1 Tuesday, 31
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.22 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning, technical booth, the interpreters, the Office of
7 the Prosecutor, Defence counsel, General Krstic.
8 I remind you that you are still under oath and you will continue
9 to answer questions that Mr. McCloskey has for you.
10 You have the floor, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. President, Your
12 Honours, counsel, General Krstic.
13 Could we have Exhibit 28.5.1 on the ELMO.
14 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
17 Q. General Krstic is Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric related to you?
18 A. Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric is my wife's brother.
19 Q. And if you could view this Exhibit 28.5.1, is this a
20 photograph -- actually, it's a split photograph, both of which are
21 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And yesterday you testified that you and Lieutenant Colonel
24 Kosoric went towards Pribicevac together. You were stopped in Potocari,
25 though you said you had two different cars. You said that you went on to
1 Pribicevac, as originally planned, but that Colonel Kosoric did not. Can
2 you tell us why Colonel Kosoric did not go on to Pribicevac with you, as
3 originally planned?
4 A. I was in a hurry to get to Pribicevac, and I told him to come to
5 Krivaca, at the forward command post, and to report to me on the 13th, and
6 that is what he did.
7 Q. What were his duties between the afternoon of 12 July, when you
8 split up at Potocari, until the time of the 13th, when you met up again in
10 A. I didn't give him any particular assignment. I just told him to
11 report to me at Krivaca.
12 Q. As the Chief of Intelligence, did he have any important work to
13 do, either for the operation occurring in Potocari or for the operation
14 that was to occur in Zepa?
15 A. I didn't give him any assignments in connection with Potocari.
16 His duty was linked to Zepa, as the head of intelligence.
17 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric was at the 12 July meeting concerning
18 the refugees at the Hotel Fontana with you, was he not?
19 A. Yes, he was at the meeting.
20 Q. Now, I would like to remind you of some of the testimony that we
21 heard briefly and then ask you questions about it, and I want to go back
22 to the testimony of Witness C, who testified in private session. He was
23 one of the Dutch officers that was present at the 12 meeting. And I would
24 refer the Court, and for the record, on the transcript of page
25 111 -- excuse me -- page 1179. And I would start at line 12 and briefly
1 read this to see if this will refresh your recollection regarding some of
2 the activities of Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric:
3 "MR. CAYLEY: Could the witness be -- I'm sorry to bother the
4 usher again, but just so we're clear who we're talking about, if 28.5.1
5 can be placed on the ELMO. That's the exhibit that's there. It's already
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. We originally thought it
8 was private. Could we double-check this for one second? It may have been
9 closed. I was wrong. It is closed. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Could we go
10 into closed?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We're going into private session
12 now, please.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 6651 to 6652 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in open session. You may
14 continue, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. So between the afternoon hours of July 12th when you and
17 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric separated, the morning of the July 13th when
18 you met up again at Krivaca, what type of communication, if any, did you
19 have with Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric?
20 A. I had no communication with him at all.
21 Q. Did you receive any written reports from Lieutenant Colonel
22 Kosoric during this time period?
23 A. I don't remember any written reports.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could now go to Exhibit 739. "A" is the
25 English, and if we could put the English on the ELMO and give the General
1 the B/C/S version and give him a chance to take a look at it.
2 For the record, this is a document that was provided to the
3 Prosecution by the Government of Republika Srpska pursuant to a binding
5 Q. All right. General, have you had a chance to see this document?
6 Did Republika Srpska provide you with this document as was their habit
7 with the other documents that we received pursuant to binding orders?
8 A. I have never seen this document. It was sent on the 13th of July
9 to the Pribicevac forward command post. This forward command post at
10 Pribicevac stopped operating between the 11th and the 12th, and so I never
11 saw this document. I see it for the first time.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic. You have
13 something to object to?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the objection relates
15 to the question. If I understand it correctly, Mr. McCloskey mentioned
16 that Republika Srpska, on the basis of a binding order, provided certain
17 documents to the Defence. I have to say that Republika Srpska has not
18 given a single document to the Defence on the basis of the binding order,
19 and I don't know how Mr. McCloskey came to learn this or where the
20 information comes from.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: The information was passed on to me through the
23 liaison of the Republika Srpska through our people. That was what I had
24 been told, that they would be providing the information to the Defence.
25 Whether it was or not, I never knew. That's why I asked the question.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the Defence tells us that
2 they did not receive the document. But in any event, we're going to
3 discuss it. You have the explanation, Mr. Visnjic. The same source that
4 provided the document to the Prosecutor said that they provided it to the
5 Defence. You tell us that you haven't received it, so that is it.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have nothing to
7 add. I'm just saying -- it's just a statement.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I also wish to note that the
9 English court reporter changed my name. But never mind, I'm going to be
10 Judge May from now on. No problem. But please continue [Realtime
11 transcript read in error "JUDGE MAY"]
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Judge May.
13 Q. Let's go over this document, if we could, a bit, to try to figure
14 what it is and what it says. It's entitled "Ministry of Interior,
15 Minister's Office, Zvornik CJB," and the first statement under it is: "We
16 hereby forward to you the full text from the Drina Corps Command of the
17 army of Republika Srpska," and then following that appears to be a text of
18 some sort. Is it your understanding that this is a Ministry of Interior
19 communication passing on a Drina Corps text to the Zvornik --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we come to the next
22 stage of the problem. As the document hasn't been disclosed to us earlier
23 on, perhaps we need to be given some time to study it. We only saw it for
24 the first time today. So that would be my objection.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But Mr. Visnjic, you have your
1 opportunity for re-examination. Then you will have plenty of time to
2 prepare for it.
3 Okay. Continue, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Simply put, this is the Ministry of Interior passing on to the
6 Zvornik CJB a Drina Corps document; is that right?
7 A. Under the name of the institution, the Centre of Public Security
8 in Zvornik, to the chief of the centre, it says that "We are conveying the
9 full text of a message from the Drina Corps Command."
10 Q. All right. And then the text that they're conveying is entitled
11 "Command of the Drina Corps, Intelligence and Security Department," 13
12 July, and it's addressed to the Main Staff of the army of Republika
13 Srpska, Intelligence and Security Sector. Now, also the Republika Srpska
14 MUP and the Pribicevac Forward Command Post, to General Krstic personally,
15 to Bratunac Forward Command Post, to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic
16 personally, and to the Commander of the 1st BBR personally.
17 So the Drina Corps is now addressing documents to the MUP
18 regarding the subject matter of this document. Do you know which MUP they
19 would be referring to?
20 A. It says the MUP of Republika Srpska, the Ministry of the Interior
21 of the Republika Srpska, as I just said. This document could not, under
22 any circumstances, reach the Pribicevac Forward Command Post, because that
23 command post no longer existed there, nor was there anyone there. Then
24 Bratunac is mentioned, and the Command of the Drina Corps never had a
25 forward command post in Bratunac. I don't know where Lieutenant Colonel
1 Popovic was at the time. Then it says the 1st Birac Brigade, to the
2 commander personally. I don't know why it would be sent to the Birac
3 Brigade. As for the IKM Pribicevac, such a message could not go there,
4 because it no longer existed, nor could it have been compiled by
5 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric.
6 Q. The substance of the order, which I won't take the time to read,
7 is an analysis of the movement of the column out of the Srebrenica
8 enclave, going in the direction of Tuzla; is that correct?
9 A. From the contents, you can see that they are moving towards
10 Tuzla. I had no information at that time as to this type of movement. My
11 first -- the first knowledge I gained was when on the 12th I came to
12 Vlasenica, and then the officer on duty told me that a breakthrough by the
13 forces of the 28th Division had been carried out towards Tuzla; nothing
14 more than that. He never informed me of any details, nor did he have any
15 details, as is stated here in this text.
16 Q. And I note on the third paragraph of the document entitled --
17 starting "The third group," the second sentence says:
18 "The leader of this group, who calls himself "Fantom" on the
19 radio, was born in Kamenica and is probably commander of all the groups,
20 asking him to issue an order as to what to do when they fell into on
21 ambush and had several wounded and dead."
22 Now, do you recall the evidence of survivors of the Kamenica
24 A. I don't know -- there are two Kamenicas. Which Kamenica do you
25 mean? I don't know which you mean.
1 Q. The survivors testified about the one just outside of the enclave,
2 not the one up closer to Zvornik. This could be referring to the Kamenica
3 outside the enclave; is that correct?
4 A. I do apologise, but I cannot now claim that I heard from witnesses
5 that this refers to the Kamenica near the enclave and not the Kamenica by
7 Q. In addition, there's a note that a person calls himself Fantom on
8 the radio, which is an indication, is it not, that Serb forces are
9 intercepting the radio communications from this Fantom?
10 A. I don't know. I don't know whether they intercepted and monitored
11 or not.
12 Q. This report appears to be founded partly on intercepted radio
13 conversations, does it not?
14 A. I don't know whether the entire text refers to that or not.
15 Q. I would ask you -- I'll quote one other line in this where, down
16 in the second to the last paragraph, after saying about the "ambush" and
17 "had several wounded and dead": "Well, our soldiers were using
18 megaphones, asking them to surrender."
19 Do you recall the witnesses in this case that heard over
20 loudspeakers people along the Bratunac-Milici Road asking for Muslims to
21 come out of the woods and surrender? Could this possibly be a reference
22 to that?
23 A. I don't know whether it's a reference to that.
24 Q. After you found out about several thousand Muslim men being
25 murdered, did you ask your brother-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric,
1 anything about that, having known that he was -- you left him on the
2 afternoon of 12 July?
3 A. I did not ask him anything nor was he down there at that time.
4 Q. Now, this document, at the end says, "Chief of Intelligence and
5 Security Department, Lieutenant Colonel," and then there's a set of quotes
6 and nothing else. Who is the Chief of Intelligence and Security
7 Department of the Drina Corps?
8 A. It doesn't say who it is. The Chief of Staff was Lieutenant -- of
9 the department was Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, and he quite certainly
10 could not have compiled this report because he quite certainly did not
11 have the information that is set out in this document. It does not state
12 at all the chief of the department of the Drina Corps. It just says
13 "Chief of Intelligence and Security Department" and "Lieutenant
14 Colonel." That's all it says.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could now go to Exhibit 454A.
16 Q. General Krstic, this document is Exhibit 454A, that is, a
17 compilation of the witnesses that identified Bratunac Brigade officers or
18 soldiers in Potocari on the 12th or 13th. How do you account the presence
19 of Bratunac Brigade soldiers in Potocari on these dates?
20 A. This document was compiled on the basis of the testimony of
21 witnesses. I did not see, at any time, any of these -- any one of these
22 people on any exhibit, and, therefore, I cannot comment their presence in
24 Q. Should these people have been present in Potocari based on your
25 knowledge and experience in the events?
1 A. I don't know whether they should have been present, whether
2 anybody gave them any assignments. The witnesses spoke about the people
3 whom they knew previously, as far as I remember. I never saw any one of
4 these nor did I know them, except for this man Momir Nikolic.
5 Q. You told Mr. Ruez that the Bratunac Brigade couldn't have been
6 there because of a checkpoint. Do you recall that?
7 A. I don't think I said because of a checkpoint, Mr. Ruez -- to
8 Mr. Ruez. I said I did not exclude the possibility that individuals did
9 appear there.
10 Q. So if these individuals did appear in Potocari, it would have been
11 as individuals, not as part of the units that they are belonging to?
12 A. If they appeared there, then that would be what it was.
13 Q. About Colonel Lazar Acamovic. Do you know where he was on
14 13 July?
