1 Monday, 11 December 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [Accused not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.26 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen. Good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters; good
8 morning counsel for the Prosecution, counsel for the Defence.
9 General Krstic is not here as far as I can see. Mr. Petrusic, can
10 you tell us about the reasons for his absence, please?
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
12 Honours. On Friday I notified you of the possibility of General Krstic
13 undergoing a medical examination which was supposed to take place last
14 week but was cancelled. So General Krstic is having his medical checkup
15 today, and that is mainly the reason of his absence from the trial, from
16 the hearing today. He has given a written approval, a written waiver, so
17 that the hearing can continue in his absence.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
19 Mr. Petrusic.
20 Good morning General Radinovic. I hope that you have managed to
21 have some rest and that you have spent a nice weekend here in The Hague.
22 We're now going to continue with the hearing of your testimony.
23 Mr. Cayley will continue his cross-examination, and let me remind you once
24 again of the necessity to be as brief as possible and as concise as
25 possible in your answers so that we can finish your cross-examination as
1 soon as possible.
2 Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, learned
5 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC [Continued]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley: [Continued]
8 Q. Good morning, General. Now, General, just to refresh your memory
9 as to where we were at the end of last week, we were dealing with the
10 movement of the civilian population from Potocari, and we had discussed at
11 some length the involvement of the Drina Corps Command in that operation,
12 and you've made your comments on those particular facts.
13 Now what I'd like to do is move ahead and discuss another
14 assertion that you make in your report.
15 MR. CAYLEY: And Mr. Usher, if this could be placed on the ELMO,
16 page 42.
17 THE REGISTRAR: May we have the exhibit number?
18 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, D160 is the General's report.
19 Q. In your report, General, if you wish to reference it, it is also
20 on page 42 in your version, and it is the last sentence on page 42.
21 Now, at the end of paragraph 6.6 you state, and I'll quote, "But
22 here it is important to note and conclude that what happened was not
23 forced movement or deportation, but only the fulfilment of necessary
24 conditions for a movement which that population itself wished."
25 General, do you stand by that statement?
1 A. I am convinced that from the moment of the arrival of the
2 population in Potocari until the beginning of the moving out of the
3 population, there was no coercion whatsoever. The initiative was one of
4 the civilian representatives, and the VRS took it upon itself to organise
5 that moving out of the population on the basis of the attitude and the
6 request made by the representative of the civilian population from
7 Potocari, that is, from Srebrenica.
8 The very process of movement or, rather, the initiative was the
9 one of the civilian representatives of the Muslim population in
10 Srebrenica. It was not the plan of the VRS. And the movement was not a
11 forcible one. On the basis, of course, of the documents that I had access
12 to that was the conclusion that I reached, and I think that I mentioned
13 that fact in the previous sentence.
14 Of course, the fear on the part of the population did play a
15 certain role in this. It's not a new phenomenon. It's actually a rather
16 common phenomenon in every war, including the one that took place in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The population moved from all of the areas that
18 had fallen under the control of the opposing party and Serbs and Croats
19 also moved from such areas. It's a very common phenomenon in any civilian
21 Q. Now, General, the Judges have heard a number of witnesses who were
22 either Dutch Battalion personnel who were engaged in these events, in the
23 movement of the population, and they've heard from a number of Muslim
24 witnesses, and I'm not going to go through all of those witnesses with
25 you, but one particular witness whose evidence I would like to read you
1 is, in fact, one of the civilian representatives who attended the meeting
2 in Bratunac on the 12th of July of 1995 where General Radinovic and
3 General Krstic were present.
4 She was asked a question by the President in respect of a comment
5 made to her by General Mladic and the question went like this:
6 "Q. Whilst you were at the meeting with General Mladic, at one
7 point he told you that you could choose between surviving and
8 vanishing, and you said that 'vanish' could, in a way, also
9 include the possibility of survival somehow. What I would
10 like to know is whether this possibility of survival was a
11 conclusion of yours or was it General Mladic who had actually
12 said that?"
13 And her answer was:
14 "A. Well, he simply said, 'You can survive or vanish.' My
15 conclusion was that if I leave I would be saved and if I
16 stayed I would die."
17 Now, General, you would agree with me that if an individual is
18 given the impression which they believe that if they stay they are going
19 to be killed and if they leave they will survive, that is not voluntary
20 conduct, is it? That is not an individual exercising their free will to
21 live the enclave, is it?
22 A. That statement is completely contrary to the statement which was
23 made by General Mladic in his address to the civilian population in
24 Potocari which was recorded on video footage. He expressly said that they
25 were free to choose whether to leave or to stay.
1 Q. General, you're not answering the question. Today you're going to
2 be direct, and you're going to be brief, and you're going to answer my
3 questions. We'll get on to General Mladic's statement to the people in
4 Potocari awhile later.
5 What I'm asking you, and you've read evidence from this case, does
6 this woman appear to be voluntarily choosing to leave the enclave? Would
7 you interpret what she said to the President as her making a choice,
8 exercising her own free will to leave the enclave?
9 A. She did have a choice as to whether to stay or to leave. On the
10 basis of all of the documents that I had an opportunity to study, they
11 were given the possibility of choosing whether to stay or to leave.
12 That witness, she probably understood that if she stayed that she
13 would be in some kind of danger. That is how all civilians felt in all of
14 the areas where fighting was going on. That's nothing particularly new.
15 They were all afraid if they should remain under the authority which they
16 did not perceive as theirs. So that is the source of fear and fear is a
17 common consequence of every war.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I didn't wish to
20 interrupt my learned colleague Mr. Cayley. However, I should like to ask
21 him when quoting from the transcript to tell us which page he's talking
22 about so that we could follow.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. My apologies, Mr. Visnjic. It was, in fact,
24 page 1135 of the LiveNote transcript.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please continue,
1 Mr. Cayley.
2 MR. CAYLEY:
3 Q. General, you mentioned General Mladic giving this television
4 presentation in front of the refugees at Potocari and in essence, as you
5 stated, saying that they could choose to stay or leave. What I would like
6 to address with you is what General Mladic actually thought about the
7 situation and what he was actually stating to other VRS officers.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Could the witness please be given Prosecutor's
9 Exhibit 445.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Sorry to interrupt you, but I
11 should like to ask a question of General Radinovic while we're waiting for
12 the document.
13 General, you said that the moving out of the population was a
14 common feature of the war in Bosnia. Am I correct?
15 A. That's an understatement, Mr. President. I don't know what would
16 be the equivalent term. A "common feature," a "common phenomenon" is a
17 rather mild word. I just said that it was something very common, that it
18 was a rule in every such situation, in every civil war.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. I should like
20 to know whether the displacement was a cause of the war or a consequence
21 of the war, that is to say whether the displacement was an objective of
22 the war or a consequence of the war. What is your opinion about that?
23 A. My opinion is that it was a consequence of the war.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That is your position. Thank
25 you, General Radinovic.
1 Mr. Cayley, you may continue.
2 MR. CAYLEY:
3 Q. General, in order to save your voice, I will read this intercept.
4 It is an intercepted communication between General Mladic and an
5 unidentified person dated the 12th of July, and the conversation proceeded
6 as follows:
7 X: Go ahead, General.
8 M: Have these buses and trucks left?
9 X: They have.
10 M: When?
11 X: Ten minutes ago.
12 M: Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the situation.
13 Don't let small groups of them sneak in. They've all
14 capitulated and surrendered and we'll evacuate them all -
15 those who want to and those who don't want to.
16 X: I understand General.
17 M: Don't issue any statements and don't interrupt them
18 over the radio station. We'll open a corridor towards
20 X: .......
21 M: Indeed, let it pass there. Take a patrol of ours to
22 wait on the road and remove the mines and obstacles.
23 Leave the territory.
24 X: Yes, General.
25 Now, you would agree with me here, General, that General Mladic is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 expressing the view that everybody has got to leave the enclave, all of
2 the Muslim population, in his own words, "Those who want to and those who
3 don't"; isn't that right, General?
4 A. My findings are based not on intercepts but on reliable sources,
5 that is, operational documents which constitute primary sources in my
6 studies, and I am quite certain that they give a relatively reliable
7 picture on the situation on the ground.
8 Second, my testimony and my conclusions are also based on
9 doctrinary principles which are not subject to revision. I am using the
10 information, the knowledge of the military science, and I am using the
11 relevant methodology.
12 Intercepts are unreliable sources in several senses, and I
13 couldn't use them as the basis for my conclusions because we have only the
14 transcript and not --
15 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, and I'm -- I can read it out to you if
16 you want, but on page 11 of your report you state that you relied on
17 primary sources, and you included intercepted conversations within that
18 list of primary sources. So in your report you have indicated that you
19 have relied on them, so I will repeat the question to you again. You can
20 deal with the reliability or unreliability of them in the re-examination
21 with Mr. Visnjic. I want you to answer this simple question: If, if
22 General Mladic said this statement recorded in this intercept, does it not
23 indicate that he was giving no choice to the population, to the Muslim
24 population of Srebrenica? He was basically stating everybody has got to
25 go, wasn't he, General?
1 A. You have Mladic's statements which are completely contrary to
2 this. I don't know which source you wish to consider as primary or not.
3 You have Mladic's statement which was given publicly before the cameras,
4 in front of his officers and in front of everybody who were present there,
5 giving freedom of choice to the population there; that is, that they were
6 not forced to leave, that those who wanted to stay would be guaranteed
7 safety, as was the case with the Serbian population.
8 And then on the other hand you have a source which you consider to
9 be reliable. I happen not to consider them reliable. I did take them
10 into account. I studied them, those intercepts, but I never referred to
11 them because I do not consider them to be reliable, and I think I have
12 enough reasons to doubt their reliability when it comes to reaching
14 So you have two kinds of evidence: You have Mladic who is
15 addressing the population, telling them that they are free to stay and
16 that they would not be harmed; and on the other hand, you have this piece
17 of paper which you have just shown me on the basis of which one could
18 perhaps conclude that Mladic wanted them to leave.
19 My conclusions are not based on intercepts but on documents whose
20 reliability can be ascertained. I did not reach my conclusions on the
21 basis of this. I made my findings on the basis of Mladic's address to the
22 local population, and from that address I was not able to conclude that he
23 wanted to force the population to leave Srebrenica.
24 Q. General, on page 11 of your report, and you don't need to make
25 reference to it, you state, "This expert testimony was written using
1 numerous primary and secondary sources." You then give an entire list of
2 all the primary sources, and in the primary sources are listed
3 "intercepted conversations."
4 General, is it your normal practice when you are putting together
5 any kind of report that you quote a primary source for your report which
6 you believe to be completely unreliable? Is that your normal practice as
7 an academic?
8 A. Sir, as any serious expert, I am duty-bound to inform the user of
9 my report the types of sources that I was using. Intercepts are by all
10 means primary sources, but only those intercepts that can be authenticated
11 and identified.
12 I am sure that you studied my report most seriously, but you can
13 see that in my report I did not rely on any of the intercepts. And I have
14 studied all of the intercepts that had been made available to the Defence,
15 but I did not rely on them because I do not deem them to be reliable.
16 Q. Your report speaks for itself, General. If we can move on,
17 please, to Prosecutor's Exhibit 47.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Will you just excuse me?
19 General Radinovic, as a historic witness, you, do you think that
20 the public statements are a reliable source in this conflict?
21 A. I fully agree with you, Your Honour, that not all public
22 statements can be considered as 100 per cent reliable. Of course, one has
23 to bear in mind a certain kind of public image, but I divide them in two
24 groups. In one group I can place the statements which are publicly
25 addressed and which -- whose authenticity can be ascertained and those
1 statements whose authenticity cannot be verified, and I will always rely
2 myself on the first group of the documents. And I understand what it was
3 that you meant in your question. I understand all of the limitations of
4 such statements.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
6 MR. CAYLEY:
7 Q. General, this is the statement that you referred to in your
8 evidence in-chief, and it is the statement that was signed by Major
9 Franken, Mr. Mandzic from the Muslim community, and Miroslav Deronjic who,
10 as you already stated, was appointed by Mr. Karadzic to the civilian
11 commissioner in Srebrenica. Now, I wish to address some of the paragraphs
12 with you.
13 MR. CAYLEY: And if it could be placed on the ELMO. If you could
14 please move it up a little, Mr. Usher. Yes, that's fine.
15 Q. Now, General, you will see in the version you have, and this is
16 about halfway down the page, "At the end of the negotiations between the
17 two sides the following was agreed: that our civilian population could
18 stay in the enclave or move out, depending on the wish of each
20 Now, General, Major Franken, a signatory to this document has
21 given evidence before the Judges about the meaning of that particular
22 phrase and this is what he states, and he refers to the public statement
23 made by General Mladic about giving the population a free choice, and this
24 is what he says: "I understand that General Mladic made that statement,
25 but hardly any realistic statement because the fate of those who wanted to
1 stay, even if they could, was, let's say, uncertain, and in the end there
2 was not a choice. Mladic ordered the population to go to Kladanj,
4 Now, General, you would agree with me that a signatory to this
5 document, a man who is actually present during these events, would better
6 know than you whether or not the population was actually given a choice as
7 to whether they could stay or leave the enclave?
8 A. As an honourable professional who signed this record and allowed
9 that in the first paragraph, "We find this position that our civilian
10 population could stay in the enclave or move out depending on the wish of
11 each individual," how can that be explained then? How could the Major, as
12 an honourable officer with ethics, sign a document while thinking what
13 he's stated, as you quoted him.
14 Q. Let me tell you why, General.
15 A. That speaks of something.
16 Q. Let me tell you immediately why, and we'll come back to my
17 question on that. The reason, General, why he signed this statement, and
18 he gave evidence to this Court to that effect, is that the lives of
19 59 individuals depended on him signing this statement. That is the
20 evidence that he gave to this Court. It was intimated to him by the
21 Bosnian Serb authorities that if he did not sign this document those
22 people's lives would be at risk. Wounded Muslims in a hospital in
24 Now I'll ask you again, General. You would agree with me that
25 Major Franken would have a better idea than you as to whether or not the
1 population was actually given a choice as to whether or not to leave the
3 A. In answer to that question of yours, sir, the best answer is what
4 the Major has signed. He signed a statement claiming that the Muslim
5 population had the choice of staying in Srebrenica or moving out. I
6 cannot answer your question on the basis of anything other than the
7 document I have here in front of me which you have given me as an
9 Q. Did you consider Major Franken's evidence to this Court when you
10 came to your opinion about this document?
11 A. I studied all the testimony, everything that the Defence had at
12 its disposal. I cannot, of course, remember each and every detail. I
13 would have to refresh my memory and look through the statement. But of
14 course I do remember the testimony you are referring to.
15 The testimony of all professional officers who were in Srebrenica
16 make me very angry as a soldier, as a professional. I cannot understand
17 that they could have done one thing and stated another. They should have
18 behaved with far greater responsibility, in a far more professional
19 manner, with greater determination, with greater courage, of course with
20 risks because the military profession is a high-risk profession, and it
21 was particularly risky in Srebrenica in a civil war. And this was a risk
22 that they should have taken upon themselves, and they should have signed
23 only what they were quite confident of rather than signing documents that
24 allegedly they were coerced into doing. And I cannot believe that that
25 was the case, because this document is here with us until time
1 immemorial. It is a historical document. It is a document I have to
3 I do take note also of the testimony given by the Major, but for
4 me this is more important, more reliable document than what he said
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, excuse me for
7 interrupting you. You remember seeing pictures of General Mladic
8 distributing sweets to the children in Potocari?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you know why he did that?
11 A. I personally think that General Mladic, like any other human
12 being, has emotions and that the situation in which the population found
13 itself as a result of combat operations was such that this had to move him
14 as it would any person, and, personally, I think that he did this
15 exclusively out of emotional reasons.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but we have many witnesses
17 who have told us that these sweets were later taken away. For a moment
18 while the cameras were on these sweets were distributed. When the cameras
19 were removed these sweets were taken away again. Do you have anything to
20 make regarding the authenticity of these pictures for history, the camera
21 pictures or the other pictures that the camera did not record from the
22 standpoint of authenticity for history?
