1 Monday, 4 December 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters; good
7 morning, counsel for the Prosecution, counsel for the Defence; good
8 morning, General Krstic.
9 As you can see, Judge Fouad Riad is not here today with us for
10 reasons of health. He was unable to attend and he will be absent until
11 more or less 11.00 and then we will see whether he will come back or not.
12 So we will proceed pursuant to Rule 15 bis in the present composition.
13 Mr. Petrusic or Mr. Visnjic, I think we have a witness to hear
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours; good
16 morning, Mr. President; good morning, counsel; good morning to everybody
17 present here in the courtroom.
18 Mr. President, at the end of the last session, the Defence
19 announced the hearing of a witness for this morning. However, due to
20 certain technical reasons, in particular regarding the visa and the air
21 ticket, the witness is only now travelling to The Hague. He's on his way
23 This is something that we learned about only on Friday, and we
24 informed thereof our colleagues from the Prosecution, and we told them
25 that we would begin today's hearing with the hearing of an expert,
1 military expert, Professor Radinovic. So we would like to suggest that
2 the military expert, Mr. Radinovic, Professor Radinovic, be ushered into
3 the courtroom.
4 This examination will be led by my colleague Mr. Visnjic.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
6 Mr. Cayley.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Judge Wald, my
8 learned friends.
9 We have no objection to that. The only observation that we would
10 like to make, and this is something that we have consulted about already,
11 is that there is a part of the expert report which we regard as
12 inadmissible. It's a single page, and on that page Professor Radinovic
13 offers legal opinion to the Court. He, in fact, gives what we regard as a
14 legal interpretation of Articles 86 and 87 of the Geneva Protocol which
15 the Prosecution regard as a matter for you, the Judges, to decide upon.
16 I have spoken with Mr. Visnjic, and he is in agreement that that
17 particular page should be stricken from the report. For the record, it is
18 page 51 of the English version, paragraphs 2 through to 2.4, a single
19 page; and in the Serbian version, it's on the bottom of page 49 through to
20 most of the way down to the bottom of page 50, again, paragraphs 2.1 to
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm just checking
24 whether what Mr. Cayley said for the record is correct. Yes. We agree
25 with the submission made by Mr. Cayley, that is, that the relevant portion
1 is a subject matter for the Court to decide. So we do not have any
2 objection to the position taken by the Prosecutor.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that all?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
6 The Chamber, therefore, decides not to admit this page into
7 evidence - I believe it is the page 51 in the English version - in
8 accordance with the remarks made by the Prosecutor and accepted by the
9 Defence, and also page 49 of the B/C/S version in the same conditions.
10 I think we will know how to use the rest of the information
11 supplied in this text. This portion of the text will therefore not be
12 admitted into evidence.
13 I think we can now call the witness. Mr. Visnjic, can we proceed
14 with the witness?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. There's just
16 one thing that I should like to mention. We would like to give you the
17 revised version of the English translation of the document which was given
18 to us by the Prosecutor this morning. They were involved in that part of
19 the job. So I hope that we will now be able to work from the same version
20 of the translation and avoid thereby all possibilities of
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley?
23 MR. CAYLEY: One final comment, Mr. President; that in the new
24 English translation, the relevant page or pages that should be stricken
25 are pages 49, beginning paragraph 2, and page 50. So that is in the
1 revised English translation.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, are you talking
3 about the paragraph entitled "The Concept of Command Responsibility and
4 Additional Protocol to Geneva Conventions?" Yes, okay. What about the
5 B/C/S version? Yes, of course, yes, it's the same version.
6 So the decision that the Chamber has taken will concern the
7 revised version of the translation, page 49, paragraph 2, which goes over
8 to page 50.
9 Mr. Visnjic, I think we can now proceed with the examination of
10 Professor Radinovic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, can the usher bring in the
13 witness, please.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Professor
16 Radinovic. Can you hear me?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Will you please read the solemn
19 declaration that the usher will give you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may be
25 seated now.
1 Professor Radinovic, first of all, let me thank you for coming to
2 the Tribunal to testify. You will first be answering questions that will
3 be put to you by Mr. Visnjic, counsel for the Defence, then you will be
4 answering questions put to you by the Prosecutor, and then, at the end, by
5 the Judges.
6 Mr. Visnjic, your witness.
7 Examined by Mr. Visnjic:
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. General Radinovic, for purposes of the record, would you spell
10 your surname out letter by letter.
11 A. R-a-d-i-n-o-v-i-c [Realtime transcript read in error
12 "R-a-d-i-o-v-i-c"], "ch", that is a C with a diacritic.
13 Q. I can already see an error in the transcript. R-a-d-i-n-o-v-i-c.
14 The "N" has been left out.
15 A. Radinovic.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 General Radinovic, what nationality are you?
18 A. I'm a Montenegrin.
19 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a brief review of your military
20 career, the main functions you performed, and your basic activities within
21 your duties.
22 A. My military career is a combination of service in the troops and
23 scientific research work of the General Staff practice, and I have
24 already -- and I have also been a professor.
25 As a troop officer, I spent the first part of my career, up to the
1 1970s, working in that area, that is to say when I found my vocation in
2 scientific research work and in teaching. The highest troop duty that I
3 performed was the Commander of the Engineers Battalion.
4 As for my scientific research career, I have held all posts and
5 was elected to all of them. I was a beginner in research and then became
6 a scientific associate and, later on, a scientific visor.
7 I have always held positions of leadership in institutions for
8 scientific research work, and I was the director of research - that was my
9 top post - for strategic research of the General Staff of the Yugoslav
10 People's Army.
11 As to my career as a Professor, that is to say, in teaching, I
12 also passed through the entire ladder of teaching hierarchy and was
13 elected to all the posts. I was a lecturer; I was a docent, and then a
14 full professor.
15 In my professorship, I also held all the possible posts. I was an
16 individual professor, then I was head of a department, of two departments,
17 in the course of my career, and I was the head of the School for National
18 Defence, which was the highest school at that time and, indeed, at present
19 in the armed forces of Yugoslavia.
20 In this scientific and research work and in my teaching
21 profession, I cooperated with all the university centres of the former
22 Yugoslavia, and I won't be immodest if I say I was well known in those
24 My career in the General Staff comprises of the following duties:
25 I was head of the sector for military doctrine, department for military
1 doctrine in the operative department of the General Staff of the Yugoslav
2 People's Army; I was head of department for development and the planning
3 of the use of -- deployment of the armed forces; and also head of the
4 department for strategy and the policy of defence in the Federal Ministry
5 for Defence; and I was also assistant to the Minister of Defence himself.
6 Performing each of those posts within my military career, I also
7 performed various activities and duties. Let me just say a few words
8 about that briefly at this point.
9 As a troops officer, I gained all the necessary experience as a
10 soldier which is necessary for every military career regardless of what
11 you do later on in the profession. I was young, I was enthusiastic, and
12 that was natural, and I think I was loved by my soldiers. I think I can
13 say that. I was respected by my commanding officers, and my unit was
14 always -- always received the highest marks and was always proclaimed the
15 best unit in the garrison.
16 As I was an Engineers man, I was a builder, a construction
17 engineer, and I'm always very proud of what I did as a builder, a
18 constructor, an architect.
19 In my scientific research career, I performed all the duties. I
20 was a beginner and then I was head of the project, and my most important
21 project in my career was the Yugoslavia macro project for total national
22 defence in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That was an
23 all-Yugoslavia project, and ten institutes took part in its realisation
24 from all the republics and provinces of the former Yugoslavia and, on the
25 basis of that project, a strategy of defence for Yugoslavia was compiled
1 and written in the mid-1980s.
2 I was an active participant in compiling all three versions of the
3 military doctrine of Yugoslavia from the mid-1970s to the end of the
5 After I retired, I led the scientific research work in the
6 institute for geopolitical studies in Belgrade and, over the last five
7 years, I have written a number of noted studies which were well received
8 by the domestic public and also further afield outside our borders, and it
9 was titled The Serbian People in the New Geopolitical Circumstances, and
10 Geopolitical and Military Strategic Conditions and Prerequisites of the
11 Regional System of Security for the Balkans, and also The Geostrategic
12 Importance of Kosovo and Metohija.
13 Now as a pensioner, I have been appointed as authorised expert of
14 the Ministry for Science of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the
15 field of science and political sociology, the methodology of scientific
16 research work, the strategy of defence and security.
17 In the General Staff structure and that portion of my career, I
18 also held -- I also undertook a series of noteworthy activities which I
19 think it is important to mention on this occasion too. One of them was
20 the reorganisation of the armed forces of Yugoslavia in the mid-1980s.
21 That task was completed in 1987, and it was coded and referred to as Unity
22 Plan, the plan of unity. And the army organisation was developed under my
23 leadership, but we saw the break-up of the armed forces in the former
25 Since 1984 to 1993, that was the period that I retired, but there
1 were no medium-term development plans for plans for the deployment of the
2 army that were compiled and drafted without my direct involvement, which
3 is understandable in view of the posts that I held at the time in the
4 General Staff and the Federal Ministry for Defence.
5 On the basis of the successful endeavour in 1985, I was nominated
6 for the post -- rank of General, and 1988 I was promoted to the rank of
8 Nonetheless, I consider that I have reached my professional peaks
9 as a teacher, as a professor. I was Professor of Methodology for ten
10 years, teaching military research and development, and in that -- those
11 teaching years, I established a new scientific discipline which is the
12 methodology of scientific research as a scientific branch and as a
13 university subject.
14 I have also written a number of studies in that field, and I am
15 particularly proud of my book, "The Method of Military Science," which
16 came out in -- which, when it came out in 1983, received the 22nd of
17 December Award, which was the highest award of this type for scientific
18 publishing in the army at that time.
19 I was head of the department for strategy at the School For
20 National Defence for five years, and taught that subject at all the
21 highest military schools.
22 At present, I am a guest -- visiting professor for the Yugoslav
23 Army in the School For National Defence of the Yugoslav Army and the
24 police academy as well. I'm a visiting professor for that, too.
25 Q. During your career, which of your -- the tasks that you had do you
1 consider to be the most important?
2 A. Of all the tasks that I was assigned in the course of my military
3 career, I esteemed particularly highly the research project of all
4 Yugoslav importance, that is, the project for total national defence and
5 social self-protection, because it incorporated a great deal of well-known
6 scientific workers of the day in Yugoslavia. And they took part in that
7 project along with institutes from all over the country and, on the basis
8 of their results, we were able to write the strategy of defence which in
9 fact verifies what we did, and this was the project that I lead.
10 Secondly, I consider my contribution, personal contribution to the
11 founding of a new theoretical discipline in military science, the
12 methodology of military and scientific research, I considered that to be
13 extremely important as well.
14 Q. General Radinovic, can you tell the Trial Chamber when you retired
15 and what post you held at the time of your retirement.
16 A. I was pensioned in 1993 on the 31st of December, that is to say,
17 at the end of the year, by decree, and the active military service
18 provided me with a paper saying so; and I was Lieutenant Colonel General
19 at the time, and I was head of the department for the policy of defence
20 and strategy in the federal Ministry of Defence and also the assistant to
21 the minister at that time.
22 I was military advisor to the president of the Republic as well at
23 that time, that is to say, of the federal state of the day, and a member
24 as a military expert of the state delegation of the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia at the Geneva negotiations.
1 Q. When did you begin working on the analysis of events surrounding
2 Srebrenica in 1995?
3 A. Srebrenica in general terms and what led up to it and conditioned
4 it, that is a subject that I dealt with during my active military service
5 by virtue of my professional training and the duties I performed.
6 I studied wars on the territory of the former state, and also the
7 civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The result of this -- that is to say, I
8 studied this as an individual research worker. It was also a subject
9 studied by the institute for strategic studies of the General Staff, of
10 which I was head. There were two studies written on the basis of that
11 research in my institute with respect to the war in 1991 and war in 1992
12 and the experiences and causes of that war.
13 Srebrenica and Podrinje are in the focus of attention of strategic
14 research from the very beginning of the war in 1992. They were in the
15 focus of attention, and several events were dominant when we're talking
16 about that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I have in mind the urgent
17 decision of the presidency of Yugoslavia of the day, and the decision was
18 made under pressure from external factors with respect to the withdrawal
19 of the Yugoslav People's Army from Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 on the 4th
20 of May within a time span of 19 days.
21 Of course, it was common knowledge that this could not be done and
22 that there would be terrible consequences to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Anyone
23 who knew anything about that was shocked, including myself.
24 Events soon confirmed our worst fears. The column of the Yugoslav
25 People's Army retreating from Tuzla was exposed to terrible casualties,
1 losses. And there was a particular event which took place which had a
2 major importance to what was happening -- would happen in Podrinje and the
3 threat of Murat Sabanovic, and the tacit agreement by some leaders of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina of the day of breaking down the dam at Visegrad. Had
5 that happened, the whole of Podrinje would have been destroyed.
6 Next, we come to Srebrenica 1993 and the great crisis which ensued
7 in the first half of that year around Srebrenica. That was the first
8 instance of UNPROFOR interference and the overall mechanism of the United
9 Nations and the European Union in that conflict, that is to say, the
10 relationships between the two parties. And as we know, it was a question
11 of a counter-attack of the army of Republika Srpska in order to get back
12 its positions in central Podrinje.
13 After I retired, I continued analysing the war in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, and most of my public involvement was
15 connected to that topic; however, I dealt with Srebrenica most. That was
16 in the focus of my attention from the moment I received my accreditation
17 from the Tribunal to take part in this case.
18 With respect to the study of the subject matter, my personal
19 preparations for my expert contribution to the Tribunal, I have spent more
20 than one year. You would say that that was a long period of time, but I
21 don't think it is sufficient. I'm sorry that I did not have even more
22 time because all these events require enormous study and analysis, and I
23 analysed the material I received successively as it came to me, as I
24 received it. It is jam-packed with facts, controversies, prejudice,
25 emotion, and, unfortunately, manipulation as well on all sides, from all
2 Had I had more time at my disposal, I would probably have been
3 able to give better order to that in my mind and have transferred it onto
4 paper in my expert report in a more leisurely fashion, and I would be more
5 leisurely in presenting my testimony before you here today as well.
6 Q. What sources do you base your expert report on?
7 A. I had a multitude of sources, and of course, I am wondering at
8 this point whether I have selected a representative example of the
9 sources, whether I selected them properly and whether I have chosen the
10 best sample and what is most relevant to the events in hand. I would take
11 up much too much time if I were to quote all the documents, that is why
12 I'm going to group the documents and talk about the groups of documents
13 that I've used and my appraisal and assessment of the relevance and value
14 of those documents, of course, in principle.
