1 Thursday, 28 June 2001
2 [Defence Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.43 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth, the Registry staff,
7 members of the Office of the Prosecutor, members of the Defence team; good
8 morning, General Krstic.
9 We're a bit late for reasons you are well aware of, but we hope
10 that we will be able to make up for lost time. Therefore, pursuant to the
11 provisions of Article 86, I give the floor now to Mr. Petrusic for his
12 closing arguments.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, good
14 morning; good morning to my learned friends opposite, representatives of
15 the Registry. The Defence would like to bid good morning to the technical
16 booth, as well as the interpreters.
17 After 15 months of trial, the Defence will today and tomorrow
18 present its closing arguments, which will consist of two parts. The first
19 part will relate to factual matters, command responsibility as it is
20 regulated by Article 7.3 and 7.1 of our Statute. And in the second part,
21 my colleague Mr. Visnjic will address the legal qualifications of the
22 crime of genocide with which General Krstic is charged in the indictment.
23 At the outset, Mr. President, the Defence would like to begin from
24 the most disputed fact, in our opinion, and that is the date from when
25 General Krstic becomes Commander of the Drina Corps.
1 General Krstic was appointed Commander of the Drina Corps by the
2 decree of the President of Republika Srpska on the 14th of July, 1995. It
3 says in the decree that he's appointed to this duty as of the 15th of
4 July, 1995; OTP Exhibit 468.
5 The same decree appoints, as Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps,
6 the hitherto Commander of the Birac Brigade, Colonel Andric.
7 Both Krstic and Andric, at the time when they were appointed
8 pursuant to this decree, were at Zepa, that is, in a combat operation that
9 was being conducted in the Zepa area, safe area. And Krstic as the Chief
10 of Staff, and Andric as the Commander of the Birac Brigade, were
11 commanding some of the units taking part in that operation.
12 In order to be able to assume their new duties, they had to either
13 move from those locations or carry out a handover of duties, a pass-over
14 of duties at the headquarters where the positions they were being
15 appointed to are located.
16 It is clearly visible from the decree on the appointment of
17 General Krstic as Commander of the Drina Corps that the president of
18 Republika Srpska at the time, Dr. Karadzic, as the only authorised
19 official for the appointment of generals, issued a binding document which
20 explicitly instructed General Krstic to take over duty as of the 15th of
21 July, 1995. That date has to be taken, and it's the only way that it can
22 be understood as the date, the earliest date when Krstic could have taken
23 over duty or, rather, the earliest date when General Zivanovic could have
24 handed over the duty of corps commander to his successor. That is the
25 15th of July, 1995, and it is a date before which the substitution could
1 not have taken place.
2 The Defence relies for this submission on the decree of the
3 president of the republic, which refers to the rules of service of the
4 army of Republika Srpska, that is, Article 106 and Article 369; OTP
5 Exhibit 404, footnote 44.
6 That Article reads that according to the law of the army of
7 Republika Srpska, only the president of Republika Srpska, as the
8 Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, may promote, appoint, relocate,
9 replace, or send into retirement officers from the rank of major-general
11 It is quite clear that President Karadzic acted in accordance with
12 the law, and it is also clear that both Major-General Zivanovic and Krstic
13 have ranks that fit within this range.
14 The Defence has called evidence before this Trial Chamber to show
15 that the pass-over of duty is a process rather than a fact that takes
16 place in one moment. General Radinovic testified that according to
17 military doctrine, the process of handover and takeover of duty for a
18 corps commander can last up to 30 days, and under extremely complex
19 operative conditions, even longer. And one could certainly just say that
20 that was the case with Colonel Andric, as Professor Radinovic testified,
21 who took over his duty not before mid-August.
22 Further, according to the testimony of Professor Radinovic, the
23 former commander briefs the newly appointed commander regarding his
24 duties, obligations, area of responsibility, documents, and everything
25 else, and of course the members of the staff; in other words, everything
1 that a commander position entails.
2 If we take into consideration the fact that at the time of
3 appointment Krstic was the commander of the Operative Group for Zepa and
4 as such he was in command of the Zepa operation, then the fact has to be
5 acknowledged that it was indispensable for the pass-over of duty for the
6 necessary operational conditions to be in place.
7 However, it should be noted, for the sake of truth, that Krstic
8 was the Chief of Staff of the corps, a career officer with a relatively
9 long career behind him. But also for the sake of truth it should be noted
10 that Krstic, after taking over the duty of Chief of Staff in September
11 1994, went to another theatre of war outside the area of responsibility of
12 the Drina Corps and that he returned to the Drina Corps area in November
13 1994; and that after having spent a month in that area of responsibility
14 of the Drina Corps as Chief of Staff, he was wounded and he was absent
15 until mid-May 1995. Therefore, from mid-May, General Krstic was de facto
16 a member of the corps command as the Chief of Staff, and he was in that
17 position in the relevant period we are discussing.
18 Regardless of General Krstic's considerable experience as a staff
19 officer, as an officer in general, the time he spent in the corps was not
20 sufficient for him to familiarise himself with every minute detail, of the
21 area of responsibility, the staff members, the documents, the confidential
22 ones, the less confidential ones, the state secret documents, and
23 everything else that such a command function entails. All these are
24 reasons explaining that this pass-over of duty is not something that
25 occurs at one particular moment in time but an extended process.
1 The actual act of pass-over of duty is regulated in the Rules of
2 Service in the army of Republika Srpska, actually in the documents and
3 rules that were taken over from the rules of the former Yugoslavia, and
4 this anyway applies to all the other rules as well.
5 According to those provisions, as testified by General Radinovic,
6 the regiment, brigade, and division commanders take over and pass over
7 duty before a ceremonious line-up of the unit in the presence of the
8 Superior Commander. For higher levels of command, that is, the corps
9 level that General Krstic belonged to and levels above the corps, the
10 handover and takeover of duty takes place at a formal meeting which is
11 attended by the subordinate brigade commanders, the commanders of other
12 corps, and someone representing the Superior Command; in this particular
13 case, it would have to be the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
14 Upon the completion of such a pass-over ceremony, a report is
15 compiled which constitutes an official document. According to the
16 testimony of General Krstic, and also on the basis of other exhibits which
17 we will be referring to, that ceremony, that meeting was held on the 20th
18 of July, 1995. True enough, General Krstic says the 20th or the 21st of
19 July. Simply, one can attribute this uncertainty to the passage of time,
20 uncertainty regarding the precise date.
21 Professor Radinovic, in the Defence submission of the 28th of May
22 and Exhibit D181/4, as well as the oral testimony of Professor Radinovic,
23 in quoting Article 609 of the Rules of Service, he indicated how the legal
24 provisions regulated this matter.
25 This submission of the Defence is borne out by Exhibit 181/5. It
1 can be noted in this document that the signatory is Major General Milenko
2 Zivanovic. From the contents of the document, it is clear that he was the
3 hitherto commander of the Drina Corps. The document is dated the 17th of
4 July, 1995. This actually means that Major General Zivanovic was the
5 commander who was, in effect, in command of the Drina Corps at the moment
6 the document was compiled.
7 If we were to carry out an analysis of this document and compare
8 it with OTP Exhibit 467, dated the 14th of July, from which it is clear
9 that General Zivanovic was the hitherto commander of the Drina Corps, the
10 Defence submits that the only conclusion one can make is that if
11 General Zivanovic was the commander, as shown by the Prosecution document,
12 at the time this document was issued, and if that is the last moment until
13 when his command authority applied, then he could not have been the
14 hitherto commander on the 17th of July, 1995.
15 However, the document dated the 17th of July, D181/5, shows
16 clearly that he was the Drina Corps Commander on the 17th of July, 1995.
17 The Prosecutor, however, rejects even the 14th of July as the day when,
18 according to this document, General Zivanovic is described the hitherto
19 commander. Of course, the Defence has a different opinion. Furthermore,
20 this document, that is, 181/5, confirms that the pass-over of duty took
21 place on the 20th of July, 1995, because General Zivanovic himself states
22 in this document that his send-off will be organised on that day in the
23 Jela Motel at Han Kram.
24 Analysing the word Dosadasnj, that is, "hitherto," a term that has
25 been officially analysed by the head of the translation service in this
1 Tribunal, it is to be found on page 8356 of the LiveNote of the 11th of
2 December, 2000, the concept Dosadasnj is clearly defined and described,
3 that is, the English equivalent "hitherto."
4 In the submission of the Defence, there can be no doubt that on
5 the occasion of the pass-over of duty, a report or minutes were compiled.
6 And the Defence expected, at the beginning of this trial, in fact, we were
7 quite certain that we would be able to gain possession of that report in
8 the archives either of the Supreme Command of the Drina Corps or in the
9 archives of one of the subordinate units. One could not have assumed that
10 such a document could not be found and that wherever we looked for that
11 document, all the doors were closed, which provoked a great deal of
12 suspicion and doubt with the Defence.
13 The Prosecutor - and I do not wish to interfere in their method of
14 work, I would not like to be misunderstood - conducted an investigation
15 into Srebrenica and was in a far better position, either through SFOR or
16 thanks to the willingness of the Defence Ministry and the army of
17 Republika Srpska, to gain possession of such a document. However, allow
18 me to observe that suddenly General Zivanovic reemerged on the 23rd of
19 April, 2001, and the notification, his document, somehow emerged out of
20 the blue, and the Defence wonders how to explain the submission of that
21 document all of a sudden, which again is not the kind of document that can
22 be called a report on the pass-over of duty, a document over which there
23 could have been no dispute.
24 Naturally, may I make myself quite clear, the Defence has no
25 doubts at all with respect to the professional activities of the
1 Prosecution. Our doubts refer to the former Commander of the Drina Corps,
2 General Zivanovic.
3 The Prosecution fails to take into consideration two undisputable
4 facts with respect to the date when General Krstic took over his functions
5 as Commander of the Drina Corps. In the decree on the appointment, the
6 President of Republika Srpska, who is authorised to appoint and discharge
7 generals, it states that the 15th of July, the day when Krstic can take
8 over his duties as corps commander at the earliest moment, before that
9 date, nobody could have done this. Nobody had authority to do this.
