1 Monday, 30
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 Office of the Prosecutor; good morning, Defence counsel; good
8 morning, General Krstic.
9 We will be resuming our hearings, but before we continue the
10 cross-examination of General Krstic, I would like us to have a brief
11 Status Conference to evaluate the progress we have made.
12 I don't know whether it will be Mr. Harmon or Mr. McCloskey. I
13 should like to ask you when you think you will complete the
14 cross-examination of General Krstic, please.
15 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours; good
16 morning to my colleagues.
17 We anticipate the cross-examination, at the outside, will be four
19 JUDGE WALD: More?
20 MR. HARMON: More. At the outside. It depends on, obviously, the
21 pace in which we proceed, the clarity of the answers that are given, but
22 we anticipate four days at the most. We hope less.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So if I have understood you
24 correctly, more or less until Thursday then.
25 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
2 Mr. Harmon.
3 I turn now to the Defence. Mr. Petrusic, how much time do you
4 think you will need for the re-examination?
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Bearing in mind the position of the Prosecution that the cross-examination
7 will take another four days, we hope that our re-examination will not take
8 more than a whole working day, a few hours to a whole working day.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, what is the
10 situation with respect to Defence witnesses now, please?
11 MR. PETRUSIC: It is very bad, Mr. President. In the meantime, in
12 this session of the hearing, we have renounced calling five witnesses so
13 as not to have them wait here, but in view of the rate at which we are
14 progressing, in the course of the afternoon, in collaboration with the
15 Victims and Witness Unit, I think we will have to return two additional
16 witnesses home. I think that is more advisable. If the Defence finds it
17 necessary to call them when we sit again, we will do so, but I think we
18 will not be advised to keep them here as there is little chance of hearing
20 Of course, we had assumed that the cross-examination would have
21 ended on Friday, possibly today, but as we have just heard, it will take
22 much longer.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, when you say that
24 you will be calling the witnesses back, does that mean that the witnesses
25 are already here in The Hague?
1 MR. PETRUSIC: Yes. There are five witnesses here in The Hague,
2 but since a few days ago, you intimated the possibility of us continuing
3 this sitting next week. I doubt that even then would we be able to
4 complete their testimony, so that we would be running the risk of running
5 for that week too without hearing the witnesses.
6 I'm corrected by my colleague Mr. Visnjic. Our plans were based
7 on the plan that we could complete this session of the hearings next
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So to be more concrete, how many
10 witnesses are here and since when, Mr. Petrusic?
11 MR. PETRUSIC: We have here five witnesses, and they have been
12 here since the 25th of this month or, rather, the 20th.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know if I misunderstand
14 you, but I had information that there were witnesses here ever since the
15 13th of October. Is that true?
16 MR. PETRUSIC: No.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I thought that the first
18 witnesses who arrived could be heard, because we planned 16 hours for the
19 examination-in-chief of General Krstic, and it is normal to expect that
20 the Prosecutor would take roughly the same amount of time. Therefore, I
21 had planned that there would be witnesses that could begin testifying this
23 In view of the situation that we have planned for at the beginning
24 of General Krstic's testimony, I think the situation is even more serious
25 than we feared, which means that certain decisions have to be made. What
1 we said, we said to avoid having to call back witnesses without having
2 heard them.
3 So as I was saying, the situation is quite serious. Not only will
4 we need one or two days next week but perhaps the whole week would not be
6 What the Chamber can say is, as you know already, that the Chamber
7 will be sitting within Rule 71 on Friday and Monday next. The Chamber can
8 sit in the full bench for the other days during the next week, and I will
9 be here for the week of the 13th, pursuant to Rule 71, if necessary, to
10 continue with the testimony of witnesses who are here. We had planned an
11 interruption. The idea is not to have the witnesses go home without being
12 heard and then to have to bring them back again.
13 Perhaps I should give the floor to Judge Fouad Riad, who has a
14 suggestion to make. So you have the floor, Judge Riad.
15 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 [In English] Of course, I'm not trying to infringe on the right of
17 the Prosecution. Can we, because we have got these other witnesses
18 waiting now for a long time -- they might go back and never come back --
19 can we suspend your cross-examination -- that will allow even to meditate
20 on it more -- and listen to the other witnesses that are here so that they
21 can go home? General Krstic is here with us. You are here with us. We
22 are all here. We can resume after that.
23 MR. HARMON: May we have just a moment, Judge Riad, to consult?
24 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, our preference is to finish with the
2 testimony of General Krstic first. We have prepared and are preparing in
3 that fashion, and to suspend at this point would put the Prosecution
4 perhaps at a disadvantage that we did not anticipate as a result of
5 planning that perhaps wasn't as efficient as it would have been in this
6 place. We don't want to suffer as a result of that. We would request
7 that we finish the cross-examination of General Krstic. We will attempt
8 to streamline our cross-examination and shorten it.
9 When I said four days, I was -- I haven't had a proper estimate,
10 Your Honour, since I've been here, and lawyers never estimate properly.
11 So out of an abundance of caution, I have said four days. I think we can
12 try to pare it back, and we may be able to do it in less than four days,
13 in which case the witnesses who are here will be inconvenienced less.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. McGreeghan from
17 the Victims and Witnesses Unit is here, so perhaps we could hear him in
18 that connection. Would you be ready to give us your opinion, please?
19 MR. McGREEGHAN: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning. The Victims and
20 Witnesses Section is aware of the difficulties of a number of these
21 witnesses. One witness arrived on the 19th of October, followed by four
22 witnesses the following day, so we have witnesses here for 13 and 14
23 days. Two of these witnesses have particular problems, and of course,
24 because of the logistics and moving those people back home and having them
25 arrive back here, it's something that we couldn't do short-term.
1 The other possibility Your Honours may wish to consider is one of
2 the witnesses, the witness who arrived on the 19th, does not appear to
3 have any difficulty in remaining. The other four witnesses we could
4 return home with a view that they return here on the 20th of November,
5 when the Court sits again, if that would be of any assistance to the
6 parties in the trial.
7 Two of the witnesses, as I say, have concerns, one witness having
8 a 6-month-old child at home that she hasn't seen for two weeks now and
9 probably won't see for another 10 days if we continue as envisaged here
10 this morning. That would be our position, Your Honour.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE WALD: If I may, Mr. Petrusic, just let me try one variation
13 on Judge Riad's suggestion, which I don't think would upset the
14 Prosecution, is to let them finish their cross-examination and then
15 perhaps take two of the witnesses that Mr. McGreeghan felt are in
16 emergency situations; and then when they're done, come back next week to
17 your redirect and our questions. I just want to get your reaction to
18 whether that's a possibility.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE WALD: And I assume that the Prosecution wouldn't see
22 any -- or would they? I can't always anticipate that either.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. HARMON: Judge Wald, we would have no objection to that.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] A problem could arise in the sense
1 as to whether these two witnesses that we are talking about now could come
2 back, because they came in separate groups. So could they come as part of
3 a group?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McGreeghan, do you have a
5 response to Mr. Petrusic's query?
6 MR. McGREEGHAN: Your Honour, without having the possibility to
7 talk to the witnesses concerned, I couldn't be certain, but certainly we
8 would see no difficulty. If they were prepared to travel as a smaller
9 group, we would facilitate that.
10 JUDGE RIAD: May I just ask: Are they vital witnesses for you?
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have made a certain
12 schedule and order in which, in our submission, these witnesses should
13 testify. However, in view of the newly-created situation, we will have to
14 be -- we will have to depart from that order. However, these two
15 witnesses are important for the Defence.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Well, I hope they will come back.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, they would be ready to come
18 back at any moment at the invitation of the Defence, to come and testify.
19 That is not questionable at all. The Defence is quite confident that they
20 will come back.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We must proceed, but there are
23 several points to be made. I think that the way in which to proceed would
24 be as follows: The Defence will contact the Witness and Victim Unit in
25 order to implement what we have agreed; however, I'm always concerned by
1 this matter, as you know -- not just me, but the whole Chamber -- because
2 we would not like witnesses to wait here for long. I think we have said
3 that the Chamber is prepared to have witnesses wait a couple of days, but
4 not when we adjourn for a longer period, and I think that the only way to
5 deal with this matter is to have the parties maintain close contact with
6 the Witness and Victim Unit.
7 The parties should provide information to the Victim and Witness
8 Unit and organise things with them, because, in my opinion, it shows a
9 lack of respect for individuals. I think that the victims and witnesses
10 are perhaps the most important people in the courtroom. And then there's
11 also the financial side of things, because all this costs a lot of money,
12 and I think that the Chamber should, in a sense, supervise this issue.
13 So the Defence will get in touch with the Victims and Witnesses
14 Unit to implement these principles we have agreed on.
15 So we will close the matter for the time being and resume the
16 cross-examination. I have to say that we really should streamline the
17 questioning and make them more specific, to expedite things, if possible.
18 We have spoken of Rule 90 the other day, and I must repeat that the system
19 we have here in the Tribunal is governed by Rule 90, which says what I
20 have always said, that all questions that are relevant should be put in
21 pursuit of the truth, but the questions must be concrete, concise, and
22 clear; that is the other side of the coin, in order not to waste time, and
23 this is something that we must always bear in mind, that is, the
24 provisions of Rule 90. And in that spirit, let us continue.
25 Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
5 Q. General Krstic, we were in the evening of July 11, at the meeting
6 between General Mladic, yourself, and DutchBat. I would very briefly like
7 to go back because I did not ask you questions about the meeting that you
8 had at the Bratunac Brigade prior to the meeting with DutchBat.
9 Now, can you tell us what time the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
10 headquarters took place and who was there?
11 A. The meeting at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters started at around
12 22 hours [as interpreted]. The meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
13 headquarters was attended by General Mladic; General Zivanovic; I was
14 there; the commander of the Zvornik Brigade was there, Lieutenant Colonel
15 Pandurevic. Then there was the commander of the Birac Brigade, Colonel
16 Andric; the commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, Colonel Trivic; the
17 commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Colonel Blagojevic; the commander of
18 the Milici Brigade, Major Nastic. Then there was Major Jevdjevic,
19 commander of the battalion, the communications battalion of the Drinski
21 Q. And it's at that meeting that you were given your assignment to
22 command the Zepa battle group; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And under whose authority did you obtain the troops, the units,
25 for that battle group?
