1 Friday, 27 October 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.20 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, the registrar, the Office of the Prosecutor,
8 Defence counsel.
9 Good morning, General Krstic. We are going to continue your
10 testimony, and, of course, you are still testifying under oath, and it is
11 Mr. McCloskey who will take the floor now.
12 You have the floor, sir.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning; good
14 morning, Your Honours, counsel, General Krstic.
15 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Cont'd]
18 Q. General Krstic, first of all, I wish you to -- do you have that
19 pointer still?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could get the General the pointer.
21 Q. If you could step to the map, which is Exhibit 2. Could you,
22 first of all, show us on the map the Cyrillic symbols that stand for
23 "Drina Corps" on that map?
24 A. "Drina Corps" here is marked in Cyrillic letters "DK".
25 Q. And could you show us where the "Eastern Bosnia Corps" is marked
1 on that map, the Cyrillic symbols?
2 A. The "Eastern Bosnian Corps" is over here, again, marked in
3 Cyrillic letters "IBK".
4 Q. Now, can you show us where the boundary is between the Drina Corps
5 and the Eastern Bosnia Corps? I can tell you there is a light red line
6 that appears to have been drawn on the map just above the town of
8 A. It should be this border here.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we zero in on that, please?
11 Q. I'm sorry, General. Could you show us again, while we're getting
12 a close-up, and just go on that little red line and wherever you say the
13 border is now that we have a close-up.
14 A. On this map, it is drawn here. This is the line indicated on the
16 Q. Okay. And could you point out where Branjevo, the village of
17 Branjevo, is, if you know, near Pilica. You can just give us the general
18 area, General, if you don't see where it's written.
19 A. I really can't see it written here.
20 Q. All right. Thank you.
21 A. It should be somewhere here, I think, in this area.
22 Q. You can go ahead and have a seat.
23 Now, the 3.500 to 4.000 victims that you noted reading about in
24 the UN report, do you have any reason to believe that those numbers are
25 not accurate regarding the people that were murdered by the VRS after the
1 fall of Srebrenica?
2 A. I cannot claim that that number is correct.
3 Q. You contest it?
4 A. I'm not contesting it, but I cannot assert that that is the right
6 Q. You saw the exhumation evidence. Are you contesting that the
7 bodies that were found in the graves are victims of Srebrenica?
8 A. I'm not contesting the graves. As I have already said, I learnt
9 for the first time about those gravesites in the course of this trial when
10 the Prosecution produced evidence before this Trial Chamber.
11 Q. Do you believe or do you have any evidence to believe that any of
12 those victims recovered from those exhumations were battle casualties?
13 A. Probably. I personally have no evidence on the basis of my
14 previous knowledge, but what has been presented here in court is
16 Q. Do you have any indication that the people that were found in
17 those graves were battle casualties?
18 A. The indications can be found solely on the basis of the evidence
19 presented here.
20 Q. So you do not contest the exhumation evidence in any way?
21 A. I am not contesting it.
22 Q. Now, did you know that the Branjevo Military Farm was an asset of
23 the Zvornik Brigade?
24 A. At the time, I had no knowledge that the Zvornik Brigade had a
25 farm in Branjevo. It was not at all within the framework of my activities
1 or responsibilities.
2 Q. Now, could security officers, under your theory of the case, such
3 as Ljubo Beara and Vujadin Popovic, take over the Kula school near Pilica,
4 the Pilica Cultural Centre, the school -- the new school at Petkovci, the
5 school in Orahovac and place hundreds and hundreds of prisoners in each of
6 those schools without informing the command structure of the Zvornik
8 A. I don't know that.
9 Q. And if they did inform the command structure of the Zvornik
10 Brigade, what would the duty of the Zvornik Brigade be in terms of
11 informing their superior command?
12 A. Their duty was to inform or notify the superior command about it.
13 Q. Who would that have been?
14 A. It was the command of the Drina Corps.
15 Q. Now, the same question for taking over the Branjevo Farm. The
16 fields near Kozluk, right next to the Drina Wolf barracks, the plateau of
17 the dam near Petkovci, and the field just up the road from the school at
18 Orahovac, could Ljubija Beara and Vujadin Popovic have taken and used
19 those fields, those areas, for the murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslim
20 men without informing the Zvornik Brigade command?
21 A. It is possible. It is possible, in view of the way in which they
22 worked and behaved.
23 Q. What is possible?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is possible, General?
1 A. It is possible that they did not inform the command of the Zvornik
2 Brigade about it.
3 Q. General, there's a war going on and this is right near the front
4 lines; is that not correct?
5 A. Yes, but at the same time there are large-scale combat operations
6 going on from the direction of Tuzla, with the 2nd Corps of the BH army.
7 Then the Zvornik Brigade is also fighting against the 28th Division. So
8 the main concern of the brigade command at the time were the combat
9 operations. And I don't know to what extent they had time and the means
10 to keep watch as to what was happening deep within their area of
11 responsibility, especially if this is being done by a superior command to
12 them, and I mean the Main Staff, headed by Ljubo Beara.
13 Q. General, automatic weapon fire is rather loud, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, but there was such fire all over the place in that area,
15 starting from the area linked to the 1st Birac Brigade, up to the
16 borderline with the Eastern Bosnian Corps, because an offensive had been
17 relaunched at the time from Tuzla towards the positions of the Zvornik and
18 Birac Brigades; and there were also activities by the 28th Division, then
19 the combat activities of the Zvornik Brigade to crush that offensive, and
20 it was hard to tell where the fire was coming from.
21 Q. General, you heard Mr. Butler testify that on July 14th the column
22 had not reached the area of Orahovac, there had been no major assault from
23 the 2nd Corps, yet all day long on the 14th, from the afternoon all the
24 way through the evening, there was sounds of automatic rifle fire in the
25 village of Orahovac, not to mention the bulldozers and the screams of the
1 people that were murdered. This is a few kilometres from the headquarters
2 of the Zvornik Brigade and inhabited villages right nearby. Are you truly
3 suggesting that the Zvornik Brigade command would not have had knowledge
4 of such an event on July 14th, and such a situation?
5 The same holds true for Petkovci Dam. All night long. It's not
6 on the front lines. There was no assault going on at that point at
7 Petkovci area.
8 The same goes for Branjevo Farm and the little town of Pilica,
9 right in the downtown area. Are you saying that there's no way that the
10 Zvornik Brigade would have had knowledge of that?
11 A. Whether there was fire on the front line at the time or not, only
12 the command of the Zvornik Brigade and the battalions under its command
13 know about that.
14 Q. Let's assume for Branjevo Farm, for example, that it's a military
15 farm, military officers run it, and that in order to use that farm as an
16 execution field, the military thing would have been done; it would have
17 been approved through the Zvornik Brigade command. Wouldn't that be the
18 normal way things would have worked?
19 A. Knowing who was in charge of this, it did not have to be approved
20 by the command of the Zvornik Brigade at all.
21 Q. So Beara and others could have just stolen the Branjevo Farm for
22 their own purposes and the Zvornik Brigade wouldn't have done a thing or
23 cared or known; is that what you're suggesting?
24 A. I wouldn't put it that way, that they would steal it, but Ljubo
25 Beara was the head of the security of the Main Staff, and he had the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 authority to use that facility for his own purposes. It was not the first
2 case for facilities to be usurped in that way by subordinate commands.
3 Q. I don't want to get into 1992 --
4 A. There is no way -- there was no way for the command of the Zvornik
5 Brigade to resist Ljubo Beara, to oppose him, with respect to his use of
6 that facility and others.
7 Q. Of course there isn't. Orders from General Mladic. It was their
8 duty to follow orders from General Mladic, wasn't it?
9 A. Are you asking me about Ljubo Beara?
10 Q. It's the duty of Zvornik Brigade to follow orders of General
11 Mladic as it comes from the Main Staff through the Drina Corps or through
12 Ljubo Beara; it's their duty to follow orders, isn't it?
13 A. I do not believe that General Mladic issued any kind of task to
14 the Zvornik Brigade --
15 Q. That wasn't my question --
16 A. -- in connection with everything that was happening in the
17 facilities in his area of responsibility.
18 Q. My question was --
19 A. That is how I understood your question.
20 Q. Let me try again. You said the Zvornik Brigade could not resist
21 the orders of Ljubo Beara, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So they would follow the orders of Ljubo Beara.
24 A. No. I believe that Ljubo Beara did not consult them at all,
25 because if he had consulted them, then Colonel Pandurevic would not be
1 asking who had brought the soldiers to his area of responsibility.
2 Q. Ljubo Beara is a Main Staff security officer. He's not a
3 commander, is he?
4 A. Yes, but he runs the Security Service, which has considerable
6 Q. Vujadin Popovic, as the Assistant Commander for Security, is not a
7 commander of troops, is he?
8 A. He is not, but he is in charge of the deployment of units of the
9 military police.
10 Q. He has the power to advise the commander on how those units are
11 deployed, but he does not have the power to deploy those units outside the
12 authority of his commander, does he?
13 A. Could I please be able to answer these questions in private
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, why can't you
16 answer this question in public? This is a very general question, simply
17 to learn whether a security officer can have command over troops. That
18 was the question that the Prosecutor has asked you. It's a question that
19 has to do with the rules and regulations. I don't see why you can't
20 answer that question.
21 Mr. Prosecutor, will you please put your question so that I can
22 check whether I understood you correctly.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I can -- I think it would be best, Your Honour,
24 if I -- it was a question regarding the structure and the power of the
25 Assistant Commander for Security for the Drina Corps, whether or not he
1 had the power to command troops or whether or not he had the power merely
2 to advise troops. This is a question regarding the structure. It has not
3 asked for personalities, family members, or any other sensitive subject
4 that I can see.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you see. So I have
6 understood correctly. You can answer that question easily.
7 A. Very well, but Mr. McCloskey -- I do apologise, but he has been
8 mentioning names. I agree that I can answer the question if it has to do
9 with the duties of a particular officer.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, answer the question
11 without mentioning the name if that is helpful to you. Just answer the
12 question without giving any names.
13 Mr. McCloskey, please repeat your question so as to remind
14 General Krstic.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. General, in the corps command -- there is an Assistant Commander
17 for Security in any corps command. That security person does not command
18 troops, does he? He merely advises the commander on the appropriate use
19 of military police; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct. However, we have already discussed this. If
21 that person, by order of a superior commander, is placed under somebody
22 else's command and the entire structure of the units you are referring to
23 is placed under the command of that officer to whom this one is
24 subordinate, then they are in control and deploy those units in the way
25 they see fit.
1 Q. I understand what your theory of your case is, General Krstic, but
2 again, security officers do not command troops normally, do they?
3 A. Under normal conditions, they do not command troops.
4 Q. Troops, infantry officers, commanders, brigade commanders, for
5 instance, they're pretty tough guys. They're used to taking orders and
6 giving orders, but they're not used to taking orders from security guys,
7 are they?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. So when Vujadin Popovic comes into the Zvornik Brigade area, or
10 Ljubo Beara comes into the Zvornik Brigade area, their only authority is
11 the authority by which they have gained from their commanders; is that
13 A. You're referring to Ljubo Beara and Vujadin Popovic?
14 Q. Yes, sir.
15 A. Ljubo Beara did receive orders from his commander, but Vujadin
16 Popovic certainly didn't receive orders from his commander, but he
17 received them from Ljubo Beara.
