1 Monday, 10 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. And good morning to you,
6 Madam Registrar. If you could be kind enough to call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. For the record, all the accused
10 are here. From amongst the Defence teams, I notice the absence of
11 Mr. Meek, Ms. Nikolic and Mr. Haynes. Prosecution is represented by lead
12 counsel, Mr. McCloskey, and also Mr. Thayer.
13 I understand that you have some preliminaries.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
17 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Krgovic, my LiveNote is
18 not working. I think what happened is certain people -- perhaps it could
19 be attended to whilst Mr. McCloskey is addressing the Chamber.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We have the same problem. And my technical
21 colleague is trying to sort it out but we still have the problem actually,
22 but in the meantime we are trying to follow on the other --
23 MR. JOSSE: Yes. There is no problem at the moment, Your Honour,
24 just while the preliminaries are going on I thought --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
1 MR. JOSSE: -- technical matters could proceed.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for your cooperation. In the meantime,
3 Madam Registrar, I think she is attending to the matter.
4 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: These words really shouldn't be too necessary,
6 especially if I make any promises, we don't want them in the record.
7 I just wanted to give the Court and counsel a little background
8 where we are with witnesses. The good news is we have about 16 witnesses
9 left for the case, with an additional seven as part of the motion to add
10 witnesses. We appear to be on schedule to finish up those witnesses in
11 November or December. That of course depends on, well, cross-examinations
12 and directs but some cross-examinations, as you know, have been very
13 quick. Other times they go very long but it looks like we are on schedule
14 for that.
15 And most of those witnesses, we have blocked out for particular
16 weeks and some particular days because there is some international
17 witnesses that -- such as General Smith, that are almost impossible to get
18 unless you give them particular days.
19 And so that's looking good.
20 What is not looking so good is the present. We have three
21 witnesses for this week. As you know, we lost Mr. Petrovic because he has
22 been unwilling to come. (redacted) is not unwilling but he had a lawyer
23 change just the last couple of days and it's not any fault of his and that
24 the lawyer that he wants and the lawyer that we know and that will do a
25 good job of representing him is not available for another few weeks. So
1 that takes --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Private session, please.
3 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Both those were significant witnesses and even
17 with our one day of blackout that has put us in a situation where makeup
18 is very difficult. We had a third witness, Mr. Fortin, [phoen] and there
19 has been issues related to him that is going to cause a delay that he had
20 some issues and then we have some things that we need to sort out before
21 he can be called so that was -- we thought we were going to have him this
22 week but it just is not going to work out that way. So those are -- with
23 those three witnesses off creating this gap, we have been unable to pull
24 anyone else in. We had a chance at getting Mr. Vasic but that posed some
25 issues with some of the Defence counsel that in terms of preparation and
1 it wasn't clear we could get him anyway, so we decided because the Defence
2 counsel request not to try to put him in there either.
3 So I see that we have very long estimates for cross-examination,
4 which, if they hold out, would mean that we could go three or four days
5 this week but I doubt very much these cross-examination estimates will be
6 that long. And if we could go into private session for just one second?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session, please.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 15064-15065 redacted. Private session
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to have the part of your statement which
13 was in private session made public?
14 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President, I think it is important.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
16 MR. BOURGON: But I don't need to say it over again.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no, no. I'm being practical and asking
18 to you be too. So let's proceed. Thank you.
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. What I was referring to
20 here is page 933 of the transcript, lines 2 to 8 for the first issue and
21 lines 9 to 18 for the second issue. And on both of these occasions, the
22 witness stated very clearly that he did not say what was included in the
23 proofing notes prepared by the Prosecution and which were given to us
24 before his testimony began. Accordingly, Mr. President, in these
25 circumstances, it is important, we believe, to know what the Prosecution's
1 position is concerning these proofing notes. In other words, did the
2 witness change his story during his testimony or did the Prosecution
3 provide us with incorrect information in the proofing notes?