15 The primary source group is as follows: For this type of activity
16 and for my expert findings, they were of uppermost relevance, of course,
17 and they were documents which directly relate to the events around
18 Srebrenica. I had documents of different origin, that is to say, Muslim
19 sources, Serb sources, documents from the United Nations, and documents
20 from UNPROFOR.
21 Having mentioned UN documents, I have in mind the statement by the
22 Secretary-General in 1999 and some other reports which arrived from
23 authorised institutions and the United Nations mechanism which controlled
24 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Unfortunately, the UNPROFOR documents were very scarce. I had
1 very few of those. Only the ones that I received from the Ministry of
2 Defence of Holland and the survey conducted with the members of their
3 battalion and the report and statements by the Defence Minister of the
5 We do not have -- that is to say, I did not have any operative
6 documents of the UNPROFOR commands from Sarajevo, for example, from the
7 sector there, and from Zagreb. I do not believe that these documents do
8 not exist, and in studying the ground -- the documents that the
9 Prosecution has, I am more apt to believe that that documentation did
10 exist, but unfortunately, I did not have any access to it.
11 The Defence did not give me the documents either. I can only
12 suppose that it did not have them in its possession either. It would have
13 been far better had I had the documents because, if I had had them, I
14 would have been able to analyse them and incorporate them into my expert
16 The secondary sources are books and studies which I had at my
17 disposal dealing with the subject matter of Srebrenica. The authors on
18 the Muslim side, foreign authors like Pierre-Marie Galoa, the prominent
19 French geopolitician and strategist and an intellectual; Alexandre
20 Delvallier [phoen], once again a young French intellectual who, in recent
21 years, has been studying the crisis that took place in the Balkans.
22 Michael Rose is another name in point, David Owen, Carl Bildt.
23 On the Serbian side, there are fewer sources of that kind, but I
24 did have an opportunity to study the study of Bata Ivanisevic, "The
25 Chronic of Our Grave;" and the Dejan Lukic book, "Radovan Karadzic, My
2 There are no assessments by the authors there or assessments by
3 military and political leaders of Republika Srpska or the Federal Republic
4 of Yugoslavia either. Had I had those books and that type of appraisal,
5 I'm sure that my expert report would have been even fuller. And I have in
6 mind works of the following type: A book written by General Sefer
7 Halilovic, for instance, the one Commander-in-Chief of the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, before that, a Major in the Yugoslav People's Army
9 in charge of the political and legal or party work in the Dzakovo
10 Garrison. That is a garrison of the former Tuzla or the 17th Corps of the
11 Yugoslav People's Army.
12 The media and --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, you're on your
15 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Excuse me, Mr. President, Your Honour. I've
16 been observing the General, and it's becoming clearer and clearer to me
17 that he's actually reading from a prepared statement of some sort. I
18 don't believe it's the report that the Prosecution has. I certainly don't
19 think so. I think the report is to his right. If he is reading from a
20 statement and the statement actually does contain elements that are
21 certainly not in the expert report, then that is a statement that I
22 believe the Prosecution should have.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Visnjic, your
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think I know what
1 the General has before him, and I think they are his personal notes and
2 not a statement of any kind or prepared document of any kind. They are
3 simply his own notes with respect to some questions that the Defence might
4 ask him, and it is just a sort of reminder, aide-memoire, not a statement
5 of any kind.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic, but personal
7 notes as aide-memoire are one thing and a text that the witness is reading
8 is quite another. I think that if it is indeed a text, then that is one
9 thing. Now, if they are notes to help the General's memory, as you know,
10 we have notes that we look at and we speak. We don't have to actually
11 read the text that we have.
12 So what is the situation, Mr. Visnjic? Which of the two is this?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think they are
14 notes as helping the General's memory and not a text that the General is
15 reading, and I think that we may proceed.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps we ought to get on
17 faster because we have been allotting a lot of time to things like "If I
18 had the book," "If I had the article," "If I had the document." Perhaps
19 we could focus on the results of the expert findings and not what could
20 have been had there been.
21 Mr. Cayley, does the response satisfy you or have you any further
22 objections to make?
23 MR. CAYLEY: I mean, I can't give the Court an opinion on whether
24 this is an aide-memoire or a statement. The only observation I would make
25 is that it's clear at stages that the General is actually reading to you
1 from a piece of paper.
2 I don't want to hold matters up any further, but I think he should
3 be seen to be using them as an aide-memoire and notes and not as some kind
4 of prepared statement which the Prosecution doesn't have. Thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to
6 observe and see whether they are, in fact, aide-memoire or whether it is a
7 text that the General has.
8 Mr. Visnjic, please proceed.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 A. May I finish what I was saying? If the Court will allow me to
11 make a digression. I have been a professor all my life, and I always have
12 an aide-memoire and I never read what I was teaching. The fact that I
13 have some notes before me is a mark of my respect of the moment and the
14 Trial Chamber and all the others attending my testimony, but I can do
15 without it, of course, and I am ready to hand over this piece of paper and
16 you will see for yourselves that it is not a prepared text but an
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Perhaps that would be
19 preferable, Professor Radinovic. And I think in that way, you will be
20 able to go more directly to your answers to the questions put to you by
21 Mr. Visnjic.
22 So perhaps you could answer more directly without having to refer
23 to your notes. Of course, if you are in a position to do so. So that
24 will make your answers more direct. Thank you, Professor.
25 Mr. Visnjic, please proceed.
1 A. May I just finish the sources, if you find that interesting?
2 Apart from articles published, I read doctrinaire documents in the
3 Republika Srpska army, rules, regulations, and all normative acts, legal,
4 documents, laws and so on regulating relationships in the army of
5 Republika Srpska. I read through them as well. And also I had direct
6 contacts with the participants in the events themselves. They are some
7 commanders of corps, brigades, chiefs of staff of the brigades and corps
8 and also some members of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
9 Unfortunately, I did not have occasion to talk to the participants on the
10 other side, but I think that would be highly interesting and I think that
11 it would have been advisable as well.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, sir, what regulations regulated relations in the army of
14 Republika Srpska in 1995?
15 A. Relations in the army of Republika Srpska were regulated by rules
16 and regulations enacted in the army of Republika Srpska and part of the
17 normative acts and documents that were used were those taken over from the
18 former Yugoslav People's Army, and I think -- they are rules and
19 regulations adopted by the Republika Srpska army. They are rules of
20 service in the army of Republika Srpska, the rules relating to the courts,
21 including military courts. They are laws on defence and laws on --
22 pertaining to the army, and they are documents which were taken over, as I
23 say, from the former Yugoslav People's Army. So they are the normative
24 rules and regulations for the use and deployment of the units, from the
25 tactical to the operative, the corps rules and regulations of the ground
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 force, instructions for work to the commands and staffs for the brigades,
2 for the battalions, for the platoons, and a whole series of other
3 doctrinaire documents which are relevant and which are more of a normative
4 nature and define doctrinary principles for the preparation and use or
5 deployment of the army in combat.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General Radinovic, during the proceedings in this case, we have
9 seen on a number of occasions instruction for the work of the command of
10 the 4th Corps, the Exhibit of the Prosecution 402, footnote 7. Could you
11 tell us your opinion about the possibility of the use of this particular
12 rule or, rather, the instruction relating to the 4th Corps. How can that
13 rule be applied to the Drina Corps?
14 A. While preparing my expert analysis, I had an opportunity to study
15 the analysis by Mr. Dannatt and Mr. Butler, and I saw that they are used
16 as a relative document, the instruction for the 4th Corps of the JNA. I
17 assume that the area of responsibility of the 4th Corps was close, if not
18 identical, to the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps.
19 I should like to point out at this point that the JNA wrote and
20 published the so-called Rules of Corps of Land Armies, which was signed by
21 the then-Minister of the Defence in his capacity as the Chief of Staff of
22 the Main Staff, that is General Kadijevic, who was the Federal Secretary
23 for Defence and also the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff. This was an
24 obligatory instruction for all corps units within the former JNA.
25 The rule relating to the 4th Corps is not of an obligatory nature
1 for the army. It is an internal document which is applicable only to the
2 4th Corps and it is not an official document, it is not an official rule,
3 but a practical rule which further analyses and articulates the rules and
4 regulations which are contained in the binding document that is in the
5 rules and regulations of the land armies.
6 While studying the analysis by Mr. Dannatt and by Mr. Butler and
7 by comparing the regulations contained in the rules for the land armies
8 and the rules and regulations for the 4th Corps, I noticed that the
9 4th Corps document elaborates certain documents in a much more detailed
10 way. Such regulations, I think I can say, jeopardise to a certain extent
11 the rules and regulations that are contained in the land army
12 regulations. If I have an opportunity once we get to those texts, I will
13 indicate to you precisely what I mean in the text, because we end up
14 gaining a completely different picture of the command responsibility of
15 the Chief of Staff of the corps if we base ourselves on those provisions
16 because they are much different from the provisions contained in the land
17 army rules and regulations.
18 Q. General Radinovic, could you give a brief explanation to the Trial
19 Chamber about the functioning and the implementation of orders within the
20 army of Republika Srpska?
21 A. The execution of orders within the VRS is regulated as in any
22 other army of the world.
23 Let me first tell you where exactly it is explicitly regulated,
24 that is, in the rules of service of the VRS, that portion of the text was
25 adopted from the rules of service of the armed forces of the former
1 Yugoslavia; and in the general provisions of that rule, there is a portion
2 which relates to the execution of orders.
3 Now, let me try to explain to you how it is regulated. An order
4 is issued by a superior officer to his subordinate officers and soldiers.
5 Subordinate officers and soldiers are duty-bound to execute his order in a
6 timely fashion and exactly.
7 The orders whose execution would entail a violation of the law are
8 not executed but are notified of to the superior officer. If the superior
9 officer still insists on the execution of such an order, the subordinate
10 officer is obliged to request that this order be provided in a written
12 If the order in question entails a violation of international
13 conventions and the commission of a criminal offence, then such an order
14 is not executed, regardless of the consequences of the non-execution.
15 Instead, the superior officer should be informed by the subordinate
16 officer of the fact that he has received such an order, and the superior
17 officer should hold accountable the officer who issued such an order.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General Radinovic, let us go back for a moment to the area of
21 Podrinje, Central Podrinje. What was the significance of the Central
22 Podrinje, including the area of Srebrenica, that was given by all three
23 warring factions; Serb, Croat, and Muslim factions?
24 A. In response to your question, I should like to say that all
25 warring factions thought that the area of Central Podrinje was very
1 significant and important for them. As regards the conflict opposing the
2 Muslim population and the Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
3 area of Central Podrinje is actually part of the so-called contact zone
4 where the population was mixed and where the conflicts were most fierce
5 and radical.
6 Let me give you just a few preliminary remarks as regards the
7 strategic importance attached to the Central Podrinje by different
8 parties. When it comes to the Muslim faction, which had certain ambitions
9 in respect of that area and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole in
10 accordance with their own political ideologies and views which was
11 expressed by President Izetbegovic in his Islamic declaration where he
12 articulated the concept of the state that he intended to create there,
13 such a concept was not acceptable for two other parties in the conflict.
14 So as regards the political strategy and the control of the entire area of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina as a unitary state, the area of Central Podrinje
16 has a very important geostrategic position.
17 The area in question is very deep in towards the territory of
18 Serbia, the state of Serbia, and it is a kind of link between two areas
19 where Serb population lives, that is, on either side of the Drina River.
20 Those who have the control over the area of Podrinje have control over a
21 very large area inhabited by Serb ethnic population, and that area is --
22 in that fashion, it can become an enclave.
23 The Eastern Herzegovina, that is the Serbian part of Herzegovina,
24 in this manner would be separated from the area of Serbia and the rest of
25 the area of Republika Srpska.
1 I do not wish to go into details in this matter, but I have to say
2 that that was the main objective of the Muslim strategy.
3 What about the Croatian side and their strategy, that is, the
4 strategy of the HVO and that portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Their
5 objective was to unite certain ethnical territories of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina with a Croatian state. They did not have strategic ambitions
7 of their own to reach the area of Podrinje. However, if we have in mind
8 the overall project of Croatia which believes even today that their border
9 with Serbia is on the Drina River, then if we have that context in mind,
10 we can understand that Croatia had certain aspirations towards the area of
11 Central Podrinje which were rather important. However, the strategy of
12 the HVO and Herceg-Bosna in general was not of a particular significance
13 when it comes to the area of Central Podrinje.
14 As regards the Serbian side, I should say that the area of Central
15 Podrinje was much more important for the Muslim side and the Croatian
16 side. Why? Serbs intended to preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
17 component part of the former state. That was indeed their fundamental,
18 long-term, and political objective in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why? I
19 don't think it is very difficult to understand that. They wanted to live
20 in the same state with other Serbs, and the only state that could
21 guarantee that was the former Yugoslavia.
22 After the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and after it became
23 clear that Bosnia and Herzegovina will have difficulties surviving, the
24 Serbian political programme was for the Bosnia and Herzegovina to remain
25 in the same state together with Serbian Macedonia, Montenegro, after the
1 secession of Croatia and Slovenia. That project, however, was not
2 accepted, and they were faced with the question of how to organise Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina in political terms.
4 The last chance to prevent a conflict was the so-called Cutilliero
5 plan from 1992 which provided for a confederation of the Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina in accordance with a cantonal principle. Unfortunately, and
7 for reasons unbeknownst to me, that concept was abandoned and, practically
8 speaking, Bosnia was pushed into war.
9 At that time, after such a concept was abandoned - that is, the
10 concept which was based on equality of all three peoples - Serbs adopted
11 their strategy, a strategy of their own; that is, they had certain
12 strategic ambitions to establish their political entity, not to say the
13 state, within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 In view of that, while the area was being politically organised,
15 the Serbs realised that the area of Central Podrinje had a huge strategic
16 importance for them. Without the area of Central Podrinje, there would be
17 no Republika Srpska, there would be no territorial integrity of Serb
18 ethnic territories; instead, the Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 would be forced to accept the so-called enclave status in their ethnic
20 territories. The territory would be split in two, the whole area would be
21 disintegrated, and it would be separated from Serbia proper and from areas
22 which are inhabited almost 100 per cent by Serb populations.
