1 Wednesday, 6 December 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.24 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth and the interpreters; good
8 morning to the OTP and Defence counsel; good morning, General Krstic.
9 Good morning, Professor Radinovic. We are going to proceed with
10 your testimony. You will be continuing under oath, let me remind you.
11 And Mr. Visnjic has the floor. Your witness, Mr. Visnjic. Please
13 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 I should like to ask the usher to give the witness Prosecution
17 Exhibit 609. We'll start off with that document.
18 Examined by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
19 Q. General Radinovic, you have before you a daily combat
20 report -- no. I apologise. It is the interim combat report of the
21 command of the Zvornik Brigade. It is dated the 15th of July, 1995.
22 Could you please take a look at the second part of this report - I
23 think it is the second part - which speaks about prisoners of war. Could
24 you focus on that section and tell the Trial Chamber how you understood
25 this document with respect to the role of the Zvornik Brigade, or rather
1 its commander, in the events on the territory of the Zvornik Brigade and
2 in connection with the prisoners of war.
3 A. This is an interim combat report, as it says, of the command of
4 the Zvornik Brigade to the command of the Drina Corps. It is the report
5 on the day when the commander of the brigade, at the request of the
6 commander of the Drina Corps, that the Zvornik Brigade return from Zepa
7 because there was a great crisis underfoot in the zone -- in his zone of
8 responsibility. So that is the time when the brigade commander, with his
9 units engaged in Zepa, returned to his zone of responsibility. And he is
10 reporting, informing the commander of the Drina Corps about the situation
11 in his zone of responsibility.
12 In the first part of the report he speaks about the situation in
13 general, the enemy forces that have been engaged, and we see that there
14 are about 3.000 armed members of the 28th Division. And it also speaks
15 about a strong attack, in-depth attack in the depth of the Zvornik
16 Brigade, coming from the Tuzla axis. He mentions the artillery,
17 high-calibre weapons, tanks, and so on. And at the positions of the 4th
18 and 6th Battalions, they are battalions on the forefront of the defence
19 line where the zone of defence was. And it also talks about the measures
21 A direct response to your question is the following: On the
22 second page of this report, it says, and I quote --
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Professor. I apologise for
24 interrupting, but to answer directly to the question, you should focus on
25 giving us direct answers to the question. Because we are acquainted with
1 this document, so there's no need for you to repeat everything that has
2 already been said. So please try to give us a direct answer to the
3 question put to you by Mr. Visnjic.
4 Mr. Visnjic, would you try to guide your witness to giving us
5 direct answers to the heart of the matter. Thank you. I apologise for
6 interrupting at that point.
7 A. I too apologise. I thought it would be interesting to see the
8 figure of the armed men in area of the Zvornik Brigade and the intensity
9 of the 2nd Corps on the zone of responsibility. I thought that that is
10 relevant for this trial. But if that is common knowledge already, then I
12 Anyway, he says in the report that an additional -- there is an
13 additional burden for us in the -- and the -- is the large number of
14 prisoners distributed throughout schools in the brigade area, as well as
15 obligations of security and restoration of the terrain. "This command
16 cannot take care of these problems any longer as it has neither the
17 material nor other resources. If no one takes on this responsibility, I
18 will be forced to let them go."
19 In this part of the report, we see several facts which are
20 extremely important, vital for this trial. The commander of the Zvornik
21 Brigade knows, therefore, that in his zone of responsibility there are
22 prisoners of war. That is the first fact that we see from this report.
23 The second fact is that he says that this is using up the
24 brigade's resources, which he is lacking in, anyway, for the defence, for
25 the defence of his zone of responsibility, and he mentions the expenditure
1 of resources in order to secure the prisoners and with the sense of
2 clearing up the terrain, so those are the obligations. And he says that
3 he cannot take on this burden, this additional burden any longer and take
4 care about those problems.
5 For me, the report means that he is well aware of the fact that
6 the prisoners are in his area of responsibility, that up until that time
7 he has provided security for them, that his men are doing that, but that
8 they can no longer be responsible for that; so that this leads us to
9 conclude that the commander does know about the prisoners, but that quite
10 certainly the commander does not know that already at that time, according
11 to the data and information that I learnt about by reading the documents
12 for this testimony of mine, that already at that time the prisoners had
13 already been liquidated in his zone of responsibility.
14 So it is quite certain that he does not know about that because,
15 had he known about it, he would have known that he was responsible for
16 that, and that fact would not have been disclosed; it would have been
17 hidden because, in this way, he steps into the chain of responsibility.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
19 hand Exhibit 675, Prosecution Exhibit 675, to the witness.
20 Q. General Radinovic, could you please turn to page 3 of this
21 document in the Serbian version, point 4, the part which relates to the
22 situation in the territory. And in the context of the previous question I
23 asked you, could you give us your comments on this document and this part
24 of the report, in fact.
25 A. It is point 4 on page 3, the situation in the territory. These
1 facts and the appeal launched by the commander of the brigade to his
2 superiors I understand in the same context and in the same sense that I
3 spoke about in answer to the first document, when commenting on the first
5 The commander of the brigade says that it is incomprehensible, "It
6 is inconceivable to me that somebody has brought about 3.000 military
7 able-bodied Turks" - I apologise for the word, but I am quoting - "and has
8 placed them in schools, of the 7.000 that have taken to the woods." And
9 this makes the situation highly complex, and the complete occupation of
10 Zvornik, together with the forces of the front --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise, but they were not
12 able to see the actual text on the ELMO.
13 A. So this is a dramatic appeal and a dramatic caution sent out by
14 the command of the brigade, and it is an accusation of those who are
15 responsible, the superiors, and the fact that in this zone of
16 responsibility there were 3.000 prisoners of war. Whether that fact --
17 those facts and figures are exact, whether the figures are exact, I don't
18 know because I have not come across them in the study of the documents, in
19 the operative documents and reports. I have not found an exact figure of
20 the prisoners of war and their distribution in the zone of responsibility
21 for the brigade commander at that time to have been -- to have known the
22 exact figure at that time.
23 So this report, which was written on the 18th of July, which is
24 when, based on the documents that I have had at my disposal, was when the
25 whole mass killing had already been completed. The commander of the
1 brigade who would have -- had he taken part in a process of that kind, he
2 would never have left testimony behind him of this kind which absolutely
3 incriminates him and includes him in the chain of responsibility if
4 everything was done in regular fashion.
5 So there is no doubt that this must guide us to looking towards
6 other possibilities of taking part in these serious crimes and violations,
7 and it was outside the system of responsibility of the command of the
8 Zvornik Brigade.
9 Q. General Radinovic, in your report, you make the firm conviction
10 that General Krstic also is not in the system of responsibility for the
11 crimes that have just been described. They are the crimes that were
12 perpetrated between the 15th and the 18th in the zone of responsibility of
13 the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, a little more about why
15 you think that; on the basis of which facts you have made that conclusion?
16 A. My entire work is imbued with that assertion, when I explicitly
17 say it and when it was implicitly implied from my studies and
18 conclusions. I am firmly convinced that General Krstic is not guilty of
19 these crimes for the basic reasons that I have set out.
20 First of all, he has no personal responsibility in the sense of
21 planning, inciting, and encouraging, or personal execution.
22 Second, he did not plan a single document from which we would be
23 able to see a consequence of this kind.
24 Third, General Krstic was the Chief of Staff and, as such, he had
25 no objective command responsibility. On the basis of the doctrine that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was applied by the army of Republika Srpska, relying on the doctrine of
2 the Yugoslav People's Army, the Chief of Staff has command responsibility,
3 direct responsibility, only for his own staff, not for the units, except
4 when he is in command and acting as commander when the commander is not
5 capable of commanding, either for physical reasons he has been
6 incapacitated, for operative reasons, or for being absent from the spot.
7 So in the case of General Krstic, he was somebody who was the
8 chief of staff. He was the Chief of Staff up to the operation at Zepa.
9 From the time the Zepa operation was formulated, that was the 11th of
10 July, General Krstic was taken up with concerns about that particular
11 operation - the preparation of forces, the development of a new command
12 post and its establishment - and spent all his time at a completely
13 separate part, separate area quite apart from the command of the corps and
14 Vlasenica. It is 30 to 40 kilometres away from Vlasenica, and in the zone
15 of responsibility where that occurred, it was 100 kilometres away. So
16 that wouldn't be so relevant if he were the commander of the corps, but he
17 was the commander of the operative group, operational group, for a
18 separate operation.
19 And by virtue of the principle of command and the doctrine of
20 command, he had command authorities for the forces at Zepa of which he was
21 in command and for their conduct and behaviour and their acts or crimes,
22 but not -- possibly, of course, and not for the forces and units of the
23 Drina Corps who were not directly involved in the operation at Zepa right
24 up until the moment he took over his duties as commander and, by that
25 time, everything had been completed. Unfortunately, of course,
1 unfortunately and with regret in this whole complex of the situation
2 around Srebrenica.
3 What happened afterwards, that is the subject of another analysis
4 and not the subject of my own expertise.
5 Q. General Radinovic, you have responded to my next question with
6 this, but once again, what were the duties in the Drina Corps for General
7 Krstic in July 1995? Could you just enumerate them?
8 A. General Krstic was the chief of the corps staff. He was the
9 commander of the operative group at the source in Zepa, and also he was
10 the commander of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. When did General Krstic become the commander of the Drina Corps?
12 A. According to my information, General Krstic became the commander
13 of the Drina Corps on the 20th of July.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher to
15 prepare Prosecution Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit 151.
16 Q. General Radinovic, you see the organisation chart of the Drina
17 Corps command structure. Is this command structure of the Drina Corps,
18 was that in place in July in 1995?
19 A. Yes, this is the organisation chart of the command of the Drina
20 Corps from which you can see that it's -- that it comprises the commander
21 of the corps; the staff of the corps, including the Chief of Staff; then
22 assistant commander for security, with his bodies; then assistant
23 commander for morale, legal, and religious affairs; and also assistant
24 commander for rear services with the entire elements of the logistics and
25 the rear structure and support.
1 So from this you can see that the Chief of Staff was directly in
2 charge and he had the command responsibility towards the Chief of Staff
3 for the security [as interpreted], rear affairs, also for the armoured and
4 mechanised units, also anti-biological and chemical weapons, chief of
5 engineering, chief of artillery and rocket units, chief of communications,
6 chief of anti-aircraft defence, chief of department for personal affairs,
7 and chief of electronic reconnaissance. Also, other organs were not
8 subordinated to the Chief of Staff, so he did not have any command
9 responsibilities towards them.
10 So this is the basic function of the Chief of Staff and his place
11 in the command structure of the corps.
12 Q. In the transcript, line 22, I see that the Chief of Staff has the
13 responsibility -- I see the word here "security." Does the Chief of Staff
14 have any responsibility towards anybody from the Security Services?
15 A. No. He does not have such responsibilities. Only towards the
16 sections that are mentioned in the left -- on the left side of the chart.
17 So he is superior only towards them, and he has the command authority and
18 the command responsibility towards those. The assistant commanders are
19 excepted from that, so the assistant commander for security, assistant
20 commander for political, legal, and religious affairs, and also assistant
21 commander for rear services are not included in this.
22 Q. According to the doctrine applied in the VRS, this system of
23 command is different from the doctrine which was applied in the system of,
24 for example, the armies of the NATO countries. What is the difference in
25 this sense?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would ask the usher, please, to
2 prepare Prosecution Exhibit 398.
3 A. I would just like to warn here --
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Oh, I apologise. I see here that we
5 do not see the beginning of my question here.
6 Q. My question was, and I will repeat it: In accordance with the
7 doctrine applied in the army of the VRS, the command system is different
8 from the doctrine applied in the system of the armies of the NATO
9 countries. What is the difference in this regard?
10 A. I had in mind when I was researching the role of the staff in the
11 command functions in our doctrine and also the role of the staff in
12 command functions in the NATO countries, primarily having in mind the
13 testimony of General Dannatt. From this chart that we see on the ELMO, we
14 can see that the corps command is at the head, and there are no other
15 elements in the corps command structure besides the corps, which is
16 directly subordinated to the commander -- the staff, which is directly
17 subordinated to the commander. So that means that the command, under this
18 doctrine, comprises the commander and the staff. In our doctrine, the
19 commands comprise the commander, the staff, and assistant commanders,
20 these three here, but there can be more.
21 For illustration purposes, on one, and the other side, on both
22 sides, assistant commanders, or chiefs, people in charge of security and
23 intelligence, this is unified. So they perform the security functions and
24 also there are people who are in charge of intelligence functions.
25 The difference between our solutions and the other systems is as
1 follows: A person of lower rank, a major, for example -- and I think in
2 the testimony of Mr. Dannatt this was stated that this was a major, but
3 his officers are of lower rank. And you could conclude on the basis of
4 this that these are not officers who are at the same rank as the Chief of
5 Staff, as opposed to that in the command doctrine of the VRS, which has
6 taken that doctrine from the JNA. All of these people who are at the
7 ranks of officers or who are in charge for certain sectors, who are chiefs
8 of departments, their functions -- in their functions, they have high
9 ranks and they are at the same level as the Chief of Staff, so they are at
10 the same level. I think this is an important distinction in order to look
11 at the command functions of the Chief of Staff in the VRS, speaking
12 concretely about the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, which is the
13 subject of our discussion here.
14 Q. For the record, on Prosecution Exhibit 398, you indicated in the
15 right -- on the right side of the chart the part mentioned -- annotated as
16 COS, which would represent the staff; then G2, which would represent the
17 officers in charge of intelligence and security affairs. I think you
18 stated that that person had the rank of major. Also, at the bottom of
19 this chart, there are two separate people in charge, one for security and
20 one for intelligence affairs, and I think you had said they were
21 captains. Am I right?
