1 Wednesday, 25 October 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.23 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters; good
7 morning, legal assistants and the registrar; good morning to the Office of
8 the Prosecutor, Defence counsel.
9 Good morning, General Krstic. We're going to continue your
10 examination-in-chief. I wish to remind you that you are still testifying
11 under oath, as you well know, and I give the floor now to Mr. Petrusic.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours; good
13 morning, my learned friends from the Prosecution.
14 Mr. President, before we begin, the Defence would like to know
15 whether we are still in private session, because when we stopped, when we
16 adjourned on Friday, we were in private session, and we should like to
17 continue in that mode.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. We are in
19 public session. So as we discussed a few days ago, you have the same
20 reasons for requesting private session?
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, precisely.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, have you any idea
23 how long you will need to remain in private session?
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence hopes to complete its
25 examination by the first break.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we will go into private
2 session. I'm saying this for the benefit of the public. More or less
3 until quarter past ten, roughly, we will be in private session.
4 [Private session]
12 Pages 6330 to 6336 – redacted – private session.
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It seems that we are already in
24 public session. We have completed the examination-in-chief of General
25 Krstic, and now, perhaps after a short break, we will begin with the
1 cross-examination. I think that Mr. Harmon agrees with my suggestion. We
2 will now have a 15-minute break, and when we come back we will proceed
3 with the cross-examination.
4 --- Recess taken at 9.58 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.17 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see Mr. McCloskey on his feet
7 to begin the cross-examination.
8 General Krstic, you will now be answering questions put to you by
9 the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor. Please go ahead.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
13 Q. General Krstic, good morning.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I'll be asking you questions perhaps for a few days, so if there's
16 any problems with your leg or any indications you have, please just let
17 the Court know and myself or counsel, and do the best you can to answer
18 the questions as clearly as you can. Thank you.
19 You're a professional officer raised in the former JNA; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And when the Srebrenica operation first began, you were the Chief
23 of Staff for the Drina Corps; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Do you feel during your time as Chief of Staff for the Drina Corps
1 that you were an effective officer, an effective Chief of Staff?
2 A. Yes. However, during that time I was absent quite a bit from the
3 corps command, doing my operational duties, and I spoke about that during
4 the examination-in-chief.
5 Q. What particular qualities do you possess that make you a good
6 Chief of Staff?
7 A. I, during the time that I was performing the duty in the operative
8 body of the Prstina Corps, I arrived at some -- came by some information,
9 that is to say, what the staff of the Corps' duty was together with the
10 Chief of Staff, because I was in the Prstina Corps as well, in the staff
11 of the Corps. So I knew what there was to do. I don't know -- I can't
12 say whether I was a good Chief of Staff and whether I was an effective
13 Chief of Staff in the performance of my duties, the duties that were
14 prescribed to me for my post, but I did try, to the best of my endeavours,
15 to perform my functions conscientiously and with full responsibility,
16 bearing in mind the fact that I had just come to take over the post of
17 Chief of Staff of the Corps with all the absences that took place
18 surrounding the events in Srebrenica and around Srebrenica.
19 Q. And you were promoted to Corps Commander, after the fall of
20 Srebrenica, by General Mladic; is that correct?
21 A. No. I was appointed Corps Commander by the President of the
22 Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic.
23 Q. Is it fair to say that General Mladic would have felt that you did
24 a good job in Srebrenica, otherwise, he wouldn't have wanted you as the
25 Corps Commander for the Drina Corps?
1 A. I cannot say anything about that. I can't say what General Mladic
2 thought, and I can't give the reasons for the fact that I was appointed
3 Corps Commander and that General Zivanovic took up another post.
4 Q. Were corps commanders generally promoted in the VRS because of
5 their ability to do the job?
6 A. To do the job, you would have to go through all the other posts
7 and jobs to arrive at that particular job and at that formation post, and
8 I started out from the commander of a platoon and then went up to corps
9 commander, and along this line, I went through all the jobs and duties and
10 did all my military training, attended all the military schools except the
11 school for national defence. I had not completed that particular one, but
12 I went through all the rest. And that was true for all the other
13 commanders as well, other corps commanders, except for General Zivanovic,
14 who had completed only military academy.
15 Q. Now, we've spoken about the documents, some of the rules and
16 regulations of the former JNA, and I want to make reference to what is
17 Exhibit 767.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If that could be placed in front of the General.
19 Could you place the English on the ELMO and provide the General with the
20 B/C/S version.
21 Q. All right. General, we see before us Exhibit 767, the Rule of the
22 Corps Ground Forces Provisional. You have told Mr. Ruez, and I believe
23 you testified that this was one of the fundamental books used by the VRS
24 as a guideline for corps procedures; is that right?
25 A. Yes, in addition to the other rules and regulations, the Rule of
1 the Corps of Ground Forces, yes.
2 Q. All right. I'd like to direct your attention to what is
3 Chapter III, called Command and Control. It should be on your next page.
4 And provision number 1, the General Provisions, and I'd like to read this
5 out to you and ask you about it.
6 "Command and control are conscious and organised activities of
7 the commander of the corps and the bodies of the command, aimed at
8 engaging and unifying the actions and activities of all units, commands,
9 headquarters and other entities of the All People's Defence and social
10 self-protection in the zone of operation, as well as the equipment used in
11 combat, for the purpose of achieving the set goals in the optimal way.
12 "Command and control are exercised through planning, concerted
13 action, organisation, command and control, preparation and execution of
14 operations and other combat actions; they are based on unified,
15 continuous, secure, flexible, efficient, operative and secret information
16 flows among the commands, units and institutions.
17 "The Commander of the corps commands the forces of the Yugoslav
18 People's Army and the Territorial Defence in his subordination in the zone
19 of operation."
20 Is this principle of command and control fundamental to any
21 effective military operation?
22 A. Yes. It is fundamental not only to military operations but also
23 to the work of the commands and staffs in control and command of units, et
25 Q. And you were well-versed in this principle and experience in
1 executing this principle?
2 A. Yes. This principle exists in the rules and regulations of lower
3 formation units such as the commands of divisions, brigades and further
4 on, up to the rules and regulations for platoons and companies.
5 Q. So this principle goes all the way from the top, the Main Staff
6 down to the bottom, to the lowest private?
7 A. Yes, precisely so.
8 Q. And this is second nature to most experienced military men?
9 A. I didn't quite understand your question. What do you mean by
10 "second nature"?
11 Q. This is something that's ingrained in most military men, that this
12 is something they all do; they all try to strive for this, working
13 together in a unified, organised way, for a common goal?
14 A. Yes. This, first and foremost, refers to commanding officers in
15 command of their units, and not to the ordinary soldiers or
16 privates -- that is something else again -- for the rank and file.
17 Q. And as a commander, when you were Commander of the Drina Corps,
18 were you a good commander?
19 A. I was the Corps Commander for a very short period of time. I
20 don't wish to give an assessment of myself, my own work. Quite simply, I
21 did not have the time, for the reasons that I spoke of earlier on, to
22 fully express myself in that post. But during the time that I did hold
23 that post, I endeavoured to perform all my duties as prescribed.
24 Q. Part of those duties would be communicating with your subordinate
25 units, wouldn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And knowing the situation in the area of those subordinate units?
3 A. Yes, the organs in the corps command and via the commanders of the
4 subordinate unit.
5 Q. Now, you testified earlier today that you made no investigation
6 into the crimes that you had learned in August or September of 1995; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. You made a reference that you were not allowed to do so. Do you
10 remember saying that?
11 A. I was not allowed to do so, nor -- I was not able to do so, not
12 allowed to, permitted.
13 Q. Was it your duty to investigate, under the rules that were present
14 at the time in the VRS and the RS?
15 A. Well, you could put it that way. However, I said who was in
16 command of all those activities. It was, first and foremost, his duty.
17 Q. You mean General Mladic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. However, you were a general in the VRS at the time of Srebrenica,
20 weren't you?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Let's go over some of the duties as they're set forth in some of
23 the applicable laws. Let's look first at OTP Exhibit 411A. This Exhibit
24 is from the Official Gazette of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 dated 13 June 1992, and entitled "Order on the Application of the Rules of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 the International Law of War in the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina." I'd like to direct your attention to paragraph 2:
3 "Commanders of all units, as well as each member of the army, or
4 other armed formation, who takes part in combat activities are responsible
5 for the application of the Rules of International Law of War.
6 "It is the duty of the competent superior officer to initiate
7 proceedings for legal sanctions against individuals who violate the Rules
8 of International Law of War."
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask counsel to slow down, please.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. General, you were the Corps Commander. As you know, it is the
12 submission of the Prosecution that you became Corps Commander on 13 July.
13 But be that as it may, even under your theory of becoming Commander on the
14 20th or 21st of July, you were Commander of the Drina Corps while this law
15 was in place, weren't you?
16 A. Mr. Harmon, I do apologise, but I have Exhibit 411B in front of
17 me, and I cannot see your quotation. I cannot see the portion you read
19 Q. It should have been paragraph 2, under "Order on the Application
20 of Rules of International Law of War."
21 A. Article 2: "The customs services perform general affairs in
22 customs duties and other work provided for by this law."
23 Q. It appears you've got the wrong translation, which will happen
24 from time to time. So I think you're going -- you learned a little
25 English in your time in the prison?
1 A. Only the basics, basic words, to allow me to communicate with the
2 security staff and the people from the Detention Unit administration.