23 Without having in mind this huge importance which was attached by
24 both parties to the area of Central Podrinje, it is very difficult to
25 understand the intensity of the conflict and the passions that ran so high
1 in the area of Central Podrinje, in particular in and around the town of
3 And just one more sentence in this context and I will finish with
4 the strategic importance of the area. Without the control over Central
5 Podrinje, Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina would not be able to accomplish
6 a minimum of their political interests, that is, to form some kind of
7 political entity there. For them, it was a to-be-or-not-to-be question.
8 For all other parties, even for the Muslim party which also had -- which
9 also thought the area was very important, there could be achieved a
10 minimum of their political agendas. However, that was not the case with
11 Serbs because the area was the one that linked the area of Semberija with
12 Herzegovina, Herzegovina with Pod Romanija plateau. Posavina, the area of
13 Posavina, that is, the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina which borders with
14 Croatia around the river Sava, could not be linked with the remaining
15 parts of that community. That is, the areas could not be integrated, and
16 that is why the control of the area of Podrinje was of such importance for
17 the Serb side.
18 Q. General Radinovic, in your knowledge, what were the military
19 objectives of the warring factions in that respect?
20 A. I believe I have managed to explain to you the strategic
21 importance of Central Podrinje, and I think that it is easy to reconstruct
22 the military objectives of the warring factions bearing that in mind.
23 In accordance to what Clausewitz said, military objectives are
24 determined by politics. This was the case with this war: Political
25 objectives determined military objectives. However, I think that one can
1 say that the most determining factor was politics.
2 When it comes to the political option of establishing a state in
3 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina as it was envisaged by the Muslim
4 side, and such were their strategic objectives, that political strategy
5 employed a military objective which was a total defeat of the remaining
6 two factions which were opposed to their political project.
7 Throughout the war, and it can be easily reconstructed by
8 analysing the situation, the Muslim side wanted to defeat militarily both
9 Croats while they were in conflict with them, and Serbs throughout the
11 What was the major problem in relation to that? Well, the major
12 problem for the Muslim party was the fact that they did not have adequate
13 military resources with which they would be able to win, to secure a
14 victory on their own, and that is why, throughout the war, they attempted
15 to drag into the war the mechanism of the United Nations and NATO as well,
16 which played a certain role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the end,
17 they were successful in doing so.
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina entered a military coalition with the HVO
19 and by doing so with Croatia as well, and this was encouraged by
20 International Community as well, and once-bitter enemies in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, Croats and Muslims, they made an alliance against Serbs,
22 thereby creating necessary conditions for the political organisation of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina in Dayton. That coalition was the basis for the
24 Muslim and Croat Federation.
25 It would be a very good thing for that Federation to survive.
1 However, I must say that the differences are still very big and are making
2 the cooperation difficult. But that is not the subject of this
4 The HVO in Bosnia always had a basis in the support in Croatia.
5 The HVO military effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina was supported by Croatia
6 and its army, and the first serious conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 were actually part of the aggression of the Republic of Croatia against
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here I am referring to the notorious killing of
9 the Serbian population in Sijekovac in the area of Bosnian Posavina, and
10 I'm referring also to the atrocities which were committed by the Croatian
11 army and, unfortunately, by the Muslim population in the area of Livno,
12 Duvno, and Kupres. Kupres, which was part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was
13 exposed to the aggression of the Croatian army in the autumn of 1991.
14 Throughout that time, the Croatian army was present in a military
15 way in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina both in the area of
16 Posavina and in the area of Krajina. And sometime before the end of the
17 war, at the time when the operation Srebrenica was being conducted, the
18 Croatian army was present in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina and conducting
19 military operations near Glamoc, preparing themselves for an aggression
20 against the territories of Republika Srpska. In August 1995, indeed the
21 Croatian army carried out that offensive and reached the outskirts of the
22 town of Banja Luka.
23 What I want to say is the fact that the HVO always linked its
24 military objectives with the assistance of the Republic of Croatia and the
25 Republic of Croatia used the areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina for fighting
1 Serbs and Muslims in some cases. Unfortunately, they were never condemned
2 for doing so by the International Community.
3 When this comes to the Serb military objectives, one has to bear
4 in mind the fact that they had some very firm ideas as regards
5 establishment of their own political entity in that area. However, an
6 idea of a state there, of a Serb state there, turned out to be quite
7 unrealistic and they confined themselves to the idea of a political entity
8 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 At the moment they established their control over the territory
10 that they believed to be their political entity, Serb strategy shifted
11 towards a defensive strategy. Serbian military objectives did not imply a
12 military defeat of Croats and Muslims. What they had in mind was the
13 defence of their own territory.
14 One can justifiably ask a question whether their ideas of an
15 ethnic territory or, rather, ethnic territories was justified, realistic,
16 and so on and so forth, but that is beside the point here. I must say
17 once again that it was only the Serb military strategy in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina that did not have, in military terms, as their objective the
19 defeat of two other parties. Had they had that objective in mind in 1992,
20 1993, at the end of 1994, and perhaps even throughout the first half of
21 1995, they had enough resources, they were powerful enough to militarily
22 defeat two other warring factions. However, that was not their objective
23 at the time. It was not part of their strategy.
24 Q. General Radinovic, what was the nature and characteristics of the
25 army of Republika Srpska?
1 A. The army of Republika Srpska, well, what can I say? I think it
2 had the same characteristics as the other two armies in Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 with slight differences in nuance, in shades, but basically it was a
4 popular army made up of the people.
5 Now, what do I mean when I say that? It was an army which, in the
6 best sense of the word, emanated from the people itself. All the
7 fighters, the combatants, were recruits from the local population. The
8 units were formed according to the territorial principle and the units
9 went into action on the basis of the territorial principle.
10 Part of the cadres, the professional cadres and the commanding
11 cadres, originated from the Yugoslav People's Army. They were officers
12 who were trained in the Yugoslav People's Army and who were either from
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina originally, were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or resided
14 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So they were people who were born there mostly.
15 It was the army -- an army that was created there and was logistically
16 equipped there, so according to all principle and the best traditions of a
17 popular army.
18 And this was the same with the other two armies. The commanding
19 cadre of the Muslim army in Bosnia was also, for the most part, taken over
20 from the Yugoslav People's Army and, in the first years of the war, they
21 were all the pupils from the schools that I taught in. All the commanders
22 of the Muslim army were officers trained in the former Yugoslavia, and
23 they were officers whom I had occasion to meet at our military schools and
24 I taught some of them as well. So the composition of the armies was
25 similar. Their characters were similar on all three sides.
1 There was a difference with respect to the participation of the
2 members of foreign armies, for example. In Republika Srpska and in the
3 army of Republika Srpska, of all the three belligerent sides, there were
4 only volunteers who were foreign nationals, but anybody who knows the
5 history of the Serbs knows that the volunteer tradition is highly
6 emphasised in Serbian warfare. On the side of the HVO, we had the HV
7 fighting. On the side of the Muslims, we had fighters from different
8 battlegrounds in Asia, for example, and Africa, and the paramilitary from
9 Kosovo-Metohija and the paramilitary from the Raska [Realtime transcript
10 read in error "Lasva"] and Sandzak areas within the composition of the
11 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but there are no major differences with
12 respect to the composition and character of the army. Perhaps in the
13 first years there was a difference as to the army's equipment, but they
14 were negligible and are not these -- and without any serious differences.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I see an error in the
16 transcript on page 29, line 17. It is not "Lasva and Sandzak" but "Raska
17 and Sandzak." "Raska," not "Lasva," and "Sandzak." Lasva is in Central
19 Mr. President, I don't know if there is an opportune moment to
20 take a break. I have talked to General Krstic with respect to his medical
21 problems, and I think that we should perhaps maintain our previous rhythm,
22 if that is possible, of having shorter testimony and breaks, more breaks.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think that this is
24 a convenient moment. Let us take a 20-minute break.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.43 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, we have been
3 working for one hour 20 minutes. Is that -- can we continue that way? Is
4 that all right for General Krstic with respect to his health, or not? We
5 didn't go on for an hour and a half.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I shall try to see if
7 we can go on working for one hour 10 minutes, 15 or 20 minutes. If there
8 are any difficulties, then I'm sure General Krstic will let me know.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. Please
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. General Radinovic, we were talking about the nature and
13 characteristics of the army of Republika Srpska. Could you tell the Trial
14 Chamber what the doctrine at the use of the army of Republika Srpska was?
15 What doctrine did it have?
16 A. The doctrine for the use of the army of Republika Srpska was a
17 defensive one, a doctrine of defence, and that is the essential point. It
18 was more defensive than any of the other two sides in the war in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It had an explicitly defensive character.
20 If I may, I'd like to make a few comments, having said that, with
21 respect to the expert report by Mr. Dannatt and Butler, and they
22 criticised the army of Republika Srpska for the fact that it was as
23 defensive as it was, in fact. And according to them, in their opinion,
24 that led to an absence of effective initiative within the framework of the
25 control and command system, the chain of command in the army of Republika
1 Srpska, so that I would like to point to those factors.
2 It is true that in the doctrinary sense, the army of Republika
3 Srpska inherited the basic principles of doctrine developed and nurtured
4 by the Yugoslav People's Army, and please believe me when I say that on
5 the basis of my studies of the conduct of the other two belligerents in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I have gained the same impression. There are no
7 essential doctrinary differences, differences in doctrine with respect to
8 the conduct of either the Muslim or the Croatian army in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is to say that the doctrine of the army of
10 Republika Srpska was not only defensive because it had taken over the
11 doctrine prevalent in the JNA -- anybody studying the JNA's doctrine, and
12 I consider myself competent to be able to speak about those matters
13 because I helped formulate and write it, the doctrine of the Yugoslav
14 People's Army was not defensive -- on the contrary, it was an offensive
15 one. The strategic concept, that is to say, the general concept, was
16 strategically defensive but in the sense of doctrine which was elaborated
17 to defend state territory. So the army was not intended to go to war on
18 other people's territory or to win over other people's territory, and in
19 that sense, the doctrine of the Yugoslav People's Army, which it was taken
20 over by the army of Republika Srpska, was truly defensive in nature.
21 But with respect to the way in which the forces were deployed and
22 used in tactical and -- on a tactical and operative scale, the doctrine of
23 the Yugoslav People's Army was highly offensive according to the model of
24 the so-called combat in space.
25 Now, where does the difference lie between the doctrine of
1 Republika Srpska army and the Yugoslav People's Army? In the general
2 sense, the general strategic concept of both armies was defensive, as we
3 have said. That is where they coincide. That is where they are
4 identical. However, the doctrine of the army of Republika Srpska remained
5 completely defensive even if that portion where the doctrine of the
6 Yugoslav People's Army was offensive, that is to say, in the sense of
7 deployment of forces.
8 An indicator of the offensiveness of the doctrine was to
9 infiltrate forces into the enemy rear. There is not a single example in
10 the course of the entire war where the army of Republika Srpska made use
11 of this manoeuvre of infiltration, that is to say, infiltrating its troops
12 into the enemy rear. Both armies of the other two belligerents used that
13 particular manoeuvre. And in the case of Srebrenica as well, and the
14 whole area of Central Podrinje, most of the Muslim activities were
15 focussed in offensive infiltration by sabotage and diverging units,
16 reconnaissance units and even entire brigades, into the rear of the army
17 of Republika Srpska by which they expressed their offensive character,
18 offensive nature. The army of Republika Srpska did not do that and
19 thereby remained wholly and purely defensive.
20 Why? Because the area which was used for combat activities was
21 exclusively one's only ethnic area, that is to say, the part that the
22 politics of Republika Srpska considered it to be its own ethnic
23 territory. The army of Republika Srpska reached that boundary and that is
24 where it stopped. It stopped and took up a strategic defensive position,
25 and it never thought of infiltrating forces across that line and thereby
1 demonstrate its offensiveness. It remained firm at those positions, and
2 the units of the army of Republika Srpska, in a cordon, in one line
3 without any operative strategic depth, defended its own national
5 And Mr. Dannatt is not right when he says that that was a lack --
6 through lack of knowledge or that it was slavery to a doctrine that was
7 inherited. It emanated and emerged from the whole sense of the strategic
8 concept and political concept of the -- of Republika Srpska.
9 In this connection, we heard the remark by Mr. Dannatt and
10 Mr. Butler as to the absence of initiative in the system of command in the
11 sense that it was a highly-centralised, highly-controlled system which
12 linked up the top to the bottom; strict subordination, the principle of
13 one command, one superiority. And of course, the connotation is negative
14 in the sense that it is a hindering factor in the chain of command
16 I'd like to underline an essential difference between the system
17 of command in armies of this type, the type of army that the army of
18 Republika Srpska was, and the system of command in the United Kingdom
19 army, for example, where Mr. Dannatt comes from.
20 Armies fighting on alien territory, of course excluding any
21 political context here or ideological context, armies fighting in another
22 country on alien territory by definition must have a far higher degree of
23 initiative-taking than when it comes to armies fighting on their own
24 territory. Furthermore, armies who -- which have the Colonial experience,
25 when expedition corps were sent for a long period of time at great
1 distances, it was difficult for their commanding officers to be able to
2 rely on their superiors. They received their directives, of course, as
3 guidelines, as long-term guidelines, but they had to fend for themselves
4 and see how they could effectively put those directives into operation,
5 implement them.
6 For example, let us take the expedition to the Falklands, the
7 Maldives [sic] or whatever you want to call them. In the Falkland war,
8 thousands of miles away -- I think it's 11.000 miles to the Falklands, and
9 if you think of the commander of that particular Falkland expedition which
10 was sent to the war in the Falklands, that if he expected orders to be --
11 to receive orders from his superiors in London or in any other command
12 post and to wait for them to give him any corrective orders or anything of
13 that kind, he can't do that. He has to decide himself. He's to make his
14 own decisions. And what would it be like if there was full initiative on
15 commanders in a military system within the zone of responsibility where
16 there were more units and command levels?
17 Within the frameworks of the Drina Corps in the area of
18 responsibility which was a limited one, a limited one, had there been
19 self-initiative, which was implied through what Mr. Dannatt and Mr. Butler
20 said, then there would be chaos in that area of responsibility. There
21 would -- they would be at cross-purposes. The units would be at
22 cross-purposes. There would be lack of responsibility and, as I say,
23 general chaos had a free rein been given to initiative.
24 And that that is true, let me take you back in history,
25 Montgomery and the Africa war against Rommel. He did this with a highly
1 centralised system of command. There was no scope for overt initiative.