22 A. Yes. I'm not quite sure whether they are captains, but they are
23 obviously of lower rank than the Chief of Staff, and this is what is
24 important. It is also important to note that the staff structure does not
25 include the assistant commanders, which would include -- which would have
1 the same rank as Chief of Staff. They are all under the Chief of Staff.
2 Q. When you say the staff structures do not follow -- do not include
3 the assistant commander, do you mean the -- do you mean the staff?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like the usher to prepare
6 Prosecution Exhibit 402, footnote 4, for the witness.
7 Q. General Radinovic, which regulations guide the command system?
8 A. The command system is regulated by general regulations, general
9 rules, legal provisions, basic laws which govern relations within the
10 army, as well as special instructions for operative compositions, and
11 especially those that relate to the command functions. A part of the
12 command regulations are contained in the laws governing the army and
13 defence. Explicitly, the problems or the execution of commands is
14 regulated by the rule about the service in the army of Republika Srpska,
15 in the general section of that rule. This is where the principles of
16 superiority are explained, how orders are executed, whose orders are
17 executed, what is the procedure in case orders are not executed.
18 In the rules of service of the army of Republika Srpska also
19 contain a provision on assuming or assumption of duties. This is also
20 regulated: How one assumes duties in tactical units and also how one
21 assumes duties in higher operative units at the strategic level.
22 Besides these regulations, the command system and the principles
23 of command are also regulated in the operative instructions for the corps;
24 in the instruction and rules for the land forces corps, which the army of
25 the Republika Srpska used; also all the instructions that it had at its
1 disposal, which were actually devised in the JNA in 1990. The rules on
2 the -- on authorisational competencies of the corps are also part of the
3 rules which were used and which are used in regulating the command
5 Why is it important for us to know that that part of the
6 regulations is also used in this staff organisation and also in the
7 command system of the Drina Corps, even though it is named "The Rules on
8 Authorisational Competencies in Peacetime"? All the commands, including
9 the command of the Drina Corps, during the entire time of war, were also
10 conducted in the context of peacetime activities.
11 For example, a permanent command post of the Drina Corps was at
12 Vlasenica. In wartime, command posts change places in accordance with the
13 situation that prevails and also in accordance with the type of operations
14 and the area that operations are being conducted in. In the doctrine
15 which static corps -- in the corps, there are static units which receive a
16 specific zone of responsibility in which they spend the entire time of the
17 war, with very little, if any at all, leaving of the area of
18 responsibility. So these activities are carried out as if these were
19 peacetime activities; not combat activities, but non-combat activities.
20 This is why these rules are also important for the Drina Corps in times of
22 There is also another instruction that is used, and that is the
23 instructions for the operation of the commands and staff in time of war.
24 This is a provisional instruction. This was made in high military schools
25 of the JNA, but it is also something that is used because it explains how
1 the process of decision-making in planning and preparation of combat
2 activities is carried out, and this is something that is the most
3 important in the activities of a staff.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think we have some problems in
5 finding some exhibits, but let's look at Exhibit 402, footnote 7. The
6 next exhibit is 402, footnote 10, and also footnote 4.
7 Q. General Radinovic, yesterday we said something about this
8 document. This is the instruction for the work of 4th Corps command.
9 Could you please turn to page 10 of this instruction.
10 Could you please comment on the duties of the staff and the duties
11 of the Chief of Staff as they are cited in this instruction. If I
12 remember right, you already said yesterday that you had certain reserves
13 towards this instruction and its application.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Pages 15 to 17 in the English
15 version, please.
16 A. I don't think there is any need for me to read the document, it's
17 quite extensive, but I feel compelled to give two comments in respect of
18 this document. I don't think it should be used as an applicable document
19 for the purposes of praising the command responsibility within the Drina
20 Corps and the principle of -- both the principle of responsibility and the
21 factual command authority.
22 What I had in mind was an organisational chart, which this
23 document includes, and where the links between the Chief of Staff and the
24 assistant commanders are established in the way which is not common for
25 the staff organisation to function.
1 Q. If I may interrupt you, General, I think we should perhaps put the
2 chart on the ELMO. I believe we have it in the English version.
3 A. This is what I'm talking about here. You see that between the
4 Chief of Staff and the assistant commanders, there is this line which
5 symbolises a firm link, a direct link between the two in the sense of
6 authority and responsibility. Such responsibility, such authority, does
7 not actually exist. That this is an error can be seen from the legend
8 here, from the instructions.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt you, but
10 I'm not receiving the interpretation. Something must have happened,
11 either the microphone was not on...
12 Would it be possible for you to repeat this last sentence,
14 A. On the chart that I have in front of me, there is a legend which
15 explains the links between individual elements within the system of
16 command. This legend makes sense only if the symbols are different and
17 need to be named. However, on this chart, the symbols are identical.
18 There are two possibilities: Either the legend should be left out
19 and we should consider that not all of the symbols which link the
20 individual elements are --
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Professor Radinovic,
22 but I think that the elements that you were about to show us are not in
23 the English translation. Perhaps you should put your piece of paper on
24 the ELMO and explain to us exactly what you have in mind so that we can
25 follow you. So if you can please tell us what are the elements that we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have here in the B/C/S version and which cannot be found in the English
3 Mr. Visnjic?
4 A. May I?
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Yes, please, General.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, I'm sorry to interrupt once
9 Mr. Visnjic, I have asked the witness to put the B/C/S version on
10 the ELMO so that we can see the difference between the B/C/S version and
11 the English version. So my first question is the following: What is it
12 that we have here in this version that we do not have in the English
13 version? Mr. Visnjic, perhaps you can help us with that.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the B/C/S version,
15 we have a description of the links existing between the boxes here which
16 contain the description of certain functions; however, all of these links
17 are represented in the same way. So when you read the document, and in
18 particular when you read the English version of the document, which is
19 obvious from the English version, you see that all of the links are of the
20 same nature.
21 I think that the witness is trying to explain to the Chamber that
22 the reality is actually quite opposite; that these links, these relations
23 are not all of the same nature, and that there are two reasons for that;
24 either there had been an error or the person who was drafting this
25 document did not have a basic knowledge of the basic documents or means to
1 represent it.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see that there is a difference
3 between the two versions. I see that the document that's here on the ELMO
4 has a legend which the English version does not have.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] You're quite right, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. So you have to tell us
7 what the legend is saying because this is something that we do not have in
8 the English document.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, Mr. President,
10 I will ask the witness to help us with that.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, please do so, Mr. Visnjic.
12 Ask your question.
13 Mr. Cayley.
14 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Mr. President, excuse me. In fact, the legend
15 is contained in the English translation. It's on page 13. It's just they
16 couldn't fit it on that document, so it's actually on the next page. That
17 might save some time.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, because the
19 document that we could see on the ELMO did not have the legend because we
20 could only see the first page of the document. Thank you very much for
21 your assistance, Mr. Cayley.
22 I think that things are clear now. Please continue.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher --
24 A. I was just about to explain on the chart why this instruction is
25 not in accordance with the doctrine which was applicable at the time in
1 the VRS. This type of linking the Chief of Staff with three remaining
2 assistant commanders implies a conclusion that he has authority in respect
3 of them, towards them, that he is responsible for them, because he is at
4 the same time the Deputy Commander.
5 In accordance with the doctrine which was in force in the VRS,
6 these links here do not exist. The Chief of Staff, as long as he's not
7 acting as the commander, he has no authority whatsoever towards assistant
8 commanders, and that is the crucial difference. So this should have been
9 in this way: Without these links here between the assistant commanders
10 and the Chief of Staff, because the Chief of Staff did not have any
11 command competences over them.
12 It is only by virtue of his function as Deputy Commander, when he
13 becomes the commander, at that point he has authority over assistant
14 commanders. And that is why I said that this instruction, this chart,
15 should not be used while assessing the command responsibility of the Chief
16 of Staff of the Drina Corps.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] General Radinovic, I should like to
18 ask the assistance of the usher and to have him put the English version of
19 the chart on the ELMO, please, and also the following page, page 13, which
20 includes the legend.
21 Mr. President, if you will allow me a brief explanation at this
22 point. In the chart that we have in the English version, all of the links
23 are depicted as same links, of the same type; however, in the legend, we
24 see that we have three different types of links, that there should be
25 three different types of lines.
1 Q. General Radinovic, you are now looking at the English version.
2 Tell us whether all of the links between the separate commands and
3 departments that we can see here on page 12 of the English version, are
4 they of the same kind, of the same nature?
5 A. No, they're not. The links between the commander and the Chief of
6 Staff and his three assistant commanders and all of the units that are
7 immediately subordinate to them, this is the actual link of command
8 authority. The dotted line that we have here represents the type of
9 relationships, which implies cooperation. So we do not have direct
10 command link here.
11 The Chief of Staff has authority over his staff, not over the
12 assistant commanders. There should be a dotted line here so that you know
13 that, functionally speaking, the Chief of Staff actually coordinates the
14 work of the command in the functional sense, not in the command sense.
15 And that is the crucial difference that I wanted to draw your attention to
16 because, in this way, you end up gaining a completely different picture
17 about the command responsibility of the Chief of Staff.
18 Looking from this chart, one would conclude that the Chief of
19 Staff has command responsibility over all elements of the command at any
20 point in time, which he doesn't.
21 Q. General Radinovic, would you please turn to page 10 of the B/C/S
22 version of the same document, that is, the instruction to the 4th Corps
23 command, Exhibit number 402, footnote 7; and if you can give us your brief
24 comment of this document.
25 A. On page 10 of the instructions to the 4th Corps command, we have
1 the authorities and competences of the certain elements of the command,
2 both individually speaking and for the staff in general.
3 This instruction significantly expands the authority -- the
4 competence of the staff, and modifies the authority and the
5 responsibilities of the staff which are defined within the rules of Land
6 Forces Corps, which are applicable for all corps. This is a far more --
7 this is a broader instruction, this one here, and I think that here we
8 have a document which actually follows from the general rules of Land
9 Forces Corps because here we have a specific corps in mind, namely, the
10 4th Sarajevo Corps.
11 They are not allowed, entitled, to modify the essence of the
12 command -- of the system of the command as it is described for the
13 level -- at the level of the corps which is applicable to all, that is,
14 the rule of the Land Forces Corps.
15 This is important because, when assessing the function of the
16 staff, and of course, on the basis of that, assessing the responsibility
17 of the Chief of Staff - in case in point, it is General Krstic - so this
18 responsibility in the reports of Mr. Butler and Mr. Dannatt is expanded.
19 It is broadened in accordance with this instruction to the 4th Corps
21 In my report and here during my testimony, I should like to point
22 out that we should go back to the original document which clearly
23 indicates the nature of the role of the Chief of Staff, and we should not
24 base ourselves on this particular document because here that role is
25 significantly changed and modified.
1 Q. I should like to suggest that we go back to the original document,
2 that is, the Prosecution Exhibit 402, footnote 4, that is, the rules of
3 Land Forces Corps.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And if I can ask the usher, please,
5 to help us with this document.
6 THE REGISTRAR: We have not been able to locate that footnote, so
7 if you could go to the next exhibit, if it's not a problem. We're still
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General Radinovic, let us have a look at the Prosecution Exhibit
11 402, footnote 10, then, Instructions to the Rules of Land Forces Corps in
12 Peacetime. I think you have this provisional rules. Very well, then,
13 this is the document that we were looking for.
14 A. Which page, please?
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Page 34, paragraph 66.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, you said that that
17 was the document that you were looking for. You mean document P402,
18 footnote 2 or footnote 10?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm just checking.
20 It is the document 404 - I'm sorry. I'm sorry - document 402, footnote
21 4. That is the document entitled "Rule Corps of Ground Forces
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So that was the document that
24 you were looking for and that could not be found? There has been a
25 miracle, apparently. I hope you can now continue. Thank you.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher, please, to put
2 the English version of the document on the ELMO, paragraph 66.
3 Q. General Radinovic, this document that we see here, is that the
4 document that you consider to be the original document when it comes to
5 the determination of the duties and functions of the staff?
6 A. Yes. Page 34 in the Serbian version, in paragraph 66, we can read
7 as follows: "Staff is the principal body of the Corps Command which
8 functionally connects and integrates the work of all bodies of the
9 command," that is, functionally speaking. It is headed by the Chief of
10 Staff, who is at the same time Deputy Commander of the Corps. And it goes
11 on: "He is the only one who, in keeping with the Commander's decision,"
12 so not without the decision or contrary to the decision, "has the right to
13 give assignments to subordinates." And then it goes on with the
14 composition and the make-up of the staff.
15 So the corps -- 4th Corps had no right whatsoever to provide for
16 anything other than the functional command of the Chief of Staff in
17 respect of assistant commanders. So this is the relevant provision which
18 authorises the Chief of Staff to coordinate the work of the staff and to
19 have command responsibility over assistant commanders only in keeping with
20 the commander's decision.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher, if we have the
22 Exhibit 402, footnote 10, to put it on the ELMO, please.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can you find the document, Madam
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document that I submitted was footnote 10, so
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there must be some sort of a discrepancy with the footnote. Because what
2 he asked for was 404 [sic], 4, which I couldn't find, but I have 404, 10,
3 which, when I gave it to him, was his 404, footnote 4.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the record, I have to say that
5 we have been talking about the document 402 all the time, footnote 4 or
6 10. That is now beside the point, but the document in question was 402.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. I meant to say 402. I'm speaking
8 about 402, footnote 4 and footnote 10.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we're talking about the same
10 document all the time, 402. Let us have the document and let's see what
11 page we need.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Exhibit 402
13 consists of four or six folders containing all of the necessary rules and
14 regulations. I can move on to another question, and if the registrar can
15 find the relevant document in the meantime, we can continue with the
16 document after the break.