15 A. I personally don't know where he was. He was the assistant of the
16 command for the Corps for Logistics. I didn't assign Colonel Lazar
17 anything nor did he ever come to the Pribicevac forward command post nor
18 did I ever see him on the 11th -- on the evening of the 11th in Bratunac
19 or on the 12th of July either.
20 Q. At page 2028 of the trial transcript of Major Franken, on line 21,
21 Major Franken said that he met with -- with Colonel Acamovic and that
22 "yes," and I quote from line 21:
23 "Yes. Well, he demanded transport and he demanded fuel. Well,
24 as is probably known, we didn't have any fuel and I didn't grant him
25 transport as well. I thought it was a very bad idea to have UN cars with
1 Serb drivers on it riding around."
2 Did you know that Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel Acamovic was in
3 Potocari demanding fuel from Major Franken?
4 A. No. I did not know that he was there. But on the basis of the
5 order of the Corps Commander with respect to the buses, he is the person
6 who should have seen to the fact that the order was carried out.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we place Exhibit 460 and have 461
9 Q. General Krstic, Mr. Butler has testified that, based on the number
10 on this APC and reviewing the Bratunac Brigade records, that this APC, on
11 the July 13th video footage of Mr. Petrovic comes back to the Bratunac
12 Brigade. What would a Bratunac Brigade APC be doing in Potocari on the
13 13th of July?
14 A. I can see from this photograph that it is a self-propelled vehicle
15 of 10 millimetres 90. If the facts are correct from the Bratunac Brigade
16 that it had within its composition a vehicle of this kind, then it is
17 possible that it is their vehicle. If it is true that on the 13th of July
18 this vehicle passed through, and I think that we saw it on the photo, then
19 that was in the phase of pulling out the Bratunac Brigade for the
20 assignment towards Zepa and that that particular vehicle passed through
22 Q. So are you saying now the Bratunac Brigade went towards Zepa on
23 July 13th?
24 A. Yes. That was the time when the Brigade Commander was to collect
25 up the units towards Podravanje [phoen] as to carry out the task towards
1 Zepa, assignment towards Zepa.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could put 461 on. This is a piece of
3 equipment that was identified by Mr. Butler as belonging to the Bratunac
4 Brigade; same time, same film. Is your explanation basically the same as
5 to this piece of equipment, General Krstic, that they were moving out
6 towards Zepa on the 13th?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, if we could go to Exhibit 185.
9 Q. General Krstic, if you could look at this exhibit, and can you
10 identify this man?
11 A. Do I have to say this in open session?
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] This question, Mr. McCloskey, is
13 part of the public interview or the confidential interview?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe it's part of the public interview, but I
15 believe it's part that we made an exception for yesterday and went into
16 private briefly. So I have no objection to just quickly go into private
17 session. Unless my recollection is wrong on that point.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Let us move into private
19 session to hear the answer to that question, please.
20 [Private session]
12 Pages 6663 to 6664 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Please continue.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. General Krstic, you see the blue helmet on this photograph. Can
16 you explain the presence of a blue-helmeted soldier along the
17 Bratunac-Milici road on 13 July?
18 A. I cannot explain that.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 529A. Your Honour,
20 perhaps this is a good time for a break. It appears on the search for the
21 exhibit, and we'll be ready to go after the break.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. This is a good
23 moment, then, to take our break. We adjourn for 15 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.30 a.m.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you may
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. General Krstic, when you left Potocari to go to Pribicevac, did
5 you tie in with any other vehicles or any other people or did you drive on
6 to Pribicevac in only one vehicle?
7 A. I went in my vehicle. There was only one vehicle.
8 Q. And did you have a means of communication between Potocari and
9 Pribicevac to communicate to anyone?
10 A. No.
11 Q. When was the first time after leaving Potocari that you had a
12 means to communicate?
13 A. Only once I arrived at the command post in Vlasenica in the early
14 evening hours on the 12th.
15 Q. So you were completely out of communication from the afternoon of
16 12 July until the evening hours of 12 July?
17 A. Yes. I was on the move.
18 Q. Now, if you could take a look at the Exhibit 529. You should have
19 "A". You should have the "B" section in front of you. And looking where
20 it mentions Borovcanin from the Specials. Ljubisa Borovcanin was, in
21 fact, from the MUP Special Police; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you have a communication with Ljubisa Borovcanin in the
24 evening hours of 13 July when you asked him how things were going?
25 A. I did not communicate with Ljubisa Borovcanin at all. I had no
1 contact with him nor did I call him. And there are some things here that
2 I would never use when speaking, especially not talking to a MUP colonel.
3 Not even with a soldier would I use such expressions.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go to the next exhibit
5 which is Exhibit 515A.
6 Q. What time did you arrive in the Vlasenica headquarters on
7 12 July?
8 A. It was early evening. I think between 1700 and 1800 hours.
9 Q. Was General Zivanovic there?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Now, if you could look at this Exhibit 515A, which is an intercept
12 dated 13 July, 1009 hours. It has been an exhibit in this case before.
13 Is there a Drina Corps person named Lucic?
14 A. I never heard of that person.
15 Q. How about someone by the name of Zoka?
16 A. I don't know who that could be at all.
17 Q. Now, I don't want to go all the way through this intercept except
18 to note that, as you can see, the person who is identified as Beara in the
19 intercept makes several derogatory remarks about Muslims. The first
20 reference is referring to "Do you know about the 400 Balijas that have
21 shown up in Konjevic Polje?" Then he says later on, "Shove them on the
22 playground. Who gives a fuck about them?" And then "Z" says, "Well, here
23 it's ... they're killing themselves ... there are also plenty of
24 wounded." And he says, "You mean they're doing it amongst themselves?"
25 And later on he says, "Just let them continue."
1 Does this reflect the kind of attitude that Ljubo Beara had
2 towards Muslims?
3 A. I don't know. I never heard him calling the Muslims by this
5 Q. You have no knowledge whatsoever about his attitude towards
7 A. I didn't know.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 517.
9 Q. Do you recall the evidence -- before we get to that exhibit, do
10 you recall the evidence about Muslims being assembled on various
11 playgrounds or fields between Nova Kasaba and Bratunac?
12 A. Yes, I recall that.
13 Q. All right. In looking at Exhibit 517, Colonel Milinovic. You
14 have mentioned, I believe in your direct testimony, a Colonel Milanovic.
15 Who is the Colonel Milanovic from the Drina Corps?
16 A. Colonel Milanovic is the Chief of the Air Defences in the Drina
17 Corps. And in the Zepa operation, he was responsible for following the
18 Bratunac and Milici Brigade and the Skelani Battalion, for monitoring
20 Q. And what is a Palma?
21 A. "Palma" is a code name for the Zvornik Brigade.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 458A bis. We need 458A
23 bis on the ELMO, so if you could remove that one. This is a conversation
24 noted by the Prosecution to have occurred on 13 July at 1822 hours.
25 Q. General Krstic, is there a Colonel Lazic in the Drina Corps?
1 A. Yes, there was a Colonel Lazic, only I'm not sure whether at the
2 time he may have gone to the Main Staff to take up a new position.
3 Q. What was his position in July 1995 for the Drina Corps?
4 A. He was an officer in the operations body, with Colonel Vicic.
5 Q. Who was the superior officer in the operations body?
6 A. Colonel Vicic.
7 Q. Was Colonel Lazic upset that he didn't get the Chief of Staff job
8 and that Andric got it instead?
9 A. I don't know that.
10 Q. Do you recognise the phone number that's noted here, 889-110?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And the area code 071, what area is that for?
13 A. 071 is the Sarajevo region.
14 Q. And on July 13th, were you outside a building with General Mladic
15 during the hours around 1800 hours to 1900 hours?
16 A. At the time, I was in a tent at the forward command post. There
17 wasn't a building anywhere near. Maybe in an area of two kilometres from
18 that spot. I was at the Krivaca Forward Command Post.
19 Q. You have testified about a meeting that you had with General
20 Mladic at Vlasenica where he assembled people and told the assembled
21 people that you were now the Commander of the Zepa operation and General
22 Zivanovic was staying as the Corps Commander. Is that correct?
23 A. I was at the command post in Vlasenica on the 13th, in the morning
24 hours. As I testified earlier, I came for Colonel Vicic, who stayed
25 behind to type out the order for Zepa and prepare the other documents. I
1 did not mention at all that General Mladic said that General Zivanovic
2 would remain the Corps Commander, because that was not discussed at all.
3 I said earlier on that I stayed there briefly, after he had
4 congratulated those present on the success achieved in Srebrenica and the
5 Drina Corps. He inquired about the preparations for the Zepa operation.
6 I told him briefly, and he said -- he repeated again that I was the
7 Commander of the forces for Zepa and that I should march towards Zepa and
8 not come back until I completed the task.
9 Immediately after that I set off towards Han Pijesak. Lieutenant
10 Savic and myself parted from Colonel Vicic in Han Pijesak. We went to the
11 military hospital and he continued on to the forward command post at
13 Q. Was Major Golic present --
14 A. Those were the -- no, I don't remember whether he was present.
15 Q. Now, you did not tell Mr. Ruez about the testimony that you just
16 mentioned, the meeting at the Vlasenica headquarters on the 13th. Do you
17 know what it was that caused your change in -- excuse me. Do you know
18 what it was that caused you to remember this meeting and testify about it,
19 when you were not able to tell Mr. Ruez about it?
20 A. I have given reasons for some of the differences that occur
21 between what I told Mr. Ruez and what I said during my testimony here,
22 when I was examined by the Defence attorneys: that I couldn't remember all
23 the details, but later on, when the Defence managed to gain possession of
24 a certain number of documents and to contact certain people, I remembered
25 that I had come to pick up Colonel Vicic on the 13th. I stayed there very
1 briefly. It wasn't a meeting. My encounter with Mladic and Zivanovic in
2 the morning in Vlasenica was a chance meeting; it wasn't a planned
4 Q. General, what was it in particular that caused you to remember
5 this chance meeting with General Mladic at the Vlasenica headquarters on
6 the 13th July.
7 A. I was thinking over all the details in much greater detail than I
8 had before the interview I had with Mr. Ruez.
9 Q. There was nothing in particular, just the fact that you had
10 greater time to think about it?
11 A. Yes. I spent a lot of time thinking over the interview I had had
12 with Mr. Ruez.
13 Q. How much time did you have to think about the interview you gave
14 Mr. Ruez prior to that interview?
15 A. I simply did not think about the fact that I was going to be
16 interviewed by Mr. Ruez. I took the decision immediately prior to the
17 beginning of trial.
18 Q. So how long were you able to think about and prepare for your
19 interview for Mr. Ruez?
20 A. Very briefly, only a couple of documents that were at my
21 disposal. There were only a few documents at my disposal.
22 JUDGE WALD: I'd like to ask just one question about this meeting,
23 General, on the 13th.
24 When Mr. McCloskey first began asking you a question about whether
25 or not General Mladic had said something about General Zivanovic staying
1 on as Corps Commander, you said no, there had been no discussion of that,
2 there was only the discussion of your taking over the Zepa duty, and I
3 just want to clarify that in my mind.
4 Was it your impression, when you left that short meeting, that
5 General Zivanovic was still the Drina Corps Commander or that
6 General Mladic had taken over the duties and was directly commanding the
7 operation outside of Zepa, the operation north of there?
8 A. There was no mention of whether Zivanovic was staying on as Corps
9 Commander. I never gave the matter any thought.
10 JUDGE WALD: All right. Thank you. That's what I wanted to
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 532A. This is a 13 July
13 order from General Gvero of the Main Staff.
14 Q. It has been identified as 13 July by Mr. Butler, through his
15 analysis, if you can recall that. General Krstic, by the addressees on
16 this order, this was addressed to the Drina Corps Command as well as the
17 forward command post of the Drina Corps; is that right?
