1 Thursday, 14 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Popovic and Beara not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
8 case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
10 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I notice the absence amongst the accused of Beara
12 and Popovic. Mr. Zivanovic?
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I was just informed
14 this morning that Mr. Popovic is sick and he signed a waiver not to be
15 present this morning, today, at this trial. And you have my consent also.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. And Mr. Meek.
17 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Beara is also ill but I
18 believe he will be here tomorrow morning and I believe he's also signed a
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We got yesterday's for sure.
21 MR. MEEK: Yesterday's, yes. I asked him to be sure to sign one
22 for today's sitting as well.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And you waive as well, please.
24 MR. MEEK: Yes, for today's sitting, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of
1 Mr. Bourgon and the absence of Ms. Condon, absence of Mr. Ostojic and
2 that's about it.
3 Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 At present, the witness is already in his chair. I think we
5 can -- unless there are preliminary matters that you would like to raise,
6 we can proceed with his testimony. Go ahead, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President and good morning to you,
8 good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
9 WITNESS: MIODRAG DRAGUTINOVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dragutinovic.
13 Mr. Dragutinovic, I just wanted to clarify something that I read
14 in the record just yesterday and it relates to your testimony which
15 appears on page 12569 through page 12570 of the transcript and that was in
16 relation to the question of to whom the commander of the military police
17 reported to. I just wanted to clarify this issue. Did you mean to
18 suggest that the commander of the military police reported to the chief of
19 security -- to the Chief of Staff?
20 A. The military police unit is a unit affiliated with the staff and
21 it had its commander. Following that logic he should have reported to the
22 Chief of Staff himself, yes.
23 Q. Okay. And are you sure that those were the rules in effect in
24 July of 1995?
25 A. No. I've explained that because of the efficiency of command and
1 more effective control, we curtailed the procedure at that time so that
2 the commander of the military police could have reported to, and did
3 indeed report to, the chief of security.
4 Q. Did the commander of the military police unit also report to the
5 brigade commander?
6 A. The commander of the military police unit did not report to the
7 brigade commander.
8 Q. I think we left off yesterday, and you had indicated that -- I
9 think you just reached the point where you had stopped on the night of the
10 14th. At the point that you stopped, did you receive any further orders?
11 A. On the 14th, in the evening, we didn't, because our previous task
12 was clear, and in a certain way we had reached the positions that were
13 part of the original task, and we were preparing our units to continue
14 operating on the following day without any special orders because we
15 complied with the previous orders in doing so.
16 Q. On the 15th, in the morning, can you tell us what happened?
17 A. On that morning, we should have proceeded our operations leading
18 towards the village of Bortici [phoen] and further on towards Zepa.
19 However, the commander ordered us not to move the units until he came back
20 from the forward command post of the corps.
21 Q. The commander of your unit, you mean Commander Pandurevic; is that
23 A. Yes, I'm referring to Commander Pandurevic.
24 Q. And the forward command post of the corps, you mean the
25 Drina Corps; is that right?
1 A. The Drina Corps forward command post in the village of Krivaca.
2 Q. Around what time did the commander leave that morning?
3 A. In the morning, around 8.00 or thereabouts. I'm not sure but it
4 was in the morning. The units had already been ready, the operations
5 could have started already, even before he left, but we put everything on
6 hold because the commander had left and we were waiting for his return.
7 Q. And do you know who he went to go see at the forward command post
8 in Krivaca?
9 A. No. I only know that he went to the forward command post. There,
10 there was the operations commander, Mr. Krstic, with several other
11 officers. I don't know who these officers were. So he did not have any
12 special appointments with anybody.
13 Q. Around what time did he get back?
14 A. It may have been between 8.00 and 9.00, but let's say it was
15 around 9.00.
16 Q. And what did he tell you about his appointment or his meeting at
17 the forward command post?
18 A. When the commander returned, my first impression was that he was
19 rather angry. It was immediately clear to me that something had happened
20 or that something was happening. I asked him what this was all about.
21 Q. And what did he say?
22 A. In a nutshell he told me this - I don't know whether I'll be able
23 to quote him, but he said: The 28th Division is already behind our
24 brigade, the Zvornik Brigade. It's threatened in Memici, Baljkovica,
25 Petkovica [as interpreted]. In other words he said, "The things that I
1 had warned them about did happen the way I had envisaged."
2 Q. And did he come back with any instructions with respect to your
4 A. Let me just add to this that my first reaction to that was to ask,
5 "What about the town of Zvornik?" And then the reply was that everything
6 there was okay. The next instruction was to prepare the units to pull out
7 from the positions that they had reached, to prepare them for march and in
8 the shortest possible time that we should start moving towards Zvornik,
9 only the Tactical Group 1 under the command of Mr. Pandurevic.
10 Q. And did he tell you where he received the information, or from
11 whom he'd received the information rather, concerning the situation that
12 he was telling you about?
13 A. From Commander Krstic.
14 Q. And what happened after you had this conversation with
15 Commander Pandurevic?
16 A. We pulled the units from the lines reached and we got ready for
17 return to Zvornik. The commander waited a certain while to be abreast of
18 the situation, to see whether the column was being formed properly, and
19 then he headed for Zvornik himself. He immediately told me that the
20 mechanised unit should be at the rear, that I should be with that unit,
21 and that the axis should be the same for us and that when we reached
22 Zvornik we should go to Caparde and Memici, in other words to head towards
23 the defence sector of the 7th Battalion. In other words he already
24 provided me with some guidelines as to what to do with that armoured --
25 mixed armoured and mechanised unit.
1 Q. All right. So he provided you with these instructions while you
2 were still in the area of Pozeplje?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And around what time -- what time did the commander leave for
6 A. Around 10.00. I'm not sure. But it couldn't have been after
8 Q. And around what time did he arrive, if you know?
9 A. It took him at least two hours to travel the distance. I don't
10 know when he arrived at the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
11 Q. What time did you leave?
12 A. My unit departed after 10.00, when all the units were already
13 ready and on their way to Zvornik.
14 Q. What time did you arrive?
15 A. I arrived in Zvornik between 1400 and 1315 hours. I arrived in
16 the neighbourhood Zlatne Vode.
17 Q. What happened after you arrived?
18 A. I stayed in that neighbourhood. An officer from the command
19 arrived there, Major Mihajlo Galic is his name. And he brought us an
20 order which said that we should take the Snagovo-Caparde route to arrive
21 in the defence sector of the 7th Battalion but that I should wait until
22 the fuel arrived for the combat vehicles.
23 Q. Did you ever -- well, did you proceed to Caparde at some point?
24 A. When we got fuel, I departed.
25 Q. And did Major Galic tell you where the order came from that he was
2 A. From Commander Pandurevic.
3 Q. And at that point, did you know where Commander Pandurevic was?
4 A. I only knew that he was somewhere in the defence area of the
6 Q. Okay. When you reached Caparde, did you receive any other orders?
7 A. No. It was clear from the previous order why I was there. I was
8 supposed to support the 7th Battalion, i.e., to control the road and that
9 area around Memici, Caparde and Crni Vrh. The last location was very
10 important for the Zvornik Brigade at that moment.
11 Q. And did you have any further contact or communications with your
12 commander, Pandurevic?
13 A. I could have only contacted him through the 7th Battalion, and I
14 indeed established that contact.
15 Q. Okay. And when was that?
16 A. When I arrived at the 7th Battalion, which was some time in the
17 afternoon, on that day, on the 15th.
18 Q. Is that where your unit remained following your arrival?
19 A. Yes. They remained there. I received an order to return a tank
20 and an APC to the Parlog sector, i.e., in the defence sector of the
21 6th Battalion.
22 Q. And were you engaged in any combat operations that day?
23 A. As I arrived in the area of the 7th Battalion, there were attacks
24 from the front line with a view to taking the Pandurica feature which was
25 very important in the whole picture. I realised that my commander had
1 dispatched my unit for that very reason because if the enemy had taken
2 over the Pandurica facility, as well as Tisova Kosa, Cetino Brdo and
3 Crni Vrh, the Zvornik Brigade would have been put under a lot of pressure
4 and into a very unfavourable position.
5 Q. We direct your attention to the 16th of July. Were you engaged in
6 any combat operations on that day?
7 A. In the morning of the 16th, the 7th Battalion also came under
8 attack. The attack was repelled. And we could also hear the sounds of
9 battle in the area of the 4th Battalion. That was in the morning.
10 Q. And was your unit involved in any specific combat operations on
11 that day?
12 A. The unit was just support, only if the battalion commander asked
13 for the unit to open fire on certain targets, then the unit would become
14 active, actively engaged.
15 Q. And what were the specific actions of your unit that day?
16 A. On the 16th, you mean?
17 Q. On the 16th, yes.
18 A. To provide support to the units of the 7th Battalion.
19 Q. And were you in contact with your commander on that day?
20 A. Yes. Again, through the command of the 7th Battalion, i.e.,
21 through the commander of the 7th Battalion.
22 Q. Could you tell us about the night of the 16th?
23 A. From my contacts with the commander and the commander of the
24 7th Battalion, I learned that negotiations were going on and an agreement
25 had been reached on letting through the 28th Division and the civilian
1 population that was in the back of that 28th Division, through a passage
2 that the 4th Battalion had created and that by the 17th there should be a
3 corridor open to let these people through to the territory under the
4 control of the BiH army.
5 Q. All right. Can I take you into the 17th of July? On that day,
6 did you have any contact with Commander Pandurevic?
7 A. I made a contact with the commander through my assistant,
8 Ljubo Bojanovic, who had arrived in the defence centre of the
9 7th Battalion with a company from the 16th Motorised Brigade of the
10 1st Krajina Corps, which had been dispatched in another direction, but it
11 was diverted in our direction in order to assist us in all the actions
12 that we were engaged in.
13 Q. And did you receive any new orders on the 17th with respect to
14 your unit?
15 A. The order was to attach a squad from the 7th Battalion to this
16 company, to put it on the strength of that company, that we carry out
17 reconnaissance and come to the back of the 4th Battalion to check whether
18 there are any BiH troops there and to simply reconnoitre the situation in
19 that sector. The goal was to see whether the agreements that had been
20 reached on the following day were being honoured.
21 Q. All right. And did you -- do you have any idea where your
22 commander was at that time?
23 A. The commander was at the forward command post. I knew that. I
24 knew that from my assistant.
25 Q. And just for the record, where is that?
1 A. The forward command post was in the area of Delici village, near
2 Kitovnice village, which was in the area of defence of the 6th Battalion.
3 Q. And did you receive any orders with respect to the corridor
4 itself, whether or not your unit -- well, just did you receive any orders
5 with respect to the corridor itself?
6 A. My orders were to check whether that piece of area, piece of
7 territory that was agreed, that breach through which the forces of the
8 28th Division and the civilian population was free to be occupied by the
9 28th Division, whether they had already entered there or whether they had
10 already moved perhaps outside the agreed area.