18 Q. In the normal course of events, if security officers come to
19 infantry troops, infantry commanders into their area, and provide orders
20 or information, their only authority is that gained from their commanders;
21 is that correct?
22 A. I don't know whether they came among officers who were in command
23 of units on the front.
24 Q. Vinko Pandurevic would not follow the order of a security officer
25 unless he felt that it was the order of the security officer's commander,
1 would he?
2 A. With respect to prisoners of war, he would not follow them at
4 Q. But somebody arranged for all these schools and all these sites
5 and all this engineering equipment and the drivers from the 6th Battalion
6 and the 4th Battalion infantry from the Zvornik Brigade and the MPs from
7 the Zvornik Brigade. Somebody did that, didn't they? Somebody assisted
8 the security people in all that, or did they do it all themselves, these
9 two guys?
10 A. I don't know at all who helped them, that they took vehicles from
11 the 4th Battalion to use them for whatever they were doing.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go to another area. I
13 would like to play the video of General Mladic and General Krstic and
14 others going through the town of Srebrenica on July 11th. It should be
15 Exhibit number 145. But before we play it, let me ask the General one
17 Q. General, do you have a nickname or a shortened name that some
18 officers refer to you as?
19 A. I do not have a nickname of any kind; I just have an abbreviation
20 of my surname. And with that shortened -- abbreviation of my surname, my
21 subordinates never referred to me by that name; they always addressed me
22 as is prescribed by the rules and regulations when it comes to
23 relationships between superior officers and subordinates in the army. So
24 I said my subordinates never used that abbreviation.
25 Q. Do you remember when Mr. Ruez asked you that same question and you
1 said you didn't have a nickname and you -- and such things weren't used?
2 A. It's not a nickname. As I said, it's an abbreviation of my last
3 name. A nickname is something else again.
4 Q. I see. So you didn't tell Mr. Ruez about the abbreviation of your
5 last name; you just were talking about you didn't have a nickname?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. You were being completely honest with Mr. Ruez on that point?
8 A. I was being completely honest, yes.
9 Q. Okay. Now, General Mladic refers to you by this shortened name,
10 does he not?
11 A. That's his right. I had no right to be angry with him for doing
12 so, for calling me in the way he did.
13 Q. On July 11th, as you were beginning to walk into Srebrenica, did
14 you have any reason to be angry with General Mladic?
15 A. It was all very strange to me, what happened with respect to the
16 entrance to Srebrenica, and I spoke about that during my testimony
18 Q. General, lots of things have been very strange, but my question
19 was: Did you have any reason to be angry with General Mladic?
20 A. I could have been angry in myself with Mr. Mladic, but it was his
21 right to decide whether he was going to enter Srebrenica or not -- it was
22 not up to me -- and, of course, his overall behaviour in the town itself.
23 Q. My question was not whether you could have been mad, General, but
24 my question was whether or not you were angry or mad at General Mladic on
25 July 11th, during the time that you walked through town.
1 A. I find the question strange. I really do apologise. I have
2 already answered the question.
3 Q. General, were you or were you not angry with General Mladic on
4 July 11th as you walked through the town?
5 A. In myself, I was mad, yes, within me.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, if we could play 145/1, I believe.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. So, General Krstic, what is your shortened name?
10 A. Krle.
11 Q. The name we saw General Mladic refer to you as.
12 A. Yes, but he said first "Krstic." He referred to me by the name
13 "Krstic" first and then said "Krle."
14 Q. That's the same "Krle" we've seen in the intercepts? Or the same
15 word, I should say.
16 A. I don't want to speak about intercepts. I am talking in concrete
17 terms about this situation and in relation to the concrete situation that
18 we saw a moment ago.
19 Q. The word Krle, K-r-l-e, was seen in transcripts of Bosnian
20 intercepts; is that correct? The Prosecution's evidence, whether you
21 believe it is valid or not, it was seen as part of this case?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, before coming into town, we've seen a video of the APC and
24 you and General Mladic, and we didn't play that, but I would like
25 Exhibit 157 put on the ELMO for a moment, if we could.
1 Can you take the pointer and identify each of the people in that
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 A. This is General Mladic.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Who is the one in the forefront of the photograph, for the record,
7 in the centre. Sorry, General, you need to point on the ELMO. You need
8 to point on the ELMO so we can see your pointer. Try to speak into the
9 microphone as best you can also.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you can help him pull that microphone towards
12 A. On this photograph, you can see the following persons:
13 General Mladic, myself, Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. And for the record, Vinko Pandurevic is to the -- immediately to
16 the right of General Mladic, and General Krstic is immediately to the left
17 of General Mladic. And how about the other two soldiers? Who are they?
18 A. These soldiers were from the security of General Mladic.
19 Q. And what were their names?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Do you have your own security? You're a General.
22 A. No.
23 Q. At any time between July 5th and July 12th, did you have any
24 security person for your personal security?
25 A. There was just the security for the forward command post, not my
1 own personal security. From the forward command post, I very rarely went
2 anywhere. First of all, for health reasons.
3 Q. And to make sure the record is clear, the nature of the record's
4 clear, when we talk about personal security, we're not talking about the
5 security branch in any way with this line of questioning.
6 A. Yes. I understood your question.
7 Q. And who --
8 A. Apart from the driver, I didn't have anybody.
9 Q. And who was your driver?
10 A. My driver was Tosic.
11 Q. What's his --
12 A. Vlado. And then soldier Bjelanovic, Private Bjelanovic, another
13 driver, and Krstic, who had the same surname as myself.
14 Q. What was that Krstic's first name?
15 A. His name was Dalibor.
16 Q. Any relation to you?
17 A. No. He was a refugee from Sarajevo. No kin of any kind.
18 Q. And what was his position relating to you?
19 A. He was a private soldier and a driver.
20 Q. Who was your driver on this trip into Srebrenica?
21 A. It was precisely that driver, Dalibor Krstic.
22 Q. And the other driver's name, I'm sorry, again, was Josic or
24 A. Vlado Tosic.
25 Q. And where was he at the time that you were coming into
2 A. He was in the vehicle with me.
3 Q. And where did Vlado Tosic spend the night during this operation
4 from July 5th through to July 13th?
5 A. From the 5th to the 13th of July, he was where I was.
6 Q. And precisely can you tell us where you spent the night during
7 that time period?
8 A. From the 5th to the 11th of July, I think I spent most of my
9 nights at the forward command post, but I spent one night in the command
10 of the Bratunac Brigade. That was on the night between the 11th and
12 Q. Where did Mladic spend the night when he was at the forward
13 command post?
14 A. I don't know where he slept. I don't know. But he didn't spend a
15 single night at the forward command post.
16 Q. Did Dalibor Krstic also spend the night at the same place you did
17 during this time period?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go to one more brief photo
20 exhibit, number 768. And if the monitor could be zeroed in on the face of
21 General Krstic, which is in the right-hand side of the picture. Okay.
22 That's fine.
23 Q. General, you don't look angry.
24 A. That's what you think. If you can't see that I am angry -- it is
25 not in my nature to demonstrate my anger and feelings before my
1 superiors --
2 Q. This was a --
3 A. -- or my subordinates.
4 Q. This was a great moment in the history of the war for the VRS
5 army, wasn't it?
6 A. I did not say that.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I think it's a good time to break.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, it is a good
9 moment to break. Let us now take a 15-minute break.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.33 a.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, before resuming,
13 I should like to make an observation in connection with your
14 cross-examination. The Chamber has noted something. We did not interrupt
15 so as not to break your continuity, but I would like you to pay attention,
16 because you used -- when you mentioned the interview of General Krstic
17 with Ruez, you used the word "honest" and "dishonest." I don't think it
18 is up to you to judge the witness.
19 Another observation: I think you must abstain from making
20 comments; for example, "There were many strange things." I'm just giving
21 you an example. It's not up to you to make comments of that kind.
22 A third point I should like to underline: You asked General
23 Krstic that he doesn't seem to be angry. In my opinion, that is not the
24 right way to put the question. You could perhaps ask: "What was your
25 mood at the time?" for instance. I could give you another example.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 General Krstic is not here to contest or demit anything. You can
2 ask him, "What is your opinion?" You are fully entitled to do that. Or
3 "Do you have any other information?" But don't ask him whether you
4 contest or do not contest this or that.
5 I have always said here that all questions must be put under one
6 condition, that is, that they should be relevant and pertinent, and that
7 also depends on the manner in which the question is put. I have always
8 insisted that the question should be clear, concrete, and concise. This
9 is something that I have always insisted upon -- clear, concrete, and
10 concise -- because these are questions that lead to information. Whenever
11 there is a commentary or a judgement, that is not a good way to get
12 information. You may get a reaction from the Defence. The witness may
13 defend himself if he feels to be harassed.
14 So those are the remarks I wish to convey to you, and please bear
15 this in mind. After this, you may continue.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Understood. Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. General Krstic, this photograph that is on the ELMO, can you tell
18 us who the person is that's between General Mladic and yourself?
19 A. The person between me and General Mladic is the president of the
20 assembly of the municipality of Sokolac.
21 Q. Can you tell us his name?
22 A. Milan Tupajic.
23 Q. Is he a military man in this capacity? Is he in this photograph?
24 A. Yes. Tupajic was president of the municipal assembly of Sokolac
25 at the time, and while I was commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, he
1 very, very frequently visited the brigade on his own or as a member of a
2 group, and he probably did that on this occasion as well. I don't know
3 when he came to see Colonel Trivic; whether at the beginning, when a part
4 of the brigade was engaged there, or later on, I don't know that, but he
5 came with him to Srebrenica. So he is not a military person. But people
6 frequently donned uniforms in those days, especially when they went to
7 tour units, either on their own or as part of a team. Everyone put on
8 uniforms except clergymen.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 158.
10 Q. Three men, identified as 1, 2, and 3 in this photograph, who are
11 clearly identified by Drazen Erdemovic as members of the 10th Diversionary
12 Unit, and you were standing right next to them. Was the 10th Diversionary
13 Unit with you in Srebrenica in the town in this photograph?
14 A. I'm not standing next to them; I'm just passing by them. The 10th
15 Diversionary Detachment, throughout the duration of the operation until
16 the entry into Srebrenica, was not at all engaged in any way. They are
17 not mentioned in the Corps Commander's order, not even as a reserve force
18 of the Drina Corps.
19 Q. My question is: Are these three men 10th Diversionary?
20 A. I don't know that. I simply did not observe nor did I seek to
21 identify which unit which soldier or group of soldiers belonged to. The
22 fact that I passed by them -- I passed by the other soldiers who were
23 there too -- and I didn't notice anything in particular with respect to
24 individuals or groups nor did I make an effort to learn in any way which
25 unit they belonged to. I didn't pay attention to their uniforms,
1 insignias on their sleeves, or anything at all.
2 Q. You've mentioned the -- who is the Commander of the
3 10th Diversionary Unit at this time?