23 A. I really cannot absolutely imagine that General Mladic could
24 distribute sweets while on camera and then to take them away again. This
25 is simply something that I cannot accept.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But I have already said you're
2 an expert witness, a military witness. It is similar to this situation.
3 You have a document and you have a testimony. You have a document, a TV
4 picture, and testimony. You say, "The document, for me, is the truth. I
5 don't want to know about the testimony."
6 In relation to the question I have put to you, you're telling us,
7 "No. I don't believe that General Mladic could have taken away the
8 sweets afterwards." Why? Because you have a picture? No. We too have
9 testimony about that. So this is a question of authenticity.
10 From your standpoint, which is the real source of history? For
11 you the picture is what counts, the document, whereas testimony is not
12 worth anything. Is that what you're telling us?
13 A. No. No. I did not mean the testimony is not worth anything. But
14 comparing the probative value, for me as a person making conclusions -- I
15 am not talking as a jurist, of course. If I have to make conclusions as
16 to what happened over there, then for me there is no doubt that a certain
17 individual did give candy to a certain population, as this was recorded by
18 camera. So this is a document that cannot be denied.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but the question is "Why?"
20 What was the objective of that? What was the aim? Why did General Mladic
21 say, "You can stay or leave. It's up to you to choose"? Also, what was
22 the objective he had in mind distributing the sweets and then taking them
23 away again?
24 When one is interpreting a source such as a document, one needs to
25 interpret it in terms of the objective behind that document.
1 So in your analysis, did you try to find the objective, to answer
2 the question "Why?"
3 A. I was going to say that to Your Honour but was interrupted. There
4 is no doubt that General Mladic did distribute sweets before the cameras.
5 Perhaps I would equally value testimony if General Mladic was to collect
6 the sweets. But if some irresponsible individual did it, then that kind
7 of behaviour cannot be attributed to General Mladic.
8 If this were to be done to General Mladic, then perhaps one could
9 ask what the intention was when he gave those sweets. But if somebody
10 else did that, then it is not General Mladic's intention that is in
11 question but the intention of the person who did it.
12 So I think that General Mladic had no other objective but to
13 distribute those sweets.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Judge Wald.
15 JUDGE WALD: I have just one question. In your conclusion that
16 this movement of the civilian population was a voluntary one, do you
17 include the men in that? In other words, the women and children, as you
18 know - I think there is no dispute - were put on buses and moved on toward
19 Kladanj. The men were not, at least the men who were in the normal ages,
20 not elderly, were not allowed on the buses and they were taken off. We
21 won't talk about what happened to them, but they were taken off to one
22 side and something happened to them. But is it your position that they
23 had a choice? They could have stayed in Srebrenica?
24 I mean the testimony is uniform, uniform, that they are taken off
25 and something was done to them in -- both in Potocari and later on. But
1 would you say that regardless of how you view the women and children who
2 got on the bus and went on to Kladanj, would you say those young men had a
4 A. I would not.
5 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
6 MR. CAYLEY:
7 Q. General, Prosecutor's Exhibit 47. Put yourself for one moment in
8 the position of Major Franken. It's the 17th of July. The entire
9 civilian population, 30.000 people, are, to the best of his knowledge,
10 safely out of the enclave.
11 Fifty-nine wounded Muslim men remain in the hospital. The Bosnian
12 Serb army is in control. He is informed their welfare depends on your
13 signature on this document. To save those people, you have to sign this
14 document. What would a military officer of honour and integrity have done
15 in that situation? Would he have refused to sign and put those people at
17 A. It's a dilemma. I was not in that dilemma at the time, so I don't
18 know what my decision would have been. The question has been put out of
19 context. One could answer that question only if one found one's self in
20 that situation.
21 I'm a person who would -- I'm not saying that is the pattern of
22 behaviour that others would have to follow, including the Major. I'm a
23 person who would not sell his honour and integrity for anything in the
24 world, even his own life or the life of his own family. I would not sign
25 anything dishonourable. There is no force in the world that could make me
1 sign something that I consider dishonourable.
2 To sign that something was done properly, knowing that it was not
3 done properly, for me that is something terrible. It is a moral fall. I
4 would not permit myself to make it. There is no fear in the world that
5 would make me sign something like that. Maybe that would be irrational,
6 unreasonable. I grant you that the Major may have out of fear done so,
7 but I would not have done so.
8 JUDGE RIAD: General, you wouldn't consider signing it under the
9 circumstances, and at the first opportunity denounce it as being under
10 great pressure? Wouldn't you consider that as an attitude, as a honest
11 approach to reconcile saving lives and being honest? Just for the sake of
12 your statement.
13 A. Your Honour, I would have done many things prior to this to avoid
14 getting into this situation. I would have been in control of the whole
15 process with much greater responsibility and with much greater risk than
16 they were ready to expose themselves to.
17 I know that this activity of escorting this process of
18 displacement and adjusting it to the rules that could have been
19 implemented at the time, I know that that was very difficult and highly
20 risky, but that was the primordial role that they had, that it was their
21 duty, and that is what they should have done; and then it would have been
22 known immediately if there were irregularities, and there were apparently,
23 then it would have been known there and then had these gentlemen carried
24 out their duty. And there is no other way I can react to this act of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
2 MR. CAYLEY:
3 Q. General, let me just read another portion from the statement.
4 It's on the ELMO. "It was arranged that the evacuation would be carried
5 out by the army and police of Republika Srpska, and that UNPROFOR would
6 supervise and provide an escort for the evacuation."
7 Let's examine for a moment, General, what actually happened on the
8 ground, and let me read you first of all the testimony of Witness G who
9 was a Dutch soldier tasked with escorting the convoys, and he was asked a
10 question by my learned friend Mr. Harmon. "Witness G, did it appear to
11 you that the theft of your vehicles, your two vehicles, and the theft of
12 the other escort vehicles was organised?" The witness here is discussing
13 how when he went to escort a convoy, vehicles were stolen. The vehicles
14 were stolen from the escort at gunpoint. He goes on to say:
15 "Yes, it seemed to me that that was the case."
16 Q. Can you give the Judges your opinion as to why you think
17 the escort vehicles were being taken?
18 A. Those escort vehicles were used by us to follow the buses,
19 to escort the buses, and it seemed to me that the Bosnian
20 Serbs just didn't want to see, didn't want to see what
21 happened to the buses and the content of the buses. That is
22 why, usually with violence, they took away our vehicles.
23 Now, General, it's a fact, isn't it, that the Dutch couldn't
24 escort the refugees because they were prevented from doing so at gunpoint
25 by the VRS.
1 MR. CAYLEY: 1659.
2 A. No. No, that is not correct. That is not true. That is not how
3 a convoy is escorted. That is not how that job is organised. A person --
4 the person, who wanted to provide effective escort and to control the
5 whole process effectively, and that was the obligation of the Dutch
6 Battalion, that person should have made sure that in every vehicle there
7 should have been a Dutch soldier, rather than one vehicle in the whole
8 column. And then, because of poor communications, the convoy's drawn out,
9 a vehicle breaks down or intentionally something happens --
10 Q. General, General --
11 A. -- situations which can be foreseen in similar circumstances.
12 Q. You're not answering the question. Were you aware, were you
13 aware, General, from reading the evidence in this case, that Dutch
14 soldiers, travelling in pairs, armed, in an escort vehicle, were prevented
15 from carrying out their duty by the VRS at gunpoint? Were you aware of
17 A. I read the testimony to that effect, and if that really happened
18 in the way they testified, of course I do not accept such behaviour, but
19 I'm saying that there was a way to prevent that if the Dutch Battalion had
20 carried out the operation as it should have been done. Therefore, they,
21 too, contributed to the irregularity of the whole process.
22 Q. Let me read to you, General, Major Franken, his evidence, the
23 Deputy Commander of the Dutch Battalion, what he said about the escorts.
24 When he's referring to "activity" in his evidence, he's referring to the
25 escort duty.
1 Q. Now, how many vehicles did you lose to this activity that
2 you recall?
3 A. In total, we lost about 33 vehicles, but I think
4 concerning the convoys it would be about 15 or 16 jeeps. But
5 the figures are somewhere in the documents, the exact figures,
6 but that's what I recall now.
7 Q. Why do you think that they were taking the jeeps? Why
8 were they stopping the Dutch escorts from accompanying the
10 A. Because they didn't want anybody to be around; that's
11 obvious. Otherwise, they can't think of any reason to stop
12 them because we were not a threat. We were not a military
13 potential. One jeep with two guys in it is nonsense, and so
14 obviously they didn't want us to witness whatever would
16 Q. Now, when you'd lost 16 jeeps, did you think that there
17 was any kind of significance or planning that somebody had
18 actually decided that this was to happen?
19 A. It was obvious that the word was out to frustrate the
20 convoy escort and the regular forces as far as we could
22 MR. CAYLEY: And that's on page 2031.
23 Q. Now, General, it's a fact that the Bosnian Serb army had already
24 decided to frustrate the Dutch escorts as soon as the convoys moved out,
25 hadn't it? That was part of the plan.
1 A. No, it was not part of the plan. Those are incidents, and those
2 to blame for the incidents are both the command of the Dutch Battalion
3 that did not plan the whole operational activity as it did. They have
4 enormous responsibility.
5 I am not justifying any single incident or any single crime
6 committed along the route, but among other things, it was due to the
7 improper implementation of that activity. The Dutch Battalion should have
8 planned the escort in the proper way, which means in every vehicle there
9 should be a soldier at the head of the column vehicle, and a vehicle at
10 the tail-end of the column, and then this would not have happened.
11 So the incidents and individual criminal behaviour by members of
12 the army and the police of Republika Srpska along the route of the column
13 which occurred as testified by the member of the Dutch Battalion would not
14 have happened if the whole activity had been carried out properly. Of
15 course, this does not relieve of responsibility the perpetrators, but I am
16 claiming that it was not the plan of the army of Republika Srpska. Nor do
17 I accept that part of the plan was to frustrate the escort, but because
18 that escort was not planned and implemented as it should have been, then
19 various irregularities occurred which enabled various criminal acts which
20 I am opposed to with my whole being, which I condemn even more fiercely
21 than you because I as a member of that nation carry part of the stigma,
22 and every honourable Serb carries a part of that stain, that stigma, and
23 it will take a long time to rid ourselves of that. I do not justify it; I
24 am just explaining how it came to pass.
25 JUDGE RIAD: General, just to cut a long story short, I'm not
1 speaking of sense of duty or even being a hero, but could these DutchBat
2 soldiers, being a small minority, if they insisted on fulfilling their
3 duty, which you highly recommended, could they have practically
4 succeeded? Could two soldiers come into a bus while the Bosnian Serb army
5 is preventing them? Is it a practical possibility even if they were, as
6 you said, they had to fulfil their duty? On a strictly practical level
7 was it possible facing an army?
8 A. Your Honour, that activity of escort is an activity that is
9 studied in military schools. And if it is not studied, it is part of
10 common sense. It is the obligation of the escort to escort the column out
11 in the most effective way, and one of those ways is by an escort being in
12 the vehicle to check who is getting in and coming out. And even if he was
13 not in a position to prevent, he at least could have seen who did it.
14 I am quite certain that if that activity had been done in the way
15 I'm saying is it should have been done, then there would certainly have
16 been at least fewer such crimes. I can't say that there wouldn't have
17 been any. And as an individual, I am very sorry that it was not done, but
18 I'm not giving an excuse to anyone.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, General.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad and Your Honours, there is actually-- we
21 won't go into it now. There is actually evidence to that effect, that
22 there was insufficient personnel, but I think we can probably deal with
23 that in closing.
24 Q. General, in your report - and I won't refer to it because time is
25 marching on - you essentially state that the UN was a party to this
1 movement of the population and that they also, in a sense, are partly to
2 blame for what happened in Srebrenica.
3 What I want to ask you is this --
4 MR. CAYLEY: And if Prosecutor's Exhibit 113/3 could be placed on
5 the ELMO, please. If you could move it up, please, Mr. Usher.
6 Q. Now, General, this is a press release by the Security Council of
7 the United Nations on the 14th of July of 1995. I won't read all of it,
8 but what I will read, the fourth paragraph down.
9 "'The Council is deeply concerned about ongoing forced
10 relocation of tens of thousands of civilians from the Srebrenica safe
11 areas to the Tuzla region by the Bosnian Serb party,' said a presidential
12 statement of the Security Council.
13 "'Such a forced relocation is a clear violation of the human
14 rights of the civilian population,' the statement added.
15 "The Council reaffirmed that those who had committed or had
16 ordered the commission of `ethnic cleansing' would be held individually
18 General, are you aware that Security Council of the United
19 Nations, the day after the deportation was complete, issued a public
20 statement to the world criminalising that conduct? Are you aware of
22 A. I cannot remember at this point, but I'm sure I follow that and I
23 know that such statements were made. However, I can tell you now that the
24 movement of the population from Srebrenica was not -- it did not
25 constitute ethnic cleansing or plan. It was a consequence of war
1 activities which in turn is a consequence of a fear of having to remain
2 under the control of an authority they do not identify as theirs.
3 It's a common phenomenon. It's a rule. Serbs moved out from the
4 territories under Muslim and Croat controls, and Croats moved out from the
5 territory under Muslim control, under Serb control, and the other way
6 around. So all three sides left certain areas. That can apply to all
7 three warring factions.
8 Q. General, let me read for you Prosecutor's Exhibit 113/1.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If that could be placed on the ELMO, please,
10 Mr. Usher.
11 Q. I'm only going to read the fourth paragraph of this. This is a
12 statement made on the day that the movement of the population was
13 complete, and it's a statement by Sadako Ogata, then the UN High
14 Commissioner for Refugees.
15 "In Geneva, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
16 Sadako Ogata, called the wholesale removal of Srebrenica residents one of
17 the most blatant examples of ethnically motivated forced displacement we
18 have seen yet in war. 'It is inconceivable to me that the Bosnian Serbs
19 can inflict such hardship on the people of Srebrenica, people who have
20 already endured years of war and suffering,' said Ogata in a statement."
21 General, based on your report in which you say that the UN was a
22 party to this movement of the population, are you stating that the High
23 Commissioner for Refugees and the Security Council were criminalising
24 conduct to which the UN itself was a party?
25 A. Is Mr. Akashi considered to be a member of that mechanism? I
1 think so. The mechanism of the United Nations. He was the one who sent a
2 telegram to the Security Council in New York proposing an agreement to be
3 reached with the Serbian side concerning the movement of the population in
4 accordance with their wishes, that is, as it was expressed by the Muslim
5 representatives of the civilians from Srebrenica requested as early as the
6 9th of July. That cannot be disputed.
7 On the basis of that, one can conclude the mechanism of the United
8 Nations indeed took part in that. Certain members, members of the Dutch
9 Battalion, for example, as UN forces who were deployed in Srebrenica, they
10 were also party to that process. I didn't say that the Security Council
11 participated in it and reached decisions to that effect. I was referring
12 to the representatives of the United Nations who were delegated to act
13 such in the territory of the former Yugoslavia including the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They took part in the process, and they cannot be
15 relieved of a portion of responsibility for everything that occurred as a
16 consequence of that act.
17 If we ignore that aspect of culpability, I'm afraid that we might
18 be faced with similar problems in the future. So one really needs to say
19 clearly who is guilty of what, who is to blame of what.
20 What it seems to me as the most significant point is that one
21 should take into account the fact that it was not a political plan of the
22 VRS to ethnically cleanse Srebrenica because before that, in 1993,
23 10.000 people moved out from Srebrenica also on the request and nobody
24 considered it to be an incident of ethnic cleansing. All of the Serbian
25 population moved out from the valley of Neretva River. There is not a
1 single Serb living in that area. Likewise, the town of Mostar, there are
2 no Serbs left in that town and nobody's talking about ethnic cleansing.
3 Q. General, I'm sorry, but we must move on. There were crimes
4 committed against the Serbian people. Nobody denies that. But that is
5 not relevant to these proceedings. Let us move on.
