1 Wednesday, 22 November 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.24 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth and the interpreters; good
7 morning to the Office of the Prosecutor, the Defence counsel; good
8 morning, General Krstic.
9 We're now going to resume with the testimony of Mr. Rudovic, and
10 when we finish that questioning, we will take up with the questions of the
11 General. We are now going to have Mr. Rudovic introduced into court.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Rudovic.
14 Please be seated.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you feel well? Everything
17 all right?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. I'm fine.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sure you'll be able to
20 answer questions put to you by Mr. Petrusic.
21 I think we were still with the year 1992, and I think we ought to
22 move on, speed things up a bit. Please proceed.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
24 Honours, my learned colleagues of the Prosecution, and everybody else in
25 court. I think we'll get through 1992 and 1995 very quickly this
2 WITNESS: VLADO RUDOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examined by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
5 Q. Mr. Rudovic, you left off yesterday telling us in your testimony
6 when you met General Krstic and I think that was at the beginning of 1993;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Tell us, please, what was the conversation you had with the
10 General who was then a Lieutenant Colonel, Krstic, Commander of the 2nd
11 Romanija Motorised Brigade, which was the brigade to which you yourself
12 belonged to at the time?
13 A. Let me say first of all that I was very nervous yesterday. But as
14 to our conversation, with the leader of my company, I went to Lieutenant
15 Colonel Krstic, to Gusinac, which is where he was, he had a sort of tent
16 there, and he explained to us what safe area meant, what we had the right
17 to, what they had the right to do, what their rights were, what our rights
18 were, and he informed us about the line. He said that they had been
19 disarmed and we were not allowed to engage in any provocations; that we
20 were Serbian soldiers, that we must respect the image of us as soldiers.
21 As I said, my brother's son was killed and my son was killed as
22 well, and lots of other people killed. Many people were killed and
23 expelled and forced to leave. But he told me that I must be a true
24 Serbian soldier and live up to that image and that I must not do anything.
25 When I raised my voice, he said, "No, I don't want Serbian
1 soldiers of that kind in my army," and what I told him was the following:
2 "You're saying the same thing that the priest told me at my son's
3 funeral: No eye for an eye or tooth for a tooth. That is definitely not
4 allowed." That's what the priest told me during the funeral of my son.
5 Q. So Lieutenant Krstic told you at the time that you must be a real,
6 true Serbian soldier?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Let me finish, please. Without any acts of revenge or undertaking
9 any acts of that kind towards the Muslim army or the civilian population.
10 And that, as far as I was able to understand your testimony, that he
11 didn't want the likes of you in the Serbian army because he did not want
12 to be responsible for any war crimes; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Briefly speaking, Mr. Rudovic, tell us, please, when the safe area
15 was set up, did you respect the rules and regulations governing a safe
16 area, a protected area?
17 A. Throughout the time I was at Zepa, and we respected the whole
18 front line, the whole line all the time. There were no provocations from
19 either side. But I must say that from the other side there were
20 provocations. First of all, they had not been disarmed, as we were told,
21 and they would hit us -- come from the rear, behind our back. The line
22 was 35, 40 kilometres. They would cross the line. They had 4 or 5
23 kilometres of no-man's land in between, and they would kill the population
24 there. They would seize the cattle, the livestock, and they would lay an
25 ambush for the army and they would ambush the drivers taking food, driving
1 food, or ambulances or things of that kind.
2 Q. And so at the beginning of that year, 1993, when the safe area was
3 established, was formed, it moved from within the composition of the 2nd
4 Romanija Motorised Brigade to the 65th Motorised Regiment, Protection
5 Regiment; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you were a member of the battalion of that 65th Protection
9 A. Yes, I was a member of a battalion of the Protection Regiment
10 until 1995.
11 Q. Was that an infantry battalion?
12 A. Yes, it was an infantry battalion with light weaponry.
13 Q. And within that structure you had your company leader and
14 Battalion Commander, I assume.
15 A. Yes, we had a Battalion Commander, leader of the company, a
16 Commander of the platoon. It was a proper unit organised as it should be.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic, the
18 interpreters have asked us to ask you to make a pause between question and
19 answer. You two are speaking the same language, but, Witness, there is
20 always an interpreter, and unless you make breaks, it won't be possible.
21 And if you go on that way, it will be just a conversation between the two
22 of you and nobody else will benefit. So please pay attention to that,
23 Mr. Petrusic, and I do think that Mr. Petrusic did caution you, Witness,
24 when you started your testimony. But that is not a criticism. I should
25 just like to ask you to do that. We don't understand your language so try
1 and speak as slowly as possible and make pauses between you and
2 Mr. Petrusic.
3 Having said that, Mr. Petrusic, please proceed.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Rudovic, at the beginning of July 1995, where were you; that
6 is to say, where was your unit located?
7 A. We were on the same line at which we were located in 1992. We had
8 a pause, a break. We shifted -- we moved for the winter, then they
9 expanded that zone, then we had to return to our former positions where we
10 were in 1992, so we stayed there until the end of 1993.
11 Q. Were you at that position when the combat actions in 1995
12 began, that is to say, on the 14th of July, at Zepa?
13 A. I was there throughout. I was there the whole time until the fall
14 of Zepa.
15 Q. Tell me, please, during the combat at Zepa, that is to say, from
16 the 14th of July, if you know, what was the chain of command in your
17 unit? Who did you receive your orders from?
18 A. The company leader. Company leaders would issue orders, and
19 probably they received their orders from the Battalion Commander, and
20 that's how the line goes, the chain goes. He was the leader of the
21 company --
22 Q. Who was the leader of the company after the 14th of July?
23 A. The company leader was Gojko Petrusic.
24 Q. I'm asking about the 14th of July?
25 A. Yes. He was killed then and he was replaced by the Dragan
2 Q. What about the Battalion Commander?
3 A. The Battalion Commander up until then was Milanko Beatovic, but he
4 was later replaced sometime in 1994 by Radivojevic. I don't know his
5 name. And he was there until the end, he was in that post until the end.
6 Q. Do you happen to know who your Battalion Commander received orders
8 A. Well, probably from the higher commanding officers.
9 Q. May we then say that you don't have any precise knowledge in that
11 A. You mean who he received them from?
12 Q. Yes, your Commander.
13 A. Well, there were several officers. For example, in our sector of
14 the line, the unit I was in, it belonged to the 2nd Romanija and to the
15 Protection Platoon because it was all mixed up. Now if I were to begin to
16 tell you all that, well -- we were told that we ought to be on the ready
17 because in Zepa all the UNPROFOR soldiers had been disarmed. And then
18 provocations started and that is when I felt the first fighting of 1992.
19 They killed Gojko Petrusic, our company leader, and wounded a
20 soldier, and that's how the operation was launched, that's how it started.
21 And there was Colonel Andric there and there was Krstic, I think he was
22 still a Lieutenant Colonel at the time, and they were up at Borica, to the
23 right of us, up there. And I heard about him when he passed from Zepa,
24 Tolimir. I don't know what his name was. Miroslav, maybe.
25 Q. Mr. Rudovic, tell us, during that period, from the 14th of July up
1 until the fall of Zepa, did you have any prisoners of war?
2 A. Our company, we had two.
3 Q. Could you tell us what you did with them?
4 A. Well, there they are today, alive and well. One of the men's name
5 was Osman Omerspahic, and he went to prison straight away. We turned him
6 over to the police and the police held him in custody. He was exchanged.
7 And there he is today, driving a bus from Sarajevo to Gorazde. And he is a
8 local of Han Pijesak and he doesn't even pay his bus tickets to anybody
9 when he gets on a bus -- he doesn't charge for bus rides.
10 So when Zepa fell later on, there was another one and his name was
11 Ramic, and he went to Sarajevo to be exchanged.
12 Q. During those combat activities at Zepa from the 14th of July to
13 the 2nd of August, did you have occasion to see General Krstic?
14 A. I saw General Krstic on two occasions, at the beginning and at the
15 end, that is to say, at the beginning when we moved out to Zepa, and when
16 the whole operation finished, I saw them. That's where we parted ways.
17 And I went home. Whether he left before me, I don't know, because
18 everybody has his own road to follow.
19 Q. You told us about a detail from your meeting, you described a
20 detail from your meeting that was at the beginning of April/May 1993, and
21 it was about the way he criticised you and told you how you must behave as
22 a soldier, what your conduct should be.
23 A. He didn't say that to me, he told the whole army. He explained
24 the importance of the line, the importance of the safe area, the
25 importance of the fact that they had been disarmed, and the role of
1 UNPROFOR. And that was -- they separated us. There were 2 kilometres
2 from their line to our lines, and that was a sort of no-man's land, a
3 space in between. They were always over there. They never came over
4 here, only if they came by official vehicles. So they didn't pass -- the
5 UNPROFOR men didn't pass on to our line, and that's how we held those
6 lines. That's how it was until they were disarmed. Once they were
7 disarmed, then they were impotent and they asked for protection.
8 One checkpoint was somewhere up by Borica and it was at that
9 checkpoint there, there were 12 of them who had been captured because they
10 were nearer to the Serb positions, so that that was how it was. And all
11 their weapons, all the weapons that they seized they used against us.
12 Q. You're talking about the Muslim side, are you?
13 A. Yes. The Muslims captured them, they took their weapons, and then
14 they used those weapons to strike against us. Krstic -- well, I've told
15 you already. Krstic held that line until we moved to the protection
16 regiment, and he advised us how we should -- what our conduct should be,
17 that we should be real fighters, that we mustn't touch civilians or
18 anybody who is injured or anybody who surrenders. We were not allowed to
19 do anything to them or shoot at them or anything. That's what I'm telling
20 you. Now, what can you do if you're not allowed to shoot? But that was
21 how it was and we respected that up at that line there. And 2 or 3
22 kilometres along the line they tilled the land which was on our territory.
23 Q. Yes. Could you slow down, please, now.
24 A. They worked the land, their own land, which was in fact on our
25 territory, but they did not carry weapons at that time. They would sow
1 and reap and so on. But nobody touched them. They went about their
2 business and that was how it was.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has no
4 further questions for Mr. Rudovic. That completes his testimony.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I haven't said
6 something that I wanted to say.