4 A. I know from before that the Commander of the 10th Diversionary
5 Detachment was Miso Pelemis.
6 Q. And do you recognise Miso Pelemis? Do you know what he looks
8 A. I saw him once at a celebration of the day of the Birac Brigade on
9 the 20th of May as the Brigade Commander, because Colonel Andric invited
10 me to this celebration as his colleague. The next day was the celebration
11 of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, the 21st of May. That is the day when the
12 unit was formed that was being celebrated.
13 Q. What year?
14 A. I think it was in May.
15 Q. Before or after the walk through Srebrenica?
16 A. Before. Before.
17 Q. So did you recognise Miso Pelemis in your walk through
19 A. No. I didn't see him at all.
20 Q. He is identified as on the film, and Mr. Ruez, in his direct
21 testimony, clearly on that film. Did you see him on that film?
22 A. I don't remember that photograph, but it was shown here.
23 Mr. Erdemovic, in his testimony, spoke about his presence there.
24 Q. Do you recall, in your earlier testimony, saying that
25 General Mladic made an order on the 11th for the soldiers to light
1 haystacks on fire?
2 A. I'm afraid I didn't get the translation of that.
3 Yes. Yes. Before the airstrikes and during the airstrikes and
4 after that, General Mladic ordered that, for protection purposes,
5 haystacks should be set on fire.
6 Q. And that order went out to the brigades and various units involved
7 in the operation on the 11th of July?
8 A. This was ordered by General Mladic.
9 Q. So would it have been communicated to the units in the field that
10 would have been near the haystacks?
11 A. General Mladic ordered this to the brigade commanders.
12 Q. So the units in the field would have received --
13 A. Which means, yes, it was conveyed to the units.
14 Q. Do you recall during the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic that he
15 received an order from Miso Pelemis to light haystacks on fire?
16 A. I don't remember that particular detail.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit number 770.
18 Q. This is a freeze-frame of General Mladic sitting down and you're
19 standing over him. Are you communicating with General Mladic in this
21 A. Yes. General Zivanovic was nearby, on the other side, together
22 with the brigade commanders. This was, I think, after he issued the order
23 to continue the operation towards Potocari, and the brigade commanders
24 resisted in a certain sense for the reasons I explained when answering
25 questions by my Defence counsel.
1 Q. And as a result of the brigade commanders complaining,
2 General Mladic actually held the troops up for at least a day and didn't
3 send them off to Potocari; is that right? According to your testimony.
4 A. From the 11th to the 12th, the order was that all units should
5 stop at the lines they had reached. And after the meeting in Bratunac,
6 all the units were pulled from those lines towards the town, and they were
7 withdrawn to former positions in the direction of Viogora.
8 Q. That occurred after the brigade commanders complained to
9 General Mladic that, "We shouldn't go further. We don't know where the
10 28th Division is"; is that right?
11 A. Yes. It was said that we had no contact with the 28th Division
12 because civilians were in Potocari and because they were still moving
13 towards Potocari. So there was a possibility that, together with the
14 civilians, there were forces from the 28th Division, and if the attack
15 were to be continued towards Potocari, the consequences would be
16 considerable on both sides and especially for the civilians. And the
17 euphoria around the entry into Srebrenica was stimulated, as I have
18 already said, by whose behaviour.
19 Q. So in this situation, the brigade commanders were able to reason
20 with General Mladic and their decisions were followed -- excuse me --
21 their advice was followed?
22 A. Yes. This was something that the brigade commanders had to do as
23 commanders, as professional soldiers.
24 Q. And Mladic listened to them?
25 A. Yes. He was very angry, and then he gave the order stop at the
1 lines reached.
2 Q. And in this photograph, number 770, you appear to be communicating
3 with General Mladic; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. Yes. That was precisely in connection with what I have just
6 Q. And this is the period in the -- about what time did you go into
7 Srebrenica, just to clear up that, that day on the 11th?
8 A. After the Commander of the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade
9 informed General Mladic that a part of his unit had entered Srebrenica,
10 then General Mladic ordered General Zivanovic and myself to follow him
11 towards Srebrenica. We went along the route Pribicevac, Zeleni Jadar,
12 Bojna, Srebrenica.
13 Q. What time did you get into Srebrenica?
14 A. This was in the afternoon. Two or three hours after the
15 airstrikes perhaps. I don't remember now exactly what time it was.
16 Q. And you had already been sidelined by General Mladic in a position
17 where you were -- had no more authority or work to do for the operation?
18 A. I wasn't relieved of my duty as Chief of Staff, neither myself nor
19 General Zivanovic as Corps Commander, but the command over the brigade
20 commanders was taken over by Mladic. He ordered, he commanded, he took
21 charge, and we simply followed him into Srebrenica.
22 Q. I understand. I don't want to go back over that ground, but my
23 question was: This is at that time period where you had been -- I think
24 the term we ended up agreeing on was "sidelined."
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE WALD: Excuse me. I do have one question, if I may.
2 Following what you just said, I'm having difficulty seeing the difference
3 between the situation as General Mladic ordered the capture of Srebrenica,
4 a change in the earlier plans from just isolating and reducing it, to a
5 capture in which, I believe you testified, that you thought it was not
6 time, it was not ready, but nobody asked your advice and it would have
7 been completely out of character with the army regulations if you had
8 proffered and said, "I think that's wrong. I don't think you should go
9 into Srebrenica now." But yet in this situation, when General Mladic has
10 gone on TV and said, "March on to Bratunac, march on to Potocari," you and
11 the other brigade commanders, thinking that was wrong, felt that you had
12 the duty and followed through on it to dissuade him. What was the
13 difference that you were not so bound or reticent that you felt at the
14 time he announced you move ahead on the capture of Srebrenica?
15 A. Simply, the brigade commanders -- at least, that was my
16 assessment -- had to respond in this way and to persuade Mladic that that
17 was not a good thing, that there were civilians in Potocari, and that
18 there could be serious consequences for the civilian population and also
19 for the forces that had entered Srebrenica, and also the possibility of
20 the presence of 28th Division forces in Potocari among the civilians.
21 Those were the main reasons.
22 The brigade commanders felt it was their duty to respond in this
23 way and to persuade General Mladic not to continue, because it would have
24 been crazy to continue the operation towards Potocari. And that can also
25 clearly be seen on the previous map, the exhibit, that the units from
1 Srebrenica in fact returned to where they were ordered to go, the area of
2 Viogora, from where they were to proceed to Zepa.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go now to Exhibit 771.
6 Q. General, did you see Lieutenant Colonel Popovic as you came into
8 A. No, I didn't notice Lieutenant Colonel Popovic in Srebrenica.
9 Q. If I could direct your attention to this Exhibit 771. Who is the
10 man standing over your left shoulder?
11 A. By physical appearance and the way this person is dressed, there
12 were many soldiers like that. It seems to me to be Lieutenant Colonel
13 Popovic. He never came to the forward command post on one single day, nor
14 did he come with me to Srebrenica, nor did I see him coming with Mladic or
16 Q. Does this photo refresh your recollection about his presence,
17 bring back any images of him being present, any conversations you might
18 have had with him in Srebrenica, anything like that?
19 A. No, not at all, not at all. I said for reasons of my health also,
20 my memory is not such that I can remember all the details.
21 Q. General Zivanovic was in Srebrenica, the Corps Commander; you were
22 in Srebrenica, the Chief of Staff. We now see Lieutenant Colonel Popovic
23 as the assistant commander for security. Were you aware of his duties and
24 his assignments at this time period, at this time in Srebrenica?
25 A. No, not at all. I was not at all aware of them, nor was he in any
1 way engaged, throughout the duration of the operation up until the
2 entrance into Srebrenica. I don't know what his assignments were from the
3 Corps Commander. He is his assistant, just like I was. Of course, not
4 like me in the absence of the commander, when I was acting as the deputy
6 Q. Were you acting as deputy commander at this time?
7 A. No. I was the Chief of Staff. The Corps Commander was there and
8 he was in command, and the Corps Commander at that time was at the forward
9 command post at Srebrenica when the forces, troops entered town.
10 Q. When you were in Srebrenica, did you hear General Mladic make that
11 comment about, "Now it's time to take revenge upon the Turks"?
12 A. I did not hear that, all of it, because I wasn't able to go as
13 fast as him, and as General Zivanovic. They went faster. But I did hear
14 some of the details, especially when he ordered the continuation of the
15 operation. I heard that part.
16 Q. The term "Turks" is a derogatory terms for Muslims, is it not?
17 A. I never used that term. Everybody has his own way of expressing
18 himself, so I don't wish to comment upon what General Mladic said. For
19 me, they were Muslims and Bosniaks, as far as I was concerned.
20 Q. Can you comment on General Mladic's use of the term "Turks" in
21 that context?
22 A. No, I wouldn't wish to comment on that.
23 Q. You wouldn't support the use of that term in that context?
24 A. If it were up to me, no. I didn't use the term myself.
25 JUDGE RIAD: General Krstic, it was used officially. We have here
1 one of your command of the Drina Corps -- one of your official letters
2 saying, "We have checked information that the Turks are dissembling
3 equipment," and it is signed by General Major Skocajic. So it is used
5 A. No, you cannot use that officially, not at all. For us, they were
6 Muslims, at that time; and later on, after the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina gained independence, they were Bosniaks. But that was
8 signed by General Skocajic. I had nothing to do with that. That was
9 probably written at the time when I was absent and when he replaced me,
10 while I was undergoing treatment.
11 JUDGE RIAD: 18th March 1995.
12 A. Yes. That's right. I wasn't --
13 JUDGE RIAD: The command -- thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. General, there's a worse term for Muslims that we've heard in this
16 trial. What term is that?
17 A. Witnesses frequently -- well, not frequently, but I notice them
18 use the term "balija," a term of some sort, "balija."
19 Q. That is a profoundly offensive term for a Muslim, is it not?
20 A. Yes, but I never used it, and the Muslims did use terms for the
21 Serbs, such as "Chetnik," and that is derogatory too, especially used in
22 the way they did and how they understood the term "Chetnik," the concept
24 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me again, but the word "Turk," the name "Turk"
25 was not derogatory, was it? "Balija" is, but "Turk," what did it mean
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 when you used the word "Turk"?
2 A. Probably because they were Muslims and that area was for a long
3 time, as you well know, for 500 years, in fact, under Turkish rule, so
4 probably that term remained and dates back to those days, the days of
5 Turkish rule.
6 JUDGE RIAD: So it means that they are not part of the country;
7 they belong to Turkey?
8 A. No. No. They belong to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. When the commander officer communicates to the public or to his
12 troops in a manner derogatory, racially derogatory, what kind of message
13 does that send the young troops in the field, when the term "Turks" is
14 used or the term "balija" is used? How would you expect the young
15 men -- the 18-year-olds, the 19-year-olds, the 20-year-olds -- to react to
16 that kind of term?
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I consider that this
19 question is an obvious example and runs along the lines of your
20 suggestions and guidelines given after the break today, so that I should
21 like to ask the Prosecutor to be more concrete in posing his questions and
22 linked to the events and facts. All this seems to me to be a comment on
23 his part and to enter into surmise and conjecture and reactions to a
24 situation which is not concrete and not based on fact.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, please
1 reformulate your question.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. Can you comment on the effect you might expect General Mladic's
4 statement to have on the troops?