6 Now, General, you stated both in your evidence and in your report
7 that it is a legitimate military operation to check the identities of male
8 Muslims who are passing through the hands of the VRS, and I think you
9 stated in your evidence that the Bratunac Brigade had indeed provided a
10 list of suspected war criminals to the Drina Corps headquarters. Do you
11 recall that evidence?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, General, as Her Honour Judge Wald has already stated, there
14 has been a great deal of evidence in this case that men and boys were
15 separated by the Bosnian army in Potocari and that, it appears, was in the
16 form of an organised military operation.
17 The Prosecutor does not dispute the legitimacy of checking Muslim
18 males for war crimes, but I want to deal with another aspect of this
19 operation. First of all, I want to read to you a description given by
20 Captain van Duijn, then a young platoon commander with the Dutch army who
21 describes the state of the men and boys who had been separated in
22 Potocari, and this is what he said:
23 Q. Can you describe to the Judges the appearance of those men
24 that you saw at the White House?" And the White House is the
25 location where these individuals were separated.
1 A. They were packed together. Because it was very warm, they
2 were sweating. They were very, very, very scared. Some of
3 them were shivering. Some of the men were speaking to
4 themselves but you could easily see that they were very, very
6 This is on page 1768.
7 A. When I came up to the White House, and as you can see in front
8 of the White House there is a large lawn, it was covered
9 totally with personal belongings, with pictures, holiday
10 snaps, as well as passports and other identity papers.
11 The witness then goes on, General, to say that he had a
12 conversation with a VRS officer called Mane about why all of these
13 belongings particularly --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
15 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry.
16 A. And particularly identification papers had been separated from
17 these individuals and placed in a big pile in front of the
18 White House.
19 And this is the answer that that VRS officer gave about why those
20 individuals, why those Muslims had been separated from their personal
21 belongings and from their identification papers:
22 A. He said, "Well, they don't need the stuff that's there. They
23 don't need it any more." And I asked him how he could explain
24 the fact that if they wanted to know who was a war criminal
25 and who was not they could do that without identity papers,
1 because if they would give a false name, it wouldn't be on the
2 list of war criminals and the person would go free and join
3 the rest of the convoy to Tuzla. And he more or less laughed
4 at me and said, "Well, don't make such a fuss out of it. They
5 just don't need their passports any more."
6 MR. CAYLEY: If Prosecutor's Exhibit 62 could be made ready.
7 Q. General, can you explain to the Judges why, if it was a
8 requirement of the Security and Intelligence Service to identify these
9 people for the purposes of alleged war crimes, that the Bosnian Serb army
10 was systematically removing all forms of identification from these Muslim
11 men and boys?
12 A. In my report, I stated that the identity checkups of males was a
13 legitimate activity. There were lists of war crimes suspects in
14 Srebrenica. That list was there. Of course one still has to find out
15 whether it was only a suspicion or whether those people were really war
16 criminals. However, one can justify the procedure of checking up the
17 identity of males who had arrived in Potocari, namely, whether their names
18 can be found on the list of suspects of war crimes against the Serbian
19 population. Moreover, whether any of them was a member of the
20 28th Division, that is, whether they had been engaged in fighting.
21 Q. General, the Prosecutor doesn't dispute anything of what you've
22 just said, as I informed you just a moment ago. The question I have for
23 you: Why was the Bosnian Serb army removing forms of identification from
24 these Muslim men and boys who had been separated in Potocari? Why, if
25 they needed to identify these people they were removing their passports
1 and their identification cards from them?
2 A. Of course, before I can answer your question, one has to see who
3 it was who did it, whether it was done by the members of the army or
4 someone else. I didn't -- I wasn't able to reach a full answer to that
5 question, whether it was done by members of the army or members of the
6 police. For me as a military expert, that is not the same.
7 Second, as regards the question whether individuals were engaged
8 in such conduct without any authorisation or whether it was based on a
9 preconceived plan, I do not have any information. I do not have any
10 evidence to that effect. You say members of the VRS. If indeed we are
11 talking about the members of the VRS, we are talking about individuals,
12 and individual members of the overall system of the VRS. We do not -- I
13 do not have a single piece of evidence which would enable me to conclude
14 that it was done on the basis of a preconceived plan issued by the command
15 system, that is, that the Muslim population should be destroyed in that
17 I cannot confirm your allegation that it was done in a systematic
18 way by the army. If that indeed was done, it was done by individuals.
19 And of course, I do not consider it to be legitimate. I consider it to be
20 a crime, and I, of course, cannot justify it.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, General. I according to your assessment,
22 was the situation under control, or was everything running wild and
23 everything was doing what -- everybody could do anything. If there was a
24 control, then there would be discipline and, as you say, a systematic
25 attitude; or was it anarchy, according to your assessment?
1 A. Well, I must say, Your Honour, that there are enough elements to
2 consider that system not to be adequate and proper at that time. It was
3 rather chaotic. First of all, a very large group of Muslim population
4 suddenly appeared in and around Potocari, which was rather unexpected in
5 terms of the restricted character of the Srebrenica operation. And the
6 Drina Corps Command was faced with that situation without being adequately
7 prepared. They couldn't promptly deal with it.
8 At the same time in the night between the 11th and the 12th, and
9 on the 12th of July certainly, certain elements which did not belong to
10 the Drina Corps appeared in the area, namely, the special brigade of the
11 MUP and certain forces of the Main Staff of the VRS, each acting within
12 their own competencies and without a very strict system of subordination.
13 That is, all of a sudden, we have several lines of command in a very
14 restricted area. So that certainly affected the effectiveness of the
15 whole operation, and it is very difficult to lay the blame either on the
16 army or the police. Judging by all this, the situation must have been
17 very chaotic in the area.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Whenever there is army and the police, don't they
19 have the same command? Would it be to the most senior officer or command?
20 A. That principle is in force only in the areas where combat
21 operations are taking place. Since the operation for Srebrenica had come
22 to an end, that system was no longer in force strictly speaking. Police
23 forces of the Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska were not under the
24 control of the Drina Corps Command, and there wasn't a single document on
25 the basis of which the Drina Corps would have -- the Drina Corps Command
1 would have authority to control the conduct of the members of the special
2 brigade of the MUP which appeared in the area as early as on the 12th of
3 July. And practically speaking, they were controlling the area around
4 Potocari and establishing control also on the road Bratunac-Konjevic
6 And the VRS, that is, the Drina Corps, its units did not
7 function -- did not control that particular portion of the territory.
8 And in view of that, it is very difficult to state firmly who it was who
9 engaged in this unauthorised activity of separating men from women and
10 children, and the whole illegal procedure that followed from then on. So
11 I do not have any basis to claim with certainty as to who it was who
12 engaged in that activity.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, General.
14 MR. CAYLEY:
15 Q. General, if you could look at the photograph that you can see on
16 the screen in front of you, and this is a photograph that was taken by a
17 DutchBat member sometime after the 13th of July. And these are all of the
18 belongings of the Muslim men and boys who had been separated, their
19 belongings, their identification cards; and as you can see, there is a
20 fire. It's being burnt. He gave evidence that it was burned by the
21 Bosnian Serbs.
22 Now, General, you would agree with me that if you wanted to leave
23 no trace of somebody's existence, a very effective way of doing that is to
24 remove all forms of identification that that person had ever possessed.
25 A. Yes, but Bosnian Serbs include civilians, policemen, and
1 soldiers. The issue is, who it was who done it. I'm not trying to
2 justify --
3 Q. General, answer the question. Do you or do you not agree with me
4 that if you wanted to leave no trace of somebody's existence, a very
5 effective way of doing that would be to remove their identification and
6 then destroy it?
7 A. On this photograph, I can only see that the area is on fire, but I
8 don't know who did it, why they did it, when they did it. I cannot answer
9 your question on the basis of this photograph.
10 Q. General, you've considered all of the evidence in this case.
11 You're the expert. The Judges have heard evidence that these men and
12 boys' identification papers were systematically removed and destroyed.
13 That evidence has been heard in this courtroom.
14 Do you or do you not agree with me that the reason why that was
15 done was to leave no trace of these people's existence; that is the reason
16 why these identity cards were destroyed?
17 A. The very fact of seizing such documents cannot in itself
18 constitute a criminal act.
19 Q. That is not the question, General. That is not the question. And
20 I'm going to insist on an answer. You can decline to answer.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, you can try perhaps
22 once again, and we will see what the General's answer will be.
23 General, I think that you fully understand the question. We will
24 give you one more opportunity to answer it.
25 Mr. Cayley, just once more, last time.
1 MR. CAYLEY:
2 Q. These people's passports and identification papers were destroyed
3 as a step in essentially leaving no trace of their life or existence;
4 isn't that right, General?
5 A. Those who did it committed a criminal act; however, the whole
6 process is not only that. The seizure of documents does not necessarily
7 constitute a prohibited act. Those who did it, those who burned it, must
8 be held responsible; and the issue is to know the identity of that person
9 and the reasons for that. There are several aspects to this problem which
10 can be mutually exclusive.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, would this be a
12 convenient time for a break?
13 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We will have a 20-minute break
16 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, you may continue.
19 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General, I want to leave deportation fairly swiftly or, as in your
21 words, the movement of the population, but first of all and finally on
22 this area, I would like to read to you what General Krstic told us in a
23 police interview with the Office of the Prosecutor regarding the movement
24 of the population.
25 General, prior to your evidence did you speak with General Krstic
1 at all in respect of your expert report?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Was General Krstic provided with a copy of your report, do you
5 A. I don't know. I gave a copy to the Defence. I don't know whether
6 they gave it to him.
7 MR. CAYLEY: If the General could be given Prosecutor's Exhibit
8 399/B bis.
9 Q. It is, in fact, on page 19, General, of the B/C/S, of the Serbian
11 MR. CAYLEY: And it is page 32, Mr. Usher of the English
13 Q. For you, General, it's page 19, so you can follow, but I will read
14 portions of this.
15 MR. CAYLEY: This, Mr. President, is the public transcript of
16 General Krstic's interview with Mr. Ruez.
17 Q. Let me read out to you, General, what General Krstic stated about
18 the movement of the population.
19 "Now, what is their guilt and their responsibility? General
20 Mladic was in charge of all activity. His guilt also consists of his
21 orders that he gave to the units of the Drina Corps to continue the attack
22 towards Srebrenica, which caused the civilians to flee the town and the
23 villages --"
24 A. I apologise, but I don't have that.
25 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, if you give it to me I can find the
1 relevant page. The B/C/S version.
2 Q. Do you see where I've placed a blue mark, General?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. "Now, what is their guilt and their responsibility?" This is
5 General Krstic speaking.
6 "General Mladic was in charge of all activity. His guilt
7 also consists of his orders that he gave to the units of the
8 Drina Corps to continue the attack towards Srebrenica, which
9 caused the civilians to flee the town and the villages south
10 and west of Srebrenica. When the Drina Corps units entered
11 Srebrenica, there was nobody, it was completely empty. There
12 were no civilians; there were no soldiers. This also can be
13 seen from a videotape, from a film that has been shown on
14 Dutch TV and English and American TV and so on. As I said
15 before, it was General Mladic who ordered the units of Drina
16 Corps to continue the attack towards Bratunac through
17 Potocari. Fortunately, as I explained before, after a lot of
18 arguing we managed to prevent the carrying out of this order
19 so that it would not happen.
20 "As far as the deportation is concerned, since that is
21 the first activity on the list, and this is what I have
22 information on, this is what happened. The deportation took
23 place on the 12th and 13th of July. This was organised, led,
24 and managed by the Commander of the Main Staff, through the
25 senior officers that I have listed. General Mladic was the
1 one who was literally there, commanding the loading of people
2 onto buses. His officers and soldiers from his security unit
3 and a battalion of military police of the 65th Motorised
4 Protection Regiment, they were the ones who were pulling the
5 men off the buses, after which a security check of these
6 people was carried out by the chief of security administration
7 and security officers who were deployed in this area.
8 I do declare that not a single soldier of the Drina Corps
9 came to the area of Potocari, nor would General Mladic have
10 allowed that, except for those people of his."
11 Now, General, you would agree with me that General Krstic has
12 characterised the movement of the population as deportation and has laid
13 the blame at the door of General Mladic, hasn't he, from this interview?
14 A. Yes, that follows from this interview. This is the view of
15 General Krstic.
16 Q. Now, before you gave your evidence, had you read this interview?
17 A. I read the interview, but only after I had written my report. I
18 mean, I didn't know about the existence of this interview for quite some
19 time. And when I completed my report, I had the opportunity of reading
20 the interview, so I know what it contains and I know about this position
21 that he took in respect of that.
22 But again, it's General Krstic's view. He's entitled to have a
23 view of his own. I consider it from a certain distance, but it is very
24 difficult to have a distance in respect of that because we are talking
25 about the events which are very hard, and even for me who tried to analyse
1 the situation objectively.
2 Q. So, General, your position is such that whereas the accused
3 himself acknowledges the criminality of this conduct, albeit excluding
4 himself from responsibility, you maintain the position as an expert on his
5 behalf that the movement of the population was an entirely voluntary one,
6 that the population decided to move itself?
7 A. I'm not Krstic's expert witness; I'm the Court's expert witness,
8 and in view of my knowledge and expertise, I'm trying to understand what
9 happened. And on the basis of that, I compiled my report, and it is on
10 the basis of that that I'm giving my testimony here before this Tribunal.
11 Q. Would you agree with me, General, that since Mr. Krstic is the one
12 actually accused of this crime, and since he was actually there at the
13 time, he would know better than you the nature of the movement of the
14 population in July of 1995?
15 A. As far as an objective assessment of the situation is concerned, I
16 don't see any reason why General Krstic should be any more objective than
17 myself. He may have more personal knowledge; however, the analysis of the
18 documents and the overall situation and events does not necessarily
19 constitute an advantage for him. It can also operate to his disadvantage
20 because he's the one who is accused of it. So in view of that, it can
21 operate as some kind of limitation as far as his understanding of the
22 situation is concerned.
23 I don't have a problem of that kind. I am not restricted in my
24 views in my way, and I think that I'm competent enough to have reached the
25 conclusion that I stated in my report and that I'm stating here again
1 before this Chamber.
2 Q. Are you thus suggesting to the Court that when General Krstic told
3 the Office of the Prosecutor that this activity was deportation, that he
4 was either incorrect or was lying to the Office of the Prosecutor?
5 A. It is, of course, your right to put to me anything you want, but I
6 kindly ask you not to do that. I'm not saying that he lied. I'm just
7 saying that he maybe doesn't fully understand the meaning of the word
8 "deportation." I'm not a jurist either, so I may have problems
9 understanding it as well. The way I interpreted the movement of the
10 population from Srebrenica was that it was a consequence of war
11 activities, the war being a civil one in nature.
12 Second, I also interpret it as their wish to move out, out of fear
13 of consequences that might ensue. Nobody wants to leave their home unless
14 they are frightened of staying.
15 I didn't claim that it was an expression of the free will on the
16 part of that population because the life would be better for them in
17 Tuzla, but because they were fearful of the consequences of the war, they
18 expressed their wish to leave Srebrenica.
19 There is not a single trace of justification in my testimony. I'm
20 just trying to understand the consequences and the causes in an objective
22 Whether we should call it a deportation or a movement of the
23 population, I don't know. I'm not an expert to reach such conclusions.
24 All I'm trying to explain here is how such things arrive in any war, and
25 indeed, many such phenomenon took place throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina,
1 and many Serbs left many parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the signing
2 of the Dayton Accords.
3 Q. General, you've made the point about the Serbs. It's accepted
4 that the Serbs were also victims in this war, but let's move on.
5 Now, General, I stated to you from the interview of General Krstic
6 that he holds General Mladic responsible for what happened, General Mladic
7 and his officers. You yourself in your report state that the Drina Corps
8 Command was relieved of all responsibility in this operation.
9 Do you agree with General Krstic that General Mladic was
10 responsible for the movement of the population from Srebrenica to Tuzla?