2 A counter-offensive by the allied forces in Italy and the debarkation on
3 Sicily and the breakthrough towards Central Europe was -- also had a
4 highly-involved system subordination and command.
5 In Normandy, Eisenhower's command system was very strict. The
6 disembarkation at Normandy once again in the 82nd Division from the rear
7 of the Germans, and there was no great scope for great initiative there.
8 All the units and the whole chain of command had a highly strict
9 centralised system of command, and the entire linkup of the system was
10 Operation Desert Storm. That was highly linked up, too.
11 So as I say, it was a completely different operational and
12 strategic situation, and that is why the army of Republika Srpska and in
13 armies in general fighting wars in this way and under those strategic
14 conditions, it is difficult to expect too much initiative on the part of
15 the subordinate levels.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In the record, I can see a number of
17 mistakes, but I assume that as it refers to names, we will be able to
18 correct that later on.
19 Q. General Radinovic, let me go on to my next question: Can you tell
20 the Trial Chamber briefly, because it has already heard something about
21 that, about the organisational structure of the army of Republika Srpska.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And I should like to ask the usher
23 at this point to hand the witness Exhibit D147 and D148, those two
24 exhibits, please, Mr. Usher.
25 Q. General Radinovic, before you, you have a diagram showing the
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 organisational structure.
2 A. Yes. This is the organisational structure of the army of
3 Republika Srpska, and for us to simplify matters and to focus on the
4 important points, I have reduced the diagram to the operative part, the
5 combat part of the army.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to make a
7 correction here. The heading is -- there's an error in the heading in the
8 title. It is "VRS Structure" without the Drina Corps. The "Drina Corps"
9 is an error, and it refers to the heading. It is "The Structure of the
10 Army of Republika Srpska" without the "Drina Corps." That's a mistake.
11 A. Yes. The organisational structure of the VRS army is as follows:
12 At its head we have the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, and
13 within its composition we have the following: The 1st Krajina Corps, the
14 2nd Krajina Corps, the East Bosnia Corps, the Drina Corps, the Herzegovina
15 Corps, and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, the 65th Protection Regiment, and
16 the 10th Sabotage Detachment. Those are the combat formations of the
18 This is -- it is essential for us to note for later purposes that
19 at the head of the army of Republika Srpska was the Main Staff. The Main
20 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska was in the lead, not the supreme
21 command. It doesn't say supreme command; it says Main Staff. And that is
22 a specific feature of the organisational structure of the army of
23 Republika Srpska, and it also represents a certain inconsistency,
24 something that does not coincide with the long-adopted, recognised, and
25 well-known principles of military doctrine.
1 I do not wish you to understand that the -- that politics and
2 civilian -- that civilian authorities did not have a control over the
3 army, but the appointment of the Main Staff of the VRS and giving it
4 command responsibility in a certain sense is the core to certain
5 disagreements between political and military strategy and political and
6 military leadership in the Republika Srpska.
7 World standards and world solutions, and those in the Yugoslav
8 People's Army as well, for that matter, that the supreme command leads the
9 army, and below it, that we have the general staff as a staff and
10 professional organ for the preparation and deployment of the army. Not
11 for command purposes but for the preparation and utilisation of the army.
12 Those are all the general staff in all armies throughout the world except
13 here. And I think the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had a Main Staff, too,
14 which led to certain duality in the strategic sense of strategic command.
15 There was duality in the sense of strategic command. It would therefore
16 be natural that it was a staff as a professional organ of the supreme
17 command. That would have been logical.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley.
19 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, excuse me, Mr. President.
20 To the registrar, if we could have copies of those documents
21 because we don't have any of those documents, the most recent set being
22 used on the ELMO. Thank you.
23 A. May I add one more sentence, please, to round this topic off.
24 This kind of solution is practiced generally in revolutionary
25 armies. Perhaps that is -- that was intimation that something new was
1 going to be formed in Bosnia, but as we saw, everything was deja vu.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
3 place the following document on the ELMO; D148, Exhibit 148, D148.
4 Q. It is a map showing the areas of responsibility of the army of
5 Republika Srpska, and this map has been taken over from a report, a report
6 submitted by Mr. Butler, expert witness Mr. Butler.
7 General Radinovic, in the context of the organisational structure
8 of the VRS, could you comment on this map, the distribution of the corps,
9 the surface area, with particular focus on the position of the Drina Corps
10 within this composition.
11 A. Yes. Mr. Butler did this very well. He did it so well that there
12 was no need for me to produce the same map, and I'm very recognizant to
13 that expert because it saved me having to draw the map. And I have
14 checked it out, and it's a very precise map, everything correct on it.
15 Let us start from left to right, move from left to right. Here we
16 have the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps. Anybody not
17 well versed in the geography of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which I'm sure you
18 all are, that is what we call Bosanska Krajina, the western part of Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina bordering on Croatia. And that Corps had to suffer the
20 greatest onslaughts in the offensives both from the Muslim army and the
21 Croatian army in the course of 1994, the autumn of 1994, and in the course
22 of 1995 as well, came under heavy attack.
23 And in this Corps, this Corps suffered a counter-attack from Bihac
24 in the autumn of 1994, and of course, it took -- it had to sustain the
25 attack of the Croatian army on Republika Srpska Krajina.
1 Here the area of responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps is here
2 in this area, and we can see that it is the largest area. And it was a
3 corps which was the most numerous, had most men, and was strongest. And
4 if we were to draw a parallel between that particular corps and the corps
5 with a western military doctrine, it could be in the rank of an army
6 corps, for example. Of course, in miniature, everything is in miniature,
7 and on a Bosnia-Herzegovina scale and on the scale of the Republika
8 Srpska; but spatially speaking, it is part of western Bosnia, and it is
9 the whole of the Posavina area, right up to the corridor and including the
10 corridor from Brcko, right up until Doboj and part of Central Bosnia up to
11 the border with the Muslim and Croatian federation. So it is the largest
12 area, and the corps headquarters was in Banja Luka.
13 The East Bosnia Corps encompassed the northeastern reaches of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is to say, the eastern part of the Republika
15 Srpska, with the headquarters in Bileca. That is the Drina River, this is
16 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia over here, and this is the zone of
17 responsibility of that particular corps, and it borders on the Drina
18 Corps. And on this map, you can see that up to this part here. This is
19 north of Zvornik, some 30 to 40 kilometres north of Zvornik.
20 To the south is the zone of responsibility of Drina Corps, and
21 this zone to the east stretches to the Drina River, to Gorazde in the
22 south, to the west right up until Olovo, excluding Olovo and Gorazde. So
23 that is the zone of responsibility of the corps that we are interested in
24 most in this particular case. Its headquarters was at Vlasenica, first of
25 all, in Han Pijesak and, later, in Vlasenica.
1 The zone of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps is in
2 this central part around Sarajevo, and to the southerly-most part
3 south-east of Bosnia we have the Hercegovina Corps which in the south
4 stretches to the border with Croatia above Dubrovnik, and it borders on
5 Montenegro between Trebinje and Niksic and towards the north to -- up
6 until Gorazde. That is to say, the border with -- bordering on the Drina
7 Corps. The headquarters of the Hercegovina Corps was in Bileca.
8 I should like, if I may, to comment -- to make some comments in
9 the expert report by Mr. Butler and to a great extent General Dannatt. We
10 see the thesis that on the basis of these zones of responsibility we are
11 able to conclude that the corps of the army of Republika Srpska mirrored
12 the zones of responsibility that the corps had from the time when it was
13 the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 I do not see that this remark has any specific weight, but let me
15 just say that the corps of the former Yugoslavia, and I myself, as I said
16 in the introduction drafted, the organisation ended in 1977, they had
17 their areas of responsibility along axes, and they surpassed the
18 administrative boundaries of the republic. For example, the Banja Luka
19 Corps, the 5th Corps at the time, had an area of responsibility running
20 right up to the Hungarian border and in the rear to Bihac. The 17th Tuzla
21 Corps had an area of responsibility which stretched right up to the Drava
22 River, and its garrisons were in Vinkovci, Dzakovo, Slavonski Brod and so
23 on and so forth, and in-depth they stretched to under Mount Romanija and
24 to the east to the Drina River.
25 The Sarajevo-Romanija Corps had a area of responsibility that
1 included Mostar. It included Mostar. The Herzegovina Corps was formed
2 only later on. So their -- these zones of responsibility of the JNA with
3 the corps of the army of Republika Srpska did not coincide. The corps
4 were far mightier, the first ones, the former, and they had far more
5 ambitious goals and strategic potential and, quite naturally, they did not
6 coincide. The zones of responsibility did not coincide. These compared
7 to the former JNA ones.
8 Q. General Radinovic, I should now like to move on to a different
9 area which is closer to the focus of our interest today, and that is the
10 area of Central Podrinje.
11 Could you tell the Chamber something about the conditions
12 preceding the operation Srebrenica 95, that is about the situation in
13 Central Podrinje in 1993, briefly, of course, including the events that
14 led in a successive manner to the operation Krivaja 95.
15 A. As regards the conditions that were prevailing before the
16 operation Srebrenica or Krivaja 95 operation, I should like to point out
17 several events that I deem to be important for the assessment and the
18 appraisal of the situation in general.
19 One first has to bear in mind the situation which prevailed in
20 1995 -- 1992, I'm sorry, up until January 1993. During that period of
21 time, there was not a single Serbian settlement in the area of Central
22 Podrinje. I tried to explain to you the strategic importance of the area
23 of Central Podrinje for the VRS, that is, for the Serbian military and
24 political strategy in general. Such a situation was untenable and it
25 implied it would inevitably lead to the loss of war.
1 I would also like to mention a number of incidents of arson,
2 killing, to the detriment of the Serbian population. The last Serbian
3 village, the village of Kravica, was occupied by Muslims on the 7th of
4 January, 1993, and ever since that time, there have been no Serb
5 settlements in the area of Central Podrinje. So it was perfectly logical
6 for the VRS to launch a military action whose objective was to regain the
7 territory inhabited by the Serbian population and to return the Serb
8 population which had been expelled from that area to Central Podrinje.
9 What followed, therefore, was the counterattack of the Drina Corps
10 in 1993 whose objective was to liberate the area of Central Podrinje, to
11 return the army of Republika Srpska into that area, and that was actually
12 the raison d'etre of the Drina Corps. That's why it was established in
13 the first place.
14 What I believe is important and relevant in my testimony and --
15 concerning this particular subject matter is the fact that it was a
16 counter-attack which was limited in scope. It was entitled an operation,
17 but it is -- it was only a partial operation, militarily speaking, whose
18 objective was to re-establish the presence of the VRS in Podrinje and
19 to -- for the population, for the local population, to return if they
20 wished so.
21 It went along three different axes. The northern axis was the one
22 going from Zvornik southward -- this direction here from Zvornik toward
23 south -- the south direction from Visegrad northwards, and from Ljubovija
24 towards west.
25 In order for you to understand the swift success of the Drina
1 Corps in this operation which was, truly speaking, unrealistic due to the
2 limited amount of resources and the possibilities, the capacities of that
3 corps, I have to tell you that the combatants of the Drina Corps were
4 recruited from the local population. They were members of the local
5 community, and they hurried back home, and they were shaken by the -- by
6 what they saw on the ground, and that was partly the reason of the success
7 of the Drina Corps.
8 In 1993, Srebrenica, practically speaking, was facing a fall, and
9 I have to say that the then-command system of the VRS believed that
10 Srebrenica should be liberated and that the area of Podrinje should be
11 entirely under the control of the VRS. However, the International
12 Community was actively involved in this matter, which is -- this is known
13 as the Srebrenica crisis in 1993. General Morillon arrived in Srebrenica
14 in 1993 in order to prevent the VRS from liberating the town of
16 The Serb Supreme Command, that is the Main Staff and the political
17 and state leadership, made an assessment of the situation and they weighed
18 pros and cons for the liberation of Srebrenica and made a conclusion that
19 they should not risk a conflict with the International Community, which
20 was obvious, and it would have been a very dangerous risk for them. So
21 they contented themselves, in strategical terms, to establish a certain
22 level of efficient control over the enclaves, and the consequence of the
23 counter-attack of the army was the establishment of the Zepa and
24 Srebrenica enclaves.
25 So they contented themselves to -- with establishing a military
1 control over Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, and they didn't proceed -- they
2 didn't continue with the liberation of the town.
3 From then on, a number of events would ensue which would affect
4 the complexion of the problems concerning the safe area and they would, in
5 the end, lead to the operation Srebrenica.
6 Q. April 1993, establishment of Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves. Could
7 you tell the Chamber, briefly, of course, something about those events?
8 Could you make an introduction for the events that happened and tell us
9 also something about the status of the protected area, including the
10 conclusion of certain agreements to that effect and the conduct and
11 behaviour of warring factions?
12 A. The Security Council of the United Nations, with its Resolution
13 819 of the 16th of April, 1993, declared the town of Srebrenica and its
14 surroundings to be a protected area of the United Nations. From that time
15 on, Srebrenica functioned as a Muslim enclave which the peace forces of
16 the United Nations, that is UNPROFOR, protected as part of the area of
17 Central Podrinje which, at that time, was fully under the political and
18 military control of the VRS.
19 The same regime was introduced in five other areas of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, that is, Sarajevo, Bihac, Gorazde, Tuzla, and Zepa, except
21 for the fact that those areas were placed under the protection of the UN
22 sometime later on by virtue of another Resolution of the Security Council.
23 Q. There is a certain difference between protected areas, that is,
24 the areas protected by virtue of Geneva Conventions and the areas
25 protected through the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations and some
1 military agreements. Could you explain to the Chamber the difference in
2 status between these two areas in legal terms?
3 A. While studying the relevant provisions of the international law
4 concerning protected areas and by comparing it with the actual status of
5 our protected zones through the agreements that were signed in 1993, I
6 concluded that there were certain differences between the status of the
7 protected areas as it is provided for in international law and the ones
8 that were functioning in place in the area we are concerned about.
9 It mainly concerns the problem of demilitarisation. As far as I
10 understand, the prerequisite for an area to be declared a protected zone
11 is the fact that there should be no military operations from and into
12 those areas. Unfortunately, that prerequisite was never achieved in the
13 case of Srebrenica.
