot. The Nezuk survivor in
12 this case was one of the individuals who was shot, in fact survived the
13 summary execution, and later made his way to BiH territory.
14 Q. So now going to the 19 July combat report, how does the
15 information in that combat report tie in to the factual recitation of the
16 testimony of who we refer to as the Nezuk survivor?
17 A. In this regard, looking at paragraph 2, it discusses during
18 operations that day a story of two Muslim soldiers being captured and 13
19 being eliminated. Further along the line, it discusses the fact, the
20 presence of the company of the 16th Krajina Brigade. One of the features
21 that the Nezuk -- or one of the instances that the Nezuk survivor recounts
22 is the fact that the soldiers who shot him in the area identified
23 themselves. I believe one of them had a shoulder brassard that said
25 So at a macro level, you could look at this incident they're
1 discussing here and it's a very similar story to that which the Nezuk
2 survivor tells.
3 Q. Geographically, my recollection is Nezuk may not have been
4 extremely precise, but is this roughly the same geographic area noted in
5 this report as -- is it the same as that recounted by the Nezuk survivor?
6 A. Yes, sir, it is.
7 Q. What else, if anything, do you get from this report?
8 A. At the broader level, a recognition that the Zvornik Infantry
9 Brigade is still coming across prisoners -- or, I'm sorry, Muslim men in
10 zone and is conducting combat operations in relation to them.
11 Q. I note at the bottom of the page that one Serb soldier, Nenad
12 Asentic, was wounded and Milenko Milosevic was killed. So what does that
13 tell you?
14 A. Again, a reflection of armed combat occurring.
15 Q. All right. Let's go to intercept 696A. What, if anything, do you
16 get out of this?
17 A. For the most part, a conversation between General Krstic and an
18 individual named Milankovic whom I do not know. Broadly, all I really get
19 out of this conversation is the fact that General Krstic is still
20 discussing things, issues over the telephone network and is aware of
21 what's going on in a broad sense.
22 Q. All right. Let's go on to Exhibit 698A, 19 July conversation,
23 2157 hours between Krstic and Jevdevic.
24 A. In this case, we're certainly discussing the tactical situation
25 as it's occurring in the zone of the Corps. Jevdevic, then Major Jevdevic
1 the Commander of the 5th Communications Battalion of the Drina Corps, an
2 individual identified as Jokic, maybe Major Jokic of the Zvornik Brigade
3 but in this context, I don't believe so. Talking about having checked
4 with the commanders. One of the guys identified Trivic, who would be
5 Colonel Trivic in this case, the Commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade.
6 Srna or Blagojevic, in this case, Blagojevic being the Commander of the
7 Bratunac Brigade. They are talking about 200 men on the buses. This
8 corresponds with the reinforcements that are coming into the Zepa area for
9 intervention where needed, and Krstic is passing the orders that he needs
10 an additional 200 men, not drivers, but 200 soldiers with weapons.
11 Q. Has the investigation revealed anything about the person Srna,
12 this person identified as Srna?
13 A. I believe that they have developed some information but it escapes
14 my memory at this point what Srna is.
15 Q. Anything aside from this conversation that you've mentioned?
16 A. Again, a reflection that General Krstic is in communication with
17 members of the Drina Corps pertaining to military activity.
18 Q. Again, I would note that that is -- closes one main chapter of the
19 case and we'll go on to some other documents that are related which is
20 Exhibit 701. But before we get to those documents, Mr. Butler, those are
21 documents that were recovered from, I believe, the Bratunac Brigade. Can
22 you tell us, briefly, about some of these documents that were recovered
23 from the Bratunac Brigade and just briefly what they reflect. I don't
24 think we'll need to go through them each individually.
25 A. When the OTP conducted a search of the Bratunac Brigade, one of
1 the offices searched was the office of the former Chief of Security, then
2 Captain First Class Momir Nikolic. Documents seized in that office
3 included handwritten notes which, when the notes are reviewed, indicate
4 that they are the results of field interrogations of select Muslim
5 individuals who were, for whatever reason or point in time, in the custody
6 of the VRS, were questioned and information extracted from them.