11 A. Yes, I agree with that. Not that it was General Mladic but that
12 that part of the activity was not under the control of the Drina Corps,
13 that it was within the competence of the Main Staff.
14 Q. General, that's not the question I asked you. I asked you whether
15 or not General Mladic was responsible for the movement of the civilian
16 population from Srebrenica to Tuzla.
17 A. In my report, I didn't discuss the responsibility, the culpability
18 of General Mladic but the responsibility of General Krstic, and I was
19 explicit enough in my report when I stated that General Krstic was not
20 responsible for the operation nor did he conduct it in any way. I did not
21 examine the responsibility of General Mladic or his subordinate officers.
22 I discussed the responsibility of General Krstic, and I discussed it in
23 view of his responsibilities and competencies, the competencies of
24 General Krstic.
25 Q. General, you're the military expert. Consider it now. Consider
1 whether General Mladic was responsible now. Do you or do you not agree
2 with General Krstic that it was General Mladic who was responsible for the
3 movement of the population from Srebrenica to Tuzla? Is General Mladic to
4 blame for this activity?
5 A. Sir, I'm going to repeat what I said. In order to fulfil the task
6 that was given to me by this institution, I dealt with the responsibility
7 of General Krstic.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, I think you should
9 move on to your next question. You have heard the answer of the witness.
10 The witness is probably going to repeat once again what he has already
11 stated. So please continue.
12 MR. CAYLEY:
13 Q. Now, General Krstic, in his interview, in essence said that there
14 were a group of officers around General Mladic who had an equal level of
15 responsibility for what happened. He named General Tolimir from the Main
16 Staff as also being responsible for what happened in Srebrenica. Do you
17 agree with General Krstic that General Tolimir was also responsible for
18 the movement of the population from Srebrenica to Tuzla?
19 A. Sir, my answer in response to your question is identical to the
20 previous one. I did not deal with the responsibility of anyone else but
21 General Krstic, that is the command system of the Drina Corps, to the
22 extent that General Krstic, in the period between the 11th and the 13th --
23 12th and the 13th of July belonged to the chain of command of the Drina
24 Corps and in view of the role he played within that chain of command.
25 In order for me to answer your question, I should study the
1 documents once again in order to provide you with the answer as to the
2 responsibility of other officers for the operation in question.
3 I cannot answer your question. I can just speak about the
4 responsibility of General Krstic because that was the subject matter of my
5 analysis and my findings.
6 Q. So, General, your report essentially concentrates only on who was
7 not responsible not who was responsible.
8 A. No. My report concentrates on an analysis of the activity, and it
9 is focused on the role and responsibility of General Krstic.
10 Q. Now, General, in acknowledging that my statement is incorrect,
11 that in fact it's wrong to say that you didn't concentrate on who was
12 responsible, I'll ask you another question based on the same interview
13 that General Krstic gave and that is this: General Krstic also named
14 Colonel Ljubo Beara from the Main Staff, from the Security Administration
15 of the Main Staff, that he was another officer who was responsible for
16 everything that happened after the 11th of July, 1995, in Srebrenica. Do
17 you agree with General Krstic's statement about Colonel Beara?
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I must object. This
20 has been the third time that my learned colleague is asking his question
21 to General Radinovic. I believe that the subject of this
22 cross-examination is not a further investigation of the subject. I think
23 that General Radinovic has given us enough explanation as to the framework
24 of his analysis in respect of this case. I think that what Mr. Cayley
25 wants him to answer falls outside that framework, and I think it is the
1 subject of an investigation or certain other activities which do not have
2 much to do with the expertise and the testimony of General Radinovic.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, how do you respond
4 to that objection?
5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, ultimately in any criminal case the
6 individual or individuals who are responsible for the crimes alleged is
7 absolutely fundamental.
8 Now, the witness had stated that he has reviewed all of the
9 material that is available in this case. General Krstic makes assertions
10 about individuals on the Main Staff of the VRS who are responsible for
11 what happened. It's absurd to infer to the Court that he has only
12 considered those persons who are not responsible and not the persons who
13 are actually responsible.
14 I'm simply going through the list of individuals who General
15 Krstic states were responsible. I'm asking the witness whether he agrees
16 or disagrees. If he doesn't wish to make a comment, then I will move on.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is there anything you wish to
18 add, Mr. Visnjic?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I agree that the issue of who is
21 responsible is a very important one which permeates the whole case, but,
22 Mr. Cayley, I think you're running a risk of receiving one and the same
23 answer to all of your questions. You may now continue, but somehow I
24 suspect that General Radinovic is going to provide you with the same
25 answers. Please continue.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, that I know, but at least it will be
2 on the record.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, Mr. President, I should
4 like to state the following: I am not avoiding the answer to any of the
5 questions that have been put to me. However, I think I would be acting
6 irresponsibly if I should attempt to state who is responsible since I
7 didn't study, analyse exactly who did what and where General Mladic and
8 other officers were at a certain point in time, what were their messages
9 or their communication. I really do not feel able to answer the question.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Radinovic, we understand
11 your position, but if that is the case, please give us a clear answer.
12 Just tell us that you cannot answer the question, because you're wasting
13 too much time in explaining your inability to answer the question.
14 So you can simply state "Yes or no, I agree or I do not agree"
15 with the statement made by the Prosecutor. If you wish to add a comment,
16 you are free to do so, but first of all give us a clear and direct answer
17 to the question. Answer the question in accordance with your knowledge.
18 If you do not know it, just tell us so.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But Mr. President, the question
20 that is put to me is a leading one, and it requires a yes or no answer,
21 and I'm not able to give a yes or no answer so I have to explain why. I'm
22 not trying to avoid answering the question. I should like the Prosecutor
23 not to ask such questions of me, but to concentrate on the issue of
24 General Krstic's responsibility; otherwise, my answer will always be the
25 same, and I will appear to be wasting the time of the Court.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you on that,
2 General Radinovic. We are maybe wasting our time, but, however, please
3 make an additional effort and try to answer direct questions to -- try to
4 provide more direct answers to the questions by the Prosecutor.
5 Mr. Cayley, please continue.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. General, you said in your evidence in-chief, and you have done in
8 your cross-examination, that you spoke to a number of individuals within
9 the Bosnian Serb army before giving your testimony. Did you speak to
10 General Mladic or Colonel Beara about what happened in Srebrenica?
11 A. No, no. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach them. I don't
12 know where they are.
13 MR. CAYLEY: We can move on to another area, now, Mr. President.
14 Q. General, do you recall in your evidence that you stated that on
15 the night of the 11th of July, a meeting took place at which General
16 Mladic appointed General Krstic as the operational group commander, as the
17 Commander of forces for the operation in Zepa?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If an exhibit could be prepared, Exhibit 425.
20 Q. Now, General, are you quite certain that that meeting took place
21 on the 11th of July of 1995?
22 A. I'm not absolutely certain because I don't have the minutes from
23 that meeting, nor do I have a document; but General Krstic spoke about
24 that evening in his testimony -- about that meeting, I'm sorry, and I feel
25 that his memory is probably reliable. And on the basis of the study I did
1 of various documents for this testimony, I came to the conclusion that
2 that could be the undisputed date when the meeting was held. But I
3 repeat, I did not find a document on the basis of which I could be
4 absolutely sure that that was so.
5 Q. Now, General, on the 13th of October of last year -- of this year,
6 I'm sorry, an interview was conducted with Colonel Trivic who is the
7 Commander of the Romanija Brigade, as you know. Do you know Colonel
9 A. Personally I don't know him, but I know that he was the Commander
10 of the Romanija Brigade.
11 Q. And General, this is what he stated in his interview with the
12 Office of the Prosecutor about that meeting.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I assume that my
15 learned friend Mr. Cayley will use a part of the interview that Colonel
16 Trivic gave to the Prosecution; he told me he would do that prior to
17 today's hearing. So it is an interview that Colonel Trivic had with the
18 investigators of the Tribunal in Banja Luka on the 13th of October this
20 We have already on two occasions witnessed the use of this
21 interview by the Prosecution, mostly to check the credibility or impeach
22 the witness. I objected, and the Trial Chamber made its ruling. I think
23 that this time we have a completely different situation. This witness
24 here will be submitted an exhibit which doesn't speak about something that
25 the witness could have any personal knowledge about.
1 Regarding the authenticity and verification of this exhibit, we
2 were not able to state our position as we'd had no possibility to do so as
3 it was not disclosed to us in advance, nor to check the truthfulness of
4 any facts contained in this interview.
5 If my learned colleague wishes to refer to an abstract situation
6 that the witness refers to, he could do so in abstract terms, in
7 theoretical terms, rather than referring to this exhibit, as the Defence
8 has not had occasion to take a position on this exhibit, nor has the
9 witness had access to it.
10 So if a question is put to the witness regarding this exhibit, we
11 object. If the Prosecution has a theoretical question to pose to the
12 witness, we have nothing against; but not knowing the exact option of
13 Mr. Cayley, I'm saying in advance that if this exhibit is used in concrete
14 terms, the Defence will object.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, your response?
16 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, as the Bench knows already, Colonel
17 Mirko Trivic was on the list of witnesses that the Defence intended to
18 call. On that basis, I would assume that they had spoken to him if they
19 were going to call him as a witness, and I would hope that if they have
20 spoken to him, that what he told them is the same as what he told us.
21 Secondly, this witness has stated that he spoke to a number of VRS
22 officers. He had that opportunity in putting together his expert report.
23 He spoke to a number of VRS officers who were engaged in this operation,
24 and I would assume that he spoke to them about all of the facts which were
25 relevant to his report, including the date of this meeting.
1 All I wish to do is to put to the witness, to an expert witness,
2 and I think it's perfectly fair since he's supposed to have considered all
3 the evidence that is relevant to his report and this case, what Colonel
4 Trivic's views were on that meeting that allegedly took place on the 11th
5 of July of 1995.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So in order to do this, you're
7 going to examine this document in detail or are you just going to use the
8 information in general terms as suggested by Mr. Visnjic?
9 MR. CAYLEY: Colonel Trivic makes a single assertion which I wish
10 to put to the witness. It is a three-line assertion within his
11 interview. Colonel Trivic was at the interview. That's what he told us.
12 If that's to be believed, I think I can put that to the witness and see
13 what his response was.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic. To close the
15 discussion, we have to move on.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will be brief. We
17 did talk to Colonel Trivic, but I'm not able to compare his statement with
18 what the Prosecutor is now claiming just now. That is one point.
19 Secondly, I think the Chamber also should have access to the whole
20 interview so that they may ask questions of the General if the Prosecution
21 is relying on the statement of Colonel Trivic. Thirdly, I still don't
22 know how Colonel Trivic was interviewed, under which circumstances.
23 Bearing all this in mind, we still maintain the objection that we
24 have just made.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, the Chamber is of
3 the opinion and decides that you should ask the witness whether he knows
4 that Colonel Trivic said whatever it is you want to say. Regardless of
5 the response, you're going to ask the question that you have to ask, but
6 the Chamber wishes to inform you that the Chamber will not take as
7 evidence what the statement itself says.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. And --
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Have you understood?
10 MR. CAYLEY: I understand perfectly. In fact, Mr. Visnjic, I gave
11 the wrong date for the interview. It was held on the 5th of October,
12 2000, not the 13th, as I stated.
13 Q. General, during that interview, it was put -- the following
14 question was put to Colonel Trivic and it's as follows, "JR" standing for
15 Mr. Ruez, the interviewer.
16 JR. It is 1303 hours and we are resuming the interview with
17 Colonel Trivic, so we are still on the meeting of the 12th of
18 July after 10.00. During the interruption at one point, you
19 told us that this meeting was also about giving -- giving,
20 receiving new tasks, and the new task was to receive the new
21 task towards Zepa. Would you please develop on that part of
22 the meeting?
23 GK: After the meeting --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please read slower. Thank you.
25 MR. CAYLEY:
1 Q. GK: After the briefing, General Mladic issued an order to
2 General Krstic to issue an order to regroup the forces to send
3 them to Zepa.
4 Now, General, it had previously been established during this
5 interview - and it can be seen actually on page 47, Mr. Visnjic - that the
6 meeting which you have stated took place on the 11th of July in fact took
7 place on the 12th of July. Would you agree with me that Colonel Trivic
8 would know better than you the date that this meeting took place when
9 General Krstic was appointed to be the Commander of the forces in Zepa?
10 A. He certainly knows better than me, but why should he know better
11 than Krstic if Krstic said it was on the 11th in the evening. The meeting
12 in the command of the Bratunac Brigade was held on the 11th in the
14 MR. CAYLEY: I don't think my learned friend wishes to make any
15 objection, so I --
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know. Did you want to
17 say something, Mr. Visnjic? I saw you getting on your feet.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, as the witness
19 has already given an answer. So we'll withdraw your objection.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. So
21 continue, Mr. Cayley, please.
22 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be provided with Prosecutor's
23 Exhibit 426.
24 Q. General, you stated in your evidence that the operation towards
25 Zepa was not referred to in directive 7/1. Do you recall stating that?
1 A. I said that Stupcanica was not mentioned, that the Stupcanica 95
2 operation was not mentioned. Whether the enclaves were mentioned or not,
3 whether I said they were or not, I really can't remember every word I
5 Q. But directive 7/1 does refer, does it not, General, to combat
6 operations towards the enclave of Zepa? It was anticipated by the Main
7 Staff and by Mr. Karadzic in March of 1995 that there would be combat
8 operations towards Zepa, wasn't it, General?
9 A. There's nothing illogical about that, bearing in mind the fact
10 that these were enclaves from which the Muslim army was active, but my
11 statement referred to the Stupcanica operation, as the coded name for the
13 Q. General, when did General Krstic arrive at the forward command
14 post in Krivace?
15 A. In my testimony, I said that from the moment he was given the
16 assignment to prepare, plan, and execute the operation Stupcanica 95, that
17 is the Zepa operation, he could have been at various different places.
18 From the forward command post in Pribicevac, that command post had to be
19 dismantled, the installations removed, and then a new forward command post
20 had to be set up at Krivace.
21 I have no documents nor was I able from those available to me to
22 ascertain with precision the direction of movement and his positions,
23 where he was between Pribicevac and Krivace and back again, but I said
24 that he might have been at Pribicevac, at Krivace, or at Vlasenica at the
25 command post in order to carry out all the necessary activities required
1 when planning, organising, and preparing an operation of this kind.
2 And I also said that it was quite normal for him to also be in the
3 area of the units which he planned to engage for Zepa to see what
4 condition they were in, to establish personal contact with the Brigade
5 Commanders, to tour the areas from which they would be deployed, to
6 observe the axes upon which he would dispatch them. All of these are
7 operations which a commander engages in when preparing and organising an
9 And indeed, I cannot tell you with precision when he appeared. I
10 know when he should -- he must have appeared. That must have been at the
11 time when he ordered combat readiness of communications at the command
12 post. That was on the 13th by 1800 hours. This was what was written in
13 his order, and he had to appear at that time to check whether the
14 communications had been installed as they should have been, and that was
15 for me a relevant fact.
16 Q. General, are you aware of what General Krstic stated that he did
17 on the afternoon of the 13th of July before he arrived at the command post
18 in Krivace?
19 A. To tell you the truth, just as this moment I can't remember
20 exactly what he said he did, but I know what he should have done.
21 Q. General --
22 A. He should have focussed on the operation.
23 Q. -- I'm not interested in what he should have done, I'm interested
24 in what he did. And I can inform you that both General Krstic and a
25 witness, Witness DA, stated that General Krstic spent the great proportion
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the 13th of July of 1995 visiting wounded soldiers and making social
2 visits to members of his family. Were you aware of that fact?
3 A. Yes, I remember now.
4 Q. Now, General, if General Krstic was making social visits on the
5 day before an operation, you would agree with me that he was in fact
6 taking advantage of a respite or a lull in activity before another major
7 operation took place, wouldn't you?
8 A. He issued assignments, and those preparatory activities were
10 Q. General, General, you're not answering my question, and I'll
11 repeat it to you.