5 A. It would have a bad effect in the sense that it would encourage
6 something that was not good.
7 Q. What would it encourage that was not good?
8 A. Well, when that is said by the commander of an army, then it is
9 clear what kind of effect this is going to have on the ordinary soldier,
10 words used like that and expressions of that kind in a situation when the
11 soldiers come into contact with members of either the 28th Division or
12 possibly with the civilian population.
13 Q. In particular, what would happen? What could happen when this
14 contact occurs under this sort of incitement?
15 A. There would be serious repercussions than the ones that could be
17 Q. Violence, for example?
18 A. Well, you're asking me now to -- I've already said, actually.
19 I've already told you when I spoke about the fact that the attack should
20 not be continued how the commanders reacted to that, and I think that when
21 I talked about that, I answered your question, in fact.
22 Q. You answered earlier, and you said, "Then it is clear what kind of
23 an effect this is going to have on the ordinary soldier, words used like
24 that and expressions of that kind in a situation where the soldiers come
25 into contact with members of either the 28th Division..." but you don't
1 give us an example of what effect might happen.
2 A. I think that I have provided you with an answer to your question.
3 Perhaps there would be uncontrolled behaviour on the part of people.
4 Q. What is Drinski magazine? General, is your leg bothering you?
5 A. Well, I'll keep it up until the break. Thank you for your
7 Q. What's Drinski magazine?
8 A. I don't know what Drinski magazine is.
9 Q. Have you heard of the publication of the Drina Corps called the
11 A. The paper Srpska Vojska.
12 Q. Srpska Vojska, I believe, is one of the magazines for the army of
13 the Republika Srpska, but I believe the Drinski magazine -- if you recall
14 the testimony of Mr. Butler, there was an article in Drinski about the
15 Branjevo Military Farm, and Mr. Butler testified that he believed this
16 Drinski was a magazine published for the Drina Corps.
17 You were Chief of Staff and Commander for the Drina Corps. Have
18 you heard of this magazine?
19 A. I think that the Zvornik Brigade had a magazine of some kind.
20 Whether it was called the Drinski magazine, I don't know.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that there is
23 a problem in the interpretation, perhaps. If we're thinking of the same
24 magazine, the name of the magazine is just Drinski or Drinski Novine but
25 not Drinski magazine. Perhaps I'm wrong, but as far as I can recall, that
1 is what it is. So when it is interpreted into Serbian, it is -- it might
2 be the Drinski magazine, but it was only called Drinski or Drinski
3 Novine. So perhaps this has led to some misunderstanding.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
5 Mr. Visnjic. With that clarification, I should like to ask Mr. McCloskey
6 to rephrase his question.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Have you heard of a magazine called Drinski, whether it be Zvornik
9 Brigade or --
10 A. Yes. Yes, there was something of that kind, a publication of that
11 kind of the Zvornik Brigade. I think that, later on, the Drina Corps and
12 its information service did publish a paper of this kind, and I think it
13 had the same title.
14 Q. Do you recall an interview you gave to Drinski?
15 A. Possibly. Possibly I did.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see that we are in need of a
17 break at this point. So let's take a 15-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Let's
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. One brief question before we get to Drinski. Did you hear any of
24 the commanders or any officers talk to their troops about the comment
25 General Mladic made taking revenge upon the Turks?
1 A. No, I didn't hear it.
2 Q. When were the officers aware that the comment was made?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Did anyone hear him make it while he was in Srebrenica?
5 A. I don't know that either.
6 Q. Did you hear him make it while he was in Srebrenica?
7 A. I don't remember being close to him at that point in time to be
8 able to hear him.
9 Q. So you may have heard it, but you don't remember, or what? I
10 don't understand your response.
11 A. I don't remember hearing that.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. Making reference to page 66 of the interview with Mr. Ruez, line
16 "Q: So he was keeping his comments for the television, comments
17 like, 'It's time to take revenge on the Turks.' He kept that for the
18 television. He didn't use these kinds of words in front of his staff?
19 A: We were not with him all the time. That was his usual
20 conduct. Following the takeover of Srebrenica, everyone could hear what
21 he was saying in front of the cameras, and that was when he said that we
22 should go out to Potocari and take revenge on the Turks."
23 A. I heard that here, yes, from the videotape.
24 Q. Did you hear it in Srebrenica? The comment was everyone could
25 hear it.
1 A. I don't remember. I don't remember whether I heard it in
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now if we could go to Drinski, and I've got copies
4 of the entire magazine, as well as -- but it's only in B/C/S, but I do
5 have full translated copies of the article that I'm going to be referring
6 to, and this is Exhibit 744. And if we could present the General with the
7 original magazine, it would probably be easiest, and if you could go to
8 the article which is marked with a yellow sticky. And I would request,
9 Your Honour, that we are allowed to get the original magazine back and go
10 with the photocopy. And if we could put the English page --
11 General, if you could take a moment to familiarise yourself with
12 that, with this interview and this article.
13 For the record, this is publication Drinski, date November 1995.
14 The headline of the article is "The Youngest, but an Elite Corps
15 Already." The author is Vuk Kovacevic, entitled "Interview with Major
16 General Radislav Krstic, Commander of the Drina Corps of the Army of the
17 Republika Srpska."
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. McCloskey, what is the page to be put on the
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Page 2. And if we could get a close-up of the top
21 four paragraphs. That's great.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, while the General is
24 reading the article, I would have a suggestion to make. I see that this
25 is quite a lengthy text given to us by the Prosecution. In view of the
1 complete content of this article, perhaps my learned friends could provide
2 us with such articles and such lengthy documents a couple of days in
3 advance so that the General could have time to familiarise himself with
4 the contents before the questions are asked, and that would save us a
5 great deal of time. That would be my suggestion, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, there are some other lengthy
8 documents related to this article that we have, in fact, given to the
9 Defence because they are more lengthy than a two- or three-page article.
10 The issue that is brought up by this article is particularly
11 sensitive, and it is the belief of the Prosecution that the -- it is
12 appropriate and the best way to get at the truth to provide it in this
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There's no question that it is
15 important. The question is that if we give General Krstic enough time to
16 read the document, we'll be waiting here in the meantime, and I think
17 there could be a practical suggestion. You have other matters to
18 address. We could leave this question to be addressed after the long
19 break that we will have in half an hour's time. In that way, at least we
20 would have -- General Krstic and the Defence would have 10, 15 minutes to
21 read this document. Do you agree with this practical suggestion?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, of course, Mr. President, I agree. I
23 understand the point, and we'll --
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Mr. Visnjic, is this solution acceptable to you?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, Your Honour. Thank
2 you very much.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You were not speaking into the
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. That's what we will
8 Please go on to your next question, Mr. McCloskey, and after the
9 break, you can go back to this area since the Defence and General Krstic
10 at least will have had a little time to review the document, because we
11 will see -- I said "review," because later on we will see what the
12 position of General Krstic is.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. General Krstic, I think I asked you yesterday when you became
15 reactivated after being sidelined, but now I want to ask you when
16 General Zivanovic became reactivated after he was sidelined. On the
17 afternoon of July 10th, you testified he was sidelined, put out of the
18 command chain. Did he become reactivated at some point where he was
19 allowed to have command authority again?
20 A. After which date? I apologise.
21 Q. You said yesterday that on the afternoon of July 10th,
22 General Mladic took over direct command and sidelined you and
23 General Zivanovic. So I would like to know, after the afternoon of
24 July 10th, when was it that General Zivanovic gained some sort of command
25 authority again?
1 A. I don't know that, when General Zivanovic started again to carry
2 out assignments related to Srebrenica, but General Zivanovic was the Corps
3 Commander, and he carried out his duties and responsibilities as envisaged
4 by establishment for the corps.
5 Q. When did he start to carry out his duties as Corps Commander?
6 A. The very fact that General Zivanovic attended the meeting in the
7 evening at the Command of the Bratunac Brigade, which was chaired by
8 General Mladic, and before that he attended the meeting with
9 representatives of the Dutch Battalion at the UNPROFOR, confirms what I
10 said and my position that General Zivanovic was the Corps Commander. As
11 to whether he carried out any assignments linked to Srebrenica and
12 everything else that happened after the forces of the Drina Corps left to
13 go towards Zepa, that I don't know.
14 Q. So you believe he regained his authority to command on the night
15 of the 11th of July?
16 A. I don't know what he discussed with General Zivanovic -- with
17 General Mladic, I'm sorry. General Zivanovic was the Corps Commander and
18 General Mladic the Commander-In-Chief of the VRS. I don't know what they
20 Q. You were still, on July 11th, still the Chief of Staff of the
21 Drina Corps, and General Zivanovic was still the Corps Commander. You've
22 testified he had no power after July 11th. Can you clarify the issue of
23 when he regained power?
24 A. I don't know that. It is a very, very difficult question to ask
25 me when my commander was reactivated. He was not relieved of duty.
1 Whether he carried out any tasks after the 11th of July in connection with
2 Srebrenica, whether that was done at his orders or following his
3 instructions or those of General Mladic, that I do not know.
4 Q. Are you aware that he ever took command authority between the 11th
5 and the 15th of July?
6 A. General Zivanovic was at the command post. Whether he was in
7 Vlasenica or somewhere else, I don't know that. He did issue some orders,
8 and I spoke about those during the examination-in-chief, when I was
9 questioned by the Defence attorney.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I'm sorry for
11 interrupting you.
12 General Krstic, when you met General Zivanovic at Srebrenica, did
13 you speak amongst yourselves about the situation in the corps command?
14 A. No, Mr. President. I could not discuss such things with my
15 superior officer. That would be an insult.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I can understand your answer,
17 but let me put the question differently. Did your commander speak with
18 you, the second in command, about the situation regarding the corps
20 A. I apologise. Are you referring only to the situation around
21 Srebrenica or in general?
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If you wish, you can begin by
23 answering the question regarding the situation in general.
24 A. General Zivanovic was the Corps Commander. The very fact that he
25 came together with General Mladic speaks for itself. On the 9th, in the
1 afternoon, he arrived at the forward command post in Pribicevac.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So General Zivanovic did not
3 speak with you, but you observed that he agreed absolutely with General
4 Mladic, he was in agreement with General Mladic; is that what you are
6 A. It is a fact that he did not oppose General Mladic in any way when
7 the question of the continuation of the attack was to be done, after his
8 orders had been carried out, and also with regard to the entry into
9 Srebrenica itself.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So to make things quite clear,
11 and it is not a play of words, you know that General Zivanovic did not
12 oppose, but you don't know whether he was in agreement, whether he was in
13 agreement; is that what you're saying?
14 A. Yes. I don't know.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm sorry,
16 Mr. McCloskey, for interrupting. You may continue.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Between the period of July 11th and July 15th, was the Drina Corps
19 command eliminated in any way in the area of Zvornik and Bratunac by the
20 actions of General Mladic?
21 A. I have also spoken about that. I spoke about it during the
22 examination-in-chief, that is to say, when I was asked by the attorney.
