1 Wednesday, 21 May 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 The Chamber was informed that the Prosecution would like to raise
12 a preliminary matter.
13 MR. GROOME: Good morning, Your Honours. And thank you.
14 The preliminary matter I'd like to raise relates to Rule 90(E).
15 A number of the upcoming witnesses - in fact, the witness that's
16 presently giving evidence - the Karadzic Chamber took the view that they
17 needed to be given the 90(E) warning. I'm not sure whether it's
18 appropriate for the Prosecution to be requesting that. We don't really
19 know all that much about these witnesses. It seems that perhaps the
20 Defence in their dealings with the witnesses and their conversations with
21 the witnesses may be in a better position to know whether that would be
2 (redacted) At the very least, we think
3 maybe we are obliged to advise the Chamber when a witness has received
4 that warning in the past.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, the Chamber will in due course pay
8 appropriate attention to the matter you have just raised.
9 MR. GROOME: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then is the Defence ready to continue its
11 examination-in-chief of the witness? Then could the witness be escorted
12 into the courtroom.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 WITNESS: DUSAN SKRBA [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpretation]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Skrba. Please be seated.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Skrba, I would like to remind you that the
19 solemn declaration you gave yesterday, that you'll speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is still binding upon you. That
21 goes perhaps even without saying, but I just remind you.
22 Mr. Stojanovic will now continue his examination-in-chief.
23 Please do so, Mr. Stojanovic.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic: [Continued]
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have document
3 D465 in e-court. It was marked for identification yesterday when we
4 adjourned. Thank you.
5 I would like to ask the usher to help the witness use the blue
6 pen again.
7 Q. Witness, now I'd like to ask you the following: If you remember
8 yesterday, we marked the location of the command of the mixed artillery
9 battalion and the position of the 120-millimetre mortar company. Could
10 you mark on this map for the Court the area of the left flank of the area
11 that you covered with your units?
12 A. The left flank is the Zeljeznica river-bed.
13 Q. I would like to ask you to use that blue marker that you have to
14 mark that particular position.
15 A. Down here in this corner? I cannot. There is no image.
16 Q. I'll rephrase. Was Ilidza the area that your mixed artillery
17 battalion covered?
18 A. Ilidza fell under a different group, the Ilidza Brigade. They
19 had their own responsibility.
20 Q. Thank you. And now I'm going to ask you, precisely for that
21 reason, the area of Butmir, did it fall under the command of the Army of
23 A. Yes, throughout the war.
24 Q. Tell us, from the positions that you covered, your unit, the
25 1st Sarajevo Brigade, did it come under artillery fire that came from the
1 city of Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes, constantly.
3 Q. What were the most frequent positions where you suffered most of
4 that fire?
5 A. Mobile mortars, Ciglana, the tunnel, Debelo Brdo, Zuc, vis-à-vis
6 our positions, Trebevic.
7 Q. From the area of Ciglana, did you identify the weapons that were
8 used to target your positions by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
9 A. They had heavy weapons all the time. They got it out of the
10 tunnel and they fired at us at will.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could we seek more specific answers.
12 "They had heavy weapons all the time." What heavy weapons are
13 you referring to and do you know the number?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll do it exactly that way in
15 the right order, by your leave, Your Honour.
16 Q. As for Ciglana, the area that we talked, did you identify the
17 heavy weaponry?
18 A. A tank, T-100 and T-55, they were the ones that were opening
19 direct fire.
20 Q. From the area of Bjelave, can you tell the Court what kind of
21 weaponry was used by the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. In the area they used 120-millimetre mobile mortars mounted on a
23 vehicle. It depended.
24 Q. From the area of Trebevic --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I gave a suggestion, also the
1 number. Could you ask for the number of 120-millimetre mobile mortars
2 which were available to the opposing armed forces? I'm now focusing on
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our intelligence would have that
5 exact information. I was just observing the points from where the fire
6 came and I tried to neutralise that fire.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you have any intelligence as to how many 120-millimetre
9 mortars they had in Bjelave?
10 A. They always had at least two to four at those firing positions
11 from where they opened fire.
12 Q. Thank you. Tell me, the question also had to do with the area of
13 Trebevic. Did you identify the weapons that were used?
14 A. 82-millimetre mortars for the most part, and also there were two
15 120-millimetre mortars.
16 Q. Tell the Court about the hill of Zuc. Did you identify the
17 weapons that were used to target your positions?
18 A. They had a tank there that was on the move all the time, and then
19 they used this M-55 tank to fire at us.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, we still do not have an estimate of
21 the numbers for the 82-millimetre mortars on Trebevic.
22 How many 82-millimetre mortars were there on Trebevic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Usually platoons were established
24 with three mortars. Now, it depends on whether there was a complete
25 battery there with six or a platoon with three. It depended on that
1 moment, at that moment, whether they were carrying out operations in
2 different directions and whether they had them located in different areas
3 so that they would pretend to carry out false attacks in order to deceive
4 the other side. But it depended --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
6 be asked to speak slower. And we did not catch the last sentence. Thank
8 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, the interpreters ask whether you could
9 speak a bit slower. They have difficulties in following the speed of
10 your speech.
11 Second, would you please repeat the last part of your answer.
12 I'll read what is still on the record and then could you please repeat
13 what you said after that. It is recorded that you said that:
14 "They had them located in different areas so that they would
15 pretend to carry out false attacks in order to deceive the other side.
16 But it depended ..."
17 And then you said?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It depended on what the main thrust
19 of their attack would be, and then, along that line, they would
20 concentrate a larger number of mortars that they had available; whereas
21 on the auxiliary axes of attack, there would usually be three or four
22 weapons that would usually have ammunition. However, as far as the main
23 line of attack was concerned, there would always be three times more
24 weapons, ammunition, et cetera, depending on what they wanted to target.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It is a long answer, but, Mr. Stojanovic, to be
1 honest, I can't say that I now have a clear idea on how many mortars they
2 had available. But if you want to further clarify, please do so. If
3 not, just for you to know that the numbers are not that clear to me.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would just put one more
6 question in this regard and then I think I'll move on.
7 Q. The number of mortars at these locations during the war, was it
8 permanent throughout or would it happen that depending on war
9 developments, the intensity of fighting, et cetera, that these mortars
10 would move?
11 A. Well, there was always a permanent number, a certain permanent
12 number. A platoon would have three pieces but they would supplement it
13 with more pieces if that is where the main thrust of their attack was.
14 Then they would increase the number to six, twelve mortars, depending on
15 the amount of ammunition they had and what their ultimate objective was
16 in terms of that particular direction.
17 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to ask you about an area, a part of
18 Sarajevo, Velesici [Realtime transcript read in error "Bjelisici"]. In
19 that area, in that part of the city of Sarajevo, did they have weapons,
20 artillery pieces that they used against you?
21 A. I've already said, below Hum, in Velesici, they had a tank, a
22 T-55 that they used.
23 Q. Did they have the possibility of concealing that tank from the
24 artillery positions of your unit?
25 A. Since the weaponry was in depth and outside the centre of the
1 zone, the civilian population, they had these shelters, they concealed
2 this, and also they had a large area. They could move left or right a
3 kilometre or two, so they changed the location from which they were
5 Q. Thank you. And I'll conclude with this question: As for the
6 external ring, as we called it, the encirclement behind your back from
7 Igman and the other heights behind you, were you under artillery fire
8 coming from there?
9 A. Yes, we had the same number of fatalities on the external ring
10 just like on the internal ring re the artillery men.
11 Q. And I'll conclude by asking whether you established from which
12 positions on the external ring the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina targeted
13 your positions?
14 A. The main positions were on Mount Igman, outside Sarajevo,
15 Hrasnica, and that is primarily where they fired from. Until Lukavac 93
16 was over, they fired from Trnovo and Rogoj.
17 Q. Aware of the fact that the area of Butmir was not within your
18 area of responsibility, I'd like to ask: Did you have the possibility to
19 observe whether from the agricultural complex or institute those assets
20 were used against your positions?
21 A. From our observations points, whenever they launched attacks we
22 would see the fire, the explosions of mortar shells.
23 Q. Thank you, I have nothing further.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, considering that
25 we did not use D465 and we didn't mark it anymore, and this document has
1 already been MFI'd, I would now like to tender it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and there is no need to replace it in the
3 absence of any further markings.
4 Madam Registrar, D465 is now admitted into evidence.
5 Before we take -- I have one or two additional questions for you,
6 Mr. Skrba.
7 You told us about the tank in Velesici, although in the question
8 it is called Bjelisici, but you talked about the tank which was concealed
9 and moved for perhaps a kilometre. How were you coping with that
10 problem? If it was concealed, you couldn't see it.
11 Let me just see, do you have problems in -- you can hear my
12 question? My question was if they were concealing that tank in that
13 area, so you couldn't see it --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I completely understand the
15 question, but the tank, after firing three or five shells, would go back
16 into shelter, would hide in a trench. And it was a wooded area, it was
17 easy to hide it. But you could see by the smoke and the reaction of the
18 weapon, you could see the flash of the explosion. But they never left it
19 in one place for a long time. Just as long as it took to fire a couple
20 of shells and then it would move back. And it wasn't in one fixed place.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I see that you said it was a wooded area. Does this
22 mean that it was not a -- no people were living there or was there -- was
23 the area sparsely populated? Could you tell us a bit more about ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's the area of Pofalici,
25 towards Hum, it was 80 per cent Serb population. But after the actions
1 of the ABH, the Serb population was expelled from that neighbourhood,
2 Sikirasi and Hum, the ABH army occupied these elevations and turned it
3 into their own firing positions. And they had complete control over that
4 area because there were no longer any Serbs there. And they used all the
5 features there. They used it as accommodation for troops and
6 emplacements for tanks and other assets. They would build a makeshift
7 roof or tent for the tank and you would never be sure whether it's there
8 or not. After 1993 and 1994, they cut most of the woods so it was easier
9 to notice the tank.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, is there any documentary evidence which would
11 support what you just told us, to your knowledge? Any written orders or?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I know it so well. If we
13 take the dates of their celebrations when they had major victories, they
14 would show it on film and on television, and, of course, everybody could
15 see it and it's well documented because they celebrated these major
16 breakthroughs and victories after which they managed to control the
17 territory they wanted.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I mean documentary evidence from within the Army of
19 the Republika Srpska, whether this was reported: "We fired at the tank
20 which was then in hiding again," or whatever. Is there any reporting or
21 any orders received to especially focus on those tanks? Is there any
22 documentary evidence from within your armed forces about what you just
23 told us?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think so.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of any orders to fire to the area of
1 Pofalici without a tank having been detected or having been discussed?
2 Just fire at Pofalici, for example, are you aware of any possible order
3 to do so?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't receive any such
5 orders and I did not hear such orders through our communications because
6 it was under a completely different military unit. That area was under
7 the Vogosca Brigade and we were facing them. We were on the opposite
8 side to the south-east from Pofalici and Hum.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I understood your evidence to tell us
10 what -- let me just see. So if you saw that tank firing, et cetera, you
11 didn't respond in any way. You didn't return fire from your positions.