7 Taking these names and then reviewing them against the ICRC
8 missing list, it's revealed that these individuals are on the missing list
9 as missing from Srebrenica. And looking at the missing list in most
10 cases, the names of the missing were last seen alive on the 12th and 13th
11 in geographic locations that correspond with the location and zone of the
12 Bratunac infantry Brigade.
13 So while these interrogation notes are not dated, when you look at
14 the notes and you read the information extracted, clearly the trend that
15 whoever is doing the interrogations, they are looking for information as
16 to the names and the locations of significant identified Muslim leaders
17 who are part of the column, where people believe that they are to be, and
18 what their intentions are.
19 So again, at the broader level, these documents indicate that, for
20 whatever reason, certainly a small number of individuals who were part of
21 that large process of prisoners being taken, surrendering from the column
22 in the zone of the Bratunac, at least some of them were formally talked to
23 in the form of an interrogation. Information was extracted from them,
24 demonstrating that they are in the proper custody of the army of the
25 Republika Srpska in general, and the Bratunac Brigade in particular, and
1 then now these people are listed as missing.
2 Q. And I would briefly call Your Honours' attention to the testimony
3 of Helge Brunborg where he referred to that many names in Bosnia are
4 similar and the key identifier is, many times, the father's name of the
5 individual as well, of course, the date of birth.
6 Mr. Butler, do most of these documents, and let's start with
7 Exhibit 701, actually provide enough information to get a good
8 identification from the ICRC missing list?
9 A. Certainly in this case: Last name, first name, father's name,
10 date of birth.
11 Q. And what in these notes ties it to the -- to our situation?
12 A. The last line in the notation, "a number of people wish to break
13 through to the Drina to surrender to Serbia."
14 Q. Now, we haven't heard much about people making it over to Serbia
15 and I don't intend to go into that in great length, but did some people
16 actually -- some of the Muslim refugees make it over to Serbia?
17 A. My understanding is that some did but I'm not familiar with the
18 numbers or circumstances behind that.
19 Q. Okay. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 702A. Just
20 again, lists of individuals with identifying information noting that they
21 crossed over to Cerska with the first group, the mention of a column.
22 Going over to Exhibit 703A, this exhibit also indicates from the notes
23 information that is relevant to the analysis, things that we'd known about
24 or heard about related to this case.
25 A. Yes, sir, it does.
1 Q. And now Exhibit 704A, that's a similar sort of set of notes with
2 similar information. And going over to Exhibit 705A, can you tell us what
3 this work represents in this exhibit?
4 A. This particular exhibit, which is an extract from the narrative,
5 reflects the names of the individuals listed and where they were
6 cross-checked against the International Committee for the Red Cross
7 missing list registration number, and where they were last seen alive.
8 Q. All right. And before we get to the next chapter, there's
9 something I wanted to go back to; this morning's discussion of intercepts,
10 very briefly. In terms of the numbers of -- or the intercepts that the
11 Court has been provided, are you aware of the process that there were
12 other intercepts on the same dates involving conversations that were not
13 brought forward to the Court?
14 A. Yes, sir, there were some.
15 Q. And roughly why was that?
16 A. Those conversations represent low-level -- we call them tactical
17 radio communications between various elements of the Zvornik Brigade
18 related to the combat functions. One of the other aspects of intercepts
19 that the Bosnian Muslims were doing was not only with the intercepting the
20 large radio telephone networks, the radio telephone communication one, but
21 also the tactical radio intercepts, in some cases, the small portable
22 radios, in some cases the low-level VHF radios between companies and
23 battalion commands.
24 This communication which we have, at this level, they were very
25 strict about following communication security. They used a lot of code
1 words and call signs, and most of the information that we can derive from
2 it is relative to combat operations. And so while it represents an aspect
3 of the combat operations that are occurring, the information derived from
4 it has no relative bearing on the larger scale operations of the Drina
6 Again, while that information was reviewed, in my analysis, I did
7 not deem it to be relevant to the material and the issues that I discussed
8 as part of the narrative and as part of my testimony.