23 From the moment that General Mladic ordered a continuation of the
24 attack, and then the entrance into the town itself, and then his position,
25 the position taken at the meeting in the command of the Bratunac Brigade,
1 in fact, his order -- not his position but his order -- at the suggestion
2 and proposal of the commander of the Zvornik Brigade that it was not a
3 good idea to go on to performing the next assignment because we had no
4 contact at all with the forces of the 28th Division, and when he said,
5 "That is not your concern. That is my concern. I am in command in this
6 area," and this was followed by his order of the 17th of July, and the
7 continued presence of him or his assistants, some of his assistants in
8 that area, sufficiently illustrates the fact that General Mladic, with his
9 assistants, had taken over command of the area of -- the Srebrenica area
10 and the area of responsibility of Milic and Zvornik, and especially when
11 it came to the question of prisoners of war and the engagement of the
12 units in that region with respect to the carrying out of the assignment
13 and the breakthrough of the 28th Division and, later on, the treatment of
14 those prisoners of war.
15 Q. So General Zivanovic, under that theory, would have no authority
16 to issue orders regarding prisoners or anything else?
17 A. General Zivanovic, as far as I recall, wrote several orders by
18 which he linked himself up with the orders of the Main Staff and so
19 conveyed them on to the subordinate units.
20 JUDGE WALD: I have one question there. General Krstic, was it
21 your impression that during this same period we're talking about, the
22 11th to the 15th or 16th, the 28th Division, along with the civilians in
23 the column which was moving towards Tuzla was having some kind of
24 engagements with the army along the way, and, in, fact, I think you
25 testified there was some casualties, to your knowledge. Was it your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 impression that General Mladic and his people were also running the show,
2 giving the orders about the activities of the soldiers who were engaged in
3 actual capture and combat with the column of the 28th that was moving down
4 or just with relation to the prisoners of war, as you have just
5 testified? I just want to clarify that. Did you think that he'd taken
6 over the entire operation, including any combat that might be between the
7 column and the 28th and the soldiers in Zvornik or just the treatment of
8 the POWs?
9 A. When speaking about the conflict between the civilians in the
10 column and the members of the army, I don't think I can comment there, but
11 I will answer your question in the following way: When it comes to the
12 prisoners of war, I truly did gain the impression that General Mladic, he
13 himself or his assistants, were in charge of all that.
14 At the forward command post at Krivaca, 14th, an order of that
15 kind arrived, and it was brought to my attention and sent on from the
16 Corps Command to me. And in amongst other things, it spoke about the
17 breakthrough of the 28th Division, the possible activities, their possible
18 activities and operations, and the capture of members of the
19 28th Division. It also speaks, among other things, of where those POWs
20 should be put up.
21 So until that time and later on either, I had no knowledge about
22 the prisoners of war. And the very fact that this order was sent to me
23 from Krivaca towards Zepa was only sent -- I was only to be -- this was
24 only to be brought to my attention, which meant that I had no
25 responsibility and no involvement in the affair.
1 JUDGE WALD: Just one follow-up. However, you have testified
2 that -- I believe, that roughly 80 per cent of some of the divisions,
3 Zvornik and Bratunac, were still down in their areas, even though their
4 commanders were up with you with a smaller percentage, and we've seen many
5 intercepts and orders dealing with some combat that was going on in the
6 Zvornik area. My question was simply whether or not it was your
7 impression at the time that Mladic was running the show as to how that
8 combat would be carried on or whether that combat was still coming up to
9 the regular brigade officers and the regular structure of the -- up to the
10 point of capture, up to the point that anyone was captured, whether the
11 actual fighting was still being run by the normal brigade structures.
12 A. When I spoke about the forces that remained at the front, that
13 they were engaged in the front towards Tuzla, Zivinice, and Kladanj, and
14 Olovo, that is that 80 per cent of the overall forces of the brigades that
15 were committed at the front. And the basic preoccupation of those troops
16 was the defence, defence from these axes if there should be any activity,
17 that is to say, involvement of the forces of the 2nd Corps of the army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, if they were involved. And one of the tasks of the
19 Zvornik and Bircani Brigade was also to take care and take steps to defend
20 themselves from the forces of the 28th Division that attacked them from
21 the rear, from the back. And I had some information when I came from
22 Srebrenica to Vlasenica, to the command post of the corps, when I was
23 involved about that by the officer on duty, who told me that the
24 breakthrough of the 28th Division had taken place towards Tuzla and
25 towards the Zvornik and Bircani Brigade.
1 But everything that took place later on, the orders that I
2 received, first and foremost on the 13th and then later on when it came to
3 the involvement of the brigades towards Zepa, we could clearly see in the
4 order regarding Zepa that these forces were engaged towards Zepa but that
5 somebody was ordering mobilisation and assigning other tasks to them, and
6 I truly did gain the impression at the time that it was the Main Staff
7 that was in command there and the very fact that General Zivanovic himself
8 was linking himself up in his order to the 13th and to the order from the
9 Main Staff.
10 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd like to refer the General to some of the
12 interview. This is the redacted version of the interview with Mr. Ruez.
13 It's Exhibit 399A. And while you're looking for that, we can ask -- I can
14 ask a couple of other questions.
15 Q. General, on the night of the 11th, you said you spent the night in
16 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
17 A. I didn't spend the night there but I slept in one of the rooms of
18 the command of the Bratunac Brigade, Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. For your search, that's 399A bis.
20 Q. What room did you sleep in?
21 A. I don't remember. I really don't remember which room I slept in.
22 It is very difficult to say, to be able to say that now.
23 Q. Was Dalibor Krstic and Mr. Tosic with you at the Bratunac Brigade
25 A. When I lay down, when I went to sleep, they were in front of the
1 headquarters. The soldiers were not allowed to enter the headquarters.
2 So when I went to bed, I don't actually know where they were put up,
3 accommodated. Probably with the soldiers somewhere, with the soldiers of
4 the Bratunac Brigade, on the premises where they were sleeping.
5 Q. Were arrangements made for you to stay at the Hotel Fontana on the
6 11th or any other time?
7 A. I don't know. It is possible. It is possible. But as always, I
8 slept where I was closer to my units; that is to say, I never availed
9 myself of the comforts offered me at that time. But quite possibly some
10 arrangements had been made. I can't say.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit -- have you found the
12 interview? It's 399A bis.
13 Q. General, if you could look -- in the B/C/S version it should be
14 page 11 and 12; in the English version it's page 19. And if you could put
15 page 19 on the ELMO, and paragraph 3 is the paragraph I'm concerned
16 about. And it's a long answer and covers various topics, but the answer
17 that I wanted to try to get some clarification on was in paragraph -- what
18 is paragraph 3 in the English. But it says:
19 "The commander of the forces that were to go on to Zepa, I was
20 designated to be the commander by the commander of the Main Staff, while
21 for the area of Srebrenica and Bratunac, by the order of the commander of
22 the Main Staff, remained the commander of the Drina Corps, General
24 Is that correct?
25 A. I apologise. May I just take a moment to read through the
2 Q. Please.
3 A. I don't see that assertion here on page 11.
4 Q. Page 11 through 12. Sometimes it's hard to sort out the actual
5 pages because they're so different. It begins, "The commander of the
6 forces that were to go on to Zepa, I was designated to be the commander by
7 the commander of the Main Staff."
8 A. Well, I apologise. We can read through this.
9 Q. Well, General, we'll highlight them for you if you can't seem to
10 find it on that page. So we'll take that back and we'll highlight it so
11 you can go directly to it.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we can have Exhibit 7642/A [sic], and 764/3/A
13 ready after that.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, perhaps you
15 should take a look at the transcript with the first exhibit and introduce
16 a correction.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President. I didn't understand --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Because the exhibit was not
19 7642/1, but perhaps it was 764/2/1. I think that's a difference in the
20 number of the exhibit, but I'd like confirmation from you, please.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's my understanding that the exhibit we're
22 looking for is 764/2/A.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There we have it. You have just
24 made the correction. So I was right. I do apologise. And please
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we have been working well with
2 Krystal and giving her the numbers, and we've just come to the point where
3 I think we've had a slight disconnect, so I apologise. We've been able to
4 give her the numbers and warning in enough time so this wouldn't happen,
5 but we must have reached the point where our numbers and her numbers are a
6 little different. If we could take a moment -- perhaps it's time for the
7 break anyway.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. There's no problem there.
9 We're not going to have a short break; we're going to have our long
10 break. And I think everybody is in need of luncheon, like all of us. So
11 I think the time has come for us to take our one-hour break and this will
12 give us a chance to get everything organised after the lunch break. So
13 we'll reconvene in one hour's time.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.15 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Now that our stomachs have been
3 satiated, we will be able to fulfil our work too. So please continue,
4 Mr. McCloskey, so we can see what the results are.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 General Krstic, if you could briefly take a look at Exhibit
7 764/1/A, which we handed to you during the end of the break so you would
8 have a little bit of a chance to look at it.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could put the English on the ELMO
10 and ...
11 Q. This appears to be some sort of receipt to the Command of the
12 Bratunac Brigade and dated July 31, with a total in the amount of
13 6.341 dinars. And if we could go to 764/2/A, it will be the same thing
15 General, it appears that this is a hotel receipt for
16 accommodations in the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac for room 204,
17 General Krstic, and the General's escorts Vlado Tosic and Dalibor Krstic,
18 room 210, on 5/6 July.
19 Did you or your escorts stay in the Hotel Fontana on those dates?
20 A. This is an exhibit that I was not given before the break; I only
21 just got it. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but that is not
23 It is quite possible that someone may have announced that I would
24 be accommodated there together with my drivers in the Bratunac, rather,
25 the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac, but we certainly were not there because the
1 operations were due to begin between the 5th and the 6th, and it would
2 have really been quite impossible for me to leave the forward command post
3 and to drive to a hotel one hour's drive away along a macadam road without
4 being able to monitor the arrival of troops, their deployment, and the
5 beginning of the offensive.
6 Possibly somebody had announced that we would come. The rooms
7 were booked, and they had to be paid for.
8 Q. We'll go to the next exhibit then, 764/3/A. This is another bill
9 from the Hotel Fontana for General Krstic, Tosic, Vicic, Kosoric, and
10 Dalibor Krstic, from 5 through 13 July, 1995, giving yourself, Vladimir
11 Tosic, and Dalibor Krstic 8, the number 8. And if we have eight nights
12 beginning the 5th of July, that would mean your last night was the 12th of
13 July, checking out the 13th. However, you say you were not at the hotel?
14 A. No. The rooms were certainly probably booked. There's no reason
15 for me not to say that I did sleep at the Fontana Hotel. There's
16 absolutely no reason for me not to say that.
17 Q. Perhaps they were booked because someone anticipated you would be
18 staying at the hotel.
19 A. Possibly that someone from the Command of the Bratunac Brigade
20 booked those rooms, and that should go through the logistics body, through
21 the Assistant Commander for Logistics. And I never said, nor did any of
22 the officers from the forward command post announce that we would come and
23 stay there, but clearly there was a bill that had to be paid because the
24 rooms had been booked, but no one went there.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, excuse me.