17 So if the witness can have --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
19 Mr. Visnjic. Please continue.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] -- Exhibit number 401, please, which
21 is a report on the command responsibility of the corps in the VRS,
22 submitted by Mr. Butler. And I should like to ask the
23 witness -- actually, I should like to ask the usher to place paragraph 2.0
24 on the ELMO.
25 Q. General Radinovic, can we please hear your comment of the
1 paragraph 2.0, that is, the last portion of the paragraph. And if you can
2 please tell the Chamber whether you agree with the position adopted by
3 Mr. Butler; and if not, why?
4 A. Well, this simply is the consequence of a different
5 interpretation, a different understanding of the command structure and the
6 role of the staff within that command structure. When Mr. Butler defines
7 the role of the Corps Commander - that is also one part of his report - in
8 the third paragraph in this item he says that he is personally, directly,
9 and legally empowered to, and then he goes on to quote, "... lead the
10 operations of the Corps Command, assign tasks to his subordinate officers,
11 ensure that they are carried out and bear full responsibility for their
12 completion," with which I completely agree.
13 This quotation ends and the text goes on: "The Corps Commander
14 accomplishes this," that is, he commands, "by exercising military command
15 and control, either directly or through a body of subordinates,
16 subordinate officers, assistants, and branch specialists, referred to as
17 the Corps Staff."
18 So for Mr. Butler, assistant commanders are members of the staff,
19 which is not the case in accordance with our doctrine. So in accordance
20 with the doctrine of the JNA, which was adopted also by the VRS, assistant
21 commanders are not members of the staff, but branch specialists are
22 members of the staff.
23 So that is one difference, the other one being that the command
24 within the corps is never exercised indirectly, but directly. So within
25 the staff, the command is always direct. The commander does not anyone
1 below him who would take over his order and transmit it further down
2 [as interpreted]. The command is carried out in a direct manner between
3 the one issuing the order and the individual who is supposed to carry out
4 the order. The commander issues, in a direct manner, orders to his
5 immediate subordinates, that is, brigade commanders and commanders of
6 independent battalions. There is no intermediary in this line of
8 However, there can be some kind of indirect command, but only in
9 the functional sense - if one is supposed to, for example, draft an
10 auxiliary order, supporting material of some kind, if a document needs to
11 be articulated or explained in any specific manner - but that is also
12 specifically provided for. There is an activity which is referred to as
13 command reconnaissance. That kind of work refers to the decision of the
14 commander in battlefield. His decision in that case is transmitted to his
15 subordinates, who are in charge of seeing to that the decision is in
16 accordance with the reality in the ground. That doesn't mean that the
17 command within the structure is not direct. The command is always carried
18 out in a direct manner.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
20 show us paragraph 2.8 and to put the relevant page on the ELMO, please.
21 For the record, it is the same exhibit, Prosecution Exhibit 401.
22 Q. General Radinovic, please, your comment on the conclusion made by
23 Mr. Butler in paragraph 2.8.
24 A. In paragraph 2.8, we read that: "The Corps Staff, under the
25 direction of the Chief of Staff, is responsible for reviewing and
1 understanding the assigned directives received by the Superior Command."
2 I think that this must be an error in translation. I don't think that
3 Mr. Butler would make such a mistake and such an omission, because his
4 report is indeed of a very high quality. I don't think that he could have
5 made such a mistake. So that is why I'm drawing your attention to this
6 particular bit of the text. I think it needs to be corrected. No one can
7 issue directives to the Superior Command. It is the Superior Command that
8 issues directives. That is why I believe that this was a mistake in
10 And there is also one other sentence that I would like to comment
11 on: "As soon as the commander approves the general concept." I have to
12 say that the commander does not have to approve the concept. The concept
13 is his. He can consult with his assistant commanders and his departments
14 as regards the implementation of his general concept. However, the
15 general concept or the basic concept is the product of the work of the
16 commander, and not anyone else. Everybody has to obey, listen to the
17 general concept issued by the commander, and once they receive, once they
18 have been notified of that general concept, they go on with their relevant
19 functions in respect of that general concept. Once the overall concept
20 and the operations plans are approved by the commander, the corps staff
21 then transmits the decision, orders to the subordinate commands.
22 If we have in mind paragraph 66 of the Rules of Land Forces Corps,
23 that is, the corps for ground forces, we see that this far exceeds the
24 responsibility and the authority of the Chief of Staff, which is provided
25 for in paragraph 66 of the Corps of Armed Forces Rule, which is a general
1 document applicable to all corps, not only to the 4th Corps.
2 So the staff does not transmit the decision. The staff is in
3 charge of preparing the plan of the operation in accordance with the
4 decision of the commander, and the commander is the one who issues the
5 order to his subordinate units, without any intermediaries. He
6 communicates directly with them, either in oral manner or in written
7 manner, but there is no, once again, any intermediary in the sense of
8 command. And it does not become responsible for controlling the
9 implementation of the plan or orders. Every assistant commander is
10 duty-bound and responsible for the execution of the decision of the
11 commander within his department. It is not the Chief of Staffs who is
12 responsible for all of the departments. He is only responsible for the
13 departments which are actually part of the staff.
14 So that was my remark, my criticism, and also my indication as to
15 how we should understand this, because we will have problems if we follow
16 the instructions to the 4th Corps command and not the general Rules of
17 Land Forces Corps when it comes to the responsibility and the authority of
18 the Chief of Staff.
19 JUDGE RIAD: I just want to ask General Radinovic a
20 clarification. Just for my knowledge, you said nobody issues orders to
21 the Superior Command. Is the Superior Command the head of the state? Do
22 you mean by that the head of the state?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher turn the document to
1 paragraph 2.12. It is still Prosecution Exhibit 401.
2 Q. General Radinovic, could you comment on paragraph 2.12.
3 A. In this paragraph, in the first sentence, first line, it
4 says -- it is the same context, of course, but it would perhaps be a good
5 idea for us to clarify matters so that we have the same groundwork for
6 interpreting this.
7 Despite the presence of assistant -- despite the presence of
8 assistant commanders of possibly equal rank on the corps staff, only the
9 Chief of Staff is empowered to issue orders. So responsibility of the
10 Chief of Staff is different if the assistant commanders are in the staff.
11 They are not in the staff, corps staff.
12 And the continuation of that sentence says that, despite the fact
13 that in the corps staff there are assistant commanders and so on, which
14 can be of the same rank or higher rank, it is only the Chief of Staff who
15 is empowered to issue orders to the entire corps staff, to include branch
16 bodies and services. So it is not the Chief of Staff that issues orders
17 either to the assistant for security or to the assistant for the rear or
18 the assistant for moral guidance and religious questions. They are issued
19 orders exclusively by the commander, not by the Chief of Staff.
20 And it goes on to say, "to subordinate formations of the corps."
21 Not even to the subordinate formations of the corps does the Chief of
22 Staff issue orders, except in situations where he is in charge of
23 commanding the corps, which means when the commander is not on the spot to
24 do so. And he does so always in the name of the commander; not as the
25 Chief of Staff, but he does so in the name of the commander in the
1 commander's absence.
2 So those are essential differences, vital differences. I don't
3 know if I've been able to explain this to you well enough, explain the
4 difference between the two; but it is a vital difference, and it throws
5 quite a different light on the whole question of command responsibility if
6 you explain the role of the staff, corps staff, and the Chief of Staff in
7 this way. And it should not be explained as it exists in this document
8 but as it is regulated in the source document, that is to say, in the rule
9 relating to ground forces dating from 1990.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that this
11 would be a good moment to break.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you,
13 Mr. Visnjic. Let us take a break, a 20-minute break.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, please proceed.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the interpretation
18 service has -- the translation service has drawn my attention to some
19 inconsistencies in the translation, so before we go back to Prosecution
20 Exhibit 398 -- that is, can we go back to 398, please. And it concerns a
21 description of the functions given by General Radinovic, so I'd like to
22 ask the General to describe this once again to us, to explain it once
24 Q. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber, this is the diagram of the
25 NATO country forces' corps command, and below the division command, what
1 are the other boxes and what functions?
2 A. Below the division commander, we have the Chief of Staff, and
3 underneath the Chief of Staff is his assistant for intelligence and
4 security. On this example, we can see the difference between staff as
5 conceived in British military doctrine and corps staff in our own
6 doctrine. The assistant for security is not the assistant to the Chief of
7 Staff in our doctrine. He is assistant to the commander; whereas in
8 British doctrine, he is assistant to the Chief of Staff.
9 This shows that the structure of the staff and roles of the staff
10 are not identical in both the doctrines, and that is what I would like to
11 draw your attention to and insist upon.
12 Q. And for purposes of the interpretation once again and translation,
13 what do we have underneath the G2 box?
14 A. That is different, too, than it is in our own doctrine. In order
15 to analyse command responsibility, this is not such an essential point.
16 The function of security and intelligence has been conjoined in
17 this staff here, in this box, and the assistant to the Chief of Staff for
18 intelligence and security affairs has his own assistant for security and
19 for intelligence as well. As can be seen from the diagram which depicts
20 the corps staff in our doctrine, corps command in our own doctrine, the
21 chief of intelligence, the assistant of the Chief of Staff for security
22 matters, he is assistant to the commander. He is not a member of the
23 staff but is assistant to the commander and ranks on a par with the Chief
24 of Staff. And that, indeed, is an essential difference. It is very
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
2 to present the witness with Prosecution 402, footnote 10. It is the rule,
3 rules of -- regulations on the responsibilities of the land army corps
4 command in peacetime.
5 Q. General Radinovic, could you turn to page 7 of the regulations -
6 actually, it is page 8 in the English version - and could you comment on
7 the application of these regulations, that is to say, whether it can be
8 applied to the concrete situation in respect of the functions of the Chief
9 of Staff in the corps in July 1995.
10 A. This article relates to the functioning of the commands in
11 peacetime, the regulations refer to that; and they regulate the
12 competencies of the Chief of Staff in peacetime, and that is all right.
13 That is all in order.
14 But in view of the fact that many of the functions of command from
15 1992, November 1992 when the Drina Corps was established up until the end
16 of the war or up to 1995, which is what interests us, in the zone of
17 responsibility, this was done; and it was comparable to the conditions
18 that prevailed in peacetime because there was -- fighting did not go on
19 all the time. Combat and fighting was periodical, and therefore it did
20 not affect the entire zone of responsibility. On the contrary, in most
21 cases, the combat activities took place only in a small portion of the
22 zone of responsibility, whereas in the rest of the area of responsibility,
23 life went on as normal, we might say, just as if there wasn't a war, of
24 course with all the consequences that a wartime encirclement had. I'm
25 thinking of shortages, so there were shortages and everything else that is
1 attached to wartime.
2 But this is in keeping fully with paragraph 66 of the rules for
3 the corps of ground forces.
4 Q. General Radinovic, could you tell the Trial Chamber a more
5 detailed explanation and your views of the relationship between the
6 commander of the Drina Corps, the Chief of Staff, or Deputy Commander of
7 the Drina Corps, the relationships between these functions?
8 A. The areas of command are very precisely defined when it comes to
9 this question. The commander, Corps Commander, does not share his command
10 responsibility with anybody at all.
11 Q. I apologise. I cannot see your response here on the transcript.
12 I cannot see that your answer is being recorded on the LiveNote. We need
13 an "A" for answer. We have the "Q" for question, but we need "A" for
14 answer. Could you give us your answer again, please? Could you start
16 A. Those relationships are very precisely and clearly defined and
17 regulated. The commander of the corps does not share his command
18 competency with anybody, or command responsibility with anybody. All the
19 people in the staff and in the command - that is to say, the Chief of
20 Staff and his three assistants - when the commander is there on the spot,
21 they function as his assistants. It is only the Chief of Staff, in the
22 absence of the commander, by way of automatism, takes over the function of
23 command because, according to the rules and regulations and according to
24 the law, it is provided for the fact that he then acts as deputy
25 commander, as deputy commander. So that provision is there so that in no
1 situation whatsoever is there any discontinuity in command.
2 A solution of this kind liberates the commander of the
3 responsibility that when he is absent, when he is prevented from being on
4 the spot, he does not have to write out an act or document designating a
5 deputy. So the Chief of Staff, on the basis of this automatic mechanism,
6 takes over in the absence of the commander, when the commander is absent
7 for any reason whatsoever and is incapable of command, physically,
8 spatially, professionally, or for any reason whatsoever.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the
10 usher -- I should like to ask the usher to have the witness shown
11 Prosecution Exhibit 403. Exhibit 403 is Mr. Butler's report. Could the
12 usher please turn to paragraph 8.43, 8.43. That is the paragraph we
14 Q. General, sir --
15 A. Would you just allow me a few moments to find it for myself as
16 well, please.
17 Q. General, sir, what was the role and responsibility of General
18 Krstic in the Krivaja 95 operation?
19 A. The role of General Krstic in the Krivaja 95 operation was the
20 role of Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps and, at the same time, deputy
21 commander. In his role of Chief of Staff of the corps, he was
22 duty-bound --
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think we're having a problem.
24 I think we ought to take the document off the ELMO because it is marked
25 "confidential." Have you any indications to that effect, Mr. Visnjic?
1 Is this a confidential document indeed? That is what the registrar
2 is -- Madam Registrar has just told me.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Mr. President,
4 this is a public document, but let me consult my learned colleagues of the
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, it's a public document, this
8 document. It's Mr. Butler's military narrative from Operation Krivaja 95.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, where did you
10 get that marking from?
11 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, if I might, I think the problem may be
12 this: 400/3 is a document that's under seal. 403 is this document, which
13 is not under seal. So there may be a slash missing. That's perhaps where
14 the confusion is.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we're now -- as far as I
16 remember, it is document 403; is that right? And the other document,
17 400/3, was under seal; is that right?