12 It's just -- you just observed it and that's it? Because you were fired
13 at, if I do understand you well.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. But when we noticed the
15 tank, in order to return fire we had to prepare. We would return fire
16 with one or two shells, and after that, the tank would go back to its
17 shelter. We had observation points on Mount Trebevic and we could
18 observe it, but we could actually react only when it opened fire against
19 our firing positions. But physically, it was in the territory covered by
20 the Vogosca Brigade which was, in its turn, unable to see all this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do not understand your reference to the
22 Vogosca Brigade, because you tell us: "We were fired at by a tank, we
23 returned fire." Now, I do understand that Pofalici is closer to the area
24 of responsibility of the Vogosca Brigade, but they couldn't do anything.
25 They didn't see anything. They didn't -- I don't know whether they were
1 fired at from that area as well. It's a bit unclear why you are
2 referring to the Vogosca Brigade rather than to your own artillery.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sorry.
4 Vogosca Brigade was, like, behind your back and the tank was front of
5 them, and they couldn't see this tank; whereas we were fired at directly
6 because they were on higher ground and targeted us directly.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I see that point. But when I asked you about
8 orders, you said you never did receive any such orders such as fire at
9 Pofalici, and you said you did not hear such order through your
10 communications because it was under a completely different military unit.
11 That area was under the Vogosca Brigade, but nevertheless, you engaged
12 targets in that area from your positions; whereas the Vogosca Brigade
13 apparently was not in a position to see anything and therefore would also
14 not engage any targets in that area, or would they?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not fire because they
16 couldn't observe it, they couldn't see the point from which fire was
17 opened. Only we could see it from Trebevic and Vrace. And we would do
18 so when we saw two or three shells fired. But, of course, we asked
19 approval from our superior command whether we could return fire and then
20 we would fire two or three projectiles.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers. We will deal with
22 another matter before we start your cross-examination. So therefore most
23 likely the break will be a bit longer than usual, more than 20 minutes.
24 We'd like to see you back after the break, Mr. Skrba, and I'll invite the
25 usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 21224-21229 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
5 We take a bit of an early break and we will resume at 20 minutes
6 to 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We are waiting for the witness to be escorted into
10 the courtroom.
11 Mr. Shin, it will be you who will cross-examine the witness?
12 MR. SHIN: Yes, it is, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And your time estimate was two hours?
14 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, I believe our time estimate was three
15 and a half hours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and that remained three and a half hours.
17 MR. SHIN: Yes, as I understand --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. SHIN: -- yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No, the other -- one of the other witnesses, I
21 think, was reduced to two hours but --
22 MR. SHIN: Yes, that's correct. I believe I saw that recently.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps that's wishful thinking.
25 Please be seated, Mr. Skrba.
1 Mr. Skrba, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Shin. You'll find
2 Mr. Shin to your right.
3 Mr. Shin, you may proceed.
4 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Shin:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. I'd like to start with some questions about the organisation of
9 the mixed artillery battalion, the MAD, and your position in the MAD.
10 And just to be clear, the MAD is immediately subordinate to a brigade,
11 like an infantry battalion. Would that be correct?
12 JUDGE ORIE: You have difficulties in hearing?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have not been receiving
14 interpretation into Serbian.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's check whether you're on the right
16 channel. Okay. Let's start again. Do you now hear me in a language you
17 understand? That's right, you're not hearing me but you're hearing the
19 Mr. Shin, could you --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- give it another try.
22 MR. SHIN:
23 Q. Mr. Skrba, I will start again with my question since I believe
24 you did not hear the translation. What I was saying was that I would
25 like to start with some questions about the organisation of the mixed
1 artillery battalion and your position in that unit. And just so that --
2 just to begin with, to be clear, the mixed artillery division, the MAD,
3 that's immediately subordinate to the brigade, like an infantry
4 battalion; is that correct?
5 A. My unit's name was mixed artillery division, and the name
6 "artillery division" was given to it because all the artillery pieces
7 were in my unit under my command. I only supported infantry in defence
8 and attacks. The only infantry weapons we had were in the hands of the
9 soldier, and I told you what we had in terms of artillery pieces. I can
10 repeat it again.
11 Q. Mr. Skrba, perhaps my question wasn't clear. We'll take this
12 step by step and we'll address some of the issues you're anticipating
13 here. But just perhaps for a point of clarity at this point, you
14 referred to the mixed artillery division. It's at the same level as an
15 infantry battalion. Would that be correct? And I'm simply talking here
16 in terms of what the immediate superior command was to you. That would
17 be the brigade command, correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. However -- just a moment. However, a mixed artillery division
21 has its power in the artillery pieces that it has, whereas infantry or a
22 battalion has a different force of firing power. We are talking about
23 two different paths of a military; artillery on the one hand and infantry
24 on the other.
25 Q. That's correct and that's probably apparent in the title, that
1 one is an artillery unit and the other is an infantry unit. Now, how
2 many men were in the MAD?
3 A. Since its members were locals and for each of the actions that
4 were undertaken at firing positions of those units, and batteries are
5 lower than battalions, and their specialties, their topographies,
6 commanders, telephone operators, logistics units that supported their own
7 unit and so on and so forth. And they differed in terms of the types of
8 weapons they had, i.e., its calibre. Therefore we had --
9 Q. Mr. Skrba, if -- could we agree -- if you could just listen
10 carefully to my question. There may be an opportunity to add additional
11 information, but please listen to my specific question and if you could
12 answer the question, we will be able to get along a little more smoothly
13 here. My question to you was simply how many men were in the MAD.
14 A. I had only 35 to 40 per cent of the men that I was supposed to
15 have according to my formation.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Skrba, no one asked you whether you were
17 understaffed or overstaffed. Mr. Shin just asked you how many men was
18 that, 20, 100? Just give a number and try to focus on the question. How
19 many men?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 350 men all together.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Carefully listen to the next question and try to
22 answer it directly.
23 MR. SHIN:
24 Q. Now, my next question is: How were these 350 men organised? And
25 just to focus this question a little bit, I will remind you that you have
1 spoken about both platoons and batteries. Could you explain if that --
2 in those types of units, is that how those 350 men were organised, and if
3 so, how many batteries, how many platoons?
4 A. I've already told you that I had six batteries. Each of the
5 batteries had either two or four firing platoons, and platoons were
6 divided into squads. There was a command squad which consisted of scouts
7 or reconnaissance men, and there was a topographist and also a
8 communications staff.
9 Q. And you referred to the command squad of a platoon. What rank
10 typically would a platoon -- I'm sorry, would the commander of a command
11 squad have?
12 A. It depended on the availability, but it should have been a junior
13 officer, a warrant officer. It depended on what we had, whether we had
14 trained personnel or whether we had to train somebody we had and was not
15 properly trained.
16 Q. Okay. And we'll get to some of those issues, but to help us with
17 one other bit of terminology here. The term "battery," would it be
18 correct that in general the term "battery" is used to comprise -- sorry,
19 the term "battery" is used to describe a unit that has four to six guns
20 or barrels?
21 A. Yes. A battery would be a basic military formation. Such a
22 battery, if it was full and complete, it would have about 72 men.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The question was how many guns, four to six.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that if it was fully
25 staffed, it would have 72 men who would man artillery pieces and they
1 would also be assigned to accompanying squads, the command squad, and all
2 the other accompanying units that were logistics for those men, as it
4 JUDGE ORIE: You are talking about men. Mr. Shin was asking
5 about the number of barrels in such a battery. He suggested four to six.
6 Is that accurate?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] D30 batteries, 120-millimetres.
8 There were three batteries, each had four barrels and four squads.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. SHIN:
11 Q. And maybe we'll try this: To have four barrels in a D30 battery,
12 would that be a typical number for a D30 battery?
13 A. No. In formation terms, if we had enough men that battery should
14 have had six barrels and six squads, each of them having seven men that
15 would serve those barrels. And there would also be the so-called
16 services, communications, reconnaissance squad, irrespective of the fact
17 whether there were four barrels or six barrels because they would still
18 have to do -- they would still have to prepare things. For one barrel or
19 for six barrels it would be the same. We had three D3 batteries, three
20 groups, and each of them had four squads.
21 Q. Okay. And again, we'll get to some of these topics. If you
22 could please focus on my question. I think we can move on.
23 Now in your statements --
24 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 7.
25 Q. In your statement, Mr. Skrba, you say that:
1 "According to establishment, only the chief of artillery was
2 above me."
3 And if we could clarify a few points here. First, could you
4 explain what you mean by "according to establishment"?
5 A. Well, there was a statute and there are rules of the JNA which we
6 inherited as our code of conduct which were in place until we received
7 our own. In a brigade, a chief of artillery is appointed as an expert
8 for artillery pieces in the brigade. He is the most professional or most
9 expert person in those terms, and he is number two man, second only to
10 the brigade commander.
11 Q. And in your case with the MAD, this chief of artillery at the
12 brigade, that was Mr. Savo Simic; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What rank did he hold?
15 A. He was captain first class.
16 Q. What --
17 A. And that was at the beginning of the war.
18 Q. What was your rank?
19 A. I was a major.
20 Q. So you outranked him, obviously?
21 A. I was recruited from the reserve complement and he was an
22 active-duty officer.
23 Q. Okay. Now you explain that -- or, rather, you have explained in
24 testimony in the Karadzic case that towards the end of 1994, you, in
25 addition to your duties as the commander of the MAD, you also took over
1 the duties of the brigade artillery chief on the departure of
2 Mr. Savo Simic. Would that be correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. So from late 1994 onwards, you served as both the brigade
5 artillery chief and also the commander for the MAD?
6 A. Until the beginning of 1995 I discharged both duties. And then
7 in February, March 1995, Dragan Elez was appointed the division
8 commander, whereas I continued serving as the chief of artillery in the
10 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification. Now let's take this in
11 stages. First of all, approximately when in late 1994 did you take over
12 the duties of the brigade artillery chief in conjunction with your other
13 dudes as the MAD commander?
14 A. I can't remember the exact date. I believe that it was either in
15 September or October 1994. This is to the best of my recollection.
16 Because Major Simic assumed a new duty in the corps.
17 Q. Okay. Now, up to this point, from the beginning of the war until
18 September or October 1994, who did you receive orders from?
19 A. Well, I only received orders from my chief, Simic, or from the
20 brigade commander. Orders and approval.
21 Q. Now, after you took over for Mr. Simic, so when you were
22 dual-headed, so to speak, who did you receive orders from?
23 A. As regards artillery, I got orders from the commander for
24 personnel. As for professional matters, from the chief of artillery from
25 the corps.
1 Q. And that was -- chief of artillery for the corps, that was
2 Colonel Tadija Manojlovic; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. And Colonel Cvetkovic stood in for him whenever he was
4 absent, and he was absent quite a bit.
5 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to focus a little bit more on this period
6 when you were either dual-headed, including the role of the brigade
7 artillery chief, or the time after when you were only the brigade
8 artillery chief. My question is: In that role as brigade artillery
9 chief, would it be correct that you were responsible for advising the
10 brigade commander on artillery matters such as, for example, training?
11 A. That was compulsory information. And every month, at the end of
12 the month or at the beginning of the month, it depended, we would provide
13 monthly reports about our own work and also a plan for the coming month.
14 On the condition that there was no combat, then repairs would be carried
15 out, additional training, and so on.
16 Q. Okay. My question specifically was: You were responsible for
17 advising the brigade commander on training; is that correct? Training
18 for artillery.