10 It is the position of the Prosecution, as has been said, that it
11 was the 13th of July, 1995. If it is, therefore, the submission of the
12 Prosecution, which refers to the information issued to subordinate units
13 by Colonel Jovicic, and it is Exhibit 905, OTP Exhibit 905, the Defence
14 then raises a number of questions. And in providing the answers to those
15 questions, it disavows this act, rejects it as a valid document on the
16 basis of which the pass-over of duty is conducted.
17 From this document, it is a notorious fact that on that particular
18 day, there was no decree by the president of the republic. It was not in
19 existence at all. And then the question arises, how can an officer in
20 charge of personnel duties, who by nature of his job, should refer to the
21 normative acts and regulations, legal ones and bylaws, can refer and rely
22 on a decree which is non-existent as yet, a document which does not
24 Colonel Jovicic -- furthermore, this act as a piece of
25 information, sends to the subordinate units of the Drina Corps, although
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there is no need to inform them, because according to Rule 609 of the
2 rules of service, Article 609 of the rules of service of the armed forces,
3 subordinate commanders, that is to say the commanders of subordinate units
4 are duty-bound to attend the ceremony of pass-over of duty itself.
5 This act, this document should be sent to the Supreme Command, the
6 president of the republic, who must have knowledge of the fact of whether
7 his decree is being implemented or not, because the decree is an
8 imperative, normative requirement, a binding one in the legal system of
9 the then-SFRY, and by the same token, Republika Srpska.
10 Therefore, the President of the Republic, as the Supreme
11 Commander, is the first person who most needs to be informed about the
12 appointment on the basis of the decree. This cannot be seen in this
13 informative document, and that is impossible. It would be impossible
14 because the decree to which Jovicic refers, Colonel Jovicic refers, was
15 never compiled. It does not exist.
16 Furthermore, had the handover and takeover of duty taken place on
17 the 13th of July, as is said in this informative document, pursuant to it,
18 we would have the following situation: Colonel Svetozar Andric, who was
19 appointed as Chief of Staff, simultaneously would be the Commander of the
20 Birac Brigade, and that quite simply is not possible. It would be a
21 duality of functions, and dual function is something which is
22 inconceivable. Only the chief of staff of a corps can perform the
23 simultaneous function of deputy corps commander, but we will speak at
24 greater length later on, when he came over to take his duty as deputy and
25 commander. Therefore, this would quite obviously have been duality in the
1 functioning of the command system of the Drina Corps.
2 Document 181/5. It is the submission of the Prosecution that on
3 the 13th of July, the pass-over of duty took place, when the decree, as a
4 legal basis, was non-existent. This submission and thesis, amongst
5 others, they're justified by the wartime circumstances that prevailed. We
6 feel that this thesis is untenable. In practice, of course, it is
7 possible under wartime conditions that some less important regulations and
8 rules of service are not always respected because of the prevailing
9 situation and circumstances, and this has been borne out many times by
10 witnesses here, and Defence Witness DB told us that too.
11 However, in the case in point, we are not dealing with an
12 unimportant rule. We are not talking about the pass-over of duty of a
13 company commander, for instance, which might have, say, 150 men in it; we
14 are not talking about the pass-over of duty of a platoon commander
15 either. What we are dealing with is the handover and takeover of duty of
16 a corps, which can number up to as many as 20.000 soldiers, so this is the
17 largest formation in the army.
18 Apart from that, not only are we talking about adherence to norms,
19 but under given circumstances, there was no need for the pass-over to take
20 place in the way as has been put forward in the submission of the
21 Prosecution. In case there are extraordinary circumstances, like an
22 offensive or other active-combat operations, the corps commander, for
23 objective reasons, and these can be sudden disease or death, serious
24 wounding, disappearance, if he is prevented from fulfilling his duties
25 because of any of these situations, the chief of staff, who is at the same
1 time the deputy commander, when the commander is unable to be present,
2 takes over those duties and responsibilities. Therefore, it was
3 absolutely unnecessary to violate any rules and regulations and to appoint
4 an ad hoc corps commander.
5 In our concrete case, all the more so, as none of the stipulated
6 circumstances were fulfilled. There was no sickness, the hitherto
7 commander was not prevented from attending. Quite the contrary. General
8 Zivanovic was present all the time. He was in the area of
9 responsibility. He took part in the operation itself from the 9th of July
10 and onwards, quite certainly up until the 20th of July, because he
11 himself, in document 181/5, says that on the 20th of July, he will
12 organise a send-off and be present. According to the Rules of Service,
13 this is a ceremony at which the actual handover and takeover of duty is
15 Furthermore, in interpreting this document and linking it up with
16 the Prosecution's submission that the handover took place on the 13th of
17 July, one would arrive at the conclusion that in fact two ceremonies of
18 pass-over had taken place; one, in the submission of my learned colleague
19 of the Prosecution, Mr. Harmon, on the 13th of July, when allegedly Mladic
20 performed this act at the command headquarters of the corps in Vlasenica;
21 and another one, when Zivanovic himself informed his subordinates on the
22 17th of July that a ceremony would be held on the 20th of July.
23 If that was, indeed, on the 13th of July, why then would this
24 pass-over ceremony be repeated and staged again on the 20th of July? Is
25 it, as seems to be the prevalent submission, a banquet of some kind or
1 that kind of ceremony? Zivanovic, for all intents and purposes, would not
2 have used all his prerogatives as Corps Commander and, in that capacity,
3 informed subordinate units of the fact.
4 Would anybody, on the 17th of July -- would it enter into
5 anybody's head on the 17th of July - while in the zone of responsibility
6 of the Zvornik Brigade there was a whole collapse in the system, and
7 judging by the reports coming in, the threat of Zvornik falling was
8 imminent, that was taking place on the one hand; and on the other, a part
9 of the forces were engaged in military operations towards Zepa - so would
10 it have entered anybody's mind, given the prevailing circumstances, to
11 choose that particular time frame to organise a luncheon, a banquet? Or
12 if it had an entertainment character. Some of the testimonies that said
13 that this was sort of an entertainment. We heard submissions put forward
14 and suggested in that way.
15 However, the Defence submits that that was not the kind of
16 ceremony it was, that it was the official handover and takeover ceremony
17 at which the most serious question related to the corps was being
18 resolved, that is to say, the actual commanding of the corps. And those
19 whose duty it was to implement the decree of the President of the Republic
20 were duty-bound to execute it and decided that that would take place on
21 the 20th of July, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. I say
22 "regardless of the circumstances" because it is with this document on the
23 pass-over of duty that the situation of command is regulated in the corps
24 de facto and de jure.
25 The other pertinent fact which throws quite different light on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 pass-over of duty of the commander of the Drina Corps is the sojourn of
2 General Krstic at Zepa in his role as Commander of the armed forces
3 engaged in the operation which was code named Stupcanica 95 at the time.
4 We must bear in mind the following in this regard: Krstic was in Zepa and
5 not in Vlasenica at the corps command headquarters there.
6 Apart from that, at a meeting held in the Bratunac Brigade, on the
7 11th of July, in the evening, General Mladic orders General Krstic that
8 the same forces that took part in the Srebrenica operation should be
9 prepared to take part in the Zepa operation. If Krstic was to have been
10 appointed the commander on the 13th of July, why then would Mladic send
11 him to Zepa, and why then would Krstic remain at Zepa? It would be
12 logical to expect that he would leave him at Vlasenica, at the command
13 post, and designate another commanding officer to be commander of the
14 forces at Zepa. However, General Krstic was designated to be the one to
15 lead the forces towards Zepa.
16 Furthermore, Krstic does not appear in the area of responsibility
17 of the Zvornik Brigade, which was in a highly serious situation, nor does
18 he issue orders of any kind with respect to measures to deal with the
19 situation in that zone of the brigade which, had he been the corps
20 commander, this would have been a priority task of his.
21 This thesis and submission put forward by the Defence is borne out
22 by the combat report of the Zvornik Brigade, and it is OTP Exhibit 609,
23 dated the 15th of July, 1995, signed by Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, the
24 Brigade Commander.
25 Vinko Pandurevic, on that particular morning, the morning of the
1 15th of July, returned from Zepa, and had Krstic been corps commander on
2 the 15th of July, quite certainly this report would have been sent to
3 Krstic at the forward command post, because Pandurevic knew that Krstic
4 was at the Krivace forward command post at Zepa. But similarly,
5 Pandurevic also knew that Krstic was commanding only the forces engaged at
6 Zepa and, therefore, he sent his report to the command of the Drina Corps
7 in Vlasenica.
8 The report dated the 18th of July, OTP Exhibit 675, also of the
9 Zvornik Brigade, is sent by Colonel Pandurevic to Vlasenica. Why to
10 Vlasenica if indeed Krstic was the corps commander? Why not to the
11 forward command post? Of course Colonel Pandurevic knew full well the
12 status of General Krstic, and, therefore, did not inform him of the state
13 of affairs in the area of responsibility but informed the command in
15 A similar report, OTP 614, also from the Zvornik Brigade, is sent
16 to the command post of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica.
17 The Prosecutor, furthermore, amongst all the documents and
18 particularly on the basis of document OTP 536 and 537, as well as OTP 483,
19 claims that Krstic was the Corps commander in the days when these reports
20 are being sent out.
21 In document OTP 483, which is an order to attack the Zepa
22 enclave - it is dated the 13th of July - the units are enumerated which
23 are to take part in those combat operations. Krstic himself was at a
24 meeting on the 11th of July at the Bratunac Brigade in the evening at
25 which Mladic designated him Commander of the operation, and he had to plan
1 and implement it.
2 In an order issued, and the document is OTP 463, General Krstic
3 issues orders to those units who have been designated to take part in the
4 Zepa operation. The order is that they search the terrain. And this
5 could be a normal operation after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave and
6 possible surprises which the 28th Division might have in store for the
7 troops when the 28th Division was engaged in its withdrawal.