1 A. The authority of General Mladic, following his orders.
2 Q. These were, as you have told us, were Drina Corps units. Was the
3 Drina Corps involved in any way in the process by which you obtained the
4 use of these units? Were they consulted? Were they involved in any way?
5 A. No. General Mladic was definite on that point. He expressly said
6 what he did. Nobody from the Command of the Drina Corps, neither
7 General Zivanovic at that meeting nor myself nor anybody else from those
8 present, and I'm thinking about the Commanders of the brigade, were
10 Q. What about equipment? When you needed fuel or equipment and
11 supplies for these units, who would you go through to get this; the Main
12 Staff or the Drina Corps?
13 A. We didn't discuss that at all. All the units which were ordered
14 to take part in the operation for Zepa had their own logistics and rear
15 organisations. So at that meeting, this was not something that we
16 discussed at all.
17 Q. During the course of the operation, who did you get equipment or
18 fuel from? Did you have to go through the Main Staff or did you go
19 through the Corps or someone else?
20 A. As I have said, all the units had their own logistic support, and
21 they had all the equipment, the fuel, the food they needed for the time of
22 the duration of the operation, so that there was no need for any
23 additional supplies for those units.
24 Q. Throughout the Zepa operation, was there any need to involve the
25 Corps in anything regarding the Zepa operation, between, as you've said,
1 July 13th to some August 2nd?
2 A. Do you mean the Zepa operation itself?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I -- when I was asked by my Defence counsel about this, I already
5 said that, in my opinion, the Zepa operation should not have started at
6 all with that operation or should not have undertaken that operation at
8 Q. I'm sorry, General, and I'm sorry to interrupt you, but my
9 question did not involve that. My question was: Throughout the Zepa
10 operation, was there any need to involve the Corps in anything regarding
11 that operation between the 13th and the 2nd?
12 A. Yes, there was that need.
13 Q. So how was the Drina Corps involved in the Zepa operation?
14 Briefly. We don't need all the -- if you could just outline it.
15 A. I'd like to go back to General Mladic's order once again.
16 General Mladic ordered, at the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
17 headquarters, that the units should be pulled out and that the operation
18 Zepa should start immediately.
19 Q. Did the Drina Corps have any authority, during the periods of
20 July 11th through August 2nd, in the area of the Zepa operation?
21 A. Well, by the very fact that I was in command of those forces of
22 the operation, operation Zepa, I was the Commander of those forces, of
23 those troops.
24 Q. If you needed more troops, who would you go to get them?
25 A. We had a sufficient number of soldiers. So there was no need for
1 reinforcements, for the engagement of any other forces at all.
2 Q. So you didn't need any new troops at any time during the Zepa
4 A. No.
5 Q. So those assigned to you originally by General Mladic, the
6 brigades on the Zepa order, were the units that you used throughout the
8 A. Yes. They were the units, and the Infantry Battalion from the
9 65th Motorised Regiment, which, before the Zepa operation, was at the
10 position of the defence, that is to say, from the beginning of the
11 conflict in the area. That battalion was there and it was included in
12 this operation.
13 Q. All right. If we could go back now to the meeting with the Dutch
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we could go to Exhibit 40/A, which is the
16 transcript that we have of the video portion of that. I think -- there's
17 just very brief statements I'd like to read. Perhaps we don't need to do
18 the ELMO if the General can find the section I'm referring to. We have
19 outlined it. It's not the first group of outline, but it's right near the
20 end of the transcript, where General Mladic begins speaking, on the last
21 two pages. You should have an outlined version.
22 Do you see the outlined version we made for last week?
23 Wonderful. Thank you. All right. This is on page 0090499, where Mladic
24 begins to speak, and he says -- it won't be on that page in the B/C/S --
25 I'm sorry -- that's the English. If you could just go to the outlined
1 section near the back of the transcript. And we don't need it -- I don't
2 think we need it on the ELMO. All right. Put it on the ELMO.
3 Q. 0090499, where Mladic starts with "Please write down ... Number
4 one." Do you see that General? It should be outlined in green.
5 A. There is quite a lot underlined in green. I don't know which page
6 you're referring to.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you could hand us the B/C/S, I think we could
8 find it.
9 Q. General Krstic, it's where I've circled the big "M" for Mladic,
10 and that's where he speaks.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could zero in down at the bottom of
12 0090499. It's down at the bottom of the page where there's an "M". Thank
14 Q. Mladic says: "M: Please write down ... Number one, you need to
15 lay down arms ... and to all those who lay down their weapons ... I'll
16 guarantee they will live ... You have my word ... as a man and a
18 Now, General Krstic, did the Muslims, at this meeting or any other
19 meeting, agree to lay down their arms?
20 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Mandzic spoke, and Colonel Karremans
21 said that it was impossible to ask them that, to do that, the
22 28th Division -- for the 28th Division to surrender their weapons, neither
23 could they ensure that.
24 Q. So the answer would be no, you're not aware of the Muslims ever
25 agreeing to lay down their arms; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I'll skip the next three or four lines and then we have some
3 more outlined parts, and it's on the last page of the English version,
4 0090499. General Mladic says, "I need to have a clear position of the
5 representative of your people, on whether you want to survive, stay, or
7 General Krstic, do you recall being there and hearing General
8 Mladic say these words?
9 A. I don't remember all the details, but there was something like
11 JUDGE RIAD: Can I just ask a clarification? You said
12 that -- Mr. Krstic answered, "I'm not aware that the Muslims agreed to lay
13 down their arms." It means that they did not agree or you don't know?
14 They kept silent, or they refused, or you don't know?
15 A. As far as I know, at the request of General Mladic, Colonel
16 Karremans and Mr. Mandzic spoke and they said that they were not able to
17 ensure that, because they did not know themselves where the 28th Division
18 was located.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Thank you very much.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Now, I'll go on reading some of the quotes: [as read] "From the
22 Muslim side here at 1000 hours with whom I can discuss the salvation of
23 your people from the enclave." Then he continues: "We will ..." and I
24 skip some, "We will treat your fighters. Your fighters will lay down
25 their arms in accordance with international conventions." Then I'll
1 skip. "Nesib and the future of your people is in your hands." Skip down
2 farther. "Bring people who can secure the surrender of weapons and save
3 your people from destruction."
4 Now, in those last few pages there's a mention of "I guarantee
5 they will live, survive. Salvation of your people. The future of your
6 people is in your hands. Save your people from destruction."
7 Do you recall hearing all of that at this meeting?
8 A. I can't remember having heard all of that at the meeting. I said
9 earlier on that it was difficult for me to remember some of the details
10 and having attended that meeting at all at 11.00.
11 Q. Having reviewed this transcript and these statements and having
12 heard it before, what was General Mladic getting at? What was this
13 language all about, in your view?
14 A. Well, I don't wish to comment on the statements made by General
15 Mladic and what he thought.
16 Q. My question was: What did you think General Mladic was talking
17 about? What was he getting at, speaking like this to Nesib Mandzic and
18 the Dutch?
19 A. I've already said that I don't wish to comment. I'd rather not
20 comment on everything he said when addressing Mr. Mandzic. I said that I
21 don't remember the details, all the details, except for the fact that he
22 called for the surrender of the 28th Division; that is to say, he called
23 for them to surrender their weapons.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I believe this is a legitimate
25 question, to comment on what he thought, not what was going on in General
1 Mladic's mind but what General Krstic thought General Mladic meant by
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. The question is a
4 legitimate one.
5 General Krstic, the Prosecutor is not asking you what Mladic
6 thought; he is asking you what you heard coming out of his mouth.
7 And it is also true, Mr. Prosecutor, that General Krstic also said
8 that he does not recall the details very well.
9 So could you try to answer the question: What did you hear and
10 what did you understand of what Mladic said, if you have an answer to
12 A. It is only now, from this transcript, that I can see the details,
13 Mr. President. I said that I don't remember everything, and in the
14 statement to the OTP before this, I did not speak about these details.
15 The very fact that I was --
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General Krstic. I
17 apologise for interrupting you, but now you have -- unless you say that
18 this was never said, that this was never stated, but it is a transcript of
19 what General Mladic said on the occasion. Now you have the text in front
20 of you, and I'd like to ask you whether you have a comment to make. If
21 so, you can do so now.
22 A. I can just link this up to his demand with respect to the
23 surrender of the 28th Division and the surrender of their weapons. I
24 can't explain it in any other way, any other context.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Mr. Prosecutor, you have
1 got your answer.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. At this meeting, did you become concerned regarding General
4 Mladic's intent towards the Muslim population at Potocari?
5 A. The very fact that we succeeded, we managed to prevent the
6 continuation of an attack on Srebrenica towards Potocari, goes to testify,
7 to support what you have just asked. There was such a large mass of
8 people without sufficient quantities of all the necessities, and of course
9 there was concern.
10 Q. Did you speak to General Mladic after this meeting or at any time
11 during the meeting regarding these statements that he's made to
12 Mr. Mandzic, specifically the threatening statements of "salvation of your
13 people," "the future of your people is in your hands," "save your people
14 from destruction"?
15 A. No. Either before the meeting or during the meeting or after the
16 meeting, I did not speak to him, because at that meeting nobody else even
17 took part in a discussion of any kind when it came to the Serbian side.
18 It was just him, Colonel Karremans, and Mr. Mandzic, and that was the same
19 thing on the meeting of the 12th.
20 Q. So by the night of the 11th there was a big job ahead dealing with
21 the thousands of people in Potocari, and when was the decision made what
22 to do with those people? And I can try to clarify that. When was the
23 decision to transport the people?
24 A. The decision, as far as I recall, was made on the 12th, at the
25 meeting then. And before that, if there was anything of that kind, I was
1 not informed or aware or knew of that.
2 Q. The meeting on the 12th took place from about 10.00 to 11.00 in
3 the morning; is that right?
4 A. As far as I remember, it ended at around 12.00, a little before
6 Q. Do you recall the testimony that numerous buses started arriving
7 in Potocari at 1.00 p.m.? Do you remember that testimony, on the 12th?