3 Q. Well, I'll read it one more time and go over slowly. If you could
4 just take my word for it. And if you don't feel comfortable with that,
5 we'll find the document. I think we're getting closer. If you could look
6 to the third page, B/C/S translation. It should be in the upper left-hand
7 corner, paragraph 2.
8 A. Yes, that's okay.
9 Q. All right. Well, the section I was asking you about is:
10 "It is the duty of the competent superior officer to initiate
11 proceedings for legal sanctions against individuals who violate the Rules
12 of International Law of War."
13 So, was it your duty at the time to initiate legal sanctions for
14 those that were responsible?
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I apologise for
16 interrupting, but perhaps you ought to ask General Krstic if he has read
17 this portion in the B/C/S version, and after having done so, you can go
18 ahead and ask your question.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General Krstic, let me know when you've had a chance to read
22 A. Yes. Thank you.
23 I have to say that I have not read this particular Official
24 Gazette, but it says what it says and was written on the basis of previous
25 rules and regulation laws and so forth from the former JNA and the SFRY.
1 And in performing duties, command duties, earlier on from platoon
2 commander to brigade commander, I am acquainted with this, yes.
3 Q. And did you follow the duty as outlined in this law?
4 A. In all cases, up until taking over responsibility from Popovic, I
5 did, but I explained the reasons concerning attempts to undertake
6 something with respect to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic and perhaps some
7 other commanding officers who were together with him from the security
8 services and engaged in all this.
9 Q. So you did nothing more than you've already described regarding
10 Colonel Popovic?
11 A. I must acknowledge here before you and this Trial Chamber that not
12 in my wildest dreams was I able to undertake any measures. We weren't
13 allowed to talk about anything like that let alone take steps against a
14 commanding officer, regardless of my knowledge that he or somebody else
15 had perhaps committed a war crime.
16 Q. So regardless of the law and your duty, you would still not have
17 reported any war crimes?
18 A. It was my intention to report war crimes but that was not a
19 possibility. I was not able to do so.
20 Q. Why?
21 A. First of all, for security reasons, the security and safety of my
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President?
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting
1 Mr. McCloskey, but I think that this part of the examination should -- we
2 should move into private session for this. If we continue in public
3 session, in open session, then this whole area will be brought into
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, have you a
6 response, without saying that we will have to move into private session,
7 but perhaps we could for a brief period of time, but may we have a
8 response, please?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I would anticipate us having to go
10 in and out, in and out of private all throughout the cross-examination.
11 I -- this is -- it would be very awkward to try to work the
12 cross-examination around this. Now, if the answer to this -- perhaps I
13 can simplify it. If the answer to this question is he didn't do any
14 reporting because he was afraid for himself and his family, we can just
15 leave it at that and go on to the next subject, but this is very difficult
16 to try to anticipate what is and what is not going to cause us to go into
17 private session. I do not want to bring the General's family in this;
18 however, this question was not meant to bring his family in any sort of
19 detailed way.
20 JUDGE RIAD: You would like to know the dimension of the danger?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I really don't need to know too much about it, but
22 if he was afraid for his own safety and the safety of others around him,
23 that would satisfy the Prosecution at this time. I don't think that a lot
24 of details are real important.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let me consult my colleagues, please.
1 Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We're going into private session
3 for two minutes, not more.
4 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we are in public session
4 now. The Chamber has made a ruling last Friday, and that is that in order
5 to ensure fairness of the proceedings, the Prosecutor must be able to use
6 the evidence produced during the hearing, even those that were used in
7 private session for reasons indicated in the ruling of last Friday.
8 Therefore, Mr. McCloskey, you may continue now.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. General Krstic, is it fair to say that you made no investigation
11 and no report of war crimes because you were afraid for yourself and those
12 around you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And one of the main reasons you were afraid was that General Ratko
15 Mladic had recently perpetrated the murders of several thousand Bosnian
16 Muslim men and that you were afraid that General Mladic would create the
17 problems for you?
18 A. I did not say that General Mladic would provoke problems in my
19 examination-in-chief. I was afraid in the first place for the security of
20 my family and myself and my relatives and the relatives of my wife. I
21 also explained why, because from the moment I asked for a replacement of a
22 certain person, I said that I was constantly followed ever since that
24 Q. General, you have told Mr. Ruez that General Mladic is the one
25 that murdered thousands of Muslims. Now you've told us that you were
1 afraid to expose those crimes. Were you not afraid of General Mladic in
2 any way?
3 A. I said that General Mladic was responsible for the crimes, and I
4 said that during my examination-in-chief. It can be said that I feared
5 him as well as his Security Service.
6 Q. It may be a translation problem, but can you answer the question:
7 Did you or did you not fear General Mladic?
8 A. Mr. President, I do appeal to you, and I expect my Defence to
9 respond. I would like such questions to be put to me in closed session,
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are still confronted with the
12 same problem. Mr. Petrusic or Mr. Visnjic, justice must be done in
13 public. We decided, not yesterday, but on Friday, we ruled on your
14 request, and the Chamber found that the explanations given could justify,
15 to a certain extent, that part of the hearing during the
16 examination-in-chief should be conducted in private session, which was
17 indeed done, and the reasons are familiar to all of us here in this
18 courtroom. But we said that the Prosecutor is entitled to do his work,
19 and therefore, General Krstic, from the moment he agreed to testify, he
20 did so to tell the truth, the whole truth.
21 We have always borne in mind security reasons, but we cannot risk
22 the principle of public hearings. We cannot go into private session,
23 because, as I have already said at the private session today, the reasons,
24 or a part of the reasons that justified a private session, had to do with
25 security, yes, but also other reasons that we gave. And beyond all that,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 as you know, the General has testified, and the statements given to the
2 Prosecutor have been made public. Therefore, General Krstic is asking
3 your opinion on this matter. So could you tell us what is your position
4 following the request made by General Krstic, please.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, General Krstic is
6 referring to the reasons that have been given repeatedly, and with respect
7 to answers to specific questions by the Prosecution linked to the
8 responsibility of certain individuals from the army of Republika Srpska.
9 The Defence continues to maintain that General Krstic is right in
10 requesting a private session.
11 The Defence is familiar with the ruling made by this Trial
12 Chamber. We are also aware of the reasons in favour of a public trial,
13 also the question of the interview granted, and all the other
14 considerations that have led the Prosecution to request a public session
15 for the cross-examination. However, we continue to believe that those
16 reasons, the reasons which led to a private session during the
17 examination-in-chief, when it comes to the responsibility of individual
18 commanders in the Drina Corps and the army of Republika Srpska, and when
19 it comes to answers to those questions, that they should be given in a
20 private session. If, however, they have to be made in public, then the
21 meaning of the previously made ruling is lost, that is, the private
22 sessions in which part of the examination-in-chief was held.
23 Without, for a moment, entering into the strategy and method of
24 questioning by Mr. McCloskey, I think that the Prosecution could make an
25 effort to group certain questions together so as to be able to put them in
1 private session, and it is my submission that in doing so, continuity of
2 the cross-examination would not be jeopardised.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I don't think I have anything
6 really new to add to this argument. I think Mr. Harmon began it, and I'm
7 sorry to have stumbled into it again, but we do believe that open session
8 is appropriate, especially for matters that have already been dealt with
9 in open session when the General's tape was played.
10 JUDGE WALD: Mr. McCloskey, recognising, as an experienced trial
11 lawyer, that you may get different nuances in the answers, depending upon
12 whether or not you're in public or private session, I just want to make
13 sure I understand your position. The Prosecution's position is still that
14 it should be entirely public, regardless of whether you might get possibly
15 more information in a private session? I just want to make sure I have
16 your position clear on that.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, any answer that called for a family
18 issue or a family member or some highly personal matter, I don't think
19 Mr. Harmon nor myself would have any objection going into private
20 session. Now, if I thought we would get more truth in a private session,
21 that's a very difficult question, because I think there is nothing more
22 important than getting at the truth here. However, as you know from the
23 culture of open sessions and Star Chambers, there's a balance here that
24 has to be weighed.
25 Now, if I feel that the witness is obviously not going to be
1 answering certain things because he doesn't want to and is just going down
2 that direction, if it's an important inquiry, then I would discuss with my
3 colleagues whether or not we should get into that. But that's a very
4 difficult question, and I would want to support the truth before anything
5 else. So if that's going to require private sessions. However, I would
6 hope that would be controlled by the Court and not by the witness.
7 JUDGE WALD: And by your questions.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I'll definitely have a role in this, yes, Your
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We see that it is now the time
12 for the break, and we will indeed have a 15-minute break and resume after
14 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In response to the request of
17 General Krstic and bearing in mind that the principle of hearings should
18 be that they should be held in public except in exceptional circumstances,
19 when there are other interests in question such as the protection of
20 security to be borne in mind, taking into account also that General Krstic
21 is now a witness but he's also the accused in this trial, and bearing in
22 mind that we are truly at the very heart of his defence and that it is
23 important to learn and know what his defence is, the Chamber would like to
24 provide the Prosecutor with the following guideline: The Prosecutor, as
25 we have already said, has the right to conduct his cross-examination, but
1 he may do so trying to discover the general reasons, and later, if
2 necessary, the details. And if those details could call in question the
3 security of other persons, the Prosecutor may go into private session or,
4 rather, we may go into private session for a brief time, grouping together
5 all the questions that need to be put in a private session.