8 Therefore, it is by this order that the commander of the Bratunac
9 Brigade, which had become within the composition of the units to take part
10 in the operation for Zepa, that is to say, the order of the 15th of July,
11 that combat report, in that combat report Colonel Blagojevic, and this is
12 OTP Exhibit 536, informs General Krstic at the forward command post,
13 because he issued the order to search the terrain. However,
14 Colonel Blagojevic also informed the command of the Drina Corps at the
15 same time.
16 Had General Krstic, on the 15th of July, been the Commander of the
17 Drina Corps, Blagojevic would not have sent that piece of information,
18 that report, both to the command headquarters in Vlasenica and to the
19 forward command post at Zepa.
20 Similarly, this is what happened with respect to document OTP 537
21 of the 15th of July, where Colonel Milanovic this time sends a report both
22 to the forward command post and to the command headquarters in Vlasenica.
23 The Defence, throughout this trial, challenged the relevance of
24 the intercepts, intercepted conversations, because it deemed that they did
25 not have the probative value on the basis of which one would be able, with
1 any certainty, to make any decision, regardless of what that decision
2 would be, to the advantage or to the detriment of the accused and without
3 wishing to elaborate the reasons, we have provided, set them out in our
4 motion to the Trial Chamber in writing.
5 However, in addition to this fact, the Defence would like to
6 submit, regardless of the general attitude and stand with respect to the
7 intercepted conversations, to go into an analysis of OTP Exhibit 556.
8 Assuming that this intercept is an accurate one, and it is taken
9 from the communication Major Jokic had with General Zivanovic, one could
10 conclude that General Zivanovic, on the 14th of July, was at the command
11 post in Vlasenica.
12 On line 3, after addressing Jokic and saying, "Go ahead,"
13 Zivanovic says, "Take this as an order. Take this to be an order," and
14 that he should convey to Obrenovic, to tell Obrenovic what Obrenovic was
15 supposed to do.
16 It is quite obvious, in the submission of the Defence, on the 14th
17 of July, at 2038 hours, when this conversation was allegedly intercepted,
18 General Zivanovic issued an order.
19 In another intercept, intercept OTP 555, the person who
20 intercepted the conversation states in the heading that the conversation
21 took place at 0910 hours, between the Commander of the Drina Corps,
22 Milenko Zivanovic, and Major Jokic. However, the person doing the
23 interception need not have known when the commanders were changed. What
24 is important, however, is that Zivanovic, on the 14th of July, was at the
25 command post at Vlasenica, that he was there, and that he was giving Jokic
1 a set of instructions as to what he should do.
2 Among others, because of the situation we can only assume was
3 taking place in the Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility, Zivanovic says
4 that all they would have to do is inform Mane, the centre of public
6 The next conversation, OTP 364/1, was conducted at 20 hours, 56
7 minutes, between major -- between a major and General Zivanovic.
8 The major says: "How can I find out where General Zivanovic is?
9 Because I've been waiting here for him on his orders since 1700
10 hours." "He's here." And several lines further down, Zivanovic says to
11 the major that they should read his conclusions, and the major says, "Yes,
12 sir. Yes, I understand completely. And then we'll focus on things down
14 It is clear, in the position of the Defence, from that
15 conversation, at least as stated by a certain major as a correspondent in
16 this conversation, a major subordinated to General Zivanovic, it is clear
17 that General Zivanovic is issuing the orders, for if General Zivanovic at
18 that time did not have any command authority, the major would not be
19 waiting for him upon his orders, but he would be waiting for him as
20 agreed. If Zivanovic has no command authority, why would he be telling
21 the major to read his conclusions and why would the major, fully in line
22 with a relationship between superior and subordinate, give the answer,
23 "Yes, sir," or, "I understand"?
24 In the opinion of the Defence, these intercepts also indicate that
25 General Zivanovic was in command and was issuing orders to subordinate
1 units. In the submission of the Defence, these intercepted conversations
2 also negate the submission of the Prosecution that Zivanovic handed over
3 command of the corps on the 13th of July.
4 Also, the submission of the Prosecution that General Zivanovic
5 handed over duty in the afternoon of the 13th of July cannot stand, in the
6 submission of the Defence. Document OTP 462 leads to the following
7 conclusion: Had the changeover taken place on the 13th of July, in the
8 afternoon, in Vlasenica, and had General Krstic at that time, that is, in
9 the afternoon and evening, been present in Vlasenica, why would have
10 General Zivanovic sent this order to the forward command post, when he was
11 personally with Krstic in Vlasenica?
12 It should be noted that this order was issued pursuant to an order
13 of the Supreme Command of the same date, that is, the 13th of July. The
14 Prosecution is using this order as evidence to challenge the testimony of
15 General Krstic, according to which he was not aware of the existence of
16 prisoners of war. In paragraph 3 of this order, it is stated that the
17 armed -- I mean the captured and disarmed troops should be accommodated
18 appropriately and the appropriate command reported to immediately.
19 This submission or this paragraph cannot be proof that Krstic knew
20 of the existence of prisoners of war. From the quoted paragraph, it is
21 clear that reference is made to instructions as to how to act in potential
22 situations which existed at the time this order was issued. And it can
23 also be seen that at that time, and according to this order, there were no
24 prisoners of war.
25 Zivanovic is not informing Krstic by this order that there are
1 prisoners of war which need to be put in suitable buildings, but only how
2 they should act should there be any prisoners of war. Therefore, the
3 testimony of General Krstic that he was not aware of the existence of
4 prisoners of war at that time was quite truthful, and this order does not
5 prove the opposite as submitted by the Prosecution.
6 On the 11th of July, 1995, General Krstic received orders from the
7 commander of the Main Staff, Ratko Mladic, to plan the Zepa operation.
8 There is no written evidence of this, though we will come back to that a
9 little later, but in his testimony, General Krstic and Witness DB shows
10 clear that that order was issued to the Bratunac Brigade. The Defence has
11 proven that, in the period from the 13th of July to the 2nd of August,
12 General Krstic was at Zepa, and that he was in control and command of the
13 forces carrying out that operation. Similarly, it can be accepted without
14 dispute that to plan this operation, the necessary documents had to be
15 compiled, the forward command post dislocated from Pribecevac to Zepa,
16 military units had to be gathered, prepared, and reinforced for that
17 operation, and for all this General Krstic and his staff needed a certain
18 amount of time.
19 This means that as early as the 12th of July, in the early
20 morning, and from then on, General Krstic was directly involved with the
21 Zepa operation, and as has been stated, he had to be engaged on the
22 preparations of the operation and, as of the 14th of July, its actual
24 In the submission of the Defence, bearing in mind the fact that
25 Krstic was in command of a part of the forces at Zepa, until the 20th of
1 July, the command duties in the whole area of responsibility was held by
2 General Zivanovic.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, excuse me for
4 interrupting you, I was going to suggest a break. But before that break,
5 since we are at the very heart of the matter, I have a question for you.
6 We know that for the Krivaja 95 operation, there was an order of the Main
7 Staff, that is, General Mladic; after that there was an order from the
8 Drina Corps Commander General Zivanovic addressed to several units. Here
9 there's no order. Do I understand that correctly? There are only oral
10 orders, no written ones.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. At the meeting
12 on the 11th of July which was held at the Bratunac Brigade in the evening,
13 about 21 or 22 hours, an oral order was issued by General Mladic, the
14 Commander of the Main Staff, that Krstic, with a part of the forces,
15 should be dispatched to Zepa; and on the 13th of July, General Krstic
16 prepared the order for combat operations on Zepa.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But according to the
18 rules, should there be a written order, or was it sufficient to have an
19 oral order?
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] According to the rules of control
21 and command, it is up to the commander to decide whether he will issue a
22 written and an oral order. The commander has the authority to issue both
23 a written and an oral order, at least that is what the Defence expert
24 witness, General Radinovic, told us in his testimony. It seems to me that
25 this way of issuing an order was not in any way challenged or contested in
1 the course of these proceedings.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But would it have been more
3 normal to issue a written order?
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I cannot judge what would be
5 normal. But practice shows that in the military system of the former JNA,
6 oral orders were also accepted.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. Thank you very much,
8 Mr. Petrusic. I suggest we now have a break. Would it be a good time for
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We're going to
12 have a half-hour break.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Petrusic, you may
16 continue your oral arguments. You have the floor.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 In this part of its oral arguments, the Defence will focus on the
19 norms and regulations governing the system of command in the army of
20 Republika Srpska and the Drina Corps.
21 The headquarters and staff of the Drina Corps consisted of
22 departments and organs. The departments were departments for operative
23 work and training, for intelligence, for personnel affairs, and the
24 branches, the armoured and mechanised units, the units of so-called ABHO
25 protection, that is, chemical and -- chemical warfare, engineers,
1 artillery and rocket units, communication units, air defence units, and
2 electronic reconnaissance units.
3 In these departments -- these departments were headed by the
4 chiefs of staff, who were at the same time the deputy corps commander, who
5 was at the same time the deputy corps commander.
6 In addition to the chief of staff in the Drina Corps command there
7 were three assistant commanders, the assistant for morale, legal, and
8 religious affairs; the assistant for security; and the assistant for
9 logistics. These assistants had under their command, organs and bodies to
10 carry out their main activities within their departments. Thus, for
11 instance, the assistant commander for security had his officers or
12 assistants and units of the military police. The assistant for logistics
13 again had bodies and officers for each logistics service who develop their
14 rear posts to provide logistic support such as quartermasters, technical,
15 medical, veterinary, and other services.
16 As the chief of staff is accountable to the corps commander,
17 similarly, the assistant corps commanders from these three departments are
18 also accountable to the corps commander.
19 The role and responsibility of the assistant commander for
20 security is a specific one with regard to the chief of staff and the other
21 two assistant commanders, and this role is regulated by the rules, an
22 excerpt of which is to be found in Exhibit D158.
