1 Wednesday, 30 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Pandurevic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Good morning, Madam
8 Registrar. Could you kindly call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
12 For the record, General Pandurevic is absent today. He notified
13 us previously about this and he has also communicated to us his waiver so
14 that the proceedings can go ahead with -- in his absence. Defence teams,
15 it's Mr. Haynes who is absent and Ms. Nikolic and Mr. Meek.
16 Prosecution, I notice Mr. McCloskey.
17 And I take it there are no preliminaries and all technical
18 problems have been dealt with satisfactorily for which I thank you the
19 technicians, and I think we may proceed.
20 Good morning to you, General.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. I hope you had time to relax.
23 Mr. McCloskey will finish his examination-in-chief shortly and then we
24 proceed to the cross-examinations.
25 Mr. McCloskey, good morning to you. You may proceed.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, everyone.
2 WITNESS: MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, General. I want to go over the diagram that you and
6 I worked with a bit in my office. I apologise, it's more of a working
7 document than a really good exhibit but I think it will serve our
8 purposes. It's in e-court now at P02828 but if I can give the general the
9 original so he can take a look at it, it might come up better on the ELMO
10 too. I don't -- let's see how that e-court one looks like.
11 Now, this is, when it comes up, a diagram of one of the long
12 office buildings in Crna Rijeka that we are aware of and what I've done
13 here is, as you recall, General, is I blanked out several of the offices
14 of the higher ranking people and you filled in the blank spots and then we
15 circled the spots that you filled in. So if we can go over just briefly
16 the spots that you filled in in circles and just tell us what it is, let's
17 start off with you've put glavni ulaz. What is that, that first circle on
18 the top?
19 A. Are you referring to numbers 5 and 6 or some other circle which I
20 don't see? I don't know which you're referring to.
21 Q. Where it says glavni ulaz?
22 A. Very well.
23 Q. Sorry. For us, can you tell us what that means, what that
24 indicated when you wrote that in?
25 A. There is two wooden sheds at the beginning next to each other.
1 Left to the one that is drawn here, there was another one the same size
2 and shape. Every shed had two entrances, one that I denoted as the main
3 entrance was the main in that -- in the respect that the first office from
4 the entrance was the office that I shared with General Mladic. In the
5 corridor in front of the office there was a courier who received people,
6 announced visitors, and that's why I marked this as the main entrance.
7 At the very bottom, there is another entrance which was mostly
8 used by the auxiliary personnel, drivers and others, and it was next to
9 the toilets and bathrooms. There were two entrances, but I marked this as
10 the main entrance because this was also the main reception. Do you want
11 me to go on commenting on other rooms as well?
12 Q. Yes. Why don't you comment on what you've written in in that big
13 oval for room number 5. What did you write there and what is that room
14 that's divided by dots?
15 A. This room marked by 5, this was the office that I shared with
16 General Mladic. We wanted to be efficient in utilising the space and
17 that's why we shared that one office, because if he was there, I wasn't,
18 and vice versa, or if we were there together in the Main Staff, then we
19 shared that one office because we had to cooperate and that saved us a lot
20 of time, saved us running across the corridor, and I put "Miletic" in the
21 brackets. When Miletic arrived in the operations administration, he
22 worked with us but when I wasn't there, he would sit in my chair, so to
23 speak. He worked from my office.
24 The next room is number 6, and it says the blue hall. At the
25 beginning of the war this was the room used by General Gvero. In 1995, we
1 equipped that hall with some furniture and we turned it into a little
2 conference room for the inner staffs meeting or for the reception of
3 visitors who came to visit. That's when we moved General Gvero to number
5 General Tolimir was in number 8, as far as I can remember. And
6 the room under number 5 with a dotted line, that was my rest room. There
7 was a door between number 5 and the dotted line. In the evening or during
8 the night when I finished my work or if I wanted to have a rest during the
9 day, I would use this room to rest.
10 On the other screen, I can see a bit further. Room number 4, I
11 don't remember what it was. I suppose that this was for the signals
12 chief, Colonel Radomir Prole, and then number 8, General Tolimir.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we get the diagram up a bit so we can get the
14 other half of the -- where he's talking.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you, keep going, excuse me, General.
16 A. Number 3, this was the biggest room in this prefabricated building
17 and it was used to accommodate the operations centre of the Main Staff.
18 We are talking about the above-the-ground command post, the command post
19 which was not under the ground. The person in charge in that room was
20 General Miletic, and that's where he spent most of his time working
21 there. In addition to him the centre also has the duty team of the Main
22 Staff. The head of the duty team was always an operative, either General
23 Miletic or one of his assistants, and --
24 Q. Excuse me, General, I'm sorry, I may have missed it, but was that
25 number 2 that you talked about, the duty room?
1 A. No, no. I'm talking about number 3.
2 Q. Thank you. I'm sorry, that's my fault. Okay.
3 A. I'm talking about the operations centre of the Main Staff. In
4 addition to the operative representatives of all the assistant commanders
5 were present in that room at all times, as well as the chiefs of
6 administration, different administrations, there were always anywhere
7 between 10 and 12 people there at any time. This was the duty team, and
8 if General Mladic or myself or Miletic were absent or any of General
9 Mladic's assistants were absent or if we were all absent, then this team
10 was capable of dealing with the current situations on the front line.
11 This is all I can say about room number 3.
12 Room number 9, which is parallel to number 3, as far as I can
13 remember, this was reserved for the chiefs of the various branches. I
14 know that Colonel Nedjelko Trkulja was there. Somebody else was with him,
15 but I can't remember who, especially in view of the fact that I didn't
16 spend much time in the Main Staff in 1995 and I didn't have much contact
17 with these people.
18 Room number 10 was reserved for the chief of engineers, Colonel
19 Mihajlo Djurdjevic I believe his name was, and Colonel Dragisa Mashal
20 [phoen], who had his bed there but otherwise he was with me all the time
21 on the western front.
22 Room number 2, I can't remember who occupied that room.
23 Room number 11, there was Colonel Pancic there. He was the chief
24 of the artillery rocket units and the anti-aircraft defence. He replaced
25 General Miletic. He took over his position.
1 Room number 1, originally it said Milovanovic here but somebody
2 reversed the entrances. This room was for the helicopter pilots, the
3 command helicopter pilots. We had three or four helicopters and the
4 pilots mostly slept in this room.
5 Room number 12 was for the chief of the air force and the
6 anti-aircraft defence administration. He was one of General Mladic's
8 The next room below number 1 was the bathroom and across the
9 corridor the last room on the right-hand side was the toilet, and you can
10 see the letters WC on that room.
11 The next-door prefabricated house accommodated the services,
12 various offices, even the outpatient's clinic and I believe that the
13 security administration was accommodated there and I can't remember who
14 else. This was the next door prefabricated house and I don't think it's
15 that important for this case. Save for the security administration, I
16 believe everybody else was auxiliary personnel.
17 In the course of the war sometime in 1993, a third prefabricated
18 house was erected. It was very similar in size and shape to the previous
19 two, and since the Main Staff was enlarged and reinforced, the third house
20 accommodated auxiliary personnel. Since that house was new, people
21 competed as to who would be accommodated there.
22 Q. Thank you. On this second auxiliary house that you said housed
23 the security, was that where Colonel Beara and Colonel Salapura were?
24 A. Colonel Beara, yes, I believe he was there. I'm sure he was. And
25 as for Colonel Salapura, he switched between the houses. I don't know
1 why. I believe that the chief of sector, General Tolimir, at the
2 beginning of the war, wanted to have Salapura next to him. He was in one
3 of the rooms in this prefabricated house that we see on the screen now and
4 then he moved to the next house and I don't know what happened when the
5 third house was erected. At the beginning of the war Salapura was in this
6 house that is in front of us and later on he went to the other house as
7 well. Salapura was rarely in the Main Staff. He was the chief of the
8 intelligence administration. He mostly worked in -- with the units, with
9 corps commands. He was mainly on the ground.
10 Q. Okay. And do you remember, and I know you weren't there often,
11 but in July 1995, if General Gvero was working out of that main office or
12 was he working out of some place else, if you know?
13 A. I don't know. Save for the 20th June, when we saw Zivanovic off,
14 I was not in staff, and yesterday I told you how I met Gvero, whether I
15 met Gvero, how we contacted, I really I really don't know. I was not
16 there in June [as translated] save for that one day that I told you about
18 Q. And I think that should be you were not there in July except for
19 that one day. It got translated as June. Would I be correct?
20 A. You are right. I'm talking about July. I'm talking about the
21 month of July. Only on the 19th, in the evening, and on the 20th, I was
22 in the Main Staff, July, that is.
23 Q. Okay. And one other exhibit I had forgotten to go to yesterday
24 and I don't want to get into it really in detail. It's number 692. It's
25 this line and block chart of the Main Staff. I had given you a big copy
1 of that the other evening to check for us, and you had mentioned we didn't
2 put in a couple of things. Can you just tell us now what that chart needs
3 to have added to it so it is complete?
4 And this isn't going to be very readable but we don't really need
5 it for our purposes. This -- but does this look like -- I can tell you
6 this is a copy of what I gave you, though you can't really tell from this
8 A. Yes. This is a copy of this document, but maybe it would be
9 better to put the A4 format on the screen. This is A3 and it cannot fit
10 onto the screen. Now it's good. Now it's good.
11 I had --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will need to zoom in on and off.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no need to zoom in but you
14 can scroll up because I lack the bottom part of this sketch. That's good
15 now. Here we miss some Main Staff units that are linked with the
16 commander. There is the 65th Regiment and there is the 10th Sabotage
17 Detachment. That's okay. But there is no signals regiment which was also
18 a Main Staff unit. And there is no guards brigade as a Main Staff unit.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. To complete this diagram, we need to add those two units; is that
22 A. Yes. There should be together with the 65th Protection Regiment,
23 then the 10th Sabotage Detachment. I had it on my sketch. I added by
24 hand some squares and I added these two units.
25 Q. Thank you, General.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll update that diagram and, Your Honours, we
2 will get you I think hard copies of this so that --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We've seen it -- I think we've seen it before
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. And I think it's part of the indictment, but
6 it wasn't my intention to go over it now but I did want to clear that up.
7 Q. General, another -- just one last question. Do you remember we
8 had talked about the extension number for your office in Banja Luka, and I
9 had -- do you remember the extension number you had at the time in 1995 in
10 your office?
11 A. When we talked in Banja Luka, I couldn't remember. You jogged my
12 memory. This was number 155, which was in the directory, and it was
13 attached to my name.
14 Q. And as you correctly state, I asked you if you -- if 155 sounded
15 familiar, so I did jog your memory in that way; is that -- that's -- is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. As you sit here today, that is your memory, not me -- not my
19 testimony; is that correct?
20 A. No, no. I subsequently checked, I consulted with some people
21 after you'd left, and I realised that that was my number, 155.
22 Q. All right. Thank you very much, General Milovanovic. I have no
23 further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. McCloskey.
25 Have you agreed amongst yourself who is going first?
1 Mr. Zivanovic, could you kindly introduce yourself to General
2 Milovanovic? How much time do you reckon --
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 20 minutes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 20 minutes. That's what you intimated, but I just
5 wanted a confirmation of that. Thank you. Go ahead.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
7 Q. Good morning, General. I represent Mr. Vujadin Popovic in these
8 proceedings. My name is Zoran Zivanovic. I would kindly ask you to look
9 at an exhibit that was shown to you by the Prosecutor. The number is --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is a regular combat report which was sent by the command of
13 the 5th Engineers Battalion to the command of the Drina --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] 2672, 2672.
16 Q. I would like to draw your attention to item 1 that the Prosecutor
17 read to you yesterday. It reads, "The -- a large group of enemy was
18 infiltrated in the sectors of Pobrdje Brdo and Konjevic Polje. The units
19 of the a 5th Engineers Battalion and the MUP resisted the enemy
20 successfully." Please pay attention to this second sentence. "A total of
21 1.000 to 1.500 enemy civilians and soldiers were either arrested or
23 Yesterday the Prosecutor read to you this: "About 1.000 to 1.500
24 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested and killed."