8 A. Well, I don't know anything about the arrival of the buses.
9 Q. Is it fair to say that there must have been a lot of organisation
10 going on to get those buses and to make the arrangements to get the people
12 A. I don't know that. I did not in any way -- I was not in any way
13 included in securing the buses.
14 Q. Also on the evening of July 11th, a Muslim column started moving
15 out of the Susnjari-Jaglici area. Did you receive any intelligence
16 reports on their movements that evening?
17 A. No, no reports whatsoever. We didn't receive any reports, because
18 at the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters we noticed, when
19 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic said that we had no contact nor did we know
20 where the 28th Division was located. I or any of the brigade commanders,
21 we did not know where the 28th Division was and what they were doing, what
22 their intention was and what their objective was.
23 Q. Were you personally concerned about where they were that evening?
24 A. I was given an assignment. This -- I talked about that. And it
25 was the assignment towards Zepa, what I was to do in that regard. And
1 after the response of General Mladic to Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic,
2 there was nothing -- no need for any special concern because he was quite
3 clear on the fact that it was his duty and his concern.
4 Q. So you were not concerned about the Muslim column yourself? You
5 were assigned to Zepa. That was your responsibility.
6 A. Yes, and that's all I thought about.
7 Q. The column, obviously we know now, made the decision to go towards
8 Tuzla that night. They had other options and other places they could have
9 gone that night, didn't they?
10 A. I don't know what other places that night. I didn't know anything
11 about that at all that night, that a column was being set up and that it
12 had moved towards the breakthrough of Tuzla, or in any other direction,
13 for that matter.
14 Q. The column could have decided to go towards Zepa, couldn't it?
15 A. That was up to the Command of the 28th Division.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, do you think we
17 could take a break at this point? Is that convenient?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Of course.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us now take a 15-minute
21 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.35 a.m.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. General Krstic, regarding communications abilities of the VRS
1 Drina Corps in this time period we're talking about, July 10th through
2 August 1st, were any of the radio or telephone communications between
3 commands and units on open lines that could be intercepted?
4 A. I am not a signals man. There were communications and there were
5 specialists for communications. In most cases, they were protected, the
6 communication lines.
7 Q. In some cases, were radio and telephone communications
9 A. I don't know that. This is the responsibility of people working
10 in communications and their superior officers.
11 Q. Do you recall telling Mr. Ruez that occasionally you'd communicate
12 over open lines for brief amounts of time?
13 A. Yes. That was after I arrived at Zepa, my conversation with
14 General Zivanovic at the forward command post at Krivaca.
15 Q. So, generally speaking, sometimes units of the Drina Corps or
16 people would speak over open airwaves that were interceptable?
17 Excuse me. Let me rephrase that. Sometimes Drina Corps officers
18 or units would speak over the open airwaves?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I could briefly refer, Your Honour, to the
21 interview with Mr. Ruez on this point. It's -- unfortunately, it's the
22 full interview, which is under seal. I was trying to avoid this, but it's
23 228A bis, and it is under seal. I don't believe it's a sensitive area,
24 but I'm told if it's under seal, we should go in private session.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us go into private
1 session, then.
2 [Private session]
12 Page 6588 – redacted – private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may continue.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. General Krstic, did the forces of the -- the Muslim forces have
6 the capability of intercepting your radio or telephone communications, as
7 far as you know, at the time?
8 A. I didn't know at all at the time what devices they had at their
9 disposal. I could only assume that they have some of the equipment of the
10 former JNA, as did the army of Republika Srpska. That is what I am saying
11 now, but in those days, I didn't give the matter much thought.
12 Q. Did you communicate over the radio or telephone without giving the
13 matter much -- without being concerned whether or not you could be
15 A. You mean during the operation for Zepa?
16 Q. At any time between the 11th and August, when you communicated
17 over the airways, were you concerned that you could be intercepted?
18 A. I was not concerned about that at all.
19 Q. So when you did communicate to your forces, you were able to speak
20 freely, without concern of being intercepted?
21 A. Let me repeat once again which devices are used to communicate
22 with the brigade commanders on. It was a reliable and safe line.
23 Q. As far as you knew at the time, did the Muslim forces have the
24 capacity to intercept telephone or radio communications of the VRS?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. They did.
2 A. I don't know. I don't know whether they had the ability to
3 intercept them, whether they had the necessary equipment and whether they
4 could intercept.
5 Q. Your forces surely had the ability to intercept communications
6 from the Muslims, did they not?
7 A. I never inquired into those things. There was a separate service
8 that was working on those matters. But these -- that information was
9 never reliable.
10 Q. Did your forces have the capability to intercept enemy forces'
12 A. Probably they did. But as I said, that information cannot be
13 relied upon.
14 Q. Now, you've seen the intercept evidence that was presented at this
15 trial. It's the submission of the Prosecution that this evidence is
16 credible and reliable. What is your opinion regarding the intercept
18 A. I think I have already answered that question.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this is the first time any question
20 has been directly asked about the intercepts in this case. I would
21 request a response.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I think General Krstic has
23 already answered in general for all communications.
24 Now, General Krstic, the Prosecutor is asking you regarding the
25 intercepts that you saw produced here in court. So could you respond,
1 please? The question is: What is your opinion regarding the probative
2 value of those intercepted communications?
3 A. I simply cannot assert that those are correct and reliable data.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But you do understand that you
5 need to answer that question. You said before that those communications,
6 in general, cannot be relied upon, but now the Prosecutor has asked you
7 specifically in regard to those intercepts. So your answer is more or
8 less the same.
9 Mr. Prosecutor, you may continue. I do apologise for interpreting
10 what the witness had said, but it is up to you to provide the answers, not
11 myself or the Prosecutor or the Defence. I have given you the reasons why
12 you should answer the question.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. You've seen the procedures whereby a young man listens over the
15 radio and tapes a conversation, then replays the conversation, carefully
16 writing it in a little notebook, and you've seen the notebooks in this
17 case. What is not reliable about the information on the notebook or why
18 is that not a reliable and credible system?
19 A. I simply cannot make an assessment of the reliability of something
20 for the simple reason I have already said, that the communications
21 equipment that the VRS had and that the information obtained in that way
22 could not be reliable, and also the details I heard during the testimony
23 of witnesses here about these that refer to me, among others. It is quite
24 out of the question that I would use certain expressions or introduce
25 myself as Krle and so on or that I had contacted somebody in a given
1 period of time when I know for certain that I did not.
2 Q. Is it your belief that the intercept operators that have taken
3 this information down are mistaken or is it your belief that this
4 information has been fabricated?
5 A. As for the validity of those documents and the information they
6 collected, an assessment of those should be made by the superiors. I
7 cannot say whether they are valid or fabricated.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 500A, and if we could
9 put that on the ELMO. This is an exhibit that is dated -- excuse me.
10 This is an intercept dated 12 July, 0603 hours, and the information notes
11 that: "From Jaglici towards Buzim up there towards our neighbour," and
12 then it says at the end: "... a column."
13 General, Jaglici is an actual village inside the enclave; is that
14 not correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And Buljim is an area that the column actually went through on the
17 night of the 11th or 12th; is that not correct?
18 A. Ravni Buljim was under the control of the army of Republika
20 Q. And the column went through that area to escape from the enclave
21 on the night of the 11th and on the 12th, did they not?
22 A. I don't know whether the column went through Ravni Buljim. It is
23 almost impossible for them to have gone through there because this is a
24 feature, an unwooded area, which dominates the whole region, and I don't
25 believe that anyone would have dared --
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have an exhibit
3 here in English, and I would like the General to have the same exhibit in
4 the Serbian language, because I see that there is a question mark
5 regarding the name of the area through which the BH army passed. So I
6 don't know whether this was added by the translator, whether it's
7 somebody's commentary, or whether it is found on the original document,
8 the name of the area through which they passed, or it may have been an
9 error on the part of the person who was writing the document, and that is
10 an additional reason why we need to see the original of this document.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
12 Can the General have the document in B/C/S, please.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, absolutely. It was my
14 understanding that the B/C/S was attached to the English, as others were,
15 and that he just needs to take a look.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but he doesn't have it, I
17 think. Oh, I see. We have it now. I see it now on the ELMO. So please
18 continue, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go to the next exhibit,
20 which is 502A bis. It should have 502B bis attached to it, the B/C/S
21 version. And if we could make sure the General has access to that.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I should like to ask
24 that we take note of this. In the original document there's no mention of
25 Buljim, but Buzim, so this must have been an addition made by the
1 translator or whoever did the translation into English.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, rephrase your
3 question, bearing this remark in mind, this discrepancy between the
4 original and the translation. What is the word used in the B/C/S
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe Mr. Visnjic is correct. Perhaps during
7 the translation someone added the -- they added the question mark, Buljim,
8 and that appears to be something perhaps translation has added. And I'm
9 still asking the question: Is there a village Buljim that the column went
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I believe he answered it, so we may be able to
13 go on to the next one, though I can try to clarify it.
14 Q. General, are you familiar with any village in the area of the
15 enclave called Buzim?
16 A. There's no village in the enclave called Buzim, as far as I know.
17 There is a Buzim in the western part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 502A bis. If we could
19 put the English on the ELMO, provide the General -- the B/C/S is 502B
20 bis. All right. And if we could keep the initials at the bottom of
21 this. Thank you.
22 Q. Now, General, without going into -- taking the time to fully read
23 this, if you could familiarise yourself with it, I won't take the time to
24 read it, and just ask you a few particularised questions about it. Now,
25 General, from this intercept it appears that there is a --
1 A. I apologise, but I haven't got the exhibit in Serbian.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we make sure the General has the -- it should
3 be right there with the other exhibit. But don't -- please don't put it
4 on the ELMO. You can just hand it to him so he can take a look at it.
5 General Krstic --
6 Your Honour, this is under seal, this exhibit, so we probably
7 should go into private session to discuss it, and I hope it will be a
8 brief discussion.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Let us move into private
10 session for a few moments.
11 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please proceed. We're in open
14 session, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. When did you first learn of the presence of MUP forces in the area
17 around Bratunac?