23 What makes the role of the assistant commander for security
24 specific is a certain dual control and command function and the competence
25 of this assistant within the system of command of the corps. The specific
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 role of the assistant commander for security, in relation to other
2 assistants, is regulated in the rules of the Security Service. These
3 rules, of course, have also been taken over from the army of the former
5 In addition to being accountable like the other assistants to the
6 corps commander, the assistant for security has also his so-called
7 functional command chain, a chain of command, according to which he is
8 obliged to fit the Security Service of the corps within the Security
9 Service of the Superior Command. At the same time, he's obliged to link
10 the security service in subordinate units into a unified security service
11 of his corps.
12 Each assistant commander for security has a dual responsibility.
13 He is accountable to his own commander and to the assistant for security
14 of the Superior Command. This duality almost regularly resulted in the
15 independent activity of the security department so that in fact there were
16 two chains of command, operational command, which was headed by commanders
17 of corps down the level to the lowest units, and a security system of
18 command headed by the assistant for security in the highest level command,
19 that is, in the Supreme Command. And this was a constant source of
20 problems, and in the opinion of troop officers such as corps and brigade
21 commanders, there were frequent irregularities. And there was an instance
22 when the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic,
23 requested, as early as 1994, that the security organ in his brigade should
24 be subordinated to him in every respect and not to the security organ in a
25 higher level command. And this is also something that General Krstic
1 testified about.
2 There is no doubt that these problems existed in those days as
3 well, because the Rules of Service of the security organs allowed it, and
4 as will be borne out by all the events that occurred around Srebrenica in
5 the period between the 13th and 17th of July, which shows that that is
6 precisely how the security system functioned.
7 It was almost the rule for the security system to function as a
8 separate and independent chain of command and decision-making. For most
9 of the activities within the framework of the security department, which
10 are of a general nature and which are not directly linked to combat
11 security of the corps, the operational control and command system was not
13 As I have already indicated, a certain degree of independence on
14 the part of the assistant commander for security was contributed to by the
15 Rules of Service; or to put it differently, the Rules of Service provided
16 a basis for such conduct. In the event of confidential operations, the
17 assistant for security had no obligation to inform the commander about
18 them, but he was obliged to inform the assistant for security of the
19 Superior Command, who was the person who could give him orders along those
21 The Defence has the impression that the Prosecution has not fully
22 appreciated in the proceedings against General Krstic this specific nature
23 of the security chain of command within the Drina Corps. That is why the
24 Defence and General Radinovic, as an expert witness, have sought to fully
25 explain this duality of control and command and these parallel chains that
1 resulted from this.
2 When we come to the crimes described in the indictment and which
3 occurred in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps in July 1995,
4 this duality of command certainly had a decisive impact on the nature of
5 command competencies and command responsibilities of the senior officers
6 of the Drina Corps, including General Krstic.
7 It seems to me that General Radinovic, during his testimony,
8 argued fully that a necessary logical consequence of this security chain
9 of command was a situation in which the security system at all levels of
10 command took decisions regarding prisoners of war and what should be done
11 to them without informing the unit commanders about this, the commanders
12 within whose areas of responsibilities these crimes were committed.
13 The Defence will seek to prove, on the basis of certain
14 indicators, that this security system even used paramilitary units which
15 appeared ad hoc within the territory of the army of Republika Srpska and
16 which were not part of the system and were not under the command, allow me
17 to say, the commanders of the units belonging to the regular system of
18 control and command.
19 The chief of staff is, according to establishment and by his
20 functions, responsible for the functioning of the corps staff. As the
21 person who is, according to establishment, responsible for operational
22 planning, the chief of staff has the authority to require from other
23 assistant commanders information which will make it possible for him to
24 plan combat operations in accordance with the concept of the commander.
25 However, that does not necessarily mean a priori that the assistant
1 commanders were, in any sense, subordinated to him. Only the staff
2 officers are subordinated to the chief of staff, and they are the officer
3 for operations and training, for communications, ABHO protection, air
4 defence, which I have already listed at the beginning of this section.
5 When analysing the command responsibility of General Krstic with a
6 view to making him responsible for the acts which occurred in the area of
7 responsibility of subordinated units and commands, the expert witnesses of
8 the Prosecution and, above all, Mr. Butler, with all due respect for their
9 professionalism and rank - I'm referring to Mr. Butler and his expert
10 report - they raise General Krstic to a level which he, in fact, did not
11 have and which, according to the rules of command in the army of Republika
12 Srpska, he did not have.
13 According to their understanding, the chief of staff is said to be
14 superior to the whole Corps Command except for the commander, including
15 the assistant commanders. Both Mr. Butler and General Dannatt, when
16 making an organigramme of the corps staff, equates the staff with the
17 command. So in so doing, they also place the chief of staff above the
18 level of assistant commander.
19 Through our expert witness General Radinovic, the Defence has
20 sought to prove that there is a substantive difference between the
21 understanding of the staff in the doctrines of West European armies, which
22 General Dannatt relied upon when interpreting the structure of the staff
23 and the position of the chief of staff, from the doctrine of control and
24 command which was in force in the army of Republika Srpska.
25 According to the latter doctrine, there is no direct command
1 responsibility of the chief of staff over the assistant commander, but,
2 rather, the chain of command going from the commander of the Drina Corps
3 towards his assistants is the same and is based on the same model as
4 towards the chief of staff. So it is an identical level of command
5 responsibility from the commander towards all three assistant commanders
6 and the chief of staff and vice versa. All three assistant commanders and
7 the chief of staff have an identical level of accountability and
8 responsibility towards the commander in the command.
9 The chief of staff does not have a privileged position in any
10 sense within the framework of the Corps Command as claimed by
11 General Dannatt and Mr. Butler, and it would seem to me that their
12 interpretation helped the Prosecution to construe the responsibility of
13 General Krstic as chief of staff.
14 Apart from being in charge of planning of combat operations and of
15 his duty to communicate with other command bodies for that purpose, the
16 chief of staff has no other command authority towards command organs
17 outside the staff and its structures, nor towards subordinated units and
18 commands. That kind of authority rests exclusively with the corps
19 commander. That is his exclusive right, and it is, in the final analysis,
20 that which distinguishes him from all the other members of the Corps
21 Command or any other command regardless of the level.
22 The Defence has the impression that the role of deputy commander
23 also has not been sufficiently precisely defined within the whole
24 structure of the system of command. It is true that General Krstic is the
25 Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps, but the function of deputy commander
1 was not the result of a position in the establishment, because no such
2 position in the establishment exists, but the function of deputy stems
3 from the function of chief of staff in the establishment. Therefore, the
4 legislator has not provided for a special post of deputy commander in the
5 establishment, probably believing that it was not necessary, for if it
6 were a special post envisaged by establishment, the legislator would have
7 regulated the competencies of that post in the rules as was done for all
8 the other organs in the command and staff.
9 The rules regarding competencies provide for the competencies of
10 the corps commander. All those competencies apply also to his deputy, but
11 only when he is de facto performing the role of Commander-in-Chief. This
12 means that the chief of staff assumes the competencies of the commander
13 only when the commander is unable to perform his duties when his deputy
14 has to take them over.
15 When it becomes quite clear that the commander is unable to
16 perform his command duties or when he's authorised to perform that role by
17 a document, only then does the deputy commander take over the control and
18 command functions of the commander. In practice, this means that the only
19 privilege of the chief of staff is that he automatically takes over
20 command competencies and command responsibilities when the commander is
21 unable to perform them. This also means that the legislator sought to
22 make it clear from the beginning who has the right to command and control
23 instead of the commander when he's unable to do so.
24 The very fact that somebody holds the position of chief of staff
25 does not give him any exclusive right of command if the commander is
1 available and if he is capable of commanding. Only as, what I have said,
2 he is unable to perform his duties does the chief of staff take over in
3 the role of commander.
4 The Defence submits that General Radislav Krstic took over duty on
5 the 20th of July, 1995, and he is seeking to prove that throughout the
6 period when he was chief of staff while the current commander was
7 General Zivanovic, General Zivanovic was available for commanding, he was
8 capable of commanding of the units of the Drina Corps.
9 In brief, Mr. President, the Defence would now like to focus on
10 the demilitarised zone or, rather, the demilitarisation of the safe area
11 of Srebrenica.
12 The Defence considers that one cannot speak about, nor raise to
13 the level of proof proper, the decision of the assembly of the Serbian
14 people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was signed by Mr. Krajisnik and which
15 was referred to in the closing argument by Mr. Harmon, that it was the
16 strategic -- that Podrinje was the strategic interest of the VRS, or,
17 rather, the abolishment of the border between Serbia and Republika
19 In this trial, during these proceedings, we did not present
20 evidence of this kind before the Trial Chamber. However, as the
21 Prosecution has referred to the matter, the Defence will present certain
22 facts to refute that thesis.
23 Perhaps Podrinje was the strategic interest of the Serbs, but it
24 is quite obvious that Podrinje was also the strategic interest of the
25 Muslims as well. Had that not been so, why, then, would the Serbs, in the
1 autumn and winter of 1992 and 1993, in these regions, have experienced the
2 greatest pogroms? Why would they have left Srebrenica if there was no
3 strategic interest of the Muslims vis-a-vis that area?
4 But whatever it was, the fact remains that from the beginning of
5 the war in the region, that there were combat activities between the two
6 warring parties. The UN Security Council, with its Resolution 189,
7 proclaimed a safe area here as of the 16th of April, 1993, and those safe
8 areas were Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde.
9 With the Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, dated the
10 12th of August, 1994, Chapter 5, Places and Zones Under Special
11 Protection, Article 60, precisely devised the fact that the areas placed
12 under special protection regime must be demilitarised.
13 The demilitarisation, according to Article 60, envisages the
14 following: that for acts of hostility, no immobile military installations
15 and institutions be used; that from those areas, all soldiers be evacuated
16 as well as mobile weapons and others; that the authorities and the
17 inhabitants must not undertake any hostile acts towards the other warring
18 side or towards anybody in the enclave; that all activities must cease
19 with respect to the military effort. It is also provided for that one
20 party in the conflict will be alleviated of its responsibilities with
21 respect to respecting the status of the safe area if the other
22 side infringes upon the four points of the agreement and engages in
23 material infringement.