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there is an official CLSS
2 translation of this in English, and because the nature of the document, I
3 think we need to use this and not put the translation on the booth
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's hear what the witness has to say. Don't
7 answer the question right now. I take it that you wish to address the
8 Chamber. Go ahead, General.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, could we remove this drawing
10 from the left side of the screen, because it's distracting me and I cannot
11 follow the interpretation or speak.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Our usher is going to assist you.
13 Mr. McCloskey, both the English version and the B/C/S version are
14 official documents, in any case.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the -- I have no problem with the
16 B/C/S version or the English version, but what's happening is when he
17 reads the B/C/S version, the translators are giving it a different English
18 interpretation than the CLSS because it's not an easy document to
19 translate, and that's putting a very difficult burden on them. This
20 document has spent a lot of time with CLSS to get it right and he will be
21 answering a different question than I asked him on the same document
22 unless we stay with this English version. That's -- so --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait, wait, wait.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no problem with him asking in his language,
25 reading it in his language but when it gets translated, when they are
1 quoting the document we need to have this document in front of the
2 translators so when they translate it, they are consistent with CLSS.
3 Otherwise, our record is going to be a complete mess.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we have a debate over the translation,
6 that's fine, but we shouldn't do it in front of the witness.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we hand down our decision, I noticed earlier
9 on, Madam Fauveau, for example, amongst others, do you wish to address the
10 Chamber? Go ahead.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not saying that
12 the interpretation we received is exact, but I agree with the Prosecutor
13 that the text in the original is difficult because the text in original is
14 completely unclear, but the Prosecution calls the CLSS translation
15 faithful and correct, but in my view, it is not completely inaccurate.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyone else wishes to address the Chamber? Yes,
17 Mr. Ostojic.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Quite
19 frankly there are two points that we should look at. Draft in English as
20 my colleagues indicated shows that it's a draft translation.
21 JUDGE KWON: I had noted Madam Fauveau should have said that it is
22 completely inaccurate.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we --
24 JUDGE KWON: Not completely. Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if we're going to have --
1 MR. OSTOJIC: And secondly --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: -- without interruption --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- a debate about this --
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Without interruption. Secondly --
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- it should not be in front of the witness.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: But the OTP started the debate in front of the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but what the OTP was a very simple proposition
10 or submission. What we are stating now is something different.
11 General, do you understand English?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I ask you to remove your headphones, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I say something?
15 Because I see that we are wasting time on an issue. I think the
16 interpreters are under attack here, but yesterday when this document was
17 first presented to me, I followed the interpretation very attentively
18 because I had a misunderstanding with the Prosecutor regarding one
19 sentence in this directive, number 4, regarding connecting words, commas,
20 et cetera. In my headset I received the interpretation exactly as it is
21 in the document. "Around 1.000 to 1.500 enemy civilians and soldiers were
22 arrested killed," without any full stop, any comma between the words
23 "arrested" and "killed."
24 I only have great doubts about the literacy of the person who
25 wrote this because it would be logical for a comma or the word "and" the
1 connecting word "and" to be between "arrested" and "killed." The
2 interpreters gave me a verbatim translation, and please do not blame
3 them. I paid great attention to this and the interpreters said, "Around
4 1.000 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested killed."
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, one moment, please, because
6 Mr. Ostojic hasn't finished as yet.
7 Can I ask to you remove your headphones, please.
8 Do you intend to address the Chamber as well, Mr. Zivanovic?
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then I think the witness needs to leave the
11 courtroom because he will be addressing the courtroom in B/C/S and he will
12 be understanding what you're saying -- or what you will be saying.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Zivanovic, but if any one of
15 you is contending that the translation that Mr. McCloskey referred to is
16 not accurate, please indicate exactly where, according to you, it is not
17 accurate. Mr. Ostojic goes first.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. First as I initially
19 stated, the document itself in English clearly identifies it as being a
20 draft translation so it was never put in final form. The Prosecutor does,
21 as we've seen and I think we can see from time to time, there are problems
22 with interpretation that may be critical. This word or this sentence can
23 be turned to mean several things, some were arrested, some may have been
24 killed; or the way the Prosecutor likes the sentence to be read, that they
25 were first arrested and then all of them were killed, which is not what
1 the document says in English or in B/C/S. The problem is that the
2 Prosecutor wants to give a little more credit to the CLCS and say that
3 they have this official kind of cloth about them that whatever they say is
5 They don't consult with us, they don't consult with the Defence at
6 all on these translations. With all due respect, Your Honours I think
7 it's necessary for such important documents when the Prosecutor takes them
8 where we think a little further than necessary, as in this case, there
9 should have been some consultation with the Defence. There has not been.
10 Secondly, the CLCS department is no better, quite candidly, than
11 the translators that we have here, so for the prosecutors to suggest that
12 we can't translate one sentence after they've translated in excess of
13 15.000 pages of transcript since the commencement of this trial, I think
14 is something that we should not accept. The translators here on good
15 faith, the oath that they took, took the sentence that Mr. Zivanovic asked
16 and translated it accurately and according to what they heard and what's
17 written before them on the ELMO.
18 There is a disparity as to how someone may or may not interpret
19 this sentence. However, translation's a different thing. When you
20 translate it, you look at the words and do you not come up with the most
21 favourable interpretation that the Prosecution wants, which is what
22 they're doing in this case, so I do object to the Prosecution how they
23 manipulate, in my view, this sentence and how they try to give it a little
24 added credibility to suggest that this is an official translation by some
25 third independent party, when he knows in fact that they themselves have
1 worked with CLCS on other documents and have asked them to revise like the
2 issues with security, it's not called specifically security, it might be
3 called something else, and they've revised that on numerous documents to
4 fit their theory. So we do object to this vigorously, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Zivanovic? Yes, one moment.
6 Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to address -- to respond to Mr. Ostojic now or
7 after hearing Mr. Zivanovic?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's probably easier now so I won't get it too
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. I wish to you address something which is
11 fundamental here. There is a tremendous difference between what appears
12 in the transcript as being the translation or interpretation of
13 Mr. Zivanovic's reading out from the document to the witness, namely, a
14 total of 1.000 to 1.500 enemy civilians and soldiers were either arrested
15 or killed, what -- from what the draft translation that you are relying
16 upon states, and essentially now at the end of it, from what the witness
17 himself stated. So -- because the witness himself is not saying either
18 arrested or killed. He is complaining only that the confusion may arise
19 since there is a comma absent between "arrested" and "killed."
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: That shows the problem, because I agree with you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I want to hear submissions about.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: When he asked the question the interpreters did
23 their best. When the General just read the same B/C/S language, he
24 said "arrested killed" and the only worry as you said was the "and" was
25 mixed -- was out of it, which was much more closely to the English
2 Now, whether the booth was affected by the CLSS translation or
3 whether it was because of the way they heard it as the general spoke, I
4 don't know. The booth knows that when there is a translation up there on
5 the screen or when many times the parties give them the official
6 translation, they read from that so that we don't get into this apples and
7 oranges situation.
8 This document, because of its nature, we wanted to get right and
9 so we spent a fair amount of time -- I can't remember how far it's gone
10 but it -- this is a translation that was done by the CLSS and I'll look
11 into how far, but it's my knowledge of the accurate -- the best they could
12 do. Now, this is a document that's been out forever and of course there
13 is going to be conflict sometimes in translation, and I welcome to work
14 that conflict out but, please, this document's been here forever and
15 it's -- no one had any objection to it. They didn't even object to it
16 when I used it in direct. It's not until now that it's being used and
17 we're getting these translations.
18 We need to resolve these issues earlier. They know the language
19 and they've been very good helping us sort out translation errors, but we
20 need -- have to have this material sorted out beforehand and we need some
21 consistency here. But my point is, this general from the first day I
22 showed him that document said this was a war crime, with whatever this
23 thing said, he said it was a war crime. He looked at the original
24 document. He said it was a war crime in Banja Luka. He said it was a war
25 crime here. So I think that resolves any translation issues.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, please, please.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Look. I've been accused of phoneying up
3 translations to meet my case. I think I can respond to that. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
5 Mr. Zivanovic first and you after, Madam Fauveau. Yes,
6 Mr. Zivanovic.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted and I still
8 want to clarify with the witness one very simple thing, those two
9 sentences, just as I began. I want to tell you on page 71 from 12 to 17
10 lines of yesterday's transcript, there is a very clear quotation of the
11 statement of Mr. McCloskey where it says that this sentence reads, "1.000
12 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested and killed." I am not
13 saying that Mr. McCloskey did something like this deliberately. I can
14 even assume that there could have been the word "and," arrested and
15 killed, but I want to see with the witness whether, in addition to the
16 word "and," another word could be possible there.
17 Just one moment. I wish to add, that could be the word "or" which
18 would change the meaning of this sentence completely. And in that case,
19 it would read, "1.000 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested
20 or killed," which to me sounds much more logical than the meaning given it
21 by Mr. McCloskey.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You have coloured it completely different from how
23 it -- the question was put, because when you look at the transcript on
24 page 10, line -- lines 14 and 15, what we have on the transcript, and I
25 stand to be corrected if the transcript is not correct, of course, we have
1 not a question, you're not putting to the witness, "Witness, General, how
2 do you read this sentence in the document? Do you read it 'arrested and
3 killed' or 'arrested or killed'?
4 What we have here is an affirmation on your part, please pay
5 attention to the second sentence, "A total of 1.000 to 1.500 enemy
6 civilians and soldiers were either arrested or killed." So what you're
7 putting to the witness is not the possibility of having it either one way
8 or another. You're putting to the witness a statement emerging from the
9 document itself establishing that the 1.000 to 1.500 were either arrested
10 or killed. This is how the transcript presents itself.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, if the --
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't give you permission --
14 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: -- to interject as yet. Please sit down. You'll have
16 your turn, Mr. Ostojic. I mean, I -- there's no way I cannot see you.
17 Yes -- one moment. Madam Fauveau?
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that's precisely the
19 problem with this sentence. My colleague, Mr. Zivanovic, said that he in
20 fact read the sentence as it was in Serbo-Croat. It's not comprehensible
21 and it's a fact that different interpreters interpreted it differently.
22 And that's why in the written translation that we have, we have the
23 word "and" and in this version and in the interpretation we received the
24 word "or" in Serbo-Croat. There is definitely a word missing. But
25 neither the word "and" nor the word "or" exists in the Serbo-Croat
1 original. And I want to say that it's very unfortunate that this document
2 has been here I don't know how long and some people have been convicted on
3 the basis of it due to an erroneous translation.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's the -- your contention. You're affirming
5 that it is an erroneous translation. Your version of it could be
6 erroneous too. I mean this is what I understand from the submissions,
7 that while Mr. McCloskey maintains that the draft translation that has
8 been offered is the correct translation, you're maintaining the opposite.
9 What I'm suggesting for the time being, before I hear Mr. Ostojic
10 and I hear you, Mr. McCloskey, is perhaps that rather than relying on
11 translations, you -- we bring the witness in again and you direct him,
12 we'll have the document on the -- he will have the document on the
13 monitor, he will have the paragraph that you specifically want to refer
14 him to, and you ask him what he makes out of that paragraph, what he
15 understands from that paragraph. And that way we'll be avoiding all
16 translation issues unless of course new translation issues arise while
17 what he's saying is being translated to us.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The position I think is clear enough. I don't
20 think, unless there is something new that you wish to bring to our
21 attention that we need to hear any further on this. I think there is a
22 translation issue here relating to -- regarding this specific part of that
23 paragraph that needs to be resolved. Obviously, we cannot resolve it now
24 and it will need to be resolved through expert, independent translation
25 or -- translation.