9 Q. Okay. Well, you have talked about notations of prisoners in the
10 Bratunac Brigade for our time period and the next series of exhibits,
11 beginning with Exhibit 706, involves prisoners captured in the Zvornik
12 Brigade area of responsibility during this time period. Can you brief the
13 Court on what your analysis has done in regard to those prisoners and how
14 you've tied it into the testimony of the older Branjevo Farm survivor?
15 A. With regards to the prisoners in the area of the Zvornik Brigade,
16 there are two distinct groupings. The first grouping, as we have alluded
17 to with the Nezuk survivor, were those prisoners who were taken as part of
18 a column. And in many cases, where a few of them were kept and a number
19 of them were subsummarily [sic] executed.
20 Another set of prisoners and in one particular case, a
21 well-documented one, is a group of Muslims who, on analysis, appear to be
22 survivors from a mass execution up at the Branjevo Military Farm who
23 escaped from that execution and who, several days later, came back into
24 the custody of the VRS and then were subsequently executed.
25 So in that regard with the Zvornik Brigade prisoners, those are
1 the two classifications that we have.
2 Q. When you say the Zvornik Brigade prisoners were executed, they
3 were, in fact, on the -- found to be missing from the ICRC list; is that
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. I presume that they didn't have an accidental death or some
7 other. All right. Let's -- can you tell the Court the -- about the
8 documents, what do the documents tell about the story of those particular
9 prisoners, how many of them were there and what happened to them?
10 A. In this particular case, the situation in question arises from two
11 soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade who are
12 charged by the brigade command, specifically the Assistant Commander for
13 Security, Lieutenant Drago Nikolic for charges relating to aiding and
14 abetting the enemy.
15 They are accused of providing aid in comfort, for lack of a better
16 word, to four Muslim prisoners who were trying to escape the custody of
17 the VRS. What we have in a series of documents that reflects the legal
18 proceedings that were initiated against these two Zvornik Brigade
19 soldiers. Part of those proceedings include signed witness statements
20 from the four Muslim prisoners who they were accused of helping. These
21 four Muslim prisoners are now on the ICRC missing list.
22 Further, when you take that series of events and compare it to one
23 of the survivor accounts of the Branjevo Military Farm survivors, he notes
24 that there were a group of four individuals who also had escaped, and he
25 recognises one of them or he remembers one from a specific village that he
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French an
13 English transcripts.
1 grew up in. And of these four individuals, one of them as listed on the
2 witness statement taken in his name is that village.
3 Q. Do you remember the village?
4 A. I would have to look in the actual exhibit. I don't remember it
6 Q. Something like Jagonje?
7 A. I believe that is correct, sir.
8 Q. Can you tell the story that is told by the statements in the
10 A. What this story tells is that these four individuals departing
11 from the area of Srebrenica essentially tried to escape through the Nezuk
12 area, did not escape through the Nezuk area and, if I may go to the map
13 here for a second, took a route from the Nezuk area laterally across the
14 entire front area of the Zvornik Brigade with the intention of breaking
15 out in this area to the north towards a Muslim military facility known as
16 roughly Teoack. T-e-o-a-c-k, I believe it's spelled.
17 As we've been able to indicate through the records and documents,
18 the overwhelming majority of the column went out in this broad area here,
19 yet these four individuals, according to their statements, made a trek
20 throughout the entire zone of the Zvornik Brigade to try and get out in
21 this area.
22 Q. Could we just for one second go to another exhibit that I think
23 will illustrate this.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be Exhibit 610. I'm sorry. No, it's --
25 perhaps it's 29.
1 THE USHER: Twenty-nine?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
3 A. As we've previously noted in our discussion of the route of the
4 column, in many instances the route of the column, that they followed, was
5 dictated by the terrain and where the hills were. Yet when you look at
6 this particular set of stories, essentially while the major terrain
7 features run in ridges along this way, the statements would have you
8 believe that these four individuals essentially crossed a long series of
9 ridges and hills in order to try and reach friendly lines from way up
11 Further, when you look at the four witness statements and compare
12 them with each other, in almost all respects, it's obvious that the
13 witness statements themselves are identical, to a point where the author
14 got very lazy and essentially copied the route and path and circumstances
15 of all four individuals. If you lay them up against each other, the
16 series of circumstances are almost identical, which would further lead me
17 to believe that the recounting didn't happen the way it did. It's almost
18 too perfect.