19 A. Well, the duty was if we would include that in the monthly plan
20 that we would train crews, the commander should know what the subject of
21 the training was and what kind of training was carried out, where, and
23 Q. Now, you say "we would train crews," it's correct that you, as
24 the brigade artillery chief, organised that kind of training; is that
1 A. Well, already towards the end of 1994, I became chief as well,
2 then the only thing that could have been done was repetition, making sure
3 that people knew what they knew. They were already three years into the
4 war, and as we say in the military, they should be fit in every
5 conceivable way and they should be properly trained.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you organised it, not what
7 was done and whether it was repetition or not, but you, it was your duty
8 to organise that training. Is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, at that moment that was our
10 duty and --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you've answered the question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's much easier for me to
13 give you answers because your questions are more specific.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'll -- but it's Mr. Shin who is putting clear
15 questions to you. Let me be clear on that.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. SHIN:
18 Q. Mr. Skrba, we will certainly do our best to have --
19 A. I apologise.
20 Q. -- very specific questions, and I accept your apology.
21 This monthly plan, you keep talking about "we," but you're the
22 one who is responsible for preparing this monthly plan, even if you had
23 subordinates helping you; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who did you submit this monthly plan to?
1 A. The monthly plan would be submitted to the brigade command and
2 distributed to the units that were supposed to carry out that plan.
3 Q. As brigade artillery chief, is it correct that you were also
4 responsible for advising the brigade commander about ammunition needs?
5 A. That was compulsory during our monthly briefings and reports.
6 Q. Now, I'd like to read you something that Mr. Simic said in
7 another case, and I'll ask you a question about that. He described the
8 brigade artillery chief as including this following function:
9 "In the brigade command, I also provided my input on the use of
10 artillery; i.e., I provided my proposal to the brigade commander. And
11 the brigade commander, at the end of the day, decided whether to accept
12 my proposals or not, or perhaps he had his own suggestions and he would
13 issue orders as to how to place the artillery, how to deploy the assets."
14 Would you agree that that does accurately describe a function of
15 the brigade artillery chief?
16 A. That is fully correct. This report of his that he made,
17 especially at the beginning of the war.
18 Q. And he also said, and I'll quote:
19 "If a combat order was being drafted, I provided my input for the
20 artillery use both verbally and graphically using a map."
21 Would you agree that that also accurately describes one of the
22 functions by the brigade artillery chief?
23 A. Fully accurate. He is describing the tasks that he carried out,
24 the tasks of artillery chief.
25 Q. Now, I'd like to turn next to the issue of the weapons in the
1 MAD. This is something that you were talking about yesterday and just a
2 few minutes ago as well. I just want to make sure that we understood
3 correctly what it was that you had said.
4 First of all, you said that there were three batteries of
5 D30 howitzers, four pieces respectively. So that means 12 pieces in
6 total, correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And yesterday the transcript indicated that the D30 is a
9 120-millimetre howitzer. Is that correct or are they 122-millimetres?
10 A. 122-D.
11 Q. You also said that you had a battery of VBRs, multiple
12 rocket-launchers, four pieces. That's correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you explained that we had two mortar -- I'm sorry, that you
15 had two mortar batteries of 120-millimetre mortars, M-75s, a total of
16 12 pieces?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. One further point on the D30 howitzer. Now, a D30 howitzer, that
19 designation, that name, refers to a towed [Realtime transcript read in
20 error "TOAD"] weapon; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And would it also be correct that this gun -- that this gun could
23 be mounted onto or built into an armoured vehicle, in other words, a
24 self-propelled gun, and that would be known as a gvozdika?
25 A. That's correct. With the same characteristics like a D30, there
1 are gvozdikas that move on caterpillars, and they are used in the same
2 way and they use the same ammunition but they don't have to be tugged.
3 So vehicles like that don't have to be used.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin --
5 MR. SHIN: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you could have a look at page 31, line 16.
7 MR. SHIN: Yes. That's --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I understood you to use a word which I would spell
9 as t-o-w-e-d.
10 MR. SHIN: Yes, that's correct. Thank you, Your Honours, and
11 Ms. Stewart had pointed that out as well. I believe that the witness had
12 understood from his answer, so the translators, I believe, got the
13 correct term in there.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think it's -- it appears from the answer that
15 that's clear.
16 MR. SHIN: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. SHIN:
19 Q. Mr. Skrba, did your unit, the MAD, did it have any gvozdikas?
20 A. That was just at the beginning of the war. Sometime up until the
21 end of May or beginning of June.
22 Q. And what happened to those after the end of May, beginning of
24 A. Well, they were taken to the area of Milici, and the others that
25 had been there went to the guard, the guard command, when it was
1 established in Han Pijesak. These were two units with six pieces,
2 respectively, and they had their own assets.
3 Q. Did the Smbr, apart from the MAD, did the Smbr have any
5 A. I didn't have any. However, the brigade had 90s from peacetime,
6 but I did not deploy them or command them.
7 Q. And these 90s, what kind of weapon is that?
8 A. It's like a tank, a 90-millimetre howitzer.
9 Q. So essentially it's a self-propelled 90-millimetre howitzer?
10 A. Self-propelled, similar to a tank, but it's 90 millimetres.
11 That's the diameter. Because all these weapons are named on the basis of
12 the diameter of the ammunition that is fired from them.
13 Q. Okay. Now, you have explained that you did not deploy these 90s
14 or command them. Did -- who in the brigade did command these 90s?
15 We may have an issue with the translation? Is it okay? Okay.
16 A. At that time it was the chief of artillery, Savo Simic, who
17 commanded them.
18 Q. What was the name of the unit that they belonged to?
19 A. In fact, they all got out of my zone of the 1st Sarajevo Brigade.
20 I think that -- that the Drina theatre facing Milici. Now, where they
21 were actually deployed in the Drina Corps, that I don't know.
22 Q. Well, you just told us that Savo Simic commanded them and he was
23 the chief of artillery for your brigade.
24 A. When I said he commanded them, I meant that he gave approval and
25 that he was well versed. All of this happened at the beginning of the
1 war in 1992. I think that as chief he knew which unit a particular asset
2 was sent to. He did not command it in terms of using it. He just knew
3 which artillery piece went to which unit.
4 Q. How many 90s are we talking about?
5 A. To the best of my knowledge, it was, say, six or seven. I cannot
6 know the exact number. But as for gvozdikas, I know that there were 11.
7 One battery had six and the other one had five.
8 Q. Now, you have just told us about weapons, the gvozdikas which you
9 had, as you say, at the beginning of the war and then they went
10 elsewhere. Were there other weapons that you had at the beginning of the
11 war that then went elsewhere?
12 A. Rocket-launchers, howitzers, gvozdikas, and these guns, the 90s.
13 Q. Let's take those one at a time. You've discussed the gvozdikas.
14 How many howitzers that you had at the beginning of the war were then
15 reassigned somewhere else? Just the ones that were reassigned.
16 A. These were the so-called battery gvozdikas that are mobile like
17 tanks. There were two units, one with six and one with five such
18 weapons. The one with six went to Milici and the other one went to
19 prepare in Han Pijesak for the establishment of the Guards Brigade.
20 Q. Okay. I think I misunderstood your answer but I understand that
21 now. The rockets, how many -- are these, first of all, VBRs also?
22 A. I had four. However, I had two others that went with the
23 gvozdikas to Milici.
24 Q. Okay. Did you have any other 120 -- you've spoken about the D30s
25 in gvozdika form and you've spoken about the VBRs. Did you have any
1 other 120-millimetre mortars at the beginning of the war that were also
2 sent elsewhere?
3 A. I had only two batteries with six mortars, respectively. As far
4 as I know, that's what I got when I assumed that duty in May.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. SHIN: Can I please have P353 brought on the screen. And I'd
7 like to turn to e-court page English 28 and also in B/C/S 28.
8 Q. While we're waiting for that to come up, Mr. Skrba, this is
9 General Mladic's notebook entry for the 30th of May, 1992.
10 MR. SHIN: If we could please turn to pages 28 in both languages.
11 I'm sorry, can we try page -- is this the correct page? Can we try
12 page 30, please. Okay. Just one moment, please.
13 That's the correct page. I just wanted to make sure that I was
14 giving the right number since I may have moved too quickly for the
15 document to come up in time.
16 Q. Now, you see here that these are notes of a meeting between
17 General Mladic and unit commanders of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
18 MR. SHIN: If we could please turn to page 30 now. And --
19 Q. We're still waiting for the page to come up, Mr. Skrba. Okay.
20 Now you have that there. And under the bottom, in the B/C/S, you see at
21 item number 10 the reference to Lieutenant-Colonel Veljko Stojanovic.
22 Now, he's the commander of the Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now we see the reference here to the two batteries of the
25 gvozdikas that you've been speaking about, correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. SHIN: Now if we could turn to page E31 and B31.
3 Q. In the upper third of that page you see a reference to a 1MBNA,
4 2MB. That's motorised battalion, correct?
5 MR. SHIN: I'm not sure if the witness is signaling there is a
6 technical issue.
7 Q. Can you see the page now, Mr. Skrba?
8 A. I still have page 30.
9 Q. Yes. I understand your confusion then. I'm referring to a
10 technical page number that we have. But yes, you're looking at the right
11 page number if it says "30" on the page.
12 Now, my question, just to remind us, the first -- the reference
13 to the 1MB and the reference to the 2MB, those are references to
14 motorised battalions, correct?
15 A. That's what's written here. I don't know.
16 Q. Well, my question, and perhaps you know the answer to this: The
17 Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade had two armoured battalions, correct?
18 A. Not two motorised ones. One motorised and -- I'm sorry, I mean,
19 I know that one was motorised and the other one was armoured.
20 Q. Okay. So one was called a motorised battalion and the other was
21 called an armoured battalion. Now, you see here in General Mladic's
22 entry that the 1st Motorised or Armoured Battalion had ten T-55 tanks.
24 A. Since I am not a technical person, I'm not an armour man, I
25 cannot say. I can't say either yes or no. I mean, it's a differential
1 branch all together. They were just within this brigade. I really
2 cannot say exactly how many of them there were, how many tanks they had,
3 how many APCs. I can neither say yes or no. I just know that one was
4 motorised and the other one was armoured.
5 Q. Mr. Skrba, you were the commander of the mixed artillery
6 division. From September or October of 1994, you also held the position
7 of chief of artillery at the brigade. Now, even with artillery and the
8 armoured branches being different fields, are you saying that you did not
9 know what these two armoured or motorised battalions had? Are you saying
10 you did not know that?
11 A. I don't know. I do not know because I, in my school for reserve
12 officers, I did not hear such lectures. I did not study their system. I
13 cannot speak about these arms and services when I was not part of that.
14 I served in the artillery. That was what I did as a reserve officer. I
15 was not a professional before the war, and I really don't know how many
16 tanks they had, how many people they had. I really don't know.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You had no factual knowledge of that. So apart from
18 whether you were supposed to know but you -- you also did not know, is
19 that how we have to understand your testimony?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. Correct. This
21 information I received during the briefings at the brigade command when
22 the commanders of these units reported there, and I remember that in
23 passing or something that I needed for defence or attack. However, I did
24 not go into the technical details because I am not professionally versed
25 in that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you didn't know about ten tanks in the
2 1st Motorised Battalion, you had no idea whether there was one or 20?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excellency, I just know the
4 establishment that one was motorised and the other one was armoured. I
5 just know what the establishment was. But how many pieces they had, how
6 many units they had. I really don't know. I was not trained for that, I
7 was not in charge of that, and I was not trained for that particular
8 service in the military.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You have also had not by any chance heard something
10 about it or -- even if it was not your responsibility. Sometimes I do
11 know things or I hear things which are beyond my duties. Did you ever
12 hear the strength of those, the armament of those battalions?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I know that this armoured
14 battalion went to Grbavica, and how many weapons they had I don't know.