6 So that this guideline should be quite clear, the Chamber would
7 like to give you an example. For instance, you asked the witness whether
8 he took any -- that he didn't take any measures to conduct inquiries
9 because he was afraid of General Mladic. The answer was yes. If the next
10 question would be, "Why were you afraid?" and the witness answers, for
11 instance, "Because my family was threatened" -- I'm saying this as an
12 example, I'm not saying that that is what he said -- you have a general
13 reason, and the particulars of this threat, in order to learn about those
14 specifics, we might go into private session.
15 But keep all those questions that need to be asked in private
16 session for a particular point in time. Gather them together and put them
17 at the same time; otherwise, we will be interrupting continuously the
18 continuity of the cross-examination by going back and forth into private
19 session. That is to say, that we are fully aware that it is very
20 difficult to strike a proper balance between a public hearing, for the
21 public has the right to learn the truth, and the solemn declaration
22 includes saying the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and
23 it is important for the defence of General Krstic that he does tell us the
24 whole truth. Therefore, we must try and keep that balance. We must know
25 the reasons. But if we need a particular detail regarding those reasons
1 and that detail may threaten someone, then that question should be posed
2 in private session.
3 So let us try to maintain this balance between a public hearing
4 and the need to protect persons affected by these events. But it is
5 important for the public to know at least the broad lines of the whole
7 So, Mr. McCloskey, with those explanations and guidelines, try and
8 obtain answers to all questions that you need to have answers to, and if
9 necessary, go into private session for particular details which might
10 endanger somebody. However, it should be said that the Defence should be
11 fully aware that we are not here to protect persons which may have
12 participated in these events. We are here basically to learn the truth
13 and the whole truth. So that is the balance that we shall try to
15 Mr. McCloskey, you may continue now.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. General Krstic, is it true that you did not discipline any Drina
18 Corps soldier for Srebrenica crimes while you were the Drina Corps
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. And you did not punish any Drina Corps soldier for Srebrenica
22 crimes while you were the Drina Corps Commander.
23 A. Except for one individual with whom I spoke, I did not learn of
24 any other individuals who had taken part in all that at the time.
25 Q. Of all the units and officers and soldiers that must have been
1 involved in this murder operation, you never heard of any other Drina
2 Corps person being involved than Popovic?
3 A. Yes. At that time, only about the individual that you have just
4 referred to. However, during the proceedings I realised that some others
5 also did participate.
6 Q. All right. If we could now go to Exhibit 413A. The B/C/S is
7 413B. General Krstic, if you could -- I believe it's page 11 in the B/C/S
8 version, under paragraph 3, entitled, "Criminal Offences Against Humanity
9 and International Law, Pursuant to Chapter 16 of the Criminal Code." If
10 you could take a minute and read the first four paragraphs of that. And
11 first of all, do you find what I've mentioned?
12 A. Yes, under item 3.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this, for the record, is an exhibit titled
14 "Guidelines for Determining Criteria for Criminal Prosecution," from the
15 military prosecutor's office at the Main Staff of the armed forces of the
16 Republika Srpska, dated 6 October 1992.
17 Q. Have you had a chance to read some of that, General?
18 A. Yes, I have read it.
19 Q. All right. And the part that I want to call your attention to in
20 particular, to ask you if you disagree with or agree with, would be
21 paragraph 2, under heading 3, and it says:
22 "Crimes against humanity and international law can be committed
23 by individuals acting on their own, but by their nature these criminal
24 offences are usually committed in an organised fashion in the
25 implementation of the policy of the ruling circles. Most of these
1 criminal offences are committed only during armed conflicts or are in some
2 way closely connected with armed conflicts, which means that they are
3 committed within the context of broad military operations and on orders
4 from superior officers."
5 Keeping the Srebrenica crimes in mind, is this paragraph
6 applicable and true to the situation in Srebrenica, crimes that you are
7 now aware of?
8 A. This document was issued in October 1992, when I was the Commander
9 of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, and I must admit that at the time I
10 did not have this document. However, nevertheless, a lot of it was taken
11 from the already existing rules and regulations which I was familiar
12 with. This not only could be applied to Srebrenica and the events in and
13 around Srebrenica, but to any other military operation or similar action
14 which is carried out within the framework of combat operations.
15 Q. And I would also call your attention to the paragraph -- the fifth
16 paragraph under heading 3. If you could take just a brief look at that.
17 But I just wanted to point out that it says:
18 "In addition to preventing criminal acts which are in violation
19 of the norms of humane conduct and international law, armed forces of the
20 army of Republika Srpska are required to abide by the instruction on the
21 application of the International Laws of War in the armed forces."
22 Now, that instruction is an old JNA instruction that you were
23 probably familiar with; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I believe you've stated you didn't discipline or punish or
1 investigate these crimes. Do you understand that this -- in your view,
2 are there any exceptions to this requirement and the duty set forth in the
3 law that we had referred to before?
4 A. Me and my officers, that is the officers that were under my
5 command, including when I was the Brigade Commander or later on when I
6 became the Drina Corps Commander, we fully respected the existing rules
7 and regulations of the former JNA, and those who were in force in the VRS
8 and who had been promulgated on the basis of the previous ones, and also
9 the existing Rules of the International Law of War.
10 However, the fact remains that regardless of the fact that I
11 wasn't the Corps Commander at that time, after I learned about those
12 events, I did not take any measures to investigate them, for the reasons
13 that I have already indicated.
14 Q. And you understand that that is not a defence, that that is an
15 absolute duty that you had to investigate and to discipline and to punish?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now, if we could go Exhibit 412, which
18 is entitled "Regulations on the Application of International Laws of War
19 in the Armed Forces of the SFRY." It should be the very document that was
20 just referred to in Exhibit 413.
21 Q. If I could direct your attention, General, to paragraph 22
22 entitled "Responsibility for Violations of the Laws of War Committed on
23 Orders." Could you take a moment to read that.
24 Now, General Krstic, having read that, it states: "A member of
25 the armed forces shall be liable to criminal punishment also for
1 violations of the laws of war committed by following orders resulting in
2 the commission of a war crime or other grave criminal offence if he knew
3 that the orders were intended to bring about a violation of the laws of
4 war which constitutes a criminal offence."
5 So in your opinion, General, would all those officers that
6 followed General Mladic's orders to murder Srebrenica Muslims be
7 criminally liable for following those orders?
8 A. Everything that has to do with what was committed as a war crime
9 or violation of the existing rules and regulations, the Geneva
10 Conventions, and the International Law of War is punishable.
11 Q. My question is: Anyone following General Mladic's orders to
12 murder Srebrenica Muslims would be criminally liable under this law; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. What choice would the superior officers have in the context where
16 General Mladic ordered them to murder thousands of Muslims? What could a
17 General do that received this order?
18 A. He should refuse the order.
19 Q. How difficult would that be to refuse that order from
20 General Mladic?
21 A. The consequences would probably be very severe for the individual
22 who refused to carry out such an order.
23 Q. What, practically, could a person do that received such an order
24 from General Mladic?
25 A. I don't quite understand your question. What exactly do you mean
1 by what can be done practically?
2 Q. What are the options open to a person who receives this order, a
3 military man?
4 A. A warning can be given to the officer to the effect that such an
5 execution would constitute a crime, that it would be contrary to the
6 existing rules and regulations, the International Law of War, and Geneva
8 Q. Let me go on to another subject. In a situation of a corps, the
9 Assistant Commander for Security, who does he report to normally? Who's
10 his boss?
11 A. Bearing in mind the organigramme of the organisational structure
12 of the Corps Command, he is subordinate to the Corps Commander. However,
13 the Security Service, generally speaking, has their own rules and
14 regulations whereby its duties and assignments are defined as being
15 carried out by Security Services in secret, I should say, and this type of
16 activity is reported on to the person who issued the order to that effect,
17 that is, to the next echelon within the Security Service of the army.
18 Q. If we could go to Exhibit 418A, titled "Rules of Service of the
19 Security Organs in the Armed Forces of the Socialist Federative Republic
20 of Yugoslavia." And if you could -- General, I would ask you to review
21 paragraph 16. It's about five lines. It's under the heading of
22 "Management of Security Organs," Chapter II.
23 Are these the rules of service for security organs that were in
24 place at the time, in July 1995?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Under paragraph 16, and I'll quote:
2 "The security organ is directly subordinate to the commanding
3 officer of the command, unit, institution, or staff of the Armed Forces in
4 whose strength it is placed in the establishment, and it is responsible to
5 that officer for its work, while JNA security organs and organisations for
6 NVO are responsible to the competent Assistant Federal Secretary for
7 National Defence."
8 So at the time, let's say on July 12th, 1995, Vujadin Popovic was
9 the Assistant Commander for Security for the Drina Corps; is that right?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. And on July 12th he reported to the Commander, General Zivanovic.