18 A. Yes, but it says in the heading here what you said. However, this
19 order from General Gvero, I did not receive it at the forward command
20 post. I received it from General Zivanovic, the order which is linked up
21 with the order of General Gvero.
22 Q. And when did you receive this order from General Zivanovic?
23 A. I received the order on the 13th.
24 Q. What time?
25 A. Not this one. I don't remember what the time was.
1 Q. Now, I know General Zivanovic made an order based on this one, but
2 let's clarify this order from General Gvero. Did you receive this order
3 from General Gvero?
4 A. No. I never received this order from General Gvero.
5 Q. While you were in the forward command post, did you have the
6 capability of receiving orders like this in a secure manner?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. How did that work?
9 A. I can't describe to you how it worked. There is a communications
10 centre where officers and soldiers of the Communications Department
11 worked, led by their commander, the communications commander. Battalion.
12 I'm sorry, battalion.
13 Q. Is it fair to say that the VRS, at that time, had the capability
14 of teletyping an order like this, that is, typing in the information and
15 sending it via teletype, in encrypted teletype?
16 A. Yes, it did, but there were some problems, and the teletype very
17 often didn't work or there was no electricity for the signals and
18 communications to function properly. There was a breakdown in the system
19 very often.
20 And when we're speaking about this order, I got it with
21 General Zivanovic's signature, and it was just brought to my attention,
22 but the same contents as are in the order of -- exist in the order of
23 General Gvero, that is to say, without any of the orders as contained and
24 as signed by General Zivanovic.
25 Q. When the teletype machine would break down, you were forced to
1 communicate over radio or telephone communications, were you not?
2 A. No. When it was a question of documents, then if you wanted to
3 send out a document urgently, then you would send it to the nearest
4 station -- in this case, that would be the Command of the Drina
5 Corps -- in order to send the report, and most frequently this was done by
6 means of courier.
7 Q. So you did have courier operations between the Krivaca Forward
8 Command Post and the Drina Corps during the time you were at the Krivaca
9 Forward Command Post?
10 A. There wasn't a regular courier system. It was organised according
11 to need. When the need arose, then a courier was found.
12 Q. And when an order like this one, Exhibit 532A, is teletyped, you
13 can't teletype the signature of the person that -- because it's been typed
14 into a machine; is that right?
15 A. Yes, but the signature is on the original, not on the teletype.
16 The teletype goes without a signature.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 462A.
18 Q. So you had courier service available not only between you and the
19 Vlasenica headquarters but between you at Krivaca and the Zvornik Brigade
20 headquarters, the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, or other brigade
21 headquarters; correct?
22 A. No. I didn't have any need to assign a courier towards the
23 commanders of the brigades, because the brigade commanders were with me in
25 Q. But if the brigade commands felt the need to communicate with the
1 Drina Corps Chief of Staff, they could courier documents to you?
2 A. Could you repeat that question, please?
3 Q. If the brigade commanders -- excuse me -- if the brigade commands
4 at home in Zvornik felt a need to communicate with the Chief of Staff of
5 the Drina Corps, they could courier documents to you at Krivaca or
6 Godjinje, wherever you were at that time?
7 A. No. Messages of that kind never arrived, nor was there any need
8 for them to communicate with me, the chiefs of staff of the commands of
9 the brigade, like the Zvornik Brigade, the [inaudible] Brigade, or the
10 Vlasenica Brigade -- Dutch Brigade or Vlasenica Brigade, because their
11 commanders were with me. They had the Command of the Drina Corps in
12 Vlasenica and they communicated with it.
13 Q. But the means was certainly available; if documents needed to be
14 couriered to you, the means was there?
15 A. I don't know what means you have in mind when you're talking about
17 Q. What I'm asking about is the couriers that armies have been doing
18 for thousands of years, either horseback, vehicle, foot; just transporting
19 documents to commands. You had some kind of ability to do that, did you
21 A. Well, that's the regular, standard practice in an army. When you
22 cannot convey a message in any other way, then you resort to a courier,
23 and then the courier service is activated; that is to say, you choose a
24 courier to convey your message, transport your message, a document or
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 and English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. Now, in looking at 462A, General Zivanovic's last
2 written order, according to Mr. Butler, that we know about, is this:
3 basically a reworking of General Gvero's order that General Zivanovic is
4 passing on to all the subordinate units of the Drina Corps.
5 A. It is an order written on the basis of the order of General Gvero,
6 and you can see here to all the subordinate units of the Drina Corps IKM
7 and the Drina Corps, for information, for their information.
8 Q. And like the order before it of General Gvero, this order
9 basically has to do with the discovery and blocking and disarming and
10 capture of the Srebrenica Muslims; correct?
11 A. Yes, the contents of that order, not only with respect to the
12 capture and blocking, but all other measures with respect to the positions
13 of the units and the facilities, so as to prevent an attack on them.
14 Q. If you could go to the last page of this order, and if we could
15 have that last page on the ELMO in English, which is page 3. And if we
16 could focus on the commander block with the initials that are above it.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Where it says the "Commander" and the initials
18 above it, could you centre that into -- well, that will work.
19 Q. General, the initials that we see above the word "Commander,"
20 "PJ/LJP", now, we see this in several of the documents. Can you tell us
21 what those initials mean?
22 A. These first initials should be the initials of the person who, on
23 the basis of the order from the commander, compiled the order, and the
24 "LJP" should be the person who typed the order out.
25 Q. And in this case, who the "PJ" be?
1 A. I was thinking about that earlier on when I commented on the
2 document, when I was asked by my Defence counsel, but I cannot remember
3 who the "PJ" could be.
4 Q. Could it be Colonel Predrag Jokic of the Operations and Training
5 Section of the Drina Corps Command Staff?
6 A. It could be. It's possible.
7 Q. General, can you tell me if you think it is or is it not?
8 A. It is possible that it is Jokic, that he compiled the order and
9 wrote what the Corps Commander dictated to him and referred him back to
10 the order of General Gvero.
11 Q. Looking at the other initials, who are the possible typists for
12 the Command Staff that could have typed this order, "LJP"?
13 A. Who typed the order. I don't know those initials. I don't know
14 who they could be.
15 Q. Who was General Zivanovic's typist in July of 1995?
16 A. There was a woman -- that is to say, there was a typing pool in
17 the office where orders were typed out, having first been written out in
18 hand, but I can't remember the individual who typed this.
19 Q. It would have been one of the women from the typing pool?
20 A. Possibly. There were several of them. I can't remember the names
21 and surnames of those women.
22 Q. Did General Zivanovic have a secretary?
23 A. No. He had his brother, and he was his aide de camp and acted as
25 Q. And what was his brother's name?
1 A. I don't remember.
2 Q. His last name was Zivanovic, I take it.
3 A. Yes, but I don't know his name.
4 Q. Did Predrag Jokic come down to the forward command post in Krivaca
5 at all when you were down there?
6 A. No. He didn't appear once.
7 Q. Who was your typist down in Krivaca at the time you were there?
8 A. We didn't have a typist, and when an order was written out by
9 hand, it was taken to the signals centre, communications centre, and
10 dictated there. We didn't have a typist at all.
11 Q. Did you have someone down in Zepa with you that had the initials
12 of "LJP"?
13 A. I don't remember. No. I don't know.
14 Q. Can you give us your best answer? That was three answers, I
16 A. I don't know whether I had anybody with the initials "LJP".
17 Q. Who were the support staff that you had with you down in Krivaca?
18 A. I had the Chief of the Operative Department, Colonel Vicic; and I
19 had the head of the Intelligence Department, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric.
20 I had the Battalion Commander for Communications, Major Jevdjevic; and the
21 Staff Command, Amovic; and in the Rear for Logistics of the forward
22 command post I had Lieutenant Colonel Jevicki.
23 Q. What more junior staff did you have that may have actually done
25 A. There was no need to type documents when the teletype machine was
1 there. I said that the report, which was written out in hand, was then
2 taken to the teletype machine and was conveyed in that fashion, sent on
3 that way.
4 Q. Who would have been operating the teletype machine?
5 A. I really don't know. They were soldiers from the Communications
6 Battalion, Signals Battalion.
7 Q. Who would have been typing orders that you'd made?
8 A. My orders were typed out by the teletype machine operator, having
9 been dictated previously by Colonel Vicic or Major Jevdjevic.
10 Q. And who would that have been?
11 A. I don't know which soldier worked there. I can't remember all the
12 officers, let alone the soldiers who worked the teletype machine.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this may be a good time to take a
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, it is. [Interpretation] Let us take a
16 15-minute break now.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 If we could go to Exhibit 463. This is an order dated 13 July,
22 time-stamped 2030 hours, by Major-General Radislav Krstic, Commander,
23 entitled "Command of the Drina Corps."
24 Q. General, where -- first of all, is this a genuine order that you
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And where were you when you signed this order?
3 A. At the forward command post of the Drina Corps at Krivaca.
4 Q. It's entitled "Command of the Drina Corps." It doesn't say
5 "forward command post." Why is that?
6 A. Probably the teletypist made an error typing it. There are other
7 documents that were dispatched from the forward command post, and it said
8 "the Drina Corps Command," without always mentioning the forward command
10 Q. What is this -- this order involves, as it's entitled, searching
11 the terrain, and that's a search of terrain for Srebrenica Muslims; is
12 that correct?
13 A. This order had a definite aim. The units --
14 Q. General, excuse me. I would appreciate an explanation of the
15 order, but if I could first get an answer to the question. It's entitled
16 "Search of Terrain." My question was: Is it a search of the terrain for
17 Srebrenica Muslims? And then, of course, you can explain your answer, but
18 if you could first please answer the question.
19 A. Yes, but not only searching for members of the 28th Division, but
20 also detecting minefields, demining operations, removing obstacles on
21 roads within the protected area, all the roads leading from the area from
22 which the units should come to be deployed for use in the Zepa operation.
23 Q. I don't see any of that in this order about fixing roads or
24 anything to do with roads.
25 A. You don't always put everything specifically in the order. It
1 says here that after the successful operation of Srebrenica and the
2 complete searching of the whole area, which also implies finding
3 stragglers of the 28th Division, demining minefields, setting up mine
4 groups, cleaning or removing obstacles on roads, and so on.
5 Q. Now, on page 6248 of your direct testimony, when counsel asked you
6 about this document, you stated:
7 "On the basis of the intelligence that we had at our disposal
8 that had reached us until the 13th of July, 1995, which dealt with the
9 possibility that a part of the forces of the 28th Division might try to
10 break through from the direction of Srebrenica towards Zepa, and for the
11 purpose of protecting the process of assembling and bringing in the units
12 of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st Milici Light Infantry
13 Brigade, and the Independent Skelani Battalion, in the area from which
14 they were to set off, to execute their mission in Zepa, and that is the
15 wider area of Podravanje, I issued an order in my capacity as commander of
16 the forces engaged against Zepa to search the terrain in the areas of
17 assembly and along the axis along which the units were being brought in,
18 and that is the wider area of Podravanje."
19 Can you step to the exhibit with the pen that is there and circle
20 the area that this order has to do with, the wider area of Podravanje, as
21 you've previously testified.
22 A. Allow me first to explain the wider area of Podravanje is the area
23 to which the units had to be brought, that is, the Bratunac, the Milici
24 Brigades and the Skelani Battalion. The units were to come to this area
25 for the reasons that you quoted from what I said when questioned by the
1 Defence counsel.
2 The greatest danger for those units were straggling groups and the
3 possibility of them hitting from behind the units being engaged for Zepa.