15 But I think that it was deployed. I mean, that's what I seem to remember
16 from the briefings, that there was a company at Grbavica. And where the
17 others were, I don't know. I mean, it was just through these monthly
18 briefings that I would find out where certain units were and whether they
19 were acting in co-ordination with me for some particular operation.
20 Things like that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, please proceed.
22 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'm going to focus on something you said a little
24 while ago and repeated just now, that you learned about these units
25 during briefings at the brigade command. And now that's what I want to
1 ask you about, not what you learned about in the military academy or in
2 any school. Is that clear?
3 A. It's clear. Anything I learned at a meeting or that I know
4 otherwise I can confirm, as I did before.
5 Q. Well, let's take that step by step. First, in these meetings you
6 learned that each of these battalions, this motorised or armoured
7 battalion, had T-55 tanks, at least one; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. You also learned that they had BVP armoured vehicles; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You also learned that they had M80s; correct?
12 A. I didn't see that. I didn't hear that. I couldn't show you that
13 they had M80s.
14 Q. But you do know what an M80 is; correct?
15 A. No. No, I don't know what M80 means. I know M82, that's a
16 mortar. I don't know what M80 is.
17 Q. And an M82 would be an 82-millimetre mortar as you described
19 Now, another thing --
20 A. Yes, and that's part of my specialty, the artillery. That's why
21 I know.
22 Q. Yes. Your specialty is artillery. You've told us that.
23 Now, you've also said a little while ago that you heard about
24 these units, for example, in the context of whether they were "needed for
25 defence or attack," and also in the context of whether they would be
1 "co-ordinated" with you.
2 Now, isn't it true that there were times when you co-ordinated
3 the activities of the MAD with the activities of one or both of these
4 battalions, motorised or armoured?
5 A. No, such situations didn't happen.
6 Q. So when you were saying that you may have heard of these in the
7 context of needing them for defence or attack or for co-ordination, that
8 just never happened? You were just saying that as a hypothetical?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, in your statement --
11 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 11.
12 Q. -- you say that the chain of command was never bypassed, and you
13 explain also that the principle of subordination was observed. My
14 question to you is whether that would mean -- whether we should
15 understand that to mean that orders went from the corps to the brigades
16 with the expectation that they would be obeyed. That's just the
17 principle of command and control; right? Orders go from the command --
18 from the corps to the brigade.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And from the brigade to the battalion or -- and in your field,
21 from the brigade to the MAD and so on?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And when you talk about the chain of command and the principle of
24 subordination, you're also referring to the fact that above the corps,
25 the corps reports to the commander of the Main Staff. That's clear,
1 isn't it?
2 A. That's standard practice in all armies. One command reports to
3 the superior command.
4 Q. Okay. I'd like to move now to an issue you've discussed
5 previously. That's the issue of your firing positions. Now --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, could I --
7 MR. SHIN: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- still seek clarification?
9 MR. SHIN: Yes, of course.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I read to you what you said a while ago when asked
11 about your knowledge about those battalions. You said:
12 "I mean, it was just through these monthly briefings that I would
13 find out where certain units were and whether they were acting in
14 co-ordination with me for some particular operation. Things like that."
15 I understood this as that you -- that such events happened, that
16 it happened that they, meaning one or the two of these battalions, were
17 acting in co-ordination with you because how would you otherwise find out
18 during a briefing if it never happened?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the briefing itself. At
20 the brigade command, we briefed each of us about our own problems and the
21 responsibilities we had, the tasks we had to carry out with the units on
22 the ground.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you said "whether they were acting in
24 co-ordination with me," so that -- I understood that to be that during
25 those briefings that you were reporting on actions or operations which
1 took place in a co-ordinated way.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those co-ordinated modes of action
3 were stable because our unit never tried during the whole war to launch
4 an attack, an advance, and then retreat. We spent the entire war in the
5 same firing positions, and our infantry in front of us was 95 per cent on
6 the same positions all the time. So regarding a certain elevation, we
7 decided that, first of all, I would attack and then perhaps the armoured
8 battalion would continue, et cetera. In that sense we co-ordinated and
9 received instructions from the command during the briefings. Who would
10 assist first or who had better visibility, in that sense we co-ordinated
11 in response to an enemy attack should it happen.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
14 MR. SHIN:
15 Q. Mr. Skrba, we were on the issue of your firing positions. But
16 let me just ask you one question about what you've just said. You said
17 that some of these discussions were about whether first you would attack
18 and then perhaps the armoured battalion would continue. Doesn't that
19 mean you were co-ordinating your actions?
20 A. Well, first, as the superior in MAD, I received information from
21 the observation points that could see the enemy. I would receive a
22 report that a certain feature was attacked, I would pass that on to the
23 command, and the command would then tell me whether I would act first or
24 some other unit. If I get approval from them, then I would fire at the
25 source of that fire and then the infantry would go on to keep that
2 Q. Mr. Skrba, you do appreciate that the Judge's question was about
3 during those briefings and that is what you were answering, not a
4 question about what was happening in the field with your observers?
5 A. My observers reported to me and I reported to the command that in
6 a certain sector of the firing line such and such a thing was happening,
7 and then I awaited instructions from them, who would return fire first,
8 who would react first.
9 Q. I'll move on. We were going to discuss your firing positions.
10 And I wanted to see if we understood accurately your evidence so far
11 about your firing positions.
12 Now, first of all, you explained that all your firing positions
13 were 300 metres from your command post and you marked the map. Just so
14 we're clear on this, I would like to go to a more detailed map that you
15 marked during your Karadzic testimony.
16 MR. SHIN: Could we please have 65 ter 30675.
17 Q. Mr. Skrba, while we're waiting for that to come up -- yeah, we
18 have it now. Do you recognise this as a map that you marked during your
19 testimony in the Karadzic case? That, for example, is your signature,
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, I think we resumed one hour ago. If
23 you -- if it takes more than two or three minutes, I would rather save it
24 until after the break.
25 MR. SHIN: It's a bit difficult for me to estimate, but I think
1 it would be more than two or three minutes for sure.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then I think we first should take a break and then
3 we will resume at 12.00, but we'll only take the break after the witness
4 has left the courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break.
7 --- Recess taken at 11.42 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.03 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to come in, I
10 already can announce that our next break will be a little bit longer than
11 usual, that will be from 1.00 to 1.30. So half an hour.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Mr. Shin.
14 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Mr. Skrba, I see you have your glasses and we were actually about
16 to look at a map.
17 MR. SHIN: If we could please have 65 ter 306 -- 6 -- I'm sorry,
18 let me try that again, 30675 on the screen. Okay.
19 Q. Now, I believe, Mr. Skrba, you had confirmed that that's your
20 signature there?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now if you could please explain to the Court -- well, let me put
23 it to you this way: At the top -- in the middle at the top we see two
24 red lines sort of converging on each other. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Those are two red lines that you drew to indicate two firing
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, below that we see two marks over a place that, if we zoom in
5 a little bit, we can see is Uzdojnice. Did you intend by that to
6 indicate the location of your command post?
7 A. Yes, the location of the command post where we were throughout
8 the war and where the observers were with us.
9 Q. Now, further below we see two other lines and would it be correct
10 that those two lines also indicate two firing positions?
11 A. Yes, those were the positions of the howitzers.
12 Q. I think you're anticipating my questions. If we could start with
13 the upper left of these four lines -- red lines you've drawn, could you
14 tell us what you had at each of those firing positions?
15 A. These first two upper lines were mortars, 120-millimetres,
16 six weapons. The next one just below the command, these straight lines
17 were the firing positions of howitzers, 100-D30, 122-millimetres, they
18 had six weapons each. So two firing positions, six weapons each.
19 Q. And so --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could I then seek clarification for -- you said the
21 mortars, 120-millimetres, six weapons, is that for one or for the two
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said these two lines are
24 two positions of mortars, 120-millimetres, M75. On one line there were
25 six weapons and on the other line there were six weapons also. So
1 two batteries with 120-millimetre weapons.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the lines, do they indicate in which
3 direction they were usually oriented or -- I mean, the howitzers are in
4 parallel, the other weapons are in a kind of a V shape. Could you
5 explain what that means?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This lower line going towards the
7 command post was the position of the 120-millimetre battery. They were
8 facing north towards Zlatiste, the Jewish cemetery, et cetera; and the
9 other line was facing Ozrenska Street, Lukavica, the Cica barracks,
10 et cetera.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So that would be westerly direction rather than
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't have a compass here.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's clear to me now. Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. SHIN:
17 Q. Mr. Skrba, just to follow-up on the Judge's questions, you told
18 us you did not have a compass. You were in this area the entire war,
19 weren't you?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. You know where Lukavica is.
22 A. I know.
23 Q. Are you telling this Court that you need a compass to decide what
24 direction it is from these firing positions to Lukavica?
25 A. Well, it's to the west.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, in the Karadzic case you testified that these
2 four positions were permanent and they did not move until August 1995; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And these firing positions you've marked, this is where they were
6 when you took command on the 27th of May, 1992, of the MAD; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now I'd like to move on to the topic of command posts.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, one more.
10 The mortars, they are just lines, they are parallel lines, but
11 are they oriented towards the north-east or to the south-west? A line
12 has a beginning and an end. Is it direction of town or is it ...?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand your question. I just
14 roughly drew these lines indicating six weapons. The upper line was
15 facing west and the lower line was facing north. The lower line was
16 facing Zlatiste and the upper line was facing Debelo Brdo, Mojmilo,
17 et cetera.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You're explaining now the mortars. I was asking now
19 about the howitzers which are the two lines further down. Were they
20 directed north-east or were they directed in the opposite direction,
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that was new equipment. With
23 those howitzers I was able to fire 360 degrees.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
25 MR. SHIN:
1 Q. Mr. Skrba, we were discussing your command post. You've already
2 explained where that is. Now, you testified in the Karadzic case that
3 Uzdojnice was also the command post of other units that were deployed
4 there. Can you tell us what these other units were that were deployed
6 A. In this area between the howitzer firing positions there is a
7 little black dot here. Even before the war there was a communications
8 company there, a signals company. They kept their communications
9 equipment between our firing positions. If necessary, I'll mark it.
10 Q. Let's see whether we need to do that. You mentioned that -- in
11 the Karadzic case you said that Uzdojnice was a command post of other
12 units, in the plural, that were deployed there. Apart from this
13 communications unit, what other units were deployed there?
14 A. There was no one there except for my battery. Maybe I meant in
15 that passage that the commands of these batteries were deployed there.
16 That's what I meant and that's how it was, 100 per cent sure. Apart from
17 this signals company, there were no military or technical units there.
18 Q. This signals company, by the way, was that a company under what
19 superior command?
20 A. That company was under the corps command.
21 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, I would tender this map.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30675 receives number P6519,
24 Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P6519 is admitted into evidence and it was marked in
1 the previous case.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. SHIN:
4 Q. To continue on, Mr. Skrba, with this issue of -- this topic of
5 the command post, I would like to turn to another map.
6 MR. SHIN: Could I please have 65 ter 30674 brought to the
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, while we're waiting for that to come up, let me just
9 anticipate that by saying it is another map that you marked during your
10 testimony in the Karadzic case. Do you recognise this map and do you
11 recognise that signature to be yours?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, we see in the middle of this map Uzdojnice again, which, as
14 you've explained, was your command post. Now, to the left of that and a
15 little bit to the south we see a mark - if we could zoom in a little
16 bit - another red circle that's been drawn over a place named Pavlovac.