14 What is quite telling in this matter is the course of the
15 negotiations. The then-Commander-in-Chief of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 Sefer Halilovic, wrote about it in his book. He analysed the negotiations
17 in question and the epilogue of those negotiations, including the
18 behaviour of General Morillon. He convinced - I don't know how he managed
19 to do that - them that the demilitarisation would concern only the urban
20 area, whereas the rural area of the area would not be demilitarised.
21 By accepting such an option, one actually accepted the germ which
22 would ferment all the conflicts that were to follow, and which would
23 effectively prevent the area from functioning, properly speaking, as a
24 protected area. That is one main difference.
25 Second, despite the agreement that the urban area of Srebrenica
1 should be demilitarised, that portion of the territory was not
2 demilitarised. Why? Because the mechanism of the United Nations was not
3 persistent enough, was not behaving in a consistent manner in order to
4 achieve that objective. Local forces remained in town, according to the
5 admission of General Halilovic and according to the report of the UN
6 Secretary-General, which stated that the Muslim side had failed to respect
7 the regime of the protected area, and which stated further on that the
8 area of Srebrenica was never truly demilitarised.
9 Q. What was the ratio of forces in conflict in accordance with the
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like the usher to give our
12 witness Exhibit D152, please, at this point.
13 Q. General Radinovic -- just a second, please.
14 Could you tell the Chamber what the attitude of the parties was
15 towards the agreement that was signed? What was the attitude of the BiH
16 army towards the agreements signed in respect of the protected area of
18 A. The Muslim attitude was such that they did not abide by the
19 agreement in any way. In his book, Sefer Halilovic - I'm not quoting him
20 now because it is the same text that is contained in the report of the
21 Secretary-General - he said that as soon as negotiations were over, he
22 went back to the command and he sent an order to Srebrenica and ordered
23 that not a single live round should be handed over to UNPROFOR. The
24 Secretary-General of the United Nations claims that a very small amount of
25 weapons and ammunitions was indeed handed over, and the little that was
1 handed over was not in order.
2 So at the very beginning, even at the very beginning, the Muslim
3 side failed to respect the agreement, and they would continue with the
4 violations of the agreement throughout that period of time, that is, from
5 April or May when it entered into force - that is in May 1993 - until the
6 end of June 1995. This can be illustrated with a number of examples. The
7 violations of the regime of the protected area were multifold and diverse
8 in nature. Let me just mention a few of such activities, and if you
9 should have any questions, I can speak about it in a more detailed
10 fashion, but let me mention just a few: military movements inside and
11 around the area, regroupment of forces, establishment of new units within
12 the area, the flights of helicopter flights in and out, and a whole range
13 of activities of a sabotage and reconnaissance nature which were conducted
14 in the rear of the Drina Corps forces which were holding positions around
15 the enclave.
16 As regards the VRS, I must say that they fully respected and
17 honoured the agreement. That that was the case can be seen from an order
18 which was issued by the chief of the Main Staff and distributed to all
19 main units of the VRS.
20 Q. General Radinovic, you have in front of you D152, exhibit of the
21 Defence, which is an order of the Main Staff of the army of Republika
22 Srpska. It is a confidential document, strictly classified, number
23 03/8-9, dated 18th of April, 1993. The document was signed by the Deputy
24 Commander, General-Major Milanovic.
25 I should like to hear your comment of this document, in particular
1 with respect of the agreement which was signed concerning the protected
2 area of Srebrenica and the activities that were undertaken by the VRS.
3 A. The chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, right after the signing of
4 the said agreement - the agreement on the establishment of the protected
5 area - and after the agreement on demilitarisations, issued an order in
6 which he informed them that on the 18th of April, 1993, at 4.59, all
7 commands of the Corps and other commands and commanding officers should be
8 subordinated to them -- subordinated to them, should ensure a full and
9 total cease-fire in Srebrenica and its surroundings but suspending at the
10 same time all combat actions. General Milanovic goes on and explains what
11 is understood by this cease-fire in three items, that is, the ban on the
12 fire open from all types of small arms weapons, and so on and so forth.
13 So he enjoins all units of the VRS to strictly abide by the regime
14 of the protected area, and he also gives specific instructions as to how
15 to behave in concrete situations. On page 3, item 6, he explains what is
16 understood by the demilitarisation of Srebrenica.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If we can please have the relevant
18 page on the ELMO.
19 A. Demilitarisations implies a cease-fire for both parties; the
20 handing over of all weapons; the war technique means ammunitions, mines,
21 explosive means; de-mining; the cessation of military movements; and that
22 all weapons should be handed over to UNPROFOR inside the enclave. Further
23 on, that not a single armed unit or individual should remain in Srebrenica
24 save for UNPROFOR soldiers, and that medicaments should not be subject to
25 the handover and acceptance. Further on, it is stated that UNPROFOR shall
1 be responsible for the demilitarisation as well as for the security of all
2 people who are present in the enclave.
3 In a nutshell, the VRS, by virtue of this order issued from the
4 highest level of command, enjoins its subordinate units to respect the
5 regime of the protected area.
6 Q. This document D152, does it fully correspond to the agreement
7 which was signed?
8 A. Yes. It fully corresponds with the said document, including all
9 specific provisions which I had an opportunity to study and which concern
10 the issue of demilitarisation.
11 Q. Reading through this document, in point 6 on page 3, the last
12 paragraph says that for demilitarisation, UNPROFOR is responsible. Now,
13 how did the forces of the United Nations influence the implementation of a
14 regime of safe area?
15 A. I think with a lot of controversy. They controlled the safe area
16 with a lot of controversy. And when I say that, I should like to point
17 out that the forces which were designed to control the conduct of the
18 belligerent sides and to protect the enclave and to ensure that the safe
19 area was indeed safe were insufficient.
20 In the report by the UN Secretary-General, it says -- it talks
21 about the options that were open to them in ensuring forces -- setting
22 aside forces to ensure the safe area, and they thought that 5 to 7.000
23 were necessary, men were necessary. Now, 5 to 7.000 is an enormous number
24 compared to the Canadian force that entered Srebrenica at the time after
25 the signing of the agreement. So the fact that the United Nations did not
1 ensure sufficient men with all the equipment necessary to instil respect
2 of both sides in the conflict, and that was the first step towards a
3 violation of the agreement on the safe area: They failed to do this.
4 Second, UNPROFOR did not stop the actions of the Muslims,
5 offensive military operations, which were launched throughout the time the
6 safe area was to have functioned, and they violated that agreement about
7 the safe area.
8 Furthermore, UNPROFOR did not, or at least I did not come across
9 any documents to that effect -- and that is one of the drawbacks, that is
10 to say, I was not able to see sufficient documents relating to the command
11 system in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As I say, I could not find a document
12 which makes it clear that the UNPROFOR command in fact made its
13 suggestions and objections to the Muslim side saying that -- telling them
14 not to perform military operations in the safe areas, would violate the
15 agreement that had been signed and the regime that had been agreed upon.
16 Furthermore, during the existence of the safe area in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the no-flight zone rule was in force. All flights
18 were denied, and any humanitarian flights were not able to take place
19 above Bosnia-Herzegovina, except UNPROFOR planes, and that this was the
20 regime of flight. The Muslim helicopters, however, flew despite this
21 no-fly order, and one of these helicopters was shot down by the army of
22 Republika Srpska in the Zepa area. I think that this took place in March
23 or May or April 1995, somewhere then, at that time. And this fact I use
24 to illustrate the existing state of affairs; that is to say, that UNPROFOR
25 did not do everything it could have done to ensure that this regime was
1 respected. It could have been done so because it could rely on NATO
2 resources which controlled the airspace above Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General Radinovic, what was the situation like on the battlefield
6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first half of 1995?
7 A. Well, I would characterise the situation in a few sentences by
8 saying the following, and I think that I'll be able to illustrate what was
9 going on there. It was obvious that the International Community had had
10 enough of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it had had enough of
11 bringing the two parties together, of controlling something that was
12 difficult to control, of streaming the belligerence into respect for
13 international law. Quite simply, the International Community had tired of
14 the conflict. And I must say that it did not show a satisfactory level of
15 effective control of the conflict. Why? Well, probably there were
16 different reasons and different interests on the part of the big powers
17 with respect to the conflict and this influenced that.
18 So in that half of the year which came before the events in and
19 around Srebrenica, it became quite clear that the International Community
20 was seeking a way of putting a stop to the war. And we had the plan of
21 the contact group, according to which the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 was divided in the ratio of 49 per cent to the Republika Srpska and 51 per
23 cent to the Muslim-Croat Federation, the ratio 49 to 51. And those of you
24 who recall the counter-attack of the forces of the 5th Corps from the safe
25 area of Bihac to the west of Serbian Krajina, that particular operation
1 was designed to reduce the territory under the control of the Serbian army
2 to this ratio of 49 to 51.
3 As somebody who has spent his whole life analysing strategy and
4 making prognoses, I must say that from a safe distance in Yugoslavia, it
5 was inconceivable how the VRS showed such a low level of resoluteness and
6 allowed the 5th Corps, which for two and a half to three years was in a
7 complete Serbian encirclement, had burgeoned so much and become so strong
8 as to perform such a strong operation which was the counter-attack on
9 Bihac; and I can only explain this by saying that everybody had had enough
10 of the war and that a concept of a peaceful solution or a peace agreement
11 was becoming visible.
12 The International Community made great efforts in getting the
13 belligerents to sit at a negotiating table and to try to find a solution
14 to the situation and to bring the war to the end, to bring it -- bring the
15 conflict into the stage of political negotiation. And the signed
16 agreement on a cease-fire, on a truce, in January 1995, within a period of
17 four months came, and I think that the International Community made a big
19 Why? Well, it is difficult for me to answer that question why it
20 did not ask for -- why it did not impose a permanent cease-fire because it
21 had the power to do so. The Serbian Supreme Command and the political
22 strategy sought for a permanent cessation of hostilities, and when I
23 sought an answer to the question as to why this was not done, the
24 international factor probably thought that it -- that the Serbs could
25 control the territory they were in control of, but I think that it would
1 have been more productive had the war stopped there and then political
2 negotiations continued and that the control of the territory should be
3 negotiated and for it to be settled on justified premises.
4 Now, what is essential for this particular case is how each side
5 envisaged and made use of that cease-fire, that truce.
6 The Muslims prepared a large spring offensive, and they did not
7 hide the fact. This was almost publicly stated. Forces were being
8 brought in, regrouped. The media were being prepared, the public was
9 being prepared that there would be a war for ultimate liberation and so on
10 and so forth.
11 The Serb side, for its part, tried to warn the International
12 Community that this -- what would happen and that fresh new conflicts were
13 almost afoot. And before the cease-fire expired, the Muslims undertook
14 the large-scale spring offensive which had a number of operational goals,
15 but its strategic aim was the military defeat was of the VRS, the army of
16 Republika Srpska.
17 Now, what operational objectives did the spring offensive have?
18 First of all, they wanted to reach the Sava River and cut across the
19 corridor which was the umbilical cord for the survival of Republika
20 Srpska, because to cut across the corridor at Brcko would have meant the
21 disintegration of the territory of the Republika Srpska and to cut the
22 link between the western and eastern part of that political creation. So
23 within the frameworks of that strategy of tightening the pincers in
24 Central Posavina and to defeat the VRS.
25 The second operational goal was to link up the enclaves, the
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 Gorazde, Zepa, and Srebrenica line, and to launch a counter-attack from
2 the axis of Tuzla and to cut across the area of responsibility of the
3 Drina Corps by reaching the positions on a broad front at the River
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think this is
6 perhaps a good moment to make a break.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. We're going to
8 have a break until 1.00, and when I say 1.00, I mean 1.00 by this clock in
9 the courtroom.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Professor Radinovic, we have our
13 colleague who was not with us this morning for health reasons, and I did
14 speak about that earlier on, but we can continue now.
15 So, Mr. Visnjic, please proceed.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before I continue, I
17 should just like to make a remark with regards to the transcript. On page
18 34, line 11, General Radinovic said that there was an expedition to the
19 Maldives. Of course, it was the -- he misspoke, and he meant the
20 Malvinas, the Malvinas Islands. Although I'm sure that many of us would
21 like to go to the Maldives, but this time it was the Malvinas.
22 A. I think I said Malvinas. I don't know that I misspoke, but
23 anyway, that's the correction.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Let us proceed. We reached the spring of 1995, the spring
1 offensive of the forces of the BiH army. General Radinovic, tell us,
2 please, how did -- was the spring offensive reflected on the battlefield,
3 particularly with respect to the area of responsibility of the Drina
4 Corps, May and June 1995, that is?
5 A. Within the offensive in the spring of 1995 in the zone of
6 responsibility of the Drina Corps, something happened which was worrying
7 or should have been worrying to the command system, the chain of command.
8 Can I approach -- may I approach the map and indicate this on the map?
9 Q. Just one moment, please. The usher will provide you with all the
10 technical equipment you need.
11 A. In the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, some very
12 dangerous things took place. First of all, the Vis facility was
13 attacked. It is this prominent part here, and it is the most important
14 region in the Zvornik-Tuzla axis; and this part here, the village of
15 Osmace. So those two features were taken control of, and this jeopardised
16 the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, and there was the danger of
17 this zone being cut off.
18 Secondly, we must bear in mind the following fact: There was a
19 series of sabotaged diversionary attacks into the rear of the units of the
20 army of Republika Srpska, and the largest attack was in the rear of the
21 1st Podrinje Brigade at Visegrad, and the 5th Podrinje Brigade at
23 On the basis of the documents of the Muslim army in the operative
24 reports after this operation, they said that they had killed 40 Chetniks
25 and boasted of the fact. And that is that exotic Balkan language; we like
1 to refer to each other by saying Chetniks, Ustashas, balijas, Turks. So
2 when they say "Chetniks," it actually meant the soldiers of the Republika
3 Srpska, the Serbs.
4 Similar incursions occurred here on the Zeleni Jadar axis on the
5 29th of June. On the 30th of June, once again there was a sabotage
6 incursion into the rear of the VRS. On this occasion, 13 soldiers of the
7 VRS were killed. A similar onslaught on Han Pijesak, 14 soldiers were
8 killed there belonging to the VRS. And all this took place within the
9 space of one month.