12 A. Yes, correct.
13 Q. And when you took over command of the Drina Corps, he reported to
15 A. Yes. This other provision in Article 16 of Chapter II is also
16 important. It says that the JNA security organs and organisations for NVO
17 are responsible to the competent Assistant Federal Secretary for National
18 Defence. That is, the Security Service, in general, is responsible to the
19 Assistant Federal Secretary for National Defence.
20 Q. For its work, it's responsible largely to the commander, as is
21 stated above.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, you're familiar with the rules associated with using the
24 armed forces of the MUP in combat that is carried out by the army of the
25 Republika Srpska, are you not?
1 A. No. I never managed to obtain that particular book of rules. I
2 never read it.
3 Q. Are you aware that prior to using the armed forces of the MUP,
4 special police, that there must be an agreement between the Ministry of
5 Interior and the commander of the Main Staff?
6 A. I'm sorry. I wouldn't go as far as call it an agreement. There's
7 no agreeing on anything. There is a law of responsibility within the
8 armed forces and there is one such law within the MUP of Republika
9 Srpska. That is the Supreme Command. If it is necessary to engage a
10 certain number of forces, either the forces of the regular police, the
11 civilian police, or special units of the MUP, then the situation is quite
12 clear: A request needs to be submitted to the Minister of Defence.
13 So the Drina Corps Commander, if he needed to engage a number of
14 police forces for any operation or action, then he would have to forward
15 such a request to the Main Staff of Republika Srpska. The request is
16 acted upon, and if there are sufficient grounds to grant the request, then
17 such a request is forwarded to the Minister of the Interior, who is the
18 only organ responsible for engagement and the use of such units belonging
19 to the MUP.
20 Q. That appears to be a pretty good synopsis of the law. Do you
21 recall Rick Butler went over the RS law in that area? Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes, I do. I listened to Mr. Butler, yes.
23 Q. Do you have any disagreement with his view of that law, which
24 you've just talked about, if you recall?
25 A. I couldn't answer that question as to whether I have any
1 disagreement with him. I do not recall all the details that were
2 discussed by Mr. Butler. However, when it comes to the use of MUP units,
3 the situation is the one that I have just indicated. I'm not simply
4 telling you this from memory; it is provided for in the relevant law.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 420A, which should be,
6 if we've got it correctly, the relevant law.
7 Q. General Krstic, if you could take a look at the B/C/S version. It
8 should be called Chapter IV, "The Use of Police Units and Combat
9 Operations," Article 12 through 14. And if you could take a moment to
10 look at that.
11 A. You're referring to Article 12, are you?
12 Q. 12, 13, 14, please.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, ask the
14 question. Go ahead and ask your question. I see that the General has
15 read through the passage.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I'm sorry, Mr. President.
17 Q. And as I look at it, I don't see any talk about an agreement
18 either, so I think you're right. There is no talk about an agreement in
19 this rule, is there?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Practically, does the Ministry of Interior always follow the
22 orders of the Commander-in-Chief if he orders that police units be used or
23 do they end upcoming to an agreement in a practical sense?
24 A. You can see from this that the Supreme Commander is the sole
25 person who, at the request or at the recommendation of the Ministry of the
1 Interior, can engage a unit of the MUP for combat activities.
2 Q. So in the situation where a corps was planning an operation, and
3 just hypothetically here, we'll get into the details of a particular
4 operation soon, but if just generally a corps was planning an operation
5 and wanted MUP forces -- as I read under Article 14: "Police units
6 assigned to combat operations by an order of the commander-in-chief of the
7 armed forces shall be resubordinated to the commander of the unit in whose
8 zone of responsibility they are performing combat tasks."
9 So if we have a corps that is planning a combat task, those MUP
10 units would be under the command of who, based on this law?
11 A. It states clearly here that these units would be commanded by the
12 commander, a member of the MUP whom the Minister or the individual
13 authorised by the Minister, to determine the commander for that unit and
14 to be in command of that unit in the question of resubordination, and this
15 is clearly stated here. That is to say, that during the combat operation,
16 it is resubordinated to the composition to which it is directed on the
17 basis of a request if a request of that kind has been made at all.
18 Q. Does the corps commander command those MUP units? Does he have
19 command authority over those MUP units?
20 I would refer you to the first paragraph under Article 14 which
21 says: "The armed forces shall be resubordinated to the commander of the
22 unit in whose zone of responsibility they are performing combat tasks."
23 A. Only on condition that the commander of the corps, the corps
24 commander, has asked for the involvement of the police in a set -- for a
25 set operation.
1 Q. All right. So that commander, if he asked for police to assist in
2 an operation, he retains overall command of those MUP forces?
3 A. Yes, but I should like to repeat: Only if the request has been
4 sent to the Main Staff in this case and from the Main Staff this went to
5 the Ministry of the Interior. Only in that case. And if the request was
6 given the go-ahead.
7 Q. The second paragraph in Article 14 refers to the command structure
8 of the MUP unit, meaning it retains its basic command structure; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it fair to say that part of the main job of a chief of staff is
12 planning, taking part in planning things?
13 A. The chief of staff engages in planning after the corps commander
14 has set out the general guidelines and the decision for performing a
15 combat operation or anything of that kind. So on the basis of that
16 overall guideline, he elaborates the documents necessary and sends them on
17 to the subordinate units. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with all the
18 other organs in the corps command. I am thinking of the assistance of the
19 corps commander, because I am not authorised to device a plan for the
20 rear, for example, because the corps commander has his assistant for that,
21 for logistics, for example, or for moral and political preparations.
22 There again, he has an assistant for that area or for ensuring security.
23 He has an assistant to deal with that area as well.
24 Q. The definition for chief of staff describes the chief of staff as
25 the second to the commander, doesn't it?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And the chief of staff is the only member of the staff that, in
3 the absence of the commander, can actually provide orders to the
4 subordinates that come within the purview of the commander's original
5 orders; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the chief of staff would advise the commander on all issues
8 associated with the command, security, intelligence, logistics,
9 engineering, anything that he had knowledge or experience in. Isn't that
10 part of his job?
11 A. I don't think that is part of his job. I don't think so. That is
12 why he has professional assistants for questions of logistics, security,
13 morale, legal matters and so on and so forth. I said that on the basis of
14 the commander's basic idea and decision, the chief of staff, with his
15 staff, elaborates further certain documents along with the full
16 participation of all the other assistants to the commander or organs
17 headed by the assistants to the commander.
18 Q. Does the chief of staff advise the commander on operational issues
19 such as -- General, you're looking like you're in pain. I don't want to
20 ask questions if you're --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you ready to ask questions or would you like to take a break?
23 Answer questions. Sorry.
24 A. I would welcome a break, but if you insist, we can continue with
25 the answers.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. McCloskey, I
2 don't think we need insist. General Krstic has already said that he would
3 welcome a break.
4 So we're going to have a break. Last time we had a longer break
5 at this point, so shall we have a one-hour break now, take the longer
6 pause now and reconvene, and then the next one will be 15 minutes. So
7 we're now going to have a one-hour break.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.15 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
4 Mr. McCloskey, your witness. Please continue.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. General Krstic, the plan to assault the enclave of Srebrenica was
7 entitled "Krivaja 95"; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And that plan was -- let me ask you: What advice did you provide
10 the commander in the development of that plan; the tactics, the forces,
11 the strategy?
12 A. The extent to which the assistance of the commanders, corps
13 commanders, like myself, depends on the concrete situation. There are two
14 ways in which decisions of commanders are made, any commanders, not only
15 corps commanders, decisions that are made in a timely fashion and
16 speedily. And I said that this was a military operation and that the
17 decision was taken in haste.
18 As the Corps Commander from that area was far better acquainted
19 with the situation than I was myself, the Corps Commander from the very
20 beginning knew which forces were located in the enclave. He was well
21 acquainted with the quality of his own forces around the enclave and also
22 the quality of the forces which he ordered to be separated. I said during
23 the examination-in-chief that I took very little part in the proposal for
24 the engagement of forces, and the Corps Commander himself personally was
25 in charge with the reconnaissance work at the level of the Corps Command.
1 After the Commander made his basic conception and decision to
2 engage forces, the elaboration of documents was undertaken, and they are
3 basic documents: his orders regarding combat activities, his
4 reconnaissance plans, who draws it up, the liaison plans, and so on and so
6 Q. I want to ask you about the planning, but before we get to the
7 planning, I wanted to ask you about what advice, if any, you provided the
8 Corps Commander in the development of the plan: the tactics, the
9 strategy, et cetera.
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, I do apologise, but the Corps Commander does not
11 have an advisor; he has assistants. But I can answer that question. Any
12 special advice, I did not give to the Commander. I did not provide any
13 special advice.
14 Q. As Chief of Staff, you would have played a role in the development
15 of the plan, the actual writing down of the plan; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, quite so, and the basis for the elaboration of the plan is
17 the Commander's decision, and when it comes to information on the forces
18 of the BH army and when we come to the question of the involvement of the
19 Corps troops in that operation.
20 Q. So you became very familiar with General Zivanovic's intentions
21 regarding the enclave, and you were able to participate in the planning
22 and writing of the Krivaja 95 document?
23 A. I did take part in the elaboration of the documents and plans for
24 the Krivaja 95 operation.
25 Q. Whose responsibility was it to make a final read or review of the
1 plan before submitting the written plan to the Commander?
2 A. The elaboration of the plans after the decision had been taken,
3 what refers to the staff of the Corps and under the responsibility of the
4 chief and responsible for logistics, security, and other plans of that
5 sort from the realm, was the responsibility of the assistants to the
7 Q. Did you read Krivaja 95? Did you read over the plan before giving
8 your final draft or the assistants' final draft to the Commander?