18 A. That it was Bratunac I learnt in the evening at the meeting at the
19 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, when General Mladic said that the
20 detachment had arrived of the special forces of MUP.
21 Q. And were you aware of who was in command of those MUP forces?
22 A. At that time, I did not know who brought those forces nor did I
23 know about their involvement at all, that they would be engaged at all.
24 Q. Who was the Commander of those MUP forces?
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
2 like to propose that, for this portion, we move back into private session
3 for an answer to this particular question. We can talk in public session
4 perhaps about the hierarchical structure within the MUP forces, and in
5 this concrete case, the Defence would like to propose that, otherwise, we
6 go into private session to hear the answer.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, on the statement that was -- the
9 interview of Mr. Ruez of the General that was played in public, this
10 question was answered by the General. He said in open, over the open air,
11 who the commander was. So that's already been out.
12 Now, we can go into private. It would be for simplicity's sake.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are going to stick to the
14 principle that the hearings are public. The name has already been
15 divulged to the public, so I don't think that there is any problem there
16 with respect to the General repeating what he has already said in open
17 session, in public.
18 General, would you please answer the question.
19 Mr. McCloskey, go ahead and ask your question again, please.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. General, you told Mr. Ruez the commander of that unit, and perhaps
22 that refreshes --
23 A. I apologise, Mr. McCloskey. I really do apologise, but I think
24 that in the course of the public debate, after the interview that I gave
25 to Mr. Ruez, that I did not mention that name in public.
1 Q. I don't want to debate about that issue, but it was played -- your
2 interview was --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, at all events, I
4 think that we have a question here, and that is that if the General said
5 in public, why are you making him repeat the information again? Take the
6 information that you received publicly and go ahead with your question,
7 the question you have to ask. Why do you wish to oblige the General to
8 repeat? You can make use of the information that is already publicly
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was hoping he would just tell me the answer, but
11 I can read it back, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 399A bis, which is the
14 public redacted version of the General's interview, and if we could
15 provide him with the B/C/S version of it. We had it out and were using
16 it. I know that was last week.
17 While they're looking for it, perhaps I can just read the section
18 and see if that refreshes the General's recollection.
19 Q. On page 17 of the English transcript, Mr. Ruez says:
20 "Q. Can you be more precise on this MUP Brigade, if it has a
21 name or name of the commander?
22 A. The detachment Commander was Borovcanin."
23 Now, General, is that correct? Was the detachment Commander a
25 A. No. Mr. Borovcanin was not the -- a commander of the brigade.
1 Q. What was he?
2 A. I would like to appeal to you once again, if I may, that if you
3 want me to give an answer, may we go back into private session, please?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would place this issue at your
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, why do you need
7 a private session at this point?
8 A. Mr. President, for the simple reason that I spoke in private
9 session about the village of Sandici and everything that happened around
10 it and that I identified certain individuals. So I did not know who the
11 commander of that detachment was and who brought him to the area, but I
12 recognised a certain person on the videotape, and it is true that Mr. Ruez
13 showed me this picture as a freeze from that.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But if you spoke in
15 private session, as you know, your interview was public, as you know --
16 made public, as you know. So it is a little difficult for us to accept
17 that what is already public now goes back to private session, General.
18 A. Mr. President, I really -- it is very difficult for me to dispute
19 matters with the Trial Chamber. Everything was public on the tape. The
20 whole interview was made public. Among other things, all the details that
21 I mentioned here and that we discussed in private session as well, and you
22 accepted that part of that should not be repeated in open session. You
23 accepted that. So those are the reasons.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I asked you, General, what are
25 your own reasons for not repeating what has already been stated in
1 public? That's what I would like to know: What are your reasons, your
2 own reasons?
3 A. The security and safety of my family.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Perhaps we should
5 take a 15-minute break now before we continue. After that we'll come back
6 with the ruling.
7 --- Recess taken at 11.18 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, the question that
10 you have to ask is part of the public interview or does it belong to the
11 non-public part?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's part of the --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's part of the public interview, the question I
15 just read from Mr. Ruez to clarify who the commander is. He made the
16 answer, and that's pretty much it, subject --
17 JUDGE WALD: So you're willing to move on?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd like to have him answer who this guy is and
19 what he did. I really would love to move on, Your Honour, but I'd like an
20 answer on the record in the trial on who this fellow is. And of course, I
21 think that's what the problem is. He obviously doesn't want to talk about
22 that in open session.
23 JUDGE WALD: Given a choice at this juncture, would you rather go
24 into private session and get it or insist and take your risk of not
25 getting it? How important is it to you?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no problem in going into private session,
2 Your Honour, but it's obviously going to set the tone for the entire rest
3 of what we're doing. I would love to just -- no one wants to -- I would
4 love to get this over with, and a brief section in a private session to
5 talk about this fellow is not a problem. My only problem is that, of
6 course, it will -- the witness will want to do that every time a Serb
7 officer is mentioned, and, of course, that cuts against what we're going
8 for. One time on this person is certainly fine with me. I don't intend
9 to get a lot into these Serb officers in any event. I could say I do not
10 object to going into private briefly on this particular topic, as long as
11 the witness knows that this is a special case.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that there
14 has been a slight misunderstanding here, because we are referring to the
15 interview and the context of questions posed by Mr. Ruez in concrete terms
16 with this question, that is to say, who was the commander of the police or
17 the special forces of MUP, rather, in general terms, in the formational
18 structure, and now we're asking an answer to the question of who at that
19 time, at that location, was the commander of the special MUP police, which
20 is different, essentially, to the question posed by the Prosecutor as
21 opposed to the question asked of General Krstic in his interview.
22 So if we are moving towards the public document, that is to say,
23 the interview that was given, and in any further asking of questions it
24 would be a good idea for the Prosecutor -- of course, it is not my
25 intention to teach him his business, but it would be a good idea if the
1 Prosecutor were to stick to the questions in the interview. Quite
2 possibly, General Krstic -- I'm not going to suggest an answer, but quite
3 possibly, in view of a concrete situation, he learned of this on the basis
4 of the -- on the material that the Prosecutor put forward, and we have
5 quite a different answer, which the Defence feels is different in relation
6 to the answer that was given to Mr. Ruez, and that was used as a public
7 document. So that would be a proposal on my part with respect to the
8 further utilisation of this public document.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber has already decided,
10 with respect to the Defence, that certain questions should be and were
11 asked in private session. But as you know full well, the reasons which
12 led the Chamber to take that decision were of a particular order which I
13 don't wish to repeat here and now.
14 Therefore, the principle that we followed was that the repetition
15 that -- repetition can be considered, but we considered it in another
16 light; that is to say, there is one portion of the interview of
17 General Krstic which is public in nature and there is another portion
18 which is not public. But at all events, we said that there were perhaps
19 some questions that the Prosecutor could ask in private session. We did
20 acknowledge that because we are trying to strike this very difficult
21 balance to get at the truth, the whole truth, and also to take care of
22 security and to respect reasons for security, and, therefore, we have to
23 strike that balance and to try to do so.
24 So we should like to have General Krstic answer because it's
25 important to establish the truth. It is in his defence, in actual fact,
1 but we should like to have it done publicly because it is the basic
2 principle that audiences be public, because what the General says should
3 and can be controlled by other persons. The other persons mentioned have
4 the right to know whether or not their names were mentioned, and if we
5 keep going into private session, then you have this aspect that is lacking
6 so that -- but let us try to get 'round this question.
7 Once the Prosecutor admits the possibility of asking the question
8 in private session, we're going to do so, but let us try, otherwise, to
9 adhere to the basic principle.
10 And having said that, Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
11 So we're going to move into private session for a few moments.
12 [Private session]
12 Page 6604 – redacted – private session.
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
25 Mr. McCloskey, you may continue.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Were you aware of any other officer with the last name Borovcanin
3 in the Drina Corps?
4 A. There were quite a number of Borovcanins while I was in the 2nd
5 Romanija Brigade, commander of that brigade, in the territory of Sokolac
6 municipality and Olovo. It is quite a common surname in that area.
7 Q. What was the first name of that other Borovcanin?
8 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
9 Q. During the period of time of Srebrenica -- July 4th, early July,
10 and the month of July -- were there any officers named Borovcanin that
11 were involved in the operation in any way, be it Drina Corps, MUP, Main
12 Staff, besides this one Borovcanin that we spoke of prior?
13 A. I think that there is a witness --
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we've entered a
15 rather risky area now.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is still not necessary. The
17 question is whether there were other persons with the same surname, and
18 your answer is "yes" or "no" for the moment. There's no need to go into
19 further specifics.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. So there was this witness who we'll hopefully have a chance to
22 hear from. Anyone else?
23 A. I don't remember anyone else, if there were any others.
24 Q. All right. On the morning of 12 July, was General Zivanovic
25 active as the Corps Commander, or was he still sidelined?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 and English transcripts.
1 A. I don't know what you mean when you say "sidelined." General
2 Zivanovic was Corps Commander and he was not dismissed from that position
3 or replaced, nor was I replaced from my position of Chief of Staff, as I
4 have said earlier on.
5 Q. So on the morning of 12 July, as Chief of Staff, what was the
6 activity, what was the biggest priority that the Drina Corps command had
7 at that time?
8 A. The priority for the Drina Corps were twofold. There were two.
9 That is, the pulling out of the forces that had entered Srebrenica on the
10 11th of July and their deployment along a different axis, and the defence
11 of the north-western part of the area of responsibility of the Corps from
12 the direction of Tuzla, Zivinice, and Olovo. Those were our priorities
13 and the only assignments of the Drina Corps at the time.
14 Q. The Drina Corps was heavily involved in organising the refugees in
15 Potocari, was it not?
16 A. All I learnt about that was here in the Court of the proceedings.
17 You mentioned General Zivanovic and the other senior officers about whom
18 we heard evidence here in Court.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have Exhibit 436A placed on the ELMO, and
20 the B/C/S version 436B provided to the General to review.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, let us hear your
22 question, please.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. General Krstic, this order appears to be an order signed by
25 General Zivanovic, requesting buses for the Drina Corps. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you aware of this order on 12 July?