19 Q. So what is the story that they recount after getting up into the
20 area where they were captured?
21 A. The story, as it is recounted in those statements, is that they
22 got up into this area, and where their actual trek took them was in this
23 direction here, somewhere in this region right here.
24 Q. Can you describe the area.
25 A. The very mountainous area in the 1st Battalion sector, I believe
1 it's referred to as Donji Lokanj. I know I've killed the pronunciation
2 there. I'm sorry. But in that area there, they came across two -- one
3 soldier of the 1st Battalion, who provided them food and water, and his
4 son who came in later and also assisted.
5 However, as these survivors -- as these prisoners were seen by
6 other people, what happened was that word got back to the Zvornik Brigade
7 and these four people were taken into custody. Their statements were
8 generated to use for legal purposes against the two Serb soldiers.
9 Q. You can have a seat.
10 Let's discuss briefly the exhibits where you get this story. The
11 first one, I believe, is Exhibit 706. Can you tell us what that is?
12 A. This document is from the Assistant Commander for Security for the
13 Zvornik Infantry Brigade, discussing that as a result of his initial
14 investigation, the two individuals in question, one Nesko Dzokic and one
15 Slobodan Dzokic, are to be held in detention for three days until the
16 Military Prosecutor's Office in Bijeljina can determine what they want to
17 do with these individuals. And the explanation discusses the broad series
18 of events.
19 Q. So Dzokics are the Serb soldiers that were apparently arrested for
20 providing food to the Muslims.
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Aside from this mention of up to three days' detention, were there
23 any records to indicate what eventually happened to these two Serb
25 A. No, sir, I don't have any information on that.
1 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 707. Is this one of the
2 statements from one of the Muslims?
3 A. That is one of the statements from one of the Muslims.
4 Q. This particular individual, Sakib Kiviric, was from the village of
5 Jagonje, in the municipality of Bratunac.
6 A. That is correct, sir. I would just also note, on the original
7 document, the signature of the individual and the signature of the
8 individual who took the statement, who is in fact a member of the Zvornik
9 Military Police Company, Crime Prevention Service.
10 Q. Has that got an exhibit -- that's the same exhibit we've referred
11 to before?
12 A. That is 707A.
13 Q. Do you know roughly how far the Branjevo Military Farm is from
14 this Donji Lokanj, the area of the headquarters of the 1st Battalion?
15 A. Roughly four kilometres, five kilometres.
16 Q. All right. Now, the exhibit -- let's go to the next exhibit,
17 708A. What does this illustrate, and how do you fit it in to your overall
19 A. Leaving that aspect and going back into the aspect of Muslims
20 being captured as a result of military activity, the first series of
21 paragraphs notes what they're doing. It also notes the fact that they're
22 capturing Muslims still. But for the first time, in paragraph 3, is a
23 request that the Corps Command, or through the Corps Command, that the
24 exchange submission start work as soon as possible, and requiring
25 instructions on what to do with prisoners that they're taking, where to
1 put them and who to hand them over to.
2 So for the first time on July 22, 1995, the Zvornik Infantry
3 Brigade is now requesting from the Drina Corps instructions on what to do
4 with Muslim prisoners.
5 Q. What does that mean to you?
6 A. It indicates that somewhere along the time frame prior to 22 July
7 there was some form of a directive or some form of guidance change on what
8 the disposition would be of Muslim prisoners captured.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. What do you mean, "guidance change"?
10 A. An order or directive that indicates that from a certain point in
11 time there will be a change in what happens with the Muslim prisoners.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, we'll now get into the time period of
15 September 1995, where, to remind Your Honours, the aerial images show
16 disturbances at the mass grave Branjevo Farm, for example, on the latter
17 part of September -- I believe September 27th, but in the latter part of
18 September -- and all the movement and the secondary graves.
19 Mr. Butler, we have seen over the last several days all kinds of
20 documents, engineering documents, for example, military police documents,
21 related to the crime scenes at Orahovac, at Branjevo Farm, at Kozluk, at
22 Petkovci. The engineering log that you referred to many times, to what
23 date did that log go to?