17 Now, you said in the Karadzic case that this indicated the command of a
18 subordinate unit, a unit subordinated to you. What subordinate command
19 was that?
20 A. That was not a unit subordinated to us. This was the command
21 post of my brigade. We were subordinated to that brigade command.
22 Q. Thank you for that clarification. So that is a command post,
23 that red mark to the left, that is a command post of the
24 Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade.
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. Now continuing on with this map, if we look to the right, you've
2 also made a mark at a place named Tilava. And in the Karadzic case, you
3 testified that there was an infirmary and a local commune there; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Maybe for completeness before I tender this, could you explain to
7 the Judges what marks -- what those marks in the upper left of this map
9 A. They asked me about Energoinvest and the electrical engineering
10 faculty. Energoinvest is a famous company and next to it is the
11 electrical engineering school of the university.
12 Q. So would it be correct that IE refers to Energoinvest and ETF
13 refers to the faculty?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, I would tender that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30674 receives number P6520,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. SHIN:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, I'd like to continue on to a slightly different
22 topic. In your statement --
23 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 7.
24 Q. -- you described the establishment of the 1st Sarajevo
25 Mechanised Brigade, and there you note that it was formed from the
1 remaining hardware and personnel from the JNA. You add that it consisted
2 mostly of hardware and was insufficiently manned, and you've addressed
3 that topic earlier today.
4 Just so we're clear, isn't it true that at the outset of the war
5 the MAD, in particular, had the largest number of active officers and
6 soldiers among SRK artillery units?
7 A. This is not correct and I claim that with full responsibility.
8 Not a single officer in the MAD was an active officer, with the exception
9 of Chief Savo Simic, who was an artillery specialist. There were some
10 active lieutenants, but they left with the units that went to Milici.
11 The area that we have just discussed and the deployment of those units,
12 after the JNA left, they didn't leave behind any career officers.
13 Q. Let's look at a document.
14 MR. SHIN: Could I please have P4435.
15 Q. Mr. Skrba, while we're waiting for that document to come up, let
16 me explain what it is. This is a Sarajevo Romanija Corps command
17 analysis of the combat readiness of corps artillery rocket units. It's
18 dated, as you can see on the front page, July 1994. We can go to the
19 back later to see that it's signed by chief of artillery,
20 Colonel Tadija Manojlovic, and we've already discussed him.
21 Just one quick question, as chief of artillery at the SRK,
22 Colonel Manojlovic was a member of the SRK command staff, was he not?
23 A. What command staff are you talking about? He was part of the
24 corps command.
25 Q. Yes, that was exactly my question. Thank you.
1 Now, one other preliminary question here: The phrase "artillery
2 rocket units of the SRK," what does that include specifically?
3 A. As the chief of artillery in the corps command, this comprises
4 all artillery units at lower levels. And we are talking about batteries,
5 divisions, regiments, depending on the specialty of the weapons that he
6 had and disposed with. The lower units are brigades and they can also be
7 independent artillery regiments with their own specific types of weapons.
8 Regiments are the level of the -- of the brigade in terms of
10 Q. And following on from your explanation, it would be correct that
11 the 4th Mixed Artillery Regiment was one of these units, it was a corps
13 A. The 4th Mixed Artillery Regiment? I'm not familiar with that.
14 Maybe you misspoke or maybe the terminology is wrong.
15 Q. Let me try the designation that's used in the VRS, the 4th MAP?
16 A. Ah, a MAP is an entirely different thing. It's a mixed artillery
17 regiment and it's mixed because it has different weapons of different
18 calibre. It should have been called a division, but when there is a
19 designation "mixed," that means that the type of weaponry varies.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think the linguistical problem has been resolved.
21 Was the 4th MAP, was that one of the units -- was it a corps asset? That
22 was the question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MR. SHIN:
25 Q. And you were describing the designation "mixed." Your unit was
1 also a mixed artillery unit, so clearly the 4th Mixed Artillery, from
2 your description, would also have 120-millimetre mortars, correct, among
3 other things?
4 A. Regiment?
5 Q. Yes, I think we've resolved that, it's the MAP and the P stands
6 for "puk" which means "regiment."
7 A. Well, a regiment is a unit at a higher level than a division, and
8 in terms of establishment, it does not belong to a brigade. It is at the
9 corps level. And I'm just explaining why they were mixed, because a
10 regiment has units with artillery weapons with bigger barrels. They
11 don't have 120-millimetre mortars, their howitzers or cannons, 130. The
12 higher level unit, the higher the establishment level, which implies that
13 they have higher calibre artillery pieces.
14 Q. But the corps did have 120-millimetre mortars; is that correct?
15 A. I don't know anything about their establishment. They were quite
16 far away from me. They were in Pale. They were not on my left flank or
17 on my right flank. They were not in my area of responsibility. I never
18 co-operated with them.
19 Q. Mr. Skrba, you were the chief of artillery for the Smbr, the
20 Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade, from September, October 1994 onwards. But
21 you had no idea whether the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, your immediately
22 superior command, had any 120-millimetre mortars? You had no idea. Not
23 whether they did or not whether they didn't. Is that what you're telling
25 A. This is what I claim: I don't know what their composition was.
1 Just having passed through their deployment lines, I can't tell you what
2 they had -- or, rather, I didn't see any mortars. Maybe they had them or
3 maybe not. I can't say that for a fact. They never informed me and I
4 never attended any meetings at the corps level. I never heard any of
5 their briefings, therefore there is no way for me to know what they had
6 at their disposal.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have any impression? Did you ever receive
8 any information on what they might have had? Even if it was not official
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. This is what I said.
11 There were 150 and 105 howitzers. I knew the commander, Dragoljub Tosic,
12 I knew him from before the war. He was the commander of that regiment.
13 But I was not aware of his detailed composition. I know that they had
14 VBRs, 128, but I was not aware of a more precise composition of the unit.
15 We were not in contact. We never discussed that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And mortars?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I can't say either
18 yes or no. In terms of establishment, they were not supposed to have
19 mortars, but I'm not claiming that they didn't. But I was never
20 officially informed about that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier said: "I don't know anything about
22 their establishment." And in your last answer you say: "In terms of
23 establishment, they were not supposed to have mortars ..." So therefore
24 do you have any knowledge about their establishment or do you not have
25 any knowledge about the establishment?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
2 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time you tell us that they are supposed
3 not to have mortars, according to their establishment. If you don't know
4 anything, how could you know, then, that they are supposed not to have
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I served in the JNA, we had
7 manoeuvres, and I remember from that what a division should have had as
8 opposed to a regiment. I remember what the composition of a regiment was
9 as opposed to a composition of a division. And based on those
10 manoeuvres, I can tell that regiment never had mortars. It always had
11 higher calibre weapons with a longer range, and their calibre was
12 100-millimetre, 150-millimetre, and then they were mixed regiment. If it
13 was a uniform regiment, it had a higher calibre.
14 And now on to a division. A division usually has four batteries
15 in terms of establishment -- or, rather, it has three batteries with the
16 same weapons. And if it's a mixed division, if it has mortars, then it
17 can be called a mixed artillery division or a mixed artillery regiment if
18 it is a formation at a higher level. That means that their artillery
19 pieces are mixed, that there is a variety.
20 MR. SHIN:
21 Q. Mr. Skrba, maybe one more question on what the -- the explanation
22 you've been providing the Court. Now, you were aware -- you've mentioned
23 a couple of things that you believe the corps had, VBRs, howitzers, but
24 can you tell us - and perhaps you have, it's not clear to me - whether
25 you were aware that the corps had 120-millimetre mortars, whether in the
1 4th MAP or elsewhere?
2 A. The corps had mortars and they were deployed among the brigades.
3 Q. I will move on. Now we were looking at this document.
4 MR. SHIN: If we could please go to page 2 of both the English
5 and the B/C/S.
6 Q. Now we can see, Mr. Skrba, at the bottom half of this page, in
7 the first sentence under number 1, command and control, we can see that
8 this report covers two periods: From the beginning of the war to
9 20th May 1992; and secondly, from that date on to July 1994. A little
10 below it reads:
11 "The MAD/1st Smbr, which was a component of the 4th Corps, had in
12 their ranks the largest number of active officers and soldiers which
13 facilitated the combat assignments to be carried out in the area of
14 responsibility of both the 1st Smbr and the Corps."
15 Now, I want to ask you about the first part of that. Isn't it
16 correct, as Colonel Manojlovic has written here, that your unit, the MAD,
17 had, among the SRK artillery rocket units, the largest number of active
18 officers and soldiers?
19 A. I've already told you that. Only the chief of artillery up to
20 September, October was an active officer in the MAD. The rest of us were
21 reservists. I can give you the names of the commanders who had all
22 joined from the reserve complement. And as for Mr. Manojlovic, who said
23 that, I would like to hear him say that. I know that he could not write
24 that. But it is true that the Sarajevo Brigade had most of the
25 professional officers but they were deployed elsewhere. They were
1 assigned to other units, not to the MAD.
2 Q. Well, perhaps in that regard, we can focus on the second part of
3 that sentence. Isn't it correct that, as Colonel Manojlovic writes, that
4 the MAD "facilitated the combat assignments to be carried out in the area
5 of responsibility of both the 1st Smbr and of the SRK"? Isn't that
7 A. Where does it say that? However, wherever it says that, I don't
8 know how he could claim that. I don't know what the essence of the
9 question was. We performed our tasks within the brigade, and if the
10 brigade received an order, like I just told you a while ago when we had
11 only two batteries with six weapons, and then we had three batteries with
12 four batteries [as interpreted], and then we would send our unit
13 20 kilometres away if there was a task that took them there. Maybe that
14 was an advantage of the mobile unit. Maybe that was the rationale behind
15 him saying that.
16 Q. So as you're explaining, it appears that Colonel Manojlovic was
17 correct that the MAD could be sent 20 kilometres away, which means
18 certainly outside of the Smbr's zone of responsibility?
19 A. Yes. It does not mean that it was outside of the zone of
20 responsibility of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, but in any case, it was
21 outside of the zone that stretches 20 kilometres from the centre of
23 Q. I see. I think I may have misunderstood your earlier answer.
24 Now, did the MAD do this -- facilitate combat assignments in the SRK's
25 zone of responsibility but outside the Smbr's zone of responsibility?
1 Did that occur throughout the entire war or what time-period did that
3 A. It happened every now and then and it depended on the enemy
4 attacks, where our lines of defence were attacked. Those were specific
5 situations, especially after 1994 up until the end of 1994 [as
7 Q. So we can understand that to mean, as you're referring to 1994
8 and 1995, that was also true in 1992 and 1993? Would that be right?
9 A. No.
10 Q. So that was true only in 1994 and 1995?
11 A. Yes, after the Lukavac 93, we gained a lot of manoeuvre positions
12 so we could move away from Sarajevo, 20 kilometres from the centre of
14 Q. Now, I'd like to turn to the Smbr itself. You've previously
15 testified that mortars under the size of 120-millimetres, they were with
16 the infantry battalions; is that correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. So 82-millimetre mortars, for example, were with the battalions?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many 82-millimetre mortars did the 2nd Battalion have?