9 A. The basis for the plan was the decision of the Commander, so there
10 was no need for any special reading, separate reading. Once the decision
11 had been taken by the Commander, certain plans were devised, elaborated,
12 which always have to be elaborated and which emanate from his decision.
13 Q. Did you read over Krivaja 95 to make sure that there weren't
14 errors in it, typographical substance, things like that?
15 A. I was acquainted with it during the process of decision-making by
16 the Corps Commander, whereas the typewriting and everything, the
17 processing, was done by the heads of the departments and the assistants to
18 the Commander, everybody in his realm of responsibility.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I must interrupt
20 you at this point.
21 General Krstic, you have already stated that you were the second
22 person in the Corps Command, the number-two man. Do you agree with that?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You said that for logistics,
25 security, legal assistants, morale, and so on, there were assistants to
1 the Commander. They were in charge of that.
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What was the relationship that
4 you had with the Commander's assistants? You were the number-two man.
5 Now, the assistants, were they exclusive to the Commander or did they work
6 together with you as well?
7 A. The assistants to the Commander were equal to my own position and
8 standing and were, therefore, responsible to what they were -- for what
9 they were ordered to do by the Commander, concretely linked to a
10 particular operation and that particular operation.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Were you then able, by virtue of
12 the rules and regulations, to use the assistants to the Commander for
13 accomplishing your own tasks?
14 A. Well, some special type of assistance with regard to the
15 elaboration of certain plans and documents which come under the
16 competencies of the staff I did not have. They, their own plans, whether
17 they were graphic ones or textual ones, they attached their own -- this to
18 the basic documents which were the documents for the operation as a
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
21 there were several documents. There were several special areas, if I may
22 call them that way. Who gave specific tasks to the assistants to the
24 A. Concrete tasks with respect to the elaboration of all the plans
25 necessary ordered by the Commander were issued by the Commander himself,
1 and amongst others, this was regulated by the rules and regulations for
2 the work of the Command with respect to the elaboration of documents.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have one more question. What
4 was your type of involvement in the Krivaja 95 operation?
5 A. I was engaged, like all the other assistants, in the process of
6 decision-making by the Corps Commander and the elaboration of plans which
7 the headquarters and my subordinate organs were to elaborate.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You told us that the first step
9 was the decision of the Commander, whereby he decided that an operation
10 would be launched. What was your type of participation in that initial
11 stage, that is, to make a decision to launch an operation?
12 A. My participation in the process of decision-making boiled down to
13 the fact that I took part in the assessment of the overall situation, an
14 appraisal of the overall situation, whether with respect to the BH army or
15 the possibility of setting aside a portion of the forces for realizing the
16 Commander's decision to commit the forces.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we can say that the Corps
18 Commander was in charge of making an assessment of the situation before he
19 was able to make a decision. Is that what you're telling us?
20 A. Every commander does that.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you discussed it. You
22 evaluated the situation together with the Commander, General Zivanovic.
23 A. Yes, an evaluation of the situation, on the basis of which the
24 Commander made his decision.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well then. Thank you.
1 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. During the planning phase for Krivaja 95, what did you believe
4 your actual role in the operation was going to be when it began? What
5 kind of a leadership role, if any, were you expected to play in that
7 A. I said during the examination-in-chief that after the Commander
8 made his decision, that we started reconnaissance at the level of the
9 Corps Command and control and monitoring of the preparation of the units
10 and to commit forces to the operation. I was included in that process.
11 Q. As I understand --
12 A. And --
13 Q. Excuse me, General. My question was: During the planning stage,
14 what job, if any, did you anticipate that you would have in carrying out
15 this job? Would you stay back at Vlasenica taking care of staff duties
16 while General Zivanovic was at the forward command post leading the
17 troops? Was it the other way around? Was it some kind of combination?
18 Or was it never discussed until the last minute?
19 A. I expected that the Corps Commander, that is to say,
20 General Zivanovic, from the forward -- would be commanding the units
21 involved in the operation from the forward command post and that I would
22 stay at the command post in order to see to the work of the rest of the
23 staff that was left in the Corps and in the other areas of responsibility
24 of the Corps. However, General Zivanovic decided, on the basis of the
25 overall situation that I described earlier on, that he would stay at the
1 command post and that from there he would follow a command and lead all
2 the forces in the Corps. And he decided that I was to go to the forward
3 command post with a group of officers and that we should begin with the
4 implementation of his decision.
5 Q. Well, before we get to the implementation of his decision, that
6 would have -- I want to ask you -- so with that kind of role that you
7 would be playing at the forward command post, it was very important for
8 you to become familiar with all aspects of Krivaja 95, is that correct,
9 the plan?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Did you actually write up any of the sections in Krivaja 95, the
13 A. The writing itself was the responsibility of the Chief of the
14 Operations Section of the Corps. He was responsible for the part which
15 involved the staff of the Corps.
16 Q. And who was that?
17 A. Colonel Obrad Vicic.
18 Q. And did Colonel Vicic consult with you regarding that plan during
19 the time that he was developing it and writing it?
20 A. Colonel Vicic participated in the decision-making process,
21 together with the Commander, and he was in charge of writing down
22 everything that the Commander was saying, according to the rules. And at
23 the end, he wrote the part of the decision which refers to the Staff of
24 the Command, whereas other organs of the Corps Command made their
25 contribution to the order.
1 Q. Did Colonel Vicic consult with you during the development of the
2 plan, perhaps to clarify the Commander's orders or to clarify other staff
4 A. Well, all Colonel Vicic had to do was to process, technically
5 speaking, those parts of the plan. The Commander was very clear when he
6 exposed to us his general concept and the decision in general terms.
7 Q. I'm sorry to have to ask you this one more time, but did Colonel
8 Vicic consult with you regarding the details of the plan that he was
9 drawing up, to get your help and your knowledge and your experience as the
10 Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps at the time, the second man in charge?
11 A. Well, according to the rules, he was supposed to. However, in
12 view of the specific and the concrete situation, he didn't have the need
13 to consult with me. All he had to do was to write it down and to process
14 the document in technical terms.
15 Q. So you're saying he did not consult with you in any way in the
16 development of this plan?
17 A. There was no need to consult with me. If there had been any need
18 to do so, he would have consulted with me. He would have had to do that.
19 Q. What role, if any, did you play in the writing and the developing
20 and the creating of Krivaja 95?
21 A. I have already indicated that I was not involved in the writing of
22 any of the documents. My role was to see that the documents are prepared
23 on the basis of the Commander's decision, in a timely fashion and with
24 adequate quality. So that was my role.
25 Q. So did you read the finished version of the plan?
1 A. Yes, I read the final version of the plan.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Just a second. I'm just confused. You said that
3 Vicic, Colonel Vicic, did not need to consult you. Then you just say here
4 that you were supposed -- I'll just read for you: "My role was to see
5 that the documents are prepared on the basis of the Commander's
6 decision." Now then, you had control; you had authority for control. He
7 had to take your opinion. So was it possible for him to do it without
8 your knowledge, without coming to you at all?
9 A. Yes, I understand what you mean, Your Honour. I said that Colonel
10 Vicic was an experienced commander, and as regards specific explanations
11 for the development of the plan after the decision of the Commander had
12 been reached, they were not necessary. I was instructed by the Corps
13 Commander to be deployed at the forward command post, and of course I had
14 to read his order once again and have a look at the other documents as
16 JUDGE RIAD: So could he render the order without passing by you,
17 without submitting it to you to make sure, as you said, that it was in
18 line with the whole policy?
19 A. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Could you please repeat your question?
20 JUDGE RIAD: My question: You said that it had to come to you to
21 make sure that it is in line with the orders of the Command. And he did
22 not come to you; is that what I can gather? Vicic did it without coming
23 to you?
24 A. No. That particular document did reach me, the decision of the
25 Commander and all of the plans pursuant to it, after which the Commander
1 signed the final order.
2 JUDGE RIAD: You had to okay [Realtime transcript read in error
3 "obey"] it, as they say?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE WALD: I'd like to ask one question. General, when this
6 order, when Krivaja 95, the document and the attachments of all the
7 assistants came to you, before being submitted to the Commander, did you
8 make any changes? Did you suggest, make any changes in it, or did it just
9 pass through you to the Commander, as written by Colonel Vicic and others?
10 A. I see what you mean. There was no need to make any changes,
11 because the documents were well prepared, of good quality, and they were
12 submitted to the Commander for his signature.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. I want to correct the transcript. I
14 asked General Krstic: You had to okay it, you had to approve it. But
15 it's written here, "You had to obey it." So I just -- my question was:
16 You had to okay it, you had to approve it? And you answered, "yes."
17 Thank you.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. You had to obey this plan also, I take it.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So the various parts of this plan Krivaja 95, which, just to
22 clarify the record, is Exhibit 428, those -- the parts that make up the
23 whole plan are very important to that plan and the successful carrying out
24 of the plan, are they not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Men's lives depend on it, don't they?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. This is a very, very serious document this plan?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let's go through some of the exhibits that talk about your role in
6 the planning to get your opinion on them.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: The first exhibit, which I don't believe we need
8 to show the General, unless he would like to see it, is Exhibit 499, and
9 that is the article that Mr. Petrovic wrote that sort of went hand-in-hand
10 with his video.