4 In the light of the Prosecution's position that PW-108 would not
5 have any reason to lie about Drago Nikolic, we think, Mr. President, that
6 this is a very important question.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Mr. McCloskey?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, we stand by our proofing
10 notes, as we stand by our witness statements. I think that goes without
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, I have invited counsel before to argue or
14 give our position, various positions on various witnesses, after they
15 testify, to help keep the Court up-to-date on the positions. I'm still
16 willing to do that. Before I would go into anything in depth on this
17 witness, we of course would need to discuss that and Mr. Thayer would be
18 the person that would be in the best position to argue that.
19 I can tell you that that question about Drago Nikolic was clearly
20 based on our view that this witness had -- that nothing in the
21 cross-examination gave us any indication of why he would lie on Drago
22 Nikolic personally. He hardly knew the man. That was what that question
23 was designed to. We heard lots of questions about a potential conspiracy
24 and involvement in 1992 which frankly I didn't -- don't think we have
25 enough evidence to make a judgement on his involvement in 1992. Was he
1 involved more than he says he was? Probably. Do I have facts to -- where
2 I can argue that? No, I don't.
3 But if you would like us to discuss that witness more -- in more
4 detail and our viewpoint of that witness, we can and we are willing to, as
5 we are with other witnesses because with some 150 witnesses, it
6 sometimes -- you may not understand or remember where we are coming from
7 on these witnesses, and so I have no objection to that, but I think of
8 course we stand by our proofing notes and Mr. Bourgon should and will
9 argue that proofing note which is in evidence and ask you to take
10 inferences and of course that's his right and his duty and we expect him
11 and hope that he does that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
13 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President, very quickly, the issue
14 is, and as I mentioned at the beginning when I stood up this morning,
15 under normal circumstances, this would not be a question that we would
16 even ask. What we get from the Prosecution, it is our understanding that
17 this is correct information and that there is no question about that. We
18 would not even think that the Prosecution could provide us with incorrect
19 information unless it was a mistake but it did -- in this issue, because
20 they themselves raised the issue that this man is telling the truth about
21 Drago Nikolic, and there is a clear contradiction between the proofing
22 notes and what he's saying, that's why we raised the issue this morning.
23 Now, those two issues, Mr. President, were quite clear.
24 This witness says prior to 1995, his friend said something that
25 Drago Nikolic was involved in intelligence and security. That's what the
1 proofing note says. The witness says no, I never said that, and then the
2 witness went on to say in those proofing notes the meeting may have been
3 in the commander or deputy commander's office and then the witness says
4 no, no, no, it's for sure the meeting never took place in that office.
5 So there is two clear contradictions and then we take the
6 understanding that the proofing notes would be the correct version. But
7 because they asked the question and they say you've got no reason to lie,
8 then we are a bit puzzled and that's why we raise this issue this
9 morning. I don't think we need to go any further into it, thank you
10 Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think either, unless my colleagues have a
12 different view.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We agree that we should leave it at that.
15 Later on, of course, it becomes incumbent on us to evaluate this witness
16 like every other witness and like every other piece of evidence that we
18 Incidentally, for a while this morning, Judge Stole will not be
19 with us. He had an appointment which couldn't be moved to any other time
20 or any other day, although he tried. As soon as he finishes with that
21 appointment, he will be joining us. Those of you who have been living in
22 The Hague for long years know how difficult it is to shift appointments of
23 certain nature in particular.
24 All right. Just -- I just want to make sure that the next witness
25 that we have -- first of all, have we exhausted the preliminary issues,
1 preliminary matters?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. This witness should have a
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But he has no protective measures in
5 place, does he?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, he did not ask for any and so he does not have
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Madam Usher.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trkulja, good morning to you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to start
13 giving evidence and before you do so, our rules require that you enter or
14 make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth. Madam
15 Usher is handing you the text. Please read it out aloud and that will be
16 your solemn undertaking with us.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: NEDELJKO TRKULJA
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
22 So you are soon going to start giving evidence. Mr. McCloskey
23 will go first, and he will then be followed by the various Defence teams
24 who will put questions to you on cross-examination.