24 A. I believe, and my memory may be unclear on this one, but I believe
25 that the log goes out to 10 September 1995.
1 Q. In any event, from the Bratunac Brigade or the Zvornik Brigade, do
2 you have any similar records for the period of September, what we're
3 referring to as the removal of the bodies from the primary mass graves,
4 any indications like we did for the July period?
5 A. For the most part we have the same bodies of information, which
6 obviously the Office of the Prosecutor seized throughout the entire
7 period. But when we look at the material for September/October of 1995,
8 we do not see the same reflections of activity at all. We don't see the
9 expected activities with the engineer equipment for fuel utilisation and
10 vehicle utilisation during those periods; we don't see those types of
11 activities rolled up at all in the daily combat or interim combat reports
12 for those periods. We have very few pieces of information which can
13 possibly be linked to the known reburial activities that took place during
14 the period.
15 Q. But there are a couple of documents that you have; is that
17 A. There are a few documents which we can associate with the reburial
19 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 709A. Tell us what this is, who
20 it's from, and how you evaluate it.
21 A. This particular document is from the Main Staff of the army of
22 Republika Srpska, 14 September 1995, to the Drina Corps Command, to the
23 Main Staff Logistics Sector, with a copy to the 1st Zvornik Infantry
24 Brigade for their information. What it discusses is approval by the Main
25 Staff, under the signature of General Mladic, for 5 tonnes of diesel fuel
1 for the carrying out of engineer work in the zone of responsibility of the
2 Drina Corps.
3 It notes that the fuel will be delivered directly to the Standard
4 barracks in Zvornik and put under the custody of Captain Milorad Trpic,
5 T-r-p-i-c. It further notes that that individual will be responsible for
6 the accurate maintenance of records on the number of engine work hours of
7 engineering machines and account accordingly for consumption of fuel.
8 When reviewing the name of Captain Milorad Trpic, there is no
9 Captain Milorad Trpic assigned to the Zvornik Infantry Brigade; however,
10 there is a Captain Milorad Trbic, T-r-b-i-c, and he is an officer assigned
11 to the security organ of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
12 So assuming that that is the individual who they mean, what this
13 order is doing is that rather than placing the logistics and the technical
14 services people in charge of fuel, this particular fuel is being placed in
15 the custody or accountable to an officer in the Security Branch of the
16 Zvornik Brigade.
17 Q. Who's the author of this document, based on the document?
18 A. Again, it's under the signature of General Mladic, the Commander
19 of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Would a security officer normally be in charge of fuel for
21 engineering works?
22 A. Normally fuel accountability is the responsibility of the Rear
23 Services Branch, the Technical Services Directorate.
24 Q. So what's your analysis regarding what this document is about?
25 A. Given the fact that when we look at the engineer vehicle
1 utilisation logs for September and October and we don't see this type of
2 work reflected in the Zvornik Brigade engineer equipment, when I look at
3 this, the theory that comes to me -- and again this is one piece of
4 information -- is that Captain Trbic has been appointed to ensure that the
5 fuel goes out to the required engineer equipment, that he accounts for the
6 material, but this is a separate series of fuel usage and accounting from
7 the rest of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
8 Q. So what do you think this fuel may have been used for?
9 A. During the period in question, the overhead images clearly show
10 the reburial activity. We know that, as a fact, happened. During the
11 same period, the Zvornik Brigade reports, notes, road building activity
12 during a good percentage of this period. We don't have information which
13 would confirm the road building theory or the road building activity.
14 Based on that in isolation, I would have to say that this fuel was
15 used for the reburial activity.
16 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 710A. It's a related exhibit. What is this?