3 A. I learnt about it only when my Defence obtained this document.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to Exhibit 435A, and if the General could
5 be provided the B/C/S version. It should be attached.
6 Q. This is an intercept dated 12 July, at 0735 hours, between, and I
7 quote, "Someone called Krstic and Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic." General
8 Krstic, is there a Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic in the Drina Corps
9 Command Staff?
10 A. Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic was chief of the transportation
11 service in the logistic body of the Drina Corps.
12 Q. And in his capacity in that position, would his position deal with
13 the transportation of and logistics for moving people and refugees in a
14 situation such as we had in Potocari?
15 A. Yes, that would be his job, and his superior commander, the
16 assistant for logistics, and the Corps Commander.
17 Q. Is there anyone else named Krstic in the Drina Corps Command
19 A. There was only in the logistics base in Sokolac a Krstic.
20 Q. What rank was that Krstic, and can you tell us his full name,
22 A. I don't know his name. I think at the time his rank was
23 Lieutenant Colonel.
24 Q. Do you know whether or not he was involved at all in the area of
25 Potocari, Bratunac, Srebrenica, during July 11th, 12th, 13th, 1995?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Would he have been in a position to order Lieutenant Colonel
3 Krsmanovic to get buses?
4 A. I don't know. This logistics base was a logistics base of the
5 Main Staff.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 359A.
7 And if we could go into private session because this is under seal.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's go into private
9 session, please.
10 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in open session. You can
9 continue, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. Again, General Krstic, this suggests that you wanted the buses or
12 a Krstic wanted the buses to start moving right away. You're denying that
13 this was you?
14 A. Yes. At the time, from early morning at 6.00 until just before
15 the beginning of the meeting, I was not in Bratunac at all. I was at the
16 forward command post at Pribicevac. I had no communications from
17 Pribicevac at all because the communications centre was disbanded in the
18 night between the 11th and 12th. So I had no telephone lines with anyone
19 from the forward command post.
20 Q. You arrived back into Bratunac in time to go to the morning
21 meeting with DutchBat and the civilian representatives. About what time
22 did you arrive?
23 A. It was just before the beginning of the meeting. I arrived at the
24 meeting, which I think started around 10.00 on the 12th.
25 Q. You were the second highest-ranking officer in that meeting, were
1 you not?
2 A. By rank, yes.
3 Q. What kind of briefing did you receive prior to going to that
4 meeting about the meeting?
5 A. No particular briefing except in the morning at 6.00 from the
6 operations officer on duty, who told me that I had to attend a meeting to
7 be held that day, starting at 1000 hours. I didn't know at all who was
8 going to attend that meeting, except that in the evening General Mladic
9 scheduled the meeting for 10.00, but he didn't tell me to attend that
11 Q. So were you without communications from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. on
12 the morning of the 12th?
13 A. Yes. After I left the Command of the Bratunac Brigade where I
14 spent the night, I had no communications facilities because the
15 communications centre at Pribicevac had been disbanded.
16 Q. And you spoke to -- did you not speak to General Mladic prior to
17 the meeting?
18 A. No. I didn't see him either before the meeting nor did I have any
19 conversations with him at all.
20 Q. How about Lieutenant Colonel Popovic? Did you speak to him before
21 the meeting?
22 A. No, not at all. I didn't speak to him. I saw him attending the
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 52.
25 Q. Did you speak -- did you have any idea what this meeting was
2 A. Well, on the 11th, in the evening, General Mladic said that there
3 would be another meeting on the same subject as that meeting, and I had no
4 further information as to what the meeting would be about.
5 Q. Is this photograph, Exhibit 52, is this an accurate reflection of
6 some of the people at that meeting?
7 A. Yes. I didn't really pay much attention as to who was sitting
8 where nor did I take special notice of any particular individuals, but I
9 did see this in the course of the proceedings here.
10 Q. Can you identify the people in this photograph, starting from the
11 gentleman on the right side with the glass in his hand and going over
12 towards his right?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we get 55.
14 A. This is probably an officer from the UNPROFOR Dutch Battalion.
15 This is Lieutenant Colonel Popovic.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. General, excuse me. Could you start with the man in the
18 right-hand side of the picture with the glass in his hand, with him, and
19 then move over? And if you don't know who they are, just tell us.
20 A. I know only two people, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic and Lieutenant
21 Colonel Milutinovic from the Main Staff, the Information Service.
22 This was a man I never saw, though he was present at the meeting,
23 and it was only here that I realised who this person was.
24 Q. For the record, you're pointing to a person in a camouflage shirt
25 at the end of the table on the far left who has been identified as
1 Colonel Jankovic, is that right, General? Is that right?
2 A. Yes. But I had never seen him before until then and that is why I
3 didn't recognise him just now like I did the other officers.
4 Q. And for the record, you said that it -- Milutinovic is sitting on
5 Colonel Jankovic's left side?
6 A. Yes, between Jankovic and Popovic. That is Milutinovic.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is sitting to the left
8 of Milutinovic, for the record. Now --
9 A. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic.
10 Q. I want to direct your attention now to the bottom of the
11 photograph and to the woman. Do you recall her presence at the meeting?
12 A. I remember that she was present. It is this lady who testified
13 here. It was here that I identified her.
14 Q. And then --
15 A. If it hadn't been for this trial, I would never have been able to
16 recognise that woman.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: A couple of brief questions on this photograph,
18 Your Honour, and then we should be ready to break.
19 Q. The person on the left of Camila Osmanovic is a man named Ibro
20 Nuhanovic. Do you recall Mr. Nuhanovic?
21 A. No. I just remember Mandzic.
22 Q. Do you have any information on what happened to Ibro Nuhanovic,
23 his wife, and his 21-year-old son after this meeting?
24 A. No, I have no information whatsoever.
25 Q. What happened to Avdo Palic, the Muslim that negotiated with
1 General Mladic over Zepa?
2 A. Could we refer to that in closed session?
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The question being asked by the
5 Prosecutor was answered by the General in a segment that was not made
6 public, a segment of the interview in his interview with Mr. Ruez, so I
7 think the circumstances warrant that we go into private session.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe that's correct, Your Honour. And again,
10 they're absolutely correct.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So let's go into private session
12 now, please.
13 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are now in open session and
15 we are going to have a one-hour break now.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 1.22 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, are you prepared
3 to proceed?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I believe we should have
5 Exhibit 55 on the ELMO, and we can get ready to follow with Exhibit 49A.
6 That's the transcript of the video.
7 Q. General Krstic, this is a photograph of you and General Mladic at
8 that meeting of 12 July; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. On the basis of the video of the proceedings, I saw that
10 that was from the meeting of the 12th of July.
11 Q. I would like to direct your attention now to part of the
12 transcript which has been on exhibit -- 49A is the English, and the B/C/S
13 should be highlighted, the first place it's highlighted.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the General could be given the B/C/S, and if we
15 could put the English on at page 00904999.
16 Q. I'll ask you about the statement.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for the purposes of the ELMO, we would like
18 it -- it's actually, there is a page 9 on the bottom right-hand corner.
19 If we could start with page 9, Mr. Usher, with the English. Page 9. It
20 should be in the right-hand corner. Then 00904999. It's 49A, not 49C,
21 and it's just ...
22 Q. I want to start with the -- where General Mladic says, "I want to
23 help you." So you can see that paragraph starting, "I want to help you."
24 And I'll read that.
25 "M: I want to help you, but I want absolute cooperation of the
1 civilian population, because your army has been defeated. There is no
2 need for your people to get killed, your husband, your brothers or your
3 neighbours. All you have to do is say what you want. As I told a
4 gentleman last night, you can either survive or disappear . For your
5 survival, I request that all your armed men who attacked and committed
6 crimes -- and many did -- against our people, hand over weapons to the
7 army of Republika Srpska. On handing over weapons, you may choose to stay
8 in the territory, or if it suits you, go where you want. The wish of
9 every individual will be observed, no matter how many of you there are."
10 Then someone responds: "C: Now, how do we get in touch with
11 them?" I believe that was Camila Osmanovic.
12 Then General Mladic says: "M: You are in the position to know.
13 You can if everything is ready, the rest of your army can disarm and hand
14 over weapons to my officers in the presence of UNPROFOR officers. You can
15 choose to stay or, if you wish, if you wish to leave, you can go anywhere
16 you like. When the weapons are handed over, every individual will go
17 where they say they want to go."
18 Now, General Krstic, do you recall sitting there next to
19 General Mladic when he was saying this?
20 A. I did sit next to General Mladic, but as far as all these details
21 of what he said are concerned, I can't remember them all, but the tone was
23 Q. Well, in particular, the statement of survive or disappear and
24 then for survival he lists some conditions, do you recall that part of
1 A. These proceedings confirmed my recollections of that.
2 Q. Did you become concerned for the fate of the Muslim refugees after
3 hearing what Mladic had to say at this meeting and the previous meeting?
4 A. I think that I answered that question of yours yesterday.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this question was addressed to this
6 meeting, and I would -- that's --
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: General Krstic, answer the question, please.
8 A. Well, I did not know any of the details of what General Mladic was
9 intending to do, but I did think about these people who were present
10 there, the representatives of the Muslim people, what they would do, how
11 they could come into contact with the 28th Division and their most
12 responsible men, because they were asked to surrender weapons and for the
13 forces of the 28th Division to surrender. I was wondering how these
14 people would ensure that.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. You say you didn't know the details of what General Mladic was
17 going to do. Did you know in general what he had in mind for the people
18 of Potocari, the women and children?
19 A. I did not speak about the details, the details of what he would
20 do. I was saying -- talking about the details of what he said, his speech
21 which I have in front of me. I didn't know at all what he was going to
22 do, none of the details. What I said referred to what he said and what is
23 in front of me here, what I have before me, his statements before me now.
24 Q. Would you agree that the military-age men from Potocari did, in
25 fact, disappear over the next two days?
1 A. I don't know that. I learnt that in the course of this trial.
2 Q. Did you speak to General Mladic during the meeting?
3 A. No, not at all. I didn't speak to him at all. I took no part in
4 the meeting.