1 For the time being what we intend doing is to proceed as we
2 indicated, that, in other words, we will bring the witness in again, you
3 will refer the witness to the paragraph that you had in mind that you had
4 indicated before, without reading any part from it, because the witness
5 can read it himself, it's in his own language, and we will hear what the
6 interpretation will -- you will just ask him what he makes out of that
8 Of course, we will be receiving interpretation. We in English,
9 Madam Fauveau in French, and I don't know if there is any other language.
10 And that will of course not prejudice the aspect of then trying to procure
11 or seeking to procure a proper translation of the document, if it is at
12 all possible, because as I understand it, if there is a problem, I think
13 the problem will remain, from what we have heard -- from what we can
14 gather from your submissions, anyway.
15 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just wish to note
17 that I didn't have time to ask this witness a single question. I just
18 quoted those two sentences from the document and I managed to quote the
19 words of Mr. McCloskey that found their way into the transcript, but I had
20 no time to ask the witness a single question. I don't know what actually
21 entered the transcript, the record. I had no time to follow it, but I
22 didn't actually ask the witness any question. I wanted to ask precisely
23 what you are saying, maybe in a slightly different way.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No one is blaming you for anything, Mr. Zivanovic.
25 Please don't misread me. What I am saying is the following: When you
1 stood up, started your questions, whichever way you made your statement,
2 because your statement was in B/C/S, it was translated to us in a way
3 which does not conform, which does not tally, with what is contained in
4 the translation that Mr. McCloskey or the Prosecution was relying on --
5 please, Mr. Ostojic.
6 At that point in time his standing up and objecting was almost the
7 thing to expect. I mean, we are not surprised that he stood up, because
8 the translation of what you read was different from the translation that
9 he has. At that point in time, what emerged clear is that there are two
10 versions that are being provided by way of translation to this part of the
11 document which differ and they differ substantially. So that needs to be
12 kept apart for the time being. We have been made aware of it.
13 Mr. McCloskey relies on the draft translation which I agree with
14 Mr. Ostojic is not an official translation. It's just a draft
15 translation. Those of you who have spoken from the Defence side maintain
16 that it doesn't say so, that the translation is not correct, it says
17 something different, it says either "or," as you maintain, like
18 Mr. McCloskey relies on an "and" rather than an "or." So that needs to be
19 sorted out, but I don't think we can sort it out, because we don't
20 understand the language in the first place, and I don't think any further
21 submissions from your side will help us because the witness himself now
22 will be asked to state what he makes of that statement. If that comes
23 out, we may have again some translation problems and then we will sort it
25 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, thank you, and Your Honours, I would
2 just like to clarify for the record on page 18 when you recited what
3 Mr. Zivanovic said, if we look closely on page 10 when he started the
4 questioning, 16 and 17, both those lines, he specifically started his
5 question by first reading the quote and the translator said either "or."
6 Then he proceeds to say "however, the Prosecutor told you," and he uses
7 the word "and." So just so the record's clear, Mr. Zivanovic I think in
8 my view did ask either "or" and "and" was ready to put the question. It's
9 not as I hear now that Mr. Zivanovic only gave him one option and invited
10 him to answer, but in fact I think the record is plain that he gave him
11 both options. I just want the record or at least my view of the record to
12 be placed on the record in this manner. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have to stop it at that. I mean, I don't
14 think Mr. Zivanovic needs anyone else to defend him because we haven't
15 accused him of anything in the first place, and I think it's obvious that
16 he may have intended to proceed with a further question. The thing is
17 what is relevant is not that. What is relevant is that at that point in
18 time a divergence between one version and another emerged that needed to
19 be addressed, full stop.
20 Yes, Mr. McCloskey, and that will be the end of it.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if I could -- we have interviewed
22 the author of this document and he has -- was asked about it. If I
23 could -- I'd like to put him on the witness list. It's not someone I put
24 on the witness list before, but given this controversy, I will just alert
25 you I'll put him on the 65 ter motion witness list to help us assist in
1 this issue.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Please file an appropriate motion, if you deem it
3 necessary. And we will hear what the Defence teams have to say about
5 Madam Usher -- one moment, one moment, please.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Usher, could you be kind enough to bring
8 the witness in, please.
9 And Mr. Zivanovic, if you don't mind, I think I will put the
10 question myself to make it easier for you to proceed afterwards. And as I
11 said, this will leave the whole issue unprejudiced, which version of the
12 two is the correct one, if there is a correct version.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General, for being patient with us. We
15 are ready to proceed. Do you have in front of you on the screen the
16 document that we were -- you were referred to earlier on? That is the one
17 which has at the top right -- no, I was going to refer to the ERN
18 number -- 04392942? Do you have it in front of you? Can you see it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, and yes, I can.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So could I please ask you to read the
21 first paragraph? You don't need to read it aloud. Just read it. And
22 then tell us what you understand from it. We are particularly interested
23 in the last part of that paragraph, the last sentence.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last sentence reads, "A total of
25 1.000 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested killed." I am
1 not sure what you want me to say about this sentence.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you understand it? That's all we are
3 interested in.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if the report is correct,
5 although I doubt its accuracy, like I said it yesterday to the Prosecutor,
6 this is war crime. I expanded that a little in Banja Luka. I told him
7 that this was a war crime, be it a one prisoner or 1.001 prisoners. I
8 doubt the accuracy of this document for this reason. It says here, about
9 1.000 to 1500. The author of the report cannot go amiss by 500 people.
10 This means that the report was drafted without any verification on the
12 And as I was reflecting on this document during my preparations
13 for the testimony, I tried to establish a link between this report and the
14 report that the Main Staff sent to the Supreme Command, and I did not find
15 it anywhere that the Main Staff reported to the Supreme Command on this.
16 And now a question imposes itself and I cannot answer it, I cannot
17 establish the facts. The question is whether the corps command conveyed
18 this report to the Main Staff on that same evening, which was the 14th of
19 July. I can't see the heading of this report, so I can't be sure of the
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can you please -- yeah. Now you can see the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This was on the 14th of July.
24 I was right. In the report by the Main Staff, dated the 14th of July,
25 sent to the Supreme Command, this information is missing. There is no
1 data or information to this effect, as we see here.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I hand you back to Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. General, you said that in your opinion, an illiterate person
5 drafted this report or somebody who was not very literate, at least. Did
6 I understand you well, and is this correct?
7 A. Yes, because that person is not very well-versed in the grammar of
8 his language.
9 Q. Please tell me, the fact that the person doesn't know his grammar,
10 can this be reflected in the fact that there is no connecting word between
11 the words "arrested" and "killed" and the connecting word should have been
12 either "and" or "or," and in other words, the sentence should read -- and
13 I'm going to quote to you two variations -- the first one would be "a
14 total of 1.000 to 1.500 civilians and soldiers were arrested and killed"
15 or, in the second variation, "arrested or killed."
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We are going back into the old problem. I thought
18 we'd solved that with your questions. Because the more he starts quoting
19 the document, the more we're going to get confusion. The way that came
20 out, I don't have an objection to but I thought we'd resolved this issue.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, we made it clear that if there is a
22 way of solving the translation issue, we will try to solve it through
23 independent translation. You're trying to get the witness to solve it for
24 us, and the witness has already made it clear that there being a comma
25 absent there, he's not in a position to state whether it's "and" or "or."
1 So why put the question again and reopen the whole issue?
2 I see that the general wishes it address us again before you are
3 given back the floor, Mr. Zivanovic. Yes, General?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I understand myself
5 as a witness here. I'm not a grammar analyst or a military analyst, for
6 that matter. I wanted to seek your protection in that respect and I
7 wanted to ask you whether I am obliged to answer such questions. A
8 witness is either a participant or an eyewitness of an event. To ask for
9 me to comment upon the grammar of this document, I don't think, is
10 appropriate. You asked me for my comment and my comment was, if this
11 report is correct, if it's accurate, then this is a war crime.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say a few
13 words? The general has provided his interpretation.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime I wish to assure the general that
15 there are four of us here, differing in size, but we are all in a position
16 to protect you and we will, General.
17 And Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have put the question to the
19 general because the general provided his opinion of the document and I
20 didn't understand this as a bad interpretation but a poor literacy. He
21 did tell us that the person was not very literate and I just put to him
22 the two words that might have been omitted. This was not the matter of a
23 bad interpretation or translation but the interpretation of the document
24 by the general that either one or possibly two different words might have
25 been omitted for -- from the document.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the general has given you that answer
2 already throughout his previous statements, so please proceed with your
3 next question.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. General, does it arise from the report that you see in front of
6 you that some fighting went on there?
7 A. Anybody can conclude that.
8 Q. Can you tell me whether this arises from the word in the first
9 sentence, and the words are that the units of the 5th Battalion and the
10 MUP resisted the enemy successfully?
11 A. I don't understand your question. Can you repeat it, please?
12 Q. I'm going to quote the whole sentence.
13 A. I can see the sentence. I can see the sentence. You don't have
14 to quote it, but I don't understand your question.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: The Prosecution agrees that there was some
16 fighting going on at the time.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that's a stipulation. Okay.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Can you see from this report that the enemy suffered any losses
20 during all this time? Does this arise from a report worded in this
21 particular way?
22 A. I don't see that during the fighting anybody suffered any losses.
23 I see from the second part that people were arrested killed, and we go
24 back to your original question whether people were arrested and killed or
25 arrested or killed. However, one may understand it that a thousand to
1 1.500 people were arrested and killed after the fighting, because while
2 the fighting is going on, you do not arrest people. You capture them as
3 prisoners of war.
4 Q. From the interpretation of this report, it arises that the enemy
5 did not suffer any losses during the fighting because everybody was
7 A. Sir, I don't know that. I don't know whether they were all
8 arrested. I don't know that between 1.000 and 1.500 were arrested and I
9 don't know how many of them were there in the first place.
10 Q. And can you see how many were killed during the fighting, whether
11 anybody was killed during the fighting?
12 A. Sir, I've told you that I can't see from this sentence that
13 anybody was killed during the fighting. Somewhere towards the end where
14 it says losses, but I can't see it on the screen right now, I'm afraid, it
15 seems that it read -- can you scroll up a little, if you will?
16 Q. Sir, I was not referring to the losses of the VRS but the enemy
17 losses in the fighting. I was referring to the enemy losses, and the
18 enemy is the person opposed to the person who drafted the report.
19 A. Sir, I believe that it says here as follows: "The Battalion did
20 not suffer any losses," and I can't see it on the screen, but as far as I
21 can remember, the battalion did not suffer any losses. It is certain that
22 the Serb side did not suffer any losses, that there were no -- there was
23 nobody killed.
24 Q. I didn't ask you that.
25 A. You're asking me whether the enemy suffered any losses. I can't
1 see it here. It is not written in here. I can't claim with certainty
2 that they were or that they weren't. If I had been there, if I had been
3 an eyewitness, I would have known. If I'd participated in this fighting,
4 I would have known, but I don't know.
5 Q. In this particular case, in this specific case it arises from the
6 report that the enemy side had at least 1500 men and probably even more.
7 Would you agree with that?
8 A. I can't agree with that.
9 Q. Do you think that there were fewer than that or less people than
10 that, according to this report?
11 A. No, it could not have been less than that because 1500 were
12 arrested. There could have been more.
13 Q. When it says here that they successfully resisted the enemy group,
14 I suppose that this was an armed resistance. Does it seem logical to you,
15 as an experienced officer, that the enemy does not suffer any losses if
16 there is armed resistance?
17 A. Mr. President, am I supposed to answer this question? Do I have
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You're asking him for an opinion, Mr. Zivanovic,
20 which it's not the case. So please proceed to your next question.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. General, I'll ask you to tell me something about the order that
23 was shown to you yesterday by the Prosecutor. And the number is 2748 -- I
24 apologise. It is number 29 on the Prosecutor's list.
25 JUDGE KWON: Directive, not an order.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, that's that, yes. I apologise.