12 If General Krstic, by his own words and by the words of his own
13 witness, was making social visits on the 13th of July of 1995, the day
14 before the Zepa operation was to commence, you would agree with me that he
15 was in fact taking advantage of a respite or a lull in activity before
16 another operation took place, wouldn't you?
17 A. Yes, one could put it that way. If you really insist on calling
18 it that, yes. Touring the wounded is also an obligation of a senior
19 officer. It is also officially prescribed.
20 Q. General, if you could have available before you paragraph 3.4 of
21 your report, Defence Exhibit 160.
22 MR. CAYLEY: And it's on page 52 of both the English and the B/C/S
23 version. If, Mr. Usher, you could move the document up. That's fine.
24 Q. And General, you will find, I think, the relevant passage --
25 A. It is number, I beg your pardon, which page did you say?
1 Q. It's page 52, General, line 16 of paragraph 3.4. And I will read
2 what you stated: "To put it simply, it was impossible to assume the duty
3 of Corps Commander, i.e., to assume responsibility for the situation in
4 the entire Drina Corps zone of responsibility before necessary conditions
5 for the transfer of duties were created. These conditions primarily mean
6 a pause or respite in the fighting, and in this case it meant waiting for
7 the end of Operation Zepa which was in full flow between July 15 and 20."
8 Now, General, you have already acknowledged to me that the 13th of
9 July was, in fact, a respite or a lull in the fighting. And I think based
10 on your own reasoning, you would agree with me that the 13th of July of
11 1995 was an absolutely ideal time for command to pass from General
12 Zivanovic to General Krstic, wasn't it, based on your own reasoning from
13 that paragraph?
14 A. No, sir. That cannot be put like that because in the decree, the
15 constituent act of the Supreme Commander, it is stated that the
16 appointment is of the 15th of July --
17 Q. General, General --
18 A. -- and no one has the right --
19 Q. -- we'll get to the discussion of that document and what you said
20 about it. I will allow you to say all you wish to say about that
21 document. What I want you to concentrate now is the reasoning in your
22 report. That's all I want you to think about.
23 You have agreed with me that the 13th of July of 1995 was a
24 respite in the fighting. Now, based on your logic, General, based on your
25 logic where you state that a pause or a respite in fighting was the ideal
1 time for a change of command, would you not agree with me, General, that
2 the 13th of July of 1995 was such a time?
3 A. The 13th of July was not a pause in the operation, it was the eve
4 of a new operation, and that time is not suitable for any kind of takeover
5 of new duties. And he was appointed Commander of the Operative Group for
6 Zepa. It was still in the preparatory stages. It had not even begun.
7 But more importantly, it is a date that is not mentioned in the
8 constituent document, and he was not authorised to take over duty on that
9 date, nor was anyone authorised to hand over to him duty on that date.
10 Q. General, let us look at Prosecutor's Exhibit 483. Now, General,
11 this, and Your Honours, is the operations order for Stupcanica 95, the
12 operation towards Zepa.
13 Now, General, you have already testified on a number of occasions
14 that General Krstic was appointed to command the Operative Group that was
15 responsible for combat in Zepa.
16 MR. CAYLEY: If the front page -- the front page of that document
17 is present on the ELMO.
18 Q. Now, General, General Krstic wrote this order, and he states at
19 the top of this order that it is an order from the Drina Corps Command,
20 Krivace forward command post.
21 Now, General, you would agree with me that any sensible military
22 officer receiving a copy of this order would make the logical assumption
23 that this was an order from the Corps Command and not from any kind of
24 operative group command; isn't that right?
25 A. An operative group is a component part of the Drina Corps.
1 Q. General, isn't it the normal military convention for a commander
2 to identify on an order that he is actually in command over -- you're not
3 getting --
4 A. I apologise, I didn't hear you. There was an interruption in the
5 interpretation, so could you please repeat.
6 Q. General, is it not normal military convention for a commander who
7 is placed in command of an operative group, is placed in command of a
8 subset of a larger unit, to actually identify that fact on the order that
9 he issues?
10 A. Yes, but the problem is that there is no document from whoever
11 designated General Krstic as Commander of the Operative Group, so no
12 reference can be made to a document. And the rights that would emanate
13 from that document of the person who is in command to call him the
14 Commander of the Operative Group.
15 You see that General Krstic signed this document as Chief of
16 Staff, which means that he too acknowledged the fact that there is no
17 document, no paper of his appointment, no written appointment for him to
18 be able to use that title in communication. It was probably an oral order
19 by the Commander of the Main Staff and there is no document that he can
20 refer to and call himself the Commander of the Operative Group.
21 So when I'm saying that General Krstic was the Commander of the
22 Operative Group, what I'm saying is that he was in fact there conducting
23 the operation following the oral order of the Commander of the Main
24 Staff. That was his right. He could have issued a written document, but
25 he need not have. But he appointed him Commander of the Operative Group.
1 However, lacking the document, he cannot call himself the Commander of the
2 Operative Group, but that is how he behaves although he doesn't sign any
3 documents as the Commander of the Operative Group. It does have certain
4 implications and limitations this fact. He did not behave completely
6 Q. General, so what you're saying to the Court is even though
7 General Krstic knew when he wrote this order that in fact he was to be the
8 Commander of an Operative Group going to Zepa, he represented to the
9 entire Drina Corps that the Drina Corps Command was to move to Krivace and
10 that this was to be a Drina Corps operation. Is that what you're saying?
11 A. What I am saying is that from the end of the Srebrenica operation
12 a new forward command post is being formed of the Drina Corps from which
13 the operative group conducting the operation for Zepa is being commanded.
14 That is what I'm saying.
15 Q. General, let's go to paragraph 10 of this order. That is on
16 page 4 of the English translation and it is on page 4 of your version.
17 Now, General, it states here, this order signed by General Krstic,
18 that the Drina Corps forward command post in Krivace shall start work at
19 1800 hours on the 13th of July of 1995.
20 Now, General, you would agree with me that General Krstic makes no
21 reference in this order to an operative group forward command post moving
22 to Zepa, does he?
23 A. He mentions the forward command post of the Drina Corps, but he
24 does not mention the operative group because he doesn't have a document on
25 the basis of which he can call himself Commander of the Operative Group.
1 He's the authorised officer of the Drina Corps at the forward command post
2 commanding the forces on Zepa.
3 Q. Now, General, you yourself, throughout your evidence, have
4 stated - and, Mr. Visnjic, this is at page 7905 a single example of it -
5 that it is a very strict requirement that the commander of the corps be at
6 the forward command post. You have stated that in your evidence, haven't
7 you, General?
8 A. Yes. No. No, it's not a very strict regulation. The Corps
9 Commander may, on the basis of his own judgement, appear at the forward
10 command post. It is up to him, to his own judgement, where he should be
11 at what point in time, where his appearance is most important. If he
12 considers it to be at the forward command post, that is where he will go.
13 If not, then he will not go there.
14 There are twofold implications of this being the fact that the
15 Commander of the Main Staff of the VRS ordered General Krstic to carry out
16 the operation on Zepa, thereby in practice and in fact, he relieved the
17 Corps Commander of the obligation to appear at the forward command post,
18 whereas Krstic was obliged to be there as the commander of the group
19 conducting the operation.
20 So that is the distinction between this situation and the
21 situation at the forward command post in Pribicevac. There the commander
22 was obliged to appear even though General Krstic, as Chief of Staff, was
23 at the forward command post. In this case it is different.
24 General Krstic has the duty to conduct the operation and General Zivanovic
25 has no obligation to appear at the forward command post. It would have
1 been no error on his part if he had appeared because he continues to be
2 Corps Commander. So it would not have been a mistake nor any infringement
3 of Krstic's rights as commander of the forces engaged for the Zepa
5 MR. CAYLEY: If I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 762, please.
6 Q. Now, General, here you see an order from a Colonel Vladimir Arsic,
7 and you will see at the top that Colonel Arsic particularly refers to
8 being in command of an operative group, of Doboj Operative Group, and he
9 is himself giving commands to a tactical group.
10 Now, bearing in mind, General, that it was in fact a requirement
11 to identify that a commander was in command of an operative group as
12 opposed to an entire corps, don't you think that General Krstic, being an
13 experienced VRS officer, would have actually put that fact in this order
14 had he really believed that he was in command of an operative group rather
15 than the entire corps?
16 A. No, not necessarily, for the simple reason that General Krstic was
17 Chief of Staff and also Deputy Commander. Even if General Mladic had not
18 given him orders to carry out that operation, the Corps Commander could
19 have given him that order. He could have said, "Krstic, from now on you
20 will plan and carry out the Zepa operation as an operation carried out by
21 such-and-such a group," and he could designate the forces.
22 As you can see from the combat order for Zepa, General Krstic
23 issued that document to all units of the Drina Corps which he wished to
24 engage for Zepa without any limitations because in the order for Zepa,
25 nobody had given him the exact units he had to engage. He had the freedom
1 to select them himself.
2 If the Commander of the Main Staff had wanted him to form an
3 operative group first as a provisional formation and to use it for Zepa,
4 he would have done so, but he didn't think it necessary, but, rather, he
5 authorised him to include in that group whoever he thought he should
6 include and to act accordingly.
7 So the order for Zepa, in the sense of command, is specific
8 insofar that General Krstic was told to control and command the forces for
9 Zepa, that is, first to prepare and organise the Zepa operation and to
10 carrying out -- to carry it out from its beginning until the end. And
11 this is very important to note because this throws very fixed -- clear
12 right on his command responsibility from the 11th in the evening until the
13 20th when he actually took over the duty of Corps Commander. That is why
14 this is important.
15 But there can be no analogy with this document because Krstic was
16 Deputy Commander of the whole Drina Corps, of the whole Drina Corps. He
17 could have even been assigned -- he could even have assigned a tactical
18 group to carry out a certain task without prior orders how to form that
19 tactical group. So that was the right of command that General Krstic had
20 as Deputy Commander, that he may engage in different types of assignments
21 within the area of the zone of responsibility of the corps. The Commander
22 of the Main Staff decided to appoint him to be commander. The Corps
23 Commander agreed or not or whatever, that's another matter, and
24 General Krstic prepared and carried out the Zepa operation, and it is in
25 that context that his responsibility and -- command responsibility should
1 be viewed.
2 Q. Now, General, at page 7905 of your evidence, you said: "There is
3 a very strict requirement that the commander should be located at the
4 forward command post because that is the very reason why the command is
5 being relocated because it is so that the commander can have a more
6 efficient control over his troops from the forward command post."
7 Now, General, based on your logic and based on the fact that the
8 Zepa operations order identifies Krivace as the forward command post,
9 based on the fact that General Zivanovic was never seen at the forward
10 command post in Krivace, based on the evidence that the Judges have heard,
11 you would agree with me that it is a logical conclusion that General
12 Krstic was the Commander of the Drina Corps from the 13th of July of 1995,
13 wouldn't you, General?
14 A. No. I would not agree with you because standing in the way is the
15 decree of the president of the republic and my overall insight into the
16 course of events from the 12th until the 20th. There is not a single
17 document on the basis of which it is possible to conclude that General
18 Zivanovic was replaced, that he was removed from duty, or that he was sick
19 or wounded, that he was unable to perform his duties.
20 I really did not come across any such document, and therefore I
21 have no reason to believe that General Krstic became commander before he
22 took over duty from Zivanovic and before that is done in the regular way
23 in which duty is transferred.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, perhaps it is
25 now time for a break. We'll now have a 50-minute break.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
2 --- Upon commencing at 1.08 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, please
5 MR. CAYLEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 Q. Good afternoon, General.
7 MR. CAYLEY: If we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 759, please.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley, I just want some information from General
10 General, you were mentioning that till the 20th, General Krstic
11 did not take over any duty from Zivanovic. Concerning Zivanovic, was
12 there any real role played by him during this period, basic roles between
13 the 11th and the 20th, or was he a little bit absent from the picture
14 according to your assessment? Just a general question.
15 A. Your Honour, I don't have any information as to whether he was
16 removed from duty at that time, so I couldn't comment on that aspect of
17 your question; however, there are documents which he signed on the 13th of
18 July which indicates that he was still active within the chain of command.
19 There are certain activities which are being conducted within the area of
20 responsibility of the Drina Corps which are not directly part of the Zepa
21 operation, although they do affect the operative situation in the area of
22 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade; that is, that situation affects the
23 issue of the Zepa operation because General Krstic expected certain forces
24 to be returned to him. So that, to a certain extent, affects the
25 situation in Zepa.
1 However, in the Drina Corps area of responsibility, as of the 13th
2 of July, there is a number of operative problems which General Zivanovic
3 had to busy himself with, and my assumption was that he was indeed
4 involved in dealing with those problems because there are no documents
5 which would indicate that he was not active. First of all, I think of the
6 necessity to prevent the breakthrough of the 28th Division from the area
7 of responsibility of the Drina Corps, in particular, area of
8 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, and also on the points of contact
9 between the Zvornik Brigade and the Birac Brigade. And he was also
10 involved with the prevention of the breakthrough of the BiH army forces,
11 that is its 2nd Corps, from the direction of Tuzla in an attempt to link
12 up with the forces attempting the breakthrough from Srebrenica.
13 So that is quite a number of duties for the Commander of the Drina
14 Corps to still behave as an active participant in the chain of command.
15 And since I do not have any documents which would exclude him from the
16 picture, I have to assume that he was still part of that chain of command
17 at that time.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, General. But you say you have no
19 documents to prove -- which prove that he was excluded from the picture,
20 but do you have documents which prove that he was included in the picture?
21 Not passively, actively.
22 A. By definition, he is participating in the command. He's both de
23 facto and nominally the Commander of the Drina Corps until such a time as
24 he hands over the duty of command and until a document is issued to that
25 effect. So he is here de jure and de facto Commander of the Corps, and by
1 definition he has this command duty.
2 JUDGE RIAD: By definition, that's right, but there is nothing
3 concrete, no orders signed by him and so on. That's just my question.
4 Did you come across orders signed by him in this period, by Zivanovic?
5 A. Yes. General Zivanovic signed an order on the 13th as the corps
6 commander, and he is, of course, in the area of responsibility of the
7 corps and he's active.
8 He also signed an order on the 14th, I believe, or maybe even on a
9 later date - I don't remember exactly when - whereby he is requesting his
10 subordinate officers as to when the hand-over of duty can take place in
11 the usual manner, which means that he was still in the area of
12 responsibility. And as long as he was able to command the corps both
13 physically and formally, he was still on duty as a commander. As to how
14 active he was, it's a matter of his assessment. I don't know whether it
15 was necessary to issue specific documents of command.
16 All of the units which were carrying out their missions in the
17 area, particularly Zvornik and Birac Brigade, they were at their positions
18 and they were engaged in combat with the forces of the 28th Division which
19 were attempting a breakthrough from the area. So there was no need for
20 him to make any radical changes with new orders. He was dealing with the
21 current situation, with the situation that was on the ground at that time
22 by inspecting the units that were deployed in the area.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, General. Thank you.
24 MR. CAYLEY:
25 Q. General, if you could look at Prosecutor's Exhibit 759 in front of
1 you, and if you could look at the -- it's two orders. If you could look
2 at the order on the left-hand side, the order that's signed by
3 General Zivanovic, which can be seen on the ELMO at the moment.
4 General, based on this order of the 12th of July of 1995, who was
5 the Commander of the Drina Corps on that date?
6 A. The Commander of the Drina Corps was General Zivanovic, who was
7 the commander at the time.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Now, if the booth can bring in the focus of that
9 document so we could see both documents alongside each other. If you
10 could move it a little bit. If the booth could focus in. That's fine.
11 Q. General, now looking at the document on the right-hand side which
12 is dated the 13th of July, 1995, which you will note is identical in all
13 respects, it says at the top, "Command of the Drina Corps," as per the
14 order of General Zivanovic, and it is signed at the bottom "Commander,
15 Major-General Radislav Krstic."
16 Now, on the basis of the order of the 13th of July, 1995, you
17 would agree with me that General Krstic is here representing himself as
18 the Commander of the Drina Corps, isn't he?