25 Your responsibility is to answer each and every question
1 truthfully and to the best of your ability and try to -- please try to be
2 as concise as possible. However, because you are a person who lived those
3 times and were involved in some of the events happening during those days
4 in your public function at the time, official function at the time, I am
5 bound by one of our rules to alert you to a right that you have.
6 There may be some questions put to you by either the Prosecution
7 or the Defence which, if answered truthfully by you could possibly expose
8 you to some criminal proceedings. I'm not saying that there will be such
9 questions but there could be such questions, so I don't know because I
10 don't know what questions the various lawyers here will be putting to
11 you. If we come to that stage where you consider that answering a
12 particular question could possibly expose you to criminal proceedings,
13 then you have a right to draw our attention and ask us to exempt you from
14 giving an answer to such questions.
15 This is not, however, to be interpreted by you as an absolute
16 right, in the sense that we have two options. We can agree with you and
17 exempt you from answering such questions or we can disagree with you and
18 compel you to answer such questions. If we compel you to answer such
19 questions, then you have a further right. Provided your answers have been
20 truthful, in other words, that they do not amount to false testimony, then
21 whatever you may state in answering such questions cannot be used against
22 you in any future criminal proceedings. And that's the ultimate right
23 that you enjoy.
24 Have you understood my explanation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you for that. And with that, I think
2 I can pass him on to you, over to you, Mr. McCloskey. Thank you. You
3 still estimate three hours for direct?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Probably not. Maybe half that, though it's hard
5 to say. We have some documents we may go over.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, please. Thank you.
7 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
8 Q. Good morning. Can you first state your name for the record?
9 A. Good morning. Nedeljko Trkulja.
10 Q. And are you a retired army officer?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what army did you retire from?
13 A. The army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. And what year did you retire?
15 A. In 1966 -- in 1996.
16 Q. All right. And at what rank did you -- were you when you retired?
17 A. Colonel.
18 Q. All right. Colonel, well, now, let's go back and can you tell us
19 how old you are now?
20 A. 66 -- 65, going on 66.
21 Q. All right. And where did you grow up?
22 A. I grew up in Kikinda in the north of Banat which is in Vojvodina.
23 Q. And where were you born?
24 A. Grkovci, Grahovo municipality, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. All right. Can you briefly outline your education and your
1 military training and education?
2 A. I completed the entire military training, the officers school, the
3 military academy and the command and staff military school.
4 Q. Can you tell us when you graduated from the military academy?
5 A. In 1966.
6 Q. And where -- what academy was that?
7 A. That was the academy of the army of Yugoslavia, the military
8 academy of the army of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Is that in Belgrade?
10 A. Yes, in Belgrade.
11 Q. All right. And when did you graduate from the command and staff
13 A. In 1978.
14 Q. And can you briefly outline your various positions, what kind of
15 unit you were in and what kind of jobs you held, just as up to 1992? Just
16 take a couple of minutes to give us a basic background.
17 A. Yes, I can do that. A platoon commander in the Skopje armoured
18 brigade. I was there for four years. A company commander in the same
19 unit for two years. The deputy commander of the battalion for two years
20 in the same unit. For three years I was the battalion commander in
21 Prilep. Again, that's when I finished the command and staff college.
22 Then for three years, I was the desk officer for training in Kumanovo and
23 then for four years I was in a motorised brigade. For four years I was
24 the Chief of Staff of the same brigade. The chief of the armoured units
25 of the Kumanovo corps and in the meantime, I don't know when exactly, I
1 can't remember, I was a brigade commander and the corps that I served with
2 was known as the Leskovac corps.
3 Q. Okay. At one point you say you were the chief of the armoured
4 units of the Kumanovo corps. Are you an armour officer basically by
5 training and background?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when were you the chief of the armoured units of that corps?