21 A. I believe that they had four.
22 Q. What about the other infantry battalions?
23 A. The 3rd Infantry Battalion also had either three or four pieces.
24 And the 1st also had either three or four.
25 Q. What about mortars of smaller size?
1 A. Those are 60-millimetre mortars which are carried on one's back.
2 I don't know how many there were and where they were deployed.
3 Q. Okay. I'll now move on to a slightly different topic. I may
4 return to that one as well.
5 MR. SHIN: Could we please have 65 ter 30641. But, I'm sorry,
6 just before we do that, could we look at the last page of this document
7 on the screen.
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, you recognise the signature of Colonel Manojlovic?
9 A. I can see his name but I'm really not familiar with his
10 signature. He was not my superior officer before the war and throughout
11 the war he was at the corps command all the time, so I really don't know
12 what his signature looks like. I suppose that this may be it.
13 MR. SHIN: So we'll move on to 65 ter 30641, please. And,
14 Your Honours, this is a detail from a map from P3. And we saw one
15 detail -- a slightly different detail yesterday and now we're seeing this
17 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, this map doesn't show the full area of the
18 1st Smbr's zone of responsibility as in a map that had been tendered
19 earlier during your testimony. But you see the dotted red and blue
20 lines. That's the line of confrontation, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now if we look to the bottom and a little bit to the left of
23 centre, you see a thinner red line in dashes and dots, and you can see
24 the Zeljeznica river; correct? Have you found that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, this line with dots and dashes on it, this would mark the
2 left side of the brigade's zone of responsibility?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And would it be correct - and I believe you have this in your
5 statement --
6 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 9.
7 Q. -- that the neighboring unit is the 2nd Sarajevo Infantry
9 A. Yes, the 2nd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade is on the left side.
10 Q. And if we look to the right side of this map but still under the
11 portion on the right side that has the blue and red confrontation line,
12 you see once again a thinner red line with dots and dashes, and that
13 would be the right side of the Smbr's zone of responsibility; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the neighbouring unit there was the 1st Romanija Brigade?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you spoke earlier today about Trebevic and you were telling
18 this Court that the ABiH were firing at you from Trebevic. We can see
19 Trebevic, the word is appearing just roughly parallel to that thin red
20 line with dashes and dots. It's pretty clear on this map, isn't it, that
21 Trebevic is held by the VRS, first?
22 A. The lines depict the VRS positions on the left and on the right.
23 I don't understand your question, sorry.
24 Q. Yes, we see the word "Trebevic" and that entire word appears
25 within the SRK side of the confrontation line.
1 A. No, no. Parts of Trebevic stretch all the way to the bed of the
2 Miljacka river and to the highway. I believe that a scale of this map is
3 1:50.000 which is why things seem the way they are. They were at the
4 initial positions along the elevated parts of Trebevic, especially around
5 Zlatiste, on the end on Zlatiste.
6 MR. SHIN: Could we zoom in on this map a little bit, please, and
7 move over to -- so that we can centre the word "Trebevic."
8 Q. Now, we can see -- you're talking about the Miljacka river, and
9 you've just told us that Trebevic includes areas that go right down to
10 the bank of the Miljacka river. Now, we see the Miljacka river
11 projecting in a direction towards the south-east from the lower right
12 corner of the confrontation line; would that be right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now that part, of course, is under VRS control.
15 A. No. That part around the Miljacka river was not at all under the
16 VRS control, starting with Kozja Cuprija.
17 Q. And I believe we can see what you're talking about there,
18 Kozja Cuprija. But if we --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should avoid touching the screen.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could I see whether -- you talked about Zlatiste and
22 Trebevic. Do you consider Zlatiste to be part of Trebevic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, both Zlatiste and Debelo Brdo
24 below Zlatiste.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we find Zlatiste on this map. Let's have
1 a look. I have difficulties in finding it.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This term "Grad" and "Vranjac,"
3 this is actually Zlatiste. There is a fortress there. That is why the
4 area is called "Grad" or "fortress." And the general area around these
5 two places is known as Zlatiste.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And could you again clearly indicate where you found
7 "Grad" and -- because I have not found it yet. Is it on this map?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, between Debelo Brdo and
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is Vranjac indicated?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between those two. Yes, it is
12 indicated on the map.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could someone help me to find it.
14 Mr. Shin, if you would --
15 MR. SHIN: Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm struggling to find it as well.
16 It's possible that the word "Grad" does not appear on this map and we may
17 be able to assist with another one, unless my colleague Mr. Stojanovic
18 can assist.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, where do we find ...
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours,
21 if you can follow the irregular rectangle in the left upper corner of the
22 big rectangle, it is right below the red line where it says "Grad,"
23 "Vranjac" and "Debelo Brdo." Well, this area is also part of Trebevic
24 known as Zlatiste.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I now found Debelo Brdo, which is indicated as an
1 elevation 745, which is situated on this map just between the VRS and the
2 opposite army. Then I find "Grad" and "Vranjac" just south of that, and
3 that seems not to be within the area controlled by the forces opposing
4 the VRS. So on this map at least it's not clearly Muslim-controlled or
5 Presidency-controlled area. And at the same time I also notice that
6 apparently the witness defines what Trebevic is different from just the
7 words as we find them on the map. May I take it that he is referring to
8 the lower part of the slopes of that -- what I think is a mountain.
9 And therefore, I think whenever we are talking about firing from
10 Trebevic or from elsewhere that we should be more precise in finding the
11 locations the witness is referring to exactly.
12 Could you keep this in mind, Mr. Shin.
13 MR. SHIN: Yes, of course, Mr. President.
14 Q. Just one more question on this map, Mr. Skrba. You see the word
15 "Trebevic" on this map. Would you agree at least that the word
16 "Trebevic" is written over an area that is known as Trebevic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that area of Trebevic is in the zone of responsibility of the
19 1st Romanija Brigade?
20 A. Yes, its northern part.
21 Q. And in fact you see that flag just above the V in Trebevic with
22 the four on it. That would be -- that would indicate the command post of
23 the 4th Battalion of the 1st Romanija Brigade; would that be correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. For
1 the record, on two occasions it was recorded "the 1st Romanija Brigade."
2 This may cause confusion. Did the Prosecutor have in mind the
3 Romanija Brigade or the Sarajevo Brigade?
4 MR. SHIN: I believe the witness has told us that to the right
5 side of this dotted and dashed red line under Trebevic, that's where the
6 Romanija Brigade was. I think that's in the record --
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 MR. SHIN: -- and he's just confirmed that.
9 Q. So, Mr. Skrba, we will move on but I want to stay with this map.
10 Now, my colleague, Mr. Stojanovic, has pointed to a feature about this
11 irregular rectangular shape that we see in almost the centre of this map.
12 Now, to help orient you, this roughly rectangular shape has in the centre
13 of it in Cyrillic letters the acronym BRAG. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now BRAG means brigade artillery group, doesn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And a brigade artillery group, could you tell me if this would be
18 correct: That that's a formation which was made up by combining
19 different components of the brigade assets to form an artillery group for
20 a -- as a temporary structure for a specific action?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yes, thank you. And that's the same concept that applies at the
23 corps level, right? And the letters KAG would signify a corps artillery
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now in this --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could we --
3 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I hear, on the English channel, I hear on the
5 background the B/C/S interpretation. I don't know what causes it. No
6 one would expect me to be bilingual, I think, but let's proceed and see
7 whether it can be fixed.
8 MR. SHIN:
9 Q. So, Mr. Skrba, we were discussing the brigade artillery groups,
10 and you had explained -- you had agreed with me what the nature of those
12 Now, in this particular map, this brigade artillery group
13 encompasses the two positions you've outlined before in Uzdojnice and one
14 position further south; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It also encompasses these two positions further up closer to the
17 confrontation line. Now, those would be weapons of infantry --
18 A. [Overlapping speakers] --
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
22 MR. SHIN:
23 Q. The witness -- I believe you said "tocna;" is that right?
24 A. No, I did not hear the question to the end. I was interrupted --
25 or the interpretation was interrupted.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the question, Mr. Shin.
2 MR. SHIN: That's likely my mistake.
3 Q. We see at the upper end of this roughly rectangular shape that
4 there are two -- two diagrams, and this would represent weapons of the
5 battalion -- infantry battalions; correct?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Whose weapons would those be?
8 A. Those would be of a motorised or an armoured battalion that were
9 both on the strength of the brigade.
10 Q. Okay. So these would be assets of the motorised or armoured
11 battalions that you discussed earlier?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So you're sure that that's what these are? You didn't appear to
14 know very much about them earlier.
15 A. Based on the drawing, I can see that those were assets on tanks
16 and those were the tanks that were on the strength of either the armoured
17 or the motorised battalion.
18 Q. Indeed. So the armoured and motorised battalions each had tanks
19 and that's what you believe these are. Now, this indicates that you did
20 have co-ordinated actions between your positions and the actions -- and
21 the battalions, whether armoured or motorised; isn't that correct?
22 A. We had co-ordinated actions if we were attacked. That's why you
23 can see where they should be deployed in case of attack. If we came
24 under attack, we could defend ourselves. That's why they were here.
25 Q. So even though you co-ordinated actions with these armoured or
1 motorised brigades -- I'm sorry, battalions, you actually didn't know
2 what they had?
3 A. No, I did not. I only saw when a tank, T-55, arrived, because I
4 was familiar with that. I was not familiar with any of the other
5 technical equipment that they had.
6 Q. I'm going to move on. Now --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Before you do so, I think it's 1.00. Mr. Shin, it's
8 time --
9 MR. SHIN: Oh, I'm sorry.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- for a break.
11 MR. SHIN: Okay, I'm sorry, I missed that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: We have the slightly longer break. Could the
13 witness first be escorted out of the courtroom.
14 We take a break of half an hour.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 1.30 p.m.
17 --- Recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 1.31 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, according to my calculations or, rather,
20 Madam Registrar's calculations, you have one hour left.
21 MR. SHIN: Okay. Thank you, Your Honours. Let me just check
22 with my colleagues.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, two hours left. My calculations are -- what
24 I added was wrong. Two hours.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 MR. SHIN: Okay. Thank you very much, Your Honours. I thought
2 there may have been an issue there. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, there is no issue.
4 You may proceed, Mr. Shin.
5 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Skrba, we were -- when we left off we were discussing the
7 brigade artillery group. Now, could you explain to this Court who it was
8 who had proposed the formation of a brigade artillery group?
9 A. Well, before me, Captain Savo Simic made that proposal, and after
10 that that was me, but there was no need for me to hand this over because
11 we were already involved in this war for over two years. But anyway,
12 that was my proposal when I became chief in the brigade.
13 Q. And who would you make your proposal to?
14 A. Well, we made that proposal to the commander and then he would
15 accept it or correct it or refuse it. And then we'd ask for approval
16 from the superior command from the corps, according to subordination from
17 the chief of artillery of the corps, to see whether he would agree with
18 such a proposal, this kind of deployment, and so on. So it would be the
19 brigade command that would have to ask for that.
20 Q. Now, upon the formation of a brigade artillery group, who would
21 command such a formation?
22 A. In that case, it would be the chief of artillery, along with the
23 order and approval of the brigade commander and these subordinate units
24 that became a part of those brigades or that brigade.
25 Q. So with the chief of artillery being the person who would command
1 the formation, that would have been you after September or October of
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Now, in a related area, we've already discussed the fact that the
5 infantry battalions did not have 120-millimetre mortars. Now, when an
6 infantry battalion required heavier support than an 82-millimetre mortar,
7 who would they make that request to?