2 Q. Tell me, please, yesterday we heard that in 1995 -- I'm not asking
3 about this particular thing, I'm asking you about 1995 -- we heard that
4 both in Srebrenica and in Zepa, there were armed formations of the BiH
5 army that were active and that they were deployed among the civilian
6 population; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. According to what you know, during their activities, did they use
9 the civilian population as a human shield, to protect themselves, to
10 defend themselves from attacks?
11 A. This was typical behaviour of the Muslim army in the enclaves. I
12 wouldn't want to go back to the origin and the essence of the enclaves,
13 Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde, Tuzla, Sarajevo and Bihac. The fact remains
14 that the Muslim armed forces in the enclaves were not disarmed and the
15 UNPROFOR was supposed to do that, and one does not have to present any
16 evidence. It suffices to look at the signatures of the commander of the
17 28th Division of the so-called army of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the
18 commander's signature, Naser Oric and his Chief of Staff whose name I
19 don't know, I've forgotten it.
20 In Srebrenica, in 1993 in the month of May, I believe on the 8th
21 of May when the enclave was proclaimed and when General Mladic and General
22 Halilovic as the commanders of the warring parties signed the agreement on
23 the demilitarisation of Srebrenica, UNPROFOR accepted the task to be the
24 guarantor of the realisation of this agreement and they were supposed to
25 disarm the remaining Muslim soldiers who had withdrawn into Srebrenica.
1 Q. General, I apologise for interrupting. My time for the
2 cross-examination is rather limited. That's why I would like to ask you
3 to tell me this: Were the civilian population used as the human shield?
4 Did the BiH army use the civilian population, in the enclaves of Zepa and
5 Srebrenica, use the civilian population as a human shield?
6 A. Yes. One of the covenants of the agreement on the
7 demilitarisation was violated and that covenant was that civilian and
8 military targets should not have been mixed, but the military was mixed
9 with the civilians and we could not target the army because we would have
10 targeted the civilians as well.
11 Q. This behaviour by the BiH army, was it the same before the
12 enclaves were proclaimed? And I'm talking about 1992 and 1993.
13 A. I can't answer this question because I don't know.
14 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Who is going next?
16 Mr. Krgovic. Could you introduce yourself with the witness,
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Milovanovic. I represent General Gvero in this
20 trial. Since we have seven to eight minutes to the break, maybe if you
21 prefer, we can take the break now or maybe we can start and use up these
22 remaining seven, eight minutes, if that would perhaps allow to you focus
23 after all the grammatical interpretations.
24 A. It's not up to me. It's up to the Presiding Judge.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I was going to pass the same comment. It
1 would have been more appropriate if you had addressed that invitation to
2 the Chamber, which we would have gladly accepted, as we are doing now.
3 We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic?
7 Yes, one moment, Mr. Krgovic, because I see --
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I do have a preliminary
9 matter outside the presence of the witness that I wanted to address the
10 Chamber, if I may. There is three points specifically. First, on page
11 17, line 8 and 9, when the Prosecutor said there's --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. 17?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Page 17, line 8 and 9.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: M'hm.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: When the Prosecution suggests that he's being
16 accused of phoneying up the documents, that's not accurate. I spoke to
17 Mr. McCloskey. That's not our position. No one is suggesting that, but I
18 think when he stood up and said it was the official translation, we
19 counter on that. Just so the record's clear on that, there is no
20 accusation against the Prosecutor on phoneying up the documents here.
21 Second point I'd like to make is that we think, or at least I do,
22 respectfully, that the Prosecution suggests at times in his argument that
23 the -- or is trying to shape the Defence. The Defence at least for
24 Mr. Beara and for myself, has never been from the outset, nor is it today
25 that if you arrest and kill civilians and soldiers that it's not a war
1 crime. That's not what we're asking this Trial Chamber to decide, as the
2 Court knows. It's not proper for the Prosecution to continuously say that
3 it is a war crime and on the other hand perhaps this Court should ask the
4 witness is arresting a civilian or a soldier, is that a war crime? Is in
5 combat killing a soldier, is that a war crime? So and I just want to draw
6 the Court's attention to it, because he said it and I didn't have an
7 opportunity to respond to him and I think we're clear on this point.
8 The third point, the third point, if I may, if I may, with respect
9 to the author of this document, 65 ter number 2672, who's the deputy
10 commander major, we believe and we can stipulate that the Prosecution with
11 the Court's permission does not need to go and file a motion and that they
12 should add him to the list and we'd like to hear from this witness, if
13 that's okay with the Court, unless the Court feels this also needs to be
14 done in writing. Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need to hear you, Mr. McCloskey, on
16 this. First point made by Mr. Ostojic, we don't need to comment upon.
17 The second thing, I don't think it's either for the Prosecution or
18 for the witness to establish what is a war crime or not. It's us
19 ultimately that need to decide that. You're free to ask the witness any
20 question you like during your cross-examination, but I think we wouldn't
21 entertain having the opinion of the witness as to what constitutes a war
22 crime or not.
23 The third statement that you -- or third point that you made, do
24 we take it as being only the position of accused Beara? Because there are
25 other seven -- six accused together with him, who have not opened their
1 mouth on the matter as yet.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that's our position. Does anyone of the
4 other defence teams wish to make a statement on this last point made by
5 Mr. Ostojic in relation to this would-be witness, 65 ter witness?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, I have spoken to my learned
7 colleagues and we are all in agreement with the last point that it isn't
8 necessary to file the motion. We don't have an objection to it but if the
9 Court permits.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no objection, obviously there is no need to
11 file a motion. Permission is granted. In any case, we wanted to make it
12 clear that even if no motion was forthcoming, we tended towards requesting
13 the presence of this witness ourselves. So let's proceed.
14 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, if the OTP is not calling that
15 witness, we are minded to call him as a Chamber witness.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's the position of all of us.
17 Mr. Krgovic will now proceed with the cross-examination, but first we need
18 the witness in.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are going to proceed with the
21 cross-examination of Mr. Krgovic, who is appearing for General Gvero. Go
22 ahead, Mr. Krgovic. You requested two hours and a half. Do you still
23 need that much time?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think I will use
25 just half the time that I envisaged originally.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, you may proceed. Go ahead.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Good morning again, General. I will try during my
4 cross-examination to phrase my questions in such a way as to allow you to
5 answer with a yes or no. If a clarification is necessary, please do
6 explain, but to speed up the proceedings, I will try to phrase my
7 questions in that way.
8 General, during the examination-in-chief, you mentioned seven
9 assistant commanders in the Main Staff of the VRS. Out of those seven,
10 one was General Gvero. Do you remember saying that in responding to the
11 Prosecutor's questions?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The exact title of General Gvero was assistant for morale,
14 information, religious and legal affairs; is that correct?
15 A. No. The exact title was chief of sector for morale, religious and
16 legal affairs and at the same time assistant commander for the same
18 Q. Thank you. In that capacity, the chief of those administrations
19 and assistant commander, General Gvero was not a position to issue orders,
20 just like all the others, all the other assistant commanders?
21 A. Not a single assistant, whenever General Mladic was there, could
22 issue orders. If General Mladic wasn't there, then I was there so none of
23 the other assistants could issue executive orders. They could issue
24 executive orders only within the purview of their respective sectors, such
25 as order a unit to process such and such information, but no combat
2 Q. At any case, in view of your explanation, those assistant
3 commanders or chiefs of sectors were not called commanders, they were
4 referred to either as assistant commanders or chiefs of sectors? In all
5 communications they were referred to in that way?
6 A. I don't understand. Which commanders?
7 Q. I mean assistant commanders or chiefs of sectors, they were not
8 addressed as commanders?
9 A. No, no. Even I wasn't addressed as commander or referred to as
11 Q. I'm asking you this, General, because here, there have been some
12 suggestions and opinions voiced by some experts according to which
13 assistant commanders were treated as commanders. That's the reason I'm
15 A. This is an erroneous interpretation.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can you explain why, Mr. McCloskey?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm not aware of any Prosecution expert or witness
19 who's ever suggested an assistant commander is a -- somehow a commander.
20 So if he has something specific, which I'm sure he does, I would
21 appreciate it because that's never been our position.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey. What are you
23 specifically referring to, Mr. Krgovic?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. General Smith
25 claims precisely that, in the proposal submitted to us by the
1 Prosecution. I can find the relevant page, just to inform the
2 Prosecution --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've no objection if he can be specific so the
4 general's answering specific.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but we still have pending the open question as
6 to whether General Smith will be admitted as an expert witness apart from
7 a witness to the facts, but if you have no objection to Mr. Krgovic
8 referring specifically to his expert report which has not yet been
9 admitted, then perhaps he can proceed. Let's proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, please go ahead. Make specific
12 reference to the part of the report so that we know exactly which part it
13 and we can follow, too.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I cannot find it right now. I'll
15 come back to this question later.
16 Q. Just one more thing, General, regarding the chief of sector or
17 assistant commander position. I would like to put it to you that in this
18 title, assistant for some particular kind of affair, in that title there
19 is an exact description of the job performed by that assistant. That's my
20 reading. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. The name of the position describes the jurisdiction of that
23 Q. And it's not possible that an assistant --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: My sympathy for the interpreters. They are finding
25 it very difficult to catch up with you because you're not even allowing
1 each other to finish question or answer. Please allow a short pause
2 between question and answer, and that applies to both of you, so that the
3 interpreters can do their job properly. Thank you.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, and it's not possible for one assistant to take over the
6 functions of another assistant, in keeping with the rules of service and
7 the doctrine of the army of Republika Srpska? For instance, for General
8 Gvero to take over the functions of General Tolimir, that was not
9 possible, and that did not happen, did it?
10 A. It's not possible for the simple reason that, for instance,
11 General Gvero does not know the job of General Tolimir. I was not able to
12 do that job either, although I was supposed to be knowledgeable about all
13 these things. I couldn't take over the functions of General Gvero. I
14 could have made speeches to the troops to raise their morale but not in
15 the same style as General Gvero did, and it never happened during the war
16 that one chief of sector took over the job of another, because every chief
17 of sector has his own assistant, and in the absence of the chief of
18 sector, the assistant takes over, just as I took over when General Mladic
19 left the zone of the theatre of war.
20 Q. Thank you, General. Another thing I want to ask you: As you
21 understood it at the time, concerning the position of the -- of General
22 Gvero, his job as a chief of morale was to make speeches to the troops, to
23 raise their morale, to monitor the level of morale, unit by unit, and to
24 receive reports about cases of desertion, violations of discipline and
25 such, and to take care that the readiness of troops to perform missions
1 and assignments be satisfactory. Does that appropriately describe his
2 functions, as far as morale is concerned?
3 A. When I mentioned the making of the speeches, I was speaking
4 figuratively, to somehow describe the functions of General Gvero, but that
5 was not his main job. His main job and his main problem was to build up
6 the morale of the troops of Republika Srpska, and that is a much broader
7 job than just making speeches.
8 His other function had to do with religious affairs, and that had
9 nothing to do with Gvero making troops pray but to establish contacts with
10 religious communities, to enable troops to declare themselves as belonging
11 to one faith or another. And another segment of his activities was legal
12 affairs, namely, creating military courts, monitoring their work, but not
13 interference in their work.
14 Q. Military courts, from 1994, fell under the Ministry of Defence and
15 only the section -- the only thing that the section for legal affairs did
16 was receive criminal reports indicating the number of infractions and
17 criminal acts and monitoring how they affected morale. Did I understand
18 correctly the purview of this sector for legal affairs?