1 General Krstic, if it is true that someone booked those rooms but
2 you didn't use them, you consider it to have been a luxury to have booked
3 rooms in a hotel for eight days and not use them. If the Bratunac Brigade
4 knew that you were not there on the second day -- on the first day or the
5 second day, they could have cancelled the reservation. What do you say to
6 that? Wouldn't that be wasteful on the part of the administration to pay
7 the bills without using them?
8 A. Mr. President, it is a luxury. It is wasteful. It could only
9 have been one of the assistants to the Commander for Logistics to have
10 said that it was possible that we would be accommodated there. This may
11 have been the case with people who were used to comfort, but I certainly
12 didn't go there nor did I ever avail myself of such comfort.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may continue,
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. General Krstic, you do recall having meetings on the evening of
17 July 11 and the morning of July 12 in the Hotel Fontana?
18 A. I remembered the meeting of the 11th, in the evening, only after
19 the evidence was produced here in the course of the proceedings, and on
20 the 12th I did remember attending a meeting. And I'm not denying that I
21 attended those meetings, both the first and the second, the one on the
22 11th, in the evening, and on the 12th, in the morning.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, if we could go back to the Drinski article,
24 Exhibit 744. And prior to getting into the substance of that, Your
25 Honour, I would, for the record, like to say that this article was
1 disclosed to the Defence on the 21st of June in the year 2000 as part of
2 the supporting material for Rick Butler. It's an open-source article
3 reflecting an interview that General Krstic had with the journalist Vuk
4 Kovacevic, with the Drina Corps magazine -- excuse me, the Drinski
5 publication. And I would like to go to page 2 of that, if we could.
6 Q. If you could put page 2 on the ELMO. General, that appears to be
7 the second question that is asked to you, and I'll read it for the
9 "From the very beginning of this war, the Muslims had open
10 ambitions to take Podrinje. What was the decisive factor in thwarting
11 these ambitions and making it possible for the Serbian people to remain in
12 its centuries-old dwelling places?"
13 And your answer, which is in quotes in the magazine:
14 "It's true that the Muslims did all they could to take Podrinje.
15 They tried to realise their plan by perpetrating crimes against part of
16 the Serbian population at the beginning of the war, hoping to frighten and
17 drive them from this area."
18 And then under a new set of quotes:
19 "The Serbian people in this region remember well the criminal acts
20 perpetrated in World War II by the Ustasha and the balija army. Realising
21 that they would try to repeat those actions again, the Serbs readily
22 picked up their weapons and confronted the Muslim assaults, defending
23 their hearths and their defenceless."
24 Was this question asked of you and did you answer it in this
1 A. It probably was put to me by the journalist whose name figures in
2 the magazine, the journalist who interviewed me. Such and similar
3 articles were numerous in the media, including the exhibit by
4 Mr. Petrusic, a journalist who published an article in his newspaper. And
5 I would like all of us here in the courtroom to see the tape until the
6 end, which was shown here as an exhibit, to see what that same journalist
7 is saying in Srebrenica in connection with everything that was happening
8 regarding himself and others, and we take these as exhibits.
9 Let me answer your question now. I have carefully, together with
10 my counsel, read through this interview, and in 11 places I mention the
11 Muslims. I don't use the term "Turks" or "balijas" except in this
12 particular segment, where it is in quotation marks. I am not going to
13 read it again. It can be clearly seen that this refers to units who
14 committed these acts in the Second World War. They did indeed exist and
15 they were on the side of the Nazi forces. As the command of the partisan
16 army termed them in those days, those same authorities used the same term
17 after the war similarly as they used the term "Chetnik." So this does
18 not, under any circumstances, refer to the Muslim people in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the relevant time and later. By constitution of the
20 1964, the Muslims were recognised as a nation. Until then, they described
21 themselves as Serbs of Islamic faith or as Croats of Islamic faith.
22 I fully respected what was stated there until this day. Many of
23 the witnesses of the Prosecution, when asked what ethnicity they were,
24 they didn't say they were Bosniaks; they said that they were Muslims, and
25 there's nothing offensive in there. And to this day, many of them
1 describe themselves as Muslims, without accepting the new term that they
2 are Bosniaks by ethnicity. And I'm not contesting any of this. It is in
3 the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, just as we others are Serbs or
4 Croats who are living together with them.
5 So to come back to this question, this referred exclusively to
6 units from the Second World War. And nowhere else have I even tried to
7 use any other term that could offend the Muslim people. Just as all Serbs
8 were not Chetniks in the Second World War, so all Muslims were not members
9 of these units that are referred to. So when we're talking about the army
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this term does not refer to them.
11 Q. This was an accurate reflection of your response to this
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you did use the term "balija"?
15 A. Yes. But it can clearly be seen that this relates to armed units
16 from the Second World War and not to the army of the Republic of
18 Q. I want to ask you about the message in this answer. You refer to
19 the Muslims, and then you refer to the Ustasha and balija army of the
20 Second World War, and then you say, "Realising that they would try to
21 repeat those actions again" -- that's a comparison of the Muslims and the
22 balija army in the English translation -- "the Serbs readily picked up
23 their weapons and confronted the Muslim assaults, defending their hearths
24 and their defenceless."
25 The message that this sends out to young troops is what?
1 A. It doesn't say here "realising" but gradually forming their units,
2 which had not existed at the beginning of the war, the people from these
3 parts strengthened their defence capacities, thwarting Muslim intentions
4 to occupy Podrinje.
5 This did not apply to the Muslim people but to their armed units
6 and primarily to the 28th Division and the 81st Division from Gorazde.
7 And there's no message there. In this war, both the Muslims were
8 defending themselves and the Serbs were defending themselves -- that must
9 be clear to all from -- some revisionist policies that had been
11 Q. All right. I want to go down to -- I'll skip the next question
12 and go down to the other question, which starts with: "You were in
13 command of the brigade which practically defended the entire Romanija
14 plateau in the Sarajevo region. Despite almost daily attacks, the 2nd
15 Romanija Brigade preserved both the territory and the population. How was
16 this achieved?
17 When the 216th Mountain" -- and then your answer is: "When the
18 216th Mountain Brigade of the former JNA, the current 1st Romanija
19 Infantry Brigade, was deployed from Romanija to Sarajevo at the beginning
20 of May 1992, the Serbian people on the Romanija plateau were left without
21 protection. They were faced with the threat of genocide."
22 And as we go on: "Realising the danger of the situation, the Main
23 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska decided to form the 2nd Romanija
24 Motorised Brigade (21 May 1992) which quickly evolved into an
25 exceptionally strong tactical unit, capable of not only protecting the
1 Serbian people from genocide, but also of liberating every inch of Serbian
2 soil in its area of responsibility.
3 "Its area of responsibility was huge, extending from Vares to
4 Drina and from Sarajevo to Vlasenica.
5 "All combat tasks undertaken by the brigade were successfully
6 executed. The territory was liberated and the people saved from
8 Is this an accurate response to this question? Were these your
10 A. This referred to members of the army of the Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and not to the Muslim nation. In the
12 examination-in-chief, I said --
13 Q. General Krstic, my question was: Were these your words?
14 A. Probably, yes.
15 Q. My next question is: You actually -- you used the term "genocide"
16 in this context one, two, three times. "People," the first one, "were
17 threatened with genocide"; the third [sic] one, "protecting the Serbian
18 people from" -- the second one, excuse me -- "protecting the people from
19 genocide"; the third one, "liberating and the people saved from
21 Is this an accurate reflection of the threat that the Serbs faced
22 at the time or is this a distortion for propaganda purposes?
23 A. In the course of the Second World War, in this area terrible
24 crimes were committed precisely by the formations that I referred to in
25 answer to your first question. The Serb people, like the other peoples of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, had to defend themselves from a potential danger that
2 it was realistic to expect.
3 Q. So you think there was a realistic expectation of genocide being
4 committed against the Serb population in the early parts of the war or at
5 any part of the war?
6 A. If that assessment had not been a realistic one, an army of the
7 Serb people would not have been formed. And the same applies to the army
8 of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. When you tell young soldiers that "The opposing army is coming to
10 commit genocide on you," what kind of reaction would you expect from
12 A. I never said this to young soldiers. In the first place, I didn't
13 have any young soldiers in my brigade. These were mobilised men, men of
14 older age groups, with the exception of some 15 soldiers who were in the
15 Staff Command of the 2nd Romanija Brigade and who never went to the front
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 745.
18 Q. General Krstic, you can see throughout that this is a
19 communication on October 30, 1995, from the Command of the 1st Zvornik
20 Brigade, and among other things, in the text of the document, it quotes a
21 congratulations from you, their commander.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could put the English translation
23 page 2 on the ELMO, where it starts "Officers and soldiers!"
24 Q. I would quote the document. It says: "In this connection, Corps
25 Commander Major-General Radislav Krstic sends the following
1 congratulations to the unit:
2 "Officers and soldiers!
3 "In these decisive times for the RS, you have by your
4 resoluteness, courage, self-sacrifice and dedication done everything to
5 liberate centuries-old Serbian territories from the hated enemy and to
6 prevent further genocide against the Serbian people."
7 General, when you send out a communication like this to your young
8 troops, or your older troops, for that matter, referring to the "hated
9 enemy" and "to prevent further genocide," what kind of reaction would you
10 expect from your soldiers in this context?
11 A. I would like to see those congratulations here. I can't find the
12 text that you have just read out, the text of the congratulations. I
13 should like to be given a little more time to find it and read it.
14 Q. Page 2, right in the middle.
15 A. Yes, I found it.
16 Q. What kind of reaction can you expect from soldiers, young and old,
17 that hear their commanding officer refer to the enemy as "the hated enemy"
18 and that has committed genocide on them?
19 A. Every enemy is a hateful enemy. Just as for us the forces of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina were for us, we were for them by the same token. But
21 there are no words here where I say that the Muslim people were hated by
22 the Serb people. We are speaking about armed formations here. So it is
23 not essential whether I wrote that or somebody else wrote that from the
24 Corps Command and sent it on. This does not refer to the Muslim people;
25 it refers to the armed formations who did what they did in the area they
1 did it.
2 Q. Were similar messages as this that I've just read to you,
3 referring to the hated enemy and the genocide against the Serbian people,
4 were those messages made by General Mladic and President Karadzic from the
5 beginning of the war and throughout?
6 A. I don't know that. I don't know whether they sent messages like
7 that or not.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 749. This is one of the
9 thicker exhibits that we've provided the Defence a few days ago. And if
10 we could just put the front page of the -- thank you. This is entitled
11 "Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska," entitled "A Report on the
12 Results Achieved on the Front, the State of the Army of the Republika
13 Srpska, Problems and Tasks in the Forthcoming Period," from Ratko Mladic.
14 Q. General Krstic, who is this report sent to?
15 A. I don't know who this report is sent to. It does not say here.
16 Q. I'm going to quote the first paragraph:
17 "The incursion of regular Ustasha units from Croatia into the
18 territory of the former BH at the beginning of April of this year and
19 their attacks from Slavonia and western Herzegovina set off the second
20 phase of the break-up of Yugoslavia, the carve-up of the former BH and the
21 attack against the Serbian people. The Serbian people in Herzegovina,
22 Kupres, Posavina have been exposed to brutal destruction and genocide
23 unseen in history."
