1 Friday, 8 December 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth and to the interpreters;
8 good morning to the Prosecution. I see that you're all out in full force,
9 and the Defence counsel as well. Good morning, General Krstic.
10 We are running a little over an hour late. Why, Madam Registrar?
11 Can you give us an explanation?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President. Apparently there was a
13 problem with General Krstic's wheelchair and ... [French interpretation]
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Thank you. Mr. Petrusic,
15 is there a problem with respect to General Krstic's health? Could you
16 bring us up-to-date?
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
18 Honours. The health problem of General Krstic is a constant one. It has
19 been present for some time now, and I should like to state that before
20 this Trial Chamber and the public.
21 In the course of yesterday, General Krstic was to have had a
22 medical examination, a medical checkup, because, according to
23 General Krstic, he is experiencing the same problems he had 15 days ago
24 when surgical intervention was performed on him.
25 During the course of yesterday, for let me say technical reasons,
1 that medical examination did not take place. I think the reason for it
2 was problems with transport from the Detention Unit, and there was no
3 electricity, as far as we were able to gather, at the Detention Unit.
4 The information that General Krstic received from the
5 administration of the Detention Unit, the medical examination has been
6 rescheduled for Monday, and we'll know in the course of today whether it
7 will indeed take place on Monday, whether we will continue the proceedings
8 on Monday without the presence of General Krstic, who quite obviously is
9 suffering from problems. He is experiencing problems. In the opinion of
10 the Defence, and don't take this as too strong a word, but these problems
11 will have to be dealt with.
12 I cannot tell you the exact date at this point, but I think that
13 it was some 20 to 25 days ago when he had a magnetic resonance
14 examination. We still have not received any medical official findings,
15 and we consider that it is essential for us to be able to -- for him to be
16 able to receive the adequate therapy. It is a fact that General Krstic is
17 having serious health difficulties and this would have to be dealt with
18 for him to be present at these legal proceedings, and it is his wish,
19 indeed, and his right and obligation, of course, to be present at his
20 trial. The fact that he has been absent at times is exclusively due to
21 his health, and we do expect all the medical staff and medical experts
22 finally to come up with a diagnosis and, having come up with a diagnosis,
23 the therapy that will improve the health situation of General Krstic.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petrusic. As you
25 know, this is always an overriding preoccupation of ours. We would like
1 to see things go well, and the Chamber, as you know, is always vigilant
2 and always following the health situation of the General Krstic, and we
3 have always recommended to the registrar that the utmost be done to ensure
4 an improvement.
5 To continue, let me say good morning to General Radinovic. You
6 shall be continuing with your testimony. Let me remind you you are under
7 oath once again, and you will be answering questions put to you by
8 Mr. Andrew Cayley.
9 Mr. Cayley, your witness.
10 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours ... [French
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Well, you've made progress,
15 Mr. Cayley, progress indeed.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Am I still getting the French translation? No. I'm
17 not. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:
19 Q. Good morning, General.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. General, we left off yesterday where we were talking about the
22 Krivaja 95 document, which we will leave for the moment, and we also spoke
23 a little about the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff of a VRS corps,
24 specifically the Drina Corps.
25 What I'd like to do with you very briefly is to go through some of
1 your testimony that you provided during Mr. Visnjic's examination-in-chief
2 and just get you to confirm what you said.
3 On the 6th of December, General, you said, and I quote, "It is
4 only the Chief of Staff in the absence of the commander, by way of
5 automatism, takes over the function of command, because according to the
6 rules and regulations and according to the law, it is provided for the
7 fact that he then acts as Deputy Commander, as Deputy Commander. So that
8 provision is there so that in no situation whatsoever is there any
9 discontinuity in command."
10 Is that the correct position, both for a VRS Corps Chief of Staff
11 and, indeed, the Drina Corps?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You further said in your evidence, and again I'll quote, "When
14 he," and you're referring to the commander, "is prevented from being on
15 the spot, he does not have to write out an act or document designating a
16 deputy, so the Chief of Staff on the basis of this automatic mechanism
17 takes over in the absence of command."
18 Is that also correct, General?
19 A. It need not be so, but it can be so, but it need not be.
20 Q. When wouldn't that be the correct position?
21 A. That is basically correct, but the commander for certain
22 assignments can request that the Chief of Staff be authorised and be the
23 de facto commander, which is what happened with the Zepa operation. He
24 was appointed commander of the operative group and thus did not use his
25 right of deputy. And this automatic mechanism of commanding when -- in
1 the commander's absence, but he was appointed commander of the operative
2 group, and in that way all dilemmas as to who was responsible for that
3 operation was dealt with, null and void.
4 Q. Now let's talk about, specifically about Operation Krivaja 95 and
5 the Drina Corps, and you said in your examination-in-chief, and you were
6 referring here to General Krstic, and this is at page 8019, "And in his
7 role at that post," referring to General Krstic, "was to plan the
8 Operation Krivaja 95, and from the forward command post as Chief of Staff
9 to supervise its implementation, the course of the operation."
10 Do you agree with that statement, your own statement?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And finally you said two lines down, "In his role," again
13 referring to General Krstic, "of Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps,
14 General Krstic could have, when the Corps Commander was not around, then
15 he could have realised the function of command."
16 Do you stand by your statement, General?
17 A. Yes, in the absence of the commander.
18 Q. Let's move now, General, to a different subject. You said in your
19 evidence in-chief that as a matter of military convention, that attacking
20 forces must normally always be much stronger than defending forces, and
21 you said that normally an attacker should be seven to ten times stronger
22 than a defender in terms of manpower. Is that a correct summary of your
24 A. He need not be, but that is the ratio forces which ensures the
25 certain taking over, taking control of towns which are well-fortified
1 points of resistance.
2 Q. If we take the situation in Srebrenica, what would your opinion be
3 as an expert military man as to the multiple, the ratio, that should have
4 applied in that particular case? How much stronger should the VRS forces
5 have been than the Muslim forces within the enclave, in your opinion?
6 A. For the assignment that the command of the Drina Corps had set in
7 his order for active combat activities, active combat, in my view, the
8 multiple, the ratio between the VRS and the Muslim forces in the enclave
9 was 1:2.8 to the advantage of the Muslims. The question now arises --
10 Q. General, General.
11 A. -- whether I have calculated that properly.
12 Q. You've misunderstood my question. What I asked you, and it may
13 well be that I didn't make it clear enough, in your professional opinion
14 as a military man, what should, what should the ratio have been between
15 the attacking force and the defending force? Not what it was in actual
16 fact, but what should it have been?
17 A. If we take into account the fact that the Muslim forces in the
18 Srebrenica enclave had more than two years, that is to say, a full two
19 years to prepare for their defence, then we would be able to conclude that
20 it was a good defence with all the rules applicable, shelters for the
21 manpower; features for reconnaissance; for firing; bunkers for minefields;
22 all other obstacles necessary for preparing settlements, settled outside
23 the enclave, that is to say, outside the town proper on the boundaries of
24 the enclave; resistance points for long-term defence; the preparation of
25 the flanks and other positions; and everything that tactics implies for
1 the preparation of towns or urban entities for defence purposes in order
2 to prepare the proper kind of defence.
3 And I can only assume that a trained command staff would pose as
4 its objective the study and appraisal of the enemy which they were going
5 to attack. And I think that all professional officers, all professional
6 soldiers who know what warfare is, must have assumed that the 28th
7 Division was well prepared in that way, had prepared its defence properly
8 along those lines.
9 And with that kind of situation, it was quite unrealistic to plan
10 the taking over of the town. And regardless of the ratio that the army --
11 that is to say, the relationship of the army to the demilitarised zone and
12 as a contracting party, it was not duty-bound to respect the status
13 because the other side --
14 Q. General, I'm going to interrupt.
15 A. -- went against it.
16 Q. I think you're actually wandering away with your answer from the
17 question that I asked, and I'll repeat it.
18 In your opinion as a military man, what should, what should the
19 ratio have been between the attacking force and the defending force?
20 Now, you've laid out for the Judges that the Muslims were well dug
21 in. They had very good defences. You're the General. You tell the Court
22 what the ratio should have been between the attacking forces and the
23 defending forces. If you can't answer the question, then just say, "I'm
24 sorry, I don't wish to answer that question."
25 A. I can answer it and I will answer it, but I'm just trying to tell
1 you how we arrive at a ratio of forces.
2 I did not say that the Muslim army or, rather, the 28th Division
3 had prepared that kind of defence. I said that it should have prepared a
4 defence of that kind, and that they would have had to assess the VRS in
5 planning their operation. So in attacking a defence of that kind which
6 they expected, which the officers of the VRS expected - at least the
7 Command of the Drina Corps did - they must have had a ratio of forces
8 which would guarantee the realisation of their assignment which could
9 possibly include the liberation of Srebrenica. And this ratio should have
10 been at least 5:1.
11 The Drina Corps could not ensure those forces, let alone plan an
12 operation of that kind, and that is why the order was compiled for active
13 combat and not for an attack operation, because an attack operation would
14 imply far greater forces.
15 Q. General, the 28th Division had between 8.000 and 10.000 men; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Well, in my analyses, I had two types of sources in arriving at
18 the figures that the 28th Division had. One of my sources were
19 intelligence sources obtained by the army of Republika Srpska. That was
20 one type of source.
21 In that regarding, I had at my disposal a document sent by the
22 Commander of the Milici Brigade to the Commander of the Drina Corps and
23 some other intelligence sources which the corps collected itself. It is
24 according to this data that the Milici Brigade, this intelligence
25 information that the Milici Brigade sent, in the Srebrenica enclave,
1 within the frameworks of the 28th Division, there was between 5.000 and
2 6.500 men. There were five brigades numbering -- depending on which
3 brigade, but between 800 to 1.200. The 81st Brigade, for example, had 200
5 So along with these five brigades, we had the Diversionary
6 Reconnaissance Battalion with about 550 men. Then we had the diversionary
7 platoons within the brigades. And if you add all that up together --
8 there was a tank battery as well. And if we add all that together, that
9 would make it somewhere between 5.000, 5.500 and 7.000, 7.500 men,
10 depending on your calculations.
11 I also sought out other documents as well, and I had at my
12 disposal a series of documents originating from the Muslim side.
13 According to those documents, and they were documents in which -- that is
14 to say, documents from the staff of the Territorial Defence of Srebrenica
15 via the operative groups right down to the 28th Division, informed its
16 Superior Command about all the stages of the organisational and formative
17 aspect of the army in Srebrenica, beginning with the autumn of 1991 when
18 the Patriotic League was established as a party paramilitary in Srebrenica
19 via the TO staff --
20 Q. General, excuse me. I don't want to go through the history of the
21 Territorial Defence in Srebrenica. The number that you've given me is
22 fine, 5.000 to 6.500 men. If, please, Exhibit 160 -- do you have your
23 report handy, General? Do you have it with you, your report you produced
24 on Srebrenica? It's Defence Exhibit 160.
25 If you could please turn to page 25 in your edition.
1 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, it's page 26. If page 26 could be placed
2 on the ELMO.
3 Q. General --
4 MR. CAYLEY: If you could move it up, please, Mr. Usher.
5 Q. General, if you could read paragraph 2.9 of your report.
6 A. "The Infantry Division consisted of the -- the 28th Infantry
7 Division consisted of five brigades and a corresponding number of mountain
8 and police units, the total numerical strength being between 10.000 and
9 12.000 men. The numbers of the brigades and the routes on which they were
10 engaged were as follows:
11 "The 280th Brigade on the route Potocari-Srebrenica.
12 "The 281st Brigade on the route Podgaj-Borovac-Suceska.
13 "The 282th Brigade on the route Zeleni-Jadar-Bojna-Srebrenica.
14 "The 283rd Brigade on the route Podravno-Bucje-Viogora.
15 "The 284th Brigade on the route Ravni Buljim-
17 Let me just say that the number of the brigades --
18 Q. General, read to the end of the paragraph.
19 A. I will. I just wanted to say that, in different documents, I came
20 across different numbers for the brigades.
21 Q. Please read the paragraph to the end and then I'll ask you a
22 question about these figures.
23 A. "The mountain battalion and police forces were located in
24 Srebrenica, Potocari, and Suceska in the role of the commander's reserve
25 of the 28th Infantry Division. The total number of men under arms in
1 Srebrenica amounted to between 12.000 and 13.000 combatants and armed
2 policemen and members of various other paramilitary units stationed in
3 Srebrenica at that time. "
4 Q. Now, General, you would agree with me that there is a variance
5 between your report, what you told Mr. Visnjic, and what you're now
6 telling me, what you're now telling this courtroom in cross-examination.
7 In your report, in the 28th Division, you say that there were
8 10.000 to 12.000; to Mr. Visnjic you said there were 8.000 to 10.000; and
9 now to the court you're saying 5.000 to 6.500 men. Which is the correct
10 figure, General? How many combatants were there within the enclave of
12 A. Sir, you'll have to be patient and hear my whole answer in view of
13 the document. I said that I had at my disposal documents, intelligence
14 documents of the units of the Drina Corps.