18 MR. CAYLEY: That's right, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
20 Madam Registrar did draw my attention to this. Thank you very
21 much. You try to be of assistance.
22 But without losing more time, let us proceed, Mr. Visnjic. We
23 have the document on the ELMO, and I apologise for interrupting.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General Radinovic, what was the role and responsibility of General
1 Krstic in Operation Krivaja 95?
2 A. As I have already said in starting my response, General Krstic, in
3 Operation Krivaja 95, was at the post of Chief of Staff. He was -- and
4 also deputy commander. He was also the deputy of the commander. And his
5 role at that post was to plan the Operation Krivaja 95 and, from the
6 forward command post, as Chief of Staff, to supervise its implementation,
7 the course of the operation, and, in keeping with the course of the
8 operation, to propose to the commander the undertaking of measures in
9 keeping with the development of the situation on the ground.
10 In his role of deputy commander of the Drina Corps, General Krstic
11 could have, when the Corps Commander was not around, then he could have
12 realised the function of command.
13 Furthermore, General Krstic, together with the commander, was at
14 the forward command post at Pribicevac, and always, at all times when at
15 that command spot the commander was absent, he could have the right to
16 command units in that operation. But let me repeat, only in the absence
17 of the commander.
18 Q. General Radinovic, would you now take a look at Exhibit 403,
19 paragraph 8.43, and give us your comments with respect to what Mr. Butler
21 A. Yes. This is a summary, a precis of Mr. Butler's findings, and in
22 the paragraph C 8.43, he says as follows: "In reviewing the period prior
23 to 13 July 1995, it is clear that General-Major Krstic was not only
24 functioning as the Drina Corps Chief of Staff, but he was probably also
25 functioning as the," and then it says in inverted commas, "`operational
1 commander' for the military forces grouped together for Operation Krivaja
3 This assertion is not incorrect, but its intentions are such that
4 they demand comment, merit comment. I don't know what "operational
5 commander" written in inverted commas actually means, but I wish to stress
6 that this -- a syntagma of this kind is not used in the doctrine of
7 command of the Yugoslav People's Army. It is not something that the JNA
8 used, and therefore the army of Republika Srpska didn't use it either. A
9 commander can only be an operational commander. He cannot be an
10 inoperational commander or the opposite of "operational."
11 I don't know how to interpret the real meaning of this syntagma
12 used here, "operational commander," and even less so what it means in the
13 sense of command competence and command responsibility of General Krstic.
14 He, at the forward command post of the corps performing an operation,
15 engaged in an operation, he was there at the forward command post, and he
16 was always in the role of Chief of Staff there, except in situations when
17 the Corps Commander was unable to command, exercise his function of
18 command. And this instance -- in these instances, he commanded
19 completely, in full, as if he were commander, without any restrictions,
20 and he is authorised to do so by his -- by virtue of his function of
21 Deputy Commander. And therefore, there is no need to use any metaphors
22 which can cloud the issue and present his role in an erroneous light.
23 So as Deputy Commander, he commands in the full sense of the word
24 with all the command competencies in the absence of the commander, and no
25 papers or documents are necessary for him to receive additional
1 authorisation of that kind. By definition, he is the commander in the
2 absence of the commander.
3 Q. General Radinovic, how do you view the position and function of
4 General Krstic at the time of the moving out of the population from
6 A. General Krstic, as I have already said, at the time the population
7 moved out from Potocari, was the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps and, at
8 the same time, Deputy Commander. When this problem arose and when it had
9 to be solved, General Krstic received the task of planning, organising,
10 and executing a new operation, and that new operation was the operation at
11 Zepa. That was his assignment. It is within the zone of responsibility
12 of the Drina Corps, but it is in the south of the zone.
13 At the moment when he received -- when he took on this new role,
14 General Krstic started the planning of that particular operation. As we
15 can see from the acts and documents, of the testimonies -- and testimony
16 before this Tribunal, we can learn that from the commander of the Main
17 Staff, he was appointed commander of the operative group for the
18 preparation and for the implementation of the operation at Zepa.
19 Therefore, he was appointed commander.
20 Now, we can ask ourselves whether that was absolutely necessary in
21 view of the fact that he was the Deputy Commander already and, therefore,
22 was in a position to command the forces at Zepa without receiving any
23 separate decree on appointment. Of course he could have. That is another
24 way it could have been done. But the commander of the Main Staff assessed
25 that this was a different axis, a separate axis, and that it was necessary
1 to have a commander who would be in charge of that operation. And what is
2 more important, that the Corps Commander, that is to say the nominal Corps
3 Commander, should be excluded and liberated from his command
4 responsibility and authorisation and competence for part of the forces of
5 the Corps taking part and engaged in the Zepa operation. Therefore, by
6 appointing -- by this appointment, the commander of the Main Staff fully
7 transmitted all command responsibility to the commander of the operative
8 group and excluded the commander of the Drina Corps from having that
10 Why he did that, it is difficult to say with any certainty now.
11 All the more so as we do not have any statements by the people who
12 actually made the decision. All I can do is to speculate. I can assume
13 that he evaluated the situation, and that from the 11th of July in the
14 evening, two parallel and two very major operational problems occurred in
15 the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, and that it would have been
16 difficult for one man, one person, one individual to cover both these
17 situations, that is to say, both these major events.
18 Q. When you say, "by this appointment, the commander of the Main
19 Staff fully transmitted all command responsibility to the commander of the
20 operative group and excluded the commander of the Drina Corps from having
21 any responsibility" - that is what you said, it is in the LiveNote, in the
22 record - which responsibility were you referring to as excluding the
23 commander? That is to say, what responsibility was left to the command of
24 the Drina Corps?
25 A. It is obvious that the commander of the Drina Corps, the command
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the Main Staff relieved of the responsibility of preparing and leading
2 the operation at Zepa and all the consequences that could result from
3 that. At the same time, he retained the commander responsibility for
4 problems which arose in the zone of responsibility in the Srebrenica
5 region and the region of Potocari, and in the whole area of responsibility
6 outside the region where the Zepa operation was conducted.
7 To the contrary, the appointment would have no sense at all, there
8 would be no meaning to the appointment, because General Krstic could have
9 commanded the forces at Zepa even without that appointment by virtue of
10 the automatic mechanism that stepped in because, in Zivanovic's absence,
11 Krstic could command.
12 Q. General Radinovic, could you explain to the Trial Chamber in
13 greater detail the role of General Krstic in Operation Stupcanica 95, or
14 let us -- let me ask it a different way. What does Stupcanica 95 mean?
15 And at the same time, I should like to ask the usher to prepare
16 Prosecution Exhibit 425 for us, please.
17 A. Stupcanica is the coded name for the operation for Zepa. I stated
18 yesterday in my testimony that it was the practice either to name
19 operations by using well-known toponyms or terms which have some clear
20 message, such as "storm," "desert storm," "flash." So the proper name
21 "Stupcanica" - and since we're discussing this question, I made a lapse,
22 small lapse yesterday, so I would like for this to be kept in mind.
23 When I was talking about operations nominated in directive 7, I
24 said that Operation Spreca was not carried out. I meant the strategic
25 operations. So they were not carried out nor executed. So this operation
1 Sprecanica [phoen], on the contact of the East Bosnian and Drina Corps,
2 this should also have been carried out with East Bosnian Corps and also
3 together in cooperation with the Drina Corps. This operation was planned
4 and started, but it was not carried out. And what is the strangest thing
5 in this whole complex is that nobody was actually held accountable for
6 that. And actually, the Drina Corps [as interpreted] had 37 casualties as
7 a result of this.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] We're talking now about directive
9 number 7 in Exhibit 425. Could we look at page 7 of the Serbian version.
10 I just wanted to correct the transcript, line 18. It is stated
11 that the Drina Corps had 37, but actually we're talking about the Zvornik
13 Q. Let us come back to directive number 7. General Radinovic, do you
14 find a basis in this directive for Operation Stupcanica 95?
15 A. No. There is no basis for this operation here. The Drina Corps
16 was meant to carry out operation Zvijezda, Spreca, Prozor [indiscernible]
17 95, but obviously there is no Operation Stupcanica. However, in this same
18 directive, Krivaja 95 is mentioned, but in a different way. Krivaja 95 is
19 not mentioned regarding the Drina Corps; it's mentioned regarding another
20 corps, and that is the Herzegovina Corps, Herzegovina Corps, and the
21 region of operation --
22 Q. Just one moment, please. Could you please make a break between
23 the question and the answer, because I see here in the transcript it's not
24 clear where the question ends and the answer begins, so I will ask the
25 question again.
1 Is there -- is Krivaja 95, the Operation Krivaja 95, mentioned in
2 directive 7?
3 A. Yes, it's mentioned, but not for the Drina Corps, but for the
4 Herzegovina Corps. The area where Krivaja 95 is supposed to be carried
5 out in directive number 7 for the Herzegovina Corps is the valley of the
6 River Drina [as interpreted] -- Neretva, but this is not in the zone of
7 responsibility of the Drina Corps.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the record, I must intervene
9 once again. So the Krivaja 95 operation that is mentioned in directive 7
10 is the region of the River Neretva, and not Drina, as it states in the
12 I think he's already brought back the document, but if the usher
13 could please place on the ELMO the page where Krivaja 95 is mentioned in
14 directive number 7, in the English version.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley.
16 MR. CAYLEY: I think it's the page before, Mr. President. I think
17 if you turn one page back.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that
20 Mr. Cayley did not look on the monitor.
21 MR. CAYLEY: It's right now.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
24 Krivaja 95.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the record, we're talking about
1 pages 12 and 13 in the English translation, relating to the Herzegovina
3 Q. So Krivaja 95, which is mentioned in this directive, has nothing
4 to do with Krivaja 95, which was actually carried out?
5 A. That's right. It has nothing to do with it.
6 Q. General Radinovic, there are a number of interpretations - this
7 Trial Chamber has heard several versions - and interpretations of when
8 General Krstic became commander of the Drina Corps. When do you believe
9 General Krstic became the commander of the Drina Corps, and why do you
10 believe that?
11 A. I believe that General Krstic became the commander of the Drina
12 Corps on the 20th of July, 1995. I believe that this was -- that he
13 became the commander on that date because on that day he assumed his
14 duties at a meeting which was attended by the commanders of some corps,
15 assistant commanders of the Main Staff, and representatives of some
16 civilian structures of power. And this was the way it was planned, or
17 this is provided for under the rules of service in the army of Republika
18 Srpska regarding the transfer and assumption of duties.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
20 prepare Prosecution Exhibit 468.
21 Q. General Radinovic, who appointed General Krstic, and under -- in
22 which document, as the commander of the Drina Corps?
23 A. General Krstic was appointed commander of the Drina Corps by a
24 decree of the president of Republika Srpska, who is the only authorised
25 person for these kind of appointments. So the president of Republika
1 Srpska appointed the commander of the Drina Corps to his duties,
2 Major-General Radislav Krstic.
3 Q. We have that document. This is Prosecution Exhibit 468. My
4 question -- for the record, I have to start again. I don't see in the
5 transcript -- I don't see the question in the transcript, the "Q"
6 indicating that the question has begun.
7 We have before us Prosecution Exhibit 468. How should we
8 understand these dates based on the principles of military doctrine? How
9 do we interpret the dates from this decree?
10 A. The president of Republika Srpska by a decree registered under
11 number 011369/95 named General Krstic as commander of the Drina Corps on
12 July 14th, 1995. But at the bottom of the document itself there is a
13 statement saying that he and Colonel Andric, who was to take over the
14 duties of the Chief of Staff of the corps, will be appointed as of July
15 15th, 1995.
16 So the president of the Republic, who is the only person
17 authorised to appoint commanders at that level, has said -- or set July
18 15th as the date when General Krstic is permitted, I stress "permitted,"
19 to take over his duties. Before that date, he should not or he is not
20 permitted to take over such duties. So that is the date as of which
21 General Krstic can/may take over his duties, if we keep in mind that the
22 taking on and the handing over of responsibility is a process and not just
23 an act.
24 So the president of the Republic does not set a certain date by
25 which he has to take over his responsibility because conditions need to be
1 created for this. Which conditions are we talking about? General Krstic
2 at that time was carrying out operations in Zepa, and this was a very
3 complicated, difficult, comprehensive action, so that there was no
4 question that General Krstic could have dealt with anything else except
5 that operation right up until the operation was not [as translated]
6 completed or until there is an operative pause which would create the
7 conditions for him to take over his duties.
8 What makes it easier in this whole process to take over
9 responsibility is the fact that we are talking about a superior officer
10 who is familiar with the corps, who knows the situation, who before his
11 appointment would occasionally perform the function of Corps Commander
12 when the nominal commander was not in a position to carry out his command
13 function. So for him to take over his duties, it was not essential to
14 have the usual or the customary period of time that is usually provided
15 for newly-appointed commanders, when we're talking about a person, an
16 officer who is from another unit, from another zone of responsibility,
17 when such a person assumes a new and a terrain that is not familiar enough
18 to him, and also when he comes into a new operative and tactical situation
19 which he is not very well acquainted with. So for General Krstic, we only
20 needed some kind of operative pause, a kind of respite in the Zepa
21 operation so that he could then take over his duties.
22 In accordance with the circumstances, this took place on August
23 20th with the presence of numerous corps officers, commanders, deputy
24 commanders, and also this took place in the presence of a certain number
25 of civil authorities, representatives. So this is a ceremony where it is
1 practically announced that there is a new person who will be in command of
2 the corps.