24 Is this a distortion or do you believe this is an accurate
25 reflection of the situation?
1 A. This document is dated 1992, September, when I took over the
2 command over the 2nd Romanija Brigade, and this never reached me, nor was
3 it sent from the Main Staff to the brigade commands. I don't know whether
4 the Corps Commands received this document, but I cannot comment on what it
5 says here.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 750A. If we could put
7 page 1 on, to start with. This is a document entitled "Republika Srpska
8 Main Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska, Analysis of the Combat
9 Readiness and Activities of the Army of Republika Srpska in 1992." It's a
10 long document, and I wish to direct your attention to the concluding
11 remarks by the supreme commander of the armed forces of the Republika
12 Srpska, Radovan Karadzic. That is page 152 and 153 of the English
13 version. And Your Honour, this document was also provided to the Defence
14 several days ago.
15 It's right near the end of the document called "Concluding
16 Remarks, the Findings of the Analysis of the Combat Readiness and
17 Activities of the Army of Republika Srpska." I'm sorry, General, I didn't
18 have that marked beforehand, but it's a few pages from the end. And if
19 you could look at page 006417 --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise. Mr. Visnjic is on
21 his feet.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, while the General is
23 looking for that portion of the text to which the question refers, I
24 should like to make a remark. It is true that this document, like the
25 previous document, was provided a few days ago to us -- last Friday,
1 actually -- but in view of its length, because it is 140 pages of small
2 print in the Serbian language, and also bearing in mind the General's
3 state after his very strenuous questioning here in Court, I don't know
4 what line this questioning is going to take by the Prosecutor, but I
5 should like to reserve the right to say something if the questions go into
6 any great detail.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Visnjic. Let us
9 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey, with your questions.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. General Krstic, I don't want to get into the substance of the
12 document in any great length, and I will quote the first paragraph under
13 the concluding remarks of the supreme commander, Radovan Karadzic:
14 "From self-organised units at the local level, the Army of
15 Republika Srpska has grown into a powerful armed force of the Serbian
16 people, which is ready to perform all the tasks and reach all the
17 objectives assigned it. It is a powerful army, which, relying on its
18 Serbian people, the state, the Orthodox Church, and its own material
19 resources, has managed to protect the Serbian people against genocide, to
20 protect its territories and the Serbian heritage from the Ustashi Muslim
21 hordes, and to rout them on most battlefields."
22 This is the only statement I wish to use from this report. And I
23 want to ask you if you notice a similar message in the president's remarks
24 that I just quoted as the message that you gave in the Zvornik Brigade
25 document that we discussed earlier.
1 A. There is no similarity there. I do not call anybody "horde." I
2 do not refer to anybody as hordes or Ustashas, as is the case here,
3 Ustashas and whatever else it says.
4 Q. You did use the term "Ustasha" in the Drinski article, did you
6 A. Yes, but that referred exclusively to World War II and not to this
7 war, and that is clearly stated there. I have never seen this document.
8 It is also dated 1992, when I was commander of the brigade. Yes. It is
9 an analysis for the year 1992, which was "Performed Combat Readiness of
10 the Army of Republika Srpska." It is for 1992, and it was executed in
11 April 1993. That is what I understand from the title page.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have any further questions on this topic,
13 and we can go on to Exhibit number 44.
14 Q. I want to take us now to the evening of July 11th at the Hotel
15 Fontana. This is, obviously, a photo of General Mladic at that meeting.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And as the camera panned, we see that you're sitting on the
19 General's right side at that meeting; is that correct?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we go to Exhibit 45.
21 Q. Is this an accurate reflection of yourself sitting next to
22 judge -- excuse me -- General Mladic at the meeting?
23 A. I cannot see myself to the right of General Mladic on this
25 Q. Were you seated at that table during the entire meeting or did you
1 get up while people were talking and leave at some point?
2 A. I don't remember that.
3 Q. Do you recall the sounds of a screaming animal at that meeting?
4 A. No.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have the Exhibit 40 on the video, if we
6 could play that.
7 Q. Do you recall the testimony of the sergeant major who was at that
8 second meeting with you regarding the screaming animal and how frightened
9 it made him?
10 A. I remember him saying that.
11 Q. And do you remember the Bosnian Muslim representative that also
12 recalled hearing that and being frightened by it?
13 A. I cannot remember having been to the meeting on the 11th, that is,
14 I couldn't remember. But in the course of these proceedings, I see that I
15 was there, and I do remember that Mr. Mandzic was present at that
17 Q. You have no recollection of the animal's death cries that were
18 heard at that meeting?
19 A. I don't remember. Possibly there were some cries. Whether it was
20 an animal or something else, I don't know. I just don't remember, and I
21 have no particular recollection of that or -- but quite possibly people
22 did hear that. I am not contesting that.
23 Q. You were raised in the country around animals, where animals were
24 slaughtered, were you not?
25 A. I never slaughtered even a chicken.
1 Q. I don't mean to suggest that, General, but sometimes people raised
2 in the country hear animals being slaughtered. It's a normal part of
3 country life in Bosnia, isn't it?
4 A. Well, yes.
5 Q. This animal was identified by the witnesses as the cries of a
6 pig. Are you aware of any particular sensitivity that the Muslim people
7 of Islam faith would have to the slaughter of a pig immediately outside
8 the window where they were having a meeting?
9 A. I shall answer your question in the following way: I grew up with
10 Muslims. Our properties were border on each other.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I apologise for
12 interrupting. The question asked by Mr. McCloskey is a clear one. Are
13 you aware of the significance, what it means for a Muslim -- let me put it
14 this way -- I'll read it out in English. I'm trying to find it on the
15 transcript, the exact words.
16 [In English] Are you aware of any particular sensitivity that the
17 Muslim people of Islam faith would have to the slaughter of a pig
18 immediately outside the window where they were having a meeting?
19 Are you aware or not? It's the question. [Interpretation] So
20 please give us a direct answer, Mr. Krstic.
21 A. Mr. President, I was just about to give you an answer when I tried
22 to say that we lived together, side by side, and I never mentioned -- I
23 noticed that the Muslims were afraid of that, afraid of hearing a pig
24 slaughtered by the Serbs when the Serbs were preparing food for the
25 winter. Our houses were next to each other. It was nothing new to them,
1 nothing out of the usual, out of the ordinary. That's what I wanted to
2 say. That was precisely my answer.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. The context of neighbours in the country is a little different
6 than the context of my question. What I would like to know is in a
7 situation such as this, the meeting at the Hotel Fontana with general
8 officers of the VRS, a colonel of the DutchBat, a Muslim schoolteacher,
9 and a situation after the fall of Srebrenica enclave, what kind of
10 reaction would you expect from a Muslim of Islam faith that hears a pig
11 butchered under the window, outside his door?
12 A. Well, possibly somebody was slaughtering a pig nearer or further
13 away. I'm not contesting that. I don't know why. Perhaps they needed to
14 slaughter a pig, whoever was doing it.
15 But let me answer your question. I wouldn't feel at all
16 pleasant. I wouldn't feel pleasant if I heard that sound. I don't enjoy
17 hearing the sound of an animal being slaughtered.
18 Q. Do you recall the testimony of the sergeant major that when the
19 pig's cries finally died out, someone went over and closed the window,
20 what he felt was a means to call attention to this. Is it possible, in
21 your view, that this pig was slaughtered in order to intimidate the
22 members of the meeting?
23 A. Well, I don't know who the officer of the Dutch Battalion was who
24 testified. There were a number of them who testified.
25 Now, whether this particular animal was slaughtered to intimidate
1 anybody, I can't comment on that because I didn't see the animal being
2 slaughtered. I didn't take part in it in any way. Quite simply, and I
3 apologise for having to say this, but I have no idea who was doing the
4 slaughtering, why it was being slaughtered, or anything of that kind.
5 Q. The context we have is that, earlier in the day, General Mladic
6 made the comment on the Serb television, "It is now time to take revenge
7 upon the Turks," and on the next day, the 12th, people were separated, put
8 on buses, and led to a massacre of 4.000. In that context, is it possible
9 that this pig was killed in order to intimidate the Muslims and the Dutch
10 at the meeting, by General Mladic?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I feel that this
13 repetition of one and the same question is superfluous because the General
14 has already answered, with all due respect to my learned colleague.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can go on, Your Honour. I can go on.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I think it would be
17 advisable to proceed, because the General has already said several times
18 that he does not know, that he did not take part in it and does not know
19 of any intentions or why that was done. You were going to show a video
20 clip, Mr. McCloskey, but please proceed.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that's the pig squealing, and I
22 don't think we need to hear that anymore.
23 So, Booth, please pull that video.
24 Now if we could go to Exhibit 40A, which is the English
25 transcript --
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. McCloskey. I did
2 not say that you should withdraw the exhibit. I want things to be quite
3 clear on that point. I just said please continue in the way you feel is
4 necessary. If you want to show it, please do. You are doing your work.
5 I just asked you to proceed and not to insist upon questions and repeat
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, I understood that, and based
8 on General Krstic's answers, I didn't feel it was necessary for us to hear
9 the pig again. And I appreciate the objection of counsel on that. And I
10 think it's probably near break time.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. It's time to take
12 a 15-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 2.13 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, the Chamber would
16 like to have this Exhibit 40. General Krstic said that he didn't hear the
17 squealing of the animal, but we would like to see whether it is possible
18 to hear it or not, so we would like to hear that exhibit, Exhibit 40.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: For background, Your Honour, Colonel Karremans is
20 speaking. The tape is going on. It's hard to say exactly how long he's
21 been speaking or how long the meeting's been going on, but he's speaking
22 for a while and then you'll hear a sound.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could you rewind it, please. Try to start -- it
25 should start at the beginning, I mean just a little bit before where you
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's the end.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You may continue
5 now, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. General Krstic, did that refresh your recollection?
8 A. I heard that here in the course of the trial. I would say that
9 this is a kind of imitation rather than the slaughtering of a pig; at
10 least, that's how it sounds to me now.
11 Q. Like a human imitation?
12 A. It's quite possible.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go on to Exhibit 40A, which is the
14 transcript of the second meeting, and I'd like to start it on page
15 0090499. The English version, it's just about the second-to-the-last
16 page. And the --
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise, but the
19 answer to the last question put by Mr. McCloskey, I think the answer was
20 not adequately translated. Mr. McCloskey asked General Krstic, "Does it
21 sound like a human imitation?" and he answered in Serbian and he said,
22 "That is how I hear it now." And the answer, as far as I understand it:
23 "I allow it to be possible. It's quite possible." So I'd like this
24 point to be cleared up by the interpreters.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, would you repeat
1 the question, and we will have General Krstic's answer then. The first
2 question put to General Krstic was whether, having heard, this refreshed
3 his memory or not. And the other question followed the answer. So
4 perhaps you should start with the first question so that things should be
5 quite clear.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: After the playing of the pig, I asked the General
7 if that refreshed his recollection, and then he said something to the
8 effect that, "I heard it here in the course of the trial. I would say
9 that this is a kind of imitation rather than the slaughtering of a pig; at
10 least, that's how it sounds to me."