15 The second type of document that I had at my disposal were the
16 documents of the Muslim army. Those documents, as far as I know, as far
17 as I know, the Defence sent to the Prosecution; and as far as I know, it
18 was requested by the government in Sarajevo to check out those documents.
19 And when I did my expertise, I was not able to know at the time whether
20 this would be contested. I didn't think that there would be any trouble
21 in checking out the documents.
22 My report -- the findings in my report were based on the documents
23 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the staff of the armed forces of
24 Srebrenica, number 657-8-1/93, dated the 8th of June, 1993. It is the
25 situation report on the free territory of the staff of the supreme command
1 and sent to Sarajevo personally to Sefer Halilovic.
2 Second, the republican staff of Bosnia and Herzegovina, OS
3 Srebrenica number 35/93, dated the 30th of August, 1993, a list of
4 fighters and, in inverted commas, the Naser Unit to the command to the 2nd
5 Corps in Tuzla.
6 Third, the staff of the armed forces of Srebrenica, the number of
7 the document was 35/93; its date, the 30th of August, 1993; and it was a
8 list of the communication service attached to Srebrenica of the 2nd Corps
9 of Tuzla.
10 The fourth was the staff of the armed forces of Srebrenica, the
11 wartime presidency. The number of that document was 664/93, and the date
12 was the 19th of August, 1993, and its title was "A review of the formation
13 and establishment of --"
14 Q. General, General, General --
15 A. Do you want me to tell you the documents or not?
16 Q. It's not necessary for you to give lists and lists and lists of
17 documents. You're an expert. You have come here. You have told this
18 Court that you have assessed all of the material that has been made
19 available to you. On the basis of that material, what is the correct
20 figure; an approximate figure, but what is the correct approximate figure
21 for the number of Muslim fighters that were in the Srebrenica enclave in
22 July of 1995?
23 A. The correct figure of the Muslim fighters in Srebrenica was,
24 according to the documents that I wanted to read out to the end when you
25 interrupted me - I don't know why, it was for you to be able to check them
1 out - it was 10.913 fighters on the basis of the documents which the
2 Muslim army from Srebrenica sent to its superior commands.
3 I was -- and I was more apt to accept that figure because -- and
4 that is why I wrote it down in my report because I assumed that that type
5 of document would be a surer figure, more reliable; whereas the
6 intelligence data that the VRS arrived at, or any other army for that
7 matter, would not have that degree of reliability because this was done on
8 the basis of assessments on what the prisoners of war said, perhaps, or
9 other people in the service of the intelligence service.
10 Q. Your report is incorrect, isn't it, General? The written report
11 is incorrect?
12 A. May I kindly request that you take care that the report is based
13 on documentation or assessment. This is based on documentation. And in
14 my oral testimony, I bore in mind the fact that there were indices,
15 pointers, to the fact that parts of the forces from Srebrenica were sent
16 to the operation around Sarajevo in the spring of 1995. And we have
17 testimony about that in the book by Sefer Halilovic who was at one time
18 the Commander-in-Chief of the VRS and of the BiH, and I thought that this
19 fact should be taken into account and that the number 10.913, to that
20 number should be added the police forces, and that this should be reduced
21 to the number that I quote here which I think is more realistic than the
22 figure mentioned in the Muslim documents that were sent to the superior
24 Q. General --
25 MR. CAYLEY: Madam Registrar, if we could have Defence Exhibit
2 Q. General, which is the realistic figure? You've given the Judges
3 three different figures: The figure in your report; the figure that you
4 provided to Mr. Visnjic, which was 8 to 10.000; and then the figure that
5 you've just given to me in cross-examination, which is 5 to 6.000 and is,
6 in fact, based on this VRS intelligence report. Which is the most
7 realistic figure, in your view? Just give me the numbers, General; I
8 don't want any explanation. Just in your expert opinion, which is the
9 most reliable figure?
10 A. It's very difficult for me to provide a precise answer to your
11 question, and that is why during the examination-in-chief I only gave an
12 assessment of that figure and not a figure which can be based on
14 I could not be precise as regards the total number because I don't
15 know how many soldiers left for the Sarajevo operation from the Srebrenica
16 enclave. It could have been 1.000, 2.000, but it could have been also
17 more. And that is the reason why I gave you the number which was given by
18 the intelligence service of the VRS, and also the number which was given
19 by the BiH army, and also my assessment as to what it would be logical to
20 expect concerning the men under arms in Srebrenica.
21 That is the reason why the number that I gave to this Chamber is
22 an assessment reached on the basis of the situation and the number of
23 soldiers who were registered, and also on the basis of the number of the
24 soldiers which were seconded for the Sarajevo operation, and on the basis
25 of information which was given by Sefer Halilovic in his book, "The
1 Cannon Strategy."
2 So that is an overall analysis on the basis of which I gave you
3 the figure 7 to 8.000 soldiers in Srebrenica.
4 Q. Now, General, if you look at this report in front of you, and I'm
5 summarising it - this is a VRS report which I assume you must have seen
6 last night which is why you've changed the figures - you'll see this is a
7 VRS report of June 24th from the Milici Brigade. It states that there
8 were 5.000, 5.000 armed soldiers, 550 soldiers from the East Bosnian
9 Battalion, and then I think -- sorry, from the manoeuvring task force, and
10 350 soldiers from the East Bosnia Light Infantry Battalion, of which 3.000
11 it states were armed, mainly with local and foreign-made small arms.
12 Now, you would agree with me that when one places this piece of
13 evidence against your report, which states that there were 13.000 armed
14 people in Srebrenica, and your evidence to Mr. Visnjic, that your evidence
15 is in fact a gross exaggeration of the reality on the ground at the time,
16 isn't it?
17 A. No. The number of soldiers that I gave was calculated on the
18 basis of the Muslim documentation, and it was my assumption that they had
19 no reasons to lie to their superior command, but that they had an accurate
20 insight into the actual number of soldiers.
21 As to the information provided by the Commander of the Milici
22 Brigade, in the first paragraph of his order concerning intelligence data
23 about the enemy, something that I cannot consider reliable enough, I think
24 that the information that is given by a subordinate command to its -- to
25 superior command is far more reliable. This is something that is done on
1 the basis of records, on the basis of relevant information books, and on
2 the basis of the situation in the relevant territory. That is on the
3 basis of the factual situation on the ground.
4 So from that number, I deducted the assessed number of men who
5 could have been in Sarajevo. That is, the people who were not in the
6 enclave at that time. And the number I reached was 7.000 to 8.000, and I
7 believe that that figure is more correct than the one given by the Milici
8 Brigade, regardless of the fact that they gave their information in a
9 document signed by A Captain who was a captain first class at the time,
10 and did he not have adequate information. He did not have an opportunity
11 to assess correctly the number of the soldiers in the enclave. And my
12 assessment was given on the relevant reports sent by the Muslim side to
13 their superior commands either in Tuzla or in Sarajevo. So that is the
14 reason, sir, why there is variance here between numbers.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, while we still see
17 this page on the screen, I have to say that General Radinovic said in
18 response to my answer that the number was between 8.000 and 10.000 and not
19 between 6.000 and 7.000, as far as I can recall. And not 13.000. I'm
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. What line are you talking
22 about, Mr. Visnjic? We have a number of figures here on the screen. What
23 is the number of the line that you wish to correct? Has it disappeared
25 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I can actually correct the situation
1 for my learned friend. In his evidence to Mr. Visnjic, the witness said
2 8.000 to 10.000 men. In his report, he says, I think, 10.000 to 13.000
3 men. He's now saying 5.500 to 6.000 men. You can check the report if you
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's on page 14,
6 line 24. The error was in the question put by my learned colleague
7 Mr. Cayley. That is why I wanted to react, but it's gone. It's no longer
8 on the screen. I just wanted to correct the record.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that the transcript
10 speaks for itself. I remember that General Radinovic said in response to
11 your question 10.000 or 8.000. That was the answer that I remember as
12 being given by General Radinovic. I hope that the record is clear. Thank
13 you very much, Mr. Visnjic.
14 Mr. Cayley, please continue.
15 MR. CAYLEY:
16 Q. General, you stated in your evidence to Mr. Visnjic that two and a
17 half battalions of the Drina Corps took part in operation Krivaja 95.
18 Could you please give me a proximate figure for the number of men from the
19 Bosnian Serb army who would have been engaged within those two and a half
21 A. I said that there were two and a half battalions that took active
22 part in the first echelon of the attack, but the Bratunac Brigade troops
23 and the Milici Brigade troops were in contact with the enemy. There was
24 one company of the Vlasenica Brigade and the Skelani Battalion. So if I
25 remember it correctly, and I think I do, I said that this would be the
1 equivalent of a brigade.
2 Objectively speaking, in the first echelon of the attack there
3 were only two brigades that -- two battalions that -- two and a half
4 battalions that took part - that was the combat group from the Zvornik
5 Brigade - and also units from the 2nd Motorised Brigade and the Birac
6 brigade. So that was the first echelon of the attack, that is two and a
7 half battalions together with a company which was on the left wing.
8 At the same time, north, east, and west there were forces of the
9 Birac Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade -- Bratunac and Milici Brigade. We
10 can speak of a brigade relatively reduced in size which took place -- took
11 part in the activities around Srebrenica, and that is why I said that the
12 ratio of forces between the VRS and the forces inside the Srebrenica
13 enclave was, according to my calculation, 1. -- 1 to 2.8 to the advantage
14 of the 28th Division. But it could have been even more disadvantageous.
15 However, if we calculate the ratio of forces, the criterion is that a
16 mistake must not be made in the affirmative, in the positive way. One
17 should not exaggerate by giving the advantage to the enemy because the
18 attacker has to have advantage in order to ensure success.
19 Q. General, how many men approximately, how many men approximately
20 were there in that light VRS brigade? Do we just take 5.500 and divide by
21 2.8? Is that how we get to the figure?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. So how many men? General, you're an expert. You're a lieutenant
24 general. You know how many men are in these. Give me a figure. One,
25 two, three? Approximately.
1 A. Approximately there were between 1.500 to 2.000 active
2 participants in the action, that is, the soldiers who were taking active
3 part in combat. However, as regards the overall control of the enclave,
4 there were many more, of course. There were the forces of the Milici
5 Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade. But when you calculate the ratio of
6 forces, you have to calculate the troops who are in contact with the
7 enemy, not those who are not taking active part in the operation.
8 Q. So if we include not just the active participants but, of course,
9 as you say, all of those who were, to quote you -- there were many more,
10 you said. There were many more. "However, as regards overall control of
11 the enclave, there were many more." What was the total figure? Two
12 thousand plus what, General? Give me an approximate figure.
13 A. Sir, I did not calculate that ratio of forces because it was not
14 essential for my analysis. It would have been necessary for me to make a
15 new calculation and to take into account what were the forces which could
16 have exerted a certain amount of influence.
17 What I calculated was the ratio of forces engaged in the attack,
18 who participated in active combat, and that was the ratio of forces that I
19 came up with. If you want me to make a calculation for something else,
20 then you have to give me some additional time to do that. I need some
21 time to make an appropriate calculation if you want me to speak about
22 another context. I don't want to play with figures here. I don't think
23 you do either. I cannot --
24 Q. I'm not -- General, I'm not --
25 A. -- just present you with figures off the top of my head.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... what I'm asking you for is a
2 total approximate figure of the VRS forces engaged in the attack on the
3 Srebrenica enclave. I don't want you to give me to the last man, but an
4 approximate figure. You're the expert. You're a General. You tell me
5 what it was from the documents that you've seen. If you can't tell the
6 Court, then just say, "I don't know."
7 A. On the basis of the documents concerning combat activities in and
8 around Srebrenica, less than 2.000 members of the VRS took part in that
9 operation, in those activities.
10 Q. So less than 2.000. And based on the Milici Brigade document
11 that --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- we've just seen --
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have an objection
16 which might be helpful for my learned colleague and his questions. The
17 General said that on the basis of the documents concerning active combat
18 activities. This word "active" is left out from the interpretation and
19 that is likely to cause problems. What we're talking about here are
20 active combat activities.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, please continue.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. General, so based on the Milici Brigade document which you
24 actually quoted the figure earlier and then subsequently said it was
25 unreliable, which states the VRS themselves state that there were about
1 3.000 armed men in the enclave, if you compare the 2.000 members of the
2 VRS against the 3.000 armed Muslims in the enclave, the ratio is nothing
3 like 2.8 to 1 in favour of the Muslims, is it, General?
4 A. The figure that you have in the document about armed Muslims is
5 not correct. If you consider the relevancy of the document, this is an
6 order issued by the Commander of the Milici Brigade, that is, one of the
7 commanding officers of a tactical unit within the Drina Corps, and this
8 particular data is not accurate.
9 The number of men under weapons in the enclave, that is, the
10 number of troops of the 28th Division, exceeds by far the figure given
11 here, and I can give you the exact figure as to how many men were under
12 arms. I can also be specific in terms of the kind of weapons that they
14 According to Muslim sources, I have the relevant information,
15 including the type of weapons that they had in the Srebrenica enclave, and
16 I thought that for the purposes of assessing the strengths of the Tactical
17 Group that it was enough to have in mind the overall situation and the
18 tactical context so that we can get an accurate picture of everything else
19 that followed from that fact and what is the subject matter of these
21 I didn't expect an expert military discussion about tactical
22 issues. Of course, I am ready to engage in such a discussion, of course,
23 but you will have to provide me with the relevant information.