24 The decision of the UN Security Council meant an agreement between
25 the Serbian side and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the agreement
1 which was subsequently signed was signed by General Mladic, on behalf of
2 the Supreme Command of the army of Republika Srpska, and General Sefer
3 Halilovic, in the name of the BH army.
4 The first agreement was signed in April 1993, the second agreement
5 was signed on the 8th of May, 1993, and the two contractual parties agreed
6 that any military or paramilitary units must withdraw from the
7 demilitarised zone and must surrender its weapons, munition mines,
8 explosives, and all other lethal weapons.
9 The second point of that agreement stipulated as follows: "No
10 fighter will be allowed to have in his possession weapons, munition,
11 explosives, if he wishes to enter the demilitarised zone or finds himself
12 in it. The only exceptions are the representatives of UNPROFOR." It was
13 also provided that soldiers would not be allowed to enter the
14 demilitarised zone or to spend any time in it.
15 The Serb side behaved in conformity with the agreement. The same
16 day that the agreement was signed, the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff of
17 the VRS, General Manojlo Milovanovic, sent to the command of the Drina
18 Corps an order, issued an order, which was wholly binding that everything
19 should evolve in conformity with the agreement, without any violation of
20 the stipulations of the agreement.
21 In presenting its evidence during the trial, the Defence showed a
22 number of documents that were adopted into evidence by this Trial Chamber,
23 and the documents range from D28 to D71, from which it is clearly
24 visible -- from which the following can be clearly deduced: that within
25 the safe area, there was a military establishment, an armed one, which
1 numbered, depending on the source, from between seven to ten members [as
2 interpreted]. First of all, they were the 8th Operative Group and later
3 on they became the 28th Division.
4 THE INTERPRETER: 7.000 to 10.000 members, I apologise.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] That the members of the 8th
6 Operative Group or, rather, the 28th Division were systematically armed by
7 their superior commands, the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 to which we have heard testimony by Generals Hadzihasanovic and
10 Furthermore, the Muslim forces from the enclave around Srebrenica
11 and Zepa stepped outside the enclave and went in depth into the territory
12 under the control of the VRS and the Drina Corps, where they carried out
13 sabotage and diversionary action and where they affected the same
14 operations towards the civilian population as they did towards the members
15 of the army.
16 Furthermore, another characteristic of all this evidence and
17 material is that the members of UNPROFOR did not prevent them in doing so,
18 or we do not have certain proof about that. We do not have anything to
19 show that they disarmed them either, which was one of their tasks and
21 Following orders that the command of the 8th Operative Group or
22 28th Division received from their commander in Tuzla, it was clear that it
23 was their intention to inflict on the enemy a loss of manpower and to
24 conjoin in the north and northwest, towards the units of the 2nd Corps of
25 the BH army. And in June of 1995, this became an all-out offensive. So
1 that on the one hand, the offensive was launched from the axis of
2 Sarajevo, with the aim of deblocking Sarajevo and linking it up to
3 Srebrenica and Zepa, and to draw away the forces of the Drina Corps units
4 from the area; and on the other hand, from the axis and direction of the
5 2nd Corps, an attack on the Birac Brigade, once again with the intention
6 of linking up with the enclaves or, rather, the enclaves with the
7 territory that was under the command of the 2nd Corps.
8 It has already been stated that Defence Exhibits D28 through to
9 D71, including D90, D91, and D92, indicated the clear cut intention of the
10 Muslim armed establishment and their synchronised action in order to link
11 up the units of the 2nd Corps with the units of the 28th Division.
12 On the other hand, the army of Republika Srpska and the Drina
13 Corps, at this period of time and particularly in June 1995, was on the
14 defensive, and the testimony of Mr. Butler testifies to this.
15 The Muslims forces from the demilitarised zone reached the
16 culmination of their operations towards the Drina Corps and in the depth
17 of the Drina Corps, and this culmination was attained in June 1995. It
18 came to a head.
19 As an example, on the 26th of June, and this was -- evidence of
20 this was provided, the Muslim units sent nine sabotage diversionary
21 terrorist groups to behind the positions of the Drina Corps and set fire
22 to the village of Visnjica. And in the combat report dated the 28th of
23 June, the 285th Eastern Bosnian Light Brigade sent to the command of the
24 28th Division and the command of the 2nd Corps -- it states that these
25 brigades in the rear of the Drina Corps had infiltrated nine terrorist
1 groups who had killed 40 Chetniks. The term "Chetnik" was the term that
2 Muslims referred to the Serb soldiers and civilians by.
3 I don't need to state that this behaviour on the part of the
4 Muslim army was in complete opposition to the agreement on
5 demilitarisation and gave the army of Republika Srpska the legitimate
6 right, in view of the fact that UNPROFOR failed to act, to prevent any
7 further losses to its army and attacks on its civilian population outside
8 the enclave.
9 Now, briefly I should like to talk about the Krivaja 95
10 operation. This operation was effected by the auxiliary forces of the
11 Drina Corps; Prosecution Exhibit OTP 427 and 428. And this was done
12 between the 6th of July up until the 11th of July, 1995. We arrive at
13 these facts when we compare documents OTP 427, the preparatory order, and
14 428, the order for active military engagement. Both documents are dated
15 the 2nd of July.
16 The first time that the officers from the command of the Drina
17 Corps appeared on the scene was noted and recorded at around the 30th of
18 June, and Mr. Butler testified about that, and it was in the area of
19 Bratunac. A group of officers spent some time there, among them
20 General Radislav Krstic. Regardless of whether this piece of information
21 is correct or not, we can consider with certainty that that particular
22 date, the 30th of June, was for a time when the process of planning for
23 Krivaja 95 began. Until the order for the operation was issued, two days
24 went by. With the issuance of the order, the planning process was
25 completed at that level of command. The time that was left -- the time
1 that remained for the implementation of the order for the corps commander
2 was the 6th of July, and it is precisely that time where the subordinate
3 commanders are given time to plan everything, to bring in the units, group
4 the units, conduct additional reconnaissance, corrections of plans and
5 decisions and things of that kind.
6 So we can say that at the level of the corps, the planning of this
7 operation could have lasted two days at the most. If we start out from
8 the fact that according to military doctrine which was in force with the
9 VRS, the process of planning combat action at the level of the corps is
10 stipulated between five to seven days, we must conclude that Krivaja 95
11 was an operation which was planned speedily and as such was not planned in
12 all its details as is otherwise provided for by the provisions of military
14 This impression that the operation was not sufficiently well
15 thought out and the lack of time for its comprehensive planning, we're
16 able to say that on the basis of the fact that the plan for this operation
17 did not contain the series of operational acts and documents which would
18 otherwise be necessary and must accompany an operation of this kind.
19 When I talk about these documents, they are plans providing for
20 all types of security, for the engineers, for intelligence, for security,
21 plan of action for the artillery, for anti-aircraft defence, orders for
22 each operational and supporting activity for which separate -- a separate
23 plan is compiled and adopted.
24 None of these plans and orders were discovered except for the
25 preparatory order for active combat operations and the order for
1 anti-aircraft defence, as well as a signals and communications plan. It
2 is our assumption that other plans, combat documents, and so on and so
3 forth were not compiled at all, because the corps command started out
4 from -- the corps command decided that the operation should be conducted
5 as soon as possible, that it was limited in scope and target and that for
6 its implementation, these kinds of documents were not absolutely
7 necessary, the kind that were otherwise provided for by military
9 If we compare the preparation time and the time for the planning
10 of this operation at the level of the corps and the time that the corps
11 command allowed for planning at lower levels, we see that the operation
12 was planned at all levels in totality for four days. The substantive
13 basic document on the basis of which Krivaja 95 operation was implemented
14 was the order on active combat.
15 The title of the document itself gives the same impression that I
16 described a moment ago, that it is -- this order for active combat was of
17 limited scope, and these combat operations for Srebrenica were not even
18 called an operation. The term used was "Order for active combat or combat
20 Had the commander of the Drina Corps considered that it was combat
21 action of an operative type and not a tactical type, in his order he would
22 have called them attack operation, and then this document would bear the
23 title of "Order for attack operations." Therefore, the commander
24 envisaged that these were tactical tasks with a -- of limited scope and
25 limited target.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 It is clear from this order which forces were engaged, which units
2 were used, and which units participated in carrying out this order. We
3 may draw the conclusion that the planning and implementation of this
4 operation was within the limits of a legitimate combat action. Its
5 legitimacy is based on the fact that it was launched against enemy forces,
6 military forces which had launched action against the Drina Corps forces
7 that suffered heavy losses, and the Muslim forces, without any form of
8 camouflage, went counter to the demilitarised zone agreement and the
9 United Nations Resolution 819 of April 1993, and that in their intentions
10 and operational goals, the Muslim army wanted to link up with members or,
11 rather, to link up, territorially speaking, with the army of the 2nd Corps
12 along the Tuzla and Kladanj axis on the one side and on the other to draw
13 away and engage the forces of the Drina Corps, because at that time, an
14 offensive was taking place to deblock Sarajevo. This deblocking of
15 Sarajevo and these intentions were subjects that General Halilovic
16 testified to.
17 Bearing in mind all this, and especially the attacks that
18 culminated in the course of the month of June 1995, we cannot at any event
19 take the directives that were mentioned here, Directive 7 and 7.1, be
20 taken as a basis for a planned operation, the planning of the operation
21 that was called Krivaja 95.
22 Had Directives D7 and D7.1 actually been a foundation for
23 implementing the Krivaja 95 operation, then far earlier, perhaps already
24 in March or April, May or June, the forces of the Drina Corps would have
25 acted upon that directive, because, objectively speaking, they were in a
1 far better operative and tactical position then than they were at the end
2 of June or beginning of July 1995.
3 Even at the beginning of June 1995, an operation was carried out,
4 again of a limited scope, at Zeleni Jadar, the aim being to push back the
5 forces of the 28th Division within the boundaries of the safe area.