3 Was there any need to rush with this? I think not. Perhaps it
4 was even possible to wait for the operation to be completely finished, and
5 then when the forward command post was again withdrawn to the basic
6 command post in Vlasenica, then they could have perhaps carried out the
7 handover and the taking over. Well, perhaps there are certain reasons why
8 this was required. This was something that I did not deal with, but I
9 believe that there was no reason to rush and I would not wish to speculate
10 why this happened, but it is undoubtedly that this took place on the 20th.
11 Q. General Radinovic, I see a certain date in the transcript, so I
12 will ask you this question again. When did General Krstic take over the
13 duties of commander?
14 A. General Krstic took over the duties of Corps Commander on July
15 20th, 1995.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In that case, I would like to
17 correct -- this was probably just a slip of the tongue, we're talking
18 about page 44, line 6, the date "August" is mentioned, so that is the
19 reason why I asked this question again.
20 Q. General Radinovic, when we're talking about the act of taking
21 over, handing over and taking over duties, this is something that is
22 provided for in the regulations of the army of Republika Srpska?
23 A. Yes. This is regulated by the rules of service of the army of
24 Republika Srpska in a section which is called "Assumption of Duties."
25 This, of course, pertains to taking over duties in peacetime, so this is
1 in cases of taking over of duty in peacetime.
2 In tactical units, the assumption of duties is carried out in
3 front of a line-up of soldiers from the bottom right up to the top ranks
4 of the army, including the Deputy Commanders or assistant commanders of
5 the Main Staff. And the Chiefs of Staffs of the corps and officers at
6 their level, they assume their duties at a working meeting of the corps
7 command, i.e., in the presence at that level at which the handing over of
8 duties is performed. This is where the handing over of duties and the
9 taking on of duties is officially carried out.
10 Q. General Radinovic, during your research, did you ever come across
11 any documents, any statements which would indicate that between the 13th,
12 15th, and the 20th of July, 1995, that there was -- that there were some
13 exceptional circumstances which would require the application of that
14 automatic mechanism in the takeover of duty between the Chief of Staff and
15 the Corps Commander as part of the function of the Chief of Staff, the
16 mechanism that you talked about?
17 A. No. I didn't find any such circumstances, the existence of any
18 such circumstances which would require the procedure of takeover of duty
19 to be speeded up. Quite the contrary. The circumstances pointed to the
20 fact that the handover of duty should have been postponed until the
21 completion of the Zepa operation. There was no need whatsoever for that
22 procedure to take over on the 20th. But this is just my analytical
23 assessment from a distance. Most probably, it was possible to complete
24 the procedure on the 20th.
25 And of course, there was an obligation which was contained in the
1 decree of the president of the 15th of July, so the procedure had to take
2 place sometime. Whether it had to take place on that particular date or
3 not, I don't know. It's a matter of practical circumstances which I don't
4 know anything about. I haven't come across any circumstances, any
5 situation which would indicate the need to speed up the procedure.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, I'm sorry to
7 interrupt you.
8 Professor Radinovic, I think that you testified today that the law
9 provided for the Chiefs of Staff to be able to replace automatically,
10 without any written document, the Corps Commander. Was that the case
11 here? You say that it was not necessary to speed up the procedure of
12 takeover of duty. In particular, was one of the reasons for that the fact
13 that, in accordance with the law, he was -- he could act as the Deputy
15 A. Mr. President, no, we cannot interpret it that way. He is not the
16 commander according to the law. According to the law, he's only Deputy
17 Commander, and that obligation, that right, is contained in his post, in
18 his function of the Chief of Staff. So in addition to his post as the
19 Chief of Staff, he is also Deputy Commander, and he can exercise the
20 command over the entire corps only in the absence or unavailability of the
21 commander. However, he does not have all of the rights pertaining to the
22 function of the Corps Commander, except, of course, when the commander is
23 not there.
24 The president of the Republic probably had certain reasons in mind
25 when he appointed General Krstic Corps Commander, and to appoint the
1 outgoing, the former Corps Commander, to some other post. That is his
2 discretional right, and I do not have enough information, enough knowledge
3 on the basis of which I could tell you the reasons that led the president
4 of the Republic to appoint him to that post.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Did you come across any
6 indication, any particular circumstances during your research which would
7 indicate that Commander Zivanovic was not able -- that it was impossible
8 for him to exercise his role of the commander?
9 A. No. No. I haven't come across that piece of information, that
10 is, the information which would indicate that he was unable or prevented
11 from fulfilling his duty, the duty of the Corps Commander.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. I think
13 that we can continue until 10 minutes past 12.00.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Just a question, General Radinovic. You just
15 mentioned in passing that maybe the president of the Republic had special
16 reasons for appointing General Krstic this post. Was it - I mean, in the
17 army - was it some kind of natural grades going higher and higher? Was it
18 time for him to be put in this post or was he, as you said, there were
19 some special reasons to put him, some exceptional reasons?
20 A. I don't think that there was any exceptional reason. Had it
21 existed, I would have probably known about it and I would have mentioned
22 it in my testimony and my report as well. However, according to what I
23 know, I don't think that there was such a reason and that there was any
24 need for this procedure to be speeded up. They could have waited for a
25 lull in the conduct of operations and have the procedure conducted in the
1 usual relaxed way.
2 It is his right, the right of the president of the Republic, to
3 appoint generals to such high positions, such as the position of the Corps
4 Commander. It is a discretional right of the president to do that. I'm
5 not a legal expert. I don't know what that right entails. But there is a
6 normal way of advancing through the chain. There are special schools,
7 special courses to that effect, and certain criteria for fulfilling the
8 function of the Corps Commander are explicitly set and there is a number
9 of other requirements that need to be fulfilled for someone to be
10 appointed to that position. And I believe that there was enough time and
11 enough opportunity to see whether General Krstic would be able to fulfil
12 all of those conditions and requirements, and I believe that with his
13 conduct, with his experience, and also thanks to his function as the Chief
14 of Staff, was quite legitimately named to the post of the Corps Commander,
15 whether on the 14th of July or whether on the 25th. He would have been
16 appointed to that position in -- by any such decree, but I don't know the
17 reasons why he was appointed by this particular decree.
18 JUDGE RIAD: So excuse me. Were there other senior officers
19 eligible, more eligible than him, for this post?
20 A. Well, it is very difficult for me, Your Honour, to answer your
21 question. I believe that there was, but if you are now going to ask me
22 for a specific name, specific person, I wouldn't know. I would have to
23 think about that a little bit, and I could perhaps come up with a list of
24 people who might be eligible. However, in the VRS, and the JNA, from
25 which I come, and General Krstic as well, it is perfectly natural for an
1 officer to advance, and it is perfectly customary for the commander to be
2 succeeded by his Chief of Staff, that is, the person who had already had
3 experience acting as the Corps Commander and who would be best placed to
4 do so in the future.
5 I know that General Dannatt mentions something to that effect in
6 his report. I might be mistaken, and I apologise if that is the case, but
7 I believe that he said that in the army of the United Kingdom, a
8 commander -- another officer is appointed to the post of the commander,
9 someone coming from the outside, which is not such a bad idea, because it
10 makes it possible for the professional relationships to function in a
11 better way. Because if you have a too personal situation, a too personal
12 atmosphere, that can complicate things in terms of profession. But
13 however, this is how things work in the army that I am familiar with, and
14 I cannot comment further on in that respect.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Just what made me ask you that question was that you
16 said that the president might have some special reasons to appoint him,
17 that's all. So if you don't know the special reasons, all right. Thank
19 JUDGE WALD: General --
20 A. I really don't.
21 JUDGE WALD: General, we have a saying, which you may be familiar
22 with, that you don't change horses in the middle of the stream. And in
23 your military experience -- Yes. I'm sure it's a universal notion. In
24 your military experience, is it not exceptional to -- for the president,
25 the Supreme Commander, to change the commander of a corps at a time when,
1 you have so adroitly pointed out, the corps was faced with two major
2 operations: one the Zepa operation and one the -- whatever the clean-up
3 or whatever the follow-up was in the Srebrenica. And President Karadzic's
4 decree is -- came down on the 14th. It said, "effective on the 15th." I
5 know you've explained what your interpretation of "effect" is, but was
6 that not in itself unusual to bring that change down in the middle of two
7 crises, as it were, for the corps?
8 A. Your Honour, I can answer your question only conditionally
9 speaking, and let me say the reasons why. I don't know -- I'm not
10 familiar with the general situation and the context in which that
11 particular decree was made. It is a practice, when it comes to the high
12 levels of command, that certain types of legal documents and appointment
13 decisions, including appointments for high commanding posts, are made in
14 certain conditions and given a certain temporal time framework. It is
15 perfectly customary for those individuals to be discussed and assessed
16 during certain high-level meetings, and it is quite possible that the
17 appointment in question was a kind of epilogue of an assessment of the
18 personnel situation, human resources situation, and the service in charge
19 of drafting such documents then prepare the relevant document on the
20 14th. I don't see any other reason for that. Frankly speaking, I -- that
21 particular fact didn't lead me to any specific research as to why that was
22 the case. But I fully agree with you when you say that you don't change
23 horses in the middle of the stream.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Professor. I
25 also have a question concerning the issue that is being discussed. Do you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 know who General Zivanovic replaced in the Main Staff?
2 A. I really don't know, Your Honour. I'm sorry for having failed to
3 pay attention to that particular fact. I consider it to be my personal
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have another question for you,
6 General. You said that it was not necessary to speed up the procedure of
7 takeover of duty of General Krstic. Can you tell us: Do you know why it
8 was urgent for General Krstic [as interpreted] to be promoted, why that
9 promotion was a matter of urgency?
10 A. No, I'm sorry. I don't know. Because somehow I don't think that
11 General Zivanovic later on took up any significant post on the basis of
12 which I would remember him.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You also said that the president
14 of Republika Srpska had availed himself of his right in discretionary
15 manner. Do you know if he was adequately informed of the time and of the
16 operations that were taking place at the time when he signed the decree on
17 the promotion of Zivanovic? Because I understand that he has a
18 discretionary right to do that, but I don't think that he would have done
19 that in an arbitrary fashion. He must have had some good reasons for
20 that. Do you know anything about that?
21 A. No. I tried to explain to you the way in which these personnel
22 issues are dealt with and on the basis of what relevant documents are
23 issued, in view of the practice in the VRS and the JNA, and I think that
24 the procedure is similar to the procedure applied in any other army.
25 There wasn't any single urgent reason for that replacement, as far as I
1 know, in my judgement. I don't think that it was urgent for General
2 Zivanovic to take up this new post. And if there had been something very
3 important, if there had been some kind of crisis of a sort, I think I
4 would have known that, because I studied the matter in detail, from a safe
5 distance, of course, from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from
6 Belgrade. But I know that there was no need for General Krstic to be
7 moved from his duty of the commander of the operational group in Zepa
8 until such time as that operation is completed.
9 So I cannot answer you with any precision as to why that was done
10 at that particular point in time. It is perfectly obvious that that
11 change in personnel was the result of the status of General Krstic, his
12 experience, his previous service, and the time that he spent serving as
13 the Chief of Staff of the corps. So that solution in itself is perfectly
14 natural and motivated. As to why it was done on the 14th of July, why the
15 decree is dated the 14th of July, I really don't know.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that this is a
17 convenient time for a break, Mr. Visnjic. Were you about to say that?
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. But you will
19 have to trust me, but -- for this particular matter. I think, then, on
20 page 51, line 13, the name stated is General Krstic instead of General
21 Zivanovic, but you will have to trust me, as I say, because it's no longer
22 on the screen.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Visnjic. We will
24 see that.
25 I think that we should now have our usual lunch break, which will
1 take -- which will last 50 minutes today, because we will then have to
2 divide the remaining working time in two blocks. So we will come back at
3 5 minutes past 1.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1:08 p.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, I have one more
7 question for the witness before you continue.
8 General Radinovic, you told us, and we already knew, that General
9 Krstic commanded the Zepa operation according to the rules, according to
10 the customs and standard practice of the VRS and other armies. So what we
11 have is at the same time we have General Mladic, the chief of the Main
12 Staff, and then we have General Zivanovic as commander of the Drina Corps,
13 and General Krstic as the Chief of Staff.
14 In normal conditions, if I can use that term, according to the
15 rules, according to customs, according to your knowledge, who should have
16 commanded the Zepa operation?
17 A. We have the undeniable fact as to who commanded the operation at
18 Zepa, and that was General Krstic. He commanded it. Now, I could, of
19 course, speculate as to who should have been in command, but that's
20 another matter. And it was a legitimate order, a legitimate -- a
21 completely legitimate decision that the most prominent officer from the
22 Corps command should command the forces in an operation which was not a
23 very -- one of a very broad scale. It wasn't a broad-scale operation
24 which would require the engagement of all available -- of all -- the whole
25 potential of the Drina Corps, and in that case, it would have been natural
1 that, at the forward command post in Krivace, we have the commander of the
2 Drina Corps present as well.
3 So the commander of the Main Staff, I can only assume, weighed
4 things up and thought that the most productive solution, the best
5 solution, was to separate the Corps Commander and his deputy, that is to
6 say, his Chief of Staff, and that the Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps
7 should be explicitly, by decree, given the role of commander of the
8 operative group; and the commander of the Drina Corps should be left with
9 the competencies over all the other problems that might occur within the
10 zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps. And already on the 11th of
11 July, it was quite clear that two major operational problems and
12 humanitarian problems would arise in the zone of responsibility, and that
13 was to see to and move out, on the basis of the initiatives that were
14 undertaken, the civilian population, number one; and number two, control
15 or, rather, the prevention of the breakthrough of the forces of the 28th
16 Division; and taking care of the operational situation which would occur
17 in the zones of the responsibility of the units who were on this axis of
18 the breakthrough of the 28th Division.