24 The number was higher than 3.000, and the figure that you have in
25 this document is absolutely not correct.
1 Q. General, for your information, the Judges have heard evidence from
2 the second-in-command of the Dutch Battalion who was inside the enclave,
3 and he estimated the number of troops, the number of Muslim fighters, at a
4 maximum of 4.500 soldiers.
5 Were you in the Srebrenica enclave in July of 1995, General?
6 A. No, no. I studied the documents which were issued by the Muslim
7 commanders to their superiors, and those figures are more correct than the
8 ones estimated by the Dutch Battalion.
9 Muslim officers were trying to conceal the information regarding
10 the number of soldiers and the type of weapons from the Dutch because,
11 according to the agreement, they were supposed to hand over those weapons,
12 which they didn't do. And this is common knowledge to everybody,
13 including the commander of the Dutch Battalion at the time and other
14 relevant factors within the United Nations.
15 Q. So in giving the figures of Muslim troops in the enclave, you've
16 relied exclusively on Muslim documentation and have ignored all other
17 documentary and oral testimony?
18 A. No, sir. You are interpreting my words erroneously. That was not
19 my intention. You're trying to put to me things that I didn't say. I
20 said that I based myself on a number of sources, and that I took into
21 account the most reliable sources. The most reliable piece of information
22 for myself is the one which was given by the Muslim commander to his
23 superior command in Tuzla and Sarajevo because I think that he was not in
24 a position to lie to them. Everything else is far less reliable.
25 So those information is the most reliable one. Mobilisational
1 reports, operational reports, reports on morale sent by the command of the
2 28th Division, a former 8th Operative Group, and before that the staff for
3 Srebrenica, so that kind of documentation was the most reliable for me.
4 That was the most reliable source, and it was on the basis of those
5 sources that I reached my conclusions concerning the number of soldiers.
6 But I also took into account the information -- this information
7 here, these figures here, the ones that you mentioned, but I thought them
8 to be far less reliable than the sources of the Muslim army which sent
9 relevant reports to its superiors about those figures.
10 Q. Is the figure of 12 to 13.000 combatants quoted in paragraph 2.9
11 of your report, is that a reliable figure?
12 A. On the basis of information contained in these documents, it is a
13 reliable figure; however, from that figure I deducted the number of the
14 soldiers who might have been in the Sarajevo theatre of operations
15 participating in the lifting of the blockade of Sarajevo. So the figure
16 has to be corrected; a deduction must be made. I'm not sure about that
17 number of soldiers, but that was my assessment, so that the overall figure
18 for Srebrenica would be approximately 8.000.
19 Q. Let's move on, General, and let's talk about Operation Krivaja 95
21 Now, you said in your evidence that the main feature that had to
22 be taken by VRS forces moving into the enclave was the Alibegovac feature,
23 and you said that the route of advance for that particular objective was
24 on the route of advance of the Romanija Brigade. Do you recall that?
25 A. That was the 2nd Battalion, the 2nd Combat Group which took that
1 route. Basically, yes, but ...
2 Q. Could you turn to page 31 of your report, and if you could read
3 out the -- this is paragraph 4.3, and it's at the top of page 31.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Sorry, Mr. Usher, it's page 31.
5 Q. General, do you have page 31 in front of you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you read the first sentence of paragraph 4.3, please,
8 General? Paragraph 4.3, the first sentence, please, General.
9 A. If I may, I should like to ask, unless that is contrary to the
10 procedure here -- I have been testifying for 5 days already, and I have
11 serious problems with my throat. Could you perhaps read it out and it can
12 be recorded in the transcript, and I will answer your question, if that is
13 at all possible? If I were not 61 years old, I would have long exhausted
14 my powers of speech.
15 Q. I can do that, General. "Engaged forces from the Birac and 2nd
16 Romanija Brigade encountered unexpectedly strong resistance on their
17 routes of advance and they were late in carrying out their immediate
25 Both of those witnesses testified to this court that there was
1 essentially little or no resistance on their lines of advance, and I will
2 just very briefly read to you what they said.
3 Private Borovcanin, who was in the forward reconnaissance unit,
4 said the following in answer to my learned friend Mr. Petrusic: "So my
5 question was --"
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down? Thank you.
7 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry.
8 Q. "Q. So my question was, when you reached this position at
9 Alibegovac, it was no serious conflict with your unit?
10 A. No."
11 Same witness said:
12 "Q. On the way to Kiprovo or, rather, Alibegovac, did you
13 encounter any resistance by the Muslim forces?
14 A. We had some minor resistance at Kiprovo."
17 "Q. In the course of these combat operations, did you in fact
18 comply with the order, act on it?
19 A. Yes, I did because, that is to say, we had a direction of
20 movement. There was no resistance from Muslim forces, so that
21 we took control of that feature easily."
22 Now, you would agree with me, General, that two eyewitnesses, two
23 members of the VRS actually engaged in the operation to take Srebrenica,
24 would have a more accurate recollection than the opinion that you give
25 here? You'd agree with me that when you say that there was unexpectedly
1 strong resistance, it's completely incorrect, isn't it, based on the
2 testimony of those two witnesses?
3 A. Sir, it is not a question, it is your assessment of my expert
4 report. That is your right. It is your right to make those assessments,
5 and it is up to the -- Their Honours to assess what is correct with
6 respect to truth and what is correct with respect to conduct.
7 If the time from the line of development, that is to say, when the
8 operation was launched on the 6th up until the entry into Srebrenica, and
9 especially up until they reached the line of the assignment itself which
10 was ordered in the order for active combat activities, if four days went
11 by and such a small depth of territory, then I don't understand why such a
12 short space of time took so long to pass if there was over -- if there was
13 no resistance.
14 I personally feel that when an army moves into the attack, it
15 wants to arrive at the line of the assignment as soon as possible which
16 was defined in the order in spacial terms. This particular brigade, that
17 combat group made up of the units from those two brigades, was rather
18 late, lagged behind, rather.
19 And from the documents that I studied for this purpose, I did not
20 -- unfortunately, I wrote my report before those witnesses testified
21 here, so I did not study those testimonies. But to tell you the truth,
22 the witness who saw that might have gained that impression; however, the
23 fact remains that these forces reached the -- their line of their
24 assignment only on the 10th. Why? Well, I think it was because of the
25 resistance that was offered by the defenders; otherwise, they would have
1 reached that line and that assignment the first day.
2 JUDGE RIAD: General, of course this is an inference. This is
3 your inference, which is logical, but could it happen that they took some
4 time not to appear in the eyes of the world that there is an invasion?
5 A. Well, sir, I can't enter into that type of speculation, Your
6 Honour, because it runs contrary to my logics, and my mental composition
7 is that of a soldier so I can't enter into that form of speculation. That
8 is not my realm of endeavour.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
10 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, if you could prepare Prosecutor's
11 Exhibit 428.
12 Q. Now, General, you stated in your evidence that it was obvious to
13 you that the corps artillery did not take part in these activities in
14 operation Krivaja 95. Do you recall that evidence?
15 A. Yes. To be quite precise, the corps artillery group and not the
16 corps artillery. There was corps artillery. It was the corps artillery
17 group. Although in the order for the corps artillery group there is that
18 position, but as far as I know, it was not active.
19 Q. Let's --
20 MR. CAYLEY: If we could turn, Mr. Usher, to page 3.
21 I'll summarise the document, Mr. President, because I have a lot
22 to refer to.
23 But it's at the bottom of page 5, Mr. Usher. The bottom of
24 page 5, the page that you have. Page 3. I'm sorry. Page 3, going on to
25 page 4.
1 Q. Do you have in front of you, General, paragraph 5 which is on your
2 page 2? I will summarise the document as we go through.
3 MR. CAYLEY: This, Your Honours, is the Krivaja 95 document, the
4 order of General Zivanovic.
5 Q. "5. Tasks of the units for separating and reducing the enclaves in
6 size." It then gives a task to the 1st Battalion and it states that the
7 1st Battalion, on the next page - if you go to the next page, Mr. Usher,
8 at the top - is to be supported by the corps artillery group.
9 If we then go down to the 2nd Battalion and its tasks, we see --
10 and, Mr. Usher, if you could move that up.
11 Again we see to be supported by KAG, the corps artillery group, as
12 per plan and request.
13 If we then turn the page and we go to the next section which deals
14 with the Bratunac Light -- the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade forces, at
15 the top, again, we see, at the top of the TV screen, to be supported by
16 KAG corps artillery group, as per plan and request.
17 If we go to the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, we see to be
18 supported by corps artillery group, as per plan and request.
19 Then - if you can move that page up, please, Mr. Usher - in the
20 launching of the attack -- and this is the general instruction just above
21 the artillery support section. In the launching of the attack, the forces
22 in direct contact to be supported by the artillery and by the corps
23 artillery group as per plan and request command post in the area of
25 Then to summarise, in paragraph 6, it talks about the composition
1 of the corps artillery group, basic firing position in the area of
2 Pribicevac, tasks during preparatory fire, to neutralise entry targets as
3 per plan for preparatory fire. Duration of preparatory fire, supporting
4 fire for the attack as per plan and request with emphasis on the first and
5 second axes of advance.
6 Now, General, you would certainly agree with me that General
7 Zivanovic believed that the corps artillery group was, in fact, engaged in
8 the attack on Srebrenica in Krivaja 95, wouldn't you?
9 A. Sir, no, for the simple reason - you don't have to know this, it's
10 not your profession to - but when orders are issued, they are issued to
11 units. The corps artillery group is formed by its artillery platoon,
12 mixed -- regiment, I'm sorry, regiment, the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment.
13 Had that Mixed Artillery Regiment had to be active, it would have been
14 stipulated here explicitly. The Commander of the regiment would have
15 stated that he was forming a corps artillery group, and a corps artillery
16 group is formed from the Mixed Artillery Regiment, and parts of the Mixed
17 Artillery Regiment are attached to brigades where the activity is greatest
18 for them to be able to form their brigade artillery groups.
19 There was no need whatsoever for the corps artillery group to go
20 into action because it was not an attack operation by the corps but,
21 rather, it was an operation for active combat activities of a tactical
22 level, and in that type of endeavour, the corps artillery does not make
24 In part 4 which you read out -- I'm sorry, point 6 on page 4 of
25 the document, point 6 that you read out, it says fire support and then --
1 that is artillery support, then underneath that we have the KAG, the corps
2 artillery group and its composition, and it does not state in that point
3 which units of the mixed artillery regiment, what calibre of that
4 regiment, that is to say, what type of artillery makes up the corps
5 artillery group.
6 Furthermore, in the plan of the operation itself, Krivaja, we do
7 not have the plan for the action of the artillery which is an
8 indispensable plan for any kind of artillery fire to be realised within --
9 as support to the forces engaged in the operation.
10 As I did not find in the documents for the operation Krivaja 95 a
11 plan for the activities of the artillery which include artillery fire that
12 is to be realised in preparation for the attack and in support for the
13 attack and when and according to what signal, following what signal in
14 time and space and in the context of the dynamics at which the forces are
15 engaged fire is transferred from one position to another. Therefore, not
16 to have any firing or firepower on one's own -- one's own form, the
17 dynamics of fire is very strictly planned and there is a set mechanism in
18 which this is implemented and transferred.
19 As I did not find this and the commander in point 6 did not
20 stipulate the composition of that artillery group, then my logical
21 assumption was that that group did not -- was not, in fact, active at all,
22 did not engage in action. And for me to be able to draw that conclusion,
23 and this need not be relevant for this Trial Chamber, I also arrived at
24 that conclusion from a conversation during the preparation of my expert
25 report when numerous officers from different command levels in the army of
1 Republika Srpska, including some members the Command of the Drina Corps as
2 well as some members of the Command of the Main Staff. And each one of
3 those people to whom I talked said that the corps artillery was not used.
4 And when I looked at the filming of the entry of the Republika Srpska into
5 Srebrenica, as there was no -- at least, I was not able to see no great
6 destruction and devastation, for me that was a sign that the high calibres
7 of the type of howitzers, 155-millimetres, were not used because the
8 effects and consequences have been far graver.
9 Q. General, can you --
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, just one moment,
11 please. Perhaps this would be an opportune moment to take a break,
12 because I see that General Radinovic has been speaking for eight minutes
13 continuously, and I think he will need to rest his throat, his voice.
14 Also, General Radinovic, I should like to profit from the occasion
15 to ask you to be more direct in your answers to questions. I do
16 understand that you know many things and that you have a need to express
17 them here, but if you try to go straight to the heart of the question,
18 answering the question directly, you will benefit and so will your
19 throat. So I think that you could perhaps try to do this. You said that
20 you were having a throat problem, a problem with your voice.