19 A. From the very beginning of the war, from the very moment they were
20 established, military courts were supposed to be under the Ministry of
21 Defence of Republika Srpska, but they were not, in fact, because the
22 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska was not equipped for that, just as
23 it was not equipped to issue military directives, as I said yesterday. I
24 remember very clearly one evening General Gvero received an explicit
25 assignment from General Mladic to establish military courts, and they were
2 But it didn't matter. I mean, it doesn't matter that I don't
3 remember their locations now. Gvero did it, sometime in 1994. I don't
4 remember the exact month. Supposedly, the Ministry of Defence finally got
5 equipped to lead military courts and from that moment on, they fell under
6 their purview, but the functions of General Gvero in legal affairs did not
7 stop. What he did concerning military courts was to monitor the work of
8 military courts in contact with an appropriate section in the Ministry of
10 But legal affairs also cover more than that. They cover all those
11 shortcomings and deficiencies in the work of the army that are not subject
12 to prosecution, such as violations of discipline, disciplinary
13 infractions, and that is one of the indicators of the state of morale in a
14 unit. If, for instance, one brigade has 50 disciplinary infractions in
15 the course of a month while another unit has ten, that means that the
16 morale of the unit with ten infractions is better than the morale of the
17 unit which has 50. So Gvero and his sector focus on the unit which has
18 the most problems.
19 Q. Another component of his work was that the general and his sector
20 were in charge of protocol, that is, organising celebrations, St. Vitus
21 day commemorations, ceremonies, receiving foreign representatives, that is
22 when somebody needs to see the commander, he would organise that meeting,
23 et cetera. That was also his job?
24 A. Organising these military festivities and ceremonies was something
25 done with a view to boosting morale. Whether General Gvero organised some
1 artistic ensemble to entertain the troops or whether he was organising
2 festivities on another occasion, it doesn't matter. It's all done in all
3 armies in the world. By entertaining the troops, you raise morale. As
4 far as protocol is concerned, in receiving various delegations, that was
5 not the exclusive purview of General Gvero, because this was handled by
6 people who were receiving a certain delegation in their sector.
7 General Gvero, for instance, had nothing to do with military
8 factories producing a certain kind of equipment. It was handled in that
9 case by the chief of logistics. Or if a representative of the UNPROFOR
10 was coming to the staff or another cooperating armed force, Gvero again
11 had nothing to do with it. It was handled by the staff sector. That is
12 the secretary of the commander of the Main Staff. What I'm trying to say
13 is that it was not Gvero's obligation and responsibility to prepare all
14 kinds of meetings for the Main Staff or personalities of the Main Staff
15 with other people.
16 Q. And in particular, it was not his responsibility to liaise with
17 the UNPROFOR on a permanent basis?
18 A. No.
19 Q. When you say no, you mean to say that what I said is right, it was
20 not his responsibility?
21 A. Mr. Krgovic, you are creating problems for me, and I am creating
22 problems for the interpreters. This thing in front of me is continuing to
23 type, and I cannot answer.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. I think his answer is clear enough,
25 Mr. Krgovic. Go ahead, please.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. The very position of General Gvero at the Main Staff was such that
3 in view of his functions, he had no influence on command, the conduct of
4 operations, or the making of important decisions. He was not the crucial
5 personality who could affect the decision making or command or the
6 execution of operations. Do you agree with this position?
7 A. I do not agree with that position. General Gvero did not have a
8 decisive influence, but all of us had influence on decision-making. I
9 mentioned yesterday that the Main Staff took its decisions collectively.
10 Therefore, it is certain that in the preceding debate, before the
11 commander says, "I have hereby decided," all of us had the right to
12 present our proposals, our positions, our opinions, and depending on the
13 extent to which the commander accepted our input, all of us had certain
14 influence but none of us seven assistant commanders had a decisive
16 Q. Maybe I phrased my question a bit clumsily. I'm speaking about
17 command, about the professional aspect, the conduct of operations, the
18 issuing of orders.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's multi-facetted question. I
21 think we're better off if we have individual specific questions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Agreed. Mr. Krgovic, please, the suggestion is that
23 you approach these one by one and not cumulatively, as you have.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Milovanovic, did General Gvero have command experience and
1 skills that would allow him to suggest to the commander how to conduct an
2 operation, in which way, and all those professional military aspects?
3 Could he suggest that to the commander?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Same objection, Your Honour. All those
6 professional military aspects? I mean, clearly, there are aspects of his
7 job that he's qualified to talk about that are part of a combat
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's correct, Mr. McCloskey. On the other hand, I
10 think for the time being, the witness can concentrate on the first part of
11 the question and then if he can enlighten us on the profession -- all
12 those professional military aspects, if he wishes to address that, he
13 can. Otherwise, Mr. Krgovic would need to be specific.
14 Can you start answering the question, General? The question is:
15 Did General Gvero have command experience and skills that would allow him
16 to suggest to the commander how to conduct an operation and in which way?
17 Let's stick to that first.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every general, by virtue of the fact
19 that he was promoted into general, loses his branch designation. Up to
20 the rank of colonel, we are all colonels of infantry, artillery, armoured
21 and mechanised units, and let me not enumerate further the branches of
22 service. But by virtue of being promoted into general, every general is
23 practically promoted into a general military commander. He can command
24 any type of unit, infantry, artillery and so on. So General Gvero, by
25 virtue of being a general, had the skills and knowledge to conduct
1 military operations, that is, to lead troops in combat. Whether he had
2 the experience, I don't know.
3 I hope Gvero won't be offended, but I don't think he had, because
4 from what I could see in his biography, he -- his only command
5 responsibility was as platoon commander, and then he moved into a
6 different area, professorial duties, lecturing duties, political
7 responsibilities. I know that while I went to the military school of the
8 JNA, part time he led a workshop on Marxism. I know that Gvero used to be
9 a platoon commander, but whether he had ever been company commander or a
10 brigade commander after that, I don't know. Gvero does, though.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to pursue the second part of your
12 question, in which case you need to be specific, Mr. Krgovic?
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. In view of this
14 answer, I will move on.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought so. So your next question, please?
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Milovanovic, regarding the role and importance of General
18 Gvero at the Main Staff, could his role be described as Mladic's eyes and
19 ears, or Mladic's right hand, Mladic's associate who was also his
20 confidant and most trusted man?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, let's take them one by one because you have
22 put three or four questions in one. Let's start with the first one. With
23 your permission, Mr. Krgovic, I'll do this myself.
24 General, it's being put to you regarding the role and importance
25 of General Gvero in the Main Staff. First question: Could his role be
1 described as being Mladic's eyes and ears? If you can understand that.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Mladic's eyes and ears, his
3 eyes were the security administration and his ears were the intelligence
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The second question, again regarding --
6 considering the role and importance of General Gvero, would you agree to
7 the proposition that General Gvero was Mladic's right hand? Would you
8 accept that proposition?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wouldn't. I would
10 underestimate myself if I did. Mladic's right hand in conducting any
11 operation was myself, nobody else. Anybody else would be left hands
12 rather than the right hand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And the last question always in the same context of
14 the role and importance of General Gvero in the Main Staff: Would you
15 agree to the proposition that General Gvero could be considered as
16 Mladic's associate who was also his confidant and most trusted man?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll start with the last things
18 first. General Gvero did not enjoy any special trust by General Mladic.
19 I believe that General Mladic avoided having anybody among us in whom he
20 would have placed most trust. He confided in me most because of the war.
21 If General Gvero was his stooge, so to speak, and somebody who did
22 everything for him, no, I wouldn't say that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Back to you, Mr. Krgovic.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. General, are you familiar with the relationship between General
1 Gvero and political bodies and especially Mr. Karadzic from the beginning
2 of war to its end? According to my information, General Gvero and
3 Karadzic, from the very outset were in permanent conflict and their
4 relationship was rather bad throughout the war. Are you aware of that?
5 A. The special attitude of General Gvero towards the Supreme
6 Commander was not noticeable. The attitude of the Supreme Command towards
7 the Main Staff was rather volatile. At the beginning of the war, we were
8 well-accepted by the Presidency. However, as the army was organised and
9 as we started combat operations, attempts were made to ignore the role of
10 the Main Staff, especially when the Supreme Command was established, of
11 which I spoke yesterday. Nobody from the Main Staff made it to the
12 Supreme Command. That's when we all realised that we represented some
13 sort of opposition to the political leadership.
14 We wanted the Supreme Command to provide funds for the army and
15 for waging the war. However, the Supreme Command, throughout the war --
16 an analysis was made after the end of the war -- provided only 8 per cent
17 of the total requirements of the army. As for the rest of the
18 requirements, we made do as best as we could. We were fortunate to have
19 the military industry under the authority of the army, which was adopted
20 from the former JNA practice. So we could use the military industry
21 products and trade them off with Yugoslavia.
22 When it comes to the successes of the Republika Srpska army on the
23 battlefields, we got increasingly attacked by the political leaders of
24 Republika Srpska, by the individuals in that leadership. They would refer
25 to us as the red gang because we had taken over the things that I spoke
1 about yesterday. We had taken over the rules and the war rules from the
2 former JNA, because, before the war, we had all served in the JNA,
3 carrying the five-pointed stars on our hats. They called us Milosevic's
4 mercenaries because the army of Yugoslavia was duty-bound to pay the
5 officers' salaries.
6 All these attacks against us came from the second echelon of the
7 political leadership rather than directly from the three or four most
8 important figures in the political leadership, and I'm talking about
9 Karadzic, Koljevic, Plavsic and Krajisnik. These attacks came from their
10 assistants and associates. This was a problem that General Gvero was
11 supposed to resolve as the assistant commander for moral guidance, because
12 this problem had a direct impact on the level of morale among the troops,
13 and all this was done in order to avoid a direct clash between General
14 Mladic and President Karadzic.
15 The conflicts escalated in 1995 because of some political
16 reasons. The political leadership of Republika Srpska accepted or decided
17 to cede part of the territory that was under the Serb control, or, rather,
18 they agreed to the return of the army from the parts of the territory
19 under our control. For example, they agreed to the withdrawal of the army
20 from Mount Igman and Mount Bjelasnica in August and September, 1993.
21 Obviously, we objected to such decisions or such possibilities. We tried
22 to overturn such decisions because we were the ones, we were the generals,
23 who, for months before that, had forced the troops to take those positions
24 in line with the directives of the Supreme Command. People had been
25 killed, and then all of a sudden we were asked to abandon those areas and
1 to make the troops go back.
2 In 1995, in the month of April, there was an open conflict between
3 the Main Staff and the Supreme Command, which was noticeable at the 15
4 April assembly in Sanski Most. The army was openly attacked for its
5 alleged inactivity. However, nobody ever told us what further activities
6 we were supposed to take, whether we should take more territory, whether
7 we should abandon some territories. The army was considered unnecessary.
8 It was frozen. The commander was attacked, as well as General Gvero,
9 General Tolimir, General Djukic. I was skipped at that moment. I suppose
10 I did not refrain from calling a spade a spade or something else. I don't
11 know whether General Gvero personally came into conflict with Karadzic,
12 but I know that before that, General Gvero was always duty-bound on behalf
13 of the Main Staff to attend the sessions of the assembly of Republika
14 Srpska, as well as the sessions of the government of Republika Srpska, if
15 nothing else, then at least as an invited guest.
16 After the assembly in Sanski Most, there was a change in the
17 positions of General Mladic, and from then on he started sending either me
18 or General Tolimir to the assembly, and if we were invited to the
19 government sessions, then I would be sent instead of anybody else. This
20 put me in a rather unfavourable position because the remainder of the Main
21 Staff could have speculated about that and could have suspected that I had
22 teamed up with the political leadership and that I was a traitor in the
23 Main Staff, which was far from the truth.
24 When I was naming the people who were directly attacked at the
25 assembly in Sanski Most, the proof of that is the fact that very soon
1 after that, there was an order issued by the Supreme Commander that some
2 people who were members of the Main Staff should be retired, namely
3 General Djukic, Gvero, Tolimir and I believe Ljubisa Beara. However, that
4 order was not --
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry to interrupt the general, but perhaps we can
6 get a date for that so we don't have to go back and cover this.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The date of the Sanski Most --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. The date that the issuing the orders
9 related to the officers that were to be removed.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. General, if you could indicate the date,
11 you're saying, "When I was naming the people who were directly attacked in
12 the assembly at Sanski Most, the proof of that is the fact that very soon
13 after that," we would like to know exactly or relatively when was that.