7 When we got down during all that time, when my leader was killed,
8 we advanced several kilometres, and then they made trenches on our in the
9 course of the night and launched their operations from there. When our
10 leader was killed we came to those trenches and took control of those
11 trenches, but they said that there were to be negotiations and the
12 negotiations went on for a day or two, I don't know actually how long, but
13 they did not succeed. And then we advanced again. They attacked us; we
14 advanced again, because as soon as the negotiations failed there was
15 shooting straight away and that's what we had to do. And I spent about
16 four -- I spent five or six days doing those 4 or 5 kilometres.
17 And when we got down there, when Zepa surrendered, the Serb
18 soldiers did not go into Zepa until the last civilian had left, and they
19 all left single-file in buses by us, because we had control of the road.
20 And I know that today that there is the president of the --
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting
22 you, Mr. Rudovic. Mr. Petrusic did say that he did not have any more
23 questions for you. We all know that you would have many, many, things to
24 tell us, and you are going to tell us in answering the questions put to
25 you by Mr. Andrew Cayley. I hope I haven't changed his name. He's going
1 to ask you questions.
2 Are you ready to do that? Are you ready and willing to answer
3 questions by Mr. Cayley?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am. I'm quite ready.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
6 Mr. Cayley, your witness.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning. Good
8 morning to my learned friends. I have very few questions, actually, for
9 the witness.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:
11 Q. Good morning, Mr. Rudovic. First of all, please accept on behalf
12 of myself and my colleagues profound regret at the loss of your son and
13 nephew during this war.
14 I would like to direct your mind to Zepa and July of 1995, and I
15 have very few questions and it concerns a matter that you just mentioned,
16 the evacuation of the civilians from Zepa. If you don't know the answers
17 to the questions I ask you, you can simply say to the Judges that you
18 don't know.
19 First of all, after the fall of Zepa, did you ever hear of the
20 removal from a bus of 36 Muslims, including wounded individuals, by Serb
21 forces? Did you ever hear about that? These were Bosniak soldiers being
22 evacuated from Zepa. Did you understand the question?
23 A. I understand the question. I never heard about that, nor did that
24 happen where we were, anyway.
25 Q. Did you ever hear, Witness, that after the fall of the enclave and
1 Zepa, that the Bosniak Commander, Colonel Avdo Palic, was murdered? Did
2 you ever hear about that incident?
3 A. I never heard that he was murdered. I don't know. I know Palic,
4 I knew him from before the war, but I never heard that he was murdered.
5 He was declared missing, that's all.
6 Q. Did you ever hear, after the fall of Zepa and still to this day,
7 that there are 118 missing Muslim men from the Zepa enclave? Did you ever
8 hear about that? These are men who disappeared in July of 1995; they've
9 never been seen again.
10 A. I never heard that. I don't know. Our former neighbours come by,
11 and I never heard from any one of them that someone was missing. But
12 probably there are some of them in Australia and they don't want to
14 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honours, I won't read it out to the witness. I
15 direct you to Prosecutor's Exhibit 30, paragraphs 425 onwards. This is
16 the report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on the fall of
17 Zepa that discusses these matters.
18 I have no further questions for the witness. Thank you very much,
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, have you any
21 additional questions?
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
24 Judge Fouad Riad.
25 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no questions.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 Judge Wald, no?
3 Mr. Rudovic, I also have no questions for you. I would just like
4 to say that I hope you will, for many years to come, benefit from the
5 advantages that you have, the small benefits such as travelling to
6 Sarajevo without paying a ticket. So we wish you a safe return home and
7 thank you very much for coming here, Mr. Rudovic. The usher is going to
8 escort you out.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps it would be better to
11 have a short ten-minute break so that General Krstic can prepare and take
12 his seat in the witness box. So we're going to have a short, ten-minute
14 --- Break taken at 9.48 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10:05 a.m.
16 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, good morning.
20 Are you feeling well?
21 A. Better, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now resume
23 with our questions. You will remember that we were talking about the
24 procedure of the transmission of orders coming from the Commander-in-Chief
25 when those orders are expected to be carried out by a unit of a brigade.
1 So could you remind us of that procedure and how it worked.
2 A. I said that orders can be issued in writing to subordinate
3 officers and units, and also orally.
4 A written order is a customary form of issuing orders and orders
5 are most frequently issued in that way. They may be transmitted by code
6 or by handing the written order to the command of the subordinate unit or
7 to the Commander of the subordinate unit.
8 Oral orders are most frequently issued on the spot to the
9 commanding officer whose unit is to carry out the order.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But an order coming from
11 the Main Staff for a brigade, does it have to go through the Corps
12 Commander. We are talking in general terms.
13 A. Such cases were not frequent. Most frequently orders do pass
14 through the command of the Corps, but they may be addressed directly to
15 lower level subordinate units when we are talking about the Main Staff.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We stopped when we were talking
17 about a specific order, Exhibit 709. We placed it under the ELMO at the
18 time, the exhibit. I will give you some information about it. Perhaps it
19 is not necessary to show it to you because you are familiar with it.
20 That order is an order coming from the Main Staff and which
21 mentioned specifically Captain Trpic - do you remember that order in
22 connection with fuel - so that order was coming from the Main Staff for a
23 brigade and made specific mention of Captain Trpic. Do you remember that
24 order in connection with fuel? So that order was coming the Main Staff
25 for a brigade and made specific mention of Captain Trpic. Do you remember
2 A. I do, but --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you need to see it, to see
4 the order?
5 A. Yes. Yes, please.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can you give us
7 Exhibit 709.
8 General Krstic, you have in front of you this order coming from
9 the General Staff, signed by General Mladic. And as you can see, it is
10 sent to a brigade and it mentions Captain Milorad Trpic. This order,
11 according to the customary procedure, should it have gone through the
12 Corps command or could it be addressed directly to this individual,
13 Captain Milorad Trpic?
14 A. It could have been addressed directly to that person. But from
15 this order, it can be seen that it says: "Attention: Command of the
16 Drina Corps," then the logistic sector of the General Staff of the army of
17 Republika Srpska, for the information to the 1st Zvornik Infantry
18 Brigade. So this is a logistics body of the Drina Corps command. And in
19 this document, General Mladic specifies the tasks which that officer needs
20 to carry out with approved quantities of fuel.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General Krstic, I'm sorry
22 for interrupting you. So you have answered my question.
23 Now let us look at the other side of the question. To whom should
24 Captain Milorad Trpic report regarding the implementation of this order?
25 A. He must report to the person issuing the order, in this case
1 General Ratko Mladic, because he is the one who is giving the order.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is this a normal situation or an
3 exceptional situation?
4 A. This is a possible situation. The rules and regulations do make
5 provision for such a possibility, and in practice it may occur. So a
6 higher level commanding officer is entitled to give orders to a lower
7 level commanding officer as to what he should do.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. So let us now go on
9 to another topic and another question.
10 You spoke at length about the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You
11 said that a large number, and there are documents, a large number of
12 soldiers, and particularly officers, left the Srebrenica enclave beginning
13 with July 1994 to join their families in Tuzla. Would you agree with that
14 conclusion, with that statement?
15 A. Yes, I did speak about that on the basis of documents of the army
16 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this was also visible
17 throughout the period following the proclamation of the safe area of
18 Srebrenica, that a certain number of members of the BH army left.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you agree with that
20 statement. My question is the following: Do you know whether those
21 soldiers were able to join the 2nd Corps of the army in Tuzla, or in any
22 event was that what the VRS thought they did?
23 A. No. The members of the 28th Division in the safe area of
24 Srebrenica and Zepa did join the 2nd Corps of the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and also the 1st Corps of the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose area of responsibility was Sarajevo and the
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you know what exactly was the
4 Operative Zone of the 28th Division?
5 A. The Operative Zone of the 28th Division, from the beginning of the
6 outbreak of hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, covered the territories of
7 the municipalities of -- and I'm saying until the proclamation of the safe
8 area, the municipalities of Vlasenica, Sekovici, Zvornik, Bratunac,
9 Milici, Srebrenica, a part of Han Pijesak municipality, specifically I'm
10 referring to Zepa. So the whole of the area of Birac and central Podrinje
11 and a part of upper Podrinje. When I'm saying "upper Podrinje," I'm
12 thinking of Zepa, because Zepa belongs to the area of Gornja Podrinje.
13 After the proclamation of Srebrenica and Zepa as safe areas, the
14 area of responsibility of the 28th Division was the Srebrenica enclave and
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you know what were the
17 effectives of the 28th Division was as a whole, what their strength was?
18 A. I spoke about that at some length, and I said that Srebrenica and
19 Zepa were never demilitarised zones, even though they were proclaimed safe
20 areas. And when those areas were declared safe areas, the 28th Division
21 was still armed. They had infantry weapons at their disposal and also
22 artillery weapons of a calibre up to 120-millimetres. And after
23 Srebrenica and Zepa were proclaimed safe areas, the 28th Division
24 continued to arm itself either by deliveries of weapons and ammunition
25 from Tuzla, Kladanj, and Sarajevo, or those same weapons being delivered
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 by helicopter to the area of Srebrenica and Zepa.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What you are telling us
3 coincides with the assessment of the situation that you made for the
4 Operation Krivaja 95? Does that coincide? In other words, the number of
5 troops present in Srebrenica and the quantity and quality of weaponry, are
6 they what you have just said, or was there a change in the quality and
7 quantity of troops and weapons for the Krivaja Operation?
8 A. In any event, the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the areas
9 of Zepa and Srebrenica were constantly organisationally promoting and
10 modernising the division as a whole, and its effectives and strength was
11 increasing and they were arming themselves additionally, which is not
12 logical. Because if the area was proclaimed a safe area, why, then,
13 should the 8th Operative Group be changed to the 28th Division? Because,
14 after all, a division is a much stronger and more powerful unit than an
15 operative group, and it has several brigades within it as well as
16 independent units up to battalion strength.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You mentioned that the attack on
18 Srebrenica was launched with the aim of putting an end to sabotage
19 operations engaged in by BH forces and a number of operations were
20 mentioned; for example, operations which started in November 1994, the
21 Operation Skakavac or Grasshopper, and you also mentioned the spring
23 My question is the following: These three operations, are they
24 one and the same operation with different stages or are they quite
25 independent and separate operations?