19 So they were three serious problems, and there truly was the
20 necessity to balance out the responsibilities, to share them out if the
21 Chief of Staff was available, as well as the commander.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let me take your expression, the
23 expression that you use, in order to establish a balance. Would it not be
24 better to have General Zivanovic, the Corps Commander in Zepa, and General
25 Mladic, who is the chief of the Main Staff of the army, and the Chief of
1 Staff of the Drina Corps for the rest? Wouldn't that be a better
3 A. Well, that is -- that would be the subject of expert analysis. I
4 do not think so, no. I think that this was the most productive and best
5 way, and now let's see why.
6 First, General Zivanovic was the commander of the Drina Corps from
7 earlier on, from before. General Zivanovic, as far as I know, was born in
8 that area, in the zone of responsibility. I think the village's name was
9 Ratkovici. That was his native village precisely in the zone of
10 responsibility of the Drina Corps, and if there was anybody who knew the
11 problems of that area and that microregion, it was General Zivanovic.
12 Furthermore, General Zivanovic was commander from before, as I said, and
13 he was very well acquainted with what the corps could expect in tackling
14 these two tasks, the forthcoming tasks. Therefore, there was no need, on
15 the contrary, to replace the responsibility -- transfer these two
16 competencies for the Zepa and that this be taken over by the Chief of
17 Staff. I think that that would have been -- that that was a poorer
18 solution, but probably the commander of the Main Staff was guided by that
19 kind of logic.
20 And another thing, President: It is not natural for the commander
21 of all the forces to be appointed at a given period of time to be the
22 commander of only a portion of the forces, a part of the troops. He is
23 always commander of the main bulk of the troops, and the main bulk of the
24 Drina Corps troops were still on the defensive positions and in defensive
25 action, and the bulk of the corps remained outside the engagement of the
1 Zepa operation.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Visnjic, please continue.
4 I think that Judge Riad has a question, sorry.
5 JUDGE RIAD: General Radinovic, you mentioned that General Krstic
6 was appointed commander of the Drina Corps by the decree of the president
7 as of July 15th, and you said that, of course, he could not take over his
8 responsibilities until an operative post could create the conditions for
9 him to take over duties. That was almost what you said. During this
10 period, who was really concretely on the ground, active and responsible
11 for the Drina Corps? The commander was not there. Who was really -- who
12 could really handle the whole situation during that period? Did they
13 refer to the commander in Zepa and ask him his opinion, or was there
14 somebody completely -- was it Zivanovic, or did Zivanovic disappear from
15 the picture from the moment he was appointed?
16 A. In response to your question, Your Honour, Judge Riad, I can
17 answer only on the basis of the available facts and information. As far
18 as I know, General Zivanovic was in the zone of responsibility of the
19 Drina Corps, and he did not, by any act of command, was relieved of that
20 function [as interpreted], those duties. Right up until the takeover of
21 duty by General Krstic, he was the nominal and, for me, the de facto
22 commander of the Corps, as there was no -- there is no information that he
23 was prevented from commanding or was absent from the zone of
24 responsibility at that particular time.
25 JUDGE RIAD: And before the 15th, was General Krstic more or less
1 the factual commander? It was known already that he was the commander.
2 Did he really take matters in hand before he went to Zepa?
3 A. On the 11th, in the evening, at a meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
4 headquarters, after the taking over of Srebrenica - this was a meeting
5 that was organised and presided over by the commander of the Main
6 Staff - he received the assignment of preparing, organising, and executing
7 the operation at Zepa. And from that moment on, he nominally and
8 factually was commander of the operative group for Zepa, which implied a
9 whole series of duties and responsibilities with shifting the forward
10 command post from Pribicevac to Krivace, which meant that the operation
11 had to be planned, which in turn meant that orders for the operation had
12 to be compiled and drafted, as well as the plan of activities, which means
13 the working cards and all the other plans prescribed for an operation of
14 that kind.
15 This requires the organisation of forces. It requires that the
16 troops be brought in. It implies completely -- a completely secure zone
17 in which those forces were to regroup, and it implies the deployment of
18 troops to their initial positions, additional reconnoitring, translating
19 the decision to the terrain and adapting it to the terrain, listening to
20 the technical problems and other problems that the commanders of units
21 were facing who were to take part in the Zepa operation, and reactions to
22 all their requirements and demands, which in turn implies a complete
23 monitoring of the situation and reactions to the problems which occur in
24 the case of the operation and things that had to be corrected as things
25 were moving on.
1 Let me wind up my answer by saying that this was such a complex
2 task, which required so many responsibilities, that General Krstic could
3 not mentally or physically have the possibility of dealing with any other
4 problems whatsoever except problems related to the proper planning and
5 preparation and leadership of the Zepa operation.
6 JUDGE RIAD: When did General Krstic have to leave for Zepa? What
7 date exactly, if you know.
8 A. Yes, I do. General Krstic had to leave for Zepa before the
9 beginning of the operation, and the operation started on the 14th, in the
10 morning, from the command post -- it was the 13th, and General Krstic, if
11 he wanted to be a professional soldier and to the level of his -- up to
12 the level of his assignment, then he would have to have been in Zepa on
13 several occasions before the operation was unleashed, first of all, to go
14 for the first time with his operational officer, his intelligence officer,
15 his chief of communications, his lead -- staff leader, officer, and to
16 tell them what their duties were to prepare and install the forward
17 command post for that operation.
18 After that -- furthermore, General Krstic had to tour the units
19 and commanders who were to be engaged in that operation. That was his
20 second task, second duty. And during that time, he issued assignments to
21 his assistant for operational affairs - and he was now the Chief of Staff
22 of that operative group - to prepare documents for planning that
23 operation. So that -- and he also had to appear at the command post at
24 Vlasenica to see, with the deputy commanders -- to see to some affairs
25 with them, which would allow the proper implementation of the operation.
1 Then he would have to go back and see what had been done, whether
2 the things assigned had actually been done. So he had to have intensive
3 communication from the forward command post via the units to be included,
4 up to the system of command for the Drina Corps, so as to prepare the
5 operation as best as possible, and that means that his whole time would be
6 taken up with all these activities. And if I were in his place, I could
7 do nothing else apart from the Zepa operation. That would be my sole
8 concern. I would have no time for anything else.
9 JUDGE RIAD: This is from the practical side only or even from
10 the - what can I say? - official side? Because if I understood rightly,
11 even before the operation was unleashed, General Krstic was completely
12 excluded from any responsibilities other than the Drina Corps. Is that
13 what you, in short, you want to say?
14 A. I wanted to say that from the 11th, in the evening, when he was
15 told of the decision, when the decision was made known to him that he was
16 appointed commander of the operative group for the Zepa operation, he was
17 nominally excluded from all his other responsibilities, and de facto he
18 excluded himself because he didn't have time to do anything but -- to see
19 to anything else but the Zepa operation.
20 JUDGE RIAD: So it was a de facto necessity, but not an
21 official -- his official responsibility stayed -- still remained till the
22 operation started? As you said, if you were in his place, you would have
23 had no time to do anything, but officially he was -- the operation -- till
24 the operation started, he was officially responsible for his duties for
25 the Drina Corps?
1 A. No, Your Honour. The operation did not start at the very moment
2 of its instigation, but its planning, preparation, and deployment of
3 units, all that, as well as the preparation of the system of command and
4 the command post. So that implies the time before the 14th. From the
5 11th to the 14th was the period of preparation and organisation for the
6 operation, and from the 14th onwards was when the operation became
7 implemented and he was physically -- he physically had to be there. But
8 up until the 14th, he had to go to Zepa several times, but he had to be
9 with his subordinate units as well, those units that he was to take to
11 JUDGE RIAD: I'd just like to clarify the last one. You said on
12 the 11th it was decided that would you go -- that would handle the Zepa
13 operation. Was there a specific order that, from that moment, he had
14 nothing else to do and that he was completely excluded from the other
15 duties from that moment? Was there any specific order, or it was just,
16 again, the practical impossibilities?
17 A. There is the doctrinary principle in the system of command which
18 need not be written down, written in writing. It is something that is a
19 rule that holds true, that is applied. Had the commander of the Main
20 Staff wanted not to change anything in the system of command, then he
21 would -- to the commander of the Drina Corps, General Zivanovic, he would
22 have ordered him to implement the Zepa operation. That would have been
23 his right. And General Zivanovic would then be duty-bound to organise the
24 system of command as he saw fit, and then we would -- and we would see
25 what kind of system he would have applied, and then we could have
1 discussed that had that been the case.
2 But the commander of the Main Staff considered that the solution
3 and decision to appoint Krstic as commander of the operative group was the
4 most productive and best solution. And as of that time when this was told
5 to him, when Krstic was informed of this, Krstic was nominally excluded
6 from the function of deputy corps commander and was authorised and
7 duty-bound - and that is important, duty-bound - to organise and plan the
8 Zepa operation and implement it.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, General.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, I think that what
11 you wanted to put right on the LiveNote has disappeared from our screens,
12 but I see you've made a note of it; is that right?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, but I can still
14 see it on page 61, line 9. General Krstic is nominally excluded from the
15 duty of Chief of Staff, and not "deputy of the corps commander" as it says
16 in the transcript. I think he said the duty of Chief of Staff. That
17 would be my first -- but it doesn't matter. Even if it said deputy, it
18 doesn't matter; it's the same function. It's the same individual
19 performing the two functions.
20 The next correction that I have to make, once again for purposes
21 of the record, relates to page 59, line 4, and the witness spoke about the
22 fact that General Krstic came to the command to talk to the assistant
23 commanders for certain departments at the command in Vlasenica; the
24 "assistant commanders" of certain departments and not the "deputy
25 commanders" as was written in the transcript. So that is my correction;
1 not deputy commanders but assistant commanders.
2 And I've just been told that on page 58, in line 1, the word was
3 "tactical," and in the LiveNote it says "technical." The General said
4 "tactical," not "technical."
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Well, technical, tactical, it
6 can be the same thing. Anyway, it's "tactical," not "technical." We put
7 that right. Please proceed.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. General Radinovic, which system of command and control were
10 applied in the Drina Corps from -- until the completion of Stupcanica, so
11 July 1995?
12 A. Yes, very few. This is a very rare zone of responsibility in
13 which at the same time in a border area, relatively speaking, there were
14 several structures or systems of command and control, and I'm quite sure
15 of this, that the very existence of these several systems led to mutual
16 disturbances and also for certain discrepancies in the system of command
17 and control, the command system of the Drina Corps; also, certain elements
18 of the command system of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska;
19 thirdly, some elements of the control system of the government of
20 Republika Srpska; then also a part of the leadership system within
21 Republika Srpska; and finally, and this is very important for this
22 testimony, also a certain level of independence of the security system of
23 management and control.
24 Q. Let's start in some kind of order. The first system that you
25 mentioned, the command system, that is, the command system of the Main
1 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, who was in command? Who issued
2 orders for the engagement of the units of the Main Staff of Republika
3 Srpska which in July of 1995 were in the zone of responsibility of the
4 Drina Corps?
5 A. Orders to the units of the Main Staff of the army of Republika
6 Srpska which were in this period in the zone of responsibility of the
7 Drina Corps were issued by the Main Staff of the VRS, so elements -- by
8 elements of its command system.
9 I reach this conclusion based on the fact that I did not, during
10 my research for this testimony, come up against even one document which
11 the Main Staff would -- in which the Main Staff would authorise the
12 command system of the Drina Corps to issue tasks to those units, to set
13 tasks to those units, and to monitor their conduct and their activities.
14 If there is no such document, if it doesn't exist, then for me,
15 that means that the Main Staff did not wish to give the command authority
16 to its directly-subordinated units to give to anybody else, other than its
17 own command system.
18 Q. In your research, what have you found out about the units -- which
19 units of the Main Staff were in the zone of responsibility of the Drina
20 Corps, and which would be important for this testimony?
21 A. Well, of importance in this testimony, there are two units, and
22 they are a battalion of the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment, and also
23 the 10th Diversionary Detachment, which did not have its -- which was not
24 based in the zone of responsibility but came to the zone of responsibility
25 at a certain point, and, according to some testimony, this was on the
2 All that I know is, on the video footage while the VRS was
3 entering Srebrenica, I recognised the commander of that detachment, and,
4 for me, this is information which is indicative of the fact that he
5 appeared in the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps on the 11th when
6 I saw him in Srebrenica on that video footage. And of course, I watched
7 that in order to prepare for this testimony. There are also testimonies
8 which say that that detachment appeared there on the 10th.
9 Q. The 65th Protective Motorised Regiment also has one battalion
10 which appears in the operation zone of Stupcanica 95 in the area of Zepa,
11 and this is not the battalion you mentioned?
12 A. No. This is a police battalion of the 65th Protective Regiment,
13 and this mechanised infantry battalion was in Zepa. It's a combat unit
14 which was permanently engaged in Zepa. This is a battalion of the 65th
15 regiment, and it's a police battalion.
16 Q. For the transcript, I just want to ask a similar question. An
17 infantry battalion of the 65th regiment appears in the zone of
18 responsibility -- excuse me, in the zone of actions of the Stupcanica 95
19 operation, and this is in the Zepa zone, isn't it? Is this true?
20 A. Yes, it is. To avoid confusion, we're talking about motorised
21 formations. The difference between infantry and motorised in our
22 terminology and doctrine is as follows: Infantry goes exclusively by
23 foot, and these other ones can move using other means, but this difference
24 is not really crucial.
25 Q. General Radinovic, are there any documents from the Main Staff
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which oblige the command of the Drina Corps to cooperation with the forces
2 of the Main Staff, and what does that mean?