14 You're saying that "there was an order issued by the Supreme Commander
15 that some people who were members of the Main Staff should be retired,
16 namely" and you mentioned three persons -- four persons.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember the date, but that
18 was very soon after the assembly meeting in Sanski Most. I can't be sure
19 whether it was a month or two months later, but in any case, it was soon
20 after the assembly meeting.
21 However, I have not completed my answer with regard to this
22 retirement business. Nobody from the Supreme Command ever asked for this
23 order to be carried out. When the war was over, again an order was issued
24 and these people were indeed retired, and a curiosity of that order was
25 the fact that General Djordje Djukic was also retired, although he had
1 died eight months prior to that order. And let me conclude. I don't know
2 whether General Gvero entered into an open conflict with Karadzic, but I
3 know that after that, Karadzic did not want to contact or get in touch
4 with the four men that he had intended to send into retirement.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Which means, that arises from your extensive answer, that after
7 Sanski Most, General Gvero never went to the sessions of the assembly or
8 the government?
9 A. I don't know. I only know that I was sent to the government
10 session. I was the one who went.
11 Q. Let me --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you go on with your next question, General,
13 en passant, in answering the last question, you stated, "After the
14 assembly in Sanski Most, there was a change in the positions of General
15 Mladic and from then on, he started sending either me or General Tolimir
16 to the assembly, and if we were invited, to the government sessions." Did
17 he ever give you a reason for changing his previous position of sending
18 General Gvero?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of any reasons, and
20 usually you never ask a commander why he makes a certain decision. A
21 subordinate never questions his commander's decision. According to the
22 military rule, you're just supposed to say, "Yes, I understand," if you
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, when you were talking about the way directives were
1 drafted, yesterday to my learned friend's question, you answered that the
2 person who commissioned so to speak the directive provides guidelines as
3 to how the directive should be drafted. Do you remember having spoken
4 about that? In a specific case, when the Supreme Command is the body that
5 orders for a directive to be issued, it provides the background, the
6 political background, as the basis for the drafting of the directive.
7 Would you agree with that?
8 A. I agree with that. However, the person ordering a directive to be
9 drafted, I said that that person provides guidelines rather than the
10 framework for that directive. Usually, the guidelines that will go into
11 this document, which is of strategic importance, are accompanied by the
12 Supreme Command's assessment of the military and political situation in
13 Republika Srpska, i.e., in the state to which the directive will be
14 applied, in its immediate environment and in the world, taking into
15 account the things that are of some significance for the army and the
16 political situation in Republika Srpska.
17 Q. Let's move on to another subject. In 1994 and 1995, if I'm not
18 mistaken, and if I am, feel free to correct me, you were in the Bihac
19 theatre of war conducting military operations. In that period, while you
20 were active there, how did this theatre of war come into being at all?
21 And what was the conduct of the UNPROFOR, the commander of the UNPROFOR
22 regarding your activities, your operations?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, compound. He's talking about in 1994 and
25 1995. That's a very long period of time. If you could be specific, no
1 problems, but several parts of this question, there is a huge period of
2 time involved.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, point taken, I suppose. First I think
4 we need to establish which period of time he was in the Bihac theatre,
5 Bihac area, during military operations. Can you move to the rest of your
6 question one by one, please?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, when the Muslim forces from the protected areas, and you
9 spoke about this before, made incursion out of the zone, although they
10 were not supposed to be there at all, and they captured 250 square
11 kilometres of the Serb-controlled area, could you describe the conflict
12 that ensued?
13 A. It's obvious that I have to speak both faster and more concisely
14 if I am ever to leave this place.
15 Q. Correct. But you won't hold it against us, because you are the
16 highest-ranking officer who has a lot of general knowledge on these
17 matters, and we have to take avail of that and take advantage of you to
18 help us clarify certain facts.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, let's --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Same objection. It's the position of the
21 Prosecutor that the Muslims were coming out of this enclave throughout.
22 So it's a long time period he's talking about and it's not in dispute, of
23 course, but --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it here I disagree with you because I think
25 what Mr. Krgovic, and he'll correct me if I'm wrong, is referring --
1 specifically referring to is the event that the witness testified upon
2 yesterday, where there was a surprise attack by the Muslims in the Bihac
3 area, which then prompted the units under his control to counter-attack
4 and also take possession of a particular -- but this is, if I am
5 understanding you well, what you are referring the witness to,
6 Mr. Krgovic, or not?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but the reason I'm
8 mentioning Bihac is one document that I would like to show the witness
9 now. It's an intercept, in fact, between General Gvero -- could we show
10 the witness P2374?
11 Q. General, I'm going to show you one intercept that was recorded by
12 operators of the BH army, and in this conversation we hear General Gvero
13 speaking to General Nicolai and he mentions deceit by the Muslim side
14 regarding Bihac and Gorazde and the conduct of the UNPROFOR in such
15 situations. That is the reason why I want you to comment on this
17 THE REGISTRAR: This is not in e-court.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] P2374. If I may put it on the ELMO.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that will be quicker and the general --
20 okay. We found it. Yes, put it on the ELMO, usher. I think it's
21 easier. All right. If it's under seal, it will remain under seal. We'll
22 put it on the ELMO and we'll block broadcast of the document.
23 So technicians, please, you're not to broadcast any image of this
24 document while we proceed.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the bottom part?
1 Q. This underlined or rather highlighted part where General Gvero
2 speaks of events in Bihac and Gorazde, can you tell us what happened to
3 you that has to do with the conduct of the UNPROFOR when you were active
4 in Bihac?
5 A. Now I cannot see the screen and I have no indication of when I can
6 speak. And second, I understood your question and I don't need this
7 document to answer it.
8 Mr. President, may I speak now?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, General.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood counsel as asking me to
11 explain the conduct of the UNPROFOR in cases where the Muslim side made
12 mistakes. I explained yesterday how the counterattack at Bihac occurred,
13 and if I am allowed to speak about other people's mistakes, the mistake of
14 the UNPROFOR was in allowing a protected area, where there shouldn't have
15 been a single armed person, allowing a corps to be built up consisting of
16 22.000 men, the best-armed in the Balkans at that, which means that the
17 UNPROFOR misinformed the Main Staff when it said it had disarmed Muslims
18 around Bihac. I remember distinctly that they informed us of disarming
19 three brigades in that area, namely the 505th Puzin Brigade, which was the
20 most dangerous in that region. We believed the UNPROFOR and we suspended
21 our front line facing the Una River. That's around Bihac.
22 However, on the 23rd October, 1994, suddenly that 5th Muslim
23 Corps, with those 22.000 men, crossed the Una River and burst into the
24 territory under the control of Republika Srpska. Our 2nd Krajina Corps
25 was taken by surprise, and even if it hadn't been taken by surprise, its
1 strength was twice less. It was, in fact, around 14.000 in total,
2 including logistics and everything.
3 Over seven days, Muslims captured those 250 square kilometres, and
4 that's the time when that intervention of our Supreme Command occurred. I
5 spoke about that yesterday, and I believe I can skip it now. I hope I
6 don't have to repeat it, not to waste time.
7 Q. General --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. One moment to put all this in context,
9 because the witness is referring to events that go back to October, 1994,
10 and the intercept that you have referred the witness to is dated, at least
11 if that's correct, 11th July 1995, and refers to events that are
12 completely different.
13 JUDGE KWON: I have to note that for the record, it is in English
14 page 2 of P2347A. It should be page 2.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Kwon.
16 The question that you put to the witness referred specifically to
17 this intercept. This intercept is dated 11th July and it obviously, at
18 least from the face -- on the face of it, refers to events that had just
19 happened. There is nothing from this document that indicates or even
20 leads us to imagine for a moment that it refers to the events that
21 occurred in October of the previous year that the witness has just
22 referred to.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know which
24 passage you are looking at, but we have here words ascribed to General
25 Gvero. He's describing events that took place before in Bihac and Gorazde
1 and he says, "Let General Nicolai be reminded that the same thing had
2 already happened in Bihac and Gorazde."
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 JUDGE KWON: It should be two pages, 2347A.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, I'll try to put a leading question to cut this short. Is
7 it correct that the moment you approached Bihac, when you took up your
8 initial position, in view of the reports that you had --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear anything because of
10 the shuffling in the microphones. Could counsel please repeat?
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat the question for the
12 sake of the interpreters.
13 Q. General, is it correct that when you returned and recovered
14 previous positions and approached Bihac, at that moment, even though you
15 had not shelled Bihac and you had made no counterattack, you were bombed
16 by NATO aviation, there were NATO air strikes against you, although you
17 were not given a map of the protected area with no indication of how far
18 you can go?
19 A. My trouble, when I completed the task given me by the Supreme
20 Command is not interesting to this Court, but the fact is I didn't know
21 what to do, to go on or to stop. At that time the army of Republika
22 Srpska under my command had come dangerously close to Bihac. Bihac was a
23 protected area, although that's where the attack against us came from. I
24 asked on parallel channels, both from the Supreme Command and from General
25 Mladic, a reply: What was I to do? I asked the Supreme Command because I
1 was executing directly the orders of the Supreme Commander, and I sought
2 General Mladic's explanation due to the normal military subordination
3 because I was supposed to address my immediate superior. General Mladic's
4 reply was to stop, pending further instructions from the Supreme Command.
5 And I stopped.
6 In the meantime, I received a call from General Rose, then the
7 force commander for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he told me that I must not
8 attack Bihac. I answered that it was not my problem and it was not my
9 decision, it was up to the Supreme Command. He also said that if I
10 continued my attack, my advance on Bihac, there would be air strikes
11 against me. However, something weird was going on, some sort of
12 negotiations were going on between the Republic of Serbian Krajina, to
13 give you a better idea that was this state-like creation led by Milan
14 Martic, so those negotiations were between Milan Martic and the state of
15 Croatia in Zagreb.
16 So I understood Rose's threat in two different ways. I understood
17 that if I go on, they will attack me but I didn't expect to be attacked
18 even if I stayed where I was. However, he attacked me on the 21st, the
19 22nd and the 23rd November. I am quoting those dates because the 21st was
20 my birthday and I joked with my friends that it was a very nice birthday
21 card from Rose. He bombed me for three days. I was unable to establish
22 contact with him, although I had informed the command and General Mladic,
23 and I don't know what was going on at their end. At any rate, the air
24 strikes stopped on the 23rd.
25 On the 24th, the evening of the 24th, that is one day after the
1 cessation of air strikes, I received an envelope from General Rose and I
2 thought it was some sort of letter because he had promised me a letter of
3 intent, although he had promised it would be a menacing one, but when I
4 opened the envelope it was a topographic map with the boundaries of the
5 protected area of Bihac drawn in. Until then such boundaries did not
6 exist, like the boundaries of Tuzla or the boundaries of Sarajevo
7 protected areas did not exist. I believe that Tuzla and Sarajevo do not
8 have such boundaries to this day. The boundaries of the Bihac secure zone
9 was drawn to coincide exactly with the front positions of my forces, where
10 they were in Bihac at the time. So I did not violate the protected area.
11 But what was curious was that this was signed at the Security
12 Council at -- and now there is a time difference between the US and
13 Europe, but it was signed in the morning of the 24th November, and I
14 received it that evening. But it doesn't matter whether it was signed in
15 the morning or the evening. What matters is that it was signed after the
16 cessation of attacks and I believe that counsel was trying to get
17 precisely at that. I think that my troops were attacked illegally,
18 unlawfully. And a similar thing had already happened a couple of months
19 before that in Gorazde.