11 Q. In that article, he describes you as a brilliant strategist that
12 was involved in the planning of this operation. If you want to look at
13 the paragraph, I believe it's 6; 6 or 7. What I was referring to is the
14 line that says: "It took only five days for the Serbs to complete the
15 takeover of the enclave. The world is still amazed by Serbian efficiency
16 and ability when it comes to surprise attacks. NATO always underestimates
17 them and then regrets it. The surprise this time was named Major
18 General Krstic, Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, commanded by
19 General Zivanovic. A month and a half ago, Krstic was promoted to the
20 rank of Major-General and is reputed to be a brilliant strategist in
21 military circles."
22 Do you know where or how it was that -- the idea that you were a
23 brilliant strategist in military circles or is that just journalists
25 A. I don't think I should comment on this article at all. It is just
1 journalist's blabber.
2 Q. All right.
3 A. After all ...
4 Q. If we could, let's go to Exhibit 112/1, which is a Fibus report.
5 A. This is all in English.
6 Q. There is a very brief section which I'll read for your comment.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Usher, apparently we do have a B/C/S version.
8 Q. The source is -- it's dated July 20, 1995, from Belgrade Crna, and
9 the paragraph that I'm looking at is the third in the English version, and
10 it says: "Karadzic is reported to have appointed Main Staff General
11 Radislav Krstic, former Chief of Staff, new Commander of the Drina
12 Corps." Then in quotes it says: "Krstic and General Zivanovic were the
13 chief architects of Serb victories in Srebrenica and Zepa."
14 Now, the term "architect" implies that you took some part in the
15 design of the plan of this operation. Is that true or not true? Did
16 you -- were you an architect of the plan Krivaja 95?
17 A. No. I would never use the words such as "architects" or "plan."
18 All we had was the Commander's decision, which was the source of all other
19 subsequent plans.
20 President Karadzic probably wanted to minimise the role of
21 General Mladic by saying this, for the reasons that I indicated during my
23 JUDGE WALD: I had one question there, General. You testified a
24 few minutes ago that you did play a role before the Commander decided to
25 launch the operation by sharing with him your appraisal of the situation,
1 after which he made a decision to launch the operation.
2 Did that appraisal of the situation that you discussed with him
3 involve any discussion of what the objectives of any operation would be
4 such as are eventually reflected in the plan, namely, to separate the two
5 enclaves and to make sure to limit the terrains of the enclaves and then
6 to separate so that they had no communication? Was that objective part of
7 the discussion you had with the General before he decided whether to
8 launch a campaign?
9 A. Yes. You're quite correct, Your Honour. The main objective was
10 to separate the two enclaves.
11 JUDGE WALD: And that was something you discussed before the
12 General made his decision about the operation.
13 A. In the course of the decision-making process, the assessment of
14 the forces of the BH army and the Drina Corps forces that were to be
15 committed for that operation, which can be clearly seen from the order of
16 the Corps Commander.
17 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. Now, General, I want to show you a video. It's Exhibit 99. I'm
20 informed that the booth has it. It should be a brief clip of
21 President Karadzic, the transcript of which is Exhibit 430A in English,
22 430B in B/C/S.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the General could get 430B before we play the
24 video so he can see the transcript.
25 Q. I believe it's something you spoke briefly about in direct
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could play the video.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't want to see Colonel Karremans at this
5 point. No Colonel Karremans. That's not the right video. We wanted 99.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Now, we just saw your President tell Serb TV that you had planned
9 this operation. You have told the Court that you were involved in
10 assessments made during the planning stage. So again, were you involved
11 in the planning of the operation, as noted by your President at the time?
12 A. I believe that I have already said that I did participate in the
13 assessment of the situation and, finally, in the elaboration of all the
14 operative plans. As regards this interview and the position of President
15 Karadzic, I do not wish to comment on this interview. He had no basis for
16 this type of allegation. And as regards what I said previously, this has
17 to do with the relationship between himself and General Mladic. A
18 President of the Republic cannot approve my plans. There are certain
19 rules in the army. The corps commander forwards the plan, the decision,
20 to the commander of the Main Staff, and he is the one who issues the
21 approval, and later on the process takes its due course.
22 Q. The President would have to approve the change of plans to
23 actually make the assault on Srebrenica, wouldn't he, since the initial
24 plan didn't involve taking the town of Srebrenica? Maybe that's what he's
25 talking about.
1 A. I don't know that. My position was such that I was unable to
2 obtain any such information, that is, the information to the effect that
3 he may change the plan.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go to the plan now,
5 Exhibit 428A in the English and B in the B/C/S.
6 Q. And General, I would like to address your attention to paragraph
7 2, which should be on the second page of the B/C/S version, the third page
8 of the English. Now, this paragraph makes reference to operations
9 directives number 7 and 7/1. Were these the basis by which the order was
10 drawn up?
11 A. No. The directives number 7 and 7/1 were the formal basis for the
12 elaboration of the plan. During my examination-in-chief I said that the
13 operation was contrived after all those events, especially after the event
14 on the 26th of June, when the Main Staff was attacked in the area of the
15 village of Rjecice, after which the Corps Commander was called by the
16 Commander of the Main Staff for the purpose of elaborating the plans for
17 the operation.
18 Q. I understand that was the tactical situation on the ground, but as
19 you stated yourself, operations directives 7 and 7/1 were the formal basis
20 for this plan; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you naturally had made yourself familiar with these directives,
23 7 from President Karadzic and 7/1 from General Mladic?
24 A. At the time, they were elaborated and sent to the subordinate
25 commands of the Corps, I was still undergoing treatment, medical
1 treatment, and after my return I acquainted myself with those documents,
2 especially with the parts of those documents pertaining to the Drina
4 Q. Okay. Now, I will read this opening paragraph -- or paragraph 2,
5 excuse me, slowly, and ask you questions about it. As we've stated, "The
6 Command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to operations directive number 7 and
7 7/1 of the GS VRS, and on the basis of the situation in the Corps area of
8 responsibility ..." I take it this is the tactical situation you alluded
9 to briefly.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. "... has the task of carrying out offensive activities with free
12 forces deep in the Drina Corps zone, as soon as possible, in order to
13 split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, and to reduce them to
14 their urban areas."
15 So that appears to be a two-part objective: one, split apart the
16 enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica; and two, reduce them to their urban
17 areas. Is that correct?
18 A. Well, Srebrenica -- that is, the protected area of
19 Srebrenica -- was mostly urban area, in particular its eastern and
20 northern sides. With the implementation of the decision of the Corps
21 Commander as regards the separation of Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and
22 taking up the lines that had been designated as objectives, so Srebrenica
23 would have been reduced to its urban areas also from the eastern and
24 southern sides.
25 Q. "Urban areas," in the common definition, means the city area: the
1 buildings, the streets, the areas that make up a city. Is that your basic
2 definition of "urban areas"?
3 A. Yes, and suburbs as well.
4 Q. Now, perhaps it's a difference in language, but "urban areas"
5 means the city; "suburbs" means suburbs.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you can ask
7 General Krstic what he means when he says "urban areas" exactly, and he
8 will provide an answer to that question.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Do you include suburbs in your definition of urban areas?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, the enclave of Srebrenica is made up of hundreds of villages,
13 isn't it?
14 A. I don't know how many villages there are, but quite a few that
15 were part of the enclave.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, sorry to
17 interrupt you, but I think that this would be a convenient time for our
18 break, so we will have a 15-minute break at this point.
19 --- Recess taken at 2.03 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 2.20 p.m.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Having fulfilled our city habits
22 for a break, we can continue, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. General Krstic, could you step briefly to the map which is Exhibit
25 485, that large map in front of you, and I believe there was a big pen
1 someone had earlier, and could you draw the area on the Srebrenica enclave
2 that you feel is the urban area. And I can tell you that the map that
3 you're looking at, 485, is based on the NATO maps that you're familiar
4 with and of the same and is to scale, and you can see down at the bottom a
5 scale of kilometres. It doesn't need to be exact, certainly, but can you
6 just draw an area that you feel is the urban area as defined by this
7 order, Krivaja 95?
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, you have an
9 objection to make?
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. The Defence
11 considers that possibly the answer to this question can be given, that is
12 to say, indicated on the map on Exhibit number 2, where the places are
13 quoted and the areas shown. They are far clearer on that map, on that
14 exhibit, than they are on this map that my learned colleague is talking
15 about, Mr. McCloskey.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. In any case,
17 we can try. If General Krstic tells us that it is easier for him to
18 respond by using the Exhibit number 2, then we can perhaps replace it,
19 take off this particular exhibit and allow General Krstic to use the other
20 exhibit. So Mr. McCloskey knows this. He knows about the exhibit. Thank
21 you for your suggestion, but let us try.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. They're both good maps. We could do both, but, General, do you
24 have any problems marking 385 [sic] the big NATO-based map?
25 A. At all events, the other map would be better, I think. On this
1 map, you can only see the names of several places. It is very difficult
2 to indicate it on this map. I can just give you an approximation and show
3 you the line that the Corps Commander's order referred to, the line to be
4 taken up.
5 Q. There may be miscommunication. I'm not asking you to make actual
6 references to the trig points and the various objectives on the map.
7 That's not what I'm asking. I'm just merely asking for the urban area of
8 the Srebrenica enclave, and if that could be done on either map, I don't
9 really care.