1 A. In any event, those operations were linked together. The Skakavac
2 Operation was the introduction to the spring offensive by the army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the whole area. The Skakavac Operation consisted of
4 sabotage activities, the aim of which was to engage in sabotage operations
5 either in relation to members of the VRS or by incursions into villages
6 and inflicting of casualties, creating an atmosphere of insecurity among
7 the Serb population in the territory under the control of the Serbs; or
8 more specifically, everything needed to be disorganised and undermined so
9 as to create conditions that would be an introduction to a broader-scale
10 operation, an operation of combat, which, with regard to the Drina Corps,
11 was indeed launched in the spring of 1995, or to be more precise, in the
12 middle and end of June 1995, launched from Tuzla towards Srebrenica, and
13 from Kladanj towards Vlasenica, and also from the direction of Olovo
14 towards Sokolac.
15 The Operation Skakavac was under the direct command of the General
16 Staff of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina from their forward
17 command post, I think, in Kakanj. In any event, all orders issued to the
18 28th Division were issued from that command post, and occasionally also
19 from the command of the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question, General
22 Krstic: These operations, did they cover the whole territory of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina or did they apply solely to the eastern part of
25 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina started the spring offensive first
1 on the Sarajevo theatre of war with a view to deblocking Sarajevo; and
2 then along the Neretva River Valley towards the area of responsibility of
3 the Herzegovina Corps; then towards the area of responsibility of the
4 Drina Corps, that is, the eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and later we
5 know that a broader-scale operation was carried out in western
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, when one-third of the territory under Serb control was
7 taken over by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and placed under its control
8 and that of the HVO.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question, General
10 Krstic: The report of the UN Secretary-General notes, and I'll read it in
11 English, that: [In English] " The most substantial military operation
12 conducted by the Bosniaks of Srebrenica during the safe area period was
13 the right of Visnjica," dated the 26th of June, 1995.
14 Do you agree with this judgement or assessment?
15 A. I would agree with the assessment. The main aim of the 28th
16 Division, from the moment the safe areas were proclaimed, was for
17 Srebrenica and Zepa to be physically linked and placed under the control
18 of the 28th Division, and later on for that area, via Mount Javor, to be
19 expanded towards Kladanj. The village of Visnjica lies there and also the
20 area of the village of Banja Lucica, in the territory of the Han Pijesak
21 municipality; then the area of the village of Rijecica, which is on the
22 border between Han Pijesak municipality and Kladanj. So it was in this
23 area that most of the operations of the 28th Division were carried out,
24 operations of a diversionary and sabotage nature, and our population
25 forces suffered the greatest casualties there.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The report also explains that
2 these operations had as their principal aim to deliver supplies to the
3 enclaves, and also the report says 100 sheep were taken from Visnjica and
4 were then eaten up. Would you agree with that description?
5 A. One of the aims, in addition to the armed -- to the military aims,
6 was to supply foodstuffs. But it was not only the forces of the 28th
7 Division that were short of food, they supplied also to the territories
8 under Serb control, and there was a general shortage of food. So that the
9 assistance that came from the International Community to the civilian
10 population of all three sides was also used by the military because there
11 was no other food to be found.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, you said in your
13 testimony that the Commander of the 28th Division, Naser Oric, was on his
14 way to Tuzla on the 28th of June, 1995. When do you think that he came
15 back from Sarajevo? And if you do know, how did you learn about it?
16 A. That the Commander of the 28th Division, General Naser Oric, left
17 the safe area of Srebrenica was something that we learnt earlier on from
18 intelligence reports, and we were later able to confirm this through the
19 exhibits and the Muslim documents showing that he did, indeed, leave the
20 area of Srebrenica and that he went outside that area.
21 We were informed that with a large number of soldiers, members of
22 the 28th Division, he first went to Sarajevo to take part in the spring
23 offensive to deblock Sarajevo, and then later he was transferred to the
24 territory of Tuzla, within the 2nd Corps of the BH army, which was in
25 command of the forces in Srebrenica, the strength of one battalion, in the
1 spring offensive towards Zvornik and Srebrenica. This was from the 15th
2 of July onwards.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General. I'd now
4 like to go on to another set of questions.
5 When the operation against Srebrenica was launched in 1995, did
6 you know that a first offensive had already been launched against
7 Srebrenica in 1993?
8 A. At the time I was the Commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised
9 Brigade, so this was not an offensive against Srebrenica but against the
10 broader area of Birac, and I have in mind, in the first place, Cerska,
11 Konjevic Polje, and Nova Kasaba. That operation was provoked by the
12 activities of the 28th Division, mostly provoked by their activities in
13 the territory between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, a group of villages,
14 Kravica and other villages surrounding Kravica. It was carried out -- or,
15 rather, it started around the end of February, went on through March, and
16 then also in April, when Srebrenica was declared a safe area.
17 As I was saying, at that time I was the Commander of the 2nd
18 Romanija Motorised Brigade, and the Commander of that operation --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting you.
20 So you mentioned that after that Srebrenica was declared a safe area. Did
21 you know that one of the reasons for declaring it a safe area was
22 precisely the shortage of supplies, of foodstuffs, medicines, and so on?
23 A. It was not known at the time that that was the reason why
24 Srebrenica was declared a safe area. I understood it to be as protection
25 of the civilian population.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but when you participated
2 in the planning of the Operation Krivaja 95, you already knew that this
3 reason for declaring it a safe area was a determining factor, or not?
4 A. You mean the shortage of food?
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 A. No, Mr. President, I did not know that that was the reason for the
7 proclamation of Srebrenica as a safe area.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When did you learn that the
9 shortage of supplies was one of the reasons for declaring it a safe area?
10 A. I did not learn at all that that was the reason for proclaiming
11 Srebrenica a safe area. I never learnt that. I said already that there
12 were food shortages throughout the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina equally
13 among all three sides.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Specifically, General Krstic,
15 did you know that the first evacuation of Muslims from Srebrenica took
16 place between March and April 1993?
17 A. No, I did not have detailed information about that because I
18 wasn't in the area. I was in the area around Kladanj, Olovo, and Vares.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Sorry for interrupting you. You
20 had no precise information? What type of information did you have
21 regarding this first evacuation of Muslims?
22 A. I had no information about the evacuation of Muslims. But it was
23 visible that they were leaving the protected area partly through the area
24 of responsibility of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, through the positions of
25 the 2nd Romanija Brigade, towards Kladanj. That there was some kind of
1 organised evacuation is something I never heard about.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Something else. At that
3 time, 1993, March/April, who was the Commander of the Drina Corps? I
4 think I know the answer but I'd like to hear it from you.
5 A. Ever since the Drina Corps was formed, until the 20th of July,
6 1995, that is, from November 1992 to the 20th of July, 1995, the Commander
7 of the Drina Corps was General Zivanovic.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Another set of questions.
9 Did you also know that an operation was launched against the
10 Gorazde enclave in April 1994 by General Mladic?
11 A. I think this was in 1994 and not 1993.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right. I was
13 saying 1994.
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You knew about this operation.
16 Did you know what were the objectives of that operation?
17 A. At the time I was still the Commander of the 2nd Romanija
18 Brigade. That operation took place at a time when the BH army launched an
19 operation from Kladanj towards the territory of the municipality of Han
20 Pijesak and Vlasenica. I was not aware of the specific goals of that
21 operation. It was under the command and control of General Mladic, and
22 General Zivanovic was with him.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but in any event, General
24 Krstic, now, taking into account the events we have discussed in 1993,
25 Srebrenica, taking into account the events we referred to in Gorazde in
1 1994, do you see any difference or similarity between those operations and
2 the Krivaja 95 Operation? Is it possible to establish a relationship
3 between these three events: Srebrenica, 1993; Gorazde, 1994; Srebrenica,
5 A. Mr. President, as far as I personally am concerned, bearing in
6 mind the aim that was to have been achieved by Operation Krivaja 95, which
7 was the physical separation of the two enclaves, so it has absolutely
8 nothing in common with these other operations, 1994 in Birac, in central
9 Podrinje, and the spring of 1994 towards Gorazde.
10 This operation, Krivaja 95, was an operation of limited scope,
11 very limited scope, to separate the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa and
12 reach the lines that I have spoken about at length, and nothing more than
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Perhaps I can put that
15 question to you differently. In relation to the BH army or, rather,
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the various operations that we have mentioned,
17 Skakavac, the spring offensive, et cetera, were they one and the same or
18 different operations?
19 Now, let me put the question to you: In relation to an objective
20 which I don't know - perhaps you do - Srebrenica 1993, Gorazde 1994, and
21 Srebrenica 1995, were they operations quite distinct and independent from
22 one another or are they related in relation to a particular objective of
23 the VRS?
24 A. These are different areas quite far removed from one another.
25 When we are talking about the operation of central Podrinje and Birac in
1 the spring of 1993, the area of Gorazde in 1994, I really could not
2 identify any similarities with respect to the objectives of those
3 operations, because in 1993 and 1994 a war was raging in those areas.
4 There were constant combat operations. Those combat operations were not
5 ongoing only during the duration of those operations but they were going
6 on continuously. There were battles, fighting, at lower levels.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But, General Krstic, would you
8 at least agree with me in saying that General Mladic, the Chief of the
9 Main Staff, and the Commander of the Drina Corps, General Zivanovic, they
10 were present in several operations, or not?
11 A. Yes. When we are talking about broader-scale operations, such as
12 1993, the spring of 1994, in both those areas, both the Commander of the
13 Drina Corps, General Zivanovic, and the Commander of the Main Staff of the
14 VRS, General Mladic, were present and they were in command and control of
15 those operations.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let me put another question to
17 you, General Krstic. Who, in 1995, among the senior officers,
18 participated also in the operation Srebrenica 1993 and possibly in the
19 operation Gorazde 1994? We saw that Zivanovic and Mladic participated.
20 Are there officers in 1995 who participated also in these other
22 A. I don't know which senior officers in addition to General
23 Zivanovic and General Mladic took part in the operations in 1993 and
24 1994. I really don't know because in those days I was a Brigade
25 Commander. However, those same two senior officers were involved in the
1 Operation Krivaja 95. Among the senior officers, I'm only aware of the
2 presence of General Gvero on the 8th of July, 1995, and on the 9th, in the
3 morning, at the forward command post at Pribicevac. So he is the only one
4 among the senior officers, in addition to General Mladic and General
5 Zivanovic, that were on the spot during the Krivaja 95 Operation while
6 combat operations were ongoing. Whether General Gvero was also involved
7 in the spring operations in 1993 and 1994 that you have referred to, I
8 really don't know.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Very well. General, let
10 us go on to another set of questions.