17 A. This essentially is the 35th logistics base instructing the Drina
18 Corps Command and the Zvornik Brigade Command that the diesel fuel is
19 available and that a Drina Corps representative shall collect the fuel and
20 provide the transportation. I'm sorry. It's not from the 35th logistics
21 base, it's from the logistics sector to the logistics base and info the
22 Drina Corps Command and Zvornik Infantry Brigade Command.
23 Q. On 14 September 1995, who is the Commander of the Drina Corps?
24 A. During this period, the Commander of the Drina Corps is Major
25 General Krstic -- General Major Krstic, my apologies.
1 Q. Going to Exhibit 711A, this appears to be a log reflecting Milorad
2 Trbic; is that correct? I believe on the --
3 A. Number 33 --
4 Q. Right.
5 A. -- on the first page, reflecting him as a member of the Brigade
6 Command Security Branch.
7 Q. All right. Now, there's at least one document from the Bratunac
8 Brigade in our exhibit list, Exhibit 712A. Can you tell us what this
9 document is, what kind of book it came out of, and how it fits in to your
11 A. This specific document is a journal that was maintained to record
12 morning or periodic meetings where the Brigade Commander addressed what he
13 refers to as his Corps Command staff, those being his primary assistant
14 commanders and deputies and, in some cases, the subordinate battalion
15 commanders. Depending on the combat situation or the events, these
16 meetings occurred daily; in some cases twice a day; and in some cases,
17 like during the operation at Bratunac with Srebrenica, there were three-
18 or four- or five-day gaps.
19 What this book and several others like it, because this book is
20 very fragmentary in its dates, reflected are the orders and the directives
21 and the issues that were raised at those meetings.
22 Q. What part of the information on this exhibit are you referencing
23 as part of your analysis on the secondary grave or the robbing aspect?
24 A. In that particular aspect, there is a notation reflecting the 16
25 October 1995 meeting and the individuals present. If you look down to the
1 block pertaining to Nikolic, who is again Captain First Class Momir
2 Nikolic, the Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security at the
3 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, he notes two things: first, that they're
4 still continuing to capture Muslim men who are trying to remain in the
5 area near their houses, and the last item is an acknowledgment to the
6 staff and the Commander of the brigade that they are currently engaged in
7 tasks issued by the army of Republika Srpska General Staff or Main Staff;
8 in parenthesis is the phrase "(asanacija)" which is terrain restoration or
9 sanitation. We've seen that phrase before with regard to the 15 July
10 interim combat report. It directly relates to the burying of bodies.
11 And looking at the B/C/S version of that, the word in question.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, that's a fairly vague reference there. Are you
13 aware of an aerial image taken at Glogova on 20 October at the mass grave
14 site there of a loader digging at that time, some four days after this
15 October 16th report?
16 A. Yes, sir, I am.
17 Q. Now, I also want to call your attention to -- Mr. Nikolic says
18 that this was a task issued by the General Staff or the Main Staff of the
19 VRS. How do you account for this suggestion that the Main Staff has been
20 given a task directly, perhaps, to the Bratunac Brigade?
21 A. Given the scope of how I understand orders are passed down, I
22 don't interpret it as a direct order from the Main Staff to the Bratunac
23 Brigade. The presumption that I would make is that the order originated
24 from the Main Staff, that it came through the Drina Corps to the Bratunac
25 Brigade. And while it may have come through security channels, Captain
1 First Class Nikolic as working for the Brigade Command and Commander are
2 advising all of them as to the contents of this order.
3 Having said that, I can't discount the possibility, because it
4 doesn't specifically say that, that this order directly came from the Main
5 Staff to the Bratunac Brigade, but of relevance, it's being briefed to the
6 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade. The presumption being if this order
7 somehow missed the Drina Corps, that Colonel Blagojevic would be empowered
8 to call up the Drina Corps command and ask, what are we doing and why are
9 we doing it?
10 Q. In the previous exhibits, we saw that General Mladic of the Main
11 Staff dealing with the Zvornik Brigade Milorad Trbic; however, it was done
12 indirectly, of course by chain of command through the Drina Corps. Is
13 that the normal way this should work?
14 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
15 Q. But you don't have the documents that may reflect how this
16 particular job was assigned or what particular job this was?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Would it be normal for a commander to not know of such activity
19 occurring in his zone that must have taken days to occur, just to briefly
20 summarise, the movement of some 3500 to 5500 bodies from several mass
21 graves both in Zvornik and Bratunac areas, to many areas, secondary graves
22 throughout the entire area. Would it be normal for a commander not to
23 have any idea that was happening in his area at this time period?