21 So let's take a 20-minute break. And for everybody to be able to
22 plan ahead, we will be resuming at five minutes past twelve and go on
23 until ten minutes past one. At ten minutes past one, we will have our
24 40-minute break for lunch. So that is how we shall proceed. But let's
25 take a 20-minute break now, General.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.45 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.08 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley. Please
5 General, have you had a rest?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's proceed.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Could Prosecutor's Exhibit 425 be placed on the ELMO, and I think
10 the General already has that document in front of him. And do we already
11 have 428 on the ELMO? Yes. Keep that one to hand, 425; 428, if you leave
12 on the ELMO. I'm sorry, 428 on the ELMO, and keep 425 in your hand.
13 Q. General, do you have the first page of Prosecutor's Exhibit 425 in
14 front of you?
15 A. Yes -- no. 425, yes, 425 I have.
16 MR. CAYLEY: And again, Your Honours, this is the Krivaja 95 order
17 from Zivanovic, the one that we've just been referring to before the break
18 which contained all the references to the corps artillery group.
19 Q. General, I'm going to read, in order to save your voice, and I'm
20 just going to read out where the order expresses, "To the commands of,"
21 and then it refers to all of the infantry brigades involved in the
22 operation, and then lastly it refers to the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment,
23 the very unit that you stated would have had to have received this order
24 in order for a corps artillery group to be put together for this.
25 Now, General, you would agree with me that General Zivanovic would
1 not have sent this order to the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment if he had not
2 intended a corps artillery group to be formed, would he?
3 A. I can agree with you only in part. Had he had the intention to
4 form it, he would have formed it and gave it, assigned it, fire positions,
5 reserve fire positions, and follow-up fire positions. And he would have
6 stated its composition, that is to say, he would have ordered directly to
7 the commander of the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment to form a corps
8 artillery group of the following composition, with the divisions and
9 artillery pieces and everything else that the group would require; and on
10 the basis of that, the chief of artillery would have devised and drew up a
11 plan for its action for preparation and for support.
12 As I did not come across those documents, and they are the sole
13 documents on the basis of which artillery fire can be opened as a planned
14 action, so as I did not come across that in the documents that were made
15 available to me, I concluded that that plan of action was never compiled;
16 and on the basis of that, I concluded that the corps artillery group was,
17 in fact, not engaged at all.
18 Q. General, General --
19 A. And in the order, orders are -- also include things that are not
20 realised, not implemented.
21 Q. General, you're going to have to trim down your answers because
22 otherwise we're going to be here for a very, very long time during this
23 cross-examination. So what I would like you to do is to answer my
24 questions directly when I put a direct question to you. I don't expect
25 you to answer yes or no, you can give an explanation, but you don't need
1 to give, as the President pointed out earlier, an eight-minute answer to a
2 question that probably took about 10 seconds to ask you. I'm not
3 insisting that you say yes or no; you can give an explanation, but a brief
5 Now, General, I'll read out a section of this order. In paragraph
6 6, where General Zivanovic is speaking about artillery support, he states,
7 "During preparatory fire to neutralise the enemy targets as per plan for
8 preparatory fire."
9 Now, General Zivanovic is referring, isn't he, to an artillery
10 plan, paragraph 6?
11 MR. CAYLEY: It's on page 5, Mr. Usher.
12 Q. And you can see at the bottom of the TV screen, General, it says,
13 "During preparatory fire to neutralise the enemy targets as per plan for
14 preparatory fire." Now, General, you would agree with me that when
15 General Zivanovic signed this order, he anticipated that there would be a
16 plan for preparatory fire, even if you haven't seen it?
17 A. Could I ask you to read point 7, the following point immediately
18 after point 6? Could you read that point out, please, point 7.
19 Q. "Anti-tank combat."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "In all units of company and battalion size, form an anti-tank
22 group and have it in readiness for combat against the enemy armoured
24 Now, General, answer my question first of all, and I'll repeat it,
25 General. I'll repeat it to you, General. Would you agree with me that
1 when General Zivanovic signed this order, he anticipated that there would
2 be a plan for preparatory fire, even if you haven't actually seen that
4 A. In point 7, he stipulates the anti-tank combat although he knew
5 the Muslim forces in Srebrenica no possibility whatsoever to --
6 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, please, I'm going to start insisting
7 because now I'm getting far behind in my cross-examination. The witness
8 is going to be here a very long time. I insist that he answers the
9 question or declines to answer.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley. And we too are
11 going to be lagging behind.
12 General, could you please go directly to the question. If you
13 don't agree, say you don't agree; or if you don't know, say you don't
14 know, but please give us a direct answer, otherwise, we'll be going round
15 and round in circles.
16 A. Mr. President, I am answering in the best way possible, as I deem
17 fit for the question, and I have tried to indicate to Mr. Cayley, the
18 distinguished Prosecutor, that the orders contain many things which are
19 written down but never implemented in practice, and if we wish to get to
20 the end of the proceedings, we have to go back to basics.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, General. The question that
22 you were asked was at the level of not realisation but what was provided
23 for forecast, and what the Prosecutor asked you was that he -- actually,
24 he wanted to know whether this was forecast, envisaged, not if it was
25 actually implemented and existed.
1 So without further ado, I'm going to give the floor back to
2 Mr. Cayley to ask the question again and to have your direct answer, if
3 possible, please, General.
4 MR. CAYLEY:
5 Q. General, I will repeat the question for you. Would you agree with
6 me that when General Zivanovic signed this order, he anticipated that
7 there would be a plan for preparatory fire, even if you have not seen that
8 plan, by the language in paragraph 6?
9 A. No, he does not anticipate a plan. He approves a plan once a plan
10 has been compiled, but artillery fire was not planned nor the corps
11 artillery went into effect.
12 So my only conclusion, and that is the sole one I insist upon, is
13 that the corps artillery group at Srebrenica was not active. We can spend
14 a whole day discussing that, but it is my belief that the corps artillery
15 group was not active and I have sufficient arguments to bear that out. No
16 plan of activity was found and a corps artillery group does not step into
17 action without a plan.
18 MR. CAYLEY: If we could move, please, to Prosecutor's
19 Exhibit 77/1.
20 Q. Now, General --
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please,
22 Mr. Cayley.
23 I am going to insist upon this point. Now, at least in paragraph
24 6 was General Zivanovic mentioning -- did he make mention of a plan in
25 para 6? Does General Zivanovic mention a plan?
1 A. He mentions -- he says "as per plan."
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue,
3 Mr. Cayley.
4 MR. CAYLEY:
5 Q. General, I'm going to go through -- I didn't intend doing this,
6 but because of the progress that we're making, I have a whole series of
7 UN military observers' reports.
8 MR. CAYLEY: This is Prosecutor's Exhibit 77/1. The General won't
9 be able to read them because they're in English and I don't intend reading
10 all of them, I just intend reading some extracts.
11 If 77/1 could be placed on the ELMO, please. Yes. That's
12 perfect. Mr. Usher, if you could move that document up. That's perfect.
13 Q. General, you're aware that there were a team of UN military
14 observers within the Srebrenica enclave and indeed you have referred to
15 these UNMO reports in your evidence-in-chief to the Defence, and I think
16 you stated in your evidence-in-chief that these reports were unreliable
17 because they relied on Muslim information. What I will state to you from
18 the outset is that, in fact, these reports flag up whenever information
19 was received from the Muslims, and the UNMOs always stated in these
20 reports that where the information had been received from Muslim forces it
21 was not confirmed because of the concern that they had about reliability,
22 and we'll see that in these reports as we go through them.
23 Let me read to you what happened or what they stated happened on
24 the 6th of July of 1995.
25 "Team Srebrenica reported a Bosnian Serb army offensive launched
1 and ongoing within the enclave as reported under separate cover. The
2 Bosnian Serb army used tanks, artillery, mortars, rockets and heavy
3 machine-gun fire and have targeted the DutchBat headquarters, Bandera
4 Triangle, DutchBat OPs Uniform and Sierra, south of OP Hotel, Potocari
5 township, Srebrenica township. At least 250 artillery and mortar rounds
6 have been recorded so far. The UNMO team have confirmed two fatalities
7 and six casualties so far being taken to hospital."
8 Now, General, you would agree with me that this report indicates
9 that on the 6th of July, the Srebrenica enclave was under an artillery
10 barrage, doesn't it? This was an eyewitness account of what was happening
11 on the ground.
12 A. I did not claim that the artillery did not act. In my testimony,
13 if I remember correctly, I said that I had information from reports from
14 UN military observers and reports of the Dutch Battalion. Those reports
15 differ with respect to the number of assessed artillery action and their
16 reliability as well. And if I recall, I said that the degree of -- as to
17 the degree of reliability, I consider the reports of the Dutch Battalion
18 to be more relevant because they did this work -- better quality work.
19 Now, when I say that, what do I mean? They recorded explosions. They
20 recorded the explosions and informed of the number of explosions,
21 detonations, and this can be --
22 Q. General, who is firing this artillery? Who is firing the guns
23 into Srebrenica? How did these shells end up in Srebrenica that the
24 UN military observers are recording?
25 A. Shells did not only end up in Srebrenica, in the urban part, but
1 they also ended up in the positions of the 28th artillery Division around
2 Srebrenica, so that means --
3 Q. Excuse me, sir. You're not answering the question. Who was
4 firing the guns?
5 A. Those who had those guns.
6 Q. And who was that, General? It was the Drina Corps, wasn't it,
8 A. And the Drina Corps and the 28th Division, both. They had guns,
9 too, and mortars. And in the number of identified explosions, there is no
10 data as to the structure of the explosions. They were -- incorporate all
11 the explosions, the 82 millimetre, 120 millimetre, artillery, and gun
12 mortars and shells.
13 Q. So what you're saying is the 28th Division was firing from outside
14 of the Srebrenica enclave into the enclave; is that what you're saying?
15 They were actually firing into Srebrenica township and into Potocari, is
16 that -- they had artillery that was firing into the enclave?
17 A. The data were not the craters themselves, but just the registered
18 recorded explosions, detonations, not the craters.
19 Q. General, you're not answering my question, and I'm going to keep
20 on interrupting you, until the President stops me, until you answer my
22 Are you stating that the 28th Division was firing from outside of
23 the enclave onto their own people? Is that what you're suggesting to the
25 A. No, no. I'm not saying that.
1 Q. Was it the Drina Corps that was firing this artillery into the
2 enclave, General?
3 A. The Drina Corps fired fire positions and defence positions of the
4 28th Division in order to perform the assignments set by the order for
5 active combat in order to establish military control over the enclave.
6 Q. And that was the corps artillery group, wasn't it, General?
7 A. No, that was not the corps artillery group. They were, for the
8 most part, for the most part -- I cannot assess here exactly. For us to
9 know that, we would have to do an on-the-spot examination to examine the
10 craters and the shrapnel.
11 Q. Who was running this artillery; which brigades of the Drina Corps?
12 A. I personally feel that, in the most number of cases, it was the
13 fire groups of the battalions who were within the composition of the
14 forces engaged in active combat, which means fire groups of the battalions
16 And as testified to by one of the UN observers, he said that they
17 were two shells, 155 millimetres, on the 10th of July. I personally think
18 that they were tank shells and not the 155 millimetre shells because the
19 corps artillery group did not go into action, and a similar impression is
20 left by cannon shells or tank shells. So they registered the detonations,
21 the explosions. They didn't do an on-the-spot examination to ascertain
22 what shell and the type of projectile that was in fact used.
23 So I think that the testimony by the Dutch Battalion is more
24 reliable, although the figures for the shells fired, from the Dutch
25 reports, is greater than this.
1 Q. In essence, what you're saying is that the battalions of the Drina
2 Corps who were engaged in Krivaja 95 were the units that were firing the
3 artillery into the enclave; that's what you're saying?
4 A. I am saying that the largest number, and don't keep repeating --
5 repeat the answers; I have said it. Most of -- when, when the structure
6 of the detonations, the explosions, from the Dutch Battalion report, and I
7 deduced that there were 1.323 over a period of six days. And if we look
8 at the relationship between action and reaction, 1:3, then this means that
9 they were about 1.223 detonations.
10 Q. If you can't answer the question, we'll move on to the next
12 We're now looking at the 7th of July, "Team Srebrenica
13 reported --"
14 MR. CAYLEY: This is Exhibit 77/3, Mr. Usher.
15 Q. "Team Srebrenica reported that the Bosnian Serb army continued
16 their offensive on the enclave with heavy weapons since early this
17 morning. DutchBat reported heavy shelling around their compound in
18 Potocari and, as a result, three men were injured and brought by Medicins
19 Sans Frontieres to the hospital. UNMOs confirm this. At 1000 hours,
20 unconfirmed reports indicated that the Bosnian Serb army are regrouping
21 around former OP Echo, Company Hill in Bratunac. At 1000 hours, two
22 shells landed in Srebrenica village, but no one was wounded. At 1100
23 hours, four shells landed in Potocari, no injuries. At 1500 hours, three
24 shells landed in Srebrenica and injured two men. One was picked up by our
25 patrol and another one by Medicins Sans Frontieres, but he died on arrival
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 at the hospital. More shells have been landing in the same spot or
2 around, and we suspect that they are from a tank positioned at Company
3 Hill. A lot of damage on buildings has been caused in that area despite
4 the low casualty figures. At 1700 hours, 21 detonations were heard by
5 UNMOs in Potocari. We suspect they are from a multiple-rocket launcher
6 but not confirmed by us. We cannot analyse the craters at the moment due
7 to the continuous shelling but we assess that the Bosnian Serb army are
8 still using mortars, rockets, artillery, and tanks."