4 From intelligence reports, we had learnt that parts of the 28th Division
5 were breaking through towards Zepa. So there was a real danger of these
6 units being attacked from the rear or being forced to engage in direct
7 combat with these units. And I'm referring to the Bratunac and Milici
8 Brigades and the Skelani Battalion.
9 Q. So if you would circle the area that you have ordered these troops
10 to search.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could zero in on this on the map.
12 Q. I'm sorry, General, but we need to give you that microphone.
13 You're going to need to start over again.
14 A. So this is the area to which the units of the Bratunac and Milici
15 Brigades and the Skelani Battalion were to be brought to prepare for the
16 attack on Zepa from their earlier positions.
17 Q. And can you -- this is called a search of the terrain order, and
18 you order the units to search the terrain. Can you circle the general
19 area that you had in mind for these units to search? Sorry.
20 General, could you -- this order is entitled "Search of the
21 Terrain." Could you please circle the area that you intended these troops
22 to search?
23 A. It is the following area: The area of Ravni Buljim, Zvijezda,
24 Siljato Brdo, the right bank of the Jadar River for the Bratunac Brigade.
25 For the Skelani Independent Battalion, the left bank of the Jadar River
1 and the village of Slapovici.
2 Q. Could you --
3 A. Just a moment, please. For the Milici Brigade, it is the depth of
4 its territory outside the safe area towards the area of deployment for
5 Zepa. This is the south-west area of the safe area.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I think we need
7 to go a little faster. Perhaps you could use the other headphones, which
8 would allow you to move. And the question put to you by the Prosecutor is
9 to draw a circle around those areas, and I think that the Prosecutor is
10 going to identify the circle, and after that you can answer questions.
11 But first you need to put on the other headphones -- please, Mr. Usher --
12 otherwise, you can't move around. And I think the request of the
13 Prosecutor was to draw a circle or two or three, I don't know.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. If you put one big circle for the broad area of the search. And
16 of course, it does not need to be exact, but you know this terrain. The
17 best circle you can give us for the entire search, not each little area.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a suggestion,
20 please. If the map could be raised a little so that the General can see
21 better and so will we be able to see better.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] A very good suggestion,
23 Mr. Visnjic. Thank you very much. I don't know whether that can be done
24 technically. I believe it can. Just fold the map over a little. There
25 you are. We should look at things dynamically rather than statically. A
1 little further up, perhaps.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Mic, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Microphone.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Microphone. Mr. McCloskey,
5 could you please specify clearly so that General Krstic could draw the
6 circle? You said a single circle, didn't you, to cover the whole area?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. I believe you had a whole area in mind. Could you please circle
9 the whole area, if you had a whole area in mind, rather than a lot of
10 little ones. We don't need each trig point.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. I see you've drawn three circles. Could you mark the first one
13 you drew with a 1.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, could you press
15 a little harder on the pen so we can see what you are drawing more
17 A. [Marks]
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That's better. Now we can see
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. All right. Now you've drawn three new circles. Could you mark
22 the first circle with a 1.
23 A. Number 1 is for the Bratunac Brigade.
24 Q. Okay. And number 2, and who is that for?
25 A. Number 2 is for the Skelani Independent Battalion, and number 3 is
1 for the Milici Brigade, its area.
2 Q. If you could have a seat.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, General.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. General, what were the forces in this order primarily searching
7 A. I think I have answered your question, but I'll repeat it: the
8 straggling groups of the 28th Division, in view of the possibility that
9 they still remained in the area and hadn't managed to break through
10 towards Tuzla; then minefields, as I have already said; and obstacles on
11 roads, especially those leading south of the enclave, through the enclave
12 of Srebrenica and south of the enclave, outside the area of the safe area,
13 outside the safe area.
14 Q. So you were commanding -- excuse me. When did you anticipate by
15 this order that these units would begin this search for Muslims?
16 A. In this order it is stated by what time the task needs to be
17 accomplished. They couldn't start towards Zepa, as a whole or in parts,
18 until the area was searched and until all danger of them being attacked
19 from the rear having been eliminated. And I think there is an exhibit in
20 which a soldier of the Bratunac Brigade was actually killed in an
21 encounter with straggling groups. So this search of the terrain was to
22 begin on the 14th, after which the -- after the brigade commanders had
23 received this order, after they had written out their own orders and
24 organised the implementation of the task, in practice.
25 Q. So from the period of time from 14 July through the finishing on
1 17 July, you were in charge of Drina Corps troops that were searching the
2 former enclave for Muslim prisoners -- excuse me, for Muslims?
3 A. These units were, pursuant to order, engaged in the Zepa
4 operation, and I was the commander of those forces, too, that were engaged
5 for Zepa.
6 Q. So you were in command of the forces that were searching the
7 terrain in the Srebrenica enclave area from the 14th of July to the 17th
8 of July.
9 A. Yes. Those were units that had been engaged for Zepa, and they
10 had to carry out this task. Every commander who was conscious of the
11 situation would probably not even need such an order. It was implied. It
12 was understood. But I nevertheless felt it necessary to write an order,
13 because I'm responsible for only those parts of these units that were
14 attacking Zepa.
15 But later on we will probably learn that someone else, not me, not
16 knowing or ignoring the fact that these brigades had been engaged for the
17 Zepa operation, had selected certain forces, primarily from the Bratunac
18 Brigade and the Milici Brigade, for another task, such as to reinforce the
19 Zvornik Brigade, first with one company then with another, and so on,
20 which clearly shows that there is someone else in the area who is in
21 command as well.
22 Q. Are you suggesting the troops you've just identified for this
23 search area were taken from you and used for some other purpose?
24 A. I specifically mentioned the example of separation from the
25 Bratunac Brigade to strengthen the Zvornik Brigade, first with one
1 company, then with another.
2 Q. If I could get an answer, and an explanation then would be fine.
3 But if I could get an answer to my question, which was: Are you
4 suggesting that the troops that you've just described in this search
5 operation were taken from you?
6 A. Parts of the units, thereby the Bratunac Brigade and the Milici
7 Brigade were weakened for the task that awaited them in relation to Zepa.
8 Q. Did those brigades inform you that part of their units that were
9 supposed to follow this order had been taken and used for some other
11 A. From the report of Colonel Milanovic, who supervised these units,
12 this can clearly be seen, but he doesn't say who gave him the order to
13 take a part of the troops and to engage them with the Zvornik Brigade in
14 battle against the forces of the 28th Division who were making a
15 breakthrough towards Tuzla.
16 Q. The Bratunac Brigade reported in daily combat reports and in
17 interim combat reports on the 13th, the 14th, the 15th, the 16th of July,
18 did they not?
19 A. Well, I saw that from the exhibits here. I don't know whether any
20 of the reports arrived at the forward command post, but most of the
21 reports went to the command post at Vlasenica.
22 Q. None of those reports provide the slightest indication that the
23 forces of the Bratunac Brigade had been taken by any other command unit,
24 do they?
25 A. I learnt that from the reports of Colonel Milanovic.
1 Q. So the answer to my question would be they do not make any such
2 reports; is that right?
3 A. It is not stated who took the forces, who ordered that forces be
4 pulled out of the Bratunac Brigade.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, I apologise for
7 General Krstic, did you ask to see who took those forces? Did you
8 investigate, following the report by Colonel Milanovic?
9 A. No, I did not. I was not in a position to investigate that. And
10 in addition to other things, somebody ordered Colonel Milanovic to
11 mobilise people in that part, but he doesn't say who ordered him to launch
12 a mobilisation operation.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But why were you not able to?
14 Why were you not able to try to learn who took those forces, who pulled
15 them out? Why were you not in a position to do so?
16 A. I did not think about that, think about who took the troops, nor
17 did I ask Colonel Milanovic at all who was in charge of supervising those
18 forces. I didn't ask him who took those troops.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. But if you
20 had the information in the report by Colonel Milanovic and that somebody
21 had deviated your troops, pulled out your troops, did you not think that
22 this was quite an abnormal situation, out of the ordinary? Did you just
23 accept the situation without doing anything about it?
24 A. Yes, I just accepted the situation. I did nothing further to
25 investigate who issued the order for those forces to be pulled out.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Even if -- even without knowing
2 who took the troops you accepted that, you accepted the situation?
3 A. I didn't learn who issued those orders, no.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
5 JUDGE RIAD: General Krstic, you said you were not in a position
6 to investigate. What does that mean, you were not in a position to
7 investigate? You were in command, weren't you?
8 A. I was the Commander of the forces engaged for Zepa. I had a lot
9 of work to do in that area in that respect, and Colonel Zivanovic just
10 noted that he pulled out a certain number of people, but he did not say
11 upon whose orders, pursuant to whose orders, and they were sent to the
12 area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade.
13 JUDGE RIAD: You did not find it important enough to devote time
14 to it or somebody prevented you from investigating?
15 A. I did not consider that it was sufficiently important, no, because
16 I had sufficient troops for Zepa, and I also said that I had a lot of work
17 to do in that regard as Commander of the forces engaged for Zepa. Part of
18 the Zvornik Brigade was pulled out as well, on the 14th, the 14th/15th,
19 following orders from General Zivanovic, and I thought that that was how
20 it should be -- had to be. I had the rest of the forces in order to
21 implement my assignment for Zepa.
22 I thought that perhaps General Zivanovic had ordered these forces
23 to be pulled out of the Bratunac Brigade, but those were just my
24 thoughts. I just thought about it, but I did not investigate further.
25 JUDGE RIAD: But according to the rules of the army, that was a
1 violation of your authority, wasn't it?
2 A. A lot of similar things happened in the course of the war, that
3 there were violations of the authority of commanders by superior
5 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, before we continue, I
7 have one more question for you. Who was Colonel Milanovic with respect to
8 you, in relation to you? What was his position?
9 A. He was the Chief of the Anti-air Defence in the Drina Corps
10 Command, and he was in charge of the operation of Srebrenica, to monitor
11 the units attacking from Podravanje towards Alibegovac and Kak.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting,
13 but when I asked who was he with respect to you, I would like to specify
14 what I mean. Was he your superior, hierarchically speaking? That is my
15 question. I have my ideas. Or was he inferior, subordinate to you?
16 A. Hierarchically speaking, in the chain of command, he was in the
17 staff of the corps, the command of the corps, and he was my subordinate.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. General Krstic, did your order to the Bratunac Brigade anticipate
22 the Bratunac Brigade searching from Sandici village down towards the town
23 of Bratunac?
24 A. If I may, I should like to avail myself of the exhibit, and it
25 says the following: "The Bratunac should search the terrain of the
1 Srebrenica encalve up till the line of Ravni Buljim," which I circled.
2 And then I said, Zvijezda, Siljato Brdo, Slapovic, and further down
3 towards the valley of Zeleni Jadar.
4 Q. Where was the Drina Corps forward command post at this time, on
5 the 13th of July?
6 A. The forward command post, on the 13th of July, was in the village
7 of Krivaca, the municipality of Han Pijesak.
8 Q. And I note that the Skelani Separate Battalion plays a major role
9 in the search of terrain operation; is that correct?
10 A. No, that is not correct. All three units searched the terrain.
11 The Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade, and the Independent Skelani
12 Battalion as well.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 462A. I'm sorry. If we
14 could -- that's 483. I'm sorry. And if we could just get the first page
15 of this on the ELMO and concentrate on the attention to the "Commands"
17 Q. This, General, as we know, is the order implementing the Zepa
18 attack plan. The Skelani Separate Battalion is not on the address list
19 for this order, is it?
20 A. That's right.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 537A.
22 A. May I give an explanation?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Certainly.
25 A. The Independent Battalion of Skelani is a small unit which, up
1 till the beginning of the operation of Srebrenica, numbered -- that is to
2 say, they were the forces of a reinforced company and not a battalion in
3 size and that for several reasons. The families of the fighters from
4 these battalions, for the most part, lived across the river in Bajna
5 Basta, and after the operation, the Srebrenica operation, was concluded,
6 quite simply that unit almost disappeared.