6 Directive 7 and 7.1 existed then too, but action was not taken pursuant to
7 it because that was not the aim of the operation, just as the
8 Operation Krivaja 95 was not the basis for this operation, rather, the
9 directive was not the basis for Operation 95.
10 The principal and only basis for the ad hoc planning and execution
11 of Operation Krivaja 95 was to continuously inflict losses on units of the
12 Drina Corps and the civilian population by members of the 28th Division,
13 which this operation climaxed, as I have said, in June 1995.
14 It should be noted that according to some data of UN Observers and
15 the Dutch Battalion, there were artillery operations which went beyond the
16 level of operative requirements and effective achievement of military
17 goals as part of an offensive, and they even violated the principle of
18 military proportionality.
19 However, as regards the losses and casualties among Muslim
20 civilians and soldiers, and particularly taking into consideration the
21 level of destruction of Srebrenica, the Defence would like to submit that
22 the operation was of limited scope and the use of these resources was
24 According to the reports of the Chief of Staff of the 28th
25 Division, dated the 6th of July, 1995, it is not possible to infer that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there were losses among civilians and the military, nor that there were
2 large-scale destructions of civilian installations in the urban part of
4 Had such artillery devices been used to such an extent and had
5 they been used against other targets than military ones, up to the 11th of
6 July, there would have been far, far, far more victims; though we do not
7 have reliable data to show that in active combat operations from the 6th
8 to the 11th of July, the forces of the army of Republika Srpska or the
9 Drina Corps had inflicted casualties on the enemy forces and particularly
10 not against the civilians. I underline once again: Had artillery been
11 used to the extent alleged, then the destruction of facilities in
12 Srebrenica and around it would have been disastrous. However, the
13 numerous video clips that we saw during these proceedings provided no
14 evidence of such large-scale destruction.
15 This may not be of great importance, but it should be noted that
16 when the effectives of the Drina Corps reached the positions ordered,
17 according to the order on combat operations, there was chaos within the
18 28th Division, and its commander, in those days, Chief of Staff, Ramiz
19 Becirevic, was in command of the forces of the 28th Division.
20 We know that Naser Oric was the person who was the legitimate
21 commander of that military formation in Srebrenica; however, for certain
22 reasons, he had abandoned the area far before the operation took place so
23 that there is a great deal of speculation about this. As I have said,
24 this may not be of importance for this case or for this defence, but we
25 have heard testimony from General Halilovic about that too. There could
1 have been a realistic -- realistically, it may have been possible to
2 defend Srebrenica, but that is not relevant now.
3 It should be noted in this context that it has been registered in
4 the record, on pages 9479 to 9484, when a film was shown by the Defence in
5 which the Muslims of Srebrenica and, in the first place, the commander of
6 the police station, Mr. Meholjic, says that Srebrenica has been a sellout,
7 that Srebrenica was a sellout, and this was an arrangement made at the
8 highest state level of his country, when he charges Alija Izetbegovic and
9 other high-level civilian and military officials for this.
10 As I am saying, this can be no justification for everything that
11 happened after the fall of Srebrenica, but it can be an indication, it can
12 be a clue, showing that all this was planned who knows where and who knows
13 by whom. God knows whether Mr. Meholjic and his story are true. Finally,
14 his conclusion is, "Only Alija and Naser know what their arrangement was
15 that night when they were left alone."
16 Simultaneously with these developments and the combat operations
17 towards the very end of Operation Krivaja 95, the President of Republika
18 Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, and the Supreme Command of Republika Srpska
19 decided that the forces of the Drina Corps should enter Srebrenica. This
20 goal was achieved on the 11th of July, 1995, in the afternoon. By doing
21 so, the Srebrenica operation was over. I say that it was completed
22 because the goal set by the combat order to the Drina Corps Command by its
23 commander was to narrow down the enclave to the urban area and not to
24 capture Srebrenica.
25 This operative goal, a decision to change that operative goal was
1 made at some higher level. It should be said that the forces of the Drina
2 Corps and the command of the Drina Corps, when entering Srebrenica --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Petrusic, for
4 interrupting you, but perhaps now would be a convenient time for a break.
5 Would that suit you?
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I lost track of the
7 time, Mr. President. But certainly, yes, I will be guided by your
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We are now
10 going to have a 50-minute break for lunch.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.50 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.47 p.m.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, you may continue.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 When talking about important figures, officers of the army of
16 Republika Srpska and the Drina Corps and their role in Operation
17 Krivaja 95, the Defence has the following to say: It is quite clear that
18 General Krstic was the chief of staff of the Drina Corps and that in that
19 position, he was responsible for planning that operation, having received
20 the appropriate order to do so, to prepare it, to draft a decision for the
21 corps commander regarding the deployment of forces that would be used in
22 the operation and to subordinate units for bringing additional units to
23 the area of deployment and the like.
24 The planning documents for this operation do not include a single
25 document, nor in the combat order is there a single paragraph which could
1 lead to the conclusion or from which it could be inferred that
2 General Krstic, working on the basis of this order, violated the
3 conventions of international humanitarian law or that he overstepped his
4 competencies as prescribed by positive regulations.
5 While the operation itself was ongoing, General Krstic did not
6 make a single new proposal whereby the earlier decision taken by the Drina
7 Corps Commander would be directed or changed as to the way in which the
8 operation should be carried out or what its goals were to be. The whole
9 operation was developed according to plan and as envisaged by the order
10 for combat operations.
11 True, had there been any deviation from the decision contained in
12 the combat order, that is, had the forces of the -- it is true that the
13 forces of the Drina Corps entered Srebrenica, but this was not something
14 that was decided by Krstic at the forward command post, because as of the
15 9th of July, his immediate superior was there, that is General Zivanovic,
16 and his second superior, the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff,
17 General Mladic.
18 With respect to General Milenko Zivanovic, at the time of the
19 planning, preparation, implementation, and monitoring of Operation
20 Krivaja 95, he was the formal and factual Commander of the Drina Corps.
21 It was his responsibility to set out the main concept of the operation, to
22 instruct the corps staff, which was headed by General Krstic, to plan this
23 operation, and in doing so, he proposed the engagement of forces that were
24 necessary for this operation and how it should be carried out.
25 General Zivanovic issued two fundamental documents for the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Operation Krivaja 95, and those are for the order for active combat
2 operation, and before that, the preparatory order number one. These are
3 OTP Exhibits 427 and 428.
4 It can be unequivocally alleged, on the basis of this, that during
5 the planning, preparation, and execution of Operation Krivaja 95,
6 General Zivanovic had the role of Commander in the Drina Corps, that he
7 was the Commander of the Drina Corps, and that he remained in that
8 position, according to the Prosecution until the 13th, and according to
9 the Defence until the 20th of July. There is no trace or indication to
10 show that General Zivanovic was absent from the area of responsibility of
11 the Drina Corps after the 11th of July or that he was replaced by the
12 Chief of Staff, General Krstic.
13 The Commander of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska,
14 General Ratko Mladic, as the most superior commanding officer, appeared at
15 the forward command post at Pribicevac on the 9th of July, 1995, together
16 with General Zivanovic. He was also there on the 10th of July, and
17 without any doubt, on the 11th of July, together with other members of the
18 Drina Corps, both General Zivanovic and General Krstic, and together with
19 them, he entered Srebrenica.
20 No one can deny the legitimate right of the Commander of the Main
21 Staff, General Mladic, to be present where combat operations were ongoing,
22 to give suggestions to the commander as to how and in what way a certain
23 order should be implemented and carried out, to make certain corrections
24 of any decisions, and even to issue orders to the commander as to how he
25 should act.
1 However, in view of the situation as it was on the 9th, 10th, and
2 11th of July, it is quite obvious that Mladic took over command of the
3 units that were taking part in Operation Krivaja 95.
4 The testimony of Witness DB clearly speaks in support of this
5 assertion. General Krstic also testified that General Mladic took over
6 the command of the units participating in the offensive. Both testimonies
7 were convincingly corroborated by certain details; namely, Witness DB as
8 well as General Krstic gave as an example the situation when Colonel
9 Andric, who led parts of the Birac Brigade in that operation, informed
10 that he had reached the position assigned to him by the active combat
11 order, that General Mladic ordered him to continue the attack and to enter
12 Srebrenica. This example of General Mladic issuing commands over the
13 radio was also referred to by Witness DC.
14 After units of the Drina Corps had entered Srebrenica, on the
15 video clip that we saw here repeatedly, in the submission of the Defence,
16 when Mladic said, "Go ahead, go ahead, on to Potocari," this is also a
17 statement that is an order. So it shows that he was the alpha and omega
18 of everything that was going on in that area. He was the alpha and omega
19 to subordinate commanders and subordinate units. Neither Zivanovic nor
20 Krstic, quite clearly, were in command at that time.
21 Mr. President, Your Honours, this did not break the chain of
22 command of the Drina Corps de jure. He did not, in the legal sense, take
23 a decision or issue an order orally or in writing, and he did not say,
24 "From now on, I am the commander of the Drina Corps." No, that is not
25 the submission of the Defence. What the Defence wishes to say is that by
1 his behaviour, by his verbal addresses to subordinate units and his oral
2 orders, General Mladic in fact took over command of the forces that were,
3 at that point in time, there in the area. Some later events linked to the
4 17th of July provide corroboration for this submission.
5 In the area of the Zvornik Brigade, which should have been under
6 the control and command of the Drina Corps, it was General Mladic who
7 appointed an officer of the Main Staff as the Commander-in-Chief in that
8 brigade, and by doing so, in the submission of the Defence, he was
9 actually the one who was also in command of the Zvornik Brigade; of
10 course, through an officer that he had designated to be the commander, and
11 that is Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic.
12 In this order, Exhibit 649, it says, "To command all these forces
13 and for the execution of this task, the officer for the military police
14 from the administration of the Main Staff of Republika Srpska army is
15 being appointed." General Mladic also says that the command over combat
16 operations will be performed from the command post of the battalion of the
17 military police of the 65th Protective Regiment. The military police of
18 the 65th Protective Regiment is, without any doubt, a unit of the Main
19 Staff. It is headquartered in Nova Kasaba.
20 Had the commander of the Zvornik Brigade been the real commander
21 of his brigade at that point in time, then he would have been commanding
22 from his own command post or forward command post. However, it is General
23 Mladic who takes upon himself the right to deal with things in the way he
24 sees fit, and he does so through this order.