11 Q. Then the question is: You felt that this was a human imitating a
13 A. I said that that is possible too, because it is only here, after
14 hearing it now, that I thought it might not be the real squealing of a
16 Q. Before we get to the actual transcript, we're now in the evening
17 of July 11th. This meeting was to start at 2300 hours, I believe. Were
18 you aware that there were thousands of people gathered at the -- at and
19 around the UN compound and the factories in the vicinity in the evening at
20 this time on July 11th?
21 A. I cannot say that I heard that -- whether I heard that in the
22 evening of the 11th or on the 12th, but in any event, it was heard, stated
23 by Mr. Karremans and Mr. Mandzic. Until then, I had no prior knowledge
24 that such a large number of people were in Potocari, though it was clear
25 that the forces had entered Srebrenica and that the people had left for
1 Potocari. We did have information to that effect.
2 Q. If you had sent reconnaissance soldiers to view the crowd and view
3 the people assembled in Potocari that evening, they could have provided
4 you with the intelligence of the rough numbers of people by that evening,
5 could they not have?
6 A. I didn't send any reconnaissance people.
7 Q. Had you been reactivated by this time in the evening of the July
8 11th or were you still sidelined by General Mladic?
9 A. I had not been relieved of my duty of Chief of Staff. I was clear
10 when I said that General Mladic appointed me for commander of the forces
11 engaged towards Zepa at the meeting in Bratunac. I am also asserting that
12 I didn't send any reconnaissance soldiers down there. I didn't need to do
13 that. Why would I do that, anyway?
14 Q. Well, there were -- if there were military-aged men in that crowd
15 that were armed, they could have been a threat to your troops, could they
16 not have, in that crowd?
17 A. I wasn't aware at all that there were able-bodied men of military
18 age among such a crowd of people in Potocari.
19 Q. So prior to the meeting with General Mladic and the DutchBat
20 representatives, is it your contention that General Mladic assigned you as
21 the Commander of the Zepa operation?
22 A. Yes, at the meeting in Bratunac, at the meeting of the command of
23 the Bratunac Brigade before this meeting.
24 Q. So as you sat next to General Mladic in the presence of DutchBat
25 and Mr. Mandzic and others, you were the Commander of the Zepa operation;
1 is that right?
2 A. That was the assignment given to me. That was the assignment
3 given to me by the Commander of the Main Staff, but I went to the meeting
4 as the Chief of Staff of the Corps.
5 Q. So you, at the meeting at 2300 hours with General Mladic, you now
6 again had all the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon the Chief of
7 the Staff of the Drina Corps?
8 A. I had no duties with respect to Srebrenica even as the Chief of
9 Staff. This emanates from his order, when he issued me assignments
10 regarding the Zepa operation, to me and the brigade commanders.
11 Q. So you had nothing to do with Srebrenica but you were at the key
12 Srebrenica meeting on the 11th and the next one on the morning of the
14 A. I was there on the 11th in the evening and on the 12th.
15 Q. And was the VRS capable that evening of doing reconnaissance on
16 the large crowd that was gathering in Potocari?
17 A. I didn't deal with that at all.
18 Q. My question, General, is: Were they capable of going and watching
19 the crowd that night, the VRS, doing military reconnaissance on a very
20 large group of individuals?
21 A. Security of the refugees, as stated by Colonel Karremans, was
22 provided by the forces of the Dutch Battalion. Whether somebody did any
23 reconnaissance, I really do not know at all.
24 Q. Assuming that the VRS was capable of doing reconnaissance and
25 providing you with the rough numbers of people at Potocari, would it be of
1 military interest to know the numbers of potential men in that crowd that
2 could be a threat to your army?
3 A. Those are just assumptions that you are talking about.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I'm sorry for
5 interrupting. I think that you told us that the Brigade Commanders at
6 Srebrenica opposed the order of General Mladic to continue towards
7 Bratunac because one of the reasons was that elements of the 28th Division
8 could be there with the civilians, and if that was true, there would be
9 grave consequences. I think those are more or less the words you used.
10 So I'm asking you now why the supposition, the supposition, that elements
11 of the 28th Brigade might be in Potocari was taken into account not
12 following General Mladic's orders, and afterwards that same assumption is
13 of no interest. Could you answer that question?
14 A. Mr. President, I didn't say that that assumption was not of
15 interest. The Brigade Commanders were given clear orders to stop at the
16 lines they had reached and not to engage in any further assaults and to
17 hold on to those attained lines. I don't know whether and on whose orders
18 they engaged in any reconnaissance, if they had been ordered to halt at
19 those lines. It was clear that the civilian population was in Potocari.
20 I spoke about that when we suggested to General Mladic that it was not a
21 good idea to continue and that it was possible for members of the 28th
22 Division to be there and who could establish in the dark whether there
23 were any members of the 28th Division or not, especially units that had
24 until then engaged in combat operations and which had halted at the lines
25 they had reached.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
2 Continue, Mr. McCloskey, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Around 2300 hours, did you know where the 28th Division was?
5 A. No, we didn't know where the 28th Division was. We just knew
6 about the lines that had been reached --
7 Q. Would it have been an important military --
8 A. -- our lines, but we didn't know where the 28th Division was.
9 Q. Would it have been an important military objective for you to find
10 out where they were?
11 A. From the response of Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic to General
12 Mladic at the meeting in Bratunac on the 11th, in the evening, he said
13 that -- he said we don't know where the 28th Division is, and it would be
14 important for us to know. But the order to halt units and to prepare for
15 the Zepa operation came second in significance with respect to the 28th
17 Q. So it would be important for you that evening to find out where
18 the 28th Division was?
19 A. We look upon this matter as professional soldiers, because we
20 didn't start the operation to separate the two enclaves Srebrenica and
21 Zepa to eliminate the population in the enclaves but simply to prevent
22 further communication of the 28th Division in between Srebrenica and
23 Zepa. That was the aim of the operation.
24 Q. So you didn't receive any intelligence at all about how many
25 military-age men might be amongst the group that was assembling in
1 Potocari the evening of July 11th?
2 A. No, we didn't discuss that at all.
3 Q. I wasn't asking you about whether you discussed it; I wanted to
4 know whether or not you had received any information regarding men at
6 A. We didn't receive any information; at least, I did not and the
7 Brigade Commanders did not.
8 Q. Would you agree with me that there must have been a plan developed
9 to separate the Muslim men in Potocari, to transport them onto buses, and
10 to murder them?
11 A. No, I don't agree with you at all that there was a plan.
12 Q. Do you think this all happened without a plan, some 4.000 to 5.000
13 to 6.000 people murdered in the way we've seen as the evidence has
15 A. I had no indications or any clues in that direction, nor could I
16 ever imagine that any such thing could happen.
17 Q. General, I'm asking you a question now in the capacity of your
18 expertise as a General, as a Chief of Staff, and under the definition of
19 Chief of Staff, planning is a key role, as you've agreed. And I don't
20 want to go over the operation to murder again; we know what it was. But
21 are you suggesting this evening that this murder operation could have
22 happened without a plan?
23 A. I think I have answered your question. I did not know of any
24 plan, nor was such a plan compiled, nor did I have any signs that anything
25 like that could happen.
1 Q. If we assume the plan to murder the Muslim men in Potocari was in
2 place on the afternoon hours of July 12th, when they were separated from
3 their possessions and their IDs and put on buses, and if we assume that at
4 some point between the evening of July 11th and the time the men were put
5 on buses, that the VRS --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, get to your
7 question, please, directly. Do not make assumptions. Put the question
8 that you have for General Krstic and he will answer as far as he can.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I'm gradually pulling myself
10 out of my old shell and I will try again.
11 JUDGE WALD: In Mr. McCloskey's defence, I recognise what is
12 recognised as a legitimate hypothetical in our system.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. When would the plan to murder the military-aged men of Potocari
15 have had to have been developed if the plan started on the 12th in the
16 afternoon with the separation?
17 A. I don't know that nor did I ever hear that there was a plan.
18 Q. It's the submission of the Prosecution that the plan would have
19 had to have been developed between the night of the 11th and the afternoon
20 of the 12th, when it was implemented. Do you contest that allegation?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President?
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I have to object now,
24 because we have already objected to this kind of question. This is
25 already requiring the witness to approve the position or to confirm the
1 position of the Prosecution. So I don't think it is a proper question.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have already addressed this
3 question. I personally have said that when Mr. McCloskey made questions
4 starting from a hypothesis, I admitted, and I spoke in my name but I
5 thought the view was shared by the whole Bench, because we were discussing
6 matters at the level of regulations. So there was a hypothesis to
7 discover how rules function.
8 In my personal view, it is a bit difficult to accept asking
9 witnesses questions at the level of facts. Imagine if such-and-such a
10 thing happened. It is slightly different than when you wish to obtain
11 information. But it is also true that the Prosecutor or the Defence may
12 say, [In English] "It's my submission," [Interpretation] and then the
13 witness may answer. So I think we're dealing with at least three
14 different matters, and we're now in the area of legitimacy.
15 The Prosecutor is entitled to ask his question in the way he
16 worded it. It's different, in my opinion, when he asks questions of fact
17 based on hypothesis to discover what the reality was. It's another matter
18 when he starts with a hypothesis to see how the rule applies. And in my
19 opinion, and that is my personal opinion, there are at least these three
20 different hypotheses.
21 So, Mr. Visnjic, we do not accept your objection because the
22 Prosecutor may say, "It is our submission," and then the General or the
23 witness can say, "No, I do not agree. That does not correspond to
24 reality," and he can tell us what the reality actually was.
25 So please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And for legal reference
2 on this point, I would ask counsel and Court to refer to Rule 90,
3 Testimony of a Witness, 90(H)(ii), which states: "In the
4 cross-examination of a witness who is able to give evidence relevant to
5 the case for cross-examining party, counsel shall put to the witness the
6 nature of the case of the party."
7 This is the Rule I'm trying to implement, as much as I can
8 understand it.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, me too. I'm trying to
10 implement that Rule, as you know, because as you know, the Chamber can
11 guide and supervise the examination-in-chief and the cross-examination.
12 Perhaps we should refer to at least two basic objectives that are
13 being pursued to make the cross-examination and the presentation of
14 evidence effective in establishing the truth. To establish the truth
15 cannot be done by making a hypothesis of fact and also avoid wasting any
17 So when I say put your question directly, make your questions
18 clear, concrete, and concise, it is precisely to avoid all waste of time
19 and because that type of question will obtain the necessary information.
20 If we go into hypotheticals and if we are judging the reaction of
21 the witness, if we're making comments, if we are evaluating the response,
22 that does not facilitate reaching -- obtaining information and
23 establishing the truth. And it is precisely further to Rule 90(G)(i) and
24 (ii) that I made my comments in accordance with those provisions of the
1 So it is now time for our break. It will give us a chance to
2 think about it and re-examine the Rules.
3 So we'll be back here on Monday at 9.20, and I wish you a pleasant
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
6 at 3.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
7 the 30th day of October, 2000 at 9.20 a.m.