9 Now, General, would you agree with me that any informed military
10 officer would conclude based on this UNMO report, whoever received this
11 report in Tuzla, that there was in fact an artillery barrage, a rocket
12 barrage, a mortar barrage being fired into the Srebrenica enclave by Drina
13 Corps units?
14 A. I did not claim, and I repeat that, I did not claim that there was
15 no artillery action. I said that it was not action by the corps artillery
16 group. That is my assertion; that is what I claim.
17 That there was artillery activity, I agree, studying the
18 documents, and artillery activities could have been expected with active
19 combat. How can you have it without fire preparation, preparatory fire?
20 And that was reduced to the battalion fire groups and perhaps some
21 artillery pieces from the artillery of the brigade, but not from the
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, just a moment,
25 General, in the analysis -- in your analyses of the documents,
1 sources, conversations, and all the elements that helped you to compile
2 your report, you analysed all that material with some criteria in mind,
3 some rules that guided you borne of your experience, borne of your
4 professional training, and borne of your profession proper.
5 Now, I would like to ask you the following: All the rules, all
6 the rules, were they put into practice in the situation that you studied
7 and verified in the documents? Were they all applied? Were they all
8 respected, all these rules and laws? Were they respected?
9 A. In answer to your question, what I can say is the following: I
10 can give you an answer of principle but not of practice because I was not
11 on the spot for me to be able to know.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm asking in general
14 A. I personally think that they were, yes. According to military
15 doctrine, if inhabited areas were prepared for defence and that military
16 action came from them, then they are legitimate military targets, and I
17 think personally that Mr. Butler confirmed that in his testimony and
18 report as well. He did not contest the legitimacy of the military actions
19 once a decision had been made for that action to be launched.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] My question was perhaps a little
21 too general. For example, the fact that you didn't see an artillery plan,
22 does that necessarily mean that one -- that the artillery did not exist or
24 A. No, I did not say that the artillery did exist but the corps
25 artillery did not step into action. There was no activity of corps
1 artillery. Mortars, for example --
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. So it did not
3 intervene, but you accept that there was artillery. To whom did that
4 artillery belong, the artillery that did intervene? To whom did it
6 A. The battalions in contact and the brigades in whose zones of
7 responsibility it occurred.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Those battalions and those
9 brigades, to which army did they belong?
10 A. The army of Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. I'm not going to insist
12 further on, but I hope I will have another opportunity to develop a little
13 bit this question, to know whether the rules were indeed respected in
15 You have told us that not all of the procedures were always
16 applied and respected, but I think we can remain at that for the time
17 being, and I will raise the issue perhaps once again at some other
19 Mr. Cayley, please continue.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. We'll move on to the 8th of July, General. There are many, many
22 of these reports. I'm not going to go through all of them. I'm going to
23 go through perhaps half a dozen.
24 "8th of July. Shelling started in Srebrenica this morning" --
25 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, Mr. Usher. It's 77/6.
1 Q. "Shelling started in Srebrenica village this morning at 0800
2 hours. They seem to be concentrating more on the densely-populated
3 areas," it gives two map references, "and Potocari town. UNMOs have so
4 far counted up to 31 explosions in Potocari but, due to the distance,
5 there may have been more that we have not heard. In Srebrenica town,
6 UNMOs have counted 34 explosions with one landing approximately 20 metres
7 from UNMO accommodation at 1247 hours. Shrapnel was hurled over the PTT
8 building where UNMOs are housed but no one was injured. The Bosnian army
9 Chief of Staff has informed UNMOs that over 100 shells have landed in
10 general area of Biljecevo and Cizmic but this is not confirmed by us. As
11 we are writing this, more shelling is going on in both Potocari and
12 Srebrenica town. We are unable to confirm most of the things even with
13 DutchBat. Unconfirmed information indicates that a hotel located at," it
14 gives a map reference, "has been hit by one shell while two others landed
15 nearby. Any damage or casualties are not known." Then he gives a remark
16 as to the status of this report and that they're heading for the bunkers.
17 Then the update too. "At 1354 hours, DutchBat liaison officer
18 called UNMOs and informed them of their intentions to withdraw from their
19 Observation Post F due to the heavy shelling on their position. They said
20 that their APC will move to a safer place as soon as shelling reduces.
21 UNMO have counted 60 explosions from 1335 hours to 1406 hours. In
22 Srebrenica and Potocari, shelling is still going on. More info to come as
23 we get."
24 Now, General, you would agree by any standards that this is heavy
25 shelling that's going on, isn't it, on the 8th of July?
1 A. They were just activities for the purposes of demonstration in
2 order for them to reach the features they could control from the enclave.
3 In view of the consequences of the destruction and the structure of the
4 losses and property damage, in view of those consequences, I must say it
5 was really very, very low intensity artillery action. If you bear in mind
6 the geography of the area and how large that area was, and if you compare
7 that with the number of rounds that were fired, from the military point of
8 view, I don't know what it looks like to you, but from my point of view,
9 it is indeed a very low intensity action.
10 But let me say once again that each shell that does not hit the
11 target which is a military target, that hits a civilian target, is a very
12 serious one, of course, but you have to bear in mind the fact that
13 military action was going on in that area, and what happened was - let me
14 use the buzzword - the collateral damage. We always have this problem of
15 conflict of principles, the principle of humanitarian warfare and the
16 principle of military warfare, and those two principles will always be
17 conflicting. I cannot justify a single shell which hit a civilian target,
18 however, it can be expected. But let me assure you that, in view of the
19 standards of military activities in general, this is indeed very low
20 intensity action and very restricted number, very low number of artillery
21 shells and mortars compared to the number of shells which would be fired
22 in a usual military action. If you imagine a clash of two equally strong
23 armies, if you compare that to that situation, you will realise that this
24 was indeed really very low intensity action, although it might be rather
25 cynical for me to say this in this context, but it was indeed very low
2 Q. General, the Alibegovac feature was the principal first target of
3 the Romanija Brigade, of the 1st Echelon Forces?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that, General, was in the south of the enclave, wasn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And this report, General, indicates that on the 8th of July, all
8 of the highly-populated areas, Potocari in the centre of the enclave, were
9 being shelled. You'd agree with me, General, that the Potocari township
10 and Srebrenica itself are not on the Alibegovac feature, are they?
11 A. Yes, sir, but you will also have to agree with me when I say that
12 military action is not conducted in the way you think it is conducted.
13 You have to put up a certain show of force in order to avoid intervention
14 from the forces from that direction towards the main line of advance, the
15 main line of attack. You have to provide a fire support on certain other
17 Had the forces appeared from the direction of Potocari towards
18 Alibegovac, then the number of losses and the destruction in that area
19 would be far greater.
20 It is now debatable as to what is better, but that is the part of
21 the military doctrine. A commander undertakes tactical activities,
22 tactical steps which are intended to prevent action from the enemy. Those
23 are activities for the purposes of show of force which are put up in order
24 to avoid the enemy forces to appear on the main line of attack, and that
25 is how military action is conducted. That is how warfare is being
1 conducted. This is completely in accordance with the principles of
3 Q. If we can move now, General, to the 9th of July.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, General. Even if it's full of civilians?
5 You say it's a principle of warfare, even if there is no military
6 activity, to avoid attack of the enemy. Even if civilians are there?
7 A. No, Your Honour, that is not what I said. I said that what we
8 commonly refer to as collateral damage is something that is,
9 unfortunately, unavoidable in any war. So when targeting a military
10 target, or an assumed military target, an erroneous assessment can be
11 made. There are unfortunate incidents of targeting hospitals.
12 NATO probably didn't wish to target hospitals in Belgrade, but it
13 did hit them. But that's war. That's how things happen. Or perhaps the
14 settlement in Aleksinac or that train which happened to be on the bridge
15 which was targeted. I'm perfectly sure it was not the intention of the
16 NATO to shell those targets and that intention cannot be imputed to them,
17 but that is a kind of risk is understood, which is implied in any war.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
19 MR. CAYLEY:
20 Q. General, I think you said in your evidence to Mr. Visnjic that the
21 operation to take the Srebrenica enclave essentially was completed on the
22 night of the 9th of July, morning of the 10th of July; is that right? The
23 Alibegovac feature was taken at that point in time, from your assessment?
24 A. There may have been an error in interpretation. I didn't say that
25 the operation of the takeover of Srebrenica was completed but that the
1 operation of the accomplishment of assignments of the Krivaja 95
2 operation, that is, the taking control of military features for the
3 purposes of deactivating and neutralising, militarily speaking, the
5 Q. And that was completed by the night of the 9th of July?
6 A. Well, on the 9th or -- I don't have a precise piece of
7 information, but my estimate is that it took place sometime in the evening
8 hours of the 9th, but that perhaps is a date -- is information that could
9 be contested, but I will take that risk. My assessment is that it took
10 place in the evening of the 9th.
11 Q. Let me read to you the report --
12 MR. CAYLEY: This is 77/12, Mr. Usher. We can put that on the
13 ELMO. This is the UNMO report from that day, from the 10th of July.
14 "Shelling is still going on in Srebrenica. Up till now, we UNMOs
15 confirm from the morning over 100 detonations. 0930 about eight rockets
16 were fired from," and then it gives a grid reference, "in the direction of
17 Srebrenica. Then at 1255 on the 10th of July, two heavy shells, probably
18 155-millimetre shells, hit the direct surroundings of the hospital at
19 1100 hours. All the windows are smashed and shrapnel has showered the
20 rooms and walls of the hospital. The surgery is very difficult to
21 proceed. The number of casualties and wounded we don't know yet, but we
22 will inform you as soon as possible. It looks as if the Bosnian Serb army
23 are now targeting the hospital and the surroundings."
24 And then a further report, and this is 77/14, Mr. Usher.
25 Mr. Usher, don't worry, we'll leave that one. Don't worry about 77/14,
1 I'll ask it on this one. Don't worry.
2 Q. General, based on your theory of events that by the evening of the
3 9th of July the enclave had been deactivated and neutralised, militarily
4 speaking, why would the Drina Corps shell the hospital if by that time, by
5 the 10th of July, in your evidence, the enclave had been deactivated?
6 A. Well, I really couldn't answer your question because I'm not
7 familiar with the context in which it took place. It is possible that the
8 target was something else and that it was missed, whoever was operating
9 the artillery piece. It is possible for a very precise projectile to miss
10 the target, let alone an artillery piece.
11 Q. General --
12 A. It is very highly probable for such a thing to occur in any war.
13 Q. General, in your own words, you stated that by the evening of the
14 9th of July, the enclave had been neutralised; it had been deactivated
15 from a military point of view. Why did the Bosnian Serb army shell the
16 hospital in Srebrenica on the 10th if there was no longer a military
18 A. There was probably some kind of counter-attack from Srebrenica
19 because, as you know, the 28th Division gathered in the area of Susnjari
20 and Jaglici on the 11th. Up until then, its brigades and parts of its
21 brigades were still probably somewhere in the area. Their movement was
22 observed, and I'm sure that there was need to continue action towards
23 certain resistance points which were still active at the time.
24 I didn't say that the enclave was captured; I said that conditions
25 were created for its deactivation and for the takeover of the dominant
1 hills around the enclave.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, if you could -- Prosecutor's Exhibit 30,
3 paragraph 283 of that report.
4 Q. And this is the Secretary-General's report, General, 10th of
5 July. "The Bosnian Serb army continued to shell the town throughout the
6 day. B Company also reported a number of fire fights between the Bosnian
7 army and the Bosnian Serb army at various locations. UNHCR reported that
8 an estimated 2.000 civilians had begun to gather around the hospital,
9 hoping that its special status might protect them from Serb fire. UNHCR
10 also reported that by approximately 1300 hours, six civilians had been
11 killed and 23 wounded as a result of the shelling. Between around 1100
12 hours and 1800 hours, however, the Bosnian Serb army did not fire directly
13 at UNPROFOR blocking positions."
14 General, there were 2.000 civilians gathered around the hospital,
15 and the Bosnian Serb army opened fire with heavy artillery on that
16 hospital. Do you think that was an accident?
17 A. Yes, I think it was an accident. Were there any fatalities in
18 that action? I don't think so.
19 Q. Six civilians killed, General.
20 A. What I was saying to you all the time, and after all, that is the
21 subject of this report, was that the activities were still ongoing and
22 that it could only be expected for such activities to take place until --
23 up until such a time as the enemy forces are still active.
24 Q. General, on the 11th of July, 5.000 civilians were gathered in the
25 town of Srebrenica around Bravo Company, around the UN compound. 5.000
1 civilians. And this report indicates that, on that day at around 1330
2 hours, the Bosnian Serb army fired two shells which impacted in B Company
3 compound where 4 to 5.000 Bosniak civilians were taking refuge. An
4 unspecified number were injured. Were you aware that this event took
5 place, General?