25 The assertion by the Prosecution, and I shall agree in part, that
1 this was an operation which was of limited scope between the 17th and the
2 19th of July, it was materialised, if I could put it that way, or
3 formalised through this act and in such a way. We do not know, except for
4 the testimony of General Krstic himself - and the Defence has reason to
5 believe his testimony on that point - when General Mladic, at the meeting
6 in Bratunac, said that he takes over command in that region, but I'll come
7 back to that question a little later on.
8 However, pursuant to this order in which, quite obviously, the
9 units of the 65th Protection Regiment and the Commander-in-Chief was the
10 security officer, states that the operation was of limited scope from the
11 17th to the 19th of July, that is, that it had a limited time span.
12 However, the sentence after that paragraph reads that "The order for
13 further involvement towards Cerska will be proposed to me by Colonel
14 Keserovic on the 19th of July, 1995."
15 We do not know and have no proof and evidence in written form that
16 such an order was made. But Mladic quite obviously has demonstrated his
17 intention that if that command status of Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic were
18 to continue after the 19th of July, without us having any proof of that,
19 then I raise the question as to why that command status, without any proof
20 and evidence in the form of an order, could not have existed even after
21 the 11th, after Mladic's words were spoken in Bratunac, that that was his
22 problem and that he would solve it.
23 When General Mladic made the decision for entry into Srebrenica,
24 the command of the Drina Corps quite certainly did not decide that issue,
25 regardless of whether it was Zivanovic, Krstic -- Zivanovic or Krstic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 On the basis of OTP Exhibit 432, we can see that the document is
2 from the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska. It was given to the
3 president of Republika Srpska, addressed to him, and sent to the forward
4 command post of the Drina Corps, to General Gvero and General Krstic
5 personally. General Gvero was not at the forward command post at the
7 From this document, we clearly see that agreement has been reached
8 about the entrance into Srebrenica, but that agreement and who was sending
9 out this document and to whom it was sent, so to the president of the
10 republic, to the Main Staff, that agreement has been reached at that
11 particular level, the level of the president of the republic and the
12 Supreme Commander, or in other words, the Main Staff and certainly not the
13 Drina Corps.
14 Let me briefly dwell on that meeting of the 11th of July, which
15 took place in the evening hours at around 2100 hours in the Bratunac
16 Brigade. The meeting was chaired by General Mladic. Attending the
17 meeting were, in addition to Mladic himself, General Zivanovic and Krstic,
18 the Commanders of the units which took part in the attack on Srebrenica.
19 According to testimonies, after a short speech pertaining to the
20 events surrounding the entrance into Srebrenica, General Mladic ordered
21 General Krstic to prepare and put into operation the Zepa operation.
22 That, therefore, took place on the evening of the 11th of July.
23 The Prosecution has attempted to state that that assertion is not
24 correct and that it was on the 11th of July, and in that light -- that it
25 was not on that date, and in that light, the expert witness Mr. Butler
1 says nothing on the issue, just as if the event had never taken place.
2 Not only did Mladic issue this order to Krstic, that is to say,
3 mentioning the forces that took place at the Srebrenica operation and to
4 send them to Zepa, but General Mladic also issued an order to another
5 officer, the signals and communications commander who is directly
6 subordinate to General Krstic and was an officer on his staff. The order
7 that he issued to that individual at that meeting was that he should set
8 up a forward command post and a communications centre at Zepa.
9 Witness DB, on page 7089 of the transcript, states the following:
10 "Mladic told Krstic that a plan should be devised straight away and the
11 units which had taken part at Srebrenica be transferred to Zepa."
12 He goes on to say that following this order of Mladic's, the
13 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Pandurevic reacted, and he said that
14 that was not a good idea because they didn't know what had happened to the
15 28th Division and that the situation ought to be cleared up first and only
16 then engage in a new operation.
17 According to further testimony of DB, and this is found on page
18 7091 and I quote, Witness DB says: "I cannot quote or paraphrase, but
19 generally interpreted, 'Regardless of that, everybody to Zepa.'"
20 When he says "regardless of that" -- when he says "regardless,"
21 he's thinking of Pandurevic's operation. So regardless of Pandurevic's
22 opposition, the combat action on Zepa should be continued. Therefore, on
23 the 11th of July, Mladic was stating his decision to General Krstic and
24 telling him to prepare and launch the Zepa operation.
25 Furthermore, Witness DB goes on to say, on page 7092, the
1 following with respect to that situation: "I think that Mladic had his
2 own assessment of the situation on the basis of which he made the
4 So his own assessment was not to accept the proposal made by
5 Pandurevic when he said that he didn't know what had happened with the
6 28th Division and that that situation ought to be settled first, and then
7 once that had been done, to go on to the next operation.
8 No plan, no activities whatsoever at that meeting which was
9 attended by General Krstic himself and the other officers who had
10 participated in the operations at Srebrenica were received. No plan was
11 put forward. They were -- received no assignments with respect to the
12 newly arisen situation in Potocari.
13 A meeting with the representatives of the Dutch Battalion, the
14 first meeting that was held before this particular meeting, was attended
15 by General Mladic, a certain Colonel Jankovic, and General Zivanovic. It
16 was at that meeting that General Mladic, together with General -- I'm
17 sorry, the Colonel of the Dutch Battalion, Karremans, talked to -- talked
18 about the withdrawal of the Dutch Battalion, of the fact that the Muslim
19 population were to be got out, the participation of the Doctors Without
20 Frontiers organisation, as a non-government organisation, an undertaking
21 in the enclave. And in fact, Mladic, on that occasion addressed Karremans
22 and asked him whether via the chief of staff of UNPROFOR in Sarajevo they
23 could ensure buses for the transport of civilians from Srebrenica, and
24 Karremans answered that they could reach an agreement about that.
25 Therefore, the question of that humanitarian problem that arose,
1 and at the meeting at which General Krstic was not present was the first
2 time that this topic was broached.
3 We know full well how the meetings evolved. We also know that the
4 participants in these meetings, regardless of whether they were
5 representatives of the civilian or military authorities of the Drina
6 Corps, all of them except General Mladic were just mere observers. Nobody
7 took part in the proceedings; whether because they did not want to or did
8 not dare to is left to surmise and conjecture.
9 General Zivanovic, though, as a participant at that first meeting,
10 and quite obviously the problem was ensuring the means and resources for
11 the transport of the civilian population towards Kladanj on territory
12 under command of the BH army, therefore, General Zivanovic, the following
13 day, that is to say, on the 12th of July, issued an order to his
14 subordinate units to secure buses up until sometime in the afternoon on
15 the 12th of July, up to, I think, 1630, at the stadium in Bratunac, that
16 the buses were to be there by then.
17 The night between the 11th and 12th of July, in Potocari,
18 according to the testimony of witnesses appearing before this Trial
19 Chamber, evolved relatively peacefully. It was a relatively calm night.
20 In the course of that particular night, no units were noticed belonging to
21 any army to upset the quiet night and to effect the refugees, which would
22 in any way be a violation of the humanitarian law.
23 The morning hours of the 12th of July, once again according to
24 testimony, the morning hours were quiet too, without incident. What the
25 witnesses have been telling us here is that the night between the 12th and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the 13th was a terrible one.
2 From reports and testimonies by individual witnesses, members of
3 the Dutch Battalion who followed the situation in the base itself and
4 around the base and gained an impression of what, in fact, took place in
5 that night between the 12th and the 13th, we arrive at the conclusion that
6 the members - and we cannot identify them as being members of the Drina
7 Corps - entered the base.
8 One of the witnesses even said that he photographed nine bodies.
9 A Prosecution witness, Bego Ademovic, testified and said that in the late
10 afternoon of the 12th of July, he himself saw these people, the people who
11 had entered the base and had killed 83 Muslims. The Defence does not
12 challenge and cannot dispute the fact that that did not take place.
13 However, the question arises of the trustworthiness of the testimony of
14 Mr. Ademovic. Regardless of the extent to which we respect him as having
15 been a victim, we nonetheless consider that such a large number of Muslims
16 who had been liquidated would have been noted, would have been seen and
17 noticed by a member of the Dutch Battalion, especially in view of the
18 manner in which the killings were performed.
19 We have General Krstic placed in Potocari on the 12th of July,
20 sometime after 12.00 noon, that is to say, after the meeting in Bratunac.
21 At that time when he was there, there was the tape that the members of
22 UNPROFOR had positioned. Members of the opposite side, whether it was the
23 army or the police or civilians of Republika Srpska, they were not able to
24 cross that line that had been designated with the tape.
25 General Krstic stayed, and this is borne out by the testimony of a
1 Prosecution witness that we heard in closed session, he stayed there for
2 about one hour. Together with him was his staff officer, who was
3 responsible to him. He was subordinate to General Krstic and responsible
4 to him; he was the intelligence officer, Svetozar Kosoric. After Krstic
5 left towards Viogora, which is where the units were located, units of the
6 Drina Corps which had taken part in the attack on Srebrenica because this
7 was the position that they had reached and they had entrenched there,
8 according to General Krstic, his staff officer went after him because he
9 ordered him to come too, and that officer's name was Svetozar Kosoric.
10 It is a fact that in Potocari we now see the presence of
11 Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic as well. He was there too. However,
12 if we go back a bit to previous events, from the beginning of the combat
13 operation on Srebrenica, that is to say, the 6th of July or, rather, the
14 5th, in the afternoon, Svetozar Kosoric was together at the forward
15 command post with General Krstic, with Colonel Vicic, Major Jevdjevic, the
16 leader of the command, the staff command, Amovic. So all these were staff
17 officers who were subordinate to General Krstic and to whom he was the
18 immediate commanding officer.
19 The fact is also that Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic, on the
20 11th -- was in Srebrenica on the 11th, at the entrance to Srebrenica, but
21 we don't see him at the forward command post of Pribecevac at all.