10 Let me also point out another piece of information which is very
11 indicative of the relationship of the International Community to the war
12 in Bosnia. One of the strategic goals of the BiH army was to deblock
13 Sarajevo in this spring offensive.
14 Of course, as a military expert, I have nothing against the fact
15 that an operation of this kind is launched, because if it is a war, then
16 all operations are legitimate if you want to improve your strategic
17 position, within the frameworks of the accepted rules of warfare, of
19 But if we bear in mind the fact that in Sarajevo at that time
20 there were about 70.000 armed soldiers and Sarajevo was a protected area,
21 safe area, the question arises as to how far the international factor,
22 which was an arbiter, incontestable arbiter in Bosnia, how far it adhered
23 to all the conventions that were in force and held true for demilitarised
24 zones. And if we forget for a moment that particular fact, then these
25 70.000 soldiers from Sarajevo and numerous units taken from other parts of
1 the front and brought to the broader environment of Sarajevo in order to
2 deblock Sarajevo, when that operation proved unsuccessful, because quite
3 obviously the Muslim army did not have enough strategic forces to act
4 within such a large front and achieve such radical objectives, the
5 deblockade of Sarajevo was not successfully completed and the entire
6 operation was unsuccessful, with enormous losses being sustained by the
7 Muslim side which meant that they had used their manpower and material
8 resources to no avail, to no effect, and NATO insisted that the combat
9 positions of the army of Republika Srpska withdraw from Sarajevo to a
10 depth of 20 kilometres, and this was a pretext to bomb the Serb positions
11 in the second half of May.
12 Of course, I am not an arbiter here, that is to say, whether the
13 operation of the VRS within the broader region of Sarajevo, whether that
14 was legitimate or not, that is a subject for another trial, for another
15 testimony, but if we have the situation as it was at the time, then this
16 indicates intent which will come to the fore in the second half of 1995,
17 that is to say, when NATO stood on the side of the Muslim-Croat Federation
18 against the VRS. And that bombing of positions and the Muslim offensive
19 before the truce expired in April 1995 showed intent. It showed the
20 intentions of the Muslim army. And Serb strategy could not turn a blind
21 eye or a deaf ear to operations of this kind, to operations which
22 indicated that the Muslims were, in fact, preparing to end the war by a
23 radical -- by achieving their radical military goal, which was the
24 ultimate defeat of the VRS. And the Drina Corps, for that reason, had to
25 launch the operation which was to control the enclave and to restrict the
1 military activities of the Muslims in the enclaves themselves.
2 Q. You have just said, in response to my question, something about
3 how the operations were conducted.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like now to ask the usher
5 to show the witness Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit D88 and to prepare
6 Exhibit D153, which will be next.
7 Q. General Radinovic, it is a document of the Drina Corps dated the
8 19th of June, 1995, immediately prior to operation Krivaja 95, that is to
9 say, two weeks before that was launched.
10 May we have your comments on this document; that is to say, what
11 form of military activities -- to what form of military activities does
12 this document refer?
13 A. Yes. I have had occasion to see this document while I was
14 preparing my expert report, and without a doubt, from the context of this
15 document and from the explicitness of what is stated in the document, we
16 are able to conclude about the type of activity that was in question and
17 the warnings made.
18 This was issued by the Commander of the Drina Corps,
19 General Zivanovic, on the 19th of June, 1995. And the reason for this
20 document to have been drafted was -- the immediate cause was the
21 activities of the JNA [as interpreted], the sabotage and terrorist -- to
22 counteract the sabotage and terrorist activities of the Muslim forces in
23 the 5th Podrinje and Rogatica Brigade when 40 people were killed.
24 General Zivanovic, the Commander of the Drina Corps, in this
25 document cautions all the subordinate commanders that the zone of
1 responsibility must be controlled with greater seriousness than was done
2 by the army of Republika Srpska when those offensive operations were
4 Q. Just a moment, please, General. It was the activities of the army
5 of Republika Srpska and not the JNA, as it says on line 12 of the
6 transcript; is that correct?
7 A. Did I say "JNA"? Well, I see that the transcript has it written
8 down like that. No. Of course it was the army of Republika Srpska, not
9 the JNA. The JNA didn't exist anymore. That's a story in itself, long
10 past, long gone.
11 Q. I apologise. I see that these activities refer to the -- the
12 activities of the BH army, sabotage and terrorist units of the BH army.
13 A. Yes. And that was why the Corps Commander issued this document
14 warning his subordinates, and I quote point 1 of the order: "All commands
15 of the brigades. The 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment and the Infantry
16 Battalion operating alone called Skelani shall draw up a plan of visits to
17 the units and by the 24th of June, 1995, shall pay visits to all units
18 within their respective zones of responsibility, and for tactical caution
19 in order to determine the degree to which the positions had been
20 efficiently protected from the actions of the artillery and the
21 functioning of the trenches, bunkers," and so on.
22 So this, quite obviously, is a document which has as its intention
23 to warn the troops to fortify their defensive positions. And my answer to
24 your question is that this document refers to defence actions. Not
25 offensive but defensive. Not operations of attack but operations of
2 Q. In point 3 of this document it states who the person responsible
3 is for the execution of this order, and it says that a written report
4 should be sent by the 29th of June, 1995.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In this regard, I should like to ask
6 the usher to place on the ELMO Exhibit D153.
7 I must make a correction here, on page 59, line 20, written answer
8 should be sent in by the 26th of June, 1995. That is the date in the
9 document. No, the 25th of June. I beg your pardon.
10 Q. Let us go back to Defence Exhibit D153. It is a document, an
11 order for defence from the command of the 1st Milici Light Infantry
12 Brigade, number 1/01-675-1. It is dated the 24th of June, 1995. It is
13 signed by Captain Milomir Nastic, standing in for the commander at the
15 General Radinovic, does this document correspond to the previous
16 document, Exhibit D88, which you have just seen on the ELMO before you?
17 A. Yes, I have had -- I had this document, too, while preparing my
18 expert opinion, and it coincides completely with the order of General
19 Zivanovic, commander of the Drina Corps, both with respect to the type of
20 activities, and the intention of this document is defence once again. The
21 Corps Commander makes it binding upon them to implement the order, having
22 received the order, and to send out a written report by the 25th of June.
23 This document, it says "Order For Defence" in the dispositives of
24 the title, so it was truly a defensive operation. Let me also add the
25 explicitness of what this document states: Its structure, its contents,
1 and its intent is fully defensive in character, and you can see that in
2 point 1 where it talks about the intentions of the enemy. The brigade
3 commander speaks about that, what the task of his brigade is. And he --
4 in all portions of this document from points 4 onwards, he presents his
5 concept and the tasks of the units and logistics and so forth until the
7 So it is a document which is geared towards preparations and
8 organisation for defence, and not anything else.
9 Q. Thank you. General Radinovic, this brings us to the beginning of
10 the operation Krivaja 95. What does the syntagma "Krivaja 95" actually
12 A. In military terminology, individual types of activity are given
13 secret names, so this syntagma denotes the name of the operation to be
14 executed. Krivaja 95 was the name given to the Srebrenica operation.
15 Q. Which operative composition establishment and formation executed
16 this operation?
17 A. For this operation it was the Drina Corps which was responsible,
18 and the operation was put into practice by parts of that corps.
19 Q. We have so far spoken about the army of Republika Srpska, its
20 composition, its structure, without particular reference to the Drina
21 Corps itself. Could you tell the Trial Chamber in the briefest possible
22 terms when and where the Drina Corps was established, what were the
23 reasons for its establishment; a short introduction, actually, into the
24 history of the Drina Corps, how it came into being and up to the beginning
25 of the operation. And please focus on elements which are connected and of
1 importance to the Krivaja 95 operation itself.
2 A. Yes, I'll try to do that as briefly as possible.
3 The Drina Corps was established - and that fact is contained in
4 the expert findings of the Prosecution witnesses as well, I'm just
5 repeating them - on the 1st of November, 1992. And it was the last of a
6 series of corps of the VRS that were established with its headquarters in
7 Han Pijesak, and later on it was transferred very quickly to Vlasenica.
8 So the headquarters of the Corps Command was in Vlasenica.
9 Why was the corps established then and not earlier on? Perhaps
10 that would be interesting to know. The Drina Corps could not have been
11 established earlier on for the simple reason that in Central Podrinje
12 there was absolutely no infrastructure as a basis and foundation for a
13 corps of this kind, a rather ambitious operative formation to be formed.
14 And everything linked to military infrastructure was linked to Tuzla as
15 the regional centre and Sarajevo as the major, the principal centre in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was nothing in Podrinje by way of
17 infrastructure. There was no logistic base to establish that corps.
18 And second, which is more decisive, that was that the strategic
19 and operative requirements of the army of Republika Srpska were in other
20 parts of the front; that is to say, the strategic priorities were
21 elsewhere, on other axes, and I have in mind here principally the Western
22 Bosnia Krajina, the 2nd Krajina Corps, and I'm thinking of Posavina in
23 Central Bosnia when I say that, and that was the strategical priority of
24 the first order. I'm also thinking of the central part of the
25 battleground of the front, the Sarajevo-Romanija area, and, of course,
1 Herzegovina which, in a way, territorially was a part of the
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the defence of which required the establishment of a
3 separate corps.
4 So that the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps quite simply
5 found itself divided between the zones of responsibility of three
6 already-established corps of the VRS, that is, the Herzegovina Corps which
7 encompassed the most southerly reaches of the zone of responsibility of
8 the Drina Corps, and its most northerly part which also encompassed
9 Visegrad which came under the zone of responsibility later on at the Drina
11 When I say this, I also mean the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and its
12 zone of responsibility also encompassed partially areas which were later
13 on to become within the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps. And
14 the eastern corps, the Zvornik area, that too was the zone of
15 responsibility of the Eastern Bosnia Corps. The Zvornik Brigade, for
16 example, as one of the strongest units in the newly-established Drina
17 Corps, was within the composition of the East Bosnian Corps and so on and
18 so forth.
19 So there were priorities. And Central Podrinje, although
20 extremely important, strategically speaking, for the political fate of
21 Republika Srpska and for the military strategy of Republika Srpska, in the
22 military sense remained void and the consequences made themselves felt
23 soon afterwards. The Serbian population was expelled from Podrinje, the
24 Muslim army took control of Central Podrinje fully, and the situation had
25 to be dealt with, and that is how the decision was made on the 1st of
1 November, 1992 to establish the Drina Corps with a zone of responsibility
2 predominantly in Central Podrinje. Of course, parts of it stretched
3 towards Donje Podrinje and Gornje Podrinje, Upper and Lower Podrinje, but
4 the centre remained with Zvornik, Bratunac, Vlasenica, Han Pijesak as the
5 main spots, and Visegrad as well. Those were the centres. And it was a
6 corps with the task of having the military presence of the VRS in Central
7 Podrinje and to ensure the control of that very important strategic point,
8 strategic territory or strategic entity, for the overall military strategy
9 and doctrine of the army of Republika Srpska of the day.
10 Q. General Radinovic, in the month of June 1995, the area of
11 responsibility of the Drina Corps that you have already spoken about while
12 describing other areas of responsibility of VRS corps, but I should like
13 to know whether the area of responsibility was a large one, a small one.
14 I should like you to tell us something about its dimensions and its
15 territorial significance.
16 A. You must bear in mind the fact that the VRS corps were rather
17 small corps. And I fully agree with the expert report of General Dannatt
18 when he says that its -- their strengths were identical as the strengths
19 of a division. However, in terms of structure, they were corps, corps
20 formations. But they had very limited combat capacity, and in view of
21 that fact, they were assigned particular areas of responsibility.
22 If they should be compared with the standards of European armies
23 and with the doctrine of the JNA as the army of the former Yugoslavia,
24 such areas of responsibility could be considered as rather small.
25 However, the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps was, in view of
1 that, relatively large.
2 I could perhaps call it a medium range of responsibility, 5.000
3 square metres [as interpreted], perhaps. The largest axis was 100 to 110
4 [Realtime transcript read in error "210"] kilometres, east-to-west axis
5 was about 100, 110 kilometres as well going towards Sarajevo, from
6 Visegrad to Sarajevo, and its narrowest part in the area of Zvornik was
7 approximately 50 kilometres large.
8 So in total, the area had about 5.000 square kilometres. I must
9 say that it was very difficult to cover such an area of responsibility
10 with the forces they had at their disposal because, as I have already
11 indicated, the doctrine was that of a territorial engagement of forces in
12 local areas, and they had a very serious problem which kept appearing all
13 the time; they didn't have enough forces to cover such a wide area of
15 Q. For the record, let me ask you once again, how long was the
16 longest axis south -- north-south?
17 A. A little over 100 kilometres.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I believe that it was a mistake in
19 the record when it says that it was 100 and 210 kilometres long.
20 I should like the usher to give us D149 and show it to the
22 Q. General Radinovic, you are about to see an organigramme of the
23 structure of the Drina Corps such as it was in June 1995. This Trial
24 Chamber has received a number of testimonies concerning the structure of
25 the units of the Drina Corps, and I will try to summarise my question.
1 The organisational structure of the Drina Corps, its main units
2 and areas of responsibility of those main units, if you can tell us
3 something about that as an introduction for my main question which is
4 actually the situation that preceded the beginning of the action
5 Srebrenica 95.
6 A. The Drina Corps was a corps of a brigade composition. JNA corps
7 also had a similar structure which was based on brigades. This structure
8 was the result of the project that I spoke about at the beginning of my
9 testimony, the project I was involved with.
10 The brigades which were part of the Drina Corps were the Zvornik
11 Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, Vlasenica Brigade, the 2nd Romanija
12 Brigade, the 1st Birac Brigade, the Milici Brigade, the 1st Podrinje
13 Brigade, and the 5th Podrinje Brigade. They constitute tactical
14 formations which have combat characteristics. One should include the
15 Independent Battalion on Skelani here as well.
16 These units have their support units, the 5th Mixed Artillery
17 Regiment, the 5th Engineers Battalion, 5th Communications Battalion, and
18 the 5th Military Police Battalion.
19 I should like to draw your attention to one particular point.
20 When we say "brigade," it sounds rather impressive, and according to
21 European standards, brigades, depending on their type, usually have been
22 2.500 and 5.000 troops, with about 100 mechanised vehicles and
23 100 artillery pieces, anti-aircraft defence, anti-air armour, weapons, and
24 so on.
25 All of these brigades, aside from the Zvornik Brigade and the
1 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, are all light infantry brigades, and that
2 was the difference between the VRS and the JNA. It had almost -- it had
3 as many as four types of light infantry brigade. All of them had their
4 battalions. However, the brigades of the Drina Corps did not have all
5 battalions. Some had companies.
6 So these brigades had between 1.000 and 2.500 troops when they
7 functioned at their full capacity but I very much doubt that was the case
8 with all of them.