6 A. I read this in the Secretary-General's report, and I do not have
7 any reasons not to believe that. However, those are consequences of war
8 activities which take place everywhere, which took place everywhere in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, anywhere in the world. In Yugoslavia, we had
10 2.500 killed civilians and 400 killed soldiers, so many more civilians
11 than soldiers, and civilians were not the target of the military action.
12 That's what happens in any war. This is not something that I can
13 justify, but you have to understand that it is a perfectly normal
14 consequence of a war. War is also a misfortune, and it is always the
15 greatest misfortune for the civilians who always suffer most.
16 Q. General, the reason that the Bosnian Serb army went on shelling is
17 because they wanted to frighten the population, didn't they?
18 A. Well, you're not asking me questions, you're putting things to me.
19 I cannot agree with you, no, because that was not the objective of the
21 Q. General, do you recall in your evidence that you said that none of
22 the UN protection force positions were the object of attack? Do you
23 recall that in your evidence?
24 A. Yes, I was speaking in principle. I said that the UN was not the
25 target, was not the objective of the attack; and that was indeed contained
1 in the orders of the VRS, that is, that the UN forces should not
2 constitute targets for them.
3 However, they happened to be in the same enclave where the Muslim
4 forces were, so the risk was there for them to become endangered during
5 those activities that were taking place against the members of the 28th
6 Division. It's one and the same area. They were not located somewhere
8 JUDGE RIAD: But to your knowledge, was the UN compound which was
9 shelled, was it close to any military target, any military which -- where
10 the Muslim army was, 28th Division was, to your knowledge? Was it close
11 by? Or usually the official UN compound was rather isolated.
12 A. I cannot give you a specific answer for specific checkpoints, but
13 the Muslim positions were immediately behind the lines which were held by
14 the Dutch Battalion. As to specific checkpoints, I don't know, but I know
15 that a certain amount of military cunningness is necessary. It would have
16 been perfectly normal for the 28th Division to have parts of its force
17 deployed around UNPROFOR positions because those were the most protected
18 points, and it was only to be expected that those would be the places of
19 the lowest intensity.
20 As far as I know, UNPROFOR checkpoints were not the target. As to
21 whether they were exposed to a certain amount of danger during the
22 activities that were being conducted against the Muslim forces, that, to
23 me, again, constitutes a very likeable consequence of -- a very likely
24 consequence of the tactics.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Is there any indication that the UN, the UN compound
1 served as shelter for the Muslim forces, to your knowledge?
2 A. For example, I have a piece of information, and I consider it to
3 be reliable, that in the post office building, in the basement, was the
4 centre of communications of the 28th Division; and so towards that feature
5 there was probably action on the part of the VRS. It probably did. But
6 now, whether it was a post -- in a post office or in another feature, that
7 is negligible for a general assessment, but I just quote it as
8 information, as an example.
9 In an inhabited area, military targets cannot be completely
10 outside and divorced from civilian facilities. And of course, the
11 civilian features and facilities also are in jeopardy, and this -- and
12 there I include the UN, as well, forces. And the worst thing is the
13 unprotected civilians. That is the worst consequence of wars of this type
14 waged on a small area where the parties are mixed; the fronts are mixed,
15 they are taken control over by one side and then another, and that is the
16 whole unfortunate characteristic of small wars and wars of this kind.
17 MR. CAYLEY:
18 Q. General, let's go straight back to what His Honour Judge Riad was
19 speaking about. The Judges have heard evidence from many of the Dutch
20 personnel who were in the enclave at the time, and Major Franken, who was
21 the Deputy Commander, was asked questions by myself about the shelling
22 that took place on the 10th and 11th of July, and he said the following.
23 This is my question:
24 "Q. You said at the beginning of the answer to my question
25 that you heard reports of pretty massive shelling of the city,
1 and you also said that at that time, to your knowledge, the
2 28th Division had vanished, had disappeared?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Why was there --"
5 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please slow down for the translation.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry.
8 Q. "Q. Why was there shelling of the city taking place?
9 A. It's strange you ask me that question, but there was not
10 any military objective other than the so-called telegraph post
11 and telegraph building where a part of the headquarters of the
12 28th Division was. But that was not in the city, that was in
13 the northern part of the city. The city itself did not give
14 any military objective in that stage, other than, of course,
15 the UN forces. But then again, it was at random shooting at
16 the city.
17 Q. From your recollection, what was the calibre of the
18 artillery and mortars? And if you can remember to pause
19 between my question and answer, I'll try to go more slowly
21 A. Mainly it was bigger calibres of around --"
22 And then the transcript is not clear.
23 "I did deduce from that the explosions we heard and we saw,
24 so it was heavy artillery.
25 Q. Any other weapons being used, Major Franken, apart from
1 heavy artillery?
2 A. Tanks were used, not only on the positions of our own
3 forces, but also used to shoot into area of the city."
4 The witness then states, and I won't read all of it, that B Company
5 counted 200 shells. I finally asked him:
6 "Q. Now, you stated in an earlier response that there was no
7 military objective by this stage that would require this level
8 of firing, and I'll ask you the question again. In your
9 opinion, what was the reason for this very heavy shelling?
10 A. There could have been two reasons, but it was the same
11 effect: killing people, or trying to raise a panic by killing
12 people. And I mean by `people' civilians, women and
14 Now, General, you have already stated that you regard the Dutch
15 evidence as reliable information, and you would agree with me, wouldn't
16 you, that a man, a professional army officer of 30 years' experience on
17 the ground in the enclave at the time, would have a better idea than you
18 about the reason for the continuous artillery shelling on the 10th and
19 11th of July?
20 A. About the reason -- that it was more jeopardised and that he was
21 on the spot, yes; but as to the reason, I cannot support you in your
22 opinion there that he knew that better than me. I can know better what
23 the reason was. Whether the VRS -- or rather, those who opened fire,
24 whether they knew where the 28th Division was located on the 10th and
25 11th, they did not know. And up until the time that all contact was --
1 that you lose all contact with the enemy, you continue your actions until
2 all contact with the enemy is lost.
3 And I'm quite sure that nobody from the command system in the army
4 of Republika Srpska ordered for any targets, for any reasons whatsoever,
5 that fire be opened on a concentration of civilians. I cannot accept that
6 because it goes contrary to the ethics of warfare, which is something that
7 I have striven for all my life, and I'm quite certain that the army of
8 Republika Srpska did not do that either.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I apologise for
10 interrupting, I would like to ask something now.
11 Why do you say that no officer would have ordered that? Why do
12 you say that? What is the basis for your assertion? Because it's the
13 rule, is that all? Because it's the rule or do you have any special
14 information in that regard?
15 A. Well, first of all, it is the rule, yes. And everybody is trained
16 to apply that rule.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. You spoke of ethics,
18 General. So for military rules, for military honour, to say that no
19 officer would have ordered that?
20 A. Yes. And apart from that, I also had numerous interviews with
21 people who took part in the operation, and I asked them precisely about
22 that problem. In asking them about that, my answer was that nobody had
23 done that.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General. You said
25 the officers of the VRS. Now, having seen everything that you have seen
1 and read, are you convinced that there were executions?
2 A. That there were executions. Not on the part of the leaders and
3 commanders of army of Republika Srpska, officers that command the
4 battalions, brigades, and corps. Unfortunately, I do know that there were
5 executions, but that was not done by the system of command of the Drina
6 Corps. They were not responsible for that.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You said that no officer of the
8 VRS did so. Now I'm asking you the question why, if you admit that there
9 were executions, why is that principle valid for the questions of
10 executions, that is, that no officer could have done anything like that?
11 You say that on the other hand.
12 A. Well, I don't know who did it. I can't answer that question. I
13 consider that the officers of the army of Republika Srpska were not
14 allowed to do so and did not do so, but who did do so, I do not know.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. That means that in
16 your opinion, the executions were implemented by somebody who was -- who
17 could never have belonged to the VRS. Is that what you're telling us? Is
18 that what you're saying?
19 A. Perhaps they did belong to the VRS. Perhaps they did or perhaps
20 there were some other forces which were not in the composition and under
21 the control of the Drina Corps. We're talking about the responsibility of
22 the Drina Corps, the accountability of the Drina Corps.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Shall we -- we're not going to
24 continue. It is ten minutes past one, and I think the time has come to
25 take a lunch break.
1 I see in the transcript that I said 50 minutes for the break. I
2 said 40 minutes, but as I see 50 in the transcript and people might have a
3 programme of their own, I shall abide by what the transcript says and not
4 by what I said. Perhaps the interpreters made a slight correction there
5 which was more convenient to them, but anyway, no problem there. I said
6 40 minutes because we hadn't worked this morning. We didn't begin on time
7 this morning. But anyway, we're going to take a 50-minute break because
8 that's what it said in the transcript, on the LiveNote. So a 50-minute
9 lunch break.
10 --- Recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 2.05 p.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, please proceed.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Q. Good afternoon, General.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. General, prior to the break we were just addressing, as you can
17 recall, the VRS artillery campaign into the enclave, and you said in your
18 evidence in response to Mr. Visnjic's question that UNPROFOR positions
19 were not directly attacked by Bosnian Serb forces. Do you recall that?
20 A. Yes. As far as my knowledge goes.
21 Q. Now, General, you have in fact used as part of your reference
22 material the Dutch debriefing report, haven't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. CAYLEY: And if, for the purposes of the ELMO because it's in
25 English, Prosecutor 404, tab 20, Madam Registrar.
1 And Mr. Usher, if you could turn to page 22 of that report, and if
2 you could move it down to paragraph 3.11. Perfect.
3 Q. Now, General, I'll read this paragraph to you, 3.11: "In the
4 early afternoon at around 1300 hours, two artillery shells exploded near
5 to OP Foxtrot. Shortly afterwards, the OP came under direct fire from two
6 Bosnian Serb army tanks. The tower of the observation post upon which the
7 TOW anti-tank weapon was mounted was damaged. Through a liaison, the
8 battalion requested an explanation from the Bosnian Serb army. However,
9 the Bosnian Serb army required a written report of the incident probably
10 as a stalling tactic."
11 MR. CAYLEY: And then, Mr. Usher, if we could have 3.14, which is
12 page 23, placed on the ELMO. 3.14, that's page 23. I think you have
13 3.17. It would be the page before. Perfect.
14 Q. "On the morning of Saturday 8 July, the weather conditions were
15 misty. There was only sporadic firing. At around 12.30 hours, the crew
16 of OP Foxtrot reported that they were under fire. Shells were exploding
17 at a short distance from the observation post. At 1345 hours, the
18 observation post received a direct hit from a tank, and the right front
19 side of the protective wall collapsed. A few minutes later, the wall
20 received two more direct hits."
21 Now, General, there are a number of other references in that
22 report to direct attacks on UN observation posts which I won't refer you
23 to, but you would agree with me that, based on this material, in fact the
24 UN protection forces within the enclave did come under direct attack from
25 the Bosnian Serb army, didn't they?
1 A. I can agree with you in part. It is true that at one point they
2 were in jeopardy; but that they were planned targets, had that been
3 prepared, that would have -- they would have hit them in the first
4 attempt. But yes, there was the risk of the war effects that I spoke
5 about earlier on, and this is something that must be understood as the
6 risk of war in a given area. But I still maintain that the UNPROFOR
7 features were not planned military targets.
8 Q. General, you're a military man. If something is directly hit,
9 such as a tower from an observation post, wouldn't you agree with me that
10 somebody would have to actually target that tower in order to hit it?
11 A. Well, I could agree with you there. Of course, it can be hit by
12 mistake or it can be targeted and hit as a result of the targeting.
13 Q. Let's move on, General, to --
14 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be given Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 425. Page 14 of the English version, and for the General it would
16 be page 11, the final page. Mr. Usher, if you could move the exhibit
18 Q. Now, General, this you will recall is the directive 7 signed by
19 Radovan Karadzic, and in paragraph 6 of that document, he states support
20 for combat operations, and the portion is highlighted on the ELMO.
21 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with
22 UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned and
23 unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
24 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
25 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill
1 while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the International
2 Community and international public opinion."
3 Now, General, you would agree with me that this is, in fact, a
4 directive from the Supreme Commander of the VRS to strangle resources
5 available to UN Protection Forces within the enclaves of Gorazde and Zepa
6 and, specifically in this case, of Srebrenica, isn't it?
7 A. The Drina Corps did not deal with those issues. It did not come
8 under the competence of the Drina Corps, the permission or lack of it or
9 reducing the entrance, restricting this. That was something that the Main
10 Staff did.
11 Q. That is not the question that I asked you. So I will repeat the
12 question. I won't repeat the material. Would you agree with me, General,
13 that that particular directive from the Supreme Commander of the VRS is a
14 directive to strangle the resources available to UN Protection Forces
15 within the enclave of Srebrenica?
16 A. This refers rather to the superior support of UNPROFOR to the
17 forces of the 28th Division because from the resources that were brought
18 into the enclave, part of that was siphoned off to the funds of the
19 28th Division.