22 Vujadin Popovic was not there.
23 Now, who could have brought Vujadin Popovic there and given him
24 the order to be in Srebrenica on the 11th, 12th, maybe even later as
25 well? It was his superior officer who could have done that, the first --
1 first of all, the corps commander; and secondly, he could have been issued
2 orders by virtue of the security chain of command, the assistant commander
3 for security or, rather, the head of the security department. At least
4 based on the evidence put forward during the trial so far, neither Vujadin
5 Popovic -- we did not see Vujadin Popovic at Pribicevac at all or in any
6 way do we see his participation in that particular operation.
7 Svetozar Kosoric was a participant at the meeting in the Fontana
8 Hotel, together with representatives of the Dutch Battalion and the
9 civilian authorities from Srebrenica and Bratunac, as well as the military
10 authorities from the Drina Corps, but there simply is no evidence
11 whatsoever to indicate any role whatsoever that that officer had or should
12 have had and be subordinate to the chief of staff, that is,
13 General Krstic.
14 Together with him, after the 11th, in the personnel structure of
15 the officer cadre taking part in the combat operations in Zepa, he is one
16 of them. There's also Colonel Vicic as the Operations Officer;
17 Major Jevdjevic; the Commander of the headquarters, Amovic.
18 So if General Krstic was given the order for the planning and
19 execution of the Zepa operation, he and his team, if I may call it that,
20 consisting of those officers, their main concern and preoccupation was to
21 plan, prepare, and carry out that operation.
22 Consequently, with regard to these events that occurred on the
23 12th and 13th of the July, in the opinion of the Defence, General Krstic
24 cannot be responsible for three reasons. First of all, as has been
25 stated, he was not the commander of the Drina Corps. And even if he knew,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and he did know, that process of evacuation of the population was about to
2 begin and that this had been agreed at the Main Staff level or, rather,
3 decided at the Main Staff level of the army of Republika Srpska with some
4 participation of the Dutch Battalion and international forces, to what
5 extent they participated is something we can't go into just now, but in
6 any event, as he was not the commander, he did not know that in the
7 execution of that operation, unlawful acts were being committed, and this
8 applied to him and his subordinate officers.
9 Furthermore, as the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, he had his
10 commander who was engaged in the area of responsibility of the corps and
11 who had still not handed over his command to anyone. Krstic had no need
12 nor was it his duty to supervise, carry out -- or carry out that
14 The time when this operation was carried out or, rather, the time
15 of the events that took place between the 12th and the 13th, in the
16 afternoon on the 13th when the population was evacuated, this was a time
17 period which, in the submission of the Defence, Krstic was extremely busy,
18 both he and his staff, working on the preparations and execution of the
19 Zepa operation so that, in our opinion, he was not involved in any way in
20 the separation of men and the evacuation of the population from Potocari.
21 We cannot but challenge the submission of the Prosecution that
22 Krstic had in any way directly or indirectly, either he or his
23 subordinates, had participated in any way in the process of separation of
24 the male population in Potocari.
25 The time that General Krstic was there was just after 12.00, and
1 on the video clip, buses can be seen in the background, but the actual
2 evacuation and transport and boarding onto the buses had still not
3 started. At that time, that unfortunate column had still not been formed,
4 the column that would set out along the road, after which men of a certain
5 age group were separated.
6 The video clip that we had occasion to see showing Zoran Petrovic,
7 Pirocanac, we see the following: In Potocari, there were no elements of
8 the Drina Corps. The police were present, a special MUP Brigade, but not
9 the regular police of the Zvornik Security Centre.
10 On one of the shots, a certain member of that special unit was
11 identified, a person nicknamed Mane. But that again is not Mane Djuric,
12 and I think the parties are agreed on that, who was the Deputy Chief of
13 the public security centre in Zvornik.
14 I feel free to allege that a representative of that special unit
15 is a certain man called Stalin, a Mr. Jevic, a personality which seems to
16 dominate and is in the forefront.
17 There is no evidence that Drina Corps units participated in this
18 process of separation or that they were present in Potocari.
19 Some witnesses whose testimonies we heard here, Prosecution
20 witnesses, said that that night, between the 12th and the 13th of July,
21 certain elements of the army of Republika Srpska were present, who were
22 described by them as soldiers with dogs.
23 In the structure of the Drina Corps, not a single unit had dogs
24 which it would use for any purpose whatsoever. The only place - and this
25 was confirmed by Mr. Ruez in his testimony in this courtroom and he showed
1 us photographs - the only place where any such unit was noted was in Nova
2 Kasaba, and that is the location of the 65th Protective Brigade of the
3 Police Battalion -- Protective Regiment of the Police Battalion, which is
4 not linked to the Infantry Battalion of the 65th Protective Regiment which
5 took part in the operation on Zepa.
6 It is a fact, and we have elaborated on this in our final brief,
7 that the capture of Muslims occurred mostly along the Konjevic Polje-Nova
8 Kasaba road and the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road. Those prisoners, in the
9 submission of the Prosecution, were accommodated at the football stadium
10 in Nova Kasaba. Various figures have been given as to the number of
11 people rounded up there, and we simply are unable to provide any evidence
12 to the contrary. It is also a fact that most of those prisoners were
13 transported to Bratunac, and there, at various locations, either at the
14 Vuk Karadzic school or in the warehouse or in the buses and trucks, they
15 remained there during the night between the 13th and the 14th.
16 The Prosecution alleges that the town of Bratunac was in the area
17 of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade and that it is the
18 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade to put up to the prisoners in the
19 town or, rather, in the means of transportation that were being used.
20 Let me say, first of all, that the town of Bratunac and its
21 security is not the responsibility or was not the responsibility of the
22 army. The army was at the front line. It is the civilian authorities, on
23 the 13th of July, who were functioning in the whole town of Bratunac and
24 Republika Srpska. The civilian police was able to perform its duties
25 unhindered in that area.
1 If somebody was securing those men in the sense of making sure
2 that they do not escape, then this certainly could not have been done by
3 members of the Bratunac Brigade, firstly, because that is not within their
4 competence and, secondly, because, on the 13th of July, members of the
5 Bratunac Brigade had received an order from General Krstic to search the
6 terrain south of the Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba road, and that road
7 remains behind them and it is not within their area of responsibility.
8 And for that reason, they could not have been in Bratunac in the night
9 between the 13th and the 14th.
10 The Prosecution has not provided evidence to prove that members of
11 the MUP were under the command of the Drina Corps. For them to be under
12 the command of the Drina Corps, an appropriate decision would have had to
13 be made at the level of the Minister of Internal Affairs; at least that is
14 what the laws and regulations say with respect to the police. So the
15 minister of the police, in coordination with the minister of the army,
16 would have had the duty to regulate this matter, that is, the question of
17 attachment of units. And had they been resubordinated, they could have
18 been resubordinated only to security organs of the Main Staff, because it
19 is at that level that the use and deployment of those units is decided.
20 So pursuing that logic, only a step -- the resubordination of those units
21 could be done only at that level.
22 During the proceedings at this trial, and also the analysis
23 provided by Mr. Butler gave the impression, in our submission, that
24 attempts are being made to draw the Bratunac Brigade into all these
25 developments. There is no dispute that Zoran Kovacevic and Sreten
1 Petrovic, who were members of the Bratunac Brigade, were seen in Potocari;
2 at least there is no dispute as far as Zoran Kovacevic is concerned being
3 the commander of one of the battalions of the Bratunac Brigade. But his
4 presence is on a personal basis, as an individual. There is no organised
5 element of the Bratunac Brigade at the level of a squad or platoon or
6 battalion or any other formation that would indicate that those elements,
7 as organised units, were present.
8 Zoran Kovacevic could have been in Potocari for a thousand and one
9 reasons. First of all, he is an inhabitant of Bratunac. He had spent
10 three years face to face with the enemy side there. In the euphoria which
11 developed, everyone hastened to Potocari to share in the glory of victory,
12 and his presence could be attributed to any one of a multitude of reasons,
13 in the submission of the Defence, rather than as an officer of the
14 Bratunac Brigade who, by his acts, contributed, as the Prosecution puts
15 it, to the fulfilment of the plan which was adopted on the 11th of July.
16 The Prosecution tells us that every foot soldier knew of the
17 existence of the plan as to what should be done with those unfortunate
18 people. Drazen Erdemovic, who testified in this Trial Chamber and who is
19 trusted with reason, stated that on the 16th of July, when he set off for
20 Zvornik and reached Zvornik together with his unit at Karakaj, that they
21 were not told where they were going. This was on the 16th of July. A
22 unit of this kind, which had been designated to take part in what it took
23 part in, a unit whose members were selected as being special, did not know
24 where they were going, as testified to by Erdemovic.
25 Can the submission of the Prosecution, therefore, stand that
1 members of the Drina Corps participated in that bloody plan? And who?
2 When was that plan drawn up? What evidence do we have that such a plan
3 was adopted or that the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps or even its
4 Commander were informed of it, and that he was aware of it?
5 Mladic's monologue, when addressing members of the Dutch Battalion
6 and representatives of the Muslim civilian population that was repeated to
7 survive or disappear, could that be an indication of such a plan? In the
8 submission of the Defence, no. Mladic's verbal statements and
9 intimidations cannot be equal to a plan and cannot, under any
10 circumstances, include other officers of the Drina Corps in the
11 implementation of the plan, which is one of the bases on which the
12 Prosecution is relying for its submissions.
13 Regardless of the -- my position regarding General Mladic,
14 nevertheless, the Defence submits that this was just stated rhetorically
15 as a means of intimidation.
16 Mr. President, Your Honours, with your permission, I would suggest
17 we adjourn for today and tomorrow morning I would complete my closing
18 arguments by the time of the break, after which my colleague Mr. Visnjic
19 will take over, as I had announced at the beginning.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Petrusic. We are
21 going to adjourn for today, and tomorrow we will be resuming at 9.20 as
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day
25 of June, 2001, at 9.20 a.m.