20 Gorazde was also a protected area. From that area, one commander,
21 I believe Sejdic was his name. General Pandurevic knows him very well
22 because he's the one who fought him, this Sedic took out of the Gorazde
23 protected area a unit of 750 men, passing through UNPROFOR lines, passing
24 through our lines, and in the area of Mount Sjemec, they attacked very
25 violently, very brutally, Serb villages, killing I don't know how many
1 people. Pandurevic's unit found them and engaged them but they were only
2 able to stop them, and just at that moment, General Mladic arrived in the
3 theatre of war, coming back from his daughter's funeral. He went directly
4 to Sjemec and launched a spontaneous action to expel that group, just as I
5 did later on in Bihac.
6 The Muslims informed the entire world through the media that Serbs
7 had destroyed such and such a number of houses in Gorazde, killing so many
8 people, and the UNPROFOR threatened air strikes against Serb troops around
9 Gorazde from NATO aircraft. General Rose was the force commander of the
10 UNPROFOR. Again, he didn't believe Muslim propaganda. Instead he went to
11 Gorazde himself. I didn't know what he found there, but in the book he
12 wrote later, the title of the book being, "The Bosnia Mission," he wrote
13 that he had in fact seen destroyed houses but houses that had been
14 destroyed two years before in 1992, in the first conflicts between Serbs
15 and Muslims. And on the 21st of April, air strikes began.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's enough. Please, General, I didn't
17 stop you, of course, because in a way, all this was important for the
18 Defence, who didn't try to stop you, either, but I would suggest that you
19 try to keep your answers as brief an as possible because we too would like
20 you to leave The Hague and go back to your country this weekend.
21 Otherwise, I see no chance of reaching the end of your testimony this
23 Mr. Krgovic.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, as far as I'm aware, concerning these incursions launched
1 by Muslims out of protected area, and the killings of UNPROFOR members,
2 the Muslims were never punished for that, were they?
3 A. The 5th Muslim Corps from Bihac was never punished. I don't know
4 about the others.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: By whom would they have been punished, Mr. Krgovic?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] By NATO air strikes, the same that
7 applied to the VRS.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But this is what -- that is what Mr. Krgovic meant,
9 and your answer remains the same, General, doesn't it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, let me ask you briefly, you have already explained part
14 of it in the examination-in-chief when you were explaining the way
15 documents were signed. When a document that has been produced is
16 submitted for transmission by teletype, a certain person is indicated in
17 the signature spot indicating their rank and title. If that person does
18 not sign in their own hand to verify the document, the person receiving
19 the document, if somebody has signed with the prefix "for," this
20 handwritten inscription "for" is not seen on the receiving end. You only
21 see the typed name of the person in the signature line; is that correct?
22 A. It's correct, and I believe that when I was answering the
23 Prosecutor, the same answer applies to the Defence. I don't see the need
24 to duplicate questions.
25 Q. And what if you put the indication "SR" at the bottom of the
1 document? Does that mean that a person indicated on the signature line
2 signed the document personally in their own hand?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: He answered that yesterday.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General Milovanovic, let me ask you this. You know General
7 Gvero. I will now show you a document from 1992.
8 Can we show the witness document 6D129?
9 This is a document from 1992 where General Gvero, in his capacity
10 of assistant for morale, discusses certain matters, how certain actions
11 affect the morale of troops, and how members of other ethnic communities
12 and members of the UNPROFOR and other organisations should be treated.
13 Could you please look at this document carefully?
14 General Gvero says here that even before this, he had already
15 drawn attention several times to the need to stop retributions, prevent
16 retributions against innocent population, destruction, looting, arson, et
17 cetera, because such actions blemish the image of the Serb soldier and
18 that innocent people should not be treated like that simply because they
19 are not Serbs. Can you see this passage? Is it consistent with your
20 impression? Do you believe that General Gvero really believed what he was
21 saying here, that that was his personal position?
22 A. I see the document. Very likely General Gvero stands behind this
23 document, if he signed it, because I don't see the signature line.
24 Q. Can we scroll down so we can see the signature?
25 A. I see the signature of General Gvero. I don't see the famous
1 letters SR, which means in his own hand. What do you want me to do? To
2 confirm this?
3 Q. No. My question was a bit broader. What is written in this
4 document, in your personal belief, does it -- it really express General
5 Gvero's own ideas, the way he also shared them with you at meetings?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Let me draw your attention to one passage that begins with the
8 words, "Treatment of domestic and foreign journalists, members of the
9 UNPROFOR, the International Red Cross must be cordial, humane and
10 perfectly decent in all situations. They should be accommodated and
11 enabled to work unhindered and every attempt should be made to gain their
12 sympathy, to win them over."
13 A. I can see that. I would never personally use the word "cordial"
14 or "cordially." I would say that the treatment should be decent, fair,
15 and in keeping with international standards and laws.
16 Q. But you see that. Does this also express your personal position?
17 A. It's the position of the Main Staff, not my own.
18 Q. Just one more question, General. As long as we're talking about
19 documents, every sector had their own reference number and the number of
20 your sector was 03, if you remember?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I think I will finish before the break. Just one more question.
23 Are you aware that one part of General Gvero's sector -- I mean
24 information and legal affairs -- were based in a hotel in Han Pijesak?
25 A. The press centre was based at the hotel -- or rather, not at the
1 hotel. In Han Pijesak in some other building, I believe it was the
2 municipal building. Where it was relocated in end 1994 or end 1995, I
3 don't know, and I don't know whether anybody from Gvero's sector was
4 relocated from Crna Rijeka to Han Pijesak.
5 Q. And although were you not there in the summer of 1995, are you
6 aware that in that office that you marked as Gvero's, Tolimir occupied and
7 used that office while he was there with his wife? The office that you
8 designated as Gvero's.
9 A. Correct. Tolimir was in one of those rooms with his wife,
10 sometime during the war. I explained yesterday to the Prosecutor that
11 Gvero was relocated from what we called the blue room to the adjacent
12 room. I don't know whether Tolimir was accordingly moved one room
13 further. I don't know. I didn't spend my time during the war monitoring
14 such things.
15 Q. But Gvero's service was moved to Han Pijesak and Gvero himself got
16 one room in the barracks, from March to October 1995, you were not there,
17 but maybe you know.
18 A. I don't know.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. I have no
20 further questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Who is going next? Although I think
22 we will have the break now. But it will be you, Madam Fauveau. You
23 requested three and a half hours. How much of that do you still require?
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to stick to the three
25 and a half hours, but I'll make an effort to finish as soon as possible.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Just before we break, then, Beara, Mr. Ostojic, how
2 much time -- you asked for an hour and three-quarters.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes. Thus far we think we are going to reduce it,
4 so we would like to reserve 45 minutes to an hour, but we may not have any
5 questions depending on the next day or so.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Mr. Haynes?
7 MR. HAYNES: I think we are still in the region of an hour or a
8 little more.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
10 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. We have no questions
11 at this time, but I would like to reserve ten minutes for one question
12 which I think will be asked by somebody else. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, for the record, I have to note that
15 on page 55, line 18, I meant 2374A.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Kwon. We'll have a break of 25
17 minutes and we will then reconvene for the last session. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau? Perhaps you can introduce
21 yourself to the witness and proceed. And then we continue.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
24 Q. My name is Natacha Fauveau-Ivanovic. I appear here for General
25 Miletic. Could we show the witness P2828? It's a diagram that the
1 Prosecutor showed him sometime ago. Can we show the part lower, a bit
2 higher now, please? Just a little bit higher? That's it. Thank you.
3 Sir, you said that General Miletic was in the room marked 5 when
4 you were not there; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. We can also see the name Miletic appearing in room number 3. Is
7 it true that General Miletic was very often present in room number 3 at
8 times when you were there as well as at times when you weren't there?
9 A. Yes. Because the operations centre was part of the operations
10 administration headed by General Miletic, and this is where the working
11 conditions were the best. He had a broad scope for work there.
12 Q. Earlier today you've told us that a large number of people were
13 accommodated in that room, including the assistant commanders.
14 A. Not assistant commanders but their -- but his deputies or other
15 persons appointed by the assistant commanders. Those were duty officers,
16 the duty team, that had to have representatives of all sectors and
17 administrations. And the assistant commanders were there when the staff
18 meetings took place at the operations centre because that room was the
19 largest, the biggest room, in that house.
20 Q. In any case, there were moments when assistant commanders were in
21 that room temporarily?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You've told us that your extension was 155. Is it true that
24 extension 155 was connected both with room number 5, as well as room
25 number 3, and also with some other rooms that belonged to General Mladic?
1 A. Thank you for this intervention. This should have been said
2 earlier today when I was answering the Prosecutor's questions. As I was
3 preparing for this testimony, the Prosecutor and I discussed this
4 extension, number 155, and he asked me another question. The first
5 question was whether this was my extension, to which I said yes, which I
6 repeated earlier today, and his second question was as follows: Could
7 this extension be used by anybody else? And I explained it to him.
8 I was expecting that second question today. It never was asked.
9 So I would like to tell you now, that this extension was connected with
10 the room under the dotted line, which was my rest room, and it was also
11 parallelly connected with room number 3, which is the operations centre
12 where there were always more than ten people present, like I've explained
13 earlier today, and it was parallelly connected with the operations hall in
14 the underground command post so if anybody wanted to talk to me and if I
15 was not in my office, if I was not in my bedroom, i.e., the operator the
16 switchboard to try to connect me in the bedroom. If I wasn't there, then
17 he would connect the call to the operations centre. There was always
18 somebody there. Whoever was closest to the telephone would answer the
20 Q. Is it correct that in urgent cases and particularly when there was
21 a meeting going on, if an assistant commander who was attending the
22 meeting in room number 3 and had to talk to an assistant who was
23 underground, that person would leave the message to the assistant and ask
24 them to call extension 155?
25 A. I don't know whether they left messages or not but they could get
1 connected through extension 155 if they were at the operations centre at
2 the moment.
3 Q. Thus, if a message was call 155, the only thing we can conclude
4 that the call was not necessarily for General Miletic but for anybody who
5 was supposed to answer; am I right?
6 A. That telephone became a public phone in the General Staff, in the
7 Main Staff, very soon after it was connected.
8 Q. Sir, yesterday you spoke about directive number 7.
9 Can the witness please be shown Exhibit number P5? Can the
10 witness please be shown page 21, in English page 15? Can we display the
11 lower part, the signature part? Thank you.
12 Yesterday you told us that this directive had been signed by the
13 Supreme Commander, Radovan Karadzic, and that it had been drafted by
14 Radivoje Miletic. Is it correct that Colonel Miletic was supposed to
15 write in the directive whatever had been decided by Radovan Karadzic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And he could not omit any Karadzic's decisions from the
19 A. He was not allowed to do that. He was not allowed to omit
21 Q. Can we say that General Miletic did not have any room for adding
22 something to the contents of the directive? He could not make any
23 decision with regard to the contents of the directive?
24 A. He was not allowed to change the contents of the directive that
25 were provided to him by Karadzic. The only thing he could do was to word,
1 to phrase, the wording of the directive in -- so as to meet all the
2 linguistic requirements, the requirements that we spoke about earlier this
3 morning, the conjunction words, the grammar -- fine grammar points.
4 Q. Yesterday you went into great lengths about directive writing and
5 you said that there was a team of people that were in charge of drafting
6 directives in general terms. Is it true that this team consisted of
7 several people and that whoever was the author of the directive, and in
8 this case, this was Colonel Miletic, was provided all the elements by
9 these people that would enable him to phrase the directive?
10 A. The drafting of all written documents to be issued by the Main
11 Staff, relative to any combat activities, is in the -- within the purview
12 of the operate -- operations administration. There is no dedicated team
13 that is appointed to do that, unless there is a specific need to appoint a
14 dedicated team. All the other sectors and administrations of the Main
15 Staff were duty-bound in this specific case, in the case of directive
16 number 7, to provide Miletic with their respective positions and
18 Since this directive was drafted for the Supreme Command, and at
19 the request of the Supreme Command, Miletic could, but did not have to,
20 consult with the assistants of the commander. The situation was different
21 when a document to be issued by the Main Staff was being drafted. Then it
22 was his duty to consult the commander's assistants.