8 A. It was the MAD command that would have to be asked or the command
9 of the brigade, and then the commander of the brigade would perhaps ask
10 the MAD command to see what should be done.
11 Q. Was it possible for a battalion commander to contact you
13 A. Yes, if so approved by the brigade command for him to communicate
14 with me directly for that particular situation.
15 Q. And in such cases, then you would be able to use any of the
16 weapons at your disposal as you believed in your professional judgement
17 would be appropriate?
18 A. Precisely. To see what are the weapons involved, what are the
19 positions involved, so how I could protect my positions by involving that
21 Q. I'm a little confused by your last answer. My question has been
22 not -- my questions have been not about protecting your positions with
23 infantry units but rather your support for battalions. And, in fact,
24 that's why we were discussing the battalions contacting you and not the
25 other way around.
1 A. Well, yes, us, but I support infantry battalions in order to
2 preserve our defence lines. Throughout the war we never went out to
3 attack the city. That is why I'm saying this is support to defence.
4 Q. And that kind of support could occur from your 120-millimetre
5 mortars, of course; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, is it correct that mortars are anti-personnel weapons?
8 A. Yes, it depends on the type of attack involved. If the infantry
9 is out to attack and is fighting outside trenches, they become a legal
10 military objective because they are attacking our soldiers on the first
11 line of defence.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't the question. The question was whether
13 mortars are anti-personnel weapons, not whether troops were legal
14 military objectives because what they did, but are mortars anti-personnel
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, if the attacks go directly
17 against the line.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We were not talking about attacks. We were talking
19 about the characteristics of a weapon. Is it an anti-personnel weapon or
20 is it anything else?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's an artillery piece that is
22 used for destroying the infantry in different cases. Let me not repeat
23 what I've already said.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So the answer is it's an anti-personnel
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
3 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'm going to move to a slightly different area now.
5 Now, in your statement --
6 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 15.
7 Q. -- you say that you were "very satisfied with the precision of
8 our fire and the training level of the MAD personnel."
9 I'd like to ask you a little further about this. You expanded on
10 the targeting part of this process in your Karadzic testimony. Among
11 other things, you said:
12 "Every target had to be marked and described in terms of its
13 size, location, and what kind of enemy assets were there, whether there
14 was manpower or equipment and everything else."
15 You stand by your evidence in the Karadzic case; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You explain further that:
18 "We always expected specific information, the location, the
19 place, and the size of the target."
20 And you stand by that as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You were asked in the Karadzic case why these details were
23 important to you, and you answered:
24 "Those details are important so that we should be able to plan
25 what kind of artillery we should open, individual fire with one weapon or
1 group fire with a whole unit using weapons of a specific calibre."
2 And you stand by that as well?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You also mention that you received orders only in writing. Was
5 that correct?
6 A. It depends on what happened, whether an attack was carried out.
7 If that happened, then there wasn't enough time to write this up. Then
8 through communications equipment there would have to be agreement. Of
9 course, we're not going to wait for an order to be written. I would
10 inform the brigade command and the brigade command would inform me. They
11 would give me their agreement for me to proceed so that I would protect
12 the troops.
13 Q. So, in fact, contrary to what you had testified in Karadzic, you
14 did receive verbal orders?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, in your Karadzic testimony, you were asked what the
17 procedure would be for challenging an order. You explain that you would
18 ask for written approval and you explained:
19 "... I always made sure through my observers and artillery
20 observers, our people on our forward lines on higher ground who did
21 reconnaissance and scouting, if they gave me a report and assurance what
22 kind of target that was, only then could an order be issued to prepare
23 fire and open fire."
24 You stand by that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, these artillery observers, could you please explain to the
2 Court where they were, your artillery observers?
3 A. Our artillery observers were in our -- or, rather, behind our
4 front line in the area of Zlatiste, then up there at Vrace, and towards
6 Q. Now, when you say your "observers," could you explain to us were
7 they part of your unit, the MAD?
8 A. Yes, they were part of the MAD or, rather, part of the units that
9 were within the MAD.
10 Q. Did you also receive targeting information from observers who
11 were attached to the corps?
12 A. I did not get any orders from them, no reconnaissance, nothing.
13 It's not that we had common observation posts so that we could
15 Q. And just so we're clear, even though you didn't have common
16 observation posts, you never received any information from the corps
17 observers; is that right? Targeting information.
18 A. No.
19 Q. In the Karadzic case, you were also asked how many times you
20 would fire from a 120-millimetre mortar, and you said:
21 "Only rarely would it be one shell."
22 Do you stand by that?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. I'd like to move to a slightly different area now, also relating
25 to your Karadzic testimony.
1 Mr. Skrba, in that testimony you described locations that you did
2 not target; specifically, you said:
3 "Hospitals, bus stations, railway stations and rail lines,
4 schools, and all the areas where larger groups of civilians tend to
5 gather, those were the facilities that we did not target."
6 Do you stand by that?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. You were also asked what you meant by "all the areas where larger
9 groups of civilians tend to gather," and your answer was:
10 "I was born and raised there, so I knew where bus stops were,
11 where tram stations were, big supermarkets where people went to get their
12 supplies, and wherever the frequency of the civilian population was quite
13 high, those were the areas that we did not expose to fire."
14 A. I stand by that.
15 Q. You further testified that you would not fire within 1 kilometre
16 of a hospital. You stand by that as well?
17 A. I stand by that. Since I was born in Sarajevo, I know exactly
18 what the buildings are and I would not wish any harm. I stand by what I
20 Q. And, indeed, in connection with what you just said, you were
21 asked in Karadzic also whether you took these -- that you avoided these
22 targets because you did not want to potentially kill any civilians.
23 Would that be correct?
24 A. Well, we tried to avoid these targets. We didn't want to hit
25 them and we managed to avoid that 99 per cent, at least from my
2 Q. And specifically you were asked in the Karadzic case whether
3 there were any circumstances whether you would have accepted the risk of
4 civilians death in connection with these types of targets, and you said:
5 "Even in such cases, I wouldn't open fire if I thought that the
6 civilian population was at risk."
7 And you stand by that as well?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Now you discuss further in your Karadzic testimony -- well, let
10 me back up a minute and say in your statement --
11 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 20.
12 Q. -- Mr. Skrba, you use a phrase "proportionate fire," and you
13 describe a situation where if fire came from a tank, you would respond
14 with tank fire. Is that what you mean by proportionate fire?
15 A. I did not mean responding with the same calibre. That's
16 impossible. I meant proportionately. If from Ciglana or Hum a tank
17 fires one or two shells and then continues, then I just respond with one
18 or two shells. I mean, I'm just speaking about the same proportion, if
19 you will.
20 Q. Yes. So if you were attacked you would respond proportionately.
21 Now --
22 A. Proportionately also to neutralise them so that they do not fire
23 at our positions further.
24 Q. Moving a little bit away, as we are now, from civilian targets,
25 we were just talking about targeting a tank. If you had a road, a
1 communication road that was away from civilian areas, it would be
2 permissible, wouldn't it, to use fire to control that road to prevent the
3 enemy from using that road?
4 A. Well, yes, that primarily pertained to the tank at Hum which was
5 underneath the relay station, and there were no more civilians there, and
6 it was moving from one place to another and firing from there
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
9 the sentence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last part of your answer
11 which was not caught by the interpreters. You said:
12 "... and there were no more civilians there, and it was moving
13 from one place to another and firing from there specifically."
14 What did you then say after that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that tank would usually be
16 fired at so that I would neutralise it so that it would not open fire at
17 us. The tank was only hiding at different places that had already been
19 MR. SHIN:
20 Q. Now, continuing, what I was explaining to you is a situation
21 where it's not a civilian area. If you wanted to prevent your enemy from
22 getting access to, let's say, a communication road, you would be able to
23 use fire to control that road to prevent the enemy from using that road.
24 Would that be correct?
25 A. If it's moving, then I would fire at it. I don't have a lot of
1 ammunition, so I have none to spare. I don't have enough ammunition to
2 keep targeting something without having a particular specific target.
3 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Skrba, I think the confusion is mine. This is
4 a -- I'm explaining a situation where there is no tank involved. The
5 situation is as follows: If you have a road, a communications road far
6 away from civilian areas, it is legitimate, is it not, to use artillery
7 to fire on the road and control access to it so that the enemy will not
8 use it. Will that be correct?
9 A. But there weren't any such situations and I never opened fire in
10 such moments because our ammunition supply was limited.
11 Q. Okay. I'll move on now.
12 Mr. Skrba, in another part of your testimony in the Karadzic case
13 you were asked about air bombs. Now, you testified in that case that:
14 "Aerial bombs have a lot of power. They're heavier, they have
15 more projectiles. If a shell is heavy, some 50 to 70 kilogrammes, and if
16 the aerial bomb is heavy, from 3- to 500 kilogrammes, of course it has a
17 lot of lethal power, a lot of destructive power, and of course one cannot
18 be sure to hit the centre."
19 Do you stand by that testimony in the Karadzic case?
20 A. I stand by that. But these air bombs, as far as I know, they
21 weighed from 150 to 250 kilogrammes, not more than that. And for them
22 there had to be special training. But in my unit we never did that. I
23 personally was not involved in that either because we had not been
24 trained to use such assets. In order to be able to use something like
25 that and to fire something like that, you'd have to have it in the first
2 Q. You continued in the Karadzic case on this topic, and I'll read
3 what you said.
4 "If you fire a shell and then you can vouch for hitting the
5 target within 50 metres, in the case of an aerial bomb, it would be
6 500 metres because it's much -- it's a much bigger projectile."
7 You stand by that as well?
8 A. Well, I think so. We were actually taught that, that a mine
9 shell has one diameter but air bombs have a much larger diameter. I
10 never fired them, though, and I could never then go and see what it was
11 like when it would be fired. This was never done in peacetime, and I
12 would just logically make an assumption, that it's a stronger explosion
13 and that the effect is therefore greater.
14 Q. Now moving on to another topic, Mr. Skrba, yesterday in court and
15 in your statement --
16 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, that's paragraph 16.
17 Q. -- Mr. Skrba, you say that the SRK was in a double encirclement,
18 an inner and an outer one. I want to look at a map and see if we can
19 understand better what it is you mean.
20 MR. SHIN: Could we please have P3.
21 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting for that map --
22 MR. SHIN: [Overlapping speakers] --
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- could I seek clarification of one of the previous
25 You were asked, Mr. Skrba, about an answer you gave in the
1 Karadzic case. You said:
2 "If you can fire a shell and then you can vouch for hitting the
3 target within 50 metres, in the case of an aerial bomb, it would be
4 500 metres because it's a much bigger projectile."
5 Now, later on in your answers you were telling us that the
6 explosion was far heavier, which would have a stronger effect. But this
7 answer given in the Karadzic case seems to relate to the precision of
8 hitting the target. Do I have to understand that testimony that apart
9 from the bomb, or perhaps that being the reason, apart from the bomb
10 being far bigger, that also the precision in firing is far less compared
11 to another projectile?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by the first part, what I
13 said, 50 metres. That is a 120-millimetre mortar. And the rest, that's
14 correct. Once the correction is made that -- a target can be engaged.