11 Q. Did your unit participate in the closure of the corridor on that
13 A. Not that day, the next day.
14 Q. Let's go into the 18th. Can you tell us when the next time it was
15 that you actually saw your commander, Pandurevic?
16 A. I saw him in the afternoon, after accomplishing the tasks that I
17 had received for the 17th and the 18th, and after that I returned to the
19 Q. And specifically what did your unit engage in with respect to the
20 corridor on the 18th?
21 A. Following the orders issued by the commander on the 17th, that
22 were messengered to me, and in view of the fact that a platoon from the
23 Podrinje Detachment arrived in the area, upon direct orders of the
24 commander, with a task to return to the defence area of the 7th Battalion,
25 and use that company to strengthen the defence area of the 7th Battalion,
1 just to prevent the possibility that some new forces from the front might
2 take advantage of this, we had to strengthen that area of the defence and
3 we did that with the forces of the 7th Battalion on the 17th, whereas on
4 the 18th, together with the commanders of the 4th and the 7th Battalion, I
5 was occupying positions in the area from which the 4th Battalion had moved
6 earlier, so that basically the 4th Battalion just recovered its basic
8 Q. And on the 17th, did you see anybody from the superior command in
9 your vicinity?
10 A. No. There was only me, my assistant and the commander's company
11 that were there, and the commander of that platoon from the
12 Podrinje Detachment, which had arrived from the area of Delici village.
13 Q. Okay. Are you familiar with a person with the last name of
15 A. Of course I asked that commander, the commander of that unit, I
16 asked him what was going on at the forward command post in view of the
17 orders I had received. He just said vaguely that there had been an
18 officer there from the superior command but he was a simple soldier who
19 didn't know much. I learned it only later when I returned to the command,
20 I learned that from the operations duty officer.
21 Q. And when was that? Was that on the 18th?
22 A. It should have been on the 17th that that officer from the
23 superior command was there.
24 Q. No. I'm sorry, when is it that you learned why that officer was
1 A. When I met up with that unit from the Podrinje Detachment in the
2 same area where I was with the 4th Battalion. I'm not sure exactly when,
3 in what time interval, that officer had been there on that day.
4 Q. And what did you learn?
5 A. Later on, I learned that he was in fact an officer from the
6 superior command who had visited the forward command post, sized up the
7 situation in the brigade, and wanted to know about developments of the
8 past days, probably in order to be able to inform the superior command.
9 Q. Just so the record is clear, could you tell us what superior
10 command this officer was from?
11 A. I couldn't tell you that because I'm not sure. I know I didn't
12 know Mr. Trkulja except by name so if I said he was from the corps or from
13 the Main Staff, I could be mistaken.
14 Q. Now, on the 19th, can you tell us what happened?
15 A. On the 19th, I was already at the brigade command.
16 Q. Okay. And did you have a meeting on the 19th at the brigade?
17 A. Judging by the operation of the brigade and that was regular
18 procedure, there was a briefing every day with the commander in the
19 presence of his Chief of Staff and his operations assistant which was
20 myself. I always participated in that briefing.
21 Q. All right. And what was discussed at this particular briefing?
22 A. If I remember correctly, the main topic were the problems and
23 developments of the 15th, 16th, 17th and the 18th, and the main topic was
24 the consolidation of that 4th Battalion, which had suffered the greatest
25 impact in its area and, of course, we had to organise replenishment with
1 materiel and equipment, to organise a new command post, to provide
2 adequate communications.
3 Q. Did you discuss at this briefing the issue of the corridor and
4 whether Mr. Trkulja, as you put it, was there under those circumstances
5 and with regard to the opening of that corridor on the 17th?
6 A. No, no. We did not. Mr. Trkulja was there. He picked up the
7 information that he needed, and he returned to the command to which he was
9 Q. All right. So that was never discussed?
10 A. Not that I remember.
11 Q. Your brigade commander was at that meeting on the 19th; is that
13 A. Yes, the commander was there.
14 Q. And was the Chief of Staff there?
15 A. The Chief of Staff was there. All of us who normally attended the
17 Q. And from that day forward, was your commander regularly at the
19 A. He was regularly at the command all the way up to the 31st July
20 and the 1st of August, when I was together with the commander in the area
21 of Zepa. Before that, we were at the command, and in the defence area of
22 the brigade.
23 Q. All right. Just bear with me for one moment, Mr. Dragutinovic.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. VANDERPUYE:
1 Q. I just want to clarify something, and it is actually your last
2 answer. Is it your recollection that on the 31st of July and the 1st of
3 August, that you were in the area of Zepa?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You sure about that?
6 A. I didn't get that.
7 Q. Are you sure about that?
8 A. Yes, I'm sure.
9 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. I have nothing further.
10 JUDGE KWON: Could you clarify with the witness, at one time the
11 witness referred to Mr. Trkulja as a simple soldier and another time he
12 referred to him as an officer from superior command. So whether he knew
13 any ranks or --
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Judge Kwon.
15 Q. I think earlier in your testimony, Mr. Dragutinovic, you mentioned
16 a simple soldier in the same breath, as it were, as Mr. Trkulja. Do you
17 know, first of all, what the rank of Mr. Trkulja was?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what was that rank?
20 A. It must be a misunderstanding. The presence of Mr. Trkulja was
21 notified to me by the platoon commander who was a simple soldier, so he
22 couldn't have known Mr. Trkulja as an officer and he wasn't able to tell
23 me who that officer was. So I didn't say that Trkulja was a simple
24 soldier. I said a simple soldier told me that a senior officer was at the
25 forward command post, but he, as a simple soldier, was not able to
1 identify him.
2 JUDGE KWON: So is this Mr. Trkulja, Nedjeljko Trkulja, who was a
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. The question is whether or not the Mr. Trkulja you're referring to
6 is Nedjeljko Trkulja and whether or not he was a colonel. Do you know?
7 A. Well, probably he couldn't have been less than lieutenant-colonel.
8 He could have been only higher than lieutenant-colonel. Colonel, perhaps.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. I have nothing
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I have a hint that it's Mr. Haynes who
13 is going to start because I saw you preparing yourself. How much -- how
14 long do you expect to cross-examine this witness? You had asked for four
16 MR. HAYNES: I hope to finish today but we'll -- let's see.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dragutinovic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions for probably the rest of the
22 day on behalf of your commander, Vinko Pandurevic. And I want to start
23 really by just clarifying your role as the duty operations officer -- I'm
24 sorry, not the duty operations officer but as the operations officer.
25 It's right, isn't it, that in your capacity as operations officer, you
1 would receive tasks together with the Chief of Staff directly from the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were not, within the structure of the brigade, an assistant to
5 the commander yourself, but you were responsible for receiving and
6 carrying out orders?
7 A. I was assistant Chief of Staff, but in that position, upon the
8 commander's request, I would attend all important briefings and I could
9 receive orders directly from the commander without going through the Chief
10 of Staff.
11 Q. Thank you. I want to see if you agree with something somebody
12 else said in this case which is that the operations officer is the soul of
13 the brigade.
14 A. Well, you could put it that way because the operations officer has
15 available to him all written, printed and other documents and participates
16 in the elaboration of all documents, both combat and non-combat, and
17 participates in all the meetings.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Would you also agree that the operations
19 officer was more instrumental in the work of the command than, for
20 example, the assistant to the commander for logistics or the assistant to
21 the commander for moral, religious and legal affairs?
22 A. Well, in view of my responsibilities and all the assignments I
23 had, I don't think that anything in the command is less important than
24 another thing, but in my section, the one I led, we were abreast of all
25 the latest developments in the brigade, which is not necessarily the case
1 with the others.
2 Q. And is it also right that other assistants to the commander would
3 often come directly to you?
4 A. Yes. He was -- he would.
5 Q. You've probably already said this but just to confirm, you were
6 always present at morning briefings; is that right?
7 A. I always attended morning briefings and when assistants could not
8 resolve some problems without the commander or the Chief of Staff, who
9 were for some reason absent, they would address me with their problems.
10 Q. And you had access to all documentation necessary for brigade
11 combat operations: Orders, decisions, working maps, military reports,
12 plans and the like?
13 A. According to the normal procedure of command, the commander
14 commands all units and all his ideas were elaborated through the Chief of
15 Staff and the operations officer. So I was aware of all the documents
16 prepared at the command.
17 Q. Thank you. And lastly this about your particular role: Part of
18 your responsibilities included checking, together with other assistants to
19 the commander, the operations of the subordinate units of the brigade,
20 especially the battalions?
21 A. Yes. I often went to inspect the work of battalion commands and I
22 also had to monitor the degree of execution of tasks that the commander
23 would assign to all units, and then report to the commander. In addition
24 to the fact that battalion commanders were, of course, duty-bound to
25 report to the commander on the execution of their own assignments but
1 somehow it still went mostly through me.
2 Q. Thank you. I want to move on now to ask you a few questions about
3 the staff generally and your boss, the Chief of Staff. It's right, isn't
4 it, that within the brigade, the staff is the most populous department, in
5 other words, it has the most people working within it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And if one wanted to characterise the respective roles of the
8 commander and the Chief of Staff, it would be that the commander is a sort
9 of general manager and the Chief of Staff a technical manager?
10 A. Yes. The staff is an executive organ of the command and it's
11 headed by the Chief of Staff. So anything that the commander conceived or
12 ordered is monitored by the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Staff issues
13 commands in the course of combat operations. So the commander is like a
14 general manager, and the rest of us executed.
15 Q. Thank you. You'd agree, wouldn't you, the staff had the most
16 important tasks in the brigade and that all the information in the brigade
17 was gathered there?
18 A. Yes, correct.
19 Q. And that the Chief of Staff was familiar with all the other organs
20 of the brigade?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. The other organs of the brigade were not subordinate to the Chief
23 of Staff but he could not function in relation to the staff unless he had
24 all the information from the other organs, that's correct, too, isn't it?
25 A. Correct. In order to be able to function, the command had to
1 ensure that the Chief of Staff was informed of everything, of all the
2 operations, activities, et cetera.
3 Q. Now, the Chief of Staff had the right to give orders to
4 subordinate units of the brigade as well, didn't he?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. He did not, as Chief of Staff, have the right of command, but he
7 could give orders or tasks according to the order of the commander?
8 A. He could also command, but only in keeping with the tasks already
9 issued by the commander.
10 Q. Thank you for correcting me.
11 Perhaps we could illustrate this by an example. If, for example,
12 the brigade received an order to attack a certain position --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- the commander, the Chief of Staff, the operational organs and
15 the other organs, would conceive a plan and on the basis of their
16 suggestions, the commander would form a general idea which would form an
17 order; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The Chief of Staff would prepare a proposal or an outline plan
20 and the commander would either accept that, reject it or amend it?
21 A. Yes, precisely.
22 Q. The final decision would be written down on paper, which would
23 contain defined, concrete tasks for the units, and the Chief of Staff
24 would give the tasks to the subordinate units that he controlled and order
25 them to do their work?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, that's how the Chief of Staff would operate generally when he
3 was Chief of Staff, but the Chief of Staff was also the deputy commander
4 of the brigade, wasn't he?