23 Q. And since we are talking about a directive to be issued by the
24 Supreme Command, you were saying that he was not duty-bound to consult
25 with the assistants to the commander. Is it true that he did not have to
1 consult them because all the guidelines for this directive had been
2 provided to him by the Supreme Command, i.e., the Supreme Commander?
3 A. This should have been the case. I don't know whether Miletic
4 consulted anybody. If I had been in his shoes, I would have done it.
5 Q. Can we now show the witness page 15 of this directive, which is
6 number 10 in English? Can we display the lower part of the document?
7 Yes -- or no. Can we see the part that is in bold letters?
8 Sir, the part that starts with the words, "the Drina Corps,"
9 describes the duties of the Drina Corps the way the Supreme Commander,
10 Radovan Karadzic, saw them. Are these the duties that the Supreme Command
11 entrusted the Drina Corps with?
12 A. As far as I can see, that will be the case, yes.
13 Q. Based on what you've just told us, even if General Miletic did not
14 agree with these tasks and duties, he still had to incorporate them in the
15 directive; am I right?
16 A. Yes, you are absolutely.
17 Q. And if the general had omitted this part from the draft directive,
18 Radovan Karadzic could have added that after having read the directive and
19 before signing it; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You yourself have told us that you were not present in the Main
22 Staff when this directive was drafted. Is it true that you don't know
23 whether General Miletic objected to the decision made by Radovan Karadzic
24 on carrying out this task? Did he oppose Radovan Karadzic?
25 A. I don't know, but even if he had, it would have been in vain.
1 Q. Can we now show the witness Exhibit number 5D361? The document
2 that you are going to see in a minute is another directive, directive 7-1
3 which was issued by the Main Staff of the army. Can we please show the
4 fifth page, both in the B/C/S version as well as in the English version?
5 Sir, can you see the passage 5.3, starting with the words, "The
6 Drina Corps" where the tasks of the Drina Corps are defined according to
7 the ideas of the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army?
8 Is it correct that this directive issued by the Main Staff of the
9 VRS does not adopt the tasks of the Drina Corps in the way they were
10 defined by the Supreme Command?
11 A. Correct. Here, the commander of the Main Staff took the
12 responsibility upon himself and changed the decision of the Supreme
13 Commander. Here, I don't see General Mladic ordering incursion of the
14 Serbian army into the enclaves. He, rather, wants to isolate the 2nd
15 Corps, probably due to the fact that in Sarajevo the Muslim offensive was
16 raging with a view to de-blocking Sarajevo. In other words, he wanted to
17 tie up the forces of the 2nd Muslim Corps in Tuzla.
18 Q. Is it true that based on the information that you had, and you
19 were the chief of the Main Staff of VRS, not for a single moment in the
20 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the civilian population targeted by the VRS?
21 A. The civilian population was never targeted by the VRS, save for in
22 some individual cases when we came under the artillery fire by the Muslim
23 army from an inhabited area. We believed that the Muslims also adhered by
24 the Geneva Conventions and that they knew that they should not mix the
25 military target with the civilian targets.
1 Q. I would like to ask you something about the humanitarian convoys
2 and UNPROFOR convoys. Is it true that based on the information that you
3 had, the position of the VRS towards the humanitarian convoys did not
4 change after the directive number 7 had been issued?
5 A. I don't know if anything changed. In the part of the theatre of
6 war where I was, there were no enclaves and no humanitarian aid arrived at
7 the civilian authorities. I don't know what was going on in eastern
8 Bosnia with regard to the humanitarian aid. Where I was, there were no
9 humanitarian aid convoys.
10 Q. Sir, you were in the Main Staff, in the command, up to the end of
11 May, 1995, or in any case, you were there in March, April and May, 1995.
12 During that period of time, did you notice any restrictions on the number
13 of humanitarian convoys?
14 A. On whose part?
15 Q. On the part of the VRS.
16 A. Sometime in 1994, a committee was established in Republika Srpska
17 for humanitarian aid, and thereby the responsibility for supplying
18 humanitarian aid was shifted from the Main Staff to civilian authorities.
19 Heading that committee was the vice-president of the republic, Nikola
20 Koljevic, and I believe that the committee also comprised one or two
21 officers. These officers conveyed the decisions of the committee to the
22 Main Staff so that we can suspend any combat activities on routes through
23 which humanitarian aid was supplied or was to be supplied.
24 Q. I would like to show you several documents concerning humanitarian
25 aid, but before that, is it correct that all the convoys were humanitarian
1 convoys and UNPROFOR convoys were controlled from the beginning of the
3 A. According to the agreement between the UNPROFOR force that secured
4 humanitarian convoys and the army of Republika Srpska, all convoys were
5 inspected at check-points or at points of entry into protected areas. The
6 inspection was performed by mixed groups made up of members of the VRS and
7 members of the UNPROFOR.
8 Q. Is it true that during those inspections and even by other means,
9 you sometimes found out that convoys were abused in the sense that they
10 transported forbidden goods?
11 A. Yes. The non-governmental organisation supplying humanitarian
12 aid, namely the UNHCR, was duty-bound to provide UNPROFOR with a list of
13 materials or materiel entering the enclave, and the UNPROFOR was
14 duty-bound to transmit the list to us, and at the beginning, while we
15 still trusted each other -- or rather, while we trusted the UNPROFOR
16 still, inspections were only partial. For instance, we would say, "Let's
17 inspect one in five or one in seven trucks," and then if something is
18 discovered in this random check, the convoy would be stopped and inspected
19 in its entirety. Anything that was not on the list accompanying the
20 convoy would be excluded, removed.
21 Q. Sir, I would like to show you an exhibit which is in English but
22 I'll read it to you. There is only one sentence that interests me. It's
23 5D390. For your information, it's a document of the United Nations. It's
24 in fact a transcript of a meeting that representatives of the VRS had with
25 the UNPROFOR on 9 April 1993. Could we move to page 2?
1 Paragraph 1, the second sentence in that paragraph and that is as
2 follows: "[In English] The issue of discovery on the previous day at
3 Sarajevo of approximately 30.000 rounds of ammunition, hidden on an UNHCR
4 convoy escorted by UNPROFOR, was raised early."
5 [Interpretation] Is it true that it was strictly prohibited to
6 transport munitions and weapons in humanitarian convoys?
7 A. Pursuant to Article 60, I believe it was 60, of the first protocol
8 of the Geneva Conventions of the UN, there are four clauses regulating the
9 status or, rather, the way protected areas operate. One of those clauses
10 prohibits the existence of -- or the presence of any kind of military
11 equipment, weapons, munitions, uniforms, anything that symbolises any
12 accoutrements of the army.
13 Q. And in the case like here that UNHCR transported ammunition, and
14 that was not an isolated case, there were others --
15 A. No particular evidence is needed. I spoke yesterday and earlier
16 today about the 5th Muslim Corps that was disarmed and grew in Bihac to a
17 size of 22.000 soldiers. We were informed by the UNPROFOR in 1993 that
18 Srebrenica was disarmed, that military installations had been converted
19 into civilian facilities, that any soldiers that had been left behind in
20 Srebrenica were disarmed, and still the 28th Infantry Division of the army
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina came into being in Srebrenica.
22 The same thing happened in Zepa. We were informed that 900
23 infantry weapons had been removed and that the armed force was disarmed,
24 and still a brigade called the 4th of June was formed there with a
25 strength of 1200. In the Gorazde enclave, the protected area had a
1 diameter of three kilometres, the agreed protected area. However, the
2 81st Infantry Division of the Muslim army was born there with about 6.000
3 to 6.500 men. So there is no need for any evidence to prove the
4 violations occurring in the supply of humanitarian aid. Weapons and
5 ammunition could not find any other way into enclaves except through the
6 combat disposition of the UNPROFOR, on humanitarian convoys.
7 True, there was an operation sometime in 1994, namely to supply
8 humanitarian aid by air lift. It was known under the code name
9 parachute. The humanitarian aid was dropped by parachute into enclaves
10 from rather high altitudes by night, but either the pilots did not adjust
11 the altitude properly or it was disrupted by the wind. In any case,
12 sometimes the parachute would find its way into territory controlled by
13 the VRS, and I remember the outcry that resulted when munitions for a
14 machine-gun, 12.7 millimetres, was found in flour sacks dropped by such a
16 Whenever we detected something like that, we would inform the
17 UNPROFOR, ask them to pay attention, but whenever we discovered something
18 like that, the Main Staff sent notifications in writing to subordinated
19 units, mainly the units of the Drina Corps and the Herzegovina Corps
20 because it was these two that controlled access to enclaves.
21 Q. You've already explained to me the procedure of passage of convoys
22 and notifications. I just want you to look at the document to confirm
23 that stipulates these procedures. It's 5D378.
24 Is it true that it's a document of the Main Staff of the VRS of
25 3rd April 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in paragraph 2, we read something about notification of
3 convoys, and then in the third paragraph, it says that convoys have to be
4 notified four hours prior to departure -- sorry, 24 hours.
5 A. I cannot find it this very minute. I don't know what you call
6 first or second paragraph, but I don't need to, after all. It's true, the
7 UNPROFOR was duty-bound to announce departure of convoys 24 hours in
8 advance. But let me emphasise, on the 3rd of April the enclaves or rather
9 protected areas within enclaves had not been established yet at that time.
10 Q. I'm perfectly in agreement, but still there were controls,
11 inspections and the procedure of notification was in place?
12 A. Yes, and that procedure continued to apply after the protected
13 areas were established.
14 Q. Is it true that -- we discussed ammunitions and weapons -- that
15 there were frequently problems with fuel and there was a black market and
16 the UNHCR and UNPROFOR transported fuel in enclaves or in any case under
17 Muslim -- in territories under Muslim control?
18 A. I cannot claim that it is true about the UNPROFOR, but it is true
19 of UNHCR. I personally believe that at the beginning, it was contraband
20 and criminal activity of individuals. Somebody would go into the enclave
21 with a full tank, then empty the tank of a certain amount of fuel. In any
22 case, it was on an individual basis at the beginning. When we found out,
23 and that sort of thing is very difficult to find out, we notified the
24 UNPROFOR and I'm afraid that was a mistake. It was a mistake to inform
25 them of this petty crime, because we gave them an idea on how to spread
1 it, put it on a wider scale.
2 So that in addition to those escorting UNHCR convoys, UNPROFOR
3 soldiers began the same practice and the whole thing culminated when it
4 was discovered that certain vehicles, in the course of preparing convoys,
5 have a double bottom or rather their tanks, fuel tanks, had double
6 bottoms. That already amounted to organised crime, both on the part of
7 the UNPROFOR and on the part of the UNHCR. But by that time we no longer
8 trusted the UNPROFOR or the UNHCR, and we introduced very strict controls,
9 checks and inspections. That meant inspecting every vehicle.
10 Q. Just before we adjourn, can we show document 5D374 to the
11 witness? It's an order from the Main Staff of the VRS of 30th September
12 1993. And there, in paragraphs 1 and 2, this order discusses the problem
13 in fuel transported by humanitarian convoys. That's paragraph 1. And
14 paragraph 2 deals with more strict controls of fuel imports through
15 humanitarian convoys.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And perhaps just before we adjourn, we can show another document
18 to the witness, 5D372.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] In fact, Mr. President, I was
20 perhaps too optimistic, because on the other hand, tomorrow I think I need
21 only the first session. I'll finish before the first break tomorrow.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That means we stand a chance of finishing with the
23 witness tomorrow. It also means that you need to have the next one
25 So, General, we are going to adjourn. We'll meet again tomorrow
1 morning at 9.00 like today. Same advisory as yesterday: You're not to
2 discuss the subject matter of your testimony with anyone between now and
3 tomorrow. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day of May,
6 2007, at 9.00 a.m.