11 You said that the former Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps,
12 General Skocajic resigned in April of 1995 and that his resignation was
13 motivated by a personal conflict with General Zivanovic. Did you know
14 what the substance of that disagreement was, what it was about?
15 A. Mr. President, I found it strange that after I was wounded and
16 after I left to the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade to be treated
17 that General Skocajic, as the former Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps,
18 was again called upon to carry out the duty of the Chief of Staff of the
19 Drina Corps. I learnt about that from people who came to visit me in
20 hospital. General Skocajic is a highly educated officer who has graduated
21 from all levels of military schools, the Military Academy, the Staff
22 Academy, and the School of National Defence, and as such he was the Chief
23 of Staff of General Zivanovic. I said that I was surprised that he could
24 agree to go back to be Chief of Staff, which he was called to do by
25 General Zivanovic through the Main Staff.
1 In April 1995 he left that position allegedly because of a
2 conflict with General Zivanovic. What I was able to hear --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but the question is -- yes,
4 yes, please go ahead.
5 A. What I was able to learn, the main reason for him to leave that
6 position was his disagreement with the method of control and command over
7 the units of the Corps. Whether General Zivanovic and General Skocajic
8 had some earlier differences when General Skocajic was the Chief of Staff
9 of the Corps, I really wouldn't enter into that. But I have said what
10 kind of conflict it was with respect to General Skocajic.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General Krstic. You
12 also said that you didn't consider yourself to be highly appreciated by
13 General Mladic and General Zivanovic, especially when you were the
14 Commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade. You told us about that. You said
15 that when they visited you it was a very brief visit, whereas when they
16 visited others they stayed longer.
17 My question: Did you continue to feel this later on, and
18 particularly during the operations against Srebrenica and Zepa?
19 A. I spoke about the relationship between General Zivanovic and
20 myself, his relationship towards me, while I was the Commander of the 2nd
21 Romanija Motorised Brigade. Before that we never knew each other, that
22 is true, nor had we seen each other. I don't know why this relationship
23 was as it was, and perhaps this is not the place to say that.
24 My mother is a refugee from the village where I was born. She
25 received accommodation somewhere in Vlasenica, temporary accommodation.
1 However, General Zivanovic, in a way, made used of his respect and
2 influence on the structures in town, and she had to leave that makeshift
3 accommodation she was given, although she had no where else to go.
4 There are a series of other examples when it comes to his
5 relationship towards me. There is a letter, for example, which he sent to
6 the Commander of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska after I
7 had come across the mine which blew my leg away, and in that letter I am
8 represented in very bad terms; he writes about me in very bad terms. And
9 General Zivanovic even went so far as to tell the commanding officer of
10 my co-in-command that General Krstic was not left without a leg. That is
11 not true, he did not lose a leg. There he is somewhere over there in
12 Serbia, on one of the mountains of Serbia, in a recuperation place,
13 whereas everybody knew that I had, in fact, lost a leg and was undergoing
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Allow me, General Krstic,
16 to interrupt you at this point. I think that I am having some
17 difficulties here. General Skocajic was replaced, according to you,
18 because he didn't agree with how the Drina Corps' command was being
19 exerted. You were not appreciated by General Mladic and General
20 Zivanovic. Now, can we say that you were not appreciated but you were
21 Chief of the Main Staff like General Skocajic because you agreed with the
22 Commander and the way in which the Drina Corps' command was being
23 exerted? Do you see my perplexities, the difficulties I'm having here?
24 A. When it comes to the relationship between Generals Skocajic and
25 Zivanovic the same holds true for me. Perhaps I had done the same thing
1 that General Skocajic had done, but I didn't have time for that because I
2 was the Chief of Staff of the Corps for a very short period of time, for
3 the reasons that I have talked at length about. There was the wounding,
4 the injury, and I wasn't the Chief of Staff for even two or three months
5 and I was not able to get to know Zivanovic, perhaps, well enough.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] As Chief of Staff of the Main
7 Staff, but you accepted to be Commander of the Drina Corps, so that means
8 that for you that would have been an opportunity to exercise command in a
9 different fashion than it had been exercised previously by General
10 Zivanovic; is that right?
11 A. Well, I had to accept the post of Commander, Corps Commander; I
12 had to do so. And as Brigade Commander, I commanded differently from
13 General Zivanovic. And as the Corps Commander, I exercised my commanding
14 duties in a different way from General Zivanovic.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, excuse me for
16 interrupting. But you said that you did not do, as Chief of the Main
17 Staff, what General Skocajic did because you did not have time, and I can
18 understand that. But why, then, accept -- you had the time not to accept
19 to be Commander of the Corps, you had all the time to refuse.
20 A. Mr. President, that was the situation, that was what the situation
21 was like, that was what the time was like. Quite simply, the duties that
22 I was assigned to I did not dare to refuse.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Could General
24 Zivanovic refuse to continue to be the Corps Commander? In a situation of
25 war and an operation ongoing, could he have refused to continue until the
1 end of the battle to be the Commander of the Drina Corps?
2 A. I don't know whether he could have refused.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] He could have refused.
4 A. He and General Mladic don't know each other, only from the army of
5 Republika Srpska and during the duration of these operations. They have
6 known each other for a much longer length of time, from the beginning of
7 the war, from the outbreak of the conflict in the regions of the former
8 Yugoslavia. They were together in Knin, for example, and then they came
9 to Bosnia-Herzegovina together. And immediately after that, General
10 Zivanovic, that is to say, after a certain period of time, was appointed
11 Commander of the Corps. He was highly respected by General Mladic. And I
12 see no reason why he should have refused to perform that function. He
13 was, until the end of the fighting for part of Srebrenica and Zepa, he was
14 there [As interpreted].
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General, perhaps it is a
16 time for a break. You may be a little tired and you need a rest, and so
17 do we. Perhaps we can have a break now, a half-hour break.
18 Yes, Mr. Visnjic, before the break.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this last sentence of
20 General Krstic's, I think it is not correct in the transcript. General
21 Krstic, I think, said that he was Commander until the end of the
22 Srebrenica operation and part of the Zepa operation.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about General
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, General Zivanovic was the
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the transcript has now been
3 corrected that General Krstic was talking about General Zivanovic.
4 So we'll have a half-hour break now.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Are you ready to continue,
8 General Krstic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, we heard here in the
11 courtroom a speech by President Radovan Karadzic underlining your merits
12 for planning and successfully completing the Srebrenica operation. You
13 explained that that speech did not correspond to reality but that it
14 illustrated even more the bad relations that existed at the time between
15 Karadzic and Mladic.
16 Could you please specify the nature of those bad relations? And
17 since when were they on bad terms?
18 A. It is difficult to talk about that. I think that an Assembly of
19 Republika Srpska, whether it was held in Sanski Most or Prijedor, I'm not
20 quite sure - I think it was in Sanski Most, actually, in 1994, when there
21 were some conflicts and disagreements of opinion between President
22 Karadzic and General Mladic, I do not know exactly the nature of those bad
23 relations - but I would say that evidently it was about who was going to
24 be the leader, and I say this in quotations, "the leader of the Serbian
25 people" in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Because both men, both of them, enjoyed
1 great respect and authority in the region.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But, General Krstic, if you did
3 not agree with that speech because it did not correspond to reality, did
4 you do anything to deny or correct the truth and to impose the truth?
5 A. That speech and mentioning me in the speech by President Karadzic
6 is an absurdity. I didn't plan the operation; I didn't take part in the
7 planning of the operation, just the realisation of the decisions of the
8 Corps Commander with respect to the separation of the enclaves. Neither
9 did I plan this and report about that to President Karadzic. That small
10 operation which was to have been realised was the decision of the Corps
11 Command, was approved by the Commander of the Main Staff of the army of
12 Republika Srpska and not the Supreme Commander. The Supreme Commanders
13 does not direct operations in the operational sense but of strategic
15 I simply did not have occasion to --
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I'm sorry for
17 interrupting you. We know that already. You spoke to us about that. But
18 my question was: You accepted that for the public at large, and even for
19 Republika Srpska, you accepted that you had planned and conducted the
20 operation, and that is why I am asking you: What did you do to deny that,
21 at least to render justice? Because if someone has merit, then that merit
22 should be attributed to the right person. And after all, you let this
23 pass and you accepted it; is that correct or not?
24 A. Mr. President, I did not accept that, but I did not deny it
25 either. I didn't have the opportunity to do so. Quite simply, I did not
1 dare do that because it was a question of the President of the Republic,
2 the Supreme Commander. But it is well known whose merits it is of the
3 operation. And the background of all that is, in fact, the relationship
4 between those two men and not whether it was my merit or not. I don't
5 know. He mentioned General Zivanovic as well with respect to Srebrenica
6 and Zepa, but there was not a single word of mention made of General
7 Mladic, although General Mladic led the whole operation, from the time the
8 order for continuing the operation was received onwards.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question, General
10 Krstic, and another topic.
11 You explained that certain brigades refused to obey Mladic's order
12 to march on Srebrenica on the 10th of July, and I think, my impression is,
13 that you said that those brigades fled. Do you agree with that?
14 A. No. I do apologise, but I don't think that would be so. I didn't
15 say at all that the brigades had fled and that they did not wish to carry
16 out General Mladic's orders. It was only a question of the fact that the
17 Commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, at the
18 meeting in Bratunac, told General Mladic, he said, "General, sir, we
19 don't know where the 28th Division is," and the consequences to his
20 brigade would be great unless measures were undertaken.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps you are right. Perhaps
22 I misunderstood. But in any event, a Brigade Commander addresses himself
23 to the Commander-in-Chief to say, "You see, sir, that will not be good."
24 In a certain way, he is calling into question the orientation of the
1 Having seen that, did you have the same opportunity after the
2 meetings at the Fontana Hotel, after having learnt that there were
3 hundreds and hundreds of people in Potocari who had nothing to eat or
4 drink, and as you said once, knowing General Mladic, were you in a
5 position to say to General Mladic, "General, be careful. Something
6 serious could happen"? Because at Srebrenica some Brigade Commanders had
7 refused General Mladic's order to advance on Srebrenica.