19 A. Only for the purposes of this document. This document concerns
20 the search of terrain for the Milici and Bratunac Brigades and the Skelani
21 Battalion. Those are the units which General Krstic included in his group
22 for Zepa, and the order in question concerns the search of terrain.
23 As to why we see the word "Commander" here there can be several
24 interpretations, but it obviously refers to his command function within
25 the preparation for the Zepa operation.
1 Q. General, would you agree with me that at the top of both
2 documents, the Zivanovic document and the Krstic document, it states
3 "Command of the Drina Corps"? Does it say exactly the same thing at the
4 top of both documents?
5 A. Well, it's the same formation. Both Krstic and Zivanovic belonged
6 to the Drina Corps, and they issued their orders on behalf of the Drina
7 Corps Command.
8 MR. CAYLEY: If we go to the signature block on both documents,
9 and, Mr. Usher, if you could move the document to the right slightly.
10 Across a bit further. Perfect. If the focus could come out a little bit,
12 Q. General, if we look at the signature block of each document, you'd
13 agree with me that General Zivanovic signs as commander and indeed
14 General Krstic signs as commander, does he not?
15 A. Well, Krstic is also the commander at that time. He's the
16 Commander of the Zepa Operative Group and he's issuing an order to the
17 units which are part of that operative group. So he's a commander as
19 Q. General, does this order of the 13th of July of General Krstic
20 make any reference to the Operative Group of Zepa?
21 A. No, but you have to bear in mind the done text in which all this
22 is taking place. The document was issued in the context of the
23 preparations for the Zepa operation by General Krstic. If we want to be
24 mindful of the facts, and I hope we do.
25 Q. General, can you examine the top of this document where it states
1 "Command of the Drina Corps"? Now I'm referring to General Krstic's
2 order. Underneath "Command of the Drina Corps" it says, "Strictly
3 Confidential, number 01/4-157-5."
4 It's a fact, isn't it, General, that the designation "01" refers
5 to the Commander of the Corps, doesn't it?
6 A. It's a convention. It need not necessarily be so. Well, Krstic
7 was the commander, the Commander of the Operative Group, and he has the
8 right to use this mark. And even if he had used number "2", it wouldn't
9 have been a mistake. But since he was appointed by the Commander of the
10 Main Staff to command the forces engaged in Zepa, he has the right to use
11 number "1".
12 Q. So your evidence, General, is that even though General Krstic
13 represents himself in this order as the Commander of the Drina Corps, even
14 though convention demands that "01" apply only to the Commander of the
15 Drina Corps, that everybody knew on reading this order that in fact he
16 wasn't the Commander of the Drina Corps at all. Is that your evidence?
17 A. "01" refers to the commander as such, not the Commander of the
18 Drina Corps. Every commander marks, designates his documents with 01, the
19 Commander of the Main Staff, the Brigade Commander, Corps Commander. This
20 is a convention concerning this type of designation so that the documents
21 can be easily traced.
22 General Krstic used his right here in this document. He was
23 indeed appointed as the commander and he functioned as the commander of
24 that part of the corps which was involved in the preparations for the Zepa
25 operation, and it was in that capacity that he issued this document.
1 If I had written this document, I wouldn't have used this
2 particular designation. So from this you can see that to a certain
3 extent, he overstepped his duties, and he made a certain change by acting
4 this way in the system of command because it is obvious that he was not
5 the Corps Commander because there is a document which was signed by
6 Zivanovic in his capacity of Corps Commander on the same date.
7 So if we bear in mind the relevant decree whereby he was appointed
8 commander, it is obvious that he did not act here in his capacity as the
9 Corps Commander. There are several facts pointing to the conclusion that
10 this order was not issued in his capacity as the Drina Corps Commander.
11 Q. So are you suggesting to the Court that General Krstic essentially
12 misrepresented himself in this order; by using this designation of the
13 commander, 01, he was in fact misrepresenting himself to the Drina Corps?
14 A. No. What I stated, sir, was that within the same command, to use
15 one and the same designation for two individuals and for two positions is
16 not a very good idea for the overall system of command, that this is not
17 something I would have done. However, he did not commit any serious
18 infringement of the system of command. He was indeed the Commander of the
19 Zepa forces, and he was able to use this designation, but I wouldn't have
20 used it myself, for example. He signed the Zepa order as the chief of
21 staff. I could have signed this document as a chief of staff.
22 Q. General, are you aware that the last order signed by General
23 Zivanovic was at 1720 on the 13th of July of 1995, and the first order
24 signed by General Krstic was at 2000 hours as commander on the 13th of
25 July, 1995? Are you aware of that fact?
1 A. Yes, but do you really believe that a change in the function of
2 the Corps Commander could occur in such a short period of time? All the
3 more so because we have a document stating when the change is only allowed
4 to take place by the 15th of July, pursuant to the document.
5 The hand-over, the takeover duty cannot take place. The Supreme
6 Commander was explicit in saying that the appointment was to take place,
7 was to come into effect with the date of the 15th of July. Any document
8 that General Krstic would have issued as Corps Commander prior to that
9 date would be null and void, and he would have to suffer all consequences
10 for that, political and military consequences. And legally speaking, such
11 a document would have been null and void because he was not the Corps
12 Commander at the time, and he did not have authority from the only
13 instance which is empowered to appoint him as Corps Commander, to act in
14 that capacity.
15 JUDGE RIAD: General, but if the order has been implemented
16 without any protest, wouldn't that be an admission that he is the Corps
18 A. He is both Chief of Staff and Deputy Corps Commander. So as
19 regards the continuity of command, it is not necessary for him to
20 attribute to himself those functions for which he was not authorised. He
21 has the right to replace the commander and to assume the command when the
22 commander is unavailable. It was not necessary for him to attribute to
23 himself the function of the Corps Commander when that was -- when it was
24 not necessary for him to do that.
25 So he could only sign this document as the Commander for the Zepa
1 forces. However, since we have the mention of the brigades, the Bratunac,
2 Milici Brigades and the Skelani Battalion who were involved in the search
3 of the terrain, this actually concerns only the portion of the forces over
4 which he was given the command, namely, the forces that were to be
5 committed for the purposes of the Zepa operation.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
7 MR. CAYLEY:
8 Q. General, if you could please turn to page 51 of your report.
9 MR. CAYLEY: It's Defence Exhibit 160.
10 A. Fifty, what did you say, I'm sorry, what page?
11 Q. Page 51, General.
12 Now, General, my understanding from your report, you give two
13 principle reasons why General Krstic signed Prosecutor's Exhibit 463 in
14 the manner in which he did, that of commander, and I will read to you the
15 first reason that you give. "The fact that there are some documents
16 signed by Krstic before July 15th can be interpreted in two ways. First,
17 that Krstic issued and signed these documents in the role of deputy
18 commander, having simply overlooked the fact that the place for the
19 signature is marked 'Commander,' instead of 'Deputy Commander'."
20 Now, General, you agree with me, you would agree with me, that had
21 General Krstic intended to represent himself as the deputy commander, he
22 would have said so, wouldn't he?
23 A. Yes, but you omitted to read what follows and which provides the
24 explanation for this.
25 Q. General, we'll move on to the explanation in a moment. If you
1 just answer my question: If General Krstic had intended to represent
2 himself as the deputy commander, he would have put that in the order,
3 wouldn't he?
4 A. He would have if he had looked. Maybe he didn't look closely.
5 And he considered himself a commander, and it wouldn't make any difference
6 because in terms of competencies, nothing substantial changes.
7 Q. But General, General Krstic was a professional, intelligent
8 officer. He would not have signed a document, would he, as commander, if
9 he had meant to sign it as deputy commander, would he?
10 MR. CAYLEY: And if we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 760 ready.
11 A. As you see, he did, even though he was not the commander.
12 Q. Here, General, is an order of the 11th of December, 1994, in which
13 General Krstic signs off as the Deputy Commander. Do you see that at the
14 bottom of the order?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Now, you'd agree with me based on this order, Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 760 where General Krstic signs as deputy commander and on the
18 basis of the order that we're discussing at the moment, 463, where
19 General Krstic signs as the commander, he knew the distinction between
20 those two roles and he indeed ensured in his orders that he properly
21 represented himself, didn't he, General?
22 A. He knew that he was Commander of the forces for Zepa and that is
23 why he signed in that way. But I agree with you that he knew the
24 difference. So in answer to your question, the answer is yes. But he
25 knew that he was Commander of the Operative Group for Zepa and it is in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that capacity that he signed that other document.
2 But in answer to your question just now, my answer is yes.
3 Q. Now, General, the second reason that you gave in your report, and
4 I will read the section that you wanted me to read, "Second" -- it is the
5 second plausible reason that you give for Krstic signing that document as
6 commander: "Second that Krstic signed documents as "commander" and not as
7 "deputy commander" or "chief of staff" without authorisation."
8 Now, General, you would agree with me that had General Krstic been
9 signing an order as commander on behalf of General Zivanovic, he would
10 have said so, wouldn't he, in the order?
11 A. Yes, but he signed this order in his own name as commander of the
12 group for Zepa.
13 MR. CAYLEY: And if Prosecutor's Exhibit 76 could be placed on the
14 ELMO. I'm sorry, Defence Exhibit 76. My apologies.
15 THE REGISTRAR: 76/A bis?
16 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, please. Thank you.
17 Q. Now, General, here is an order which you will agree was signed by
18 General Krstic on behalf of General Zivanovic. And before you question
19 the document, that is the signature of General Krstic. Here we see
20 General Krstic expressly stating in an order that he was signing on behalf
21 of General Zivanovic.
22 So you'd agree with me, General, that from this document,
23 General Krstic knew when he was signing on behalf of the Corps Commander
24 because he would say so in the order, wouldn't he?
25 A. Yes. He knew that he was signing in the -- when he was signing in
1 the role of commander and when in the role of deputy commander, and that
2 is why for Zepa, for the search operation, he signed it in the role of
4 Q. Now, General, if we accept that General Krstic knew when he was
5 signing as deputy commander, if he knew when he was signing on behalf of
6 somebody else, and there is absolutely no reference to the operational
7 group for Zepa obtained in Prosecutor's Exhibit Exhibit 463, you'd agree
8 with me that on the basis of those three facts General Krstic was signing
9 as the Commander of the Drina Corps, wasn't he, on this occasion?
10 A. I have told you several times that I do not agree with your
11 conclusion and my answer is no.
12 Q. Now, General, you stated earlier that had General Krstic indeed
13 misrepresented himself as the Commander of the Drina Corps then that order
14 would have been null and void. Do you recall that evidence? In fact, I
15 think His Honour Judge Riad asked you about that particular point.
16 A. No. No, no. I said that the order would have consequences.
17 Every time Krstic, in any capacity, signs an act, a document, that
18 document produces consequences because he is by function Chief of Staff
19 and deputy commander. So every document he signs produces consequences,
20 but only within the framework and within the context of the document he
21 has issued. But in legal terms, if he signs as a commander and an expert
22 establishes that he was not the commander, then in legal terms it would be
23 null and void. That is the distinction I wanted to make.
24 What I want to say is that General Krstic had no need to attach to
25 his name titles that don't belong to him because being the deputy
1 commander he has the right to issue orders whenever the commander is
3 Q. General, you state that General Krstic signed this order in the
4 capacity as Commander of the Zepa operation, and you also referred to the
5 fact that the order, Prosecutor's Exhibit 463, gave orders to the Bratunac
6 Brigade, the Milici Brigade, and the Skelani Battalion.
7 Are you aware, General, that the Skelani Battalion was never
8 engaged in the operation towards Zepa? It was not part of those forces
9 that were engaged towards Zepa. On that basis, General, if General Krstic
10 was giving orders to those units that did not comprise the Operative Group
11 Zepa, he was giving orders to the rest of the corps and on that basis,
12 General, he was the commander of the corps, wasn't he?
13 A. He issued an order here to the Milici Brigade, the Bratunac
14 Brigade, and the Skelani Battalion. Only a part of those forces was
15 included in the operative group for Zepa. Not all those forces. But
16 within the preparations and the regrouping of forces for the Zepa
17 operation, it was necessary to search the terrain in order to secure the
18 rear. And in this part of the assignment, the preparatory work for the
19 Zepa operation, the Skelani Battalion did participate on the left side.
20 Q. General, if General Krstic only had authority for those forces
21 engaged in the Zepa operation, how did he have authority to issue orders
22 to the Skelani Battalion? How did he have authority until he was the
23 Commander of the Drina Corps, General?
24 A. There seems to be a basic misunderstanding between us. By
25 General Krstic's appointment by General Mladic as commander of the group
1 which was to carry out the Zepa operation, General Krstic did not
2 explicitly by any specific document -- he was not removed from the duty of
3 Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps. In military
4 terms, he was decommanded; that is, he was given the duty to carry out the
5 next operation. No one deprived him of the authority he had as Deputy of
6 the Drina Corps. The only thing is that he didn't have to participate in
7 those activities which were outside the area of responsibility of Zepa.
8 So he was not disempowered. In spite of the fact that
9 General Krstic was engaged in Zepa, you have no newly appointed Chief of
10 Staff. Colonel Andric will become Chief of Staff once the Zepa operation
11 was completed. So that position was not eliminated but it wasn't in
12 active operation while General Krstic was Commander of the Zepa
13 operation. You have to have that in mind. So there was no one who
14 prohibited General Krstic from using the Skelani battalion to search the
15 terrain and to carry out preparations for the subsequent operation.
16 Q. And you just stated in your evidence, General, that the only thing
17 that General Krstic didn't have to participate in were those activities
18 which were outside the area of responsibility of Zepa, but you would agree
19 with me if he was issuing orders to the Skelani Battalion, the Bratunac
20 Brigade, and the Milici Brigade, who were all involved in operations in
21 Srebrenica, he was giving orders, wasn't he, to activities outside Zepa?
22 A. This area we are referring to is an area that was directly
23 included in the operations area of Zepa. When an operation is being
24 prepared, then the area or zone of deployment of units is not marked by
25 lines. It is an area that has its depth, and the depth of the brigade on
1 the offensive is 10 to 15 kilometres. So it's not just the front line and
2 the units on the front line but the whole combat formation for attack
3 which entails the rear, the depth; and that area certainly includes the
4 area where the Skelani Battalion was searching the terrain, as well as the
5 Milici and Bratunac Brigades.
6 Q. General, is Ravni Buljin in the Srebrenica enclave?
7 A. That is the border of the Srebrenica enclave. If you're talking
8 about Buljim, Ravni Buljim.
9 Q. Is Zeleni Jadar just south of the Srebrenica enclave?
10 A. That also is the border. It is along the border. That is the
11 border area.
12 Q. General, do you know whether or not this order was actually
13 complied with, Prosecutor's Exhibit 463?
14 A. You mean search of the terrain? Is that what you mean?
15 Q. Yes, yes.
16 A. Units of the Bratunac and Milici Brigades and the Skelani
17 Battalion certainly did carry out their assignment regarding searching the
19 MR. CAYLEY: If Prosecutor's Exhibit 464 could be placed in front
20 of the General.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I have a question for
22 you. Generally speaking, if General Krstic was to replace Zivanovic as
23 Corps Commander, how would he sign an order?
24 A. He could sign the order in several -- he had several options. He
25 could put his signature under a title called "Corps Commander," and all
1 his subordinates know his subject and on that basis can easily know
2 whether the order was signed by an authorised official or not.
3 Another possibility, another option, would be for him to put
4 "representing the commander," or to say "deputy commander," or to say
5 "chief of staff of the command." In all those capacities, operationally
6 and in factual and legal terms, the effect of the document would be
7 identical: He would always be the authorised official of the Drina Corps.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Out of these four possibilities,
9 which would be more in line with the rules? Are they all equal, or is
10 there one that is preferred?