9 If you have a look at the 5th Engineers Battalion, since I was
10 with the Engineers, one -- I have to say that this was not really a
11 battalion. It was never as strong as a battalion. The same happened with
12 the units which were part of the brigade and which constituted their
13 combat part. So here, although we are talking about brigades, regiments,
14 battalions, the reality was different.
15 When one is drawing a structure of such units, one should bear in
16 mind the possibility of bringing in new units but without the need of
17 completely reorganising the existing units.
18 The Drina Corps has never reached this level of organisation as it
19 would seem from this organigramme, but it did have, nominally speaking,
20 all necessary elements of a corps but not of the same strength as the
21 armies that are established according to European standards.
22 The area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade was around the
23 town of Zvornik where the brigade had its headquarters. You can see the
24 major part of the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade. The area
25 of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade was in the area of Bratunac and
1 it had its headquarters in the town of Bratunac.
2 As regards the Milici Brigade, it had its seat in Milici and the
3 Birac Brigade had its headquarters in Sekovici; the Vlasenica Brigade was
4 headquartered in Vlasenica, and the 1st Podrinje Brigade had its
5 headquarters in Visegrad, whereas the 5th Podrinje Brigade in Rogatica,
6 the Independent Skelani Battalion in Skelani, and the 2nd Romanija
7 Motorised Brigade had its headquarters in Sokolac.
8 I believe I have mentioned all of them. If I haven't, I don't
9 think it is very important, but I believe I have covered all of them.
10 Q. You have mentioned a headquarters of these brigades. Could you
11 tell us the brigades which were in the immediate vicinity of the protected
12 area of Srebrenica?
13 A. The Milici Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, and the Independent
14 Skelani Battalion. Those were the formations that were there. And if I
15 may comment, I should like to tell you why.
16 Those formations were able to control successfully all military
17 movements in and out of the area and had the mechanism which was support
18 to ensure the regime of the protected area ever properly functioned, but
19 that was not the case because, as we have heard, neither UNPROFOR nor
20 Muslim forces ever respected that regime and it turned out that those
21 forces were insufficient for that particular task.
22 Q. What Muslim forces were on the other side of the protected area
23 boundary? What did your analysis show?
24 A. The Muslim forces had about five brigades. Whenever I say a
25 "brigade," I have in mind what I said in respect of Serb brigades, that
1 is, with all the limitations and restrictions that I have already spoken
3 Those brigades were deployed in the area. You can see the blue
4 colour here which indicates the protected area. They were deployed -- one
5 brigade was deployed along the axis Potocari-Skelani, and from the area of
6 Buljim towards Potocari there was one of such brigades, and there was
7 another located or, rather, deployed in the area of Buljim west-east
8 direction, and there was another one deployed in the area Zeleni Jadar
9 along the axis at Zeleni Jadar and Srebrenica, and there was another one
10 deployed inside the town of Srebrenica.
11 They had a certain number of police troops which acted as reserve
12 forces, and they were deployed in Potocari and Srebrenica. The forces in
13 question belonged to the 28th Division, infantry division, which was under
14 the command of Naser Oric who was a former policeman of the Serbian
15 special police.
16 The troops did not have enough military training and education,
17 and I should say they also lacked adequate ethics which every officer
18 should have; that is, that Naser Oric didn't have enough adequate military
19 training and knowledge.
20 The 28th Division was part of the 2nd Corps of the BiH army which
21 was headquartered in Tuzla.
22 Q. The 28th Infantry Division was established after Srebrenica had
23 been proclaimed a safe area.
24 A. Yes. It was established after the declaration of the protected
25 area, and it is also an interesting piece of information because that act
1 was something that was inadmissible in accordance with the relevant
2 conventions which provided for a ban on all military movement and
3 regrouping within the protected area. Formerly, those forces belonged to
4 the Tuzla sector, to the patriotic league of Tuzla which was established
5 in autumn of 1991, and we are talking about apolitical paramilitary troops
6 here, which was in mid-1992 renamed the "Staff of the Armed Forces of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina in Srebrenica." From that period of time until the
8 very end, those forces were under the command of Naser Oric.
9 After several reorganisations, there ended up four of them, and
10 they were established in the period between 1992 and 1994, and they were
11 all part of the 8th Operational Group which was headquartered in
12 Srebrenica and which was also under the command of Naser Oric.
13 That operative group, the 8th Operative Group, sometime prior to
14 the events that took place -- that preceded this operation, was renamed
15 28th Infantry Division.
16 So one can tell from the title of this formation that the BiH army
17 had significant military aspirations in the area because an operational
18 group is not the same thing as a division. A division is something which
19 inspires respect with those who they are bound to protect; and fear, they
20 instil fear with their enemy because they do not point towards defensive
22 So it was rather symbolical of the imminent offensive of the
23 Muslim side in the area of Central Podrinje.
24 Q. From the military and strategical view, can one justify the
25 operation Krivaja 95, bearing in mind your previous answer concerning the
1 development of the Muslim armed forces?
2 A. I think that it can be justified, and that was the idea which
3 permeated my expert analysis. Given the situation at the time, that is,
4 this Muslim spring offensive which was launched at the time, the so-called
5 Operation Grasshopper was carried out. It was launched from Kakanj, from
6 the command post of the BiH army there. I believe that the operation was
7 conducted by the chief of the Main Staff of the supreme command, which
8 indicates that the operation was a rather ambitious and a serious one.
9 As part of that -- the operation was part of an overall offensive
10 and it was called Skakavac or the Grasshopper. The name of the operation
11 itself implies and tells us something about the tactics of the operation
12 which consisted of incursions into the depth and the rear of the Serb
13 territory. Huge losses were suffered by the VRS in the period of one
14 month while this operation lasted.
15 If we bear in mind the fact that one of the very important
16 military objectives of the Muslim army was to link up the forces within
17 the enclaves, in order to have an adequate front from which to launch an
18 offensive into the depth of the territory of the Drina Corps and to link
19 up with the forces coming from the direction of Tuzla, that is, the forces
20 belonging to the 2nd Corps of the BiH army, it was obvious that the Drina
21 Corps faced the danger of having its area of responsibility cut in two.
22 The war would be over for them, and that part of Republika Srpska would be
23 cut off from the remaining territory of Republika Srpska, and I think that
24 in that way, the Serb side in Bosnia and Herzegovina would lose the war in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 For me as an expert, I do not discuss the -- as a military expert,
2 I do not discuss the issue of legality of such an operation. When I say
3 that the operation was legitimate, I have in mind military objectives
4 which needed to be accomplished in order to avoid the danger with which
5 the VRS was faced in the area of Central Podrinje. So bearing in mind
6 those objectives and goals, that operation for me as a military expert was
7 a legitimate one. However, when we talk about methods, specific methods
8 and the operational conduct of the operation, that is perhaps another
9 matter. However, the operation itself was an entirely legitimate
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, would this be a
12 convenient time for a break? We will have a 20-minute break at this
13 point, and come back at 10 minutes past 2.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 1.50 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 2.11 p.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic, you have until
17 3.00. Please proceed.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. General Radinovic, Krivaja 95 is often mentioned in terms of an
20 operation. What is an operation according to military doctrine, and who,
21 according to that doctrine, implements an operation?
22 A. As it seems that I am the only one in this room which deals with
23 that type of theory, please, I apologise if I'm going to take up some of
24 your time to inform you about a matter which I consider to be relevant.
25 An operation is a part of the war, the armed section of the war.
1 If we look at the war as a whole - economic, financial, political,
2 logistic, and all the other factors, propaganda, psychological warfare,
3 and all the other activities that make up a war - we have a portion of
4 that war which is the combat activities. Today, wars have changed a great
5 deal. Now that armed portion, the armed portion is divided once again and
6 shaped into subsections.
7 Now, let me point out the differences between western doctrine,
8 that is the doctrine practiced by the western countries, NATO in the first
9 place, and what we in our country consider to be military doctrine. The
10 Yugoslav army, the JNA, and this was inherited by the army of Republika
11 Srpska, so this armed part of the war was grouped into three parts, three
12 subsections. The lowest section is the battle itself which is conducted
13 by tactical units, that is to say, battalions, regiments, and brigades,
14 and the division as the highest form of conjoined forces. Then we have
15 the corps and the operational groups as temporary formations, and they
16 launch operations, implement operations. And then we have the highest
17 groupings of the army, that is to say, the armies and groups of armies,
18 and they carry out what we call strategic operations.
19 And then military doctrine and military science is once again
20 subdivided into three parts. Strategy studies the armed effects as a
21 whole and strategic operations as a whole. Operatics as a discipline of
22 military science studies the particular operations implemented by corps or
23 operative groups, whereas tactics studies actual fighting, battles that
24 companies, brigades, divisions, and platoons take part in.
25 In western doctrine, this is a little different. Western military
1 science is divided up into two disciplines, two areas: strategy and
2 tactics. Those are the two main divisions. Tactics studies battles and
3 the actual fighting which exists in western theory, doctrine as well, and
4 you have battles. Not combat, but battles. And there is this fine
5 differentiation between the concept of an operation in western terminology
6 and in our terminology. And western, I don't mean that in any derogatory
7 sense, I'm just dividing this up into regions. So military science
8 divided into strategy and tactics from Clausewitz, exists from Clausewitz
9 and his famous work about war written in 1830.
10 So in western terminology, an operation does not mean an actual
11 battle but an operation implies everything that falls within the
12 preparation, grouping and everything else, all the preliminary activities
13 to have the army in the position it needs to be once it engages in
15 So in western terminology, operatics as a branch of military
16 science does not exist. That is to say, the branch of science studying
17 operations. For the western -- in western terminology, it is tactics and
18 large strategic planning, whereas we have this division into three. And
19 we inherited this from Soviet military theory and Soviet military
20 doctrine. Whether that is a good thing or not, that is beside the point,
21 but that is how things stand.
22 I note in the testimonies of Mr. Dannatt and Mr. Butler, and that
23 is quite natural within the strategic context, they define operations on
24 the basis their own vision and concept and the way in which they study
25 this matter as they studied it and practised it in their military
1 careers. I do the same, but I should just like to draw the attention of
2 the Trial Chamber to this different concept of operation as defined by our
3 doctrine and operation as defined in the western doctrine. That is as far
4 as concept is concerned, the concept of the term "operation."
5 If we move on from there and look at the Krivaja 95 operation and
6 what it means in that terminology. So in our term, it means a
7 confrontation. It is a combat action with the participation of units at
8 an operational level, of an operative operational rank. They are corps
9 and operative groups, and it is performed in an area which in the
10 operative and geographic sense represents a whole. It is in that theatre
11 that this takes part, which means that it has its depth, its breadth, and
12 that it is an area, a territory in which there are operational and
13 tactical axes, axes which can and have the capacity to take in a certain
14 amount of troops, military forces of a certain level and quality because
15 an operation implies the participation of armoured mechanised equipment
16 which again implies the need for the existence of an axes and territory
17 able to take in and deploy all this equipment and manpower and to ensure
18 the movement and effectiveness of those forces. And Tuzla-Zvornik is one
19 such axis in the zone of the responsibility of the Drina Corps. There is
20 no other axis which would ensure that quality and those conditions for,
21 shall we call them, elite military troops.
22 Within the frameworks of the operational zones in which operations
23 take place, there are a series of tactical axes, positions, regions, which
24 the tactical -- in which the tactical groups take up their positions, and
25 in the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, there were a number of
1 tactical axes.
2 So that, in general, is the diagram of an operation.
3 Now, when it comes to the structure of an operation, we
4 differentiate between the different stages of an operation, stages which
5 have their -- which are defined in terms of time and in terms of
7 So a stage lasts from between three and five days, and we always
8 determine the objective to be reached in the first stage and which
9 objectives are to be achieved in the second stage. The function of
10 command is organised by the commander at an operative level. It is the
11 corps. Operations can be undertaken within the frameworks of a broad
12 area, a strategic operation, for example, and they can be independent,
13 autonomous operations on the battleground as well.
14 May I draw a parallel now between the operation that was performed
15 under the code name Krivaja 95 and as it was conceived in theory and
16 doctrine, what applies to operations in theory.
17 In this particular operation, there were no stages. There was
18 just one and the same stage, one single stage. The operation, according
19 to doctrine, is a combat action which implies certain depth, that a goal
20 is obtained in depth, and that depth is 50 to 100 kilometres. So if it is
21 an attack operation, you must have a certain range and reach the
22 operational objective at a depth of approximately 100 kilometres.
23 This operation does not have that thrust. It -- the depth is not
24 even 10 kilometres.
25 Furthermore, an operation implies the involvement of operational
1 forces at the rank of corps. In this particular operation, as far as I
2 was able to gather from my studies, there was no question of having so
3 many men, so many troops. It was -- it implied the involvement of forces
4 which were below the level of a brigade.
5 Having said that, I should like you to bear in mind the testimony
6 of Mr. Butler, who at the beginning of his testimony said that Krivaja 95
7 was a large-scale operation. Krivaja 95 was not a large-scale operation.
8 I personally feel that it wasn't an operation at all, that it couldn't be
9 termed an operation at all. It was not an operation. It was just a
10 battle, a battle with not much thrust and with limited objectives.
11 Identifying the type of combat activities, perhaps it is
12 significant to note what these activities were called by the Drina Corps
13 in the basic document for this operation. We'll probably have a chance of
14 seeing that document, and that basic document is called the Order of the
15 Corps Commander. That was its title. And had it been an operation and
16 had the Corps Commander considered that action as an operation, he would
17 have written an order for such and such an operation.
18 The commander of the Drina Corps called this undertaking active
19 operation -- active effects, not an operation. It was the order for
20 active engagement. And I consider that he was right in not using the word
21 "operation" because it was not an operation, in fact. And as somebody
22 who has studied that matter, I would have to ask why the name "operation"
23 was ascribed to it, and my frank answer is that I don't know. I don't
24 know why they chose the term "operation." Perhaps to give it more
25 impetus; to raise its level of importance, perhaps, and so everybody
1 listening about it and all those taking part in it, and particularly those
2 who were in charge of it, would be given the impression that it was on a
3 larger scale.
4 But there is no explanation for this in military doctrine which
5 would give it the category of an operation. It would not -- it does not
6 merit the category of operation in military terms.