15 50 metres -- yes, well, that is with a simple artillery preparation, to
16 put it in the briefest possible terms. I don't know what elements they
17 took into account as far as air bombs were concerned and what the assets
18 were. Also when it says "air bomb," I would assume that they would have
19 used aircraft for that, helicopters. But I don't know -- since it was a
20 no-fly zone, I don't know how they fired this, but the very logic of it
21 says that if it weighs 150 kilogrammes or 250 kilogrammes, that it's
22 heavier, that it has a bigger diameter. And, of course, since it's so
23 big and heavy it is harder to have a high degree of precision.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so I understood that when you referred to
25 500 metres, you were referring to a far worse precision in hitting a
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said 500 metres, that had to
3 do only with the following: Those who were launching a shell, an air
4 bomb, that it can kill within 500 metres. And now what the precision is,
5 it may be 100 per cent and it can also have a deviation of 50 metres from
6 the actual place that they had targeted.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then I'm confused by your previous answer.
8 But I'll allow Mr. Shin to proceed.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you proceed, Mr. Shin, do you want to
10 tender Exhibit 65 ter 30641 or are you not tendering?
11 MR. SHIN: Yes, Your Honours, you have anticipated the point I
12 was going to make. If I could, before we go to this map, tender the
13 previous document, which was 65 ter 30641, that's correct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30641 receives number P6521,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
19 MR. SHIN: Could I please have e-court page 54.
20 Q. Mr. Skrba, this is going to be a map, I believe. Let's make sure
21 I have that page right.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you have the page number of the hard copy?
23 MR. SHIN: Yes, it's e-court page -- I'm sorry, no, I don't. I
24 do -- I do have it here.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you don't, don't worry, I will find it.
1 MR. SHIN: I'm told it's usually six less.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 MR. SHIN:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Skrba, you see the map on the screen.
5 MR. SHIN: If we could stay right there without going in any
6 further magnification.
7 Q. Now, that circle that you see -- well, first of all, near the
8 centre of the -- or, rather, if we look at the circle on the left at what
9 would be around 2.00, do you see the Cyrillic letters SRK?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And that would include a portion of the zone of responsibility of
12 the SRK; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do we see the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps off
15 to the right? And if we look, continuing on a 2.00 direction from SRK we
16 see the Cyrillic letters DK?
17 A. Yes. And the demarcation line between the Sarajevo Corps and the
18 Drina Corps is clearly marked.
19 Q. So that's what that red line indicates, it's a demarcation line
20 between the two corps.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now within that circle that we've been looking at, you can
23 recognise, perhaps, the larger map from which our previous map came, and
24 you can see the dotted or dashed blue and red lines indicating the line
25 of confrontation between the ABiH and the VRS; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Just one more question on this. On the other side of the
3 Drina Corps, wouldn't that lead towards Serbia?
4 A. You can't see it on the map here. And it's true, on the right
5 hand side of the Drina is Serbia, but you can't see it on the map.
6 Q. Now, in what sense is SRK in a double encirclement, looking at
7 this map?
8 A. This map is clearly drawn after the Lukavac 93 operation and that
9 was in 1993.
10 Q. We'll address the Lukavac 93 operation a little later on, but
11 hasn't the Drina Corps always been holding an area contiguous to the
12 Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
13 A. Every corps was in its own place. The Sarajevo Romanija Corps is
14 here on the other side.
15 Q. That wasn't my question. Mr. Skrba, isn't it clear that the
16 Drina Corps and the Sarajevo Romanija Corps always held adjacent areas of
18 A. Yes, but they were much closer to this internal circle where you
19 see the letters SRK, of about 90 kilometres.
20 Q. I see. Now, Lukavac 93 was about the Herzegovina Corps, wasn't
21 it? It had nothing to do with the Drina Corps.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is supposed not to speak aloud. He
23 should refrain from doing that. No loud speaking, Mr. Mladic.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. SHIN:
1 Q. Do you remember the question, Mr. Skrba?
2 A. No, I've lost it.
3 Q. In that case I'll repeat it. The question was about Lukavac 93.
4 But let me withdraw the question. We'll get to that later. Let me just
5 put it to you right now that is it not the fact that the VRS considered
6 that it had Sarajevo encircled and under blockade, and in fact they
7 constantly emphasized the need to maintain that, so quite the contrary of
8 being encircled by the ABiH?
9 A. Well, we were 70 per cent encircled, and I can say only a couple
10 of sentences about this. This was the deployment and demarcation line
11 after Lukavac 93, because we had no linkage with the Herzegovina Corps
12 until 1993 and the Lukavac 93 operation. We used to be physically
13 separated, the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and the Herzegovina Corps. We had
14 no point of contact.
15 Q. Yes. So two questions, again: Lukavac 93 had to do with the
16 Herzegovina Corps and not the Drina Corps?
17 A. Probably a part of the units of the Drina Corps participated with
18 their assets and equipment and personnel in order to carry out that
20 Q. I should have been clearer in my question. For the purposes of
21 Lukavac 93, the SRK and the Drina Corps had already been linked, so the
22 objective of Lukavac 93 was linking the SRK and the Herzegovina Corps?
23 A. The Drina Corps was not able to link up with the
24 Herzegovina Corps. First of all, the Sarajevo Romanija Corps would have
25 to link up with the Herzegovina Corps.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so it was linking your corps with the
2 Herzegovina Corps, whereas your corps was already linked to the
3 Drina Corps?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Leaning on the right-hand side on
5 the Herzegovina Corps.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Shin.
7 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Skrba, I want to go back to something you just told us.
9 Yesterday in court and in your statement you are talking about this
10 double encirclement. Now, you're just telling us that, in fact, it was a
11 70 per cent encircled; is that correct?
12 A. Let me tell you, the Sarajevo Corps did not have any access
13 towards south and south-east because that territory was held by Muslim
14 forces that were linking up with Gorazde. So we had no physical linkage
15 with the Herzegovina Corps. And our right-hand neighbour, the
16 Drina Corps, had Muslim forces up to Nisici, so there was an external
17 ring around them by the Muslim forces all the way around Sarajevo north
18 and south-east, again towards Mount Jahorina and Gorazde. It was almost
19 a full circle. There was just a little opening, 25 per cent of the
20 territory behind the lines.
21 Q. Mr. Skrba, let's go to a few documents.
22 MR. SHIN: Can we please have P1963.
23 Q. While we're waiting for this document, Mr. Skrba, I'll tell you
24 it is a directive for further operations from General Mladic dated
25 August 1992.
1 MR. SHIN: And if we could please go to page English 3 and
2 B/C/S 5.
3 Q. Now, under the section headed: "Operation Objectives," we see,
4 and I'll read:
5 "Prevent the breaking of the blockade of Sarajevo."
6 And then a few lines down:
7 "Keep Sarajevo firmly under blockade and prevent its breaking."
8 And perhaps that last word would be better translated as "break
9 through." I believe in B/C/S it is the word "deblokadu."
10 Mr. Skrba, it's clear from this document that Sarajevo was under
11 blockade by the VRS; correct?
12 A. No, it wasn't.
13 Q. I see. So your position, your interpretation of this document
14 continues to be that it was the ABiH that was blockading the SRK; is that
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. We'll go to another document.
18 MR. SHIN: Can I please have 65 ter 11410.
19 Q. And while we're waiting -- I think we have that up. This is an
20 SRK command order to all corps, and it's -- I believe it's type signed by
21 Tomislav Sipcic, dated 8 August 1992. If we could please have page
22 English 2 and B/C/S 2.
23 MR. SHIN: And, Your Honours, if I could just have a moment to
24 find the sentence.
25 Q. Under -- if I could direct your attention, Mr. Skrba, to the
1 paragraph under the words -- the words "I have decided," do you see where
2 it says: "The following tasks: To prevent the breaking of the blocked
3 of Sarajevo and by taking appropriate actions simultaneously prevent
4 fuelling of the Ustasha forces," and so on.
5 But you see there the reference to the breaking of the blockade
6 of Sarajevo, to prevent that; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it still your position that this is not true, that Sarajevo
9 was not under blockade? This is from your corps.
10 A. That's written here, but factually, the forces of the ABH always
11 had open space through Butmir, and they used this passage mainly by
12 night. And later on, after digging the tunnel, they had free passage,
13 and hundreds of thousands of people passed through. They delivered food
14 and power and supplies, so I cannot believe in the story of the blockade
15 when I know that my own neighbours had to pay amounts like 5.000,
16 10.000 Deutschmarks to get out through that tunnel. Even the Muslims had
17 to pay. They called it later the tunnel of salvation.
18 In my area of responsibility, I never once fired at those people
19 when they were getting out across the runway, wherever I could see them,
20 because I considered them as civilians and I shouldn't shoot.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you the following: You are saying there
22 was no blockade because people at night or through the tunnel went in
23 westerly direction. Now, the fact that some people escape doesn't mean
24 that there is no blockade. It would be like saying in a prison you are
25 free to go because people escape from prisons. That would not make a
1 prison any less a prison, isn't it?
2 Mr. Mladic, you are supposed to remain seated.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to mention one
4 fact that we saw on the television in the federation when they held press
5 conferences and the -- Delic, who was commander then, would say: "I'm
6 going to Mount Igman this afternoon." How could he go if he didn't have
7 a free passage? So those who wanted to leave could leave. Various
8 delegations travelling abroad out of Sarajevo, they would use these
9 passages for free such as the tunnel, but poorer people had to pay.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So it is your position that since people managed to
11 get out, sometimes paying a heavy price for it, that means that there was
12 no blockade and that all the military documents, as we see them on the
13 screen, are for that reason wrong and there was no blockade nor was there
14 a blockade intended. Is that how we have to understand your testimony?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was not 100 per cent.
16 Because even if you look at their own TV programmes, they celebrate
17 August 1993, the opening of the tunnel, and they always had
18 communications for people and for equipment and for power supplies, and
19 in the end even their military units passed by night to other areas
20 outside of Sarajevo to fight because that was the shortest way,
21 1.200 metres, and the whole sector was under the control of UNPROFOR,
22 which controlled the airport and made sure that UNPROFOR delegations and
23 air-lifts can land safely.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Carefully listening to your answers, it seems that
25 you're explaining to us that the encirclement or a blockade was not fully
1 effective for the 100 per cent because people managed to escape. Is that
2 well understood and that for that reason you consider it not to have been
3 a blockade?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's about people who -- I was
5 talking about people who wanted to get out. But I was talking about
6 their military. They could have personnel coming in and out of the city
7 whenever they liked, and that was possible across the runway or through
8 the tunnel. And, of course, there was a security perimeter around so
9 that, you know, the military could not get out -- outside of the front
11 MR. SHIN: I'm --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, I'm also looking at the clock.
13 MR. SHIN: Yes, and I'm wondering if perhaps I could, because
14 we're running out of time, otherwise just tender this document and leave
15 that until tomorrow -- I'm sorry, rather than leave it until tomorrow.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You tender it now.
17 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 11410 receives number P6522,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 We'll adjourn for the day and we'll resume -- but not until
22 after -- I mean, we'll not adjourn until after the witness has left the
23 courtroom. Would you please -- because I first want to instruct you --
24 yes, one second. I first want to instruct you that, as I instructed you
25 yesterday, that you should not speak or communicate in whatever way with
1 whomever about your testimony, whether that was testimony given already
2 or still to be given tomorrow. If that is clear to you, we'd like to see
3 you back tomorrow morning at 9.30.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope we'll finish so I can go
6 JUDGE ORIE: There is a fair chance we will.
7 We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
8 22nd of May, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day
11 of May, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.