8 So these two precedents, the meeting in Bratunac and in
9 Srebrenica, you saw that there were people who were able to say to General
10 Mladic, "Be careful. Pay attention to this." Were you not also in a
11 position to say the same thing to General Mladic in relation to the
12 evacuation of the population from Potocari?
13 A. I believe you had in mind when you were speaking about refusing
14 orders, I assume you meant not to continue the attack on Srebrenica and
15 Potocari. And there was a suggestion of this kind and the request that we
16 do not move towards Potocari, and that is what we succeeded in doing, not
17 to go to Potocari, because there were a lot of civilians there, refugees
18 from the town of Srebrenica and the surrounding villages. So that is
19 something we succeeded in doing.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Yes, General Krstic,
21 and Mladic, in a certain sense, did reverse his position. General Mladic
22 was a personality, therefore, who would accept suggestions even from a
23 Brigade Commander. As for the Chief of Staff of the Corps, would he not
24 have accepted a suggestion from you? And this is not a hypothetical,
25 because you saw that General Mladic did retrace his steps.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Probably, he too, after suggestions from the Brigade Commanders
2 and the rest, came to realise that that order was nonsensical, that
3 there was no need to move on towards Potocari, and that's why he accepted
4 that. The Corps Commander, General Zivanovic, was there too and he was
5 the first to have been the one, not only with respect to subsequent events
6 after the entrance into Srebrenica, he should have been the one to tell
7 the Commander when he ordered the continuation of the attack to
8 Srebrenica, he should have said that that was not the objective of the
9 operation. He did not do that, he did not do so. And I assumed that it
10 was an attempt to demilitarise Srebrenica by taking weapons from members
11 of the 28th Division and nothing else, nothing else at all. And he took
12 on this responsibility when it came to the civilian population and the
13 28th Division.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us go on to another question
16 You said that Kosoric did not follow you after you stopped at --
17 after you stopped at Potocari, we've spoken about that at length, and that
18 you only asked him to report to you on the 13th of July, at the forward
19 command post at Krivaca.
20 My question: Why did you ask him to report to you? What was his
21 task? What were the results that he was to report to you about?
22 A. Mr. President, I do apologise, but I did not ask at all for any
23 report from him. I did not ask him to report to me or submit a report of
24 any kind. I didn't say that. I just said that he should report to me at
25 the forward command post at Krivaca with respect to his presence in the
1 area when it comes to the Zepa operation. He did not receive any
2 assignment from me with respect to the evacuation of the population, and I
3 am profoundly convinced that he did not receive that assignment from
4 anyone else either. Because on the 13th, in the morning, he was at the
5 forward command post of Krivaca, and he was with me throughout the rest of
6 the time.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question: You explained
8 that you were entrusted with the Zepa operation during the meeting at the
9 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, and you said in that connection that the
10 order required that they should regroup at Viogora, that the troops should
11 regroup at Viogora. And you said the only unit entrusted with continuing
12 the Srebrenica operation were those that depended directly on the
13 Commander in Chief, that is, the 65th Protection Regiment, the 10th
14 Sabotage Detachment, and the MUP forces; is that correct?
15 A. General Mladic, at the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
16 headquarters, said that the 28th Division continued to be his concern and
17 that the 65th Protection Regiment was present there, his battalion of
18 the military police, the diversionary unit, and so on, and the detachment
19 of the special MUP Brigade arrived too. That's what I said earlier on.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And those troops remained under
21 his direct command; is that what you are saying?
22 A. I know for sure, and I say this with full responsibility, that the
23 battalion of the military police and the 10th Diversionary Unit was,
24 throughout, under his command. I don't know whether the detachment of the
25 special MUP was also under his command; that, I don't know.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So in any event the order on the
2 attack on Zepa, your order of the 13th of July, also mentions MUP forces
3 as reserve forces. Those MUP forces mentioned in your order on the attack
4 on Zepa, are they the same forces or other forces; that is, are they those
5 same forces that are under the command of General Mladic or are they some
6 other forces?
7 A. Mr. President, they were not reserve MUP forces, they were the
8 station units of MUP within the rear of the territory, west of Zepa,
9 towards Kladanj. And I'm thinking, first and foremost, of the station
10 units of MUP of the municipality of Han Pijesak, and co-action with those
11 units is mentioned in preventing the possible operations of combat groups,
12 units, from Zepa, of the BH army, towards Kladanj, with respect to the
13 civilian population. Nothing else. So just co-action with those units.
14 And they executed their customary, usual, regular tasks.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, what were the
16 regular duties of MUP forces?
17 A. It was wartime and throughout the war the regular MUP tasks/duties
18 were to see that law and order was enforced throughout the territory where
19 there was no army, because the army was up at the front. And their focal
20 task was to ensure security of the vital facilities, the facilities
21 essential to life and work, the life and work of the people; to ensure
22 security for those positions, such as communication, the waterworks
23 and sewage system, and other things of that kind, which were important to
24 the functioning of the system of authority in the republic.
25 I apologise, Mr. President. The special MUP Brigade was a combat
1 unit and was deployed in that manner by order of the Supreme Commander.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You have stated that the 6th
3 Protection Regiment, though it is not quoted in the order for the attack
4 on Zepa, the order that we have been discussing, did participate in that
5 attack because it was in the area. So the 6th Regiment [sic], was it
6 attached to you? Did it come under your command?
7 A. Mr. President, it is the infantry battalion that I spoke about,
8 and I spoke about it at length, and the witness spoke about that today as
9 well. It is the battalion which was in the area since the beginning of
10 the conflict and it was engaged towards Zepa. They are people, elderly
11 people. They were made up of elderly members. And when organising the
12 operation towards Zepa, that battalion was at those positions and was,
13 indeed, included in executing the tasks towards Zepa. They received their
14 assignment from their superior commanding officer.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, General Krstic, I
16 think that my understanding was that this 6th Protection Regiment
17 prevented you from passing through Potocari on the 12th of July. Was it
18 deployed for both operations then?
19 A. Mr. President, the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment was located
20 in several localities in that part of Republika Srpska. Its command, with
21 two more battalions, was engaged in offering security for the Main Staff
22 of the army in Han Pijesak. One battalion was deployed towards Zepa as a
23 combat unit continuously, and we mentioned that a moment ago.
24 Then the battalion of the military police of the 65th Regiment was
25 located in Nova Kasaba throughout, and part of the mechanicised Battalion
1 of the 65th Protection Regiment. So the battalion of the military police
2 was also doing security in Potocari, so that battalion of the military
3 police had nothing to do whatsoever, no connection whatsoever, with the
4 battalion that was deployed towards Zepa. The police battalion are elite
5 troops which are deployed following orders from the Supreme Commander.
6 This other battalion was where it was.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General Krstic. So
8 the operation launched against Zepa, as the Commander entrusted with the
9 preparation and conduct of that operation, what were the measures that you
10 envisaged to take in relation to civilians and prisoners of war which you
11 might capture in Zepa?
12 A. On the whole, we fully applied the provisions from the existing
13 rules and regulations and the Geneva Conventions when it comes to the
14 civilian population of Zepa and the prisoners of war, and I am thinking of
15 members of Zepa Brigade within the compositions of the 28th Division, and
16 we did not deviate from that at all.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But what are the measures
18 that you envisaged in the planning and the implementation of the Zepa
19 operation? What measures did you make provision for?
20 A. The complete protection -- complete protection for the civilian
21 population, and nobody was allowed to do anything against that. And when
22 it came to prisoners of war, we applied procedures that were prescribed
23 for the treatment of the prisoners of war.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General, another question:
25 The report of the United Nations Secretary-General indicates that General
1 Mladic informed UNPROFOR, on the 19th of July, at 1330 hours, that the
2 Zepa enclave had fallen and that it was necessary to organise transport
3 for the civilian population towards territory controlled by the
5 My question is the following: Were you informed from the
6 beginning of the operation that an evacuation plan, a large-scale
7 evacuation plan for civilians needed to be executed once the enclave was
9 A. The negotiations, when it came to the evacuation of the
10 population, that was done by the Main Staff. I was not involved in that.
11 I don't know how General Mladic could have informed anyone that on the
12 19th of July, the enclave of Zepa had fallen when that is not true.
13 Perhaps he was able to draw this conclusion from the negotiations at the
14 time which he had with the representatives of the authorities from Zepa,
15 and the representatives of the army from Zepa. But the Zepa enclave fell
16 far later, at the end of July, 1st of August. It is true that the
17 civilians had been evacuated earlier on from the area; that's true.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, General, you planned
19 the Zepa operation and you were in command of the Zepa operation. Being
20 in that position, did you know in advance how many buses and other things
21 would be needed to evacuate the local population? Because the objective
22 of the Zepa operation was to capture Zepa and there were civilians there,
23 the population. So you, as the planner of that operation, you should have
24 envisaged a whole series of measures to deal with that situation. Did you
25 envisage how many buses, what quantity of supplies you would need for the
1 population? Why did Mladic appear here when you were the responsible
2 person? Mladic told you, "You go there and I'm going to the other side,
3 in another direction."
4 A. The whole business around the refugees was done by the Main Staff,
5 headed by General Mladic. They were in charge of everything. They
6 conducted negotiations with the representatives of the civilian
7 authorities, the army. We had not planned the evacuation of the
8 population. The objective was just to disarm the Zepa Brigade and not to
9 evacuate the population as well.
10 General Mladic succeeded in arriving at an agreement for the
11 evacuation of the population and he ensured the necessary number of buses
12 and decided upon the route that the buses were to take in evacuating the
13 population, and which measures were to be undertaken when the population
14 was leaving Zepa on territory under Serb control, and their further
15 transport onwards.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General Krstic, and I'm
17 sorry for interrupting again. Are you telling us that General Mladic,
18 when he ordered you to go on Zepa, did he tell you at a certain point in
19 time, "Disarm the Zepa Brigade, that is your task. The civilian
20 population, that is my problem." Did he tell you that at any point in
22 A. Not in that sense, he didn't say it in that sense. He said what
23 is written in the order. And I was in command of the army against the
24 Zepa Brigade, and everything else was his concern, and what he did later
25 on with respect to the evacuation of the population.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So according to what you say, we
2 are now focusing on General Mladic. As you know, General Mladic also
3 insisted, within the framework of the negotiations on Zepa, that men
4 between 18 and 55 years of age should surrender. Does his speech resemble
5 the one he made at the Fontana Hotel within the framework of the
6 Srebrenica operation? Did that mean that all the men in this age group
7 were considered to be combatants?