11 A. If we exclude this particular document, if we're talking in
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I'm now excluding
14 this particular document, but we're talking in general terms. In a normal
15 situation, he's Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander, and he needs to sign
16 an order of the command in the absence of General Zivanovic. It is this
17 situation that I should like you to address. You have mentioned four
18 options, and my question is, is there one out of the four that is more in
19 conformity with the rules, or are they all equal?
20 A. As far as the consequences are concerned and the authority, they
21 are identical, but the normal thing would be for him to refer to the
22 function that he has in the structure of the command of the Drina Corps,
23 and that is Chief of Staff. Everyone knows automatically that he is also
24 Deputy Commander, so it would be sufficient for him to say Chief of Staff.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Mr. Cayley, you may continue.
2 Judge Fouad Riad has a question.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Just a question on the practical level. How did he
4 always sign, with the exception of this order where he signed
5 "commander"? Did he ever sign -- as you said, he could sign "commander"
6 and everybody knew his signature. Did he do it, or was it also "deputy
7 commander" with the exception of this one? According to your analysis and
8 what you saw.
9 A. According to what I saw, he signed in all three variants. There
10 are documents signed as chief of staff; there are documents he signed as
11 deputy commander; and there are also documents he signed under the heading
12 "commander," and he added the word "for" the little word "for," which
13 means he's acting on behalf of somebody, that he has the authority to do
14 that. So he signed in all three ways.
15 The most natural, the most normal way for him to sign would be as
16 Chief of Staff because everyone knows that that is what he was, everyone
17 knows his signature, and there's absolutely no obstacle to carry out those
18 command documents that he signed as Chief of Staff because it is known
19 that he has the authority to do so.
20 JUDGE RIAD: So at best, if he's commander, he would sign "for,"
21 he would put "for" before it, "for" the commander? And he never signed
22 "commander" except in this document without putting "for"?
23 A. No, Your Honour. In official correspondence in the JNA or the
24 army of Republika Srpska when before the heading "commander" you put the
25 word "for," it signified that somebody is signing the document who is
1 representing the commander at that particular point in time. So one might
2 say that he is signing on behalf of the commander when he says "for" and
3 not as the commander.
4 JUDGE RIAD: That's what I mean, thank you.
5 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be provided with Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 465. It is a map. If you don't have it to hand, Madam Registrar,
7 I can ....
8 If you could move that map up a little bit please, Mr. Usher. A
9 bit further.
10 Q. Now, General, Prosecutor's Exhibit 463, General Krstic's order to
11 the Bratunac Brigade, Milici Brigade, and the Skelani Independent
12 Battalion, identifies certain locations from which the search was to be
13 carried out. Could you please point on that map, General, to Ravni
14 Buljim? And this is the orders in respect of the Bratunac Brigade.
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. So Ravni Buljim is in the northwestern corner of the enclave. The
17 next location is down towards Zvijezda which I think you'll find in the
18 centre, General, of the enclave. If you could point to that, please.
19 A. Zvijezda?
20 Q. I'm sorry. So Zvijezda is in the middle of the enclave? Siljato
21 Brdo, could you point to that?
22 A. Siljato Brdo.
23 Q. Slapovici and Zeleni Jadar.
24 A. [Indicates]
25 Q. Now, those were the lines up to which the 1st Bratunac Light
1 Infantry Brigade were to search, and would you agree with me, General,
2 that they stretch essentially from the top to the bottom of the enclave,
3 don't they?
4 A. But Krstic was not broadening the area, it was the brigade
5 commander who was.
6 Krstic, in his order, ordered which part of the area should be
7 searched, and in military terms, the cleaning of the terrain. I don't see
8 what the dispute is about.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as we're talking
10 about these geographic names, perhaps it would be simpler to give the
11 witness the document, the document Mr. Cayley is referring to. I'm
12 referring to Exhibit 463. I think that's what we're discussing.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, I don't quite get
14 the question. Do you have a response?
15 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry. I thought the witness already had that
16 document. If Mr. Visnjic is indicating that he doesn't, then we should
17 give it to him. It doesn't need to be placed on the ELMO. It's better
18 that the witness has the document. He has it already. I thought he did.
19 Q. Now, General, in essence you'd agree with me that General Krstic
20 was giving an order for the search of the area enclosed by the Srebrenica
21 enclave, wasn't he, in this order?
22 A. But, sir, the area for the search of the terrain does not,
23 strictly speaking, coincide with the borders of the enclave. The area of
24 the enclave is approximately defined so that the brigades should know what
25 is being referred to. The area of the Srebrenica enclave was mentioned so
1 as to specify which particular areas do not -- are not included in the
2 search area.
3 Q. General, is General Krstic issuing an order for the search of the
4 enclave? Yes or no. It's very simple. You can see the locations on the
5 map. Was he issuing an order for the search of the enclave or was he
7 A. When an order is being issued, then the most precise designations
8 are lines and axes. A brigade cannot be limited to an area which it
9 cannot fit into. You indicate the axes of the search. That is how a
10 document like this is drafted. And I agree with you that in this order
11 signed by Krstic it is stated that it is the enclave, that the duty to
12 search the terrain does relate to the enclave area, to the area of the
14 Q. General, do you have Prosecutor's Exhibit 534 at hand, please?
15 Now, General, the order issued by General Krstic, the order that
16 we're having this lengthy discussion about, the number of that order was
18 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honours, that's the order which General Krstic
19 signs as commander.
20 Q. Now, this General, is a document from the command of the
21 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, dated the 14th of July, and I will
22 just read three lines of paragraph 2: "Our forces are searching and
23 clearing the terrain in accordance with order, strictly confidential
24 number 01/4-157/5, and part of our forces is participating from our side
25 in the encirclement of enemy forces at point 1."
1 Now, General, you would agree with me that Colonel Vidoje
2 Blagojevic, the Commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, was
3 reporting back to the Drina Corps on the 14th of July, that he was
4 complying with Krstic's, order, then he certainly believed that
5 General Krstic was the Commander of the Drina Corps on the 14th of July,
6 didn't he?
7 A. No, I would not agree with you because I still abide by the
8 arguments that I have presented and that is that General Krstic, on the
9 14th, was not the Corps Commander.
10 Q. But, General, you would agree with me that if Colonel Blagojevic
11 believed that General Krstic was misrepresenting himself as the Commander
12 of the Drina Corps, he would not have followed the order, would he?
13 A. If General Krstic was misrepresenting himself, he knows very well
14 who General Krstic is, and there is no need for Krstic to introduce
15 himself to him. He knows him. And he got an order from General Krstic,
16 and he's carrying out that order. The only thing is that he expanded the
17 area of responsibility beyond what he was ordered to do by
18 General Krstic.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If the General could be shown Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 467, please.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What was the rank of
22 General Krstic at the time?
23 A. At that time when he received this?
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For example, on the 13th of
25 July, yes.
1 A. His primary function was commander of the forces on Zepa because
2 the Zepa operation had already started.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, the rank, the military
5 A. He was Major-General.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And on the 11th of December,
8 A. On the 11th of December, 1994. Let me try and recollect. I think
9 he was Colonel. I think he was Colonel.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
11 Mr. Cayley.
12 MR. CAYLEY:
13 Q. General, do you have Prosecutor's Exhibit 467 in front of you?
14 MR. CAYLEY: And if the translation could be placed on the ELMO.
15 Your Honours, this is a document that you may recall was written
16 by hand by Colonel Blagojevic, and he put the date of the 14th of July on
17 this document in his own hand. When the document was processed and sent
18 by the army telegrapher, the date 17th of July was placed on that
19 document, although, in fact, the document is signed as sent on the 14th of
20 July at the end. So that is why there is a discrepancy in the dates on
21 the document you see on the screen and the document the General has, which
22 is dated the 14th of July.
23 Q. Now, General, this is a document that you can see is have Colonel
24 Vidoje Blagojevic to the Command of the Drina Corps, and I will read it
25 out: "We wish to inform you that we shall be able to secure the presence
1 of the command and representatives of the municipal authorities for the
2 official farewell for General Zivanovic, hitherto Commander of the Drina
3 Corps, at 1300 hours on 23 June 1995."
4 Now, General, you'd agree with me that based on this document
5 Colonel Blagojevic believed, on the 14th of July of 1995, that
6 General Zivanovic was no longer the Commander of the Drina Corps, didn't
8 A. No, I would not agree with you.
9 Q. General, would you agree with me that when a colonel in the
10 Bosnian Serb army refers to General Zivanovic as the "hitherto," "the
11 hitherto Commander of the Drina Corps," that he believes in his mind that
12 General Zivanovic is no longer the Commander of the Drina Corps?
13 A. That is not the -- up to the Brigade Commander to judge of his own
14 free will who is the Corps Commander and who is not.
15 Q. General, I'm not asking you that question. The question is a very
16 simple one. Based on this document, based on this document, does
17 Colonel Blagojevic represent his view as being that General Zivanovic is
18 no longer the Commander of the Drina Corps?
19 If you wish to decline to answer, then simply say, "I do not wish
20 to answer," and I will move on.
21 A. I have given you my answer that I disagree with you, because in
22 the next sentence of this same document it says that Colonel Blagojevic
23 has informed that members of his command will be able to attend the
24 official farewell, and it is an official farewell where the former
25 commander hands over duty and the new commander takes over. Until that
1 moment, the former commander is still on duty. And you have also the
2 decree of the president of the republic which says that until the 15th, no
3 one has the right to transfer duty.
4 Q. So your position is, General, that essentially General Krstic was
5 basically misrepresenting himself as the Corps Commander on the 13th of
6 July and Colonel Blagojevic, one of his immediate subordinate commanders,
7 was completely confused as to the situation and was referring erroneously
8 to Zivanovic being the hitherto Commander of the Drina Corps. Is that
9 your position?
10 A. He is the hitherto commander. Until then he was the commander.
11 He was always the commander, and he didn't leave. He will leave only once
12 that official farewell has taken place. That is how it is called
13 according to the terminology of the transfer of duty. Corps Commanders
14 and members of the senior commands transfer duty at an official meeting,
15 at a working meeting which has an official and ceremonious character. And
16 commanders of tactical units do the takeover and hand-over duty in front
17 of lined-up units.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, Mr. Cayley. Just a question since you
19 mentioned it. In English it is "hitherto," and in the French
20 it's "jusqu'a present." I listened to it. It's "jusqu'a present." It
21 means that he was still in command. "Jusqu'a present," it does not mean
22 it is the final point. Is it in English or in French?
23 MR. CAYLEY: In the English language, it's a very old fashioned
24 word, "hitherto," but it essentially means the previous commander, the
25 person who was in the position and no longer is in the position.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Because it is translated in French "jusqu'a
2 present." When I say I am a Judge jusqu'a present, it means that I am
3 still a Judge. So there must be -- we have first corrected the word. I
4 know it is old English.
5 MR. CAYLEY: The English translation of this document from the
6 Serbian --
7 JUDGE RIAD: Let's check it first.
8 MR. CAYLEY: We will, but there has been, to be honest with you,
9 Judge Riad, there has been a lot of discussion about this particular word,
10 so it's not something that we've just sort of pulled out of a hat. It's
11 been interpreted as the word "hitherto," and I've just explained, I think
12 it's clear what that word means.
13 JUDGE RIAD: So the French is not correct, in my opinion.
14 "Jusqu'a present," the present is included. So if we rely -- just I
15 wanted to understand. Otherwise, the President is listening in French,
16 I'm listening in English; we will not have the same opinion.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, are you going to
18 suggest a break?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think perhaps it
20 would be most opportune to ask the interpreters for an official commentary
21 because we also have a dilemma, together with our learned friends from the
22 Prosecution, which would be the best word in English, and I am not sure
23 that this is the best solution for the Prosecution or the Defence. So
24 perhaps the translation service could give us an additional explanation as
25 to the various meanings that can be given to this word.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you very much,
2 Mr. Visnjic. I think Mr. Cayley suggested that, too, when Mr. Cayley said
3 that there was a discussion and that we will have the result of that
4 linguistic discussion.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, as far as the English-B/C/S version is
6 concerned, and I believe my learned friend is already aware of this, there
7 has been a report produced on that - in fact, copied to my learned friend
8 Mr. Harmon - and I can read that into the record if you wish, or I can
9 give you this to read.
10 It simply says, "On the 31 October 2000 in the trial session of
11 the case of The Prosecutor v. Krstic, General Krstic read OTP Exhibit
12 467/b in Serbian for the record.
13 "The English booth interpreted the words of General Krstic as
14 follows: `We wish to inform you that we are able to ensure the presence
15 of members of the command and representatives of the municipal authorities
16 for the official farewell for General Zivanovic, the outgoing commander of
17 the Drina Corps, on 23rd of June 1995 at 1300 hours."
18 And then this is the commentary by Maya Drazenovic-Carrieri, the
19 chief of the interpretation service, she says the following: "At the
20 request of the Prosecutor, I have reviewed the English transcript of the
21 proceedings together with Exhibit 467/a. I wish to state for the record
22 that the official translation of the Serbian term," which I shall probably
23 mispronounce, "'dosadasnji' is `hitherto' as can be seen in the revised
24 English translation (OTP Exhibit 467/a)."
25 So we do for the purposes of the proceedings have the
1 authoritative version of the English-Serbian version, but not on the
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we have any comment from the
4 translation service for the French as well, please?
5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, we'll seek that commentary.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Let us now have a
7 very brief break so that we can work until three. We'll have a 10-minute
9 --- Recess taken at 2.13 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 2.25 p.m.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, you may continue.
12 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. General, I now want to move on to general principles of
14 appointment of senior officers. Now, I want to read to you some evidence
15 of a Defence witness, Witness DB, who is a serving senior VRS officer who
16 testified before the Court, and my learned friend Mr. Harmon was asking
17 him a number of questions about presidential decrees and appointments of
18 officers, and the question went like this, General.
19 Q. I understand that there was a presidential decree and the
20 presidential decree was required for a number of positions,
21 officer positions, but can you allow for the possibility that
22 de facto someone assumes command prior to the issuance of a
23 piece of paper signed by the president which formally
24 designates the individual to a command post?
25 And the answer to that question was, "I accept that possibility."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. CAYLEY: That is on page 7281 of the transcript.
2 Q. Now, you would agree with me, General, wouldn't you, that if a
3 senior VRS officer stated in this courtroom that individuals could be
4 appointed to de facto positions without the issuance of official
5 paperwork, then that is a real possibility, isn't it, General?
6 A. I think I'm more familiar with the matters than the officer who
7 testified here, and I know that that cannot happen.
8 MR. CAYLEY: If we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 468.
9 Q. Now, General, you yourself said in evidence, and this is at --
10 actually, I don't have the page reference for this at the moment, but I
11 will give it to you when I can locate it. These are your words, "It is
12 perfectly customary for those individuals," and here you were referring to
13 senior officers, "to be discussed and assessed during high level meetings,
14 and it is quite possible that the appointment in question was a kind of
15 assessment of the personnel situation, human resources situation, and then
16 the service in charge of drafting such documents then prepare the relevant
17 documents on the 14th of July, 1995."
18 Now, General, you yourself have stated in evidence that
19 appointments could be made prior to the paperwork being issued. That is
20 what you were saying then, wasn't it, General?
21 A. No, no, I'm sure I didn't state that. It is the process of
22 assessing the personnel matters which takes place before the actual
23 appointment. Human resources need to be managed and certain plans have to
24 be made in respect of that. So before the actual appointment takes place
25 the nominees, the candidates, are being assessed and they are being
1 discussed at various meetings. Once an agreement is reached to that
2 effect, then appropriate tasks are issued to the service, personnel
3 services, which are in charge of drafting the actual document. But they
4 are given specific instructions as to the relevant dates. They have no
5 authority to determine dates, appointment dates, as they please.
6 Q. Did you serve in the Bosnian Serb army during the war in
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you have any contact with the Bosnian Serb documentary
10 processes, how they processed appointments? Did you have anything to do
11 with that at all, General, during the war in Bosnia?
12 A. Me personally you mean?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. No. No. No.
15 Q. So you would agree with me on that basis that Witness DB, who was
16 a senior officer in the VRS serving in Bosnia throughout the war, would
17 have a much better idea than you as to whether or not de facto
18 appointments were made without the paperwork being completed immediately?