7 I considered that there was no need to write an order to forces of
8 this kind assigning them tasks, but later on the need arose for them too
9 to be included. And in actual fact, they were included, and this can be
10 seen from my order for the search of the terrain. And that particular
11 unit, when the assignment to search the terrain was over, together with
12 the other two brigades, was involved towards Zepa, engaged towards Zepa.
13 Q. Who provided you with the authority to obtain additional troops
14 that were not part of the original plan?
15 A. They were all those units which took part in the operation for
16 Srebrenica, amongst which were the Skelani Battalion, and from that time
17 on it wasn't separated in any way from the order for engagement towards
19 Q. General, my question was: You're telling us you're Chief of Staff
20 of the Drina Corps. Who gave you the authority, under your scenario, to
21 obtain troops that were not part of the original Zepa order?
22 A. All the units, amongst which the Skelani Battalion, were part of
23 the order issued by General Mladic, in the command of the Bratunac
24 Brigade. He did not separate, set aside the Skelani Battalion, but I
25 decided that that particular battalion should not be engaged according to
1 the order for the attack on Zepa, that is to say, the primary order, and
2 later on that battalion for the search of the terrain and involvement with
3 Zepa. So that was a unit which, with the rest of the forces, following
4 orders by General Mladic, was also placed at our disposal for the attack
5 on Zepa.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Before the transcript is over, there is a big
7 mistake. All that General Krstic said was written under the question,
8 just at the top, so we have to correct it and say "answer," otherwise it
9 will be strange now.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Judge Riad.
11 JUDGE RIAD: It is a whole big passage. So we know that it is his
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. General Krstic, did you obtain authorisation to use the Skelani
15 Separate Battalion?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. From who?
18 A. As for the Bratunac and Milici Brigade, from General Mladic; that
19 is to say, at the command of the Bratunac Brigade, it was ordered that all
20 the units of the Drina Corps that were engaged towards the Srebrenica
21 enclave would be engaged towards Zepa as well, and this implied the
22 Independent Skelani Battalion as well.
23 Q. Do you recall when I asked you this morning if you had to obtain
24 authorisation for any additional units for the Zepa operation, and you
25 told me no? In fact, I believe you told me you didn't even need any more
1 equipment for the Zepa operation.
2 A. It was part of the forces that were pinpointed for the attack on
3 Zepa, so I didn't ask for forces from any other side. They were the
4 forces, the troops which I had at my disposal.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go now to Exhibit 537A. If we could
6 put the front page on the ELMO and if we could zero it in on the address
7 part, "delivered to." And to remind the Court, there was an error in the
8 translation, "to deliver to," that "the Command" is not part of the
9 original translated version and it should not be there. And the correct,
10 of course, version is the B/C/S version, which is 537B. And I believe
11 counsel, when we agreed on this before -- if counsel has any objection to
12 my conclusions.
13 Q. So General, this is a communication from Colonel Ignjat Milanovic
14 on 15 July, delivered to the forward command post, the IKM. And on the
15 15th of July you were at the Drina Corps Forward Command Post, were you
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And it is to the attention of the Commander. You were the
19 Commander at the Drina Corps Forward Command Post on the 15th of July,
20 were you not?
21 A. Commander of the forces engaged for Zepa.
22 Q. So this is being directed to you?
23 A. Yes, it's directed to me; me, the Commander of the Drina Corps,
24 the 1st Milici Brigade, and the Skelani Independent Battalion.
25 Q. And this order says: "In accordance with your orders," so that
1 must mean you; correct?
2 A. No. I didn't issue Colonel Milanovic any written order. Probably
3 he pulled this out from an order -- a previous order, because he was on
4 the terrain with the units and was able to monitor the situation there.
5 Q. General, this says "To the Forward Command Post, attention of the
6 Commander," and then it starts out, "In accordance with your orders ..."
7 Is that not the -- is that not you?
8 A. Yes, that's me.
9 Q. So if this says, "In accordance with your orders, I went to Milici
10 and Bratunac and acquainted myself with the situation to the east of
11 Milici-Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road. Generally, large groups of enemy
12 soldiers are still located to the east of this road. The 1st Bratunac
13 Brigade is still searching this terrain and is almost at the limit laid
14 down," so you provided orders for Colonel Milanovic, as he is referred to;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Well, yes. He was able to draw that conclusion from the previous
17 order, because he stayed to supervise those units in their implementation
18 of the assignments with respect to the search of the terrain and further
19 engagement towards Zepa.
20 Q. The Colonel makes a proposal, which we see down at the bottom:
21 "To authorise and appoint the commander of the 1st Bratunac
22 Brigade as commander of all the forces which participate in searching the
23 terrain and sweeping the battlefield to the east of the road, and in
24 control of the Kasaba-Drinjaca road, because we have no one to appoint
25 from the command of the Drina Corps. If you agree with the proposal of
1 item 1, send a telegramme of confirmation to the commands of the 1st
2 Bratunac Brigade, the 1st Milici Brigade, and the Zvornik CSB."
3 So his recommendation is because the scarcity of Drina Corps
4 commanders to put the commander of the Bratunac Brigade in charge of these
5 units in this area; is that right?
6 A. Yes. Quite obviously, he is communicating with the corps command,
7 probably the commander of the corps, yes, because he is best acquainted
8 with the situation, Colonel Blagojevic and the other commanders of the
9 units working on searching the terrain.
10 Q. So he's referring to Vidoje Blagojevic as the commander of the
11 Bratunac Brigade?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then number 3:
14 "I'm going to Bracan and on to Stublic, and I propose taking
15 those 200 or more soldiers from the 1st Milici Brigade in the direction of
16 Stublic, besides the SB Skelani, if Pandurevic settles his situation."
17 So Colonel Milanovic was aware of Vinko Pandurevic's situation in
18 the Zvornik Brigade?
19 A. Yes, but I don't know. I spoke about this earlier on, that is,
20 who ordered him to set aside troops. It says here 200 soldiers. Down
21 there he had the possibility of having contacts and learn of the situation
22 in the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, but somebody is
23 ordering him to pull out a certain number of soldiers.
24 Q. He also said that he ordered a general mobilisation to be carried
25 out in Bratunac, Milici, Vlasenica and Sekovici; is that right?
1 A. Yes, but I said earlier on, before your examination, that in
2 addition to other things, he notes that mobilisation has been ordered for
3 those municipalities, but he doesn't say who gave him the order.
4 Q. Are you suggesting in this document there's an indication of some
5 person giving orders to Milanovic that you don't know about?
6 A. Yes, when it comes to the implementation of the mobilisation.
7 Q. How about the implementation of the orders for the search? You've
8 earlier mentioned that this was you that he was referring to. Are now you
9 suggesting that there's some other unknown person that is giving him
11 A. Yes, with respect to the mobilisation. In point 2 he says, "The
12 assignments which you gave the commanders to carry out," and that is the
13 search of the terrain and not mobilisation, to be carried out without
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I see we've gone over and it's now
16 break time.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I think that the time has
18 come for us to take our long break, and we're going to reconvene at 1.15.
19 I think we can give the Prosecutor five minutes. So we're going -- we're
20 not going to have a one-hour break, that is to say, but one hour minus
21 five minutes.
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.15 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may continue, Mr. McCloskey,
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I just heard what you
6 said in B/C/S.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I just heard the English booth.
9 Yes? Is it all right?
10 I think we can continue now, yes. Yes. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. If we could continue briefly discussing Exhibit 537A, the 15 July
13 communication from Colonel Milanovic to General Krstic at the forward
14 command post in Krivaca.
15 Now, we have the proposal that Colonel Milanovic makes, and then
16 at point 2 he says, "If you agree with the proposal and the item, send a
17 telegram of confirmation to the commands of the 1st Bratunac, Milici, and
18 the Zvornik CSB."
19 So did you, first of all, accept his proposal?
20 A. I don't know whether I responded to his proposal.
21 Q. Do you know if you accepted his proposal and acted upon it?
22 A. I accepted his proposal regarding Colonel Blagojevic, that he
23 should be appointed commander, the commander to be in charge of the search
24 of the terrain in the area.
25 Q. And did you communicate with the Zvornik CSB regarding that, as
1 suggested by Colonel Milanovic?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Was the MUP involved in the activity of the search anticipated by
4 Colonel Milanovic?
5 A. I don't know whether it participated. It should have participated
6 because it is deep within the territory, and since civilian authority had
7 been established in Srebrenica and Mr. Deronjic appointed, it was their
8 duty to secure the crucial facilities, the intersection of roads, and that
9 sort of thing.
10 Q. And does his proposal anticipate the Drina Corps being in command
11 of those MUP forces?
12 A. No. Only to participate in the search of the terrain.
13 Q. When MUP forces are working in combat situations with the army,
14 the army generally is in command based on the regs that we've discussed
15 before; is that correct?
16 A. Only if there is an appropriate order from the Superior Command.
17 And these are regular duties of MUP forces.
18 Q. So if the MUP is working under the command of a Drina Corps
19 officer, there must have been an order authorising that.
20 A. They're only acting together with the forces of the army if there
21 is no order.
22 Q. If the MUP is acting under the command of the Drina Corps, then
23 there must have been an authorisation; is that not correct?
24 A. MUP is not operating pursuant to an order of the Corps Command.
25 Q. If the MUP is operating under the command of the Drina Corps, for
1 example, Commander Vidoje Blagojevic, would there have to have been the
2 official authorisations as set out in the statute?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 539A, which is a 16 July
5 daily combat report from the 1st Bratunac Brigade, and if we could put the
6 first page on the ELMO. And the part I would like is the second half of
7 the big paragraph 2. Is this 539A? And the big paragraph. If we could
8 zero this in on the second half of this big paragraph 2. That will do.
9 Thank you.
10 Q. Now, to recall, the proposal by Milanovic was to appoint the
11 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade in charge of the forces searching the
12 area, and on 16 July, the daily combat report of the Bratunac Brigade
13 states in part: "The Brigade Commander visited all units which are
14 blocking the enemy retreat (the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, Units
15 of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the MUP, and the
16 5th Engineering Battalion) define their tasks and organise their joint
17 action and communications."
18 General, the Brigade Commander in this context is Colonel Vidoje
19 Blagojevic, correct?
20 A. Yes. The commander of his brigade, the Commander of the Bratunac
21 Light Infantry Brigade.
22 Q. And he, according to this order, defined the tasks of these units
23 and organised their joint action and communication; is that correct?
24 A. The report is addressed to the Drina Corps Command in Vlasenica
25 and not to the forward command post of the Drina Corps, so I never
1 received this. But what you have just pointed out, he is specifying the
2 tasks of his units and organising joint action with other forces that are
3 searching the terrain under somebody's order, the superior officers to the
4 MUP forces and the Protective Regiment, so his forces and the other units.
5 Q. Can Colonel Blagojevic define the tasks of the MUP --
6 A. No.
7 Q. -- regarding -- can Colonel Blagojevic assign the tasks of the MUP
8 regarding the search for Muslims without being in command of those MUP
10 A. He cannot specify their tasks.
11 Q. However, General, this order says very clearly, does it not, that
12 the commander specified the tasks of the MUP?
13 A. He says, specified the tasks of his unit and organised joint
14 action with other forces. This is a report dated the 16th of July.
15 Q. I don't want to argue about commas, but this is a list of all the
16 units, and it says, referring to all those units, "Define their tasks and
17 organise their joint action and communications." So you're suggesting
18 that that doesn't mean that?