24 A. Particularly with respect to this time period, and under a
25 declared state of war that now exists, and the fact that most of the areas
1 in question fall into the designated war zones where the military has
2 exclusive primacy based on the scope of activity that had to have occurred
3 and one would assume primarily at night for the burial operations and the
4 movement of the remains, the different locations and all the assets that
5 needed to happen with that, I would be very hard pressed to come up with
6 any form of an explanation on how the Drina Corps staff, in general, and
7 how the Drina Corps Commander, specifically, could not have been aware of
8 what was going on over, essentially, a two-month period.
9 Q. And who, Mr. Butler, is in the best position to know the lay of
10 the land, to know the geography, to know the places to hide bodies, to be
11 able to get the equipment and the manpower to do it, to secure the routes,
12 to secure the roads, to do all the things that must be necessary for such
13 an operation? Who is in the best position to do that?
14 A. In the case of the burial and reburial activity in the Zvornik
15 Brigade, the logical conclusion is the Commander of the Zvornik Infantry
16 Brigade. He is responsible for the land. He is responsible for the
17 security of that land. He has the manpower to accomplish the mission. He
18 has the engineer equipment assigned to him to accomplish the mission.
19 He's in the position to do those activities as well as continue
20 combat-related activities as they should occur. It's all within the
21 functions of and within the purview of the Brigade Commander of the
22 Zvornik Brigade.
23 In the case of those that occurred in the Bratunac Light Infantry
24 Brigade zone, the same rationale would apply with the possible exception
25 of the engineer equipment which the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade did
1 not own. But again, because of the prevailing state of war, it certainly
2 would have been within the purview of the Rear Services Branch of the
3 Bratunac Brigade to requisition whatever equipment that they would have
4 needed to do this from the local economy.
5 But at the end of the day, the people most qualified to do this
6 and best equipped to do it would be the respective brigade commanders.
7 Q. Now, in order to dig up thousands of bodies, you have to know
8 where to look if they're all under the ground by mid-September 1995; is
9 that right?
10 A. That is an implied, yes.
11 Q. And without going through the evidence again, it -- it's clear
12 that the elements of the Zvornik Brigade know where the bodies are buried
13 in their area; is that correct?
14 A. Considering that they put them there, yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this brings to a close this portion
16 of the direct testimony. We have other testimony and according to our
17 original plan, it would be appropriate at this time to go into closed
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are going into closed
20 session. We do not have conditions here for the public to be present, I
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I'm sorry, there is one more little
23 video Mr. Harmon reminded me of that should be in open session. It won't
24 take long. If we could play that in open session then we'll be ready to
25 go into closed session.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. So we'll remain in open
2 session to see this video and only later will we go into closed session.
3 So open session now, please.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't see any indication that
6 we are in open session on the monitor. Is that all right now?
7 THE REGISTRAR: The technical both has informed me that we are in
8 open session.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in open session, fine
10 thank you very much. You may continue, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Butler, we have a video, it's Exhibit 367. It starts out with
13 a parade. It's a military get together of some sort. Can you tell the
14 Court what this is and what's going on and the approximate date of it?
15 A. This video is the video coverage by the army of Republika Srpska
16 and the Serbian radio and television network of a military ceremony that
17 occurs in Vlasnica on I believe 2 or 5 December 1995. It relates to two
18 things primarily. The first one being a speech by General Mladic about
19 the recently-approved Dayton agreement, and the second part is to
20 commemorate the establishment of a new formation within the army of the
21 Republika Srpska. The mobile brigade, if you will, of the Drinski Corps.
22 Essentially, in short, what they did is take the Drina Wolves
23 formation with some other units and added some strength to it and created
24 a separate formation that could be used anywhere across the territory of
25 the Republika Srpska. What this ceremony depicts is the public
1 establishment of that unit.
2 Q. And before we get to the video, we have an Exhibit 482A which is a
3 Srpska Vojska article related to that ceremony.
4 A. I don't that exhibit in front of me.
5 Q. 482A, I've got a copy of that if that will save us some time.
6 First of all, can you tell us what the Srpska Vojska is? You may have
7 discussed that briefly in the past because I believe we had another
8 article, but just again, could you remind us?