5 A. In view of his position, the Chief of Staff was also an assistant
6 so the brigade commander had to have a deputy for situations when he is
7 not able to command for some reason. Then the Chief of Staff would take
8 over automatically and in some cases a special order would be issued to
9 that effect.
10 Q. Thank you. We'll come on to that but when the commander was
11 absent, the Chief of Staff had full authority, that's right, isn't it?
12 A. Yes. He takes over the command.
13 Q. He does not act according to the command of the commander; he is
14 only subordinate, during that period, to higher command?
15 A. When he commands the brigade, he is subordinate to the superior
16 command, but when commander is still around and he's just not able to deal
17 with command temporarily, then not. When the Chief of Staff is, however,
18 temporarily appointed by the superior command, then he reports exclusively
19 to the superior command.
20 Q. Well, we'll come on in due course to analyse in more detail two
21 periods when Vinko Pandurevic was away from the brigade command. The
22 first of those was between the 4th and the 15th of July, when he was in
23 Srebrenica and Zepa. You remember that because you were there with him,
24 don't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the second period we will come to look at is between the 7th
2 of August and the 16th of September when he was commanding the
3 Drinski Brigade in Krajina, and you were there with him as well, weren't
5 A. Yes. I was there.
6 Q. Now, the first of those periods is a period of 11 days and the
7 second is a period of I think something like 45 days. But in terms of the
8 authority available to Dragan Obrenovic whilst his commander was away,
9 there is no practical difference between those two periods, is there?
10 A. No. He was appointed to be commander then and he completely took
11 over command of the brigade.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Just in terms of when an order was required,
13 the commander and the Chief of Staff were on slightly different pay
14 scales, weren't they?
15 A. I wouldn't know.
16 Q. Well, I'll ask this question. It may be that you don't know the
17 answer to this as well. But if the commander was away for a period of
18 more than a month, an order was required from corps command for ordinary
19 fiscal purposes, just so the Chief of Staff got paid more. That's the
20 only reason an order was required for a period of more than a month,
21 wasn't it?
22 A. I wouldn't be able to answer your question. The main reason for
23 the appointment was the fact that somebody had to be in command over the
24 unit, over such a long period of time, and that's when a commander is
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. I'm going to move on from that now,
2 just to clear up a few things yesterday that you said about the structure
3 of the Zvornik Brigade.
4 When you were answering questions to Mr. Vanderpuye, you
5 identified that the staff had several operative organs. That's right,
6 isn't it?
7 A. The staff had only one operative organ, and this was the organ
8 headed by myself. Please be more specific and then I'll be able to
9 answer. What are you referring to actually?
10 Q. Thank you. It's my mistake, not yours. I shouldn't have used the
11 word "operative". The staff had several organs which had links with
12 separate units within the battalion, that's right, isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. For example, as you told us yesterday, there was a direct link
15 between the chief of engineering within the staff and the engineering
16 company within the brigade?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And similarly, there is a direct link between the chief of signals
19 within the staff and the signals unit within the brigade?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And just to carry on a little further but not exhaustively, a
22 direct link between the staff artillery organ and the mixed artillery
24 A. And the mixed artillery division because the chief of artillery
25 was also the commander of the mixed artillery division.
1 Q. Thank you very much. And those links within an ordinary brigade
2 structure provide a formal relation -- a functional relationship between
3 the organ of the staff and the unit within the brigade, don't they?
4 A. To provide for the efficiency of command and a more effective use
5 of those units. That was the only reason.
6 Q. But within the Zvornik Brigade, those functional relationships
7 were, in fact, command relationships, weren't they?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Because Commander Pandurevic authorised the chief of the signals
10 organ to command the signals company and the chief of the engineering
11 organ to command the engineering company, for example?
12 A. Yes. If there was no written order, that was the customary way we
13 functioned, and the underlying reason was the efficient command and use of
14 these units.
15 Q. And so, further to what you were telling us earlier, the Chief of
16 Staff was directly responsible for signals, engineering and artillery
17 units, that's correct, isn't it?
18 A. Yes. But I have to expand on that. The staff had its units, the
19 signals unit, the engineers unit, the military police unit. These units
20 were affiliated with the staff, and there was also the logistics
21 battalion. Those were not units that would be at the level of battalion,
22 whereas the mixed artillery division was a separate unit and it was
23 separate from the staff, from the command of the staff. In other words,
24 it was not affiliated with the staff as the others that I mentioned.
25 Q. Thank you but you've also reminded me of something else I should
1 have put to you and that is that within the Zvornik Brigade, the assistant
2 to the commander for logistics was authorised to command the rear
3 battalion as well, wasn't he?
4 A. Yes. The assistant commander for logistics was directly
5 subordinated to the commander, and it was part of his activity to look
6 after the, and be responsible for, the rear battalion which was directly
7 subordinated to the command of the assistant commander for the rear, and
8 again for the reasons of functionality.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Well, given everything you said to us
10 yesterday and the clarifications you've just given today, I wonder whether
11 you'd mind now just looking at a diagram for me.
12 MR. HAYNES: And could we put into e-court 7D622.
13 Q. Now, take your time to familiarise yourself with the document,
14 Mr. Dragutinovic, and apologies for the way it's set out. It was just the
15 best way to fit it on to one page. But on the left-hand side of the
16 document, you can see the various organ -- the staff and its various
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And as far as you were aware, are all the organs of the staff of
20 the Zvornik Brigade there listed?
21 A. I believe that they are all there.
22 Q. And you can see that there are a series of red or pinkish red
23 lines emanating from the commander to the assistants to the command and
24 the Chief of Staff and down to the battalions and the subordinate units of
25 the brigade, indicating his command over those units. And you'd agree
1 with that, would you?
2 A. Well, according to this scheme, the commander commands all units,
3 and this is the brigade structure which doesn't differ much from what was
4 shown to me by the Prosecutor. This is only a different way of
5 representing the same thing. The structure is the same but the schematic
6 differs a little.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, what's the origin of this document? Is
8 it one prepared by the Defence or is it one supplied by the Prosecution?
9 MR. HAYNES: It's one we've prepared.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One you prepared. Okay. Could you also maybe -- I
11 don't want to anticipate your -- any of your questions but I think it
12 would help us follow better if he would indicate in which box he would fit
14 MR. HAYNES: Yes, thank you.
15 Q. You can even put a mark on it and put your initials by it, but
16 would you please indicate which role you fulfilled within the staff of the
17 Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. I'm marking this square here, the organ for operative and training
20 Q. Well, could you as neatly as you can, put MD within that square?
21 A. [Marks]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And I take it it's the upper of the two boxes
23 because he's put the MD --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the upper box.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It is where we have, "Organ za ONP", just for
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, organ for training and
3 operative tasks.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Witness. And thank you, Mr. Haynes.
5 MR. HAYNES: Not at all.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Dragutinovic, all really I want to make sure we agree
7 about is that we can see emanating from some of the organs of the staff
8 down to some of the subordinate units of the brigade some dotted lines.
9 Can you see those?
10 A. Yes, I can.
11 Q. And they are intended to indicate the functional relationships
12 that you've talked about between the organs of the staff and their
13 associated subordinate units within the brigade, and would you agree that
14 they do accurately reflect --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does that mean you do agree with me that they accurately reflect
17 those functional relationships between those organs and units?
18 A. This is the exact relationship but let's take, for example, the
19 signals organ, with the chief, and you have the dotted line connecting it
20 to the signals company, i.e., there is a direct link with the staff
21 affiliated unit.
22 Or, for example, any other. The artillery organ is linked with
23 the mixed artillery division, i.e., the chief of artillery according to
24 this schematic is linked to the mixed artillery division.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we now just briefly --
1 A. And that applies to all of the other such units.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. Now, just moving away from the
3 staff, across to the right, we can see the organ for logistics headed by
4 Sreten Milosevic. Can you see that, contained within a brown hatched box?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And from that organ, we can see a dotted line coming down to the
7 rear battalion. Does that correctly reflect another functional
8 relationship within the brigade?
9 A. Yes, I can see it here, yes. That's how the brigade functioned,
10 from Sreten Milosevic to the rear battalion, all to provide for easier
11 command and use of all these organs, units and staff affiliated organs.
12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dragutinovic. I'm afraid I have to ask
13 you to sign this in the bottom, probably left-hand corner is the clearest
14 area, so can you put MD again in the bottom left-hand corner and put
15 today's date on it which I think is the 14th of June.
16 A. [Marks].
17 MR. HAYNES: And can that document now be preserved and saved? I
18 can't see a date on it. I don't know if the witness has put one on.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's on the right-hand margin bottom and so
20 that would fit in even though it's not on the part where there is the
21 script. So you don't need to worry about it.
22 MR. HAYNES:
23 Q. Now, can we move on, please? You've told us that another part of
24 your function was, at least in part, the administrative work of the
25 Zvornik Brigade. And I want you to tell us now a little bit about the
1 duties of the duty operations officer within the command of the brigade.
2 Briefly, could you state what the duties of the duty operations officer
3 were within the brigade?
4 A. The duty operations officer was in charge of all the documents
5 that were handled by the brigade. There was a staff office in which all
6 data were processed. Whatever came in writing to the brigade, all that
7 could be found in the staff office. The duty operations were organised in
8 the units starting with the brigade level upwards. It was a daily
9 obligation that lasted around the clock. The duty operations officer had
10 his assistant, and the duty operations officer in the brigade had to be a
11 higher ranking officer, and his assistant could have a lower rank and a
12 somewhat lower position than the operations officer himself.
13 Q. Thank you. And is it right that within the brigade, a roster was
14 kept of officers who were supposed to do duty operations duties?
15 A. The operations department published a roster seven days in advance
16 for the duties of the duty operations officer and his assistant. And this
17 could also be found in the office of the operations department. So it was
18 well known in advance who would be taking the duty and on what days.
19 Q. Thank you. It's right, isn't it, that the responsibility for the
20 creation of a roster of duty officers and the command of the duty officers
21 was provided for by the rules of the JNA, the work of the command and
23 A. Yes. By and large these provisions were adopted from the former
24 rules of the JNA.
25 Q. And just so we can have a look at the various sources of that, can
1 we have a look, please, at P699, page 34 in the English and page 36 in the
2 B/C/S? And can we scroll down so the witness can have a look at point 65?
3 Mr. Dragutinovic, are you able to read point 65? Is it clear
4 enough for you?
5 A. I'll do my best, although -- okay then. 65? "The duty operative
6 officer and his assistant are command officers that are determined
7 according to a roster. If a duty shift is being established, then the
8 duty officer and his assistant are part of that shift. The operative duty
9 at the command post is organised by the Chief of Staff or the deputy
10 commander and at the PKM," which should be IKM, I suppose, "it is done at
11 the assistant -- by the assistant commander for logistics. At other
12 command posts, the duty operations are organised by the most senior
13 officer. The operative duty officers' subordinates are all organs of
14 internal service at the command post."