7 Q. What was the basis upon which Krivaja 95 was planned? Or let me
8 rephrase that. Tell us, please, what a plan would contain for what we're
9 going to refer to as Krivaja 95, whether we refer to it as active, combat
10 activity, or an operation? What element would a plan have to contain, a
11 plan of that kind have to contain?
12 A. Well, you're probably thinking about a highly elaborate operation
13 in the sense that I have spoken about a moment ago. A plan for such an
14 operation would include, and first and foremost, a directive from the
15 supreme command or the superior command for its implementation, a
16 directive or some form of combat document which would give the Corps
17 Commander a mandate to plan an operation of that kind and to put it into
18 effect. So a piece of paper would be necessary; that is something it must
20 Another thing that a plan must have would be the order from the
21 Corps Commander. So not a directive, as I have come across. This is
22 something -- a term I came across by the experts of the Prosecution, that
23 is to say that, for the corps, it was mentioned that corps can issue
24 directives as well. Corps do not issue directives; they issue orders. So
25 an order from the Corps Commander is a basic document for that operation
1 to be able to take place.
2 From that, that order will -- after that order, we have a series
3 of other documents which complete the set of documents necessary for an
4 operation of that type to take place. And it is a schematic, including a
5 map of the entire operation on which we have indicated the units and
6 combat formations to take part in the operation, and this is done for two
7 lower levels. If the Corps is engaged in the operation and the map
8 belongs to the Corps Commander and is devised by the Corps Commander, then
9 this working map will have the position of the battalions visible;
10 brigades in the first instance and battalions in the second instance, so
11 for two lower levels, for two levels lower down, and that is the doctrine.
12 In addition to that, there is a plan of engagement for the
13 artillery, for the anti-aircraft defence, for the anti-armoured combat,
14 for the engineers, for the rear and logistics and communication and
15 intelligence and security, a plan for all that and orders for all this
16 type of support.
17 And if you look at the documents for a well-planned, timely,
18 comprehensive operation, you would have a set of documents this high
19 [indicates], and I don't think you could contain it within the folders
20 that we have in front of us there, folders and binders. So that is as far
21 as the plan for an operation is concerned.
22 Q. What was the basis for the planning of Krivaja 95? How was
23 Krivaja 95 planned?
24 A. It is difficult to give -- for me to give you a decisive answer to
25 that question. In the preamble of the documents for active military
1 engagement, the Corps Commander refers back to directive 7 and 7/1. The
2 first directive comes from the supreme command of the army of Republika
3 Srpska, that is to say, the president of the Republika Srpska at that
4 time, and directive 7/1 is the directive of the Main Staff of the army of
5 Republika Srpska.
6 I, in studying both those directives, was not able to establish an
7 obvious, transparent, effective link between what they contain and what
8 they imply, what those directives contain and what they imply, and the
9 operation which was planned and performed as Krivaja 95 -- executed as
10 Krivaja 95. So that I'm not quite certain what that would be, that is to
11 say, I didn't find any other document which would authorise the Corps
12 Commander to undertake the planning and execution of that particular
13 operation. I don't know whether a document of that kind exists at all.
14 Operations of that kind are never executed on the basis of an oral
15 order. Of course, the Supreme Commander can issue an oral order, but
16 following that oral order have to be an elaboration of documents
17 authorising the Corps Commander to be able to execute the operation.
18 Now, I have not come across a document of that kind. The two
19 documents that I refer to that the Corps Commander refers to in the
20 preamble of the order for active involvement are not a sufficient fulcrum
21 and point of support for this operation to have been executed.
22 Q. General Radinovic, we will speak about these two documents in
23 greater detail later on. This Chamber has heard evidence to the effect
24 that these two directives did exist and that they had some kind of
25 significance for the commander. So I should like you to tell us something
1 about the directive itself, give us a definition of the directive.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If I can ask the usher to give the
3 witness document D150.
4 I don't think my colleagues from the Prosecution have this. They
6 A. May I begin?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So, General Radinovic, my question to you was the very notion of a
9 directive for the purposes of command and if you can tell us something
10 about that.
11 A. Here on the ELMO I have a number of military documents. This is
12 an excerpt from a military manual that is used at the academy for the
13 purposes of educating our officers.
14 Military documents can be divided into two groups, one being the
15 so-called combat documents and the other documents of official
17 The directive can be found here in this group. It is a combat
18 document. It falls into that group. However, in terms of hierarchy of
19 military documents, it is on the third level, in the third order. It is
20 not at the first place because we will see later on who issues a
22 In terms of the binding character, it is situated here at
23 number 3 in terms of orders that it can issue to subordinate units and
24 also in terms of the relationship with the subordinates it is addressed to
25 in connection with what is actually being requested with the directive.
1 A directive as such is a command document. It is an act of
2 command and it falls into the group combat documents. It is issued by the
3 Supreme Command.
4 What we have here is this inhibiting factor that I spoke about at
5 the beginning of my testimony when I talked about the structure of the VRS
6 and when I said that the Main Staff of the VRS was actually a parallel
7 Supreme Command so to speak. The Main Staff of the VRS issues directives
8 but directives are also issued by the Supreme Command, that is, the
9 Supreme Commander of the VRS, the civilian authority, or the president of
10 the republic.
11 It is not customary in any army, including the JNA, for the
12 General Staff to issue directives. Directives were issued by the Supreme
13 Command and the Main Staff then analyses the directive issued by the
14 Supreme Command and further transmits them to the command which are tasked
15 with its execution.
16 In this particular case - that is, in the case of the VRS -
17 directives are issued by the Supreme Commander or, rather, the Supreme
18 Command and the Main Staff of the VRS.
19 Now, what can be found in such directives? As I have already
20 indicated, directives are acts of command which outline objectives and
21 tasks which in the long run will have to be executed and implemented. But
22 it is more of a list, an index of desirable objectives. It is not a
23 binding document for subordinate units and commanders.
24 Why is that the case? Directives are long-term documents. The
25 directives that we have here were issued in the month of March, that is,
1 sometime before the beginning of the operations that were planned. So the
2 objectives are set out for long-term purposes and are outlined as
3 principles, as goals, and something that might be, could be achieved in
4 view of the situation, but the directives themselves do not have a very
5 firm binding force as orders, for example.
6 Each directive of this type is followed by an order which
7 authorises the commander in question to launch an operation.
8 Q. In this context, what would be the duties of the command in view
9 of the conclusions set out in the directive?
10 A. The relevant commands, in a binding sense, are not obliged to
11 report on the execution of the tasks contained in the directive. So
12 regardless of the fact that directives concern the implementation of
13 certain objectives, subordinate commands are not duty-bound to report
14 thereon; that is, they're not bound to submit reports which would notify
15 the command, the Superior Command, of the execution of the tasks because
16 there should be an operative document in between whereby the commander in
17 question would be authorised to launch an operation. It is on the basis
18 of such a document that the relevant commander will then send the report.
19 You can see for yourselves there is not a single response, a
20 single report on the basis of directives number 7 and 7/1 which would
21 notify the command on the completion of the tasks set therein.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please give us the
23 exhibit of the Prosecution 425 and have 426 prepared as well.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Just excuse me for a question. Yes, General, I'm
25 trying to follow you. The directive is just, let's say an announcement of
1 policy? What is it exactly, then, because it should not be executed, it
2 should not be followed. What is it exactly? Why do they have a
4 A. I'm sorry, I haven't received the interpretation. I think we have
5 a problem with the interpretation.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Do you hear me now? Do you hear me, General?
7 THE INTERPRETER: We are getting static and an echo in our
8 headsets. We apologise.
9 JUDGE RIAD: What should I do? General, can you hear me? Can you
10 hear me, General? Now, you said that --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Because of the noise, the interpreters cannot
12 hear the question of the Judge.
13 JUDGE RIAD: This is the last time, and then I'll not -- okay.
14 Continue, okay. Keep on with the questions. Shall I try now? Shall I
15 go, then?
16 I'm sorry, General. Can you hear me now?
17 A. Yes, yes, I can.
18 JUDGE RIAD: I would like to learn from you. You said that the
19 directive issued by the command is not binding, it is not a binding
20 document for the subordinate units. First my question is, can they act in
21 a way which is contrary to this directive? Could you give me an example
22 of a directive which is not binding, and what is the use of it?
23 A. If you look at the directive 7 and 7/1, you will find some ten
24 operations, approximately, that are stated as operations that need to be
25 carried out by the VRS. Not a single one of these ten operations was ever
1 conducted because the conditions changed in the meantime, that is, from
2 the moment where such a concept was articulated. The conditions and the
3 circumstances changed, and not a single one of those operations was
5 So it always depends on the conditions prevailing and, in
6 wartimes, things can happen very quickly. The theatres of operation in
7 question are not very large ones. We are not talking about very
8 significant troops. The distances are those of kilometres, not hundreds
9 of kilometres, and changes happen very quickly in such conditions. Even a
10 small change in factors can bring about a significant change in the
12 The logics of the military command and control would point to the
13 fact that a directive must be carried out; however, if the objective that
14 is contained in the directive is not possible, then it is simply
15 abandoned. In a strict command sense, one cannot say that the directive
16 is as binding as an order. It is a document that is issued for the period
17 of time of several months, for example. At the beginning of each year, a
18 directive is issued which sets out what might be achieved during the
19 oncoming year, but it does not specifically set out the obligation. It
20 doesn't state specifically that it needs to be carried out.
21 There is one other thing that you have to bear in mind. One would
22 expect that after these directives, 7 and 7/1, that there should be a
23 series of directives which would bind the Corps Commanders to implement a
24 certain operation, that is, the documents which would implement the
25 directive, and I did not find such documents. I don't know whether the
1 Prosecution or the Defence have them. I'm sure that the Defence could
2 have given me such documents if they had had them. I haven't come across
3 such documentation, and I think that I can claim with full responsibility
4 of a military expert that those directives cannot constitute a basis for
5 the operation Krivaja 95.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Can you still hear me?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE RIAD: My question, General, is concerning the authority of
9 the commander, or let's say of the subordinate, to express an attitude
10 against a directive, because if I understood you rightly, a directive is
11 an announcement of policy or asking a certain commander to be ready for a
12 certain attitude, for a certain action.
13 Can this subordinate commander or -- express his rejection or his
14 reserve with regard to this policy, or it is just a total, a total
15 abstract theory which nobody should bother about?
16 A. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my explanation. After such a
17 directive, which is normally issued by the supreme command as a document
18 setting out the policy that is supposed to be implemented in the relevant
19 theatre operation for the oncoming period, a number of documents should
20 follow which are binding in character. And this type of directive, which
21 only sets out desirable objectives, cannot constitute a sufficient basis
22 to plan a specific operation on the ground. Such a document should be
23 followed by a number of specific documents.
24 In this document here, you have approximately ten military
25 operations, and for each of those operations there should be a number of
1 specific documents which would spell out the requirements for the actual
2 implementation of the operation.
3 There was no such document after these directives were issued, and
4 the corps commands did not respond.
5 Those operations were not ordered to be performed. They were
6 simply the corps -- the corps commands were simply told that there would
7 perhaps be an operation Spreca 95 or some other operation, but this was
8 not followed by specific documents which would bind the Corps Commanders
9 to actually implement them.
10 So it is in that sense that this type of directive is not
11 binding. Which does not mean that subordinate officers do not obey their
12 Supreme Command. Of course they are bound to obey the Supreme Command.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, General.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General Radinovic, let us have a look at the Prosecution
16 Exhibit 425, that is, directive number 7 issued by the Supreme Command of
17 the armed forces of the Republika Srpska.
18 You received this document. You analysed it and studied it.
19 Could you now have a look at item 3 of this document where the actual task
20 of the VRS is set out.
21 I should like you to comment on the decisions which are set out in
22 item 3, bearing in mind in particular the context of the operations, their
23 number and their objectives.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the next page of the
25 English version on the ELMO, please.
1 A. May I?
2 Q. Please do, General.
3 A. It is a very large and complex document, a very long document,
4 which is more of an analysis of the situation and not a document which
5 orders something to be carried out.
6 Let us have a look at the first sentence in item 3. It can be
7 seen from this portion of the text that the VRS, pursuant to the orders
8 contained in this directive to put up a decisive defence of the territory,
9 and I emphasise defence of the territory, and this particular sentence is
10 linked with the decision made by the Supreme Command which decided to put
11 up a decisive defence in the area of responsibility of the relevant corps
12 towards the forces of the Republic of Croatia and the forces of the Muslim
13 army, coupled, of course, with a limited active operations which were
14 designed to inflict losses in the enemy and to prevent advance into the
15 depth of the territory along the operational and tactical axes and to
16 prevent the division of the territory of Republika Srpska and to make use
17 of support units and carry out a number of operative activities which
18 turned out to be impossible and far too ambitious in view of the situation
19 which was prevailing in the theatre of operations at the time.
20 I was familiar -- I am familiar with the situation on the ground
21 in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the month of March 1995. Had I seen this
22 directive at the time, I would have commented as a pure illusion which --
23 something which could not be carried out in view of the circumstances on
24 the ground. So this was more of a wish, a desirable objective, than the
25 real possibility.
1 I don't know about the think tank which was involved in the
2 preparation of this document. I don't know what kind of information they
3 had at their disposal, but it is a very indicative example which tells us
4 about the significance and the sense of these directives in the context of
5 the doctrine which is used in the Balkans.
6 I don't speak English, but I don't think that the meaning of the
7 word "directive" is the same as in my language. I assume that, in view of
8 the etymology, a directive is something that is being ordered, that has to
9 be implemented. However, in my language, it is understood as something
10 closer to a guideline and something that is set out as a possibility. If
11 the objectives contained in the directive turn out to be impossible, then
12 they are simply abandoned.
13 So a directive lists out tasks for individual units. However, the
14 meaning of that particular aspect should be understood and interpreted in
15 the context of a military and political appraisal in general terms of the
16 situation. As you can see, the sentences here are very long, very
17 extensive, and any binding acts, any binding orders are very brief and
18 they refer to specific commanders and individuals who are supposed to
19 carry out the tasks.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that this
21 would be a convenient time for us to adjourn for the day.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. You're quite right,
23 Mr. Visnjic, but could you please tell us how much time do you think you
24 will need to finish the examination-in-chief of Professor Radinovic?
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that we will
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 be able to complete the examination-in-chief on Wednesday, sometime
2 halfway through the session. I think I'll be able to give you a more
3 precise estimate tomorrow around lunchtime.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
5 Mr. Visnjic. We will come back tomorrow at 9.20.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.02 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of
8 December, 2000, at 9.20 a.m.