5 Q. After the meeting, did you speak with General Mladic?
6 A. No. I got up and went to carry out my assignment, the assignment
7 that was given to me at the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade on the
8 11th, in the evening.
9 Q. Was there anything to prevent you from speaking to General Mladic
10 and telling him not to harm the refugees in Potocari?
11 A. I did not have time. General Mladic, as was his custom, to get up
12 and conclude the meeting without any comment, he got up straight away.
13 Q. Did you see Colonel Beara anywhere around Bratunac on the 12 July?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you recall General Mladic mentioning something about checking
16 the men between 16 and 60 at this meeting in the morning of 12 July?
17 A. On the evening of the 11th, that they would check this out.
18 That's what he told the representatives of UNPROFOR and the
19 representatives of the Muslim people.
20 Q. What did he say, did General Mladic say?
21 A. Mladic said that the members of the 28th Division must be checked
22 out in order to find people who had perhaps committed war crimes.
23 Q. Did you discuss this with the command staff on the 11th of July or
24 the 12th of July, how this would be done?
25 A. No, not at all, because that was not my task, or any task in
1 connection to this, and anything else when it came to the civilian
2 population and the members of the 28th Division. I was given no
3 assignment of any kind in that regard.
4 JUDGE WALD: Could I just clarify one thing, General? You said
5 that General Mladic said that members of the 28th Division must be checked
6 out to see if they had committed war crimes. When you say "members of the
7 28th Division," in your memory, if that was the term that General Mladic
8 used, is that the same as any man of military age who might be found in
9 Potocari? I mean, when you say "members of the 28th Division would be
10 checked out," did you understand that to mean any man of military age that
11 might be found in Potocari? In other words, was he drawing a distinction
12 between members of the 28th Division, who would be army people, and
13 civilian men, or was, in your view, he was equating any man of military
14 age who might be found in Potocari among the refugees would be included in
15 this screening to see if they had committed war crimes?
16 A. Well, as regards any special details in his speech, they did not
17 exist, but I understood that he wanted to screen the members of the 28th
18 Division, regardless of where they were located, where they were to be
20 JUDGE WALD: Did you understand that to mean that if there were
21 men of military age among the refugees in Potocari, they would be screened
22 out, they would be screened to see if they had committed war crimes?
23 A. Well, that was obvious from his -- from what he said.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I apologise for
1 interrupting as well, but I would like to ask the following.
2 General, you said that you were somewhat concerned with respect to
3 seeing how the civilian people at the meeting were going to do something
4 to disarm the 28th. Is my understanding correct?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You said on several occasions,
7 as somebody who knew General Mladic well, that he gave the choice either
8 to survive or to disappear. Were you not preoccupied with the fate of
9 those civilians, what was to become of them?
10 A. I said earlier on that nobody could or dared comment on anything
11 that General Mladic said. It was a fait accompli. And my thoughts were
12 thoughts that remained deep inside me. They were my own personal
13 thoughts. I wondered how the representatives, that is to say, those two
14 people who were present at the meeting, would be able to implement what
15 General Mladic was requesting.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And with respect to your
17 thoughts and deliberations, were you deeply concerned or was this just a
18 superficial thought: Well, they'll get by it somehow; they'll find a way
19 out somehow? What was the degree of your preoccupations? What did you
20 feel at this time? To what degree did you feel this or give it thought?
21 A. I thought that the representatives of the Muslim people and the
22 UNPROFOR command would contact the 28th Division and that they would find
23 a solution of some kind. Those were my thoughts, along those lines.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Very well. Thank you.
25 Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. General Krstic, in Exhibit 271, the Srebrenica missing document,
3 there are approximately 1.400, mostly men, that are reported missing by
4 their relatives on 12 and 13 July in Potocari. Based on your experience,
5 having been there, does that seem about right to you, 1.400 men of
6 military age in Potocari at the time?
7 A. I don't have that exhibit in front of me, and I cannot make any
8 assessment as to whether that figure is a correct one. I said earlier on
9 that all my knowledge about those events, because at noon on the 12th I
10 had already left the area, so that all my knowledge came much later.
11 Q. In the reviewing of prisoners for war crimes, would it be normal
12 to take their identification documents away from them and discard them?
13 A. Yes, I saw that here during the proceedings. I don't know who did
14 that nor for what purpose. I am still not certain whether those documents
15 were there, but clearly, from what I saw, there were some such instances
16 as well. The normal procedure would be to establish the identity of those
18 Q. So if their identity and their other personal property was taken
19 from them and destroyed, like we saw, that would not be a normal part of
20 an investigation into war crimes?
21 A. No.
22 Q. It is the submission of the Prosecution that the plan to separate
23 the military-aged men at Potocari was developed sometime prior to the
24 actual separation of those men from their families and removal of their
25 documents. Can you comment on this?
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. I think
2 perhaps we have all seen the same thing. The Prosecutor -- your
3 formulation of the question was: "That would not be a normal part of an
4 investigation into war crimes." Is that a statement or a question? The
5 answer was "No." So we have to conclude. Was it normal or not normal?
6 In any event, that is what I noticed. But Mr. Petrusic has
7 something to say too.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] As it has to do with the English
9 translation, Mr. Visnjic will do it better than I can.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we've just lost the
11 line that I wanted to comment on, because the Prosecutor said that from
12 Exhibit 271, it appears that 1.400 men disappeared in Potocari, and that
13 line has disappeared from the screen, but I found that document, and in
14 that document, maybe the translation is wrong, but no number of missing
15 people from Potocari is mentioned in that document. So that would be my
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. McCloskey, you have at
18 least two points to react to and clarify. The mentioned document, does it
19 indeed give this number? It's not so important for the question, but if
20 the number figure is in the record, perhaps we need to clear it up.
21 The other thing is whether it was normal or not to remove the
22 documents of persons that were being screened.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. On point one, you have to
24 count in the document to come up with that number, and the persons that
25 have been helping us with these documents have done that and came up with
1 the number above 1.400. So I was just using that as a gauge to see if the
2 General could help me estimate. This can be done because the document
3 lists missing in Potocari and the dates.
4 And on point two, you're absolutely correct. That question could
5 have been framed differently, and I think I can clear that up very
6 quickly. I'm sure that the General will agree with me that this was not
7 the normal procedure, to take ID documents and destroy them in part of any
9 Q. Is that right, General? This would not be a normal thing to do?
10 A. Yes. It would not.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that clear now, Mr. Visnjic?
13 We are not discussing now the number of missing persons. The question put
14 to the General was to see whether it was normal to have such a large
15 number of people. Whether it is 1.000 or 1.400, I don't think that is
16 relevant. Mr. Visnjic?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am satisfied with
18 Mr. McCloskey's explanation. Thank you.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. McCloskey,
20 continue, please.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. It's the submission of the Prosecution that the plans to murder
23 the military-aged men from Potocari began -- was developed prior to their
24 separation at Potocari. Can you comment on this?
25 A. I am not aware of any plan nor of any indications or signs that
1 anything like that could happen. The Drina Corps Command was not
2 contemplating entering Srebrenica even, never mind having a plan of this
3 kind or of knowing of such a plan.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go now to Exhibit 445A, and if the
5 General could be given the B/C/S version. It is an intercept dated
6 12 July, 12.50 hours, between General Mladic and an unidentified male
8 Q. Take a moment to look at that. And I would call your attention
9 to, in particular, in the middle of the page where, according to this
10 document, General Mladic says, "They've all capitulated and surrendered
11 and we'll evacuate them all - those who want to and those who don't want
12 to." And the person responds and says, "I understand, General."
13 Now, based on your knowledge now as you sit in this courtroom, do
14 you believe the Muslim refugees had a free choice whether to go to the
15 Muslim territory or whether to stay in the former enclave?
16 A. I don't know what kind of choice they had, but at the meeting in
17 Bratunac on the 12th, they decided to go to the territory under the
18 control of the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. Do you believe this was under their own free will, without
21 A. I'm not able to comment on that, because they decided to go.
22 Q. Did you know whether or not the people at the meetings, Muslim
23 people, were afraid? Could you see their fear at those meetings?
24 A. I didn't notice anything more in relation to what I have already
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, if we could address the General again
2 to Exhibit 399A bis, and that is the transcript of the open version of his
3 interview with Mr. Ruez. He should have a highlighted section marked on
4 page 20 of the B/C/S version, and if we could put page 33 of the English
5 version on the ELMO.
6 THE USHER: Which page in the English?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: The English is page 33, and it's page 20 in the
8 B/C/S -- version of the B/C/S.
9 General, if you could go to that page 20, and it starts, "As far
10 as the deportation is concerned ..." which is the second paragraph. If
11 you could zero in the ELMO on that, the second -- well -- there you go.
12 That's it. That's fine.
13 And I'll just read part of this:
14 "As far as the deportation is concerned, since that is the first
15 activity on the list, and this is what I have information on, this is what
16 happened: The deportation took place on the 12th and 13th of July. This
17 was organised, led, and managed by the Commander of the Main Staff,
18 through these senior officers that I have listed. General Mladic was the
19 one who was literally there, commanding the loading of people onto
21 Q. Do you stand by that statement, General?
22 A. That could be seen during the proceedings. Yes. I said, "Yes."
23 Q. And you were also there on 12 July, in the afternoon, in Potocari,
24 weren't you?
25 A. I stayed at the checkpoint, from which I went back and then I
1 continued along Bratunac, Voljevica, Sase, Pribicevac. I had absolutely
2 no contact with civilians or with UNPROFOR members. I was there for a
3 very brief spell of time at the checkpoint, and I intended to go through
4 Srebrenica, and that is what I said in the course of my
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. We'll get into that a little more
7 later, hopefully soon. But if we could now go to Exhibit 446A, which is
8 an intercept at 1305 hours in the afternoon.
9 Q. General, do you recall where you might have been -- or excuse
10 me -- where you were at about 1300 hours?
11 A. At 1300 hours, I was on the way -- on the road between Voljevica,
12 Sase, and Pribicevac. That was the time when I went back from the
13 checkpoint at Potocari, heading towards the forward command post at
15 Q. Did you have the ability to communicate over radio or telephone
16 during your transportation period that you've just described?