15 And this is how the operative duty functioned in our brigade as
17 I would add to this that the duty operations officer in practical
18 terms, during his duty, had to be well abreast of all important events
19 that had taken place on that day in the brigade, in the subordinate units.
20 He had to monitor the compliance with certain tasks. He had to inform the
21 command thereof, to convey orders and at certain moments, when he could
22 not convey certain orders of the superior -- to either the commander or
23 his deputy, he assumed the responsibility for the performance of such
24 tasks upon himself or better said, in our brigade, a duty operations
25 officer was not merely a courier who conveyed messages or transmitted
1 orders. He was more than that. He was a direct participant in all the
2 events that had a bearing on the brigade.
3 Q. Thank you. And was it the position in accordance with those rules
4 in the Zvornik Brigade that the roster was the responsibility of the Chief
5 of Staff and that the duty operations officer was subordinate to the Chief
6 of Staff?
7 A. Well, that was the case pursuant to the rules. The operatives in
8 my department were in charge of that roster. The Chief of Staff would
9 issue orders and pursuant to those orders we would make the roster that
10 had to be strictly complied with. The commander did not influence the
11 roster as such. He did not interfere with our proposal for the roster.
12 Q. Thank you. And I just briefly want to go through with you some of
13 the documents that were kept at the command by the duty operations
14 officer. Firstly, he kept a notebook, didn't he?
15 A. Yes. The duty operations officer kept a notebook in which he
16 recorded all information that he received from the superior command, parts
17 of the brigades, the subordinate units, the Chief of Staff, the
18 commanders. He recorded everything that came to him. Everything was
19 recorded in that notebook. Some information was recorded only briefly, in
20 short outlines, and some was recorded in an extended version.
21 Q. And the information in the notebook could contain personal
22 messages, messages for people within the brigade and the like? It was
23 quite literally a notebook, wasn't it?
24 A. It was a notebook, which contained all sorts of information, even
25 personal information sent to an officer in the command or even to the
1 soldiers on the strength of the brigade units, and this was all recorded.
2 Nothing could be omitted, deleted. Nothing could be tampered with. It
3 was a very colourful notebook that was a true reflection of what was
4 happening on the day.
5 Q. Thank you. There were two other books kept within the brigade
6 that recorded daily events. The second one was the duty officer's diary
7 or logbook, as we call it in this case. That was a document which derived
8 substantially from the contents of the notebook, wasn't it?
9 A. The diary was based on the information in the notebook, with the
10 caveat that personal information and things that were not connected with
11 the function of the brigade and its units were omitted. All the important
12 orders from the superior command, the information from the battalions, the
13 orders of the commander of the brigade, the information from other
14 subordinate units, were entered in the duty operations officer's logbook.
15 Q. And how often would the logbook be written up?
16 A. The logbook had to be kept every day, after the duty period
17 expired because the logbook had to be brought to the morning briefings
18 when the duty operations officer informed the commander of the events that
19 the commander could not attend or wasn't privy to. The logbook was part
20 of that briefing.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Thirdly, there was a document called the war
22 diary, which I think was written up every few days. Would that be right?
23 A. The war diary should have been a document that contained the most
24 important information relative to the function of the brigade, the war
25 operations and other tasks. It wasn't kept every day. Sometimes it was
1 kept retroactively. The war diary was kept in the operations department.
2 It sometimes happened though that the operations department did not have
3 anybody to man it for a day or two. That's why the information was
4 collected from the operations logbook and the documents that had arrived,
5 and then the entries would be made into the war diary on a certain day.
6 Q. That's very helpful. And one last question before I think you're
7 entitled to a break.
8 It's right also that there was a duty officers' notebook kept at
9 the barracks as well?
10 A. All documents were kept at the barracks. They were not allowed to
11 be taken out of the barracks. They were not even allowed to be taken out
12 of the designated rooms. If you are talking about the duty operations
13 logbook, it had to be in his room. The war diary was at the operations
15 Q. Just to be clear, Mr. Dragutinovic, I'm talking about a separate
16 notebook which was the barracks duty officer's notebook.
17 A. Yes. In that case, I'm mistaken. If you meant the duty officer
18 at the barracks, he didn't work all the time. That institution was
19 introduced in 1995 and the idea was to establish some order in the
20 barracks so that the duty operations officer would have some insight into
21 the functioning of the brigade, and that book was kept by the duty officer
22 at the barracks. The duty officer would bring that book to the operations
23 officer to sign after reviewing it, and after that, it went to the duty
24 officer at the barracks.
25 And I have to emphasise the duty officer at the barracks would be
1 appointed or relieved by the duty operations officer. It was not up to
3 Q. Thank you very much. And I think that's probably time for a
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a 25-minute break starting from
6 now. Thank you.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
10 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
11 Q. Mr. Dragutinovic, if you don't mind, can we just summarise the
12 evidence you gave us just before the break? Of the three documents that
13 are derived from the notes of the duty officer, the most contemporaneous
14 is the duty officer's notebook; that's right, isn't it? Because it's
15 notes that are literally written at the time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The duty officer's logbook or diary is effectively a summary of
18 the duty officer's notebook; is that right?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And the war diary is a summary of the notebook and other
21 documentation within the command written up some days after the event?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, you made reference when you were answering
24 questions to Mr. Vanderpuye, to the report, the combat reports, that are
25 issued by brigade command on a daily basis. There are basically two
1 kinds, aren't there? There is a daily combat report and an interim combat
3 A. Those were regular daily reports and interim reports.
4 Q. And would you mind telling us just a little bit about how the
5 regular or daily reports came into existence and how many of them were
6 issued on a daily basis?
7 A. As a rule, regular combat reports were to be issued twice a day.
8 The command did one of them, and as required the command also made an
9 interim report.
10 Q. Was an interim report necessarily issued on a daily basis or was
11 it only issued if it was justified by the circumstances within the
13 A. Interim combat reports were made only if that was necessary for
14 extraordinary reasons.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Now, I referred you earlier to the rules of
16 the JNA about the duty officer and the duty officer's roster. But in
17 fact, in the Zvornik Brigade, you wrote your own rules about the keeping
18 of records and the creation of reports, didn't you?
19 A. Yes. There was a note in the duty officer's room containing all
20 the regulations, and they were adjusted regulations taken over from the
21 former JNA.
22 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you to look at two sections of the
23 rules and I'm going to ask you to read them out because these haven't yet
24 been translated. They'll appear on the computer screen in front of you in
25 a little while and it is 65 ter number 7D442. And I'd like the witness
1 first to be shown page 7.
2 Are these the rules that you were just referring to?
3 A. Well, you would also have to show me the beginning. This begins
4 with chapter 3, "Organisation of operations duty". Yes, that's it.
5 Q. Thank you. Somebody to my left had just made exactly the same
6 suggestion, that I should show you the first page. Do you still need to
7 see the first page or can you identify it from what's in front of you?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 Q. Perhaps it would be best if we show him page 1 then, just to be
11 A. Yes. If you show the first page it will be clear.
12 Q. There you are.
13 A. Yes. That's a document from the operations organ of our command.
14 Q. Is it the case that you yourself wrote or adapted these rules for
15 the brigade?
16 A. I couldn't say definitely that it was me but it was the section
17 that I headed. This is a format from 1993 that we didn't need to change.
18 Maybe we added certain things but nothing major.
19 Q. Then can we go back to page 7 and I'd like you, if you would, to
20 read out to us point 11 that you were just looking at, the heading and
21 then point 11.
22 A. That was page 5, chapter 3, "Organisation of operations duty
23 service"; is that what you mean?
24 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. And would you read out for us
25 point 11?
1 A. "The Chief of Staff shall with his own order stipulate which
2 officers are going to serve as operations duty officers."
3 Do you want me to continue?
4 Q. No. Thank you. That's perfectly fine for my purposes but I'd
5 like you now please to look at page 10. No, I'm sorry, page 8. And if
6 the page can be brought down a little further, can you start to read point
7 14, which will go over the page? So can you read the first line and then
8 we will go over the page to page 9.
9 A. "Operations duty officers submit to the superior duty officer
10 daily and interim reports, daily reports are submitted twice, once
11 describing situation as of 1400 hours, the other one describing the
12 situation as of 1800 hours. The first one has to be submitted by 1500
13 hours, the second one by 1900 hours. Interim reports are submitted as
14 required," as I said a moment ago. We at the command submitted one daily
15 report and if it became necessary we submitted two, but we did not have
16 strict orders to submit two, although these instructions stipulate that we
17 should submit two.
18 Q. Thank you very much. And I'd just like you lastly to look at page
19 10, if you would, and I'll ask you some questions about that when it
20 appears. I don't want to you read this out loud but this is an
21 instruction as to the proper format for a daily combat report within the
22 brigade, isn't it?
23 A. Yes. That's it.
24 Q. And we'll probably find as we look at daily combat reports that
25 each of the paragraphs in the report correspond to those numbers, and, for
1 example, at number 7, at number 7, I think, it requires the duty officer
2 always to report on a daily basis about losses within the brigade; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dragutinovic. I'm going to move on now
6 to ask you a few questions about your boss, Mr. Obrenovic. Were you aware
7 that he had first arrived in Zvornik with the JNA in February 1992?
8 A. I was not in Zvornik then but I know he was with the JNA unit in
9 Zvornik municipality.
10 Q. And were you also aware that at the time of the outbreak of war in
11 Bosnia, Dragan Obrenovic was a member of the War Presidency in Zvornik?
12 A. No. I didn't know that.
13 Q. At the time of the outbreak of war in Zvornik, you were a member
14 of the JNA; is that right?
15 A. I was a member of the war unit of the JNA, but not in Zvornik, in
16 Bijeljina rather.
17 Q. I'm sorry, that's my mistake but I wanted to establish that to ask
18 you this question: Would it have been proper or permissible for a soldier
19 contracted to the JNA to concurrently draw a salary or expenses as a
20 member of a TO of a Serbian municipality?
21 A. At that time, no. Not during the existence of the
22 Yugoslav People's Army.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to come to the outbreak of war in Bosnia.
24 At the start of the war in a municipality such as Zvornik, all able-bodied
25 men were mobilised, weren't they?
1 A. Yes. Able-bodied men were mobilised into various units. Some
2 into wartime units of the JNA. Others into units of Territorial Defence.
3 And yet others were mobilised into units of civilian defence. And some
4 were mobilised into the reserve forces of the MUP, the Ministry of the
6 Q. And even some may have been mobilised, I think, into working
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the decision as to which of those units they would be
10 mobilised to was dependent upon their experience and situation; is that
12 A. It mostly depended on their military specialty as recorded in the
13 register kept by the Ministry of Defence. That was a rule.
14 Q. Thank you. You've answered my next question.
15 When the Zvornik Brigade was formed, its personnel was derived
16 from really six categories of soldiers. I want to see if you agree with
17 this. The first category was professional soldiers; is that right?