3 A. No. I didn't come across any documents which would oblige the
4 command of the Drina Corps to act together with the 10th Diversionary
5 Regiment and the 10th [as interpreted] Protection Unit. I didn't come
6 across such documents. None were presented to me, and I personally didn't
7 come across any such documents. And what is most important for me, in the
8 combat documents and command documents of the Drina Corps, there is no
9 trace about this, about the fact that their superior command, the Main
10 Staff had obliged them to establish relations of cooperation with such
11 units of common action.
12 So in this regard, I can conclude that the command of the Drina
13 Corps was not authorised to act in this, in this manner; and for this, it
14 would be essential that the Main Staff, with their order, would oblige
15 them to enter into this type of relationship.
16 Q. I just want to ask a short question also because of the
17 transcript. Is there any other document which would oblige the command of
18 the Drina Corps to act together with the 10th Diversionary Detachment and
19 the police battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment?
20 A. There is no such document. Such a document does not exist.
21 Q. General Radinovic, in your view, which command system had the
22 command responsibility for the conduct and the activities of the 10th
23 Diversionary Detachment and the 65th Protection Regiment, its police
25 A. The command responsibility for the activities and the conduct of
1 these units was borne by their superior command, and that is the Main
2 Staff, i.e., those elements of the Main Staff which were superior to these
4 Q. These units, nevertheless, conducted tasks in the area of
5 responsibility of the Drina Corps. Does this mean that automatically the
6 responsibility is transferred to the command system because of their
7 activities? Does this mean that this would be conveyed automatically,
8 transferred automatically to the command system of the Drina Corps?
9 A. No, it would not, for the simple reason that the zone of the Drina
10 Corps is also a zone of responsibility of the VRS, and for all units of
11 the Main Staff which it did not directly, explicitly, or by its act of
12 command did not subordinate to the command of the Drina Corps or order it
13 to act in cooperation with those units. So practically, the Drina Corps
14 and the command of the Drina Corps was in this way completely excluded
15 from any kind of command competence and, therefore, command
17 I also want to add: If, in the command system and the system of
18 informing, the command of the Drina Corps found out that these units
19 committed something that was proscribed under regulations, then they would
20 be obliged, the Drina Corps, and the command system would be obliged to
21 act in accordance or exactly the same way that any officer or any member
22 of an army would behave when they found out that somebody was acting
23 against rules and regulations, meaning that procedures would have to be
24 initiated and investigations which would be required in such a particular
25 case. So only in this regard can there be responsibility for the conduct
1 of others in their zone.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
3 give the witness Prosecution Exhibit 649.
4 Q. General Radinovic, you have Prosecution Exhibit 649 in front of
5 you. You are already familiar with this document. You came across it in
6 your research. So I would like you to comment on the command
7 responsibility of the Drina Corps in this context, for the activities
8 cited in this document.
9 A. Two things are important here. First, the commander of the Main
10 Staff orders a group of three officers from the Main Staff, Colonels
11 Trkulja, Stankovic, and Sladojevic, to go to the command of the 1st
12 Zvornik Brigade in order to assist in the joining of the forces for the
13 coordination of combat operation, and as we know from my today testimony,
14 the situation in their zone of responsibility was very difficult. This
15 was on the 17th of July, 1995.
16 It's important to note here that the Main Staff is sending this
17 group of officers to review the situation, and, together with the
18 commander of the brigade, to consider the situation, and, together with
19 the commander, draw up a plan in order to resolve the situation. So in
20 this first part, in points 1 and 2, the commander of the Main Staff does
21 not rule out the commander of the Zvornik Brigade from the command system,
22 nor from the -- from command responsibility for his zone. He is just
23 sending him help. This is one form of interference, or a mixing of the
24 Main Staff command system with the command system of the Drina Corps, but
25 it's absolutely legitimate. So the intent -- with the intent to help,
1 because this was the most sensitive point in the area of responsibility of
2 the Drina Corps.
3 In paragraph 3, the commander of the Main Staff orders that the
4 territory is combed in zone of -- which he has indicated. So this is
5 within the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, with the aim of
6 discovering and destroying lagging Muslim groups. And to command all the
7 mentioned forces in the execution of that task, he appoints staff officer
8 for military police from the security administration of the Main Staff of
9 the VRS, Colonel Keserovic, and the officers -- or the forces that he
10 places at his disposal for that task are the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the 1st
11 Milici Brigade, 67th Communications Regiment, a battalion of the military
12 police of the 65th Protection Regiment, and forces of the MUP engaged in
13 the wider areas of Bratunac, Milici, Drinjaca.
14 So all of these forces are placed under the command of Colonel
15 Keserovic, the officer from the Main Staff, and authorises him to command
16 those forces in the period from the 17th, when this order was issued,
17 until the 19th of July, and with those activities and, conditionally
18 speaking, this operation, to conduct this operation from the command post
19 of the police battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment. And this
20 regiment, as we know, was in Nova Kasaba. So the Main Staff is installing
21 a command post which would unify all of the forces which would comb the
22 territory in that zone. And practically, not only do they include those
23 forces which are directly subordinated to the Main Staff in the first
24 degree of subordination, but also units of the Drina Corps, i.e., its two
25 brigades, the Milici and the Bratunac Brigades.
1 I personally think that in this way it can best be seen how in a
2 small area there are several command instances which must also have some
3 kind of interference effect. So not only do they help each other, but
4 they also interfere with each other as well.
5 Q. That document is not from this case. It's a mistake. So the
6 registrar will probably remove that.
7 A. Well, I'm a soldier. Nothing can surprise me.
8 Q. Shall we move to the next question. In the area of responsibility
9 of the Drina Corps, there is also a special brigade, a special MUP
10 brigade. Which unit is that? In the command sense, who is it
11 subordinated to? So as not to enter into too many details, what is the
12 doctrinary principle regarding the engagement of police forces in the zone
13 of engagement of military forces? So could you please tell us a little
14 bit about that.
15 A. It's difficult for me whenever I respond to your questions not to
16 use -- not to have in mind the type of categories that we have in my
17 profession, in the military profession, so I think that most of the
18 interpretation problems occur because of that fact, and I do apologise for
20 The doctrinary principle which is applicable: Whenever police
21 units find themselves in the area of responsibility of military forces
22 during combat activities, the unity of action is ensured by the most
23 senior officer in whose area of responsibility these activities are taking
24 place. We're faced here with a rather serious and complex problem of
25 interpretation of this doctrinary principle and with the application of
1 this principle to the case in point.
2 The operation Krivaja 95 is completed. It came to an end on the
3 11th of July. May I continue?
4 Q. Please do.
5 A. So the operation was completed on the 11th of July. Thereby, the
6 Drina Corps commander no longer had the obligation to act as a unifying
7 factor of the police forces in his area of responsibility, because Krivaja
8 95 had come to an end. There was no operation Krivaja 95. The police
9 forces appeared in the area of responsibility of the corps after the
10 completion of the Krivaja 95 operation.
11 In view of the fact that the special detachment of the MUP
12 appeared in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps after the
13 completion of the operation, for any type of command relationship between
14 the Drina Corps command and the brigade in question, there must have
15 been -- there should have been a relevant document, a relevant act of
16 command which would go in both directions. First of all, the brigade in
17 question is subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior of the government
18 of Republika Srpska. For that brigade, that is to say, for this
19 particular detachment of this brigade to be engaged in any sense outside
20 that area and outside the scope of the assignments given to it by the
21 Ministry of the Interior - and I am not familiar with those assignments;
22 that doesn't fall within my expertise - there has to be a specific mention
23 in an act of command issued by the ministry for what kind of assignments
24 and for what period of time that particular detachment is being seconded.
25 For the Drina Corps commander to have the mandate to use such a
1 unit, there has to be a specific mention in the act of command issued by
2 the Main Staff as to the time framework for the use of this particular
3 unit, and also a mention of the type of assignment this unit is going to
4 be used.
5 During my research, during my preparation for this testimony, I
6 haven't come across a single such document, and therefore my conclusion is
7 that the brigade was under command of its command system, i.e., the
8 Ministry of the Interior, or some organ from the top leadership of the
9 state, which remains unknown to me because I do not dispose of any
10 analytical data or information for any such conclusion.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, do you think we can
12 have a break at this point? Would this be convenient for you?
13 Fifteen-minute break.
14 --- Recess taken at 1.58 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 2.15 p.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, please continue.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] If I can ask the usher to prepare
18 for us OTP Exhibit 404, footnote 70, and one more Prosecution exhibit,
19 number 47.
20 Q. General Radinovic, let us now address the issue of the third
21 command system in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps in July
23 A. They're both in English.
24 MR. VISNJIC: You can use mine, my English version.
25 [Interpretation] If we can have the English version on the ELMO, please.
1 Q. General Radinovic, you should have the B/C/S version in front of
2 you. General Radinovic, in your research, did you find the document on
3 the appointment of the civilian commissioner for Srebrenica?
4 MR. VISNJIC: Mr. Usher, please.
5 A. Yes. The answer to your question is yes.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Could you tell the Chamber briefly what was the
7 procedure of establishing civilian authority in the territory of the
8 Srebrenica municipality and their relationship with the command structure,
9 command system of the Drina Corps, possible distribution of authorities;
10 and generally speaking, could you tell us your conclusions about that
12 A. I will strictly abide by this document in my response. The
13 document was issued on the 11th of July by the president of Republika
14 Srpska, 11th of July, 1995. It is a decision on the appointment of the
15 civilian commissioner for the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica.
16 The president of Republika Srpska appointed Miroslav Deronjic to
17 the post of the civilian commissioner, and he gave him the following
18 obligations and duties, in agreement with the president of Republika
19 Srpska and the government of Republika Srpska, to establish the functions
20 of the municipal authority organs and to ensure conditions for their
21 efficient functioning.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, sorry, excuse me. It's just a
23 correction on the exhibit number.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley.
25 MR. CAYLEY: It was just a correction on the exhibit number,
1 Mr. Visnjic. I think it may have been a lapse, a slip of the tongue, but
2 it's 404, 90, this document. It says 70 in the transcript.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Cayley. Indeed, this
4 is the Exhibit 404, footnote 90.
5 Q. General, please proceed.
6 A. So the first duty of the civilian commissioner was to establish
7 and ensure the efficient functioning of civilian authority. The president
8 of Republika Srpska thereby gave him a very high level of responsibility.
9 He obliges him to do that in cooperation with the president and the
10 government of Republika Srpska, so that is a very high level, indeed. He
11 is not transmitting that authority to the regional level, but he, as the
12 president, is keeping that authority for himself.
13 Second obligation that he is interested with is to cooperate with
14 the Ministry of the Interior with a view of establishing a public security
15 station there.
16 Thirdly, he is obliged to ensure that the civilian and military
17 organs in respect of all citizens -- so he is to ensure that all civilian
18 and military organs treat all citizens who participated in combat against
19 the army of Republika Srpska as prisoners of war, and to ensure that the
20 civilian population can freely choose where they will live or move to.
21 This is a very serious duty indeed with which the civilian commissioner is
22 entrusted on the 11th of July, 1995, on the same day when this huge
23 humanitarian problem arose, that is, the grouping of the civilian
24 population in Potocari and around the base in Potocari, that is, as of the
25 moment when they were actually faced with this problem.
1 Q. General Radinovic, what was the highest level authority signed by
2 this commissioner?
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And I should like to have
4 Prosecution document number 47.
5 A. While we're waiting for the document, let me say that the highest
6 governing document that was signed by this commissioner was the statement
7 of the representative of the civilian authority on the evacuation of the
8 civilian population from the Srebrenica enclave. So that document was
9 signed by Miroslav Deronjic, representative of the civilian authority of
10 the Srebrenica enclave, Nesib Mandzic, and an UNPROFOR representative,
11 obviously, a member of the Dutch Battalion who was there to ensure the
12 protection of the safe area.
13 In this document, we read that the evacuation of the civilian
14 population from the Srebrenica enclave has been carried out as regards the
15 Serb side in a correct and fair manner, and that the agreement of the
16 evacuation was fully honoured and respected, that the evacuation was
17 carried out properly. During the evacuation, there were no incidents on
18 either side, and the Serb side respected all of the regulations contained
19 in the Geneva Conventions and the international laws of war.
20 It is true that, after the comma here, we can read the following
21 sentence: "As regards the convoys that were escorted by the United Nation
22 Forces." I'm sorry, we did not see the original on the transcript.
23 If I may, I should like to give you my comment of this document.
24 Q. General, the Chamber has already heard the reasons and the way in
25 which this sentence was added to the text, but if you wish to comment on
1 it, you may do so briefly, please.
2 A. I don't intend to discuss the reasons why the sentence was added,
3 but I must say that it is an important indication for me, as an expert,
4 who approached this matter in the most professional way. It is indicative
5 of two things: First of all, that the procedure of the moving out of the
6 population from the area contained certain elements which were not
7 allowed. There were elements of improper, prohibited behaviour. Second,
8 that those who were involved, or rather who were in charge to ensure that,
9 to ensure that respect and protection throughout the procedure, failed to
10 do that, including the representative of the UNPROFOR command.
11 The obligation in question is fairly simple, and one needs not be
12 an expert in order to understand and see in what way such a procedure
13 could be carried out in a proper and safe manner. I'm not trying to place
14 the blame on anyone here or to weigh the blame of the parties involved in
15 any way. I just want to note the fact that the mechanism of the United
16 Nations, who was in place in Potocari and Srebrenica in the relevant
17 times, was duty-bound to see to it that the procedure is properly
18 controlled in order to prevent what was actually -- what happened. What
19 was the reason why this sentence was added, I don't know; however, it is
20 beyond dispute that at this moment we would be much closer to the truth
21 had that been done, and they indeed -- he indeed had enough resources to
22 carry that out, to fulfil that obligation.