17 A. No. There's no telephone along the road. And even when I reached
18 Pribicevac -- this was about 1400 hours -- there were no lines, because
19 the communication centre had been dismantled in the night between the 11th
20 and the 12th of July.
21 Q. Looking at this Exhibit 446, do you know of a Drina Corps person
22 named Sobot?
23 A. Yes. He was an officer in the logistics body of the Drina Corps
25 Q. All right. And I note further down there's mention of the
1 Vlasenica Brigade, which, of course, was a Drina Corps Brigade; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Then there's mention of a Kosoric, and there was a Lieutenant
5 Colonel Kosoric that was the Chief of Intelligence for the Drina Corps; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Kosoric was a Chief of Intelligence in the Corps Command, and
8 there is another Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, the Commander of the
9 Vlasenica Brigade. At the time, he was a Major.
10 Q. So in the context of this conversation, this "Give me Kosoric"
11 would more likely be the Kosoric that's the chief of the Vlasenica
13 A. I don't know who was asking for him. There are two Kosorics.
14 Q. All right. Now, there's a mention -- it says, "Give me Savo. Put
15 me through to Savo." And do you know anyone in the logistics area of the
16 Vlasenica Brigade that has a first name or a nickname of Savo?
17 A. Yes, there was an officer by the name of Savo.
18 Q. And what was his full name?
19 A. I can't remember his surname now, but his name is Savo.
20 Q. Is it Captain Celikovic?
21 A. Possible. There were quite a number of Celikovics. There were
22 other Celikovic officers.
23 Q. Did he have a nickname Srpski or is that just a general
24 exclamation about a fellow Serb?
25 A. I don't know whether he had any kind of nickname.
1 Q. Is there a tunnel near the drop-off point at Luke school where
2 refugees were dropped off to walk toward the Muslim territory?
3 A. I know that there is a tunnel going from Tisca towards Kladanj.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go back to the interview
5 page. It's the Exhibit 399, same page, just a little bit farther down.
6 Page 33 on the English version, page 20 on the B/C/S.
7 Q. General, you have now testified that you recall going in the area
8 of Potocari on 12 July, and I want to read some of the things that you
9 mentioned to Mr. Ruez in your interview and ask you about that. I would
10 start at line 20 of the English version.
11 "I do declare that not a single soldier of the Drina Corps
12 came to the area of Potocari, nor would General Mladic have
13 allowed that, except for those people of his.
14 Q. There was no Drina Corps soldier present in Potocari; is that
16 A. No. No, no.
17 Q. Only the 65 Protection Regiment soldiers and maybe the
18 10th Sabotage Detachment as well?
19 A. Yes. These were the officers and soldiers from the battalion
20 of the military police," and you go on to explain them.
21 So on the 12 July, we understand that you've said that you were
22 there, Popovic was there, Kosoric was there in the photos. Were there any
23 other Drina Corps soldiers or officers present in Potocari on 12 July, to
24 your knowledge?
25 A. As I said, I stopped at the checkpoint only. I didn't pass
1 through Potocari. With the exception of Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, who
2 started off with me to go to the Pribicevac forward command post, I don't
3 know on whose assignment Lieutenant Colonel Popovic arrived. The other
4 officer at the checkpoint from which I returned -- I didn't see any other
5 officers. At the checkpoint, I only saw soldiers that I didn't know who
6 were wearing better camouflage uniforms than those worn by soldiers of the
7 Drina Corps, and it was on that basis that I said this to Mr. Ruez.
8 Q. If we could now go to page 27 on the -- excuse me, page 46 on the
9 English version and page 27-28 on the B/C/S version of the interview.
10 I'll start at just a few lines from the question at line 9.
11 "Q. Did you have any opportunity, on a personal level, to go and
12 check on your own the refugee situation in Potocari?
13 A. No. No, no. The way I went to Viogora was Bratunac. It's an
14 old mine. Sase, Pribicevac, Zeleni Jadar, and Viogora.
15 Q. So you never went into Potocari itself to have a look at the
16 situation of the people there, if men were still among them?
17 A. No, no, no, absolutely not. One could not have passed after
18 the arrival of General Mladic.
19 Q. May I ask, then, how can you be so sure that these separations
20 in Potocari were conducted by the 65th Protection Regiment
21 members, and maybe other of these Main Staff units and not by,
22 let's say, the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. The Bratunac Brigade wasn't even there; wasn't even in the
25 Next page:
1 "On the 11th of July, the Bratunac Brigade could not have got
2 to the area where the refugees were. A Military Police
3 Battalion of the 65th Regiment, on the 11th of July, in the
4 evening, had already blocked Potocari.
5 Q. So you are certain and straight on the fact that no Bratunac
6 Brigade members had anything to do in Potocari during the
7 12th of July and the 13th of July, 1995?
8 A. I told you already that those units that were under command of
9 the brigade commanders were certainly not deployed in the area
10 in this way. However, it may have happened that individuals
11 were appointed by General Mladic and Colonel Beara."
12 Okay. First I want to ask you, when you tell Mr. Ruez, on the
13 previous page, that you did not check in on the situation in Potocari, has
14 your recollection been refreshed as a result of the material you've seen,
15 or do you consider this answer meaning that you did not get into
17 A. I continue to claim that I did not go to Potocari. I only went as
18 far as the checkpoint in Potocari. I was there briefly. I granted an
19 interview there and then I went back and headed towards Pribicevac.
20 Q. Where was that checkpoint in relation to the UN base?
21 A. I cannot remember now exactly where that checkpoint was. I'm not
22 familiar enough with Potocari nor did I have time to make any visits, not
23 only Potocari, but many other places in the responsibility of the corps.
24 Q. How far were --
25 A. I didn't learn anything in particular that would have impressed
1 itself on my mind so that I would remember it.
2 Q. How far were you from the area where the refugees were being
3 blocked and assembled in Potocari?
4 A. I didn't see a single refugee. That can clearly be seen on the
5 shot when I was giving the interview. I didn't see a single refugee. And
6 that is why I cannot remember where it was exactly.
7 Q. Do you have knowledge of members of the Bratunac Brigade being in
8 Potocari on the 12th of July?
9 A. I saw and heard this from witnesses during the proceedings, when
10 some were named individually, and I saw someone who is identified here
11 as -- I think his name was Kovacevic. Until then, I had no knowledge as
12 to the presence of the Bratunac Brigade in the Potocari area, either
13 individuals or units.
14 Q. How about other members of the Drina Corps? Do you have knowledge
15 of other members of the Drina Corps that we haven't mentioned already
16 being in Potocari on 12 July or 13 July?
17 A. I had no knowledge about that.
18 Q. And when you stopped the vehicle and got out of the vehicle to
19 give the press interview, as you've described, how far did you walk from
20 your vehicle to give the interview?
21 A. I think I didn't walk anywhere because I moved with great
22 difficulty anyway. So I couldn't walk around or spend any length of time
23 there. I stayed there only for as long as the interview lasted, and then
24 I got back into my car and turned back.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I believe it's a break.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We're going to have a
2 15-minute break now.
3 --- Recess taken at 2.15 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 2.29 p.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 If we could proceed with the playing of Exhibit 66, which is the
8 very brief video of the interview. And prior to playing it, perhaps we
9 should get the transcript, which is Exhibit 67, of that brief interview.
10 If we could play the video. And yes, if you could put the transcript on
11 the ELMO. It's just a one-pager, and General Krstic has the B/C/S of the
12 transcript. But, obviously, could we play the video.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we stop? I'm sorry. This video worked the
15 first time. Is there any way to make it work? This obviously was not
16 working. Can we give it one more try and then we'll go on.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The video booth has informed me that they're
18 working on it, so it should take a second.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps, Mr. McCloskey, if you
21 have another question. No, we have it. We seem to have it.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can ask a couple as we wait.
23 Q. General Krstic, who was in the vehicle with you that stopped at
24 this checkpoint?
25 A. My driver, Dalibor Krstic, and the driver Vlado Tosic.
1 Q. Earlier you mentioned Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric. Was he with you
2 in this area of Potocari?
3 A. He had his own vehicle and he went with me to pass through
4 Srebrenica to go to Pribicevac, because throughout that time he was at
5 Pribicevac with me.
6 Q. So he was stopped at the same place you were in Potocari, Colonel
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. And who was with Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric?
10 A. I don't know who was in the car with him, but we saw from the
11 video that behind us was Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. He was standing
12 behind us.
13 Q. So do you think Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was travelling in the
14 same vehicle as Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric?
15 A. No. No. Each of them had their own vehicle.
16 Q. What other vehicles were in your group of vehicles, yours and
17 Kosoric's, that got stopped at the same time, if any?
18 A. There was my vehicle, and behind me was Lieutenant Colonel
19 Kosoric. I didn't see Lieutenant Colonel Popovic come there at all. I
20 didn't see him arrive.
21 Q. Were there only two vehicles, then, in your group that were
23 A. Just my vehicle and the vehicle of Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric. I
24 don't know where the vehicle belonging to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was,
25 whether it went behind us at all or not.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: How are we on the video?
2 THE REGISTRAR: There seems to be a problem with the video, so
3 they're trying to correct it. The video is still jumping, but the sound
4 is okay. That's the best that they could do.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, let's pass on the jumpy video and perhaps
6 try that tomorrow. And we have a still, Exhibit 58, that we can go with
7 for now.
8 Q. Now, General Krstic, can you identify the faces, if you can, in
9 this video? Let's start with the person who's immediately behind you,
10 over your right shoulder. Do you know who that person is?
11 A. That's my driver, Dalibor Krstic.
12 Q. And I know we don't really get a very good view of the person over
13 your left shoulder. Do you have any recollection or do you know his nose
14 well enough to make an ID?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And the person farther back. I know this is a blurry picture, but
17 we've seen this video. Is that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic?
18 A. He's quite far off, but the appearance does seem to indicate that
19 it is Lieutenant Colonel Popovic.
20 Q. And in the video, we notice trucks going by you during the
21 interview, in both directions, I believe. What were the purposes of those
22 big trucks?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Did you know at the time?