18 A. Well, since I wasn't there when the Zvornik Brigade was
19 established -- I know, in fact, that there were no professional soldiers
20 in the Zvornik Brigade, although I wasn't there.
21 Q. It's my mistake again. The phrase I should have used was
22 professional officers. There were some professional officers in the
23 Zvornik Brigade when you arrived?
24 A. Yes, there were.
25 Q. And there were reserve officers?
1 A. For the most part, the command consisted of reserve officers.
2 Q. And the third category of officer would have been promoted
4 A. I did not get that.
5 Q. You didn't hear it or you didn't understand what I was suggesting
6 to you?
7 A. I did not understand what you meant. What does "promoted
8 officers" mean?
9 Q. People who became officers because of their experience within the
11 A. Yes. I understand now. Many were promoted into officers on the
12 basis of some criteria that were applied at the time, such as experience,
13 and some sort of imposed themselves and received a rank, I don't know for
14 what reason.
15 Q. In terms of the other personnel, there were three categories:
16 Reservists, recruits and soldiers under contract. Do you agree with that?
17 A. Do you mean the beginnings of the Zvornik Brigade?
18 Q. I want you to talk from your own experience, the categories of
19 soldier that you observed from the moment you were involved in it and
20 throughout the time that you were an officer there.
21 A. When I joined the Zvornik Brigade, there were some active duty
22 officers, there were some reserve officers, and as for the troops, there
23 were exclusively men from reserve forces. A very small number were
24 conscripts, and there were no contract soldiers. I don't remember quite
25 clearly but I know for sure that that category did not exist in 1992.
1 Q. Would you agree that the substantial majority of the personnel of
2 the Zvornik Brigade was made up of men who had been mobilised into TO
4 A. Mostly, yes. Only some of them had been mobilised before that
5 into wartime units of the former JNA.
6 Q. Now, as to the command initially of the Zvornik Brigade, it's
7 right, isn't it, that between May and December of 1992, the
8 Zvornik Brigade had no fewer than five commanders?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The last of those was Vinko Pandurevic, but before him was a man
11 called Major Dragan Petkovic who was wounded in 1992 and never thereafter
12 commanded the brigade?
13 A. Yes, correct.
14 Q. And so between October and December of 1992, the Zvornik Brigade
15 had no commander at all?
16 A. That too is correct. After Major Petkovic, who was the commander
17 then, was wounded, the brigade command had also lost some part of the
18 territory they used to hold, and it practically fell apart. There was no
19 commander, no Chief of Staff. Most of the organs of the command were
20 missing. Only a small part remained.
21 Q. On the 1st of December, Dragan Obrenovic arrived as Chief of Staff
22 of the Zvornik Brigade. That's correct, isn't it?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And a little while after that, on the 18th of December,
25 Vinko Pandurevic arrived as commander of the brigade?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. There was no ceremony when Vinko Pandurevic arrived to command the
3 brigade, was there?
4 A. No. I personally returned from one mission to the command that
5 had been moved from my usual base in Karakaj, in Orahovac village, and
6 there was an office that we ourselves designated as the commander's
7 office, and there I found, upon my return, Commander Pandurevic, without
8 knowing, prior to that, that he was there. But there was no ceremony, not
9 that I remember.
10 Q. And it's right, isn't it, that upon his arrival, he was briefed as
11 to the situation within the brigade by the Chief of Staff,
12 Dragan Obrenovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Were you present when this happened or have you --
15 were you informed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was only informed about them.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MR. HAYNES:
19 Q. But in any event any briefing of the new commander about the
20 situation of the brigade was pretty bleak, wasn't it? The situation in
21 the brigade was close to disastrous.
22 A. Am I supposed to answer that? It was more than disastrous.
23 Q. To shorten matters, I'll put a couple of facts to you. The
24 2nd Battalion at that time was surrounded in the Drinjaca, do you agree
25 with that?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. The 6th Battalion had basically fallen apart after the massacre at
3 Glodjansko Brdo?
4 A. Yes. It had fallen apart and stopped existing as a unit.
5 Q. And the Lokanj Battalion had virtually collapsed as well; is that
7 A. The Lokanj Battalion had a local commander. It was a local unit.
8 And this commander had practically no contacts with the command.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, you've dealt briefly with the situation
10 concerning the turnover of commanders of the brigade. Was the situation
11 similar within the subordinate units of the brigade?
12 A. It was similar. All the units subordinated to the command had
13 been established as local units, as -- with their local commanders, and
14 the situation in those units was equally bad.
15 Q. And what sort of allegiance did the battalions have to brigade
16 command at the time Vinko Pandurevic arrived in December of 1992?
17 A. Could you please rephrase your question? It's very hard for me to
18 understand what you mean by it.
19 Q. Yes. It's correct, isn't it, that most of the brigades were
20 commanded in a way that showed no cohesion with brigade command? They
21 behaved on an individual basis.
22 A. In principle, yes. All the battalions were independent, and it
23 was very difficult to control and command such units. No commander before
24 could do that. Major Petkovic did make some attempts at that but his
25 predecessors didn't do even that.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to move on slightly to the size and
2 definition of the Zvornik Brigade. The Zvornik Brigade was defined as a
3 light infantry brigade, that's correct, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I want you now just to briefly consider a document, which is
6 P382, so that we can see the numerical strength of the brigade.
7 MR. HAYNES: That's a covering letter. We'll need to go forward a
8 page or two maybe. It's really the figure at the bottom that I'm
9 interested in the witness looking at. Yes.
10 Q. Now, as operations officer, you were aware, weren't you, that the
11 brigade had a numerical strength in excess of 5.000 men?
12 A. Well, yes. Just as it is indicated in this document. This
13 document was produced by our organs, the assistant Chief of Staff for
14 organisation and mobilisation and from my operations department. So this
15 document does originate from our command and it does speak about the
16 numerical strength.
17 Q. 5.000 men is a much larger unit than a light infantry brigade,
18 isn't it?
19 A. Yes. This is not a light infantry brigade. It would be more of
20 an infantry brigade, but maybe the strength surpasses even that kind of
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I just think that we
24 should indicate for the record the date of the document. I don't think
25 that's been done. To put the testimony in context.
1 MR. HAYNES: Yes, we can go back to the first page and see the
2 date of the document.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The document speaks for itself. It says for the
4 month of July 1995.
5 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
7 MR. HAYNES:
8 Q. Now, the fact that the Zvornik Brigade was defined as a light
9 infantry brigade meant that it was given a command structure designed to
10 suit a light infantry brigade; is that right?
11 A. Yes, but let me just say that the number was the same in 1993.
12 The figure might have differed slightly but the situation didn't change
13 that much up to 1995. The structure was not the same but the number
14 remained the same up to 1995.
15 Q. Thank you. I don't know whether you considered my last question.
16 I'll put it to you again, which is that the fact that the Zvornik Brigade
17 was defined as a light infantry brigade meant that it was given a command
18 structure that was designed to suit a light infantry brigade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Whereas in fact in terms of numerical strength, it was more like
21 the size of a motorised brigade or even two light infantry brigades; would
22 you agree with that?
23 A. Yes, I would.
24 Q. Did that mean that effective control of the brigade's resources,
25 with an understrength command structure, was very difficult?
1 A. Yes. That was exactly the case. This structure of the brigade,
2 and this structure of the command, called for everyday presence in the
3 units. No day would pass when one or more officers were present in one or
4 several battalions at the time. They had to be there every day in order
5 to provide for the proper functioning of the units.
6 Q. And in terms of the manpower, a particular problem was the
7 conscripts who were permitted to work, as it were, half the time and be
8 soldiers half the time?
9 A. I would like to correct you here. Not conscripts but members of
10 the brigade units. They would spend some time in the brigade and they
11 would stay at home after that. They would be providing for their
13 Q. And was that done frequently in 10-day shifts so 10 days at home,
14 10 days on duty?
15 A. Yes. It was a shift warfare. Our commander used to say that we
16 had weekend warriors. He meant it more as a joke but it did reflect the
18 Q. And during the periods that the brigade members were at home or at
19 work, they were outside the control or command of the unit. That's
20 correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. They were absolutely outside the control of the brigade
22 command and their units.
23 Q. And of their very nature, the sort of members of the brigade who
24 were farmers and workers and involved in activities within the Zvornik
25 community were difficult by their very nature to command?
1 A. Well, in a brigade organised in this way, where a soldier spends
2 only some time in the brigade under some sort of control, of course it was
3 very hard to control them. We tried to introduce certain ways of
4 controlling them outside their units. However, this failed and eventually
5 we gave up.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, you've already told us that in December of 1992,
7 Vinko Pandurevic and Dragan Obrenovic arrived at the brigade to become
8 commander and Chief of Staff respectively, and I want just now to explore
9 with you how they were reacted to by the local community.
10 It's right, isn't it, that they were both very young men when they
11 arrived in 1992, in December?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Extremely young to hold the offices they had been given; would you
14 agree with that?
15 A. In the perspective of the brigade as it was at the time, their
16 respective ages did not provide any guarantees that they will be able to
17 command the brigade. I myself was not bothered by their age.
18 Q. Neither man was from Zvornik originally. That's true as well,
19 isn't it?
20 A. That's true. They did not hail from Zvornik.
21 Q. And both of them were trained professional soldiers who wished to
22 run the Zvornik Brigade along military lines?
23 A. Yes. They were both officers trained in the former JNA. They had
24 a lot of skill and knowledge about unit command, which obviously made them
25 suitable to command the unit.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Haynes, if you don't mind, can I interrupt a
3 MR. HAYNES: Absolutely, Judge Kwon.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Dragutinovic, it's about the weekend soldier, as
5 you put it. You said that while they are off duty, they are absolutely
6 outside the control of the brigade, didn't you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
8 JUDGE KWON: If that weekend soldier, while he's off duty,
9 committed a crime, for example, a theft or killing, whatever, is he
10 subject to the investigation by the civilian police or military police?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the time when they were not
12 in the brigade, if something like that happened, the investigation would
13 be carried out by the civilian police.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much.
15 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Judge Kwon.
16 Q. From your observation of Dragan Obrenovic and Vinko Pandurevic,
17 they were both men who took very seriously the orders they received from
18 higher command, the Main Staff of the VRS and the Drina Corps?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Picking up from the question of
21 Judge Kwon and the witness's answer, granted that in such a case the
22 investigation would be carried out by the civilian police, would it be
23 correct to state that the military authorities, that's the Zvornik Brigade
24 in this instance, even once an investigation has been carried out by the
25 civilian police, would be entitled to ask the civilian police to transfer
1 the person into the jurisdiction of the military courts of the
2 Zvornik Brigade?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If it was established that
4 they were members of any of the VRS units, a request was made for their
5 transfer, and they could be tried pursuant to the laws that applied to the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 MR. HAYNES: I think I better join this party.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You're more than welcome.