23 Q. General Radinovic, in your research, did you notice a relatively
24 independent commanding line that would go vertically in the area of
25 responsibility of the Drina Corps?
1 A. Yes. I think that that vertical line was indeed established in
2 the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps and that that line of
3 command exerted a certain influence and affected the effectiveness of the
4 control over the situation in the area of responsibility of the Drina
6 Q. Let me repeat the question. Your previous answer, does it refer
7 to a relatively independent command line of security organs in the area of
8 responsibility of the Drina Corps?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. May I ask the usher to
11 prepare for us OTP Exhibit D402 [as interpreted], footnote 10, and
12 Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit D158.
13 Q. General --
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, the first exhibit,
15 402, should be preceded with a "P." It is a Prosecution Exhibit, is it
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please continue.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I think we need page 33, General,
21 the Serbo-Croatian version. It's on page 32. Very well. Page 32, then,
23 Could the usher find the relevant page, please, in English.
24 MR. CAYLEY: [Previous translation continues] ... same page. It's
25 page 30 in English. Excuse me.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General Radinovic, this document regulates the activities of the
4 security organs. Can you tell the Trial Chamber briefly what your
5 comments are, the portion of the document which you consider to be
7 A. From the rules on competencies, we see that the obligations of the
8 security organs are properly prescribed in the corps command, that is to
9 say, the assistant commander for security. I do not have any special
10 comments to make, but I'd just like to draw your attention to paragraph 9,
11 paragraph 9, which, in the normative sense -- as I say, in the normative
12 sense, this paragraph gives the framework under which it would be possible
13 for that service to become independent, and I quote:
14 "Expert directing security organs," as written, "and the
15 military police in the corps command and units and in other --" It says
16 JNA units here, "in the zone of responsibility." Up until then, I don't
17 contest anything, but now we come to the part of the sentence that can be
18 contested: "... organising, directing, and coordinating their
19 activities," that is to say, coordinating their activities, "providing
20 assistance and controlling their work," and I underline this phrase,
21 "controlling their work."
22 So in paragraph 9, that is what is stipulated. There are certain
23 normative points for the independence of those organs. There is a basis
24 for that in paragraph 9. Unfortunately, there are far more practical
25 experiences which testify to the fact and show that that system, command
1 system, very frequently, from the functional turns into the command
2 system. And believe me when I say that I personally, in the course of my
3 professional career, I have had occasion to experience something of that
4 system, but of course, that needn't hold true for this particular case.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] When we're talking about normative
6 regulation, I should like to ask the usher to place on the ELMO Defence
7 Exhibit D158. It is an excerpt from the regulations of the Security
8 Service which the Prosecution submitted to this Tribunal, and it has been
9 registered as the -- as a Prosecution exhibit, as Prosecution Exhibit 402,
10 footnote 34.
11 Q. This is just an excerpt indicating paragraph 29 [as interpreted]
12 of those regulations. Could I have your comments on paragraph 49?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Forty-nine, not twenty-nine, I apologise.
14 A. Article 49, particularly the second paragraph of 49, offers even
15 broader scope in the normative sense for that functional system to be
16 transformed into a command system. And let me quote, let me read it and
17 see what it's all about, and I quote. The data and information which
18 represents a secret, which is confidential, the officers from point 1,
19 which is the security organ, may pass on information to other authorised
20 security organ officers or other persons only with the authorisation of
21 his superior officer in the security organ.
22 So I should like to underline that in particular. So the
23 information which the security organ considers to be secret and
24 confidential, he can inform only persons who are authorised about this
25 pursuant to a decision of his superior in the security organ.
1 And now we have this duality in the system of command. All the
2 assistants to the commander are subordinated to the commander, and that is
3 incontestable. It is incontestable, namely, that the Corps Commander must
4 have command responsibility over all portions of his command, including
5 the security organ or his assistant for security. But this point of
6 article 49 in the normative sense authorises the security organ in the
7 corps command to make his own assessment as to what is an official secret,
8 and he need not inform anybody of that if the superior security organ does
9 not agree.
10 In concrete terms, this would mean if the assistant for security
11 of the commander of the Drina Corps were to consider something to be an
12 official secret, then he, that is, including his -- he can inform his
13 commander of that and other persons, he can do so only with permission
14 from the assistant for security of the Main Staff. And that is how we
15 have a crack in the norms, in the normative acts; and this fissure, this
16 crack, exists in the system of command which leads to this vertical
17 parallel command which can be opposed to the legally accepted doctrinary
18 system of command for the corps command.
19 And in this system, you have the functioning, vertically speaking,
20 of the security organs from the Main Staff via the Drina Corps down to the
21 brigades, including the military police, and the possibilities are that
22 this will impede the system of command and interfere with it.
23 Q. General Radinovic, by virtue of his function in the system of
24 command, whose duty would it be to deal with POWs, prisoners of war?
25 A. In the system of command of the prisoners of war by nature of this
1 duty, it would have to be the security organs and intelligence organs who
2 would deal with this, but first and foremost the security organs. And
3 this is based on normative documents and on doctrinary documents. It is
4 provided for there.
5 If the problem of prisoners of war is a security problem, which it
6 is, then it is an intelligence problem as well because the interviewing of
7 prisoners of war can give us intelligence data and information as to the
8 situation and position of the enemy, his intentions, and so on and so
10 So they are a security problem primarily, and it is a problem
11 which, in principle, in the sense of control, in the sense of processing,
12 examination, interrogation, selection, perhaps finding elements of crime
13 amongst this population of prisoners of war, that is customarily the duty
14 of the security organs.
15 Q. How was the relationship regulated towards the prisoners of war
16 within the command of the VRS, starting from the Supreme Commander of the
17 VRS via the Main Staff down to the command of the Drina Corps? Was there
18 a systematic chain and normative documents in that respect?
19 A. Well, attitude towards humanitarian law and prisoners of war, that
20 relationship in the army of Republika Srpska is prescribed in the same way
21 as it is in the Yugoslav People's Army.
22 When the conflict broke out in the territory of the former
23 Yugoslavia, and I am unfortunately an eyewitness to that and a living one,
24 then the Yugoslav People's Army organised seminars under the leadership of
25 the head of the legal department, and unleashed a whole mechanism of
1 lawyers and legal experts in our army who compiled manuals and textbooks,
2 prescribing how units and the forces generally are duty-bound to adhere to
3 the international laws and international conventions and conduct towards
4 prisoners of war.
5 According to that same principle, in the army of Republika Srpska,
6 steps were taken of that kind. The president of the Republic and the
7 Supreme Commander in his own acts made it incumbent upon all the levels of
8 command in the VRS to have proper conduct towards the prisoners of war, in
9 keeping with the provisions of international humanitarian law. That was
10 binding. It was a binding document for all members of the army of
11 Republika Srpska. And it is in keeping with that document that he ordered
12 the corresponding ministry to draft the relevant documents, manuals,
13 textbooks, and it included the obligation of the command system of the
14 army, so that all members of the army should become acquainted with that,
15 those documents, and should adhere to the principles prescribed therein.
16 In keeping with that obligation, all constitutive acts of command,
17 all orders issued by the commanders contained a provision with respect to
18 the way in which the forces were to treat the prisoners of war, and this
19 treatment was in conformity with international humanitarian law and the
20 conventions, and that is what the order for Krivaja 95 of the Drina Corps
21 Commander also contained.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
23 to provide the witness with Defence Exhibit D156, D157, and to prepare
24 Prosecution Exhibits 428 and 532 [Realtime transcript read in error
25 "532"]. So we first have Defence Exhibit 157.
1 I see in the exhibit [as interpreted] that it says Prosecution
2 Exhibits 428 and "532."
3 Q. General Radinovic, this is Defence Exhibit 157. It is a document
4 issued by the command of the Drina Corps. It is number 2-160, dated the
5 18th of December, 1992. It is signed by Colonel Prstojevic. My question
6 is a very simple one: Is this document the type of document with which
7 the commands informed their officers of with respect to the need to adhere
8 to international norms in war?
9 A. Yes. This is an act, a document issued by the Drina Corps, as we
10 see, on the 18th of December, 1992 - that means more than a month after it
11 was established - and this was an urgent information about the need for
12 complying to international norms in war. And it explicitly states the
13 duty of men to adhere to that, and the first sentence states how this is
14 to be done.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
16 to place on the ELMO Defence Exhibit D156.
17 Q. General Radinovic, you have before you a similar document. It is
18 dated the 15th of July, 1993. The number of the document is written in
19 hand in the right-hand corner. It is number 678. The document is signed
20 by Colonel Milutin Skocajic.
21 Is this document too an example of the type of document by which
22 officers are cautioned, that is to say, members of the VRS and Drina
23 Corps, are cautioned of the need to adhere to the principles of the Geneva
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And of course the regulations of international warfare.
2 A. Yes. And it is entitled "Behaviour Towards War Prisoners" and it
3 is written in that spirit. I don't think I need read it because, from the
4 word go, it is binding and mandatory, in keeping with the Geneva
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask the usher
7 to show the witness the following exhibit. It is Exhibit 428, page 4 and
8 5 in the Serbian version, section regarding security. This is item 10B.
9 Q. My question is as follows, General Radinovic: You mentioned a
10 little while ago that, in the order for active combat activities, Krivaja
11 95, as part of the functional system that was entrusted with it in the
12 functional system, so in that part there is also a procedure regarding the
13 treatment of possible prisoners of war. Is this document in keeping with
14 the previous documents and the rules of international law regarding this
16 A. "The commander of the corps in active combat," and we're talking
17 about item 10B, "the security are ordered by the organs of security, the
18 military police. They will indicate the areas for gathering and securing
19 the prisoners of war and war booty. In dealing with prisoners of war and
20 the civilian population, behave in every way in accordance with the Geneva
22 So this is an obligation that arises from everything that was
23 stated in the VRS regarding treatment of prisoners of war and civilians,
24 and this was ordered from the top of the state, from state authorities,
25 and it goes down to units, both tactical and operative units.
1 Q. General Radinovic --
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I would like to ask the usher
3 to place Prosecution Exhibit 532 on the ELMO. It's a document from the
4 13th of July, 1995, and this exhibit is the same as Defence Exhibit D81.
5 Q. General Radinovic, this is a document of the Main Staff. Could
6 you please comment on the part of this document that specially concerns
7 paragraph 3, item 3, regarding the functioning and the treatment of
8 prisoners of war.
9 A. In the document of the Main Staff of the VRS, sent to all the
10 units of the Drina Corps, including its brigades and the commander, there
11 is an explicit order, which states, under item 3: "Place captured and
12 disarmed Muslims in suitable premises where they can be guarded by small
13 forces and report immediately to the Superior Command." This is very
14 clear and precise, and it's an order about what to do with prisoners of
16 Q. General Radinovic, the document was issued by the Main VRS Staff.
17 In your view, what would be the chain of custody of prisoners of war to
18 the Superior Command? Let's assume that one group of prisoners were
19 captured by members of a unit of the Bratunac Brigade, for example.
20 A. This document obliges the battalion to inform the brigade command
21 about the capture, and it's up to the command how it will regulate things
22 further. The command brigade is obligated to inform the command of the
23 corps, and the corps command should inform the Main Staff.
24 Treatment of prisoners of war is not in the competence of any
25 level of the army of the VRS but in the competence of the Main Staff,
1 i.e., the Supreme Command, because they have exchange commissions and that
2 is their obligation, and that is why this Main Staff order states that the
3 treatment of prisoners of war should be in coordination with the vertical
4 command structure, from the lowest tactical units all the way up to the
5 top of the VRS.
6 Q. General Radinovic, this order was issued on the 13th of July,
7 1995. In the course of your research, did you find out which units on the
8 13th of July were deployed along the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road and also
9 the road from Konjevic Polje to Milici?
10 A. According to what I learned, the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road, a
11 special detachment of the MUP brigade was deployed there. And then on the
12 road to Konjevic Polje, Nova Kasaba, there was the police battalion of the
13 65th Protection Regiment.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I still have a half an
15 hour or a little less, so I would like to suggest, if you agree, that we
16 stop the hearing today, and I will try tomorrow morning to be as brief as
17 possible and to maybe take up less than half an hour in order to complete
18 my examination.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I agree with you, Mr. Visnjic,
20 and I hope that you will be able to work out your plan from now until
21 tomorrow morning in order for you to be able to finish. Yes,
22 Mr. Visnjic. I think that we will then finish this examination-in-chief
23 tomorrow morning, but that means that the Prosecutor will also start the
24 cross-examination tomorrow morning.
25 I don't know whether you are able to tell us, but do you have any
1 idea, Mr. Cayley, as to the time you think you will need for the
2 cross-examination? I know I have already asked you the question, and I
3 know that you are fully prepared to provide me with an answer.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I'm well aware you want me to get
5 through this as vigorously and as rapidly as possible, and I am organising
6 myself so to do. I do not believe I will be finished by Friday, but I do
7 believe that I will be able to finish by Monday. It will be three days or
8 less, not three days or more.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that there is one thing
10 that we should adopt as principle, and that we should stick to it: You
11 must not exceed the time of the examination-in-chief; otherwise, we will
12 be turning things upside down, as you know that there is a certain logic
13 in the presentation of evidence in the conduct of the Defence case and the
14 Prosecution case. You will be given enough time, but please bear in mind
15 that you should not exceed the time of the examination-in-chief.
16 If necessary, the registrar can tell us exactly how much time the
17 Defence used for the examination-in-chief, but I hope that won't be
18 necessary and that we can trust you. Mr. Visnjic will finish early
19 tomorrow morning, and you will start your cross-examination.
20 So we will convene tomorrow morning at 9:20 as usual.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3:01 p.m., to
22 be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of December,
23 2000, at 9:20 a.m.