9 A. Srpska Vojska is the magazine of the army of Republika Srpska.
10 Just like the Drina Corps had Drinski Magazin, this was the magazine of
11 the entire army where events of general interest to the army were
12 discussed in open form. This particular one, the magazine's article is
13 dated 28 December, reflects the magazine's coverage, if you will, of the
14 ceremony that we are discussing.
15 For the purposes of the investigation, we didn't deal with
16 obviously General Mladic's feelings towards Dayton, but at the back of his
17 speech, he makes specific reference to the Drina Corps and the operations
18 pertaining to Srebrenica and Zepa.
19 Q. How about General Krstic, does he make any reference, in your
20 view, to General Krstic?
21 A. In this case, certainly not by name but by position. "You," and
22 again to keep in mind, he's addressing the soldiers of the Drina Corps
23 during this ceremony, "who fought under the leadership of your Chief of
24 Staff or Corps Commander who although severely wounded made a tremendous
25 contribution to the victory of the Serbian army."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French an
13 English transcripts.
1 So certainly within this context, and given the fact that General
2 Krstic is up on the podium with him, the clear inference is that we are
3 discussing General Major Krstic.
4 Q. Now, there's a notation there, "... you who fought under as your
5 Chief or your Commander," does that correspond with your analysis?
6 A. As my analysis is reflected during the period, during the actual
7 capture of Srebrenica, General Major Krstic was the Chief of Staff of the
8 Corps. During the actual operation to take over Zepa, he was the Corps
10 Q. Now, you -- the video portion that we are going to see does not
11 have this section of the speech. Was that in possession or is that in
12 possession, this section of the speech in the possession of the OTP?
13 A. I do not believe that we have the audio portion of that speech.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And Your Honours, we do have a portion of this
15 ceremony, just a brief segment to give you a feel for who was there and
16 General Mladic was at the podium.
17 Q. Mr. Butler, who was there besides General Mladic and General
18 Krstic that may relate to our case?
19 A. There will be video coverage of two other individuals directly.
20 One of them will be Captain First Class Milan Jolovic, who was the
21 Commander of the Drina Wolves and was the designated Commander of this
22 mobile brigade. And the second individual that will be seen in the video
23 will be Colonel Beara the Chief of the Main Security Administration of the
24 Main Staff.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could play Exhibit 367, and it
1 would help if the lights were lowered.
2 A. The individual now in the centre of the picture, that white-haired
3 individual, was Colonel Beara.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go back and play that again, booth?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me, the technical both has informed me that
6 they do not have lighting capabilities.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's fine. Is it possible just to go back to
8 the very beginning? Okay.
9 Q. And Mr. Butler, if you could just narrate this.
10 A. As you will see, General Mladic walking in. The man behind him is
11 Colonel Beara, and General Krstic. The man he is saluting now is Captain
12 First Class Milan Jolovic. You see General Krstic come into the picture
13 you see Colonel Beara come into the picture. In the military sense this
14 is General Mladic taking the salute of his troops accompanied by General
15 Krstic and Captain First Class Jolovic.
16 Q. And we have another exhibit, a still shot of that video that shows
17 Colonel Beara, General Krstic, Captain Jolovic and General Mladic all in
18 one frozen frame, that's Exhibit 65. And that was recently provided so
19 it -- the Court should get copies, but I don't think we need to comment
20 any further on that photo. And now after one false start, I believe we
21 are ready to go into closed session and it may be helpful and productive
22 to take a break now, Your Honours, so we can set up for the closed
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We can have a break
25 now. So we'll have a 30-minute break. I said 30 minutes.
1 --- Break taken at 12.39 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.13 p.m.
3 [Closed session]
13 pages 5248-5279 redacted – closed session
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session now.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I think
24 that we will be here tomorrow morning again for the cross-examination.
25 Mr. Petrusic, are you ready?
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, by all means, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. So we will adjourn
3 for today and come back again tomorrow morning at 9.30.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
5 at 2.55 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday
6 the 19th day of July, 2000, at
7 9.30 a.m.