20 THE REGISTRAR: There seems to be a problem with the speakers and
21 I have someone coming to look at that.
22 MR. CAYLEY: I'll carry on, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's continue now.
24 MR. CAYLEY:
25 Q. But, General, specifically this language actually refers to
1 reducing and limiting the logistics support of UNPROFOR and the supply of
2 resources to the Muslim population, does it not? It makes absolutely no
3 reference to support for Muslim fighters within the enclaves, does it?
4 A. But in wars of the type carried on in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in
5 and around Srebrenica, the army quite simply was in direct contact and
6 closely integrated with the population with respect to the bases and
7 supplies. And, unfortunately, and I say unfortunately, that too is a
8 consequence of wars of this type which must be incorporated into our
9 calculations when we consider the consequences of war and combat action.
10 Unfortunately, that is something which naturally attends wars of this
11 kind. It is not a specific feature of Srebrenica. It was something that
12 was -- that happened on the whole -- the entire battlefield of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Where the army is, there you will find the population
14 too. And if you wish to restrict the material resources of the army in
15 the sense of combat resources, then you're also, by implication,
16 restricting civilians, and this cannot be avoided. All that falls within
17 the domain of what we refer to colloquially as collateral damage.
18 Unfortunately, that is so.
19 Q. Now, General, you stated in your evidence-in-chief, and indeed I
20 think within your report, that the UN Protection Forces did have
21 sufficient material at its disposal to prevent the Krivaja 95 operation
22 and compel the belligerents to respect the safe area.
23 Now, you would agree with me that if the Bosnian Serbs were
24 systematically strangling the resources that were available to the
25 UN Protection Forces, the UN Protection Forces would be unable to defend
1 the enclave, wouldn't they?
2 A. You didn't understand me properly. That's not what I thought,
3 even if I said it. What I said was that UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 had the possibility of preventing operation Krivaja 95. Within the
5 frameworks of the overall responsibility of UNPROFOR, the Dutch Battalion
6 had to have prevented the actions of the 28th Division which triggered off
7 the operation Krivaja 95. I did not mean to say that the Dutch Battalion
8 should have opposed the VRS by fighting, by engaging in combat and to keep
9 them within the enclave. What I thought was that it should have secured a
10 strict respect for the May 1993 agreements with respect to
11 demilitarisation and the absence of all forms of military activities from
12 the enclave geared towards the VRS and then -- and it would have no
13 reasons or arguments to launch a counter-offensive.
14 As things stood, it gained the legitimate right of preventing
15 military activities which were not prevented by the Dutch Battalion. And
16 the Dutch Battalion for that mission, for its motion mission, did not only
17 rely upon its own resources, but they had at their disposal the entire
18 mechanism of the United Nations. So it was in that sense that I was
19 addressing the portion of responsibility for that battalion, not that it
20 did not engage in combat and stand up to the VRS in that way.
21 Q. Did the Dutch Battalion themselves within the enclave have
22 sufficient resources to resist the Bosnian Serb advance into Srebrenica?
23 A. No, nor should they have resisted the Bosnian Serb army. They
24 should have prevented the operation from taking place, and the best
25 prevention would have been not to allow the 28th Division to violate the
1 May 1993 agreements, and it had sufficient resources to be able to carry
2 that through.
3 Q. And you agree with me that the Bosnian Serb army essentially
4 prevented military materiel from getting to UNPROFOR within the enclave by
5 preventing convoys from entering the enclave?
6 A. I don't know if it prevented this, if it did prevent it. I think
7 that the convoys -- that the supply system of UNPROFOR was a highly
8 elaborate one, and whether this happened at that period of time, I don't
9 know. I have the testimony, I read it myself, but I do allow for the fact
10 that there were restrictions in that respect. But as far as the Drina
11 Corps was concerned, that wasn't its competency.
12 Q. Now, General, Colonel Karremans, who was the commanding officer of
13 the Dutch Battalion, testified in video-recorded testimony in this
14 courtroom, and I won't read all of his evidence, but that in essence, the
15 Bosnian Serb army prevented from entering the enclave replacement military
16 personnel, military equipment, ammunition, food, spare parts for
18 Now, you'd agree with me that the commanding officer of the Dutch
19 Battalion would know better than you whether or not the Bosnian Serb army
20 was preventing military materiel from getting into the enclave.
21 A. Yes, but I would ask -- I would put the question in a different
22 way, Mr. Cayley. Why did the battalion of the commander of the Dutch
23 Battalion, why did he not, by the UN mechanism --
24 Q. General, answer my question, and I'll repeat it for you. If you
25 don't want to answer it, just say, "I do not wish to answer."
1 Would you agree with me, General, that the commanding officer of
2 the Dutch Battalion would know better than you whether or not the Bosnian
3 Serb army was preventing military materiel from getting into the enclave?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I see in the
5 transcript that the General has answered that question. That was his
6 first word, and this was an addition, as I understood it.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, you are saying that
8 the General has already answered?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, line 24, page 63, the
10 answer -- first word is the answer to the question, and after that we have
11 the General's comment. Now, if Mr. Cayley isn't satisfied with the length
12 of the answer, then that's another problem entirely; but if we're talking
13 about whether he answered or not, I think he did answer.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If you are talking about line
15 24, are you talking about page 63, line 24? Is that it, "yes"?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's it, Your Honour.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, we can move on, really. The General
18 wanted me to formulate the question in a different way. I'll move on.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, please proceed.
20 MR. CAYLEY:
21 Q. General, are you aware that a threat was made to the Dutch
22 Battalion that if there were further air strikes, that the Bosnian Serb
23 army around Srebrenica would shell the Potocari compound and the
24 surrounding area where there were located 25 to 30.000 civilians? Are you
25 aware of that, General?
1 A. I read testimony to that -- statements to that effect, and the
2 Dutch Battalion was a component part of the United Nations mechanism. At
3 the point when, at their request, NATO planes launched strikes in the
4 territory of Republika Srpska, then that Dutch Battalion sided with that
5 warring party. That is the conclusion one reaches on the basis of all the
6 rules and laws of warfare.
7 MR. CAYLEY: If I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 77/18.
8 Q. Now, General, you stated a moment ago that NATO, UNPROFOR forces,
9 had at its disposal the necessary force to prevent further action, and in
10 that one could refer to the air strikes. Now, the air strikes were made
11 as a warning to the Bosnian Serbs.
12 And in response - and I'll read this report, 77/18; this is an
13 UNMO report - "The town is in the hands of the Bosnian Serb army by now
14 and the latest ultimatum given by the Bosnian Serb army is that if the air
15 strikes continue, everything inside the enclave will be bombed, also
16 UNPROFOR and the other UN organisations." General, do you regard that as
17 a lawful threat by the Bosnian Serb army?
18 A. I consider it a threat, but not a lawful one, and luckily that
19 threat was never acted upon, although NATO did act.
20 Q. How could the Dutch Battalion defend all those people with that
21 kind of threat hanging over them?
22 A. Sir, in response to your question, I have answered several times:
23 It is not -- it was not a threat when the operation was concluded. But
24 they should have prevented the operation from taking place at all, and the
25 Dutch Battalion, within the composition of the overall mechanism of the
1 United Nations, including NATO which led the operation of the no-fly,
2 denial-fly operation, had unlimited possibilities to prevent the operation
3 from taking place.
4 The Dutch Battalion did not perform its basic mission, that is, to
5 secure the regime of demilitarisation in Srebrenica, and that is its
6 fundamental error, its main mistake. It would have had to have done so,
7 and that's where everything started.
8 MR. CAYLEY: If we could have Defence Exhibit 160, please.
9 Q. General, are you also aware - and in fact Colonel Karremans
10 testified to this - that the Bosnian Serb army at the same time threatened
11 to execute 32 Dutch UNPROFOR soldiers if the airstrikes continued? Are
12 you aware of that?
13 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I don't know about that threat.
14 Q. Do you have your report in front of you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Page 32. Now, General, I'll paraphrase paragraph 4.9 of your
17 report, but in essence you say in that section of your report that "One
18 undermanned battalion could not cushion the hatred of the Muslims towards
19 the Serbs and vice versa," and then you state to the Secretary-General's
20 report where it was acknowledged that the Dutch forces sent into
21 Srebrenica were insufficient to do the job.
22 So you yourself, in your report, accept the fact that the Dutch
23 forces were woefully inadequate in order to meet the threat from outside,
24 from the Bosnian Serbs?
25 A. No. No. You didn't interpret the context of my assertion
1 properly. In keeping with the UN Secretary-General's report pertaining to
2 the military forces and options in the Security Council with respect to
3 the scope of those forces that were to defend and protect the safe area, I
4 took that into consideration, that is to say, what the UN
5 Secretary-General says in his report, and that is that, when ascertaining
6 the scope of the forces, everybody was convinced that they were
7 insufficient, not strong enough to provide effective protection to the
8 enclave. And I completely agree with him there because, first the
9 Canadian company and then the Dutch Battalion, they were not forces that
10 were sufficiently strong to defend the enclave if an operation were
12 So if we had to ensure a completely protected safe area,
13 completely protected from all kinds of military activity from any side,
14 including the VRS, then forces should have been sent which would have been
15 capable by their fighting power, a real deterrent. They should have been
16 a proper deterrent. And if an operation were launched that it would be a
17 valid force capable of responding until the entire protection mechanism of
18 the United Nations were unleashed and put into action.
19 The mandate that was given to those forces was such that at any
20 time new conflicts could have occurred, and that mandate and their force,
21 their overall potential and strength were not a certain guarantee to
22 prevent a conflict. And having given a mandate of that kind, then in
23 front of them and behind them there should have been the authority of the
24 United Nations to back them up and the overall political mechanism of
25 supervision of the situation and the engagement of all the high
1 representatives who existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former
2 Yugoslavia, from Zagreb to Tuzla, and that all -- had all of them
3 performed their duties at the functions they performed, we probably
4 wouldn't be here discussing this question today. That misfortune would
5 have been averted and avoided.
6 That is the sense of that paragraph. That is its meaning. It
7 wasn't to generally condemn the Dutch Battalion. Of course, it was -- it
8 did make an omission in failing to supervise the safe area regime and to
9 inform its superiors of all the incidents, to take steps and to seek
10 action. It did not do that.
11 I do not say -- of course it is guilty for many of the activities
12 from the beginning of the operation until the end of this whole sad
13 episode, but we will probably hear that in another part of the testimony,
14 but it made an omission. It failed to react to all violations of the
15 regime of demilitarisation which was the cause for which operation Krivaja
16 was planned, which led to the planning of the operation Krivaja 95.
17 Q. Thank you so much, General. Let's move on to page 40 of your
18 report in English, page 41 in the B/C/S. Could you read paragraph 6.3 of
19 your report, please.
20 A. Mr. Cayley, I asked you if you could read portions of the text
21 instead of me. I mean, if you want me to read this one I will do that for
22 you, but I kindly asked you if it would be possible for you to read it out
23 for me.
24 Q. You need to save your voice, General. I can see that. I'll read
1 "After establishing full control over Srebrenica, the VRS took
2 all measures to ensure controlled evacuation of all those who wanted to be
3 evacuated and to carry it out with the necessary and then feasible
4 security measures."
5 Do you stand by that statement, General?
6 A. Yes; otherwise, I wouldn't have written it.
7 Q. Now, General, I'm going to quote very briefly from General
8 Dannatt -- Major-General Dannatt's testimony who you studied, the British
9 divisional commander who testified before Their Honours, and he said the
10 following in respect of a group of civilians who gathers in a small
11 location which is occupied by a military force. This was his
12 understanding as a divisional commander. He said: "Well, under the
13 Geneva Conventions, the military are obliged to assume certain
14 responsibilities for civilians when those civilians can no longer look
15 after themselves. When their own civilian, municipal, or government
16 structure can no longer look after them, then it falls to the military to
17 carry out that function, and the minimum requirements of that function
18 should be to provide food, water, shelter, and medical support."
19 He then stated: "The status of those civilians under the Geneva
20 Conventions becomes one of protected persons because, by definition, they
21 can no longer protect themselves. They can no longer look after
22 themselves. Therefore, from a military point of view, like it or not,
23 then you have this duty of care which by the Geneva Convention is invested
24 upon you and you must do the things I have just described; food, shelter,
25 water, and medical care and freedom from harassment and the basic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 provisions of human rights."
2 Now, General, a British divisional commander with operational
3 experience gave that evidence before the Court. Do you agree with that
5 A. In principle, of course I do. However, the context is completely
6 different and the situation in point is completely different from the one
7 which was analysed by General Dannatt quite legitimately. It is, of
8 course, something that has to be applied if you have appropriate
9 conditions to carry it out. But if you take an army such as was the VRS,
10 which had one-half of a small pate as a daily ration for a soldier, that
11 is the army which didn't have enough resources, didn't have enough
12 logistics, but an army which was based on donations, which is quite
13 ridiculous for an army that is engaged in warfare.
14 Municipal authorities had an obligation to supply their soldiers,
15 and they completely -- they were completely dependent on the goodwill of
16 such authorities.