19 A. I said that he defined the tasks of his units and organised joint
20 action of his units and the other forces participating in the search.
21 Q. The recommendation by Colonel Milanovic was to authorise the
22 brigade commander to be in command of all the forces in the area; is that
24 A. The forces of the Milici Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, and the
25 Skelani Independent Battalion.
1 Q. I can tell you for the record, going back to Exhibit 537, that the
2 proposal says:
3 "To authorise and appoint the Commander of the 1st Bratunac
4 Brigade as commander of all forces which are participating in the
5 searching of the terrain and sweeping the battlefield to the east of the
6 road, because we have no one to appoint from the Command of the Drina
8 Who were the forces taking part in this sweep on 15 July?
9 A. Colonel Milanovic says that "We have no one to appoint from the
10 Drina Corps Command." When he says that, he is referring only to the
11 Drina Corps forces. First of all, he has no right to issue orders to MUP
13 Q. The proposal is for you to issue the order, General Krstic, is it
14 not, not for him?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You had Main Staff units under your command in Zepa, didn't you?
17 A. That is quite a different unit, of a different kind, in terms of
18 its capability for the execution of tasks.
19 Q. But you did have a unit of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment
20 under your command for Zepa?
21 A. I had an infantry battalion which, from the very beginning of the
22 conflict in the area, was engaged in defence in relation to Zepa, but I
23 never had a military police battalion, nor did I have a special detachment
24 of the MUP Brigade.
25 Q. General, going back to Exhibit 539A and a list of the units that
1 Commander Blagojevic defined the tasks, we have first the Milici Brigade
2 and then we have the 65th Protection Regiment. According to this
3 document, Blagojevic assigned the tasks to a Main Staff unit; is that
5 A. No, it is not correct. General Mladic assigned tasks to this
6 unit, and we had an exhibit to confirm this where it says that the task
7 will be carried out in addition to the task already assigned to the 65th
8 Protective Regiment, and that unit could, under no circumstances, be
9 placed under the command of Colonel Blagojevic.
10 Q. General, are you saying this document is just incorrect?
11 A. No. I'm interpreting the document in the way it is written. He
12 defined the tasks of his unit and organised joint action with other units
13 taking part in the search of the terrain.
14 Q. General Krstic, for the time period between July 11th and
15 November 1st, 1995, did you order the summary executions of captured
17 A. Never. I never did that.
18 Q. During that same time period, did you ever order anyone to take no
20 A. I never ordered that.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 464A. If we could focus
22 on the beginning of that order. I'm sorry, go up a little bit higher so
23 we get where it starts with -- that's fine.
24 Q. Now, this is an order from the Bratunac Brigade, Vidoje
25 Blagojevic, dated 14 July, and it says, "On the basis of a strictly
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 and English transcripts.
1 confidential order number 01/4-157/5, issued by the Command of the Drina
2 Corps on 13 July after successful completion of operations for the
3 liberation of Srebrenica and for the purposes of the complete search of
4 the liberated area."
5 Now, this number that this order has just referred to is, in fact,
6 the July 13th order signed by you, Exhibit 463; is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And under this order, the Bratunac Brigade is searching a wide
9 area of the former Srebrenica enclave; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. The area that he was ordered to search.
11 Q. Which includes in point 1, the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Jezestica
12 road and to the village of Susnjari; is that correct?
13 A. In my order, nowhere is it stated that the area behind the road
14 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje will be searched, but only the line up to which
15 the search should be carried out. In my order, Konjevic Polje is not
16 mentioned anywhere or Bratunac.
17 Q. Were you in command of the forces that in response to your order
18 searched this area on the date of 14 July?
19 A. On the 14th of July, they started the search of the terrain.
20 Q. You were in command of those forces?
21 A. Yes, the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade,
22 and the Skelani. These are units that were, according to the order,
23 designated for the operation on Zepa.
24 Q. So these units that are searching the Konjevic Polje area are all
25 part of the Zepa operation?
1 A. I don't know whether the brigade commander organised -- engaged
2 all the units of his brigade for Zepa, because, according to somebody's
3 order, he was implementing a mobilisation. In my order, it doesn't say
4 anywhere that the brigade commander should search the terrain behind the
5 line Bratunac-Konjevic Polje. In my order, it can clearly be seen what
6 these forces are supposed to search.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I'm sorry for
8 interrupting you. Earlier on, you said, in reference to another order,
9 that it was not necessary to specify everything in the order. This
10 example, is it an example of you not specifying things but the brigade
11 commander understood it and interpreted it as being this area or this
13 A. I did not have occasion to see this order of his because it was
14 not addressed to me nor should it have been addressed to me at the forward
15 command post. But let me repeat that in my order, the task to his
16 1st Battalion is not defined in the way he defines it.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General, but my question
18 has to do with something else. You said that this junction
19 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje and Jezestica road was not included in your
20 order. You did not mention it in your order, these two places, Bratunac
21 and Konjevic Polje. That is what you said.
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But in relation to another
24 order, you said that it wasn't necessary to include everything, all the
25 details in a particular order. So my question is: The fact that the
1 brigade commander included Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, could it be his
2 interpretation of what he thought you meant, since you yourself have said
3 that an order doesn't have to specify everything?
4 A. I apologise, Your Honour. The specifics I referred to earlier on
5 and in this particular case are quite different. I was saying what needs
6 to be done in the course of a search of the terrain, and I was explaining
7 what that meant, finding -- staggering groups; clearing minefields;
8 forming mine groups; removing obstacles from roads, if any, and there were
9 certainly some. And the battalion commander, in this order of his, is
10 giving a route for his units, Bratunac-Konjevic Polje, telling them that
11 they should search that area.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you accept that a brigade
13 commander defined something pursuant to your own order?
14 A. On the whole, yes, except that he included this particular road,
15 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje. That was a task that was not given to him.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may continue,
17 Mr. McCloskey. I apologise for interrupting you.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. General Krstic, on Exhibit 539, the daily combat report that we
20 referred to earlier, is this the Milici Brigade, the 65th Protection Unit,
21 the MUP, the Engineering Battalion? You stated this merely shows that
22 these units are working together, not that they're all under the command
23 of the Drina Corps; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And these -- all these units -- well, let me ask you. The 65th
1 Protection Unit, the 5th Engineering Battalion, and parts of the MUP were
2 all present in the area of Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Bratunac-Milici
3 road on the 13th of July, 1995, were they not?
4 A. Yes. Somebody else gave them this assignment, and not the
5 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade. And they were probably given a very
6 clear, precise assignment as to what they were to do, what they were to do
7 in the area. This was not something that could have been ordered them by
8 Colonel Blagojevic, because they had their own commander. And that
9 assignment was given to them far before the order issued to the Bratunac
10 Brigade to search the terrain.
11 Q. So you acknowledge that these units of the Bratunac Brigade, the
12 65th Protection Motorised Unit, the MUP, the 5th Engineering Battalion,
13 were working together on the 13th July, 1995, as they are working together
14 on the 16th of July, 1995; correct?
15 A. Could you repeat that question, please? I understood about the
16 16th, but not the rest.
17 Q. Were these units working together on July 13th?
18 A. No, nor could they have undertaken joint action.
19 Q. Were you there? How do you know?
20 A. I was not there, but the Bratunac Brigade or the Milici Brigade or
21 the Independent Skelani Battalion did not receive an assignment from me on
22 the 13th to search the terrain, on the 13th in the evening, in the evening
23 hours. And with the realisation of that order, they could only have
24 started on the 14th, and this can be seen from the order given by the
25 Command of the Bratunac Brigade. The work these units were doing, the
1 Bratunac and Milici Brigade and the Skelani Battalion cannot be compared
2 to that, and we spoke about that earlier on.
3 Q. These Drina Corps unit --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Compared with what? I don't know what he means
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm not getting the --
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think you got something else
9 THE INTERPRETER: I apologise. The microphone was switched on.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: No problem.
12 JUDGE WALD: Can I ask one question while we're waiting here?
13 General, your order of the 13th for sweeping the -- searching the terrain
14 anticipated that there might be straggling elements of the 28th Division
15 that you were worried about your troops coming into contact with. And
16 what did you envision would happen to any members of the 28th Division
17 that were picked up by your people, by the people to whom your order was
18 directed, the Drina Corps components that were going to be looking and
19 making sure there were none of these straggling bands? I mean, you said
20 report back by a certain date, I think it was the 16th. What did you
21 think would happen to anybody they did come into contact with from the
22 Muslim forces? What were they to do with them?
23 A. The forces that would perform the capture of one or more members
24 of the 28th Division would be treated as prisoners of war, and we would
25 have to deal with them within the spirit of the prevailing rules and
1 regulations of the Geneva Conventions.
2 JUDGE WALD: But you expected that you might get back some reports
3 that such captures had been made, and did you, in fact, get back from your
4 own people any reports that they had picked up people from the 28th
5 Division, and if so, what they had done with them?
6 A. I did not receive a report from any of the commanders that they
7 had actually captured anybody, and only in one of the documents -- does
8 one of the documents speak about the fact that statements were taken from
9 one or I don't know how many people captured, as to where the forces were
10 and what direction the forces of the 28th Division were moving.
11 JUDGE WALD: But to finish this up, it was your assumption that
12 Colonel Blagojevic, who was in command of this particular task, would take
13 care of treating anybody picked up in accord with the laws of war; that
14 was your assumption? Your assumption is that your own people, if they
15 came into contact with the 28th Division, under the order that you issued
16 on July 13th, would treat them according to the laws of war and would take
17 care of that themselves; is that right?
18 A. Yes. I had no other thoughts except for what you have just said,
19 along the lines of what you have just said. I told Colonel Blagojevic
20 earlier on, and I cannot believe that he, as a professional soldier, as
21 the commander of a brigade, would violate something that was prescribed
22 and violate the rules and regulations and international war law and the
23 Geneva Conventions. I could not envisage that.
24 JUDGE WALD: As the week went on and you began to hear various
25 communications suggesting that there were captures along the way and that
1 large groups of people were being captured and detained, did you continue
2 to have that assumption, that they all be treated in conformity with the
3 Geneva Conventions, regardless of who picked them up?
4 A. From Colonel Blagojevic, I never received a report of any kind
5 that his unit or the Milici Brigade or the Skelani Battalion had captured
6 a larger number of people at all. I apologise.
7 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
8 JUDGE RIAD: General Krstic, it did not come to your mind, under
9 the circumstances, to specify in your order that the people captured
10 should be treated as war prisoners? Was it the situation then -- the
11 situation lend itself to such a precaution?
12 A. Your Honour, in the basic document, the initial document of the
13 order, the order for active combat under the point of security, all this
14 is stipulated, the things that commanders and soldiers should adhere to.
15 So there was no reason to stipulate this again to the commander through
16 this order with respect to the assignment in Zepa, to repeat all these
17 things that were contained in the initial document.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I should like to
20 go back to the question once -- to a question that I asked you yesterday
21 and following on from what my colleagues just asked you, I would like to
22 ask you the following: You said today already that there were lots of
23 people who did not adhere to rules. You had behind you the euphoria that
24 you saw at Srebrenica. Behind you, you had the various preoccupations
25 that you manifested faced with the civilians who were at the Fontana
1 meeting and how they were going to negotiate with the 28th Division, and
2 you also had behind you the knowledge of General Mladic. You had before
3 you, in front of you, an operation, Zepa, the Zepa operation, which
4 started with the searching of the terrain.