10 I think I misspoke. The big map in front of us is 458, not 385.
11 But I'm not asking for a military analysis of the objectives and
12 all that. That's not what I'm asking. Now, if there is no such thing as
13 the urban area or if there's something that can't be explained here,
14 please tell me, General, but -- and either map is fine.
15 A. The line where the forces of the Drina Corps were to have reached,
16 that is to say, the orders of the Corps Commander, on this map would be
17 the following -- I haven't got the names of the places indicated here
18 though, but I will show you. I think that Banja Guber is somewhere around
19 here. Zivkovo Brdo lies somewhere in this region. Then we have
20 Alibegovac and Kak.
21 Q. What about Gradac? Actually, General, maybe I can save us some
22 time. I don't want, at this point, to get into the various objectives
23 that you're talking about. I just wanted you to show us where you believe
24 the urban areas are, the urban area of Srebrenica. The order says,
25 "Reduce them to their urban areas." "Reducing the size of the enclave to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 their urban areas." Are you saying that's basically the same as the
2 military objective or is that different? If it's the same as the military
3 objective, fine. If not, can you tell us roughly where the urban area for
4 Srebrenica is?
5 A. In respect to what the Commander ordered, that is to say, the line
6 we were to reach, you can see clearly that all the other villages in the
7 protected zone were not urban areas. The urban area of Srebrenica, it is
8 difficult for me to define, but I think that what the suburbs are -- that
9 the suburbs belong to the urban area, the outskirts. Here we have the
10 village of Bojna, somewhere in this part. Then we have Bajramovici,
11 Pusulici. All that are the outskirts. Then we have Potocari. That too,
12 Potocari too, because they are linked up with the main road and it's all
13 inhabited area. From Srebrenica to Potocari, that makes up a whole. It
14 doesn't go up to Potocari alone, but goes up to the Zuti Most area, the
15 Yellow Bridge area, which is where the checkpoint was while the forces of
16 the Dutch Battalion were present in the area.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, the General has
18 already said that it would be easier for him to answer your question with
19 the other exhibit.
20 So, Mr. Usher, perhaps we should remove this map and let the
21 General respond in the way that is best suited for him.
22 General, the idea of this question was that there was a zone that
23 was to be protected, the protected area of Srebrenica, and there was a
24 military objective of the operation which was to reduce those areas to
25 their urban boundaries. Mr. McCloskey wants to know what is, in your
1 opinion, this urban area which was indicated as the objective of the
2 military operation.
3 Mr. Usher, could you please give us the map which will enable
4 General Krstic to respond to the question put to him by Mr. McCloskey.
5 Now, Mr. McCloskey, will you please ask your question.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. General, if you could put -- just draw the boundaries of the urban
8 areas as -- that you feel are the urban areas as defined in this order;
9 just the boundaries, if you could. Take some time to study it, but ...
10 A. I do apologise, and I have to repeat what I've already said.
11 First, the objective of this operation was not the civilian population but
12 the forces of the 28th Division. The Corps Commander ordered the line,
13 the demarcation line of Srebrenica and Zepa, and which line the forces
14 were to reach, attain.
15 And it is correct to say that in his order, the line Banja Guber,
16 Zivko Brdo, Alibegovac, and the Kak feature, that was it. And from his
17 decision, we can see that if we were to take up positions along this line,
18 that all the rest does not belong to the urban area of Srebrenica, neither
19 was it our intention to attack further on towards Srebrenica.
20 I do not know the mayor of Srebrenica, when it comes to the status
21 of the town, what the urban area actually implies and what is defined as
22 the urban area, but I can say that everything within this, east of
23 Srebrenica position to the demarcation line, that all that was the urban
24 area, towards Bratunac, the Zuti Most, from Srebrenica, and Potocari.
25 That is an urban area and it is all linked up. It is one entity. And
1 then to the west, towards Viogora and several other villages; and to the
2 south, the village of Bojna, Pusulici, and Bajramovici.
3 Q. Can you do a boundary of the urban area for Srebrenica, just
4 with -- and if you don't feel like you can, that's fine; we'll go on to
5 the next question.
6 A. Well, all I can do is to draw in what I have indicated, to draw it
8 Q. Please.
9 A. Very well.
10 Q. And if you could just mark your initials on that so we can
11 identify it for the record, on the red line you've drawn. Okay. Thank
12 you, General.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I'm sorry to
14 interrupt you.
15 General Krstic, if we look at the line that you have just drawn, I
16 should like to know if that line involved certain modifications in the
17 boundaries of the Srebrenica protected area.
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So this means that for the
20 purposes of the Krivaja 95 operation, one of the objectives was to reduce
21 this area to its urban boundaries but not to modify the lines, to change
22 the lines that you have indicated.
23 A. The objective of the operation of Krivaja 95 was not at all to
24 advance towards this line or circle that I have drawn in here and
25 indicated. The objective was the line that was quoted in the order.
1 Perhaps that was unfortunately written down in the order by the Corps
2 Commander, because someone might have thought that if you advanced towards
3 this line, that it is an urban line. It is the line referred to in the
4 order by the Corps Commander, and that's where the difference lies.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. Sorry,
6 Mr. McCloskey. You may -- I'm sorry. Madam Judge Wald.
7 JUDGE WALD: Sorry, Mr. McCloskey.
8 General, did the lines that you indicated on the map there, are
9 they different from the lines that had been defined a couple of years
10 earlier by the UN when it declared Srebrenica a protected enclave? In
11 short, let me put it another way: Were there DutchBat patrols, DutchBat
12 OPs or posts outside of the line that you drew there?
13 A. Madam Judge, these are not the lines of the protected area. Let
14 me repeat once again: It was not our objective to advance towards the
15 line that I have indicated here.
16 JUDGE WALD: I understand, General. I just wanted to know -- I
17 just wanted to clarify the relationship between the line that you drew and
18 what had been included in the UN protected enclave. I understand that was
19 not your objective, and you've answered my question. Thank you.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. General, there is on that same page, there is an area entitled
22 "Objective." It says: "By a surprise attack, to separate and reduce in
23 size the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves." I think we've talked about that a
24 bit, but I want to ask you about this next part: "To improve the tactical
25 position of the forces in the depth of the area and to create conditions
1 for the elimination of the enclaves."
2 Now, in particular, I want you to tell the Court, what is meant by
3 "creating conditions," first, and then "for the elimination of the
4 enclave"? What does that mean: "creating conditions for the elimination
5 of the enclave"?
6 A. It means -- that is to say, it's another time. It implied another
7 time. If the forces of the 28th Division were to continue to do what they
8 had been doing throughout the time since the beginning of the operation,
9 then perhaps a new operation and the planning of a new operation would be
10 undertaken. So within this operation, that was not at all our objective.
11 Q. What were the conditions that were supposed to be created that
12 would -- that could lead in the future to the elimination of the
13 enclaves? It says "create conditions," and that's the present. What does
14 that create -- what conditions are to be created by this order?
15 A. By advancing to the line referred to in the order by the corps
16 commander -- and that is the line Banja Guber, Zivko Brdo, Alibegovac,
17 Kak -- no conditions had been created for the elimination of the enclaves,
18 first of all, because it was a protected zone, a protected area, and
19 because there was the civilian population there. And it was not at all
20 our intention to continue the attack towards Srebrenica, and I have
21 already spoken about that at length in the examination-in-chief. And I
22 should like to repeat: To create conditions, that refers to some other
23 time. Only if the forces of the 28th Division continue doing what they
24 had been doing up until then.
25 Q. General, it is the submission of the Prosecution that the term
1 "urban areas" refers to the city areas of Srebrenica, and that creating a
2 condition for the elimination of the enclave meant you were to create a
3 situation where the enclave is now bordered by the urban area. Do you
4 contest this?
5 A. The order by the Commander of the Drina Corps -- this is not seen
6 at all from the order of the Drina Corps Commander when he said advance to
7 such-and-such a line and create conditions for the elimination of the
8 enclaves. Let me repeat, that is some other time, a later point in time,
9 only if there was repeated occurrence of what had happened in the
10 operations of the 28th Division. The Drina Corps had no other plans, nor
11 did it elaborate any document whatsoever for it to be able to realise the
12 operation, that is to say, to eliminate the enclave.
13 All that existed were several documents of which we have the order
14 by the Commander for the separation of the Zepa and Srebrenica enclave.
15 Then there was a reconnaissance plan, communications plan, and the plan
16 for quartermaster affairs. And had the objective been the elimination of
17 the enclaves, then the Commander of the Drina Corps would have had to have
18 undertaken the elaboration of all other documents and plans focusing on
19 logistics, focusing on quartermaster issues for the population, a plan for
20 cooperation with the civilian structures, a plan for cooperation with
21 UNPROFOR and all the other documents that this would require. And the
22 Drina Corps Command did not have that. It did not devise plans of this
23 kind, neither did it consider that for the implementation of this order by
24 the Drina Corps plans of that kind were at all necessary.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 425A briefly, the Main
1 Staff of the Republika Srpska.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, before we start
3 analysing this particular exhibit, I have to interrupt you once again, and
4 I'm sorry for that.
5 General Krstic, the term -- the words "to reduce to urban areas,"
6 even if your definition which would include suburbs, in view those words,
7 I should like to know what were the consequences as regards the
8 modification of the boundaries of the protected zone, one thing. And
9 second, what were the consequences as regards the status of the
10 observation posts and checkpoints which were manned at the time by the
11 members of the Dutch Battalion?