17 I do not justify any ill-treatment towards civilians, whatever
18 side they may be on, but unfortunately, once again, this is this most
19 unfortunate consequence of any war. The civilians are the most
20 vulnerable, the most exposed ones, despite the lofty formulations
21 contained in relevant conventions. And such was the case in Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina in general, and in particular, in Srebrenica.
23 Q. And because they were vulnerable, General, is the very reason why
24 armies have to take special care of civilians, isn't it?
25 A. Yes, of course. If they can; if they're able to do so. But one
1 has to bear in mind the overall context. You cannot simply take it out of
2 the context; you have to bear in mind the overall situation.
3 First of all, it was a complete surprise for the VRS - that is,
4 for an army which did not plan to liberate, or rather, take possession of
5 the town - they were completely taken by surprise when such a large group,
6 large number of civilians gathered. They were completely unprepared for
7 that. Even if they had expected it, it is debatable as to whether they
8 would be able to do so.
9 You have a series of panicky orders issued by officers of the VRS
10 when they learned about the initiatives to move out the civilian
11 population. They had to collect a very high number of buses and other
12 means of transport for that purpose, and it was very difficult to do that
13 in such a short amount of time and in view of those consequences regarding
14 the humanitarian crisis.
15 Q. General, can you turn to paragraph 6.6 of your report on page --
16 I'm sorry, it is page 59 of your report and page 60 in the B/C/S version.
17 MR. CAYLEY: It's paragraph 3.22. That's fine, Mr. Usher.
18 Q. Do you have that, General? It's the final sentence of paragraph
19 3.22. It's page 60. Do you have that in front of you, General?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I will read it: "All facts indicate that the commander of the
22 Bosnian Serb Main Staff relieved the Drina Corps headquarters of the
23 obligation to plan and carry out the operation of the movement of
24 population from Srebrenica."
25 That is your opinion, is it, in respect of the movement of the
1 population out of the Srebrenica enclave, General?
2 A. It's not only my opinion, it's a conclusion that I reached on the
3 basis of everything that I had studied in that respect, including my
4 personal contact with the people who were involved in the process, in the
6 Q. General, would you agree with me that in order to move 25 to
7 30.000 people a distance, I think, of about 60 or 70 kilometres is quite a
8 formidable task?
9 A. Yes, yes, indeed.
10 Q. And you would agree with me that it actually does require some
11 kind of organisation, doesn't it? It doesn't just happen.
12 A. Yes, but here we're talking about an ad hoc kind of organisation,
13 not a planned one. It would have been planned in a different way.
14 Q. Would you agree with me that in order for an army to do it
15 properly, it would need the involvement of the operation staff, of the
16 transportation staff? They would at least have to be involved in some
17 manner in order to organise this transport for 25.000 to 30.000 people.
18 A. It wasn't only the army that took part in that. You have the
19 Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the government, the
20 United Nations mechanism, including Mr. Akashi, the Dutch Battalion.
21 Everybody was involved in the execution of that task because it appeared
22 suddenly, and it was a rather complex task.
23 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
24 436, please.
25 Q. Now, General, I'm not going to read this order out, but it is an
1 order for the provision of buses, and it is an order to six of the Drina
2 Corps brigades for the provision of buses. I think you yourself used this
3 order to demonstrate what was taking place during the evacuation.
4 General, who signs this order? Who is making the request for the
6 A. It wasn't signed by anyone, but I assume that it was signed in the
7 original, and that is the commander of the Drina Corps.
8 Q. So General Zivanovic is ordering the buses for the movement of the
10 A. Yes, but only the buses that were the property of his brigades.
11 But there is also a request for buses issued by the Main Staff of the VRS,
12 the Ministry of Defence, and the government of Republika Srpska. It was a
13 general problem, not only the problem of the Drina Corps. And the first
14 ones who were able to react were those who had the vehicles, that is, the
15 brigades of the Drina Corps. So that was mobilised by the Corps Commander
16 because he headed there immediately. That is the first --
17 Q. General --
18 A. -- time that we see documents mentioning this particular issue.
19 Q. General, if the Drina Corps Commander is ordering buses for the
20 evacuation of the population, it's completely incorrect, isn't it, to say
21 that the VRS Main Staff relieved the Drina Corps headquarters of all
22 obligations to carry out the operation for the movement of the population?
23 That would be completely incorrect, wouldn't it, that assertion, based on
24 this order?
25 A. No, you're not right. The Drina Corps had an obligation to
1 activate part of its resources pursuant to the order of the Main Staff
2 concerning the moving out of the population which had been agreed upon
3 with the representatives of the civilian authorities, with the
4 representatives of the Muslims from Srebrenica, and the United Nations
5 mechanism. That operation was not within the competence of the Drina
6 Corps; however, all of the resources were used because of the very brief
7 period of time and a very critical humanitarian situation.
8 Q. General, evidence has been given by a Dutch officer before this
9 courtroom that not only was General Zivanovic engaged in this operation,
10 but also Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, who was the chief of intelligence of
11 the Drina Corps. Are you aware that Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric led the
12 first convoy of civilians out of Potocari on the 12th of July, 1995?
13 A. In response to your previous question, I stated, and I'm going to
14 repeat that, the operation of the moving out of the civilian population
15 from Srebrenica --
16 Q. General, General --
17 A. -- was not the responsibility of the Drina Corps.
18 Q. Are you aware that Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric led out the first
19 convoy of civilians?
20 MR. CAYLEY: And, Your Honours, and this is the evidence of
21 Witness B, a Dutch officer who was present at the two meetings in Bratunac
22 on the 11th and 12th of July of 1995.
23 Q. That witness identified Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, a Drina Corps
24 staff officer, as the man who led out the first convoy of civilians out of
25 Potocari. Are you aware of that fact, General? That is the question that
1 I want you to answer.
2 A. I don't know. I'm not familiar with that particular fact. But
3 even if I did know that, it wouldn't affect the basic sense of my
4 conclusion in any way. It was possible for any officer of the VRS to have
5 led the first convoy out of the enclave, but the operation itself was the
6 responsibility of the Main Staff.
7 Q. So at this point in time, General, we have two officers of the
8 Drina Corps, the Commander and the Chief of Intelligence, one of whom who
9 is proven by an order to have ordered buses, the other one led out the
10 first convoy. Do you still maintain that the Drina Corps headquarters had
11 been relieved of all obligations in respect of carrying out the movement
12 of the population from Srebrenica?
13 A. Yes, absolutely. I still maintain that the Drina Corps
14 headquarters were not involved in the operation. The staff of the Drina
15 Corps at the time of that operation was involved in something completely
16 different, that is, the preparation for the Zepa operation.
17 MR. CAYLEY: If I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 435, please. If
18 that could be placed on the ELMO.
19 Q. General, this is an intercepted radio communication dated the
20 12th of July between somebody called Krstic and Lieutenant Colonel
21 Krsmanovic, and the conversation I will read goes as follows:
22 "K: Hello, that Krsmanovic?
23 X: Yes, go ahead.
24 K: Listen! Write this down!
25 X: Yes.
1 K: Now: Pale, Visegrad, Rogatica, Sokolac, Han Pijesak,
2 Vlasenica, Milici, Bratunac, Zvornik. Now: This, from all these places,
3 50 buses in total are to be at the stadium in Bratunac by 1700 hours.
4 X: At 1700 hours at the Bratunac stadium.
5 K: Very sure this is done! Is that clear?
6 X: Understood.
7 K: Go ahead."
8 MR. CAYLEY: This exhibit is bis, I'm just told. I'm sorry. So
9 435 bis.
10 Q. General, this is an intercepted radio communication in which
11 General Krstic is requesting the chief of transportation of the Drina
12 Corps to organise 50 buses. Now, you would agree with me, if
13 General Zivanovic, General Krstic, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, and
14 Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic were all involved in this operation to move
15 30.000 people out of Srebrenica, it is completely incorrect to suggest to
16 this Court that the Drina Corps headquarters had been relieved of all
17 obligations to plan and carry out the operation to remove the population
18 from Srebrenica.
19 A. You cannot tell me what to say. You cannot put my answer to me.
20 What I'm telling you is that - and this has been testified to on several
21 occasions before this Chamber - that at the time the operation of the
22 moving out of the civilian population from Srebrenica was carried out, the
23 Drina Corps was engaged in the planning, organisation of a new operation,
24 namely, the Stupcanica 95 operation.
25 In view of the fact of what is required when preparing and
1 planning an operation, and I know that that operation was planned, I claim
2 and I'm convinced -- I'm firmly convinced that the Drina Corps, that is
3 that the Drina Corps staff, the command, could not take part in the
4 organisation of this particular operation.
5 At the meeting which was held in the evening of the 11th at the
6 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, which was chaired by the Commander of the
7 Main Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps was tasked with planning
8 and preparing the Zepa operation. For me as a military expert, it is a
9 sufficient reason to conclude that, from that moment on, Chief of Staff of
10 the Drina Corps cannot have any other duty if he's already appointed
11 commander of the operational group. All he can busy himself with was to
12 plan that operation and to prepare for its execution.
13 And in response to a question which was put to me by the Defence
14 counsel as regards what that implies, I think I already said what it
15 implies, what it includes. I can repeat once again what I said. One
16 person cannot be at two places at the same time.
17 Q. General, you're not answering my question. I'm not going to let
18 you talk forever.
19 General, do you accept that if four officers of the Drina
20 headquarters -- if evidence has been provided to this Court that four
21 officers of the Drina Corps Command were involved in the organisation of
22 buses for the movement of the population, then it is completely incorrect
23 to suggest that the Drina Corps had no involvement in the movement of the
24 population out of Srebrenica.
25 If you do not want to answer this question, then simply say, "I
1 decline to answer."
2 A. No, sir. I will give you my answer. If you think that I am
3 particularly willing of talking all the time, then you're wrong because
4 I'm quite tired by now, but I will say once again I have already stated -
5 I have stated now and I will state it tomorrow, until the date I die -
6 that any staff which receives an obligation, a duty to plan and organise a
7 military operation cannot be --
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, it's the Presiding
9 Judge that's interrupting you now.
10 You're an intelligent person, General. The question was a simple
11 one. You're an expert witness. You're providing us with expert
12 testimony. You know what it means. And you're a military expert. So you
13 are here to comment also on hypotheses.
14 The question is as follows: Imagine there's evidence according to
15 which two or three officers of the Drina Corps had taken part in the
16 organisation and in the provision of buses. Do you still stand by your
17 claim, the one that you expressed in your report, that the Drina Corps was
18 entirely relieved of this duty to organise transport?
19 It's a very simple question. The question is, if this is true, do
20 you still stand by your statement? So, just tell us, "Yes, I still stand
21 by my statement," or, "I don't stand by what I said on a previous
22 occasion." Please, give us a direct answer and be mindful of the strain
23 for your throat.
24 Mr. Cayley, could you repeat once again your question. Could you
25 put it very precisely.
1 And I appeal to you, General, once again, to give us a
2 straightforward answer.
3 MR. CAYLEY:
4 Q. General, the Court has heard evidence that at least four members
5 of the Drina Corps headquarters, including General Krstic, were personally
6 involved in the organisation of transport to remove the civilian
7 population from Srebrenica. On that basis, would you agree with me that
8 it is incorrect, your assertion, that the Drina Corps headquarters had
9 been relieved of all obligations to plan and carry out the operation of
10 the movement of the population from Srebrenica?
11 A. The interpretation I received was to remove. Maybe we do not have
12 an equivalent in our language. The issue was not that of a removal, but
13 of the movement of the population out of a certain place. There is a
14 significant difference between the two expressions. I apologise for this
15 digression, but let me answer your question now.
16 The command of the Drina Corps did not plan and it did not execute
17 this operation. Of course, the operation was conducted in its area of
18 responsibility, and portions of its resources, as it can be seen from the
19 order of the Corps commander, did take part in it.
20 The assistant commander for logistics or the chief of
21 transportation are not members of the staff, Mr. Prosecutor. They are
22 members of the rear elements of the Drina Corps command and not the
23 members of the staff.
24 Is my answer precise enough, because I really do wish to be
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At any rate, thank you very much
2 for trying, General.
3 Mr. Cayley, sorry to interrupt you, but I think that we will have
4 to wind up for the day and continue on Monday. We will reconvene on
5 Monday, 9.20.
6 General, please take advantage of the weekend that is before you
7 to have some rest.
8 Yes, Mr. Cayley, is there anything that you would like to add at
9 this point?
10 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, perhaps not the best time to state
11 this on a Friday afternoon, but I suspect that I may actually be going
12 longer than all day Monday. I may have to go into Tuesday, but I will try
13 to get through it as quickly as possible. It is problematic for the
14 reasons I think that we all understand, but I will try to move as quick as
15 I can, but I don't guarantee that I will finish by the end of Monday.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I will ask Madam Registrar to
17 make a calculation of the time which was spent on the examination. We
18 have to bear in mind the questions of the Judges as well, so I will ask
19 Madam Registrar to give us information on that, and on Monday I will be in
20 a better position to inform you thereof.
21 Have a nice weekend, all of you. The hearing is adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m., to
23 be reconvened on Monday, the 11th day of December,
24 2000, at 9.20 a.m.