8 A. From 1989.
9 Q. All right. And when did you become a member of the VRS?
10 A. I received the order in 1993. It came from the Leskovac corps.
11 It was handed to me by General Bozidar Djokic. That was on the 9th of
12 December 1993.
13 Q. And what were your orders?
14 A. To be transferred to the 30th staff centre.
15 Q. The 30th personnel centre?
16 A. Yes, you can call it a personnel centre and it was in Belgrade.
17 Q. And where did you go after that?
18 A. To Han Pijesak, and I was assigned to be the chief of the armoured
19 units of the army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. All right. As -- when did you actually begin your tenure as chief
21 of the armoured units for the VRS?
22 A. On the 10th of December 1993.
23 Q. And were you chief of the armoured units in July 1995?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. Okay. Well, and let's talk a little bit about the structure as it
1 was in July 1995. As the chief of the armoured units, who was your
2 immediate superior?
3 A. My superior was General Manojlo Milovanovic, the chief of the Main
4 Staff of the VRS.
5 Q. Okay. So were the armour -- chief of the armoured units was part
6 of the staff that was led by the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. All right. Now, let's stay in 1995. Generally, was General
10 Milovanovic -- where was he during a large part of 1995?
11 A. He was mostly at the Main Staff. However, at the relevant moment,
12 the moment that you are interested in, I believe, although I can't be
13 sure, because it was a long time ago, I believe that at that time he was
14 in the western part of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Okay. Was he having to deal with the Croat advances in the
16 Krajina area?
17 A. I really can't remember. I believe so, but I'm not 100 per cent
19 Q. All right. And now, when he wasn't at the offices, this shelter
20 at Crni Rijeka and he was far away, like in the Krajina, did anyone
21 replace him in the basic daily tasks of the Chief of Staff?
22 A. For the most part, when we are talking about daily tasks, he would
23 also be replaced by the chief of the administration, of the operations
25 Q. And in July of 1995, who was that that would -- that replaced
1 General Milovanovic?
2 A. That was General Radovan [as interpreted] Miletic, the chief of
3 the operations administration.
4 Q. All right. Now, you've had a chance to look at the --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey. I just want to confirm
6 with the witness because of what we have in the transcript here, 17, line
7 1. What was the first name of General Miletic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Radivoje.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's because in the transcript, it's Radovan so--
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. All right. Now, you've had a chance before testifying today to
12 look at some of the reports of the -- from the Main Staff to the
13 Presidency; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I think I provided you from about 1st of July through 17 July,
16 something like that? Do you remember?
17 A. I believe that you showed them up to the 20th, yes.
18 Q. Okay. Up to the 20th. And under whose name were all those
19 reports typed in?
20 A. I drafted them, and Miletic signed them.
21 Q. Okay. And we'll go over a couple of those reports to show that,
22 but you noticed -- well, we spoke briefly about the fact that in the --
23 General Miletic is signed off on these reports as standing in for the
24 Chief of Staff; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. He wasn't actually standing in for him, but that's how those
1 reports were signed, and this was as much his mistake as mine.
2 Q. When you say "his mistake," who do you mean?
3 A. I mean General Miletic.
4 Q. And can you explain to us what the mistake was?
5 A. The mistake was on my part to tell the typist to put, "standing in
6 for" instead of "replacing" and the mistake on his part was that he did
7 not delete this mistake of mine and replace it by the word "replacing."
8 Q. Can you tell us your understanding of the difference between the
9 military status of replacing and standing in?
10 A. If somebody is replacing somebody else, it can be for an hour, for
11 two hours. He doesn't become a member of the inner command. He cannot
12 issue orders to the assistants of the commander. The only thing that that
13 person can do is to receive mail and dispatch mail to the chiefs of
14 various army branches. As an operative, he cannot do that. Whereas when
15 somebody stands in for somebody else, we are talking about a higher degree
16 of commitment.