19 A. As regards the appointment of generals, I'm a hundred per cent
20 sure he doesn't have any better knowledge than me of the issue, despite
21 the fact that he was a member of the VRS and I was not.
22 MR. CAYLEY: If I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 536.
23 Q. General, as you can see, this is a daily combat report of the
24 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and in paragraph 2 of this order, it
25 states: "Our forces are still searching the terrain in accordance with
1 your strictly confidential order number 01/4-157/5, dated 13 July 1995,"
2 and then he states the area of the search.
3 Now, you would agree with me, General, that on the 15th of July,
4 Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic is still executing General Krstic's order of the
5 13th of July of 1995 which General Krstic signs as the Commander of the
6 Drina Corps?
7 A. He was carrying out the order which General Krstic signed as the
8 Commander of the Zepa forces on the 13th of July.
9 Q. General, do you see that the order is addressed to the Command of
10 the Drina Corps, forward command post of the Drina Corps? Do you see that
11 on this document?
12 A. I see it on the document, but it only supports my position and not
13 yours, that it was sent to the Drina Corps Command and the forward command
14 post of the Drina Corps. There was no -- if there had been no need to
15 send it to the forward command post, then no such mention would be made on
16 the document.
17 So this is sent to the person -- to the organ who is supposed to
18 carry out the order, and it is sent to the Commander of the Drina Corps
19 who is at the forward command post of the Drina Corps as the Commander of
20 the Zepa operation.
21 Q. General, where did Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic believe the forward
22 command post of the Drina Corps was located, based on this order?
23 A. He knows exactly where the forward command post is because in his
24 order of the 13th of July regarding Zepa, General Krstic notified him of
25 the location of the forward command post which was at Krivace.
1 Q. Now, General, you have stated in your evidence that General
2 Blagojevic sent this document to the Commander of the Drina Corps who is
3 at the forward command post of the Drina Corps. You then go on and
4 contradict yourself and say as the Commander of the Zepa operation.
5 Now, upon the basis that General Zivanovic was never seen at the
6 forward command post in Krivace, who was General -- who was
7 Colonel Blagojevic referring this order to at Krivace, at the forward
8 command post of the Drina Corps?
9 A. I don't know, sir, whether my words are being misinterpreted by
10 the interpretation service or by yourself. What I said was that the
11 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade sent this report to the Command of the
12 Drina Corps, to the location of the command, that is, at Vlasenica, and
13 also to the forward command post of the Drina Corps at Krivace, namely, to
14 General Krstic who had ordered him to do so explicitly.
15 So he sent it both to the Drina Corps Command at Vlasenica and the
16 Command of the Zepa Operative Group at the forward command post of the
17 corps. That is how it is being done in this system of command, which may
18 be complicated but that's how it is.
19 Q. General, if Colonel Blagojevic realised that he was sending this
20 document to the Command of the operative group in Zepa, why did he not say
21 that in the order? Why did he not address it to the forward command post
22 of the Operative Group Zepa?
23 A. Because it was the forward command post of the Drina Corps which
24 conducted the operation, and the forward command post was established as
25 the point from which the commander involved in the Zepa operation would
1 carry out his command, and that is the reason why forward command posts
2 are established.
3 Q. Now, you yourself have said, and I've reminded you on a number of
4 occasions, you've said that the forward command post is the place from
5 which the commander of the corps fights the battle. Now, if that
6 principle holds true, General, Colonel Blagojevic was sending this to
7 General Krstic at the forward command post of the Drina Corps because he
8 believed that General Krstic was the Commander of the Drina Corps, didn't
10 A. No. He knew exactly that General Krstic was not yet the Commander
11 of the Drina Corps but that he was the Commander of the group which was
12 conducting the Zepa operation.
13 MR. CAYLEY: If we can have Prosecutor's Exhibit 537, please.
14 Q. Now, General, you've stated in your evidence that you have not
15 come across a single document in which the Main Staff authorised the Drina
16 Corps to task or monitor the activities of Main Staff units. Do you
17 recall that evidence? Do you recall that evidence, General?
18 A. Yes. I'm sorry. I haven't quite understood you.
19 Q. Do you recall stating to this courtroom that you have not come
20 across a single document in which the Main Staff authorised the Drina
21 Corps to task or monitor the activities of Main Staff units?
22 A. To issue tasks to the units of the Main Staff, yes.
23 Q. Now, General, this is an order which is from Colonel Ignjat
24 Milanovic. It is addressed, as you can see, to the --
25 MR. CAYLEY: Actually, in the English version, Your Honours, there
1 is a typographical error on it which it has not been corrected yet but you
2 should ignore where it says, "delivered for the command" because in fact
3 on the original version of it says, "To: The forward command post," and
4 then underneath that to the "Drina Corps Command."
5 General, who was Colonel Ignjat Milanovic?
6 A. Colonel Ignjat Milanovic was the Chief of Air Defence with the
7 Staff of the Drina Corps.
8 Q. Now, you will see, General, that Colonel Milanovic is addressing
9 this particular report to the corps forward command post. He is making
10 this document for the attention of the commander. He is also copying it
11 to the Drina Corps Command.
12 Now, you would agree with me that if Colonel Milanovic, a staff
13 officer within the Drina Corps, was addressing a document to the commander
14 of the corps forward command post, he believed that General Krstic was the
15 Commander of the Drina Corps, didn't he?
16 A. No, I couldn't agree with you. Colonel Milanovic knew exactly who
17 was at the forward command post and who was commanding the forces from
18 that forward command post. That was General Krstic, and it was sent to
19 him, this document.
20 And this document is not an order, it's a proposal. He doesn't
21 have authority to order the commander. He can only submit his proposals
22 to the Commander of the Operative Group who is expecting the forces
23 engaged in the search of the terrain to report to him so they can be
24 deployed for the Zepa operation.
25 Q. Now, General, you'll see that in this document, Colonel Milanovic
1 is stating, "In accordance with your orders I went to Milici and
2 Bratunac." He says that, I think you will see, in the first paragraph.
3 And then he states underneath, "I have ordered: 1. General mobilisation
4 to be carried out in Bratunac, Milici, Vlasenica, and Sekovici. 2. The
5 assignment you have given to the commanders to be carried out without
7 Now, General, on the basis that Milanovic is stating that he is
8 acting according to Krstic's orders, you would agree with me that General
9 Krstic is giving orders in respect of operations that have absolutely
10 nothing to do with what is going on in Zepa?
11 A. No, I do not agree with you. This is a continuation of the order
12 which was issued for the search of the terrain to the Bratunac and Milici
13 Brigades and the Skelani Battalion. Colonel Milanovic, as per the
14 authorisation of General Krstic, went to the field to check out on what
15 was going on and why those forces were not coming to Zepa because he
16 expected them there. He expected that they would be engaged for the
17 purposes of the Zepa operation.
18 Q. Now. General, you will see at the bottom of this document --
19 MR. CAYLEY: And Mr. Usher, if you could move the document up.
20 Q. -- there is a proposal from Colonel Milanovic, and you will see
21 that the proposal is to authorise and appoint the commander of the 1st
22 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as commander of all forces are
23 participating in searching the terrain and sweeping the battlefield.
24 Now, General, General Krstic in his evidence to this Court in
25 being questioned by my learned friend Mr. McCloskey was asked the
1 question, "Do you know if you accepted his proposal and acted upon it?"
2 General Krstic's response was, "I accepted his proposal regarding Colonel
3 Blagojevic that he should be appointed commander, the commander to be in
4 charge of the search of the terrain in the area."
5 Were you aware, General, that General Krstic had accepted this
6 proposal in this document?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. CAYLEY: If we could now have Prosecutor's Exhibit 469.
9 Q. Now, General, you've seen this document before, and this is the
10 document in respect of General Zivanovic, and you stated in your evidence
11 in-chief, that being in response to a Judge's question, that you were not
12 aware of Zivanovic taking up any significant posts after the 15th of July.
13 Do you recall stating that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, you will see it says very clearly on this document --
16 MR. CAYLEY: And Mr. Usher, if you could refer to, I think, the
17 next page of that document.
18 Q. You will see it says very clearly that General Zivanovic was
19 placed on disposal. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, that means essentially, doesn't it, General, that General
22 Zivanovic was not moving on to any other position after he was removed
23 from the Drina Corps command, doesn't it?
24 A. No, it doesn't mean that, what you're saying. It means that as of
25 the 15th, that is, from the 15th, which is the earliest date when General
1 Zivanovic may step from his duty -- step down from his duty as the corps
2 commander, and that is also the earliest date when the personnel service
3 can count on General Zivanovic for new appointments.
4 This is a phrase which is used in terms of personnel matters,
5 human resources matters, for all commanding officers who are thereby
6 relieved of their previous duties and are placed on disposal for further
7 appointments. It is therefore possible to -- for them to be appointed to
8 a new post in the same document, but they can also be placed at disposal
9 until some new appointment. But this is the earliest date when they may
10 step down from their duty in accordance with the document.
11 Q. General, General --
12 A. And this is in accordance with the document on the appointment of
13 General Krstic for the corps commander.
14 Q. To what position was General Zivanovic appointed to by virtue of
15 this document?
16 A. I have just answered that, but I will repeat myself.
17 Q. General --
18 A. The expression that he's made available.
19 Q. Was General Zivanovic appointed to any substantive position as a
20 result of this document?
21 A. As a result of this document, no.
22 Q. General, it's correct, isn't it, that General Zivanovic never
23 occupied any position after this date, any position of which you have
24 already said you were aware? You are not aware that he occupied any
25 significant position, are you, General?
1 A. I'm not aware that he was appointed to any substantive position
2 because probably that would have been indicated in this same document, if
3 that is what they had in mind.
4 MR. CAYLEY: If I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 539, please.
5 Q. General, are you familiar with this particular document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, General, this is a daily combat report from the command of
8 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, Colonel Blagojevic, and what I am
9 particularly interested in is the second paragraph of that document where
10 it says about halfway down, "During the day the Brigade commander visited
11 all units which are blocking the enemy retreat (the 1st Milici Light
12 Infantry Brigade, units of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, part of
13 the MUP, and the 5th Engineering Battalion) defined their tasks and
14 organised their joint action and communication."
15 Now, General, we have just been considering the previous document
16 in which General Krstic approves of Milanovic's proposal to appoint the
17 commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade in command of all of the
18 forces participating in the search, and you would agree with me that here
19 the Brigade Commander, Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic, is reporting back that
20 he is coordinating the activities of all of the units blocking the
21 retreat, including the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the
22 MUP, and the other units referred to. That's what he's doing, isn't he,
24 A. He does not say that he is supervising the 65th Protection
25 Regiment, but he's only reporting that he toured them, and as they are
1 close to the area of responsibility, there's no harm in that, but he's not
2 stating that he is coordinating --
3 Q. General, I'm going to interrupt you because that is not what the
4 report says. The report says that the Commander of the Bratunac Light
5 Infantry Brigade defined their tasks and organised their joint action and
7 You would agree with me, General, that Colonel Blagojevic is
8 stating that he defined the tasks of the 65th Motorised Protection
9 Regiment and parts of the MUP in accordance with General Krstic's order.
10 That's what he's doing, isn't he, General?
11 A. No. Colonel Blagojevic's obligations towards the 65th Protection
12 Regiment are indicated in the next sentence, and they have to do with
13 coordination and not supervision. There's no document that places the
14 65th Regiment under the authority of the commander. There is no document
15 from the Main Staff or the Drina Corps towards the Bratunac Brigade, and
16 also it is quite contrary to the principles of doctrine. There are two
17 facts against it: There is no document to show it, number one; and number
18 two, it is contrary to doctrine. So this relates only to joint action.
19 He toured them, familiarised himself for what they were doing, and
20 he told the head of the Protection Regiment what they were doing, and
21 beyond that, he has no further authority over the 65th Regiment.
22 Q. Now, General, in Prosecutor's Exhibit 407/a which is "Rules of
23 Ground Forces," let me just quote you paragraph 63 since you've mentioned
25 "Command and control. General provisions. Command and control
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 are conscious and organised activities of the commander of the corps and
2 of the bodies of command aimed at engaging and unifying the actions and
3 activities of all units."
4 General, it's a fundamental principle, isn't it, in the JNA, in
5 the VRS, that units that are doing the same tasks are coordinated by the
6 one command. That is a fundamental principle, isn't it, General, as
7 referred to in your rules?
8 A. Yes, but that does not apply to this order here. You have an
9 order the very next day appointing Keserovic to coordinate activities.
10 The very next day you have another document which says that a provisional
11 command is being formed which will unified activities from the 17th to the
12 19th in this area.
13 Q. We'll get to that document in a moment. When this document states
14 that the Commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade was defining the
15 tasks and organising the joint actions of the MUP and the 65th Motorised
16 Protection Regiment, that means exactly what it says, doesn't it, that
17 those units were placed under his command for the purposes of this
19 A. No. No, sir. When a superior wants to place a unit under a
20 certain command, then he explicitly says so in a command document, saying,
21 "We're placing at your disposal the 65th Protection Regiment for the
22 execution of tasks along such-and-such axis in such-and-such an area until
23 such-and-such a date," and only then can the brigade commander have
24 control of that unit. In this way, his obligation was simply to organise
25 the joint action of his units toward them. He has no authority over the
1 65th Regiment. He was given no such authority.
2 Q. Are you stating to the Judges that in essence Colonel Blagojevic
3 is reporting back to the Drina Corps that he was defining tasks and
4 organising joint action knowing full well that he had absolutely no
5 authority over those units at all? Is that your evidence?
6 A. My evidence is exactly what is stated there, to organise --
7 Q. General --
8 A. -- joint action and to issue orders to his units, his own units.
9 Q. General, isn't this document stating that Colonel Blagojevic
10 believed that he had the capacity to define the tasks of the MUP and the
11 65th Protection Regiment? Isn't this what this document says?
12 A. No. He specifies the tasks of his own units and organises joint
13 action with other units which are not under his command, because if they
14 were under his command, then he would not be saying that he had organised
15 joint action with them but he would be in command of them.
16 Q. Now, General, Colonel Milanovic proposes, in Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 537, to General Krstic, he makes this proposal: "To authorise and
18 appoint the Commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as
19 commander of all forces which are participating in the searching of the
20 terrain and sweeping the battlefield."
21 Now, General, that is the order which General Krstic told this
22 Court that he approved of that proposal. So you would agree with me, on
23 the basis of that, General Krstic believed that he was appointing the
24 Commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as the commander of all
25 of these forces including the MUP and the 65th Motorised Protection
2 A. I cannot answer the question as to what Krstic had in mind when he
3 said that, but what I can tell you is that Krstic could not have
4 authorised the Command of the Bratunac Brigade to have command over the
5 65th Protection Regiment because he never received any authority to do
7 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I think perhaps now would be a good
8 time to finish for the day.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley. Mr. Cayley,
10 are you aware of the time that you still have left? Do you know that?
11 According to our calculations, we need to finish or, rather, you need to
12 finish tomorrow before the big break, that is, around noon, something like
14 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, you have my word that I will be
15 finished by then. I'm as desperate as anybody else to get finished, but I
16 need to get through my material. I have that obligation.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well then. We should like
18 to do everything we can to complete the testimony of General Radinovic
19 tomorrow, which means that we must be ready to work a little longer,
20 perhaps half an hour longer tomorrow. I don't see there is any
21 resistance, but I assure you that we're about to leave on holiday. I see
22 a smile at least. I don't know whether the smile was provoked by the
23 mention of "holiday" or by prolongation.
24 Anyway, but Madam Registrar, bear in mind that if necessary, we
25 must be ready to work half an hour longer.
1 So for today, General Radinovic, we will stop there and we will
2 resume tomorrow in the hope that we will complete your testimony.
3 So we meet again tomorrow at 9.20. Have a good afternoon,
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.03 p.m., to
6 be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of
7 December, 2000 at 9.20 a.m.