5 Now, bearing all this in mind, let me repeat the question asked by
6 my colleagues before me. As you knew that most of the people did not
7 respect rules, did not comply with rules and regulations, was it
8 reasonable for you, if you really did have this occupation close to your
9 heart, could you not have included a paragraph in your order indicating:
10 "Take care that in the searching operations, the sweeping operations, the
11 people that are captured must be treated according to the laws of
12 humanitarian law?" Was that not unreasonable, General Krstic? Could you
13 not have thought of that, General Krstic?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 A. Your Honour, may I go back to an answer I have already given, the
16 answer I gave to His Honour Judge Riad? Matters of that kind are set out
17 in an initial document for the start of combat operations. My commanders,
18 the Commander of the Bratunac-Milici Brigade and the Skelani Battalion
19 have this in mind. They are aware of that. Therefore, I considered that
20 it was not necessary for me to repeat those things to them. And it is
21 also contained in the order for Zepa. The commanders must adhere to those
22 rules when we come to the question of prisoners of war.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General, I can understand
24 you, but it is not a normal situation, as you know full well. And let me
25 remind you of everything that I have said, everything that went behind
1 you, the euphoria that existed, the euphoria of Srebrenica, the civilian
2 population, the civilians who were completely incapable of stopping, of
3 knowing where the 28th Division was. You, yourself, knew that there was
4 no respect being shown for the rules. You had all this. You knew all
5 this. And the soldiers that were going into these operations, the
6 screening operations, searching operations, they were the same soldiers
7 that entered Srebrenica. So they were an euphoric body of men. So it was
8 not a normal situation.
9 What do you have to say to that, General?
10 A. Mr. President, the units who undertook the searching of the
11 terrain did not have a chance to enter Srebrenica nor did the Bratunac
12 Brigade or the Milici Brigade or the Independent Skelani Battalion, and
13 did not see that euphoria. I do not exclude the arrival of individuals to
14 Potocari down there for various reasons.
15 Therefore, they were not in a situation of having been able to see
16 everything that took place in Srebrenica. I don't think that any soldier
17 from those units were in Srebrenica on the 11th in the afternoon when the
18 units entered Srebrenica. Parts of the 1st Zvornik Brigade entered
19 Srebrenica. Then we have the 1st Birac Brigade, the 1st Romanija
20 Brigade. All of those attacked from the direction of -- from the Han
21 Pijesak. They did not take part in searching the terrain.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General. I don't want to
23 argue with you, but I'd just like to ask you one thing. Even if all the
24 soldiers who took part in the searching operation did not take part in the
25 Srebrenica operation, was there not this feeling in the army, even the
1 soldiers who did not go to Srebrenica? Is it legitimate to think that
2 soldiers that belonged to the same army, to the same body of men, did not
3 share that euphoria, the euphoria of victory, in fact? Is it reasonable
4 to think that? Because people share the victory of a group, of the army,
5 the brigade, the division, a group of men. This is shared, is it not?
6 A. They cannot share everything, that is to say, cannot share what
7 they themselves have not experienced and seen. Not all the officers are
8 the same nor are all soldiers the same. They don't all behave in the same
9 way. Their conduct is not the same. They are people who have been in the
10 fighting since the beginning of the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
11 fighting in Bosnia. They take part in combat.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General. Thank you
13 very much. I think that this might be a good time to take a break,
14 because it's 2.00. So let us take a 15-minute break.
15 --- Recess taken at 2.00 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 2.14 p.m.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, you may
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General Krstic, you have made it very clear in your interview with
21 Mr. Ruez that Colonel Blagojevic was not involved in any of the crimes in
22 the areas of Bratunac and that he was with you in Zepa from the 13th
23 onward. How was it that Colonel Blagojevic inspected all those units in
24 the area of the Srebrenica enclave, with you in Zepa?
25 A. I did say that to Mr. Ruez, and I was referring to the engagement
1 of his brigade for Zepa. I didn't mean to say that he was constantly with
2 me, he personally, in Zepa.
3 Q. So he did spend some time in the area of the Srebrenica enclave
4 commanding the troops that were searching the terrain for Muslim
6 A. Yes. It is a task linked to the engagement of his unit for Zepa,
7 and he was engaging in the search for the reasons that I have already
9 Q. In Exhibit 463, your July 13th order for the search of the
10 terrain, you very clearly in paragraph 6 note: "At the end of the search,
11 submit a written report on 17 July 1995 until 1200 hours." Was that a
12 serious order? Did you mean it when you said that? Did you mean to get a
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did you get a response?
16 A. No. As before, Colonel Blagojevic or somebody from his brigade
17 command sent their reports to the command post of the Drina Corps in
18 Vlasenica, so I believe that report also went to the command post at
20 Q. So you were exercising your command both through the Krivaca
21 Forward Command Post and through the command post in Vlasenica?
22 A. No. Exclusively from the forward command post at Krivaca.
23 Q. Isn't receiving replies from your order a very serious part of a
24 commander's duty in order to exercise the privilege of command?
25 A. Yes, it is important. And I assumed, since I had received no
1 report, there was nothing in particular that Colonel Blagojevic had to
2 report about, because his units were, all of them, after that engaged for
3 the Zepa operation, with the exception of those parts that were separated,
4 following somebody's orders, and sent to reinforce the Zvornik Brigade.
5 Q. After all you've learned, do you feel that nothing
6 particular -- there was nothing particular to report on between 14 July
7 and 17 July in the areas of Konjevic Polje, Bratunac, and south?
8 A. The reports that reached me at the forward command post from him,
9 from Colonel Blagojevic, and also the other reports that I read here,
10 indicate that Colonel Blagojevic reported that this situation was regular,
11 that there were no prisoners of war, that there was no combat, except for
12 one case when he mentions the death of one of his soldiers, the killing of
13 one of his soldiers. In all his reports he describes the situation as
14 being normal.
15 Q. So are you saying you did receive reports from the central
16 Podrinje area now at the Krivaca Forward Command Post?
17 A. We have here exhibits, that is, reports of Colonel Blagojevic,
18 that did reach the forward command post and that were addressed to the
19 forward command post at Vlasenica.
20 Q. The forward command --
21 A. In those reports there is nothing in particular, as I have just
22 said. No other reports or information from anyone in that area reached
24 Q. Now, the Exhibit 463, your July 13th order for the search of the
25 terrain, how was that sent out to the units?
1 A. I have already said. The order was sent out from the Krivaca
2 forward command post in a coded form.
3 Q. The order we have before us, and perhaps we should get that
4 exhibit again, 463, is a signed document. Earlier, you testified that you
5 cannot send a signed document in a coded teletype machine. So how can you
6 explain sending a signed document out? Unless, perhaps, this document was
7 not sent out.
8 A. This is a copy of the original document. It can be seen that this
9 is a copy of the original document.
10 Q. This document was not sent out on a teletype?
11 A. I said that this was a copy of the original document.
12 Q. Was this document that we have in front of us, with the signature,
13 sent out on a teletype or some other machine, if you know, or was it
15 A. I don't know whether this is typed on a teleprinter or a
16 typewriter. This is a copy of the original document.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we would go to Exhibit 467A and B, and if we
18 could start with 467B, the handwritten version. If we could put the
19 handwritten B/C/S version on the ELMO so the General can see that.
20 Q. General, please take a moment to read that.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: The handwritten version, please. Could we put the
22 handwritten version on the ELMO? Thank you. And if we could zero in on
23 that a little bit. That's fine. Thank you.
24 Q. First of all, General, do you know whose handwriting this is?
25 A. No, I don't know, but it is signed by Colonel Blagojevic it says.
1 Q. This could be Colonel Blagojevic or one of his staff people taking
2 dictation or something like that, couldn't it?
3 A. I don't know. I am not familiar with Colonel Blagojevic's
4 handwriting. I was never in a situation to see his handwriting.
5 Q. This particular document is clearly dated 14 July 1995, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And could you read this document? Could you read it out loud?
8 It's pretty short.
9 A. "The Command of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, number"
10 and no number is indicated. "14 July 1995, addressed to the Command of
11 the Drina Corps." The reference is the document: "Confidential number
12 05/2-295 of the 14th of July, 1995.
13 "We wish to inform you that we are able to ensure the presence of
14 members of the command and representatives of the municipal authorities
15 for the official farewell for General Zivanovic, the hitherto Commander of
16 the Drina Corps, on the 23rd of June, 1995, at 1300 hours." Signed, as it
17 is stated here, "The Commander, Vidoje Blagojevic."
18 Q. And if we could go to the 467B. The sent date of this document is
19 14 July 1995.
20 A. It is illegible. I can't read it, except at the bottom where it
21 says, "Delivered, 14 July 1995."
22 Q. That's the delivery date, 14 July 1995.
23 Now could we go to the English translation, which is 467A. I note
24 in that English translation that it refers to: "The municipal authorities
25 for the official farewell for General Zivanovic, hitherto, Commander of
1 the Drina Corps."
2 "Hitherto, the Commander of the Drina Corps," does that mean
3 former Commander of the Drina Corps?
4 A. No.
5 Q. The word -- what does the word mean then?
6 A. The Commander until now of the Drina Corps, not the former
8 Q. So "until now" would be 14 July, the date that this was sent;
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the English
12 translation of this text -- which unfortunately appeared very briefly on
13 the ELMO in the Serbian version, so I can't check -- I see that on the top
14 it says the 17th of July.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, at this point, this is an important
16 document and their taking objection before the witness is inappropriate.
17 If there's some way that this issue can be dealt with without
18 possibility --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic. I think we
20 have seen the dates. We will see the questions and the answers, and
21 perhaps we can come back to that later.
22 Mr. McCloskey, you may continue.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. This document is sent out on 14 July and makes reference to "up
25 until now the Commander of the Drina Corps." Does that mean that on the
1 14th of July Zivanovic is no longer the Commander of the Drina Corps?
2 A. No, it doesn't mean that. General Zivanovic is the Drina Corps
3 [as interpreted] until he hands over duty and I receive duty from him, as
4 I have already said. And perhaps General Zivanovic was aware of the
5 decree of the President of the Republic, but I wouldn't like to go into
6 that, because he was constantly in touch with General Mladic and I don't
7 know what they discussed among themselves.
8 Q. There's reference to a particular document, number 05/2-295, dated
9 14 July. Have you seen that document?
10 A. I have never seen that document.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to Exhibit 470A.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, have you finished
13 with this question already?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Yes. I wanted to go on to another
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but perhaps the substance
17 of the objection of the Defence was the document passed very quickly and
18 they were not able to see the date. If this is an opportune moment for
19 you, perhaps we can look at it again for the Defence to have a chance to
20 see it, if for the moment there is no prejudice regarding your questions.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Your Honour. I'm sorry. I assumed counsel
22 had a -- counsel should have a copy of this before them. They shouldn't
23 just have to look at the ELMO. If they're relying on the ELMO for
24 documents --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Visnjic, do you have
1 copies of these documents?
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, unfortunately, Your Honour. I
3 only have the English version on my laptop. I just wanted to make sure
4 that there was no error in the translation, no discrepancy between the
5 Serbian and English versions. However, if my learned friend confirms that
6 it is all right, I have no problems.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Why does the Defence not have
8 the documents?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No. We do have the documents. We
10 do have the document. It's just not on my screen, not on me here.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, regarding this document, Mr. Butler
12 went over this document in detail. The English version has a date on the
13 14th -- excuse me -- on the 17th. The handwritten version is the 14th.
14 It was a document sent on the 14th. And that came out very thoroughly and
15 I don't think there's really any issue on that point. That speaks for
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So Mr. Visnjic, has your
18 objection been overcome?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. I didn't
21 interrupt the Prosecutor because it seemed to me that the Prosecutor
22 needed to finish his question. But there was an objection, so I thought
23 that we should give them a chance to speak. But all of us here were able
24 to see that the handwritten document had the date the 14th and that the
25 typed version had the date the 17th. So please continue, and I apologise
1 for interrupting.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to the 470A, which is a brief
3 intercept from 15 July, at 0952 hours. Colonel Beara was looking for
4 General Zivanovic, but was not there. He said he was to call him at
5 extension 139.