8 A. Not all of them should have been considered combatants. Men until
9 the age of 16 or men over the age of 60, they should not have been
10 considered combatants.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I should now like to go
12 on to some more practical issues, if I may call them that.
13 What was the size of the territory in square kilometres that came
14 under the jurisdiction of the Drina Corps?
15 A. I really can't say now and express it in square kilometres. But
16 how big the area is, all I can tell you -- I can just give you the borders
17 of it, of the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That won't be necessary. My
19 question has to do with the fact that there is a lot of difficulty in
20 learning about things, but I had the impression that the territory was
21 smaller than one would have us believe.
22 A. No, Mr. President, the territory was vast, it was a large
23 territory; in the south, stretching towards Gorazde; in the north, to
24 between Zvornik and Janja; to the west, up to Kladanj, Olovo, and Vares;
25 and to the east, to the River Drina. That is an enormous territory.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't think there's any
2 point. I can understand that for you it was an enormous area. But when
3 we say that a territory is large or small, we must know the size. But
4 never mind, you don't know that and perhaps you don't need to know that.
5 We won't insist on the matter any further.
6 A. It is large for the simple reason that the Drina Corps did not
7 have as many members, for example, as the 1st Krajina Corps, which had
8 over 50.000 men within it. The Drina Corps had at the most about 18.000
9 men, and the territory was vast, as I say, so everything was -- all the
10 men were engaged.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should like to go back to
12 another question, General Krstic. When you planned the Zepa operation,
13 you had to use a whole series of information regarding the 28th Division
14 or the Zepa Brigade, et cetera. What was the information that you used to
15 plan the operation?
16 A. Information, we had to -- when it comes to information, we had to
17 bear in mind a lot of factors; first of all, the terrain itself where the
18 operation was to have taken place.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And for that you had a map, a
20 map giving you the configuration of the terrain. But information about
21 the effectives of the 28th Division, specifically the Zepa Brigade, the
22 quantity of weapons, what possibilities they had of movement. I don't
23 know. I'm not a military man, but I think in order to plan a certain
24 operation, you need information. So my question is: What were your
25 sources of information?
1 A. When it comes to the Zepa Brigade, we treated it like any other
2 brigade within the composition of the 28th Division. It did, in fact,
3 cover a far greater region on the Zepa territory, greater than any other
4 brigade of the 28th Division located on the -- in the territory of
5 Srebrenica. The land afforded effective defence because of the
6 configuration of the terrain itself. It was far easier to defend yourself
7 in a region of that kind than it was to attack, because the terrain is
8 like that with many channels -- cut across with many channels and so on,
9 so that it was very good for defence purposes.
10 And when it comes to weapons, it was armed like any other armed
11 brigade from the composition of the 28th Division. They had infantry
12 weapons, and pieces -- calibres ranging up to 120-millimetres. And when I
13 say 120-millimetres, I'm thinking of mortars.
14 Furthermore, we also made assessments and thought that it was
15 possible that a greater number of people from Srebrenica, in one way or
16 another, had crossed into that area, and so that that brigade, when it
17 comes to manpower, had been reinforced.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should like to go a little
19 further, General Krstic. Did you have the chance of having information
20 obtained, if I can say so, from the enemy in order to be able to plan the
22 A. No. At that time we had no information from the BH army forces
23 from the Zepa region. We did not have any. We just had some information
24 which was collected up until the time the offensive was undertaken towards
25 Zepa, and those came from the units which were in contact with the
1 forces -- with the Zepa forces on the line before the attack.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] To go even further, did the VRS
3 intercept radio communications by the BH army?
4 A. Well, I don't know whether it did intercept or not, the telephone
5 lines, and I don't know what the facilities were of that unit -- of the
6 units of the 28th Division, what they had to intercept radio
7 communication. When it comes to the Zepa Brigade, we at that time really
8 didn't have any information that we received through intercepts.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But, General, I'm sorry for
10 interrupting again. To be more direct, I can accept that you did not know
11 what resources and equipment they had, but can you admit that the VRS did
12 use information that was intercepted -- the intercepted radio
13 communications among the BH army?
14 A. I personally, as Brigade Commander, I was the Brigade Commander,
15 and when I was, I did not have any information received through
16 intercepts, nor was my brigade in a position to have -- it didn't have
17 that kind of communications devices to carry out these intercepts.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And as the Chief of Staff and
19 later as the Corps Commander?
20 A. As the Corps Commander and Chief of Staff, I said that I was there
21 for a short space of time; I performed that function for a short space of
22 time. The first document I saw was the one I saw here presented as
23 evidence from the leader of the radio reconnaissance unit of the Drina
24 Corps, which was obtained through intercepting conversations. But I still
25 feel that that is highly unreliable information.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I have finished
2 with my questions. I don't know whether my colleagues have any additional
3 questions to put to you. Thank you very much, General Krstic, for having
4 clarified a few points that we had to ask you about. You have just
5 completed your testimony; I think you now need a rest.
6 We're going to have a short break of 15 minutes which will allow
7 us to bring in another witness, Mr. Petrusic, I think.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence does
9 have a witness who will testify without any protective measures.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we'll have a 15 --
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. President. I think
12 before we bring in the witness we should deal with the documents, because
13 we have come to the end of General Krstic's testimony.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, and there are many of them,
15 I think. Okay. That's a good suggestion.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Or it has just occurred to me that
17 perhaps we can try to coordinate views with the Prosecution first before
18 we address the matter in court, in the course of the day, this afternoon
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, perhaps. I think there are
21 very many documents.
22 Does the Prosecution agree with this suggestion of Mr. Petrusic?
23 Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes. We've had discussions previously, but we are
25 quite happy to engage in additional discussions on these documents.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll now have a
2 15-minute break. I should like to ask the registrar to bring in the
3 witness, to have him in court when we come back to the courtroom.
4 Fifteen minutes, then.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning. Can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You are now going to read the
11 solemn declaration handed to you by the usher.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: MILANKO RADULOVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated, and try and
17 get yourself comfortable and relax.
18 You are now going to be answering questions put to you by
19 Mr. Petrusic, and then you will be answering questions from the
20 Prosecution and possibly from the Judges. But Mr. Petrusic will start.
21 Your witness, Mr. Petrusic.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
23 Examined by Mr. Petrusic:
24 Q. Witness, will you introduce yourself, please? Give us your name
25 and surname.
1 A. My name is Milanko Radulovic, born on the 12th of January, 1961,
2 in the village of Kusace, in the municipality of Han Pijesak.
3 Q. And you have completed secondary schooling?
4 A. Yes. I'm an electrician by profession.
5 Q. Do you work?
6 A. Yes. I work in Han Pijesak, where I live with my family.
7 Q. Mr. Radulovic, I have told you this before, I think, but please
8 try and make pauses between my question and your answer. Wait for 10 to
9 15 seconds, please, before you give us your answer because everything is
10 being interpreted and the interpreters have to do their work, and it's
11 difficult to know what the question is and what the answer is if we
13 Mr. Radulovic, tell us, please, you're married, you're a family
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. Could you tell us where you were at the beginning of the armed
17 conflict in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Where did you find
18 yourself in 1992? But just slowly, nice and slowly, please, with breaks
19 in between.
20 A. In Han Pijesak, my native town, I lived there with my family.
21 Q. When did you join the army of Republika Srpska?
22 A. I joined the army at the beginning of April 1992.
23 Q. And at the beginning of April, that was the former Yugoslav
24 People's Army, was it not?
25 A. Yes, it was the former Yugoslav People's Army, and it was the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 unit -- I joined up in a unit.
2 Q. Could you tell us what unit? Be more specific, please.
3 A. It was the unit which was composed of local inhabitants. And at
4 the beginning of the war, they took up positions in the surrounding
5 villages in the municipality of Han Pijesak.
6 Q. Did it have a name of any kind, that unit?
7 A. When the JNA withdrew, it came under the 1st Romanija Brigade.
8 Q. So as a member of the 1st Romanija Brigade, you were sent to what
9 position? Just give us a pause.
10 A. We went to Han Pijesak, the position there, the village of
11 Jelovci, Borovine. The village of Jelovci, Borovine.
12 Q. Is that near Zepa?
13 A. From that village to Zepa, it is approximately 20 kilometres. But
14 the Muslim villages were closer by, Stoborane, Plane, Borovac.
15 Q. So you were with your unit in the village of Jelovci and Borovine;
16 and on the other side, opposite those villages, as you have said, there
17 was Plane, Podgora, Pozeplje, and that was where the members of the Muslim
18 army were.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At that time, that is to say, the summer of 1992, were there any
21 conflicts between your unit and the members of the army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, at those positions, at the positions you held?
23 A. Not at first, no. Up until the beginning of June, the units from
24 the area around Plane, I don't know what the name of that unit was --
25 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. We couldn't follow what the witness
1 was saying. Could he repeat that, please?
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. So those were the only conflicts at that time, during the summer
4 of 1992.
5 A. There was a conflict on the 7th of August, when the village of
6 Borovine was attacked, in 1992.
7 Q. By the Muslim army?
8 A. Yes, by the Muslim army.
9 Q. And the village of Borovine was inhabited by a civilian
10 population, or was it an entrenched military position?
11 A. No. It was the civilian population, and a portion of the army was
12 there too, as well.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Just a second. What kind of civilian
14 population was in the village of Borovine?
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Radulovic, you heard the question by Judge Riad. Would you
17 try and answer the question? Which civilian population was located in the
18 village of Borovine?
19 A. Your Honour, the local inhabitants, the people who live in that
21 Q. And their ethnicity was?
22 A. It was Serbian. They were of Serb ethnicity.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Completely Serb, or composed of several
25 A. Your Honour, they were only Serbs, exclusively Serbs.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You know that at the beginning -- that is to say, in the spring of
4 1993, a safe area of Zepa was formed.