25 A. I didn't pay attention to that at all.
1 Q. All right. And in the -- and referring to number 67, the
2 transcript of your interview, you talk about the Drina Corps carrying out
3 this operation very successfully. "We did not halt the operation. We'll
4 go all the way to liberate Srebrenica territory. We guarantee the
5 security of the civilian population."
6 So you were making a guarantee, over Serb video, of the civilian
7 population; is that right?
8 A. I just said what General Mladic said to those who attended the
10 Q. When you said "we guarantee," who did you mean?
11 A. I've already said. What General Mladic said, I conveyed that;
12 same thing.
13 Q. Meaning "We, the VRS"?
14 A. The army of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Did you do anything yourself to guarantee the security of the
16 civilian population at the time, either before you made this statement or
18 A. I didn't -- wasn't given that assignment at all. I was given my
19 assignment from General Mladic, and that assignment was Zepa.
20 Q. There were also buses in the video. Do you know what the buses
21 were for?
22 A. I didn't notice any buses. Perhaps they -- it is quite possible
23 that they passed by or that they arrived at that time.
24 Q. What time was this, as best you can recall?
25 A. After the meeting ended. The meeting ended at about 12.00, so it
1 could have been about 1230 hours.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now, if we could go to Exhibit number
4 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. The meeting of the 12th of July?
5 A. Yes, Your Honour, the 12th of July.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. General, we have, we see, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric in the back
8 of a -- and we'll show the still of that -- but we see him in the back of
9 the film of the interview with a Bratunac Brigade officer, and since he
10 was -- Kosoric was within your party, do you know, in relation to time,
11 when this Bratunac officer gave the interview that Kosoric is in the back
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. And did Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric travel down to wherever you
15 were going when you left this area with you?
16 A. I ordered him to report to me at Krivaca on the 13th at the
17 forward command post, and he was there. He did not continue on with me to
19 Q. All right. Getting back to the exhibit that's there, now, this is
20 a photograph not taken at the time of the events. Mr. Ruez testified that
21 this is based on his study of the video. This is the general area where
22 he felt you were standing.
23 Now, I don't know if you can make anything out of this photograph
24 or not, but can you tell us, does this photograph help you in identifying
25 whether or not you were standing between these two arrows that Mr. Ruez
1 has identified?
2 A. I don't know. I can't say. I'm not able to say.
3 Q. Do you see this blue tinted building in the background behind the
4 two vehicles, with a power pole sticking up behind it? Do you recall that
5 building at all?
6 A. I didn't pay attention to the buildings, and I can't remember
7 whether that is that building or some other one.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 769, which is a blow-up
9 of an aerial. And if we could put it on the easel, that would be
10 helpful. It's right here in front of me. Yes, easel first. And if you
11 could place that so the General can get a good look at it, pointing in his
12 direction. And if the camera could zero in on the area around the red
14 Now, General, on this exhibit, this is a 12 July aerial photograph
15 from the United States, around 1400 hours.
16 And for the record, Mr. Ruez has recently marked with two red
17 arrows the area that his analysis has determined General Krstic to have
18 been in. And for the record --
19 Q. And General Krstic, down in the very right-hand corner of that
20 photograph, you can see what's been marked as an X. That is the part of
21 the UN compound, and the entrance of the UN compound is unfortunately off
22 the photograph, but that is the area of the UN compound, just off the
23 photograph to the south, what would be the south or below the photograph.
24 Now, using buses for a scale, by this photograph you're four or
25 five bus lengths from the crowd of people during this interview. Do you
1 have any reason to dispute this as the location where you gave the
3 A. I don't know Potocari that well, so I cannot claim that I was
4 there at that spot.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have an objection
7 to make to the form in which the question was asked. When he said that it
8 was four or five bus lengths away, as far as I can see the photograph, I
9 don't think that is a good way of putting it. Perhaps the question could
10 be reformulated. But from my angle of vision, I couldn't say, and
11 therefore I think that the question ought to be reformulated.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I can try to be as clear as
14 possible on this point, but we have the bus yard, the express bus compound
15 in the centre of this photograph, and I think we can see very clearly
16 three buses adjacent to the crowd of people. And on these kind of
17 photographs, a very simple scale is always the best way to go, and I was
18 just using what appears to be buses -- there has been testimony of
19 witnesses that stayed in buses in this area -- as a means to gauge
20 distance. If the witness disagrees, fine, but I was just trying to
21 simplify it.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But you started saying that you
23 were going to be more precise in your questions, so that's what we're
24 asking for. Please try to be more precise.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. General Krstic, had you been some 150 -- sorry, Your Honour. I
2 was using feet. Did you see any people during your interview on the
3 television in the vicinity of where that crowd of people is gathered?
4 A. One civilian -- I didn't see a single civilian refugee there. I
5 stopped there for a very brief period of time, after which I returned. I
6 didn't even try to notice everything. I was in a hurry. I was on my way
7 to the former -- to the forward command post of Pribicevac, and I've
8 already said that it was my intention to pass through Potocari and to go
9 through Srebrenica to go to Pribicevac.
10 Q. Were you able to --
11 A. Why should I contest that? Why should I contest passing through
12 Potocari? I am speaking the truth, that I came there, I was stopped, I
13 gave the interview, I didn't even know that I was going to give it, and
14 then I returned to the forward command post. I took the direction that I
15 spoke about earlier on.
16 I'm not afraid of anything. I'm not afraid of saying that I
17 passed through Potocari if I passed through Potocari, but I did not pass
18 through Potocari. I just stayed there for a very brief period of time.
19 And the statements that I was there on the 12th and the 13th, that really
20 is -- well, it's something that's quite unprecedented.
21 Q. Are you contesting Mr. Ruez's location of you between these two
22 arrows on --
23 A. I said I don't know Potocari, especially as this is an aerial
24 photograph, not even on this photograph here, the building. I didn't
25 notice anything out of -- anything that I would remember, that would have
1 stayed in my mind.
2 Q. The white house that has been shown several times in this case was
3 the place where Muslim males were separated to initially. Do you have any
4 recollection of that white house, having seen either it immediately before
5 or after your interview?
6 A. I learnt of the white house during the course of these proceedings
7 here, during the trial. There are a lot of white houses in that area.
8 Not only in that area, in others too.
9 Q. Did you continue on through Potocari to get to your destination or
10 did you turn around back and go another way?
11 A. I turned back and went back to Bratunac and then to Voljevica, and
12 from Voljevica to Sase, and from Sase to Pribicevac. That is the
13 direction I took previously, and not only I took but everybody else took
14 that direction until the other road had been passable, made passable, the
16 Q. The direction of Bratunac is on the right side of the photograph,
17 and the direction to Potocari is on the left side of the photograph.
18 Now, General, why did you turn around? Why didn't you just go on
19 through the centre of Potocari, on towards Srebrenica?
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, excuse me,
21 please. I am trying not to intervene, but I feel I have to at this
22 point. I think that we're going 'round and 'round in circles, because the
23 General has already explained all this. You keep repeating, and we would
24 like to tell you -- and you say that on Wednesday you will be ending the
25 cross-examination. So organise your time well if you wish to do this by
2 What I want to say is that I think that the General has already
3 answered that question that you're asking him now. The answer was that
4 there was a checkpoint which did not allow passage. But at any rate, the
5 General is going to answer the question, but, Mr. McCloskey, please
6 refrain from repetition, otherwise, we're going to waste too much time.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour. It was my understanding
8 that the checkpoint stopped him, but it was not my understanding that it
9 prevented him from going on further, and if I missed that in the record, I
10 apologise. That was my only question, whether or not he was able to go on
11 further or whether he turned around.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. But having made that
13 precision, go ahead with your question and let's hear what the General has
14 to say. I thought he was saying that the people that were there at the
15 checkpoint told him that only if he had an order from General Mladic was
16 anybody allowed to pass. So that gives me the idea that he had no
17 possibility of continuing. But ask the question and we'll hear it in
18 detail, the answer in detail.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. General, was the reason that you turned around and went back
21 towards Bratunac because the soldiers at the checkpoint wouldn't let you
22 go through?
23 A. Precisely so, because they had received orders from General Mladic
24 not to allow anybody to pass through, and this was the order issued. And
25 I came to realise that it would not be good to go on further because I had
1 only two soldiers with me. I just had the two drivers. I had no special
2 security and the situation was unclear, continued to be unclear, and
3 that's why I returned. I went back for those two reasons. The first
4 reason, that I respected what the soldiers told me, and I did an
5 about-turn and went back.
6 Q. Did you see General Mladic in the area at any time while you were
7 at this checkpoint?
8 A. General Mladic stayed behind me. General Mladic stayed behind
9 me. I didn't know where he was going to go, whether to Potocari or to
10 some other place after the meeting in Bratunac ended.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the video, I'm told, is now okay.
12 Perhaps we can play it and then end on that note.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, yes.
14 [Videotape played]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is the technical booth ready to
16 play the video?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's being played. Apparently, Your Honour,
18 there's no sound. However, I would like to get out of Potocari, and we
19 have the transcript, so if we can just watch this and we'll be ready to
20 exit the town. I think that may be an appropriate place to stop.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we play the video,
22 Madam Registrar?
23 THE REGISTRAR: The video booth has informed me that it's ready to
24 go with the sound.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can try again with a little sound.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] With the sound, because we
2 weren't getting any sound. Let's try once again from the beginning now.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Well, finally we were able to
6 see the video. Can we now take a break, Mr. McCloskey?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. I'd appreciate that.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that this is high time
9 to adjourn, with all these noises going on. There seems to be something
10 amiss. I think that all the teams seem to be tired.
11 Judge Fouad Riad, perhaps your microphone is better than mine.
12 JUDGE RIAD: General Krstic, if you remember what you were saying,
13 you said, "Nothing will stop us." "Stop us" from what?
14 A. Your Honour, I meant checking out the terrain which would have to
15 be done and to group the units with respect to the Zepa assignment.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have no further questions for the day. I wish
19 I could say that, Your Honour, for the cross-examination, but we must go
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think I'll have to
22 stop talking because my microphone is not functioning properly.
23 We resume tomorrow morning at 9.20.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m., to be
25 reconvened on Tuesday, the 31st day of October, 2000 at 9.20 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 and English transcripts.