6 Q. Do you recall if anyone had extension 139?
7 A. I don't know if anyone had that extension.
8 Q. Did you ever have it during this time period?
9 A. I don't think so. I didn't have that number.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Exhibit 472A. And if we could put the English on
11 the ELMO and provide the General with the copy of the -- in B/C/S. This
12 is an intercept of 15 July, at 0954 hours. It was discussed in depth by
13 Mr. Butler.
14 Q. General Krstic, is there a commander in the Drina Corps with the
15 last name of Furtula?
16 A. Yes. He was the Commander of the 5th Podrinje Brigade.
17 Q. And did that include the town of Visegrad?
18 A. Yes, Visegrad and Gorazde. A part of the territory of the
19 municipality of Gorazde.
20 Q. And are you familiar with a person under the command of Furtula
21 named Lukic?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Are you familiar with a person from Visegrad named Milan Lukic?
24 A. No. I never saw him.
25 Q. Have you ever heard of Milan Lukic from Visegrad?
1 A. I did hear about him here in the course of the proceedings.
2 Q. Have you heard about him outside these proceedings?
3 A. No, I have not.
4 Q. Now, according to this intercept, at some point General Zivanovic
5 says, "I can't arrange for that any more ..." And then the extension is
6 385 brought up, and Beara says, "And that is, what telephone exchange is
7 385?" And Zivanovic responded and said, "Zlatar, and 385 V."
8 What is Zlatar?
9 A. Zlatar is the code name for the communications center of the Drina
11 Q. Extension 385. Have you -- have any recollection of extension
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was extension 385 ever your extension?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. You don't remember or you don't know?
17 A. I don't remember. I don't know whether I had that extension.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to Exhibit 477A.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. On the transcript, they don't say what
20 Zlatar is. The answer is Zlatar and they leave it open. So
21 General Krstic, can you repeat what Zlatar is?
22 A. It's the code name for the head office of the Command of the --
23 the Communications Centre of the Drina Corps.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Now, General, if you could take a moment to look at OTP
2 Exhibit 477A, an intercept noted some six minutes after the last intercept
3 at 1000 hours, noted between "Ljubo Beara and General Krstic (Krle)."
4 Did you ever have a conversation with Ljubo Beara during the time
5 period July 13th through 17th?
6 A. No, never. I never had that conversation.
7 Q. Looking at the substance of this conversation, can you
8 categorically say you never had this conversation?
9 A. Never at all with Colonel Beara. I never had a conversation with
10 him at that time at all.
11 Q. So this document which says it's between Colonel Beara and
12 General Krstic would have been completely made up?
13 A. I didn't say that, but I never had the conversation with Colonel
14 Beara at that time and with respect to this topic, as it says here.
15 Q. Well, how do you explain the existence of this document, this
16 handwritten document, from the child's notebook? You saw the witness who
17 testified about this and how he wrote it down. If this wasn't completely
18 made up, what's your explanation for its existence?
19 A. I spoke about these documents on the previous days.
20 Q. General, this specific document we have not spoken about, and I
21 would ask you, how do you explain it's existence knowing, as you do, how
22 it was prepared? Is that something that -- where they've confused the
23 participants or is it something that they made up? How can you explain
24 this? And if you have no explanation, whatever your answer is, but please
25 tell us about this document.
1 A. I have already said that I never talked to Colonel Beara, and that
2 is my answer to your question with respect to the document itself.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, the question is
4 not that. It is: "How can you explain this?" You never talked to
5 Colonel Beara? You never had that conversation? And the question was:
6 "How do you explain this?" If you have an explanation for the existence
7 of this document with the contents of this document; that is the question,
8 General. Would you kindly answer?
9 A. I talked earlier on about this and similar documents. They were
10 always, for me, unreliable documents.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But that is an answer with
12 respect to all the documents. Now with respect to this particular
13 document, do you say that this document is part of the other documents?
14 And then the answer would be the same. Is that what you want to say?
15 A. Yes. An unreliable document. The very fact that I never ever had
16 a conversation with Colonel Beara.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue,
18 Mr. McCloskey, having received that answer from the witness.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. This document mentions a Boban Indic. Have you ever heard of an
21 officer Boban Indic from Visegrad?
22 A. I heard about it during the trial.
23 Q. Nothing before that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you ever refer to Colonel Beara, when you spoke to him back in
1 1995, as Ljubo?
2 A. No, never. I never addressed officers from a Superior Command by
3 just a name without mentioning the rank.
4 Q. And who would Nastic be? Were there any brigade commanders named
6 A. That surname is widespread on the territory of the municipality of
7 Vlasenica, and we had a commander of the Milici Brigade and his name was
9 Q. And Blagojevic, there was a commander of the Bratunac Brigade with
10 the last name Blagojevic; correct?
11 A. Yes, Blagojevic. That too is a widespread surname. But yes,
12 Blagojevic was the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
13 Q. Did Colonel Blagojevic have a unit called the Red Berets in July
15 A. It wasn't a unit of the Red Berets; it was a reconnaissance
16 platoon whose commander died at Drvar. He was killed at Drvar and he wore
17 a red beret.
18 Q. So Colonel Blagojevic did have an intervention platoon called the
19 Red Berets in July of 1995?
20 A. A reconnaissance platoon of his brigade.
21 Q. What was the name of the Chief for Security for the Zvornik
23 A. I learnt his name and surname here. I said earlier on that I
24 didn't know many of the officers on duty. I didn't have time, because I
25 was doing that duty for a short period of time, the Chief of Staff and the
1 Corp Commander. But I learnt here that it was Drago Nikolic, in fact. I
2 think it was precisely from these documents, documents like this one here,
3 or some other similar document. I'm not quite sure.
4 Q. And in the area -- Zvornik area, who were the MUP officials? Who
5 was the head of the MUP in Zvornik?
6 A. I only knew of Colonel Vasic, that he was the head of the Service
7 for Public Security.
8 Q. And his deputy was Mane Djuric?
9 A. I don't know whether he was his deputy at that time.
10 Q. Do you have any information that the MUP in the area of Zvornik
11 received a request from Colonel Beara to murder people and that they
13 A. I have no idea about that. I have no knowledge of that. If that
14 is true, then they did well.
15 Q. Thirty-five hundred parcels. What do you think the 3.500 parcels
16 is a reference to?
17 A. I don't know what it's a reference to.
18 Q. Do you recall on July 15th, 1995 the Pilica school was filled with
19 Muslim prisoners all day?
20 A. I learnt this in the course of the proceedings.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to the Exhibit 481A. Take a moment
22 to take a look at that. It's another document that Mr. Butler testified
24 Q. General Krstic, this is an order dated 17 July 1995, regarding
25 mobilisation matters, signed by you as Commander, with the title on the
1 top of the document "Drina Corps Command." Where were you when you signed
2 this document?
3 A. I have studied this order carefully, the date when it was
4 registered and when it was received in the Zvornik Brigade.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I apologise, but
6 the question was: Where were you when you signed this order? Your answer
7 should begin with "I was ..." et cetera. So please give a direct answer.
8 And afterwards, if you need to give an explanation, we are at your
9 disposal, but please answer the question first.
10 A. I signed this order after I returned to the Command of the Drina
11 Corps from Zepa. And if you want me to explain, I shall do so.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. I would like to know when, if I could. That's a pretty broad time
15 A. Most probably I signed this order on the 22nd or 23rd of July. By
16 this order, somebody wanted to cover an oral order issued previously with
17 respect to the execution of the mobilisation, because it is obvious that
18 there were many irregularities in the way the mobilisation was implemented
19 in the period after the 12th of July, 1995. The very fact that it was
20 registered in the Zvornik Brigade on the 24th of July speaks of this.
21 Q. So General, if you signed this document dated July 17th and you
22 signed it on the 23rd of July, you made a mistake when you signed it?
23 A. I did not pay attention to the date, when this order was
24 registered, but I did sign it certainly on the 22nd or the 23rd. I could
25 not have signed it before that, because a document of this kind never
1 reached me at the forward command post. But somebody had to be made
2 responsible for the irregularities of the implementation of the
3 mobilisation and the wartime assignment, and the report of the Bratunac
4 Brigade and Colonel Milanovic speaks of that, that an order was given for
5 a general mobilisation.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. McCloskey, but
7 let me ask the General something.
8 General, before signing this order did you correct or modify
9 anything, change anything, or did you sign it as it stood?
10 A. I did not change anything or correct anything. We had a good head
11 of department for personnel affairs.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. You made a mistake in signing this document on the 23rd. It
16 should have been reflected to correct the date that you actually signed
17 it; is that true?
18 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the beginning of the General's
20 A. It would [sic] be subject to disciplinary responsibility. That
21 happens when a mistake is made. It happened not only during the war but
22 in peacetime as well that a document compiled earlier was signed later.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. That's a disciplinary offence?
25 A. I can't speak about that.
1 Q. You wouldn't want to sign an order that --
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, but there seems to be a
4 misunderstanding. The General said it was not a disciplinary offence and
5 in the transcript it turned out that it was, so hence the
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I too heard that it wasn't
8 a serious disciplinary offence. That's what I heard. So perhaps we could
9 clarify the question, Mr. McCloskey. Would you ask the question again so
10 that there is no misunderstanding?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that that clarified the misunderstanding,
12 Your Honour, because I did hear it as a disciplinary offence.
13 Q. It certainly wouldn't be appropriate for a person to sign an order
14 as commander when they were not commander, would it?
15 A. I didn't say that a disciplinary mistake had been made, but the
16 contents of the order -- from the contents of the order, you can see that
17 for what was signed, you cannot be held disciplinary responsible just
18 because of the date, because it was written the 17th of July. Had it been
19 some other document referring to the use of units in combat, then the
20 situation would have been a different one and that the consequences had
21 ensued earlier on.
22 Q. My question, General, was: It certainly wouldn't be correct for
23 someone to sign a document as commander when they were not a commander?
24 A. At the time I signed it, I was the Commander of the Corps, and
25 that was the 22nd or the 23rd, and at the end it has the stamp of the
1 military post in Zvornik when this order was received. And it could not
2 have travelled seven days or eight days to reach Zvornik, because once you
3 sign a document, you don't keep the document at the command.
4 Q. General, you have been very clear in your interview with Mr. Ruez
5 and I believe your testimony here that between July 13th and August 2nd,
6 you never went to the Vlasenica headquarters. Now, as you testify today
7 under oath, are you changing that testimony?
8 A. I am not changing my testimony at all, and I am adhering to the
9 oath I took before this august Tribunal. I told Mr. Ruez where I was.
10 During my testimony, asked by the Defence, I said that on the 13th, in the
11 morning hours, arrived at the headquarters in Vlasenica, stayed there for
12 a short time, and then returned to Krivaca.
13 Q. From that time on, you have said that you never have gone to the
14 Vlasenica headquarters until August 2nd. You've been very clear on that
15 point, haven't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no further questions for today, Your
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You have questions for tomorrow,
20 Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, but I do see a light at the end of the
22 tunnel. I hope that we'll be able to finish tomorrow, a day earlier than
23 Mr. Harmon's outside guess, and I sincerely hope that I can finish within
24 that time frame.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We talked about
1 Thursday. Mr. Harmon said that perhaps it would be possible to anticipate
2 one day, but we're at Wednesday, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.
3 We'll be there tomorrow morning at 9.20
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.07 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day
6 of November, 2000 at 9.20 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 and English transcripts.