5 A. Yes, I know that.
6 Q. At that time were you still a member of the 1st Romanija Brigade?
7 A. No, I was not. We were the 65th Protection Regiment.
8 Q. Did your unit continue to hold the position as a unit of the 65th
9 Protection Regiment?
10 A. Yes, it did.
11 Q. We know that the 65th Protection Regiment had several battalions.
12 Could you tell us what your battalion was at that position?
13 A. It was the infantry battalion, composed of younger and older
14 people. The ages ranged from 25 to 50.
15 Q. Can we then say that the members of that infantry battalion were
16 mostly local inhabitants of Han Pijesak or, rather, the environs of Han
18 A. Yes, they were the inhabitants of Han Pijesak and the surrounding
20 Q. The positions around the protected zone, the safe area, of Zepa,
21 was that held by your battalion alone, that infantry battalion of the 65th
22 Regiment, or were there other units there as well?
23 A. My battalion held the region of Borovac, Godjenje, and Pozeplje --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat that last
1 A. The Biretic Brigade.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Radulovic, in addition to your own unit, what other units held
4 the position around Zepa? Just make pauses, please.
5 A. The Rogaticka Brigade held that position in addition to us.
6 Q. The Rogaticka Brigade, is that its usual name? But as to
7 establishment and formation of the Drina Corps, it was the 1st Podrinje
8 Light Infantry Brigade; do you know that?
9 A. No, I don't.
10 Q. Tell us, Mr. Radulovic, in July 1995, where were you and your unit
11 located? Please make pauses. Go ahead.
12 A. In July 1995, I was located at Ocadzalo Sarajevo, and part of
13 the men from three companies, about 40 people, went to Kosara.
14 Q. So part of the men from your battalion was transferred at an
15 earlier period to a place called Ocadzalo, in the region, that is to say,
16 the zone of responsibility, of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. From there, the Ocadzalo place, did you return to the Zepa area?
20 A. I returned to the Zepa area on the 15th of July.
21 Q. Following whose orders? On whose orders did your unit reach the
22 Zepa area on the 15th of July? Pursuant to whose orders?
23 A. Pursuant to the order of the Commander of the Battalion.
24 Q. Who was the Battalion Commander at that time?
25 A. Radivojevic.
1 Q. Did he have a rank?
2 A. Yes, he did. He was a major.
3 Q. So in the Zepa area you arrived on the 15th of July, when combat
4 operations started; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. That's when I got there.
6 Q. Do you know who led, that is to say, commanded, the operation at
8 A. When I got there, I heard from the people who were already there
9 that General Krstic was in command of the operation.
10 Q. Did you know which duty, which post, General Krstic held at the
11 time in the command of the Drina Corps?
12 A. General Krstic at that time performed the function of Chief of
13 Staff of the Drina Corps.
14 Q. Did you, until the end of the operation at Zepa, with your unit,
15 stay in that locality? Did you remain there?
16 A. Yes, we did.
17 Q. During the combat, who issued orders to you, to your unit?
18 A. We received orders from the company leader and Battalion
19 Commander; the Battalion Commander would issue orders to the company
20 leader and he would issue orders to us.
21 Q. Do you know whether your battalion, the infantry battalion of the
22 65th Protection Regiment, at that time, whether it was attached to the
23 Drina Corps?
24 A. I don't know. I don't think it was.
25 Q. Why don't you think it was?
1 A. Because the Protection Regiment belonged to the command of the
2 Main Staff. It received orders from the Battalion Commander and company
4 Q. In those combat operations which took place, your battalion, quite
5 naturally, had its left and right neighbour, as they say in the army; is
6 that true?
7 A. Yes, that's true.
8 Q. Do you happen to know who was one of your neighbours, one of those
9 two neighbours?
10 A. On the one side there was the Drina Corps, and we were on the
11 right. It was to the left.
12 Q. And who commanded that left flank?
13 A. I don't know. It was a little further off from us.
14 Q. During those combat operations, did you and your unit have any
16 A. My unit had two prisoners, and we turned them over to the
17 battalion command. Later on I heard that they were exchanged.
18 Q. Do you know anything about -- whether it was talked about, whether
19 people said that some Muslims had disappeared, that Muslim soldiers, in
20 fact, had disappeared from the Zepa area?
21 A. Well, I don't know. I didn't hear anything like that.
22 Q. How long did you remain at Zepa?
23 A. I remained -- we remained at Zepa until the 15th of August,
24 thereabouts. The 15th or the 20th of August.
25 Q. And where did you go after that?
1 A. After that my unit withdrew; that is to say, we went home for a
2 rest, and then we went to Herzegovina, to the battlefront there.
3 Q. Was your battalion command still -- at that time did it still
4 issue orders on the basis of which you acted?
5 A. At the end of August, we passed over to the 1st Romanija Brigade.
6 The unit, at the end of August, joined the 2nd Romanija Brigade.
7 Q. As I understood it, it was transformed to become the 2nd Romanija
8 Brigade; is that it?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
11 questions for this witness.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Petrusic.
13 I see Mr. McCloskey about to rise.
14 Mr. Radulovic, you will now be answering questions put to you
15 by the Prosecution.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Radulovic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. The 65th Protection Regiment, you were in that regiment for how
21 A. I was in it from May 1993 until August 1995.
22 Q. And what was your position and rank at that time?
23 A. I had the rank of a regular soldier, a private.
24 Q. And your job was as an infantryman, carrying a rifle?
25 A. Yes, of course.
1 Q. And how many other battalions were in the 65th Protection Regiment
2 in 1995?
3 A. I don't know exactly; I don't know the exact number. There was a
4 police battalion. I don't know by heart the establishment. I wasn't an
6 Q. Did you ever get together and have reunions with your old unit?
7 A. We did meet.
8 Q. And did that include other battalions besides your infantry
10 A. No. Other people from outside the area were in those units whom I
11 didn't know.
12 Q. Did you ever get together with the people from the other
14 A. I probably did, but rarely. I didn't know them. They were not
15 locals; they were from other parts.
16 Q. In 1995, where was the military police battalion located?
17 A. I don't know that.
18 Q. Did you know of a group that was in the area of Nova Kasaba?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. Did you hear of the 65th Protection Regiment being involved in the
21 Srebrenica operation, or the operation shortly after Srebrenica in the
22 area of Nova Kasaba and Bratunac?
23 A. At the time of the fall of Srebrenica, I was at Ocadzalo, near
24 Sarajevo. So on the 15th of July, I came to the positions in Zepa. So I
25 didn't know, I wasn't aware of these things.
1 Q. Have you ever heard about the 65th Protection Regiment, your
2 regiment, being involved in any activities after the fall of the enclave?
3 A. Which enclave?
4 Q. Srebrenica.
5 A. I really don't know. I'm not familiar with any such information.
6 Q. Did you hear of any casualties, any of the people from the 65th
7 Regiment that were killed in actions with the Muslim column fleeing from
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Did you or did you not hear of any members of your regiment being
12 A. I did not. I don't know about that.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: No further questions, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, any additional
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Judge Fouad Riad?
18 Yes, Judge Wald.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE WALD: I just have one question, Mr. Radulovic.
21 During the period that you were up in the vicinity of Zepa,
22 between July 15th and the time that you left, August 15th, did you ever
23 hear any rumours, allegations, charges, gossip, anything dealing with
24 Muslim prisoners or members of the Muslim column being executed or killed
25 when they were going toward Tuzla from Srebrenica? Did you ever hear
1 any -- no matter where, over the radio, TV, other soldiers, even if you
2 didn't think they were true. During the period you were in Zepa, July to
4 A. I heard that information about Srebrenica when I returned from
5 Herzegovina, that something had happened there, when the campaign started
6 against --
7 JUDGE WALD: And when would that be, approximately. The date, the
8 month, whenever.
9 A. Beginning of October.
10 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Radulovic, how did you learn
12 about that information regarding the events of Srebrenica?
13 A. I learnt about that on television. When I returned from
14 Herzegovina, I saw reports on television. I can't express myself. I
15 heard about these people who had been accused of it.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When you heard this on
17 television, did people speak amongst themselves about what they saw on
19 A. Yes, yes. There were comments in cafes, squares, restaurants,
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Did you have the impression that
22 all the people had learnt about this only after that date, or were there
23 people who said, "I already knew about this before"?
24 A. Some people did know from earlier on, but I learnt about them
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What did those people say, both
3 A. Well, I don't know. They were saying that something had
4 happened. No one knew exactly what had happened and what the official
5 report was. That was just on television at the beginning.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Radulovic, you
7 have completed your testimony here at the International Criminal
8 Tribunal. We thank you very much for coming here, and we wish you a safe
9 journey to your home. I'm going to ask the usher to accompany you. Thank
10 you very much.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that everyone is waiting
14 for this moment to have a break, I think.
15 Mr. Visnjic, you have something to say before we break?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for after the break,
17 we have prepared the next witness, but the Registry has cautioned me that
18 perhaps it would be advisable to propose protective measures for this
19 witness. He has requested a pseudonym, distortion of face and voice. So
20 I have been advised that we should make that request before the break so
21 that the technical services can prepare for the protective measures.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Perhaps we should go into
23 private session to discuss the reasons for this request for protective
25 Mr. Registrar.
1 We apologise to the public, but we have to go into private session
2 and that means that there can be no people in the public gallery.
3 [Private session]
14 --- Recess taken at 1.13 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m. [Open session]
16 [Technical difficulty]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness DE. Can
18 you hear me well?
19 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You are now going to read the
21 solemn declaration which the usher is going to hand to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: WITNESS DE
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President. We're not getting any
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] To be able to hear the witness
4 without voice distortion, it is necessary to use channel 7. So there is a
5 small technical problem that needs to be addressed.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Now I can hear the English booth.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And as for the French booth, is
9 everything all right? Yes. And the B/C/S booth? Yes.
10 And as for the counsel, Mr. Petrusic, is everything all right for
11 you? Can you follow?
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I'm getting the English or, rather,
13 the B/C/S, but I am hearing it on channel 6.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is everything all right for you,
15 Mr. Visnjic?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, everything is fine.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I would like to ask General
18 Krstic whether he is able to follow the discussion.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That's fine. So we can continue
22 The usher is going to show you a piece of paper, Witness DE, on
23 which your name should be written. And please tell us, yes or no, whether
24 that is, indeed, your name.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. So you
2 will now be answering questions which, I think it is, Mr. Visnjic is going
3 to put to you.