10 MR. HAYNES:
11 Q. The modal verb you used was "could". I want you to imagine now,
12 for example, that whilst on his 10 days of rest, a weekend soldier of the
13 Zvornik Brigade committed a rape of a local woman and was arrested by the
14 civilian police. Would it be the case that he had to be transferred to
15 the authority of the military police or would the civilian police, on
16 pursuit of her complaint, have seen through his prosecution?
17 A. Is that a question for me?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's certainly not directed to me.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thought that maybe you were
20 engaged in a debate on that. I'm sorry.
21 If a soldier wearing civilian clothes had committed a crime which
22 fell under the authority of the civilian police, the crime would be
23 investigated by the civilian police. If the military investigating organs
24 believed, and I'm just talking as far as I know about these things, that
25 the soldier had committed a crime that might threaten the interests of the
1 army of Republika Srpska, then a request would have been made for his
2 transfer under the authority of the military organs. But I'm afraid you
3 should ask that question the judges of the military courts and the legal
4 experts who were better versed in such matters. I was just an army
5 operative and I wouldn't be able to answer your question properly.
6 MR. HAYNES:
7 Q. Well, thank you for trying any way. If you don't mind, because of
8 the questions you were asked by the Judges and myself, I want to just
9 recap where we were going. You've agreed with me that Vinko Pandurevic
10 and Dragan Obrenovic were young officers who weren't from Zvornik, who
11 were professional soldiers who took seriously the orders of the Main Staff
12 and the Drina Corps. That's right, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And the orders that they did receive from the Main Staff and the
15 Drina Corps from time to time included them being required to commit
16 Zvornik Brigade forces to other theatres of war in Bosnia?
17 A. Yes. There were such orders, yes.
18 Q. And again, to recap some earlier questions, you've agreed with me
19 that the Zvornik Brigade was mostly comprised of mobilised conscripts,
20 these were people who were farmers, workers and family men, and soldiers I
21 think only half of the time, and the units were accordingly difficult to
22 command. That's correct, isn't it?
23 A. Yes. That's how it was at the time.
24 Q. And was it the case that the conscripts of the Zvornik Brigade
25 were able to find a voice through the organs of the local community?
1 A. Again, I am afraid I don't understand your question completely.
2 Could you please rephrase it?
3 Q. Yes. I'll put it this way: Men who were weekend soldiers in
4 Zvornik were not particularly keen to be sent to fight in other areas of
5 Bosnia, were they?
6 A. I've already stated that all the units were locally oriented.
7 Everybody was very much interested in defending their own village. They
8 were very closely tied to their own villages. And that's why the brigade
9 was more of a local unit. It was very difficult to move it. It was not a
10 manoeuvre unit, as such.
11 Q. Thank you. And equally, is it right that the organs of the local
12 community were keen to keep the men local?
13 A. The political organs and the organs of local communities were also
14 very much locally geared and that -- they found it very difficult to
15 accept the commanders who came from outside. They wanted commanders to be
16 their own, locals, and if possible, that they shared the same ideologies
17 and political views.
18 Q. Thank you. Would you agree that neither the local community nor
19 the conscripts themselves had much enthusiasm for a brigade organised
20 along military lines?
21 A. It is very difficult to say that the brigade resembled a
22 homogenous unit at the time. It would be very far-fetched to say that.
23 It was very heterogenous. It was not easy to command. Everybody wanted
24 to be a local commander.
25 Q. Thank you. Then you've led me to this question: In terms of
1 professionalism, organisation and effectiveness, the Zvornik Brigade was
2 completely different from the brigade as envisaged by the rules of the
3 JNA, wasn't it?
4 A. Well, it was entirely different.
5 Q. But that was what Vinko Pandurevic and Dragan Obrenovic were keen
6 to achieve; you agree with that?
7 A. I would agree with that. Only through their huge effort some
8 results could be seen already in the early days.
9 Q. Now, the commander in particular did not allow community
10 authorities to interfere with the command of the brigade, is that true?
11 A. It is true. And as a result, some problems arose. Local
12 politicians wanted to interfere with the work of the command. They even
13 wanted to command the units of the Zvornik Brigade, and the commander and
14 the Chief of Staff absolutely didn't allow that to take place.
15 Q. Well, I want to just look at a couple of examples of attempts to
16 interfere in brigade command by local politicians, and to that end could
17 we please look at 7D460, which has already been shown to a witness. It's
18 a letter from Commander Pandurevic to corps command dated the 23rd of
19 February 1993. Now, I'm not going to ask to you read all this out as
20 Mr. Sarapa did with somebody else a couple of weeks ago but if you could
21 just read through this letter and remind yourself of the incident that it
22 is about, I've got a question to put to you. And please feel free to ask
23 the usher to scroll the document down as you need to.
24 A. Can you show the top, please? No, sorry, scroll down.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, Mr. Bourgon is present in the
1 courtroom now.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I see the bottom now, if there
3 is any more? Okay.
4 Well, basically this is clear enough. I knew about this document
5 and I knew about the things it describes.
6 MR. HAYNES:
7 Q. Thank you. Well, we were talking a little while earlier about the
8 immediate prior commander to Vinko Pandurevic, Major Petkovic. Do you
9 recall an incident in February of 1993 when Vinko Pandurevic was away from
10 the brigade command, when an attempt was made by local community members
11 to replace him with his predecessor, Major Petkovic?
12 A. Yes. I remember that.
13 Q. And had they, in order to achieve that, enlisted the assistance of
14 the Drina Corps commander, General Milenko Zivanovic?
15 A. Yes. I remember that the corps commander was also involved in all
16 these games, if I can say so, to replace Commander Pandurevic. I don't
17 know for what reasons but they were certainly -- they had certainly
18 nothing to do with military interests. This document reflects very
19 precisely the situation and the commander wanted it all cleared up.
20 Q. I just want you to look quickly at another document which is
21 7D452, which is an order dated the 19th of April 1993. And if you don't
22 mind, Mr. Dragutinovic, because this document hasn't been read into the
23 record, I wonder if you could briefly read through this order for us.
24 A. If you just scroll it down so I can see the commander's signature,
25 it's Dragan Petkovic, as I thought.
1 It says, "Temporary transfer of soldier Relja Petkovic, order."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness read more slowly?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "With a view to organising spring
4 sowing in Zelinje village, temporarily relieve Relja Petkovic from the 7th
5 Battalion and return him to the command of Zelinje Company. The said
6 soldier will be engaged in agricultural works without any remuneration,
7 using the tractor from the company Zelinje command. The commander of
8 Zelinje Company will relieve the said soldier of duty and issue him with a
9 tractor from the company command and he will find him a replacement for --
10 from the reserve force of the company that is in Zelinje. Fuel for these
11 works will be provided by every household head. This order to be executed
12 by 1200 hours on the 20th April 1993. The person responsible for the
13 execution of this order is the commander of the 7th Battalion."
14 MR. HAYNES:
15 Q. Thank you. So in summary this is an order transferring a soldier
16 from one unit to another; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, to do some agricultural work, and it's not Pandurevic who
18 signed this, it's Dragan Petkovic, who did this. I don't know how. I
19 don't know who appointed him or who authorised him to perform the duties
20 of the commander at the time when Pandurevic was the commander, and
21 Pandurevic was not replaced at the time.
22 Q. Just to be absolutely clear. Let us suppose even that Pandurevic
23 was absent; the order could have been signed or should have been signed by
24 Dragan Obrenovic, that's right, isn't it?
25 A. Yes, it should have been signed by the commander's deputy, unless
1 a new commander is appointed in the absence of the commander.
2 Q. Or just to deal with all the possibilities, the order could have
3 borne the commander's name but have been signed on his behalf by some
4 other officer?
5 A. If Pandurevic was the brigade commander, then this order should
6 have been signed "Pandurevic" in typewritten text, and the signature,
7 whoever signed for him, should specify, "For Commander Pandurevic."
8 Q. Just to be clear, in April of 1993, Dragan Petkovic had no
9 authority whatsoever to issue orders as brigade commander?
10 A. Dragan Petkovic could only sign for the commander if somebody had
11 appointed him to stand in for the commander temporarily, if the commander
12 was absent for any reason. But in any case, it should have been Chief of
13 Staff. I can't remember. I don't know why Dragan Petkovic was there at
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If you don't mind, you told us before that Petkovic
16 was the Zvornik Brigade commander before Pandurevic, and that he was
17 wounded, and that basically brought to an end his command and he was later
18 replaced by General Pandurevic. Now, after he lost his command because of
19 his injuries, did he remain in the Zvornik Brigade? Or did he leave the
20 Zvornik Brigade completely? Did he continue to form part of the
21 Zvornik Brigade, in other words, not as a commander but as a component of
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was no longer a member of the
24 Zvornik Brigade.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So in relation to this document that Mr. Haynes has
1 referred you to, what would be the -- his source of authority at the time,
2 if you have knowledge about that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't tell you that. Generally
4 speaking about this document, I don't know how he came to be in the
5 command post of the brigade or who gave him authorisation, if he had any.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But to make it even more typical,
8 the soldier named in this document is a close relative of his.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That explains a few things. Yes, Mr. Haynes.
10 Thank you, Witness.
11 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Judge.
12 Q. Just to finish off this topic, throughout the period that he was
13 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, was Vinko Pandurevic a popular figure
14 with local community institutions or politicians?
15 A. He was certainly not popular with the politicians or anyone in the
16 political leadership in Zvornik municipality. His rating with them was
17 not very good, for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because he didn't let
18 them interfere in the command over the Zvornik Brigade, something that
19 they had kept trying to do.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. I'm now going to move on to an
21 entirely different topic, which is the zones for which the Zvornik Brigade
22 was responsible.
23 MR. HAYNES: And I'm going to start by asking that P1463 be put
24 into e-court, please. Now, initially I'm going to ask that we move to the
25 bottom right-hand corner and blow the map up enough times for the witness
1 to see his own signature.
2 Q. Perhaps just a little more to the right.
3 A. Yes. I see it. It's enough.
4 Q. I wonder whether you'd be good enough just to identify your own
5 signature on this map.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you just tell us a little bit about what this map in
8 general shows?
9 A. This is the working map of the operations section. There are
10 operations of the brigade drawn on this map, all the operations involving
11 the Zvornik Brigade in 1995. Here below I see the combat operation
12 Krivaja 95, and I suppose in other sections of the map there are similar
13 indications of various operations including the dates so that the
14 operations organ can follow the activities of the brigade.
15 Q. Now, so that we understand some of the things we are going to look
16 at and forgive me I have to do it this way, I'm going to ask that we go
17 and look at the legend in the bottom right-hand corner, I think. Yes,
18 thank you. We have it there and just move across a little to the right.
19 Thank you.
20 Now, Mr. Dragutinovic, in preparing this map, actually I haven't
21 asked you that. Did you draw this map? Or draw the marks upon it?
22 A. I made the map, and Major Galic with me. For the most part, the
23 entries are mine.
24 Q. You've made a legend in this section of the map, which we will see
25 in greater detail in a minute.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I'm just interested that you tell us what, for example, the pink
3 line means that is the very first entry on the legend.