12 A. I apologise. I did not quite catch your first question, Your
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm referring to the objective
15 of the Krivaja 95 operation. One objective was to reduce the areas, the
16 zones, to their urban areas. Do you agree with that?
17 A. I do.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Now, what I should like to know
19 is the following: What were the consequences of that for the boundaries
20 of the protected area? So that is one question. And my second question
21 was: What were the consequences for the observation posts that were
22 manned by members of the Dutch Battalion at the time?
23 A. With respect to your first question, Your Honour, vital changes
24 with respect to the boundaries of the protected area did not exist nor
25 would the realisation of this decision by the Commander lead to any
1 serious repercussions and upset the boundaries of the protected zone,
2 protected area.
3 So in the area of Zeleni Jadar, that would remain within the
4 protected zone area. Moving to Zivkovo Brdo, the protected area would be
5 somewhat moved, shifted. In the Alibegovac and Kak feature, the
6 boundaries would remain practically the same because the valley from the
7 Zeleni Jadar, from the south and the south-west, would be the boundary
9 In between the valley of Zeleni Jadar and the Kak feature and
10 Alibegovac, there were known inhabited areas. There were previously, but
11 there were no inhabitants there. There were Serbian villages there and
12 Bosniak villages there as well. At some earlier date they were burnt, so
13 there were no inhabitants there at the time.
14 The village of Podravanje, which was outside the protected area,
15 was not inhabited either by Serbs or Muslims, Bosniaks, but the forces of
16 the 28th Division held the village. They were in the village.
17 As to your second question, Your Honour, vital changes, there were
18 hardly any. There would be hardly any vital changes in shifting for the
19 reconnaissance points, observation points, the OPs of the Dutch
20 Battalion. In Zeleni Jadar, the checkpoint would remain, the OP would
21 remain. And in the Alibegovac and Kak feature, the UNPROFOR OP would also
22 remain. And I remember during our reconnaissance we noticed a point
23 between Alibegovac and Kakanj from the southern side, and that too would
24 remain on that particular line, the line where the forces of the Drina
25 Corps were to advance from the south.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
2 Mr. McCloskey, you may continue.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, I just want to briefly --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. I just want to briefly go to the directive 7, and if I could
8 direct your attention to the paragraph entitled the "Drina Corps."
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, could you please
10 tell us once again the number of the exhibit?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. It's Exhibit 425A, and the B/C/S version, it
12 should be shortly after "Unit Assignments" at paragraph 5, and then it
13 gives Corps and you'll see the Drina Corps mentioned there.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. Now, if you would take a moment to read the first paragraph, which
17 is the paragraph that I'm most concerned about.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Once again, Mr. McCloskey, I
19 have to interrupt you. Could you please be more specific in terms of
20 references so that the usher can give us the relevant text and the
21 relevant paragraph on the ELMO.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President. It's page 10 in the
23 English. And the B/C/S, I believe the General has found it based on my
24 explanation. I'm sorry, I forgot about the English. It's at the bottom
25 of the page under "Drina Corps." There we go. Thank you.
1 Q. General, when you've had a chance to look at that first paragraph,
2 I'd like to ask you a question or two about it.
3 A. That refers to the Drina Corps.
4 Q. Yes. Just that first paragraph of the "Drina Corps" in the
6 Now, you stated earlier that you did have a chance to review this
7 document, Exhibit 425, and the military document associated it, which was
8 directive 7/1. What I'd like to ask you about is the middle part of it,
9 where it says: "... while in the direction of the Srebrenica and Zepa
10 enclaves, complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be
11 carried out as soon as possible, preventing even communication between
12 individuals in the two enclaves."
13 Now, that sounds like the first objective in Krivaja 95, the
14 separation of the two enclaves. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Okay. Now, the next part of the directive reads, and I quote:
17 "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create an unbearable
18 situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for
19 the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
20 Was this last part that I just read incorporated into the
21 Krivaja 95 plan?
22 A. No. This was by no means included in the plan. We never took
23 this into account. We never had any thoughts to this effect.
24 Q. The outcome of the overall operation ended in the elimination of
25 the Srebrenica enclave, didn't it?
1 A. Yes, but later on I'm sure that we will see, and I have already
2 discussed it, what the cause of that was, what were the reasons for that,
3 and who was responsible for the continuation of the operation after the
4 commanders in the area had reported on the successful completion of their
5 assignment, their initial assignment.
6 Q. Now, let me ask you about -- if thousands of people from the
7 Srebrenica enclave crowded into the city areas of Srebrenica, what kind of
8 conditions would that create for those people?
9 A. After the decision of the Drina Corps Commander for active
10 operation, active combat activity, with the purpose of separating Zepa and
11 Srebrenica, was carried out, nothing in particular would have changed in
12 the life of the citizens of Srebrenica. We didn't target the civilian
13 population of Srebrenica at all. At that time, the objective wasn't even
14 the 28th Division. The main objective at the time was to prevent their
15 communication and their infiltrations into the no man's land between
16 Srebrenica and Zepa.
17 Q. Could all the inhabitants of the Srebrenica enclave fit into the
18 city area of Srebrenica and live in any kind of a decent way?
19 A. Let me just answer to the question relating to the line that was
20 taken up by the Drina Corps forces. Again, I have to say that nothing
21 would have changed. The line that I have drawn on the map is -- well, I'm
22 not going to call it an arbitrary line, but it may fall within the
23 boundaries of the urban area. I hope I did answer your question. The
24 objective of the Drina Corps forces was not to penetrate the area within
25 this circle, according to the decision -- to the order of the Corps
1 Commander. We didn't deploy any forces from the north, the west, nor from
2 most of the parts of the eastern area. This could be seen from the
3 documents and the orders that have been produced during my
5 Q. Could thousands of people live in the Srebrenica urban areas?
6 A. As regards the line that I have drawn on the map, of course they
7 couldn't. However, this line here has nothing to do with what I have
8 previously spoken about, that is, the line that was supposed to be taken
9 up by the Drina Corps forces, which, according to some, were actually the
10 boundaries of some urban area. Because from the east and partly from the
11 north, that is, the area between Srebrenica and onwards, that was already
12 the urban area from the moment Srebrenica was declared a safe area.
13 Q. I'm going to direct your attention now to page 14 in the English.
14 It should be paragraph 6, called "Support for Combat Operations" in the
15 B/C/S, the fourth paragraph down, beginning "The relevant state."
16 Paragraph 6 in the B/C/S, General. You should be able to follow them by
17 paragraphs. It's entitled "Support for Combat Operations" in the B/C/S.
18 A. You said page 14?
19 Q. No, I'm sorry. That's the English. You have to go by the
20 paragraph for the B/C/S. So if you could just try to find
21 paragraph -- what is marked as heading or paragraph 6, "Support for Combat
22 Operation." It looks like page 10 in your copy, General.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And if you could review paragraph 4, starting with "The relevant
25 state and military organs," and if you could just read that to yourself
1 for a moment and then I'll ask you something about it.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So under the heading "Support for Combat Operations" and then the
4 subheading "Moral and Psychological Support," this paragraph says:
5 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work
6 with UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned
7 and unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
8 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
9 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill
10 while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the International
11 Community and international public opinion."
12 The effect of this order would be reducing the amount of food that
13 goes to the civilian population; is that correct?
14 A. I think that the best would be for me not to comment on this at
15 all. One can clearly see that this is not a military document, properly
16 speaking, but a political document which had nothing to do with the Drina
17 Corps Command.
18 Q. Who enforced whether convoys got into the Srebrenica enclave or
20 A. Well, it is difficult for me to say who did that, whether to allow
21 them in or not. The MUP forces were also there in the area, and the
22 checkpoints at the border of the enclave were manned by the members of the
23 army. So whether a convoy would be allowed in or not, I didn't have any
24 responsibility for that. I couldn't issue any decisions to that effect.
25 I don't know about General Zivanovic. All I know is that could
1 have been decided upon only by the Main Staff VRS and the Supreme Command,
2 because all affairs concerning UNPROFOR were conducted at those levels, in
3 particular in respect of the supplies of the enclaves, not only Srebrenica
4 and Zepa enclaves but the enclave of Gorazde and others. So the Drina
5 Corps Command did not guide itself in any way for its operations by
6 anything that was said here in this directive which was issued by the
7 Supreme Command.
8 Q. Is the Drina Corps responsible for carrying out the orders of the
9 Supreme Command as it comes down to you through the Main Staff?
10 A. Yes, the Drina Corps had to carry out the orders. But
11 specifically speaking, when it comes to this particular paragraph, I don't
12 know. It's very difficult to comment on this. Only the liaison officer
13 of the Main Staff was able, on the basis of their decisions, to allow or
14 deny entry.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I note we've just gone by 3.00 p.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey. We have
17 worked five minutes more, at least. We have a lot of work to do, but I
18 think that we have to wind up for the day -- we have a number of other
19 obligations, the Chamber -- and we will be here again at 20 minutes past
20 9.00 to continue with the cross-examination. I'll see you tomorrow.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m., to
22 be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of October,
23 2000, at 9.20 a.m.