4 Mr. Visnjic, your witness.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, to begin with I would
6 like to ask the witness a few questions regarding his personal
7 particulars, so I would suggest that we go into private session.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us go into private
10 [Private session]
13 Pages 7605-7613 redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in open session now,
24 Mr. Visnjic. Please continue.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness DE, will you tell us what duties you took over after
2 February 1994?
3 A. After this date I took up duty as Commander of the Engineers
4 Battalion of the Drina Corps, which was in the process of establishment.
5 Q. When did you take up that duty?
6 A. I do not have the exact date, but I reckon it was about a month
7 after I handed over these duties.
8 Q. Could you explain to Their Honours, what does this Engineers
9 Battalion in the process of formation actually mean? It is rather
11 A. It means that in formal and legal terms, from the moment I signed
12 the report on the handing over of duty, and when I received an order on my
13 appointment, I was the Commander of the Engineers Battalion. In legal
14 terms, I was legally liable, and everything that I was entitled to as a
15 Battalion Commander in terms of rights and obligations came into effect.
16 However, these words "in the process of establishment," meant that
17 actually I was my own Commander, because there was no unit. And roughly
18 up to the time of the events we will be discussing, I managed to form a
19 unit with a strength of roughly one engineers platoon in the combat
20 element and two platoons as non-combat elements, which means a total of
21 some 90 men under my command from then on.
22 Q. You said combat and non-combat sections. Could you explain that?
23 What do you mean?
24 A. Combat elements are those that we used in combat operations and
25 which were fully fit and capable of carrying out combat operations; and
1 the other part of the unit consisted of people who were of lower combat
2 capacities but who could serve to carry out certain engineering works and
4 The combat element numbered 21 pioneers and about 10 or so
5 operators of engineering machinery. Those were the people who went into
6 the area of combat activities, where the combat was going on.
7 Q. What was envisaged according to establishment for the Corps
9 A. The armies that were in the process of being established in the
10 former Yugoslavia after it was dissolved mostly used the rules and
11 regulations that they had inherited from the former JNA. The Drina Corps
12 was also supposed to use the Rules of Service of the Corps, and according
13 to those Rules of Service, it was regulated that the Corps should have a
14 Chief of Engineering, Engineering Units, an Engineers Platoon, and a
15 Pontoon Bridge Battalion. But due to the situation in the Corps area in
16 terms of lack of resources and the problems with engineering activities,
17 and because of the inability to find manpower, and because of quite
18 developed brigade engineers units, we decided to form an Engineers
19 Battalion that was taken out of the division as a formation.
20 But as we had the Drina River as an obstacle on which we carried
21 out certain activities, and this fits within the area of pontoon bridge
22 construction work, we made some changes there. So we tried to include a
23 part of that Pontoon Bridge Unit. As we had a large number of engineering
24 works in the area of the Corps' responsibility, we formed a Construction
25 Unit which mostly engaged in construction work and which, according to
1 establishment, does not belong to engineers units at this level. You come
2 across such units for the first time at the strategic level of
3 organisation. So much about the structure of these units.
4 Q. If I understood you correctly, that meant that you just had the
5 nucleus of the special separate services and branches, that is to say, you
6 were endeavouring, up until the summer of 1995, to develop those nuclei
7 from which that Corps -- which to allow you to have full manpower later
8 on. Am I right in saying so?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I'd like to ask the usher to show the witness --
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid, Mr. President, we once
12 again have to move into private session for this next document because the
13 document identifies the witness. It is 404, Prosecution Exhibit 404,
14 318. Exhibit 404, 318 footnote. For purposes of the record, it was 404,
15 footnote 188.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us move into private session
17 now, please, to be able to place the document on the ELMO.
18 [Private session]
13 Page 7618 redacted – private session
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, you may continue.
18 We are in open session.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. With respect to the previous exhibit that you have just seen, is
21 one of the ways in which you supplied -- that is to say, formed,
22 established your unit, was it precisely supplying it with materiel and
23 technical devices from the subordinate units of the brigade? Did they
24 give over part of their equipment to your unit?
25 A. Well, in addition to this, let me go back to what you asked me a
1 moment ago when you asked me who I referred to, and then I could continue
2 from there.
3 Our army functioned according to two basic principles: The
4 principle of having one command and the principle of subordination. One
5 command meant that every person in the chain of command above him has only
6 one man who can issue orders to him, one superior; and the principle of
7 subordination implied that the subordinated persons must act on the orders
8 of their superior unless an order of that kind represented a criminal act,
9 which was regulated in other rules and regulations positive.
10 So for me, the superior was the Commander of the Drina Corps.
11 However, the Commander of the Drina Corps had the right to authorise
12 somebody else to command in his name, on his behalf, in certain
13 situations. And in this concrete case, this authorisation was given to
14 the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps. So that I frequently reported in
15 the daily reports and information, I would report to the Chief of Staff of
16 the Drina Corps.
17 The document that was presented to me speaks of the method and way
18 in which I attempted to establish the Engineers Battalion; that is to say,
19 upon arrival in the Drina Corps, the Commander of the Drina Corps and the
20 Chief of Staff, I would tell them -- present my concept of how I wanted to
21 form the battalion. This was accepted and I went into action; I went to
22 work to establish it.
23 The essence for my concept and idea for its formation, as I did
24 not have any other sources, was to tour the brigades, the engineering
25 departments of the brigades, and to ask them for the materiel and
1 technical resources that I needed, the manpower and everything else that I
2 needed to form a battalion.
3 One of the means -- one of the ways in which I came by what you
4 saw, what was mentioned in the document, a moment ago, that was my
5 attempt, but nothing came of it. I went back disillusioned because I
6 wasn't able to do what I had planned.
7 In the meantime, the Corps Commander decided that 21 soldiers, who
8 were being trained in the Zvornik Brigade, be given to me to train them
9 and to become those 21 pioneers, and that is how we actually started
10 forming this Corps. And it was the core of the future pioneer company,
11 the nucleus of the future pioneer company. That's what I wanted to say.
12 Q. One more question. Let us repeat for the purposes of the record:
13 Is it true that probably the only resources -- the only thing you got was
14 the truck that was mentioned in the document, because it said in the
15 transcript that you didn't get anything. Just that one truck; is that
17 A. As far as I remember, that was the only resource -- piece of
18 equipment we received. Engineering and passenger vehicles, that's another
19 matter. That is something large.
20 Q. So the engineers unit of the Drina Corps was to be a strong unit.
21 But in the spring of 1995 -- I apologise. Just one moment. I'll
22 continue. I apologise.
23 In the spring of 1995, although it was supposed to be a serious,
24 strong unit formation-wise, the engineers unit of the Drina Corps was
25 still a fledgling organisation under formation and did not have within its
1 composition what the regulations provide for with regard to manpower and
2 the materiel and technical equipment; is that true?
3 A. Yes, that is true; that is to say, for the most part, we had
4 succeeded in forming nuclei from which we thought we would develop units
5 from later on.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher now show the witness
7 Exhibit 160/4 and 160/1. It is a Prosecution exhibit -- two Prosecution
9 Mr. President, perhaps we can use our copies, make our copies
10 available to you.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 160/1, that will be.
13 Q. You have before you, sir, a satellite image used by the
14 Prosecution in presenting evidence in its part of the proceedings. Please
15 focus on the sector marked A, the A section.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On this section you can see heavy vehicles, trucks. I think you
18 can see four of them; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And I'd like to ask the usher to
21 place, straight after this, Exhibit 160/4. It's the same aerial image but
22 from a different angle. 160/4.
23 Q. Sir, are these the vehicles that were to be found in the location
24 of Konjevic Polje in 1995 and 1996 --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- when these two exhibits were made?
2 A. Yes, that's right, yes.
3 Q. As opposed to what we discussed earlier on, on this particular
4 picture, 160/4, this appears to be a serious base of materiel and
5 technical equipment. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what these
6 vehicles are and what their purpose was?
7 A. What you have seen in the two documents shown are a launching
8 bridge, heavy launching bridge, on the Kras type of vehicle. In
9 Konjevic Polje, it was brought from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps to
10 Konjevic Polje. It was brought by the crew of the Sarajevo-Romanija
11 Corps, the crew that knew how to handle it and work with this vehicle.
12 And these vehicles never moved from this locality, this spot, until the
13 NATO-pact aviation targeted the bridge at Rogatica. That was the first
14 time when these -- that these vehicles were moved from here and taken to
15 that locality to launch the bridge, launch a bridge.
16 For them to be moved, I had to call the same crew from the SRK to
17 move the vehicles. By establishment, this bridge should have been in the
18 core, but quite obviously we didn't have the crew necessary for that kind
19 of bridge, to man the bridge.
20 Now, why was it here at all? Let me explain that locality of
21 Konjevic Polje, if I may.
22 Q. Well, I have a set of questions relating to Konjevic Polje later
23 on, and we're nearing the end of today's proceedings. Let me just ask
24 you: Can you tell us when those vehicles arrived in the region of
25 Konjevic Polje? When was that?
1 A. I can't tell you the exact time, but since their arrival and were
2 parked there, they never moved there except one excursion when the crew
3 arrived to take them to the Rogatica area to launch the bridge at the spot
4 where NATO strikes had destroyed a bridge.
5 Q. How long? Give us a time frame.
6 A. Well, quite a long time. I don't know. I don't think time is
7 important. But they were there for rather a long period of time.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: The exchange is going back and forth so quickly,
10 Your Honour, I'm not getting everything that's being said. If we could
11 slow it down, I'd appreciate it.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, that is an indication of
13 the general character of the work the interpreters have to do when you
14 speak so quickly.
15 Witness, you can't hear the interpreters, but they do exist, let
16 me assure you. They're like God; they're there but we don't see them. So
17 just bear in mind that between you, yourself, and Mr. Visnjic we have an
18 interpreter. So please slow down and make pauses.
19 Please continue, Mr. Visnjic.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think our time is
21 up, perhaps, and we could slow down for good for today.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I think that's a very good
23 suggestion, and then you can organise your questions a little better,
25 Witness DE, we're going to stop there for today and continue
1 tomorrow at 9.20 with your testimony.
2 So we'll meet again tomorrow.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.58 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
5 November, 2000, at 9.20 a.m.