17 Q. Were you aware that there was hundreds of days in 1995 where
18 General Miletic was signed in as "standing in" for the Chief of Staff on
19 these reports to the Presidency?
20 A. Irregularity.
21 Q. So in your view, what practically was General Miletic's position?
22 Was he standing in? Was he replacing? Was it some kind of combination or
23 hybrid of the two?
24 A. No. He was just replacing the Chief of Staff in his absence. He
25 would have been standing in for him if it hadn't been known where he had
1 gone to and where he would return. The Chief of Staff was at the forward
2 command post where he could be consulted and this Miletic's position meant
3 when the mail came to the staff for the Chief of Staff, then it would
4 arrive at Miletic's desk and he would distribute the mail to whomever it
5 had to be distributed.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, what the witness still hasn't
7 explained to us is the following: That being a military man, a military
8 officer at the time, one would safely assume that he knew of the
9 difference between replacing and standing in for someone within the
10 military context. If that is so, why -- what prompted him, although he
11 admits now it was a mistake -- what prompted him to choose the latter
12 rather than the former?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. That is the ultimate
14 question and I will ask that just that way.
15 Q. Colonel, we have seen in this case that from early on in July --
16 excuse me, early on in 1995 and for hundreds of days throughout the year
17 in 1995, General Miletic signed off as standing in. If, like His Honour
18 said, you knew the difference, Miletic knew the difference, the senior
19 staff knew the difference, why is this continued mistake being repeated
20 over and over again all through the year?
21 A. Believe me, things started that way and they never changed and why
22 they kept on repeating, I really can't tell you. And you're right, the
23 mistake did repeat, and I don't know why. As a matter of fact, the Chief
24 of Staff was there. He was at the forward command post but he wasn't ill,
25 he wasn't transferred for any length of period. He was healthy. He was
1 at the forward command post. He was performing his job. And the only
2 position that anybody could have was to replace him, not to stand in for
4 Q. Well, do you remember that General Milovanovic was actually in
5 command of the Serb forces fighting this massive building front of the
6 Croatian forces? So he had his hands pretty busy at the time, didn't he,
7 as commander of the Serb forces way across the other side of Bosnia?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment before you answer that question.
9 Madam Fauveau? One moment, before you answer that question. Madam
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is a leading
12 question, very leading even.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So what's your comment on that, Mr. McCloskey?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a fact that is in evidence and that what
15 General Milovanovic was doing - and I'm just asking him if that fact kept
16 the -- kept General Milovanovic pretty busy in that Krajina area since
17 this witness would have been in the Crna Rijeka area.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But then ask it that way. The way you put it, you
19 haven't really left him any options. You are concluding for him that, of
20 course, that being so, General Milovanovic's hands were pretty busy at the
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, the witness now has understood what the
24 question is all about and I think he can proceed with his answer straight
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
2 Q. Can you answer that?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer that question and I can
5 say that Mr. Prosecutor is absolutely right. Milovanovic had a team and
6 he was really busy.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Okay. Did that -- did that leave his job as Chief of Staff more
9 in the hands of Miletic than it would have had he just been away for an
10 hour or two?
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right. And who was handling the job of chief of operations
13 while Miletic was replacing Milovanovic as the Chief of Staff?
14 A. In addition to their own duties, the person who replaces the --
15 their supervisor will also perform the supervisor's duties or the
16 superior's duties.
17 Q. So who was doing the duties of chief of operations in July 1995?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment before you answer that question.
19 Yes, Madam Fauveau?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mile.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, Madam Fauveau?
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe that there has been an
23 error in the interpretation. The witness said that in addition to
24 replacing somebody, the person who replaces that other person will also
25 perform his own duties and tasks.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you for that observation, Madam
3 Mr. Trkulja, do you agree with what Madam Fauveau has just
4 stated? Because if that is so, we need to correct the transcript.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But that's exactly what I said, and
6 the lady is absolutely right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, sir. I think he's answered
8 your last question, irrespective of the fact that I told him to wait, but
9 I think we can move ahead.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I think you're correct. I did ask him to
11 try to clarify that, who was doing the job of chiefs of operations.