4 A. Positions of the Zvornik Brigade on the 1st September 1993.
5 Q. Thank you. And a similar shaded line in blue, what does that
7 A. That's the enemy, the positions, the lines the enemy had reached,
8 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Thank you very much, indeed.
10 MR. HAYNES: I'm now going to show you this map in a different
11 form. We have tried blowing it up on the computer but it simply
12 disintegrates so we've had it blown up manually and I think we will have
13 to show the witness and put it on the ELMO, please. For anybody who wants
14 to move the map around on their own e-court, it's the central section of
15 the map which centres on Zvornik.
16 Thank you.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Dragutinovic, can you help us here? The section of the
18 map that you now see, does that effectively show the confrontation lines
19 between the various battalions of the Zvornik Brigade and the forces of
20 the 2nd Corps of the Bosnian army?
21 A. I think it's easier to see it here on the other side. This map
22 shows 16th of July, the passage of the 28th Division, and the routes of
23 its movement on the 16th of July in the defence area of the 4th Battalion,
24 as well as other units that are to the left and to the right of this
25 section of combat activities.
1 Q. And the positions of the battalion as shown on this map, are they
2 accurate as at July of 1995?
3 A. Let me just see a moment. Yes. That's the situation as of
4 July 1995. 7th, 4th, 6th, and 2nd Battalion, and further up are the 5th
5 and the -- no, the 5th and the 1st are not actually shown, not in their
7 Q. In relation to each of the battalions, just so that we are clear,
8 it's probably good if you stay where you are. We are looking there at the
9 4th Battalion. There appears to be drawn on the map a thin red line drawn
10 in a sort of loop. What does that represent? Do you understand what I'm
11 referring you to?
12 A. The 4th Battalion.
13 Q. Yes. We could take any other battalion you want, if you want.
14 Let's try the 3rd Battalion. Move the map slightly --
15 A. Let's take the 6th Battalion. It's the best visible.
16 Q. It might be my mistake. I might have been looking at the
17 6th Battalion anyway. It's the loop that's in the middle of the page,
18 isn't it?
19 A. You can take either the 6th or the 3rd. You just tell me what I'm
20 supposed to explain.
21 Q. I want you to explain what is represented by the thin red line
22 that comes back from the defence line --
23 A. You mean the curved line? It shows the area of defence of that
24 battalion. Let's take for instance the 6th Battalion.
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. If the witness could be offered a
1 pointer and indicate the relevant parts so that we can follow.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 6th Battalion. These are its
3 basic positions. There were minor shifts. This was a prior position.
4 After that it moved forward, took up some new positions. This is its area
5 of defence, in Vjenacac area, there were reserve positions, back-up
6 positions, of that battalion that were never occupied but they had been
7 prepared. And here in the front part, there were fortified, prepared
8 positions, and that's where the unit was positioned facing the other side.
9 The same goes for the 3rd Battalion. Back-up positions are around
10 Klisa, whereas basic positions are here. We see the command post of the
11 6th Battalion. It says Donja Baljkovica. In the area of 6th Battalion,
12 we have the forward command post of the corps command. Anyway, these are
13 areas of defence, where we see the 6th Battalion, 4th Battalion, and less
14 visibly, the 7th Battalion. But the back-up positions of the 7th
15 Battalion only go up to Cetino Brdo. These positions were prepared but
16 never occupied. Back-up positions of the 3rd Battalion were in the area
17 of Klisa, also prepared but not occupied. Then you see the positions of a
18 various battalions, firing groups, Motovo for the 4th Battalion,
19 Staro Selo for the 7th Battalion.
20 That's the combat dispositions of the battalions.
21 MR. HAYNES:
22 Q. And just to clarify something that you said earlier, the blue
23 lines which are opposite the red lines are the lines of the enemy?
24 A. Yes, yes. Those positions were held by units of the 2nd Corps of
25 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This entire section.
1 Q. Thank you. And we see two arrows there going through the area of
2 defence of the 4th Battalion. What do they represent?
3 A. For the 4th Battalion, they represent routes of passage and the
4 agreed passage of the 28th Division, and here behind are the routes along
5 which they came behind the lines of the 4th Battalion.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. And if that is convenient to
7 everybody that would be a convenient moment to take the next break.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much, Mr. President. There was a
10 reference in the record to the corps command being situated in the
11 vicinity of the 6th Battalion. I think that might have either been a
12 translation error or certainly something that needs to be clarified.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The forward command post of the
14 brigade, not the corps. The forward command post of the brigade in Delici
15 village, and the broader area of Kitovnice, that's what I'm showing now.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's clear for us.
17 We'll have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
21 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Dragutinovic, before we broke, you were illustrating on the
23 blown-up map that you have by your side the areas of defence of the
24 battalions of the Zvornik Brigade. I wonder if you would briefly describe
25 your understanding of how the area of defence is defined for a battalion.
1 A. Those are, in fact, areas of defence for a battalion, whereas a
2 brigade would have a zone of defence. The area of defence of battalions
3 is defined by the disposition of units within that area; the basic
4 position and the back-up position. I indicated the basic position of one
5 of the battalions, that's the position facing the enemy, and the back-up
6 position further in depth that we prepared and fortified but did not
7 occupy. There are also other elements of defence: Firing group, command
8 post, logistics or the rear, and all the other components of the
9 battalion. It is defined and once the battalion is in the field, the
10 battalion knows exactly what its area of defence is. In this case, on
11 this working map, we can see it more clearly on the example of the 6th and
12 the 3rd Battalion. We see their main disposition, in Boskovici and
13 Pecine, the back-up position in Klisa, and the mixed artillery battalion
14 was also there, but it didn't interfere with the area of defence. You see
15 also all the other components of defence. On this map, you see the same
16 elements for the 3rd Battalion, the basic positions and the back-up
17 positions. The situation is similar with all the other battalions.
18 Because this here is a working map that was drawn from 1993 onwards
19 showing actions and activities of our brigade. In some places we moved
20 forward, then retreated under enemy attack. It's a working map that shows
21 movements over a longer period of time, movements of our units and also
22 enemy units. In any case, you can see clearly what the area of defence of
23 a certain battalion is.
24 Q. What is the principal difference between an area of defence and a
25 zone of defence?
1 A. Areas of defence apply to tactical units, battalion and lower,
2 whereas zones of defence apply to brigades. So the brigade has its own
3 zone of defence, the left one and the right one, but it's not defined.
4 It's only defined by the disposition of units.
5 Wherever the units of the brigade are, with their respective tasks
6 is the zone of defence of the brigade, if it's involved in defence.
7 Anything outside the combat disposition of brigade units is not within the
8 zone of defence.
9 Q. Thank you. Does the brigade have any other zones which might come
10 into play? For example, if it is in offensive operations?
11 A. The brigade has its area of operations and axes of operation. But
12 as for areas of responsibility, there is only such a thing as area of
13 intelligence responsibility, namely the area in which intelligence units
14 collect intelligence. Other zones, such as zones of fire, zones of
15 artillery fire, zones of action of mechanised or artillery units and so
17 Q. Thank you. I'd just like you now to look at another document,
18 which is 7D441. This is a document from the Drina Corps command, which
19 sets out, doesn't it, the zones of responsibility for combat activities of
20 the various brigades subordinate to the Drina Corps command?
21 A. Yes. I see the document.
22 Q. Have you seen it before?
23 A. I don't recall. I probably saw it before, because it's from 1992.
24 It originated in the Drina Corps. I expect your question will have to do
25 with the zones of responsibility of brigades.
1 Q. I'd just like you to familiarise yourself with paragraph 1A which
2 sets out the zone of responsibility --
3 A. I can see that.
4 Q. And what I'm going to do is ask you firstly whether all those
5 areas are familiar to you.
6 A. More or less.
7 Q. And then I'm going to show you another plan, which is P02109,
8 which is a pictorial depiction of the area described for the
9 Zvornik Brigade. And I'd be obliged if we could blow this map up just to
10 focus on the area which has on the -- has on it the 1st Zvornik Infantry
12 This map, which we've seen in this case, has a red line depicting
13 what is said to be the Drina Corps area of responsibility. And it's the
14 red line. The black line you should recognise is the confrontation line
15 between you and the Muslim forces, both for your brigade and others. And
16 do you acknowledge that the document you've just read depicting the
17 Zvornik Brigade's zones of responsibility for combat activity is depicted
18 by the red line around the area next to the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, I want to take this very carefully. Do you still have the
21 plastic-coated blown-up working map on the ELMO to your right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If you look very carefully on that map, you should see that the
24 red line on the plan we've got on e-court is actually on that map as well.
25 Can you see it?
1 A. Yes. I see it.
2 Q. But it's quite faint. What I'm going to ask you to do is to --
3 I'm going to ask to you reinforce that line with a pen, please. Probably
4 black would be the best colour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Where do you want him to reinforce that
6 line? On the document which is on the ELMO?
7 MR. HAYNES: On the document which is on the ELMO, yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can it be done?
9 MR. HAYNES: Well, we've got a permanent marker pen and the map
10 can then become an exhibit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead. I can't see anything.
12 MR. HAYNES:
13 Q. Mr. Dragutinovic, would you please, as it were, reinforce the thin
14 red line that's on that map by drawing over it with the black pen that you
15 now have, to indicate where that line falls on the map?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically Mr. Haynes is asking to you write over the
17 red line with the black pen that you have been given. Retrace the red
18 line, in other words.
19 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I think we need you to put your initials
21 somewhere along that line.
22 MR. HAYNES: Well, he hasn't quite finished yet because the line
23 goes further to the left, to the edge of the map.
24 Q. I wonder if you would be good enough to finish off the line by
25 going further to the left to the edge of the map?
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. And I think if the map is pulled slightly up there is a further
3 section of the red line which comes again out of the left-hand side of the
4 map, across and down.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. And now, if you be so good, can you put your initials on it and
7 date the 14th of June 2007?
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Now, thank you very much, Mr. Dragutinovic. You can see from the
10 more simplistic version of the plan on the computer screen before you,
11 that the area of responsibility for combat activities as defined by the
12 document you looked at includes an area which, on the map and on the plan,
13 is behind enemy lines, so far as you're concerned. That's right, isn't
15 A. Yes. That's clear. You can see it on the map.
16 Q. Was that an area which, during the period you were in the
17 Zvornik Brigade you ever had any control over or responsibility for?
18 A. In this part of the territory, there was no contact, apart from
19 contact with the enemy at the confrontation line.
20 Q. During the course of the war, it's right, isn't it, that the
21 organs of state and community continued to function? There was local
22 government, people went to school, there were civilian police forces and
23 the like?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As operations officer, did you ever consider the brigade to have
1 any authority over public or private facilities that were outside your
2 zones of defence?
3 A. Brigade has jurisdiction only in the zone of defence and within
4 the combat disposition of its units, and on -- and in buildings that were
5 requisitioned for purposes of the Zvornik Brigade. Everything else was
6 under the authority of local civilian authority. Because life went on.