12 Q. And I believe your answer was Mile; is that correct?
13 A. No. My answer was Miletic. Maybe you didn't understand me
15 Q. I just heard you say Mile and I thought you were referring to him
16 as a nickname. Was that wrong?
17 A. Maybe you're right. Miletic, in any case, Miletic.
18 Q. Can you tell us what his nickname is? I mean we obviously know
19 people at your ranks refer to each other as nicknames.
20 A. Miletic did not really have any nicknames.
21 Q. But did you say Mile to me earlier?
22 A. No, I did not. I did not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe the witness already
25 answered this question. I don't see why it is asked of him again.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's not waste more time on it,
2 Mr. McCloskey. Please proceed with your next question.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. All right. So let's start with 11 July, I think as we have
5 before, as you probably recall, this was the day in the afternoon that
6 General Mladic and others were able to walk through Srebrenica. Can you
7 tell us where you were that day, on 11 July?
8 A. In Crna Rijeka.
9 Q. And what part of the HQ at Crna Rijeka?
10 A. Well, it's a command post. The logistical command post, though,
11 was in Han Pijesak. That's where the logistics were. And maybe one thing
12 that should have been the case and wasn't was that personnel people should
13 also have been at the command post. So they were in Crna Rijeka.
14 Q. Well, was there a bomb shelter command post at Crna Rijeka at the
16 A. Yes. It's a shelter of the JNA.
17 Q. And so on the 11th, where were you doing business that day? What
19 A. You see, I can't really remember exactly. I know we transferred
20 from the barracks to the shelter but whether it was on the 11th, 12th or
21 the 13th, I can't remember. We were in both those places but I can't
22 recall precisely. It was 12 years ago. I cannot remember. We spent some
23 time in the prefab buildings and we were in the shelter for a while.
24 Q. Do you remember on that day that Srebrenica fell or was liberated
25 that NATO actually made an air attack in the area of Srebrenica?
1 A. Based on reports. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known. But we knew
2 from the report that is read every morning before all chiefs of various
3 branches, and that report included the air strikes.
4 Q. With air strikes not far away in Srebrenica, does that help
5 refresh your recollection whether you would have been working in the
6 shelter that day or not?
7 A. Probably, most probably, looking back I think most probably we
8 were already in the shelter. All I know that is a day or two later, when
9 groups started moving all over the territory, then we moved to the
11 Q. Okay. Now, who do you recall being with you on the 11th, that day
12 that Srebrenica fell?
13 A. There was Miletic and Sladojevic, I believe, and Pejic did not
14 show up. I cannot be sure about him because he came and went and his
15 office was in Han Pijesak. It was a long time ago. All I know is that he
16 coordinated there. He was in both places. Later, not on the 11th, but
17 later, Sladojevic and Pejic came, and speaking of higher officers, I can't
18 remember who was there.
19 Q. Well, do you remember having a chance to look at your previous
20 statement that you -- that you gave on the 11th of July 2005?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you tell me that it was basically correct with some
23 perhaps some "unintelligibles"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you remember at the time that you told us that someone
1 else, another senior officer, was with you that day at the command post?
2 A. I can't recall precisely.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic?
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is an error in
5 the record, if I may assist my colleague, Mr. McCloskey. When the witness
6 was talking about the man who had an office in Han Pijesak but came and
7 went, he said Gvero, but that name is not recorded in the transcript.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's an important observation because
9 what we have in the transcript is Pejic. Thank you, Mr. Krgovic. Could
10 you address this issue, Mr. McCloskey, with the witness, please, who has
11 now heard what Mr. Krgovic said?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much, Mr. President, and
13 Mr. Krgovic.
14 Q. I'm sorry, colonel, we missed your comment about the whereabouts
15 of General Gvero. Can you tell us where General Gvero was, if you know,
16 on 11 July?