7 Schools were open, businesses were open, the parliament sat, the police
8 operated, local communes. I don't think two different authorities can
9 function in one and the same place.
10 Q. Just a couple of other things on this issue. Until the 29th of
11 July of 1995, it's correct that no state of war was declared in
12 Republika Srpska, isn't it?
13 A. No. No. There was no state of war until the -- until 1995.
14 Q. And lastly this: The Zvornik Brigade was named the
15 Zvornik Brigade because the people who made up its numbers came from
17 A. Exclusively from Zvornik municipality. And also some refugees who
18 had moved into Zvornik municipality.
19 Q. It wasn't named the Zvornik Brigade to indicate that it had a
20 responsibility for every public and private building or facility within
21 the municipality of Zvornik?
22 A. The units of the VRS were not depicted by numbers. They were
23 given names according to the place from which most of the soldiers were
24 recruited. It has nothing to do with the territory or their
25 responsibility for that territory, because they were responsible only for
1 the combat disposition of their units.
2 Q. Thank you very much, indeed.
3 Now, I'm going to move on to another topic. You are familiar with
4 the actions of the 8th Operational Group and the 28th Division of the army
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, aren't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it's correct that on the 6th of November of 1992, at
8 Glodjansko Brdo, the 8th Operational Group inflicted very substantial
9 losses on the forces of the VRS?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that offensive included the losses not only of soldiers but of
13 A. Yes. In that area there were also civilian population areas, and
14 some civilians were killed along with the troops who were in
15 Glodjansko Brdo, Kamenica. That is the southern part of Zvornik
17 Q. Would it be right to suggest that the losses suffered at
18 Glodjansko Brdo were probably the greatest losses suffered in one day by
19 the Zvornik Brigade in its whole history?
20 A. Yes. Those were the greatest losses.
21 Q. Now, in early 1993, did you take part in an action that involved
22 the liberation of Glodjansko Brdo by the Zvornik Brigade?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And when Glodjansko Brdo had been liberated, did you uncover
25 evidence of atrocities, torture and mass graves of Serbian soldiers and
2 A. I wasn't there, but a commission was established, including UN
3 forces, medical experts, pathologists, police experts, army experts, and
4 they did the excavations, the exhumations, and determined the manner in
5 which both soldiers and civilians were executed.
6 Q. I'm going to ask you to have a look at some brief passages of
7 television footage and see whether they are familiar to you from what you
8 saw at the time.
9 MR. HAYNES: For those who want to follow this in the English,
10 there is a surrogate sheet it's 7D626 which translates the dialogue that
11 we hear into English. And can we play now, please, the three sections of
12 video, that's 5.39 to 6.25, 7.40 to 8.30, and 9.20 to 9.04 [sic], I think.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. HAYNES:
15 Q. Were those images similar to what you saw when you took part in
16 the operation at Glodjansko Brdo or saw on your television shortly
18 A. This footage is related to those events. That much I could see.
19 And I've said already that I wasn't there for the exhumation.
20 Q. Do you recall there being a large funeral at Standard barracks
21 which was attended by President Karadzic and his Minister of Defence, at
22 which I think something like 38 soldiers from the Zvornik Brigade were
24 A. Yes. That was at the local cemetery, close to the barracks.
25 That's where the soldiers were buried. Karadzic and his close associates
1 were also present.
2 Q. Now, in March of 1993, did you take part in an operation against
3 the 8th Operative Group from Srebrenica as part of the Zvornik Brigade?
4 A. Yes. I participated also as the operative officer of the brigade.
5 Q. And were those -- was that offensive eventually brought to an end
6 by an order from President Karadzic, after Srebrenica had been declared a
7 safe area by General Morillon?
8 A. Sometime before our offensive was launched on the 19th of January
9 or maybe the 17th of January, in which the Zvornik Brigade itself
10 participated there was a series of events that I need to mention at this
11 point: Those were attacks by the 28th Division and the operative group
12 from the direction of Srebrenica against our positions on the village of
13 Kravica and all the neighbouring villages that they took and torched. But
14 let me put it this way: There was no intervention on the part of the
15 media or the United Nations, for that matter. After that, our offensive
16 was launched. On the 15th of March we managed to regain Kravica. We
17 encircled Srebrenica and we destroyed parts of the 28th Division and that
18 operations group, and finally when there was a showdown,
19 President Karadzic ordered all the operations to be stopped, and
20 General Morillon eventually entered Srebrenica.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, after that, you were aware, were you, that the
22 United Nations was supplying the enclave of Srebrenica by convoys of
24 A. I'm aware of that. Most of those convoys passed through the
25 Karakaj pass where the command of the Zvornik Brigade was as well.
1 Q. And I want you just very briefly to explain, if you would, how it
2 was that the convoys of lorries were licensed to pass through Karakaj and
3 on to Srebrenica. What was the system of notification to you as to what
4 was on the lorries or what was supposed to be on the lorries?
5 A. At the command of the Zvornik Brigade, pursuant to an order by the
6 commander, and I suppose by -- pursuant to an order of the superior
7 command, there was a liaison officer with the UNPROFOR. Every convoy was
8 announced to the superior command, and the duty operations officer of the
9 higher Supreme Command informed our duty operations officer and our
10 liaison officer would go to the pass and met the convoys there.
11 Q. And in what form did the notification to you take? Did you
12 receive a list or -- of what had been authorised to be transported?
13 A. Yes. It was known exactly what the convoy had reported as
14 carrying, and based on the notification of materiel, technical equipment
15 and so on and so forth, the liaison officer, together with the officer in
16 command of the convoy, agreed on the contents of the convoy. If there was
17 something missing when the contents were collated with the list, the
18 liaison officer reported that to the superior command and asked for
19 further instructions.
20 Q. Thank you. I'd like you now to look just at another short section
21 of video.
22 MR. HAYNES: It's the same video, V00064821A. Again, there is a
23 surrogate sheet with a translation of the dialogue should anybody wish to
24 follow it in English, and it's minutes 18.23 to 19.08, please. It's the
25 same exhibit number as the last surrogate sheet.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. HAYNES:
3 Q. If we let that run on - we are not going to - we would be able to
4 see that that was a convoy that was stopped in Zvornik. Do you recall
5 that convoy being stopped that contained, amongst other things, satellite
6 telephones, stoves, tents, and the like?
7 A. I can't remember this particular case but I can remember another
8 case. I wouldn't be able to give you the exact date but the case was
9 rather similar to this one.
10 Q. Well, by all means, in the case that you can recall, what was it
11 that was found on the lorries that was not authorised to be transported by
12 the lists?
13 A. On one occasion, a convoy was being checked and the contents
14 collated with the list, and a lot of radio sets were found. That
15 surpassed all the requirements of that particular unit. The unit was on
16 the strength of the French Battalion and these radio sets were used and
17 could be used only by military units. And as far as I can remember, they
18 could not account for the presence of such a huge number of these radio
19 sets and finally this radio equipment ended on our side. A compromise had
20 been reached in contacts with the superior command, and finally they
21 agreed to leave these radio sets in our brigade. However, we could not
22 use them because they used special batteries that we ourselves could not
23 find. We did not have them. We could not obtain them in any way. That
24 is just one convoy that I remember. And the convoy itself was headed for
1 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to the convoy that we saw on the
2 video we just watched, according to the translation of what was being said
3 there, what was found amongst the transported goods were tents, satellite
4 communication devices, and stoves. You're an operations officer. It's
5 pretty obvious what you could use a satellite communications device for,
6 and a tent. What military use might stoves be put to within the enclave
7 of Srebrenica?
8 A. Well, the stoves could be intended for the population. But if
9 they were not on the lists that had been submitted to the superior
10 commands for the approval of passage, then anything that was not on the
11 list had to be accounted for, and as for the satellite devices and the
12 rest of the things, I don't think any comment is necessary.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, after the creation of the enclave of Srebrenica,
14 you were aware, weren't you, that Muslim forces from within the enclave
15 were carrying out combat activities in the villages surrounding Srebrenica
16 by attacking Serbian villages and the like?
17 A. Yes. I know that because the units of the 28th Division had not
18 been disarmed, and if this was a demilitarised zone there should not have
19 been any active military units. And let me just say one more thing. When
20 we entered Srebrenica, the part where the surrendered weapons were to be
21 found, those weapons were only trophy weapons that could be held even by
22 civilians, and so on and so forth. In other words the 28th Division
23 functioned unhindered and carried out various attacks beyond the protected
24 area, in the neighbourhoods and villages that leaned on the protected
25 area. And it is also known that in 1995 that parts of the 28th Division
1 were on the Sarajevo front line and there were some indications that some
2 other parts of that unit would start moving towards Kladanj and Tuzla.
3 Q. Were you aware that there was a regular corridor used between
4 Srebrenica and Tuzla?
5 A. Yes. I was aware of that.
6 Q. And was that a corridor that was used in both directions?
7 A. It would often happen that the same corridor was used for those
8 going from Srebrenica towards Tuzla and vice versa. In part, that
9 corridor was in the area controlled by the Zvornik Brigade, but there were
10 no units deployed there, so that corridor was in use for quite some time.
11 This is the Jajici-Pandurica-Crni Vrh-Kamenica-Udrc-Srebrenica sector that
12 I'm talking about.
13 Q. Did the brigade take any steps to try and prevent the use of the
15 A. When units were deployed in that area, we managed to interrupt
16 that sort of communication between the free territory under the control of
17 the BiH army and units from Srebrenica. Later on, they moved that area to
18 the left and to the right but we stepped up our control and we managed to
19 reduce the movement along that area.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. Have a rest this afternoon. I'm
21 finished for the day but I'll have some more questions for you tomorrow.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes.
23 Mr. Dragutinovic, we'll continue tomorrow. In the meantime, there
24 is one rule that we need to observe, that is not to allow anyone to
25 discuss with you or you try to discuss with anyone the subject matter of
1 your testimony. Is that clear?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I am clear on that and I've
3 already been told that before.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow
5 morning at 9.00.
6 One moment.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, how much more time do you require, do
9 you reckon?
10 MR. HAYNES: During the last break, I had pause for thought, and
11 if you haven't already received it --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We have received it.
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes. I think I will be the whole of tomorrow.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we have not objected to much of
16 this material that is beyond the scope, and frankly, repetitive. Some of
17 it is not contested. And -- but three more hours beyond the estimate
18 seems a bit much. So if we could at least maybe tomorrow morning, if we
19 could get a bit better picture from counsel where he's going. As a
20 Defence witness, if we can save sometime having him be a Defence witness
21 now, we don't have a problem with that, but this is making it very hard
22 for us to plan, and if we could find out if anybody else has -- wants to
23 add another four hours on to their estimates, we would like to know that
24 as well.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll come to that tomorrow morning. At
1 the same level, I mean, Mr. Vanderpuye, also indicated when I asked him
2 the first time he said two hours and he's gone much beyond those two
3 hours. So let's deal with it tomorrow morning. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of June,
6 2007, at 9.00 a.m.