17 A. Well, I cannot give you a specific time line. Whether he came
18 that evening and I played chess with him, whether it was on the 12th, 11th
19 or maybe the 10th, I wouldn't know where he was in the morning because he
20 was assistant commander, and I wouldn't go to his office unless he
21 summoned me. Whether it was on the 11th, on the 12th in the evening, but
22 I know I played chess with him during those days.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: At least he's cleared up one side of it.
24 When you were testifying a minute or so ago and you were answering
25 Mr. McCloskey's question as to who you could recall being with you on the
1 11th, the same day that Srebrenica fell, you mentioned Miletic and
2 Sladojevic as being there with you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I said Sladojevic and
4 Pejic came to the Main Staff later.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, so it's all wrong. So let's take it one by
6 one. You did mention Miletic. Was he with you on the 11th?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did, yes, he was.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And you mentioned Sladojevic. Was he
9 with you on the 11th?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And you mentioned Pejic.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, why did you mention these two persons in
14 answering that question if they were not with you on the 11th?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they came a day or two later,
16 Pejic and Sladojevic, or maybe I went later with Sladojevic to Srebrenica
17 and visited Crni Vrh. That's why I mentioned them.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: In the same answer to that question, you also
19 mentioned -- you said, "I cannot be sure about him because he came and
20 went and his office was in Han Pijesak." Who had his office in Han
21 Pijesak? Who did you mention as having his office in Han Pijesak?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Gvero.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Have I covered the whole territory,
24 Mr. Krgovic and Mr. McCloskey? Or do you wish to add --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I didn't hear Judge Kwon.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's fine, if you think it's fine. If you
2 don't agree then perhaps you can add further questions to it. Yes,
3 Mr. Krgovic?
4 MR. KRGOVIC: It's fine, Your Honour.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Given he's stated he had a hard time remembering.
6 I think I'd like to refresh his recollection on what he said before.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. We are not stopping you. We are just
8 clarifying his previous answer to you because there were at least two
9 mistakes there. As it is, the transcript shows Sladojevic being present
10 on the 11th and Han Pijesak being the place where Pejic had his office
11 when the witness said it was General Gvero who had his office there.
12 Let's proceed. Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
14 Q. General, let me -- excuse me, Colonel, let me read back to you
15 what you had told us at the time to see if this refreshes your
16 recollection and it can be found on page 11 of the English and on page 10
17 and 11 of the B/C/S, and I asked you a question, "Okay, so the attack on
18 Srebrenica took place on 6 July, Srebrenica we know all fell or was
19 liberated, depending on how you look at it, on the 11th of July, and as
20 you know, it's the anniversary of that today and, of course, we've all
21 been hearing about Srebrenica ever since that period of 1995."
22 "So can you tell us where you were during -- doing this day
23 Srebrenica fell on 11 July?" And you say, "Even before the 11th, I was at
24 my command post. So together with Sladojevic, me and this pilot, I think
25 it was Pejic, Pejic was his name, Gvero, Gvero and Miletic too."
1 And then I ask, "General Milan Gvero?" And you say, "Yes, yes,
2 General Milan Gvero."
3 And then we ask, there is a few other questions and I ask
4 you, "Okay. And who again was with you in that area of the command post
5 in Crna Rijeka on 11th?" And you say, "So I just listed the names.
6 Gvero, Miletic, myself, Sladojevic, Pejic. And now I can't remember
7 the -- some lower officers too. It's been a long time."
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you answer the question, yes,
9 Mr. Krgovic?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, basically I'm not
11 objecting to this line of questioning but the Prosecutor just omitted from
12 this first passage one part and then went on to read the next part which
13 completely changes the sense. The witness there speaks of the logistical
14 command post and the location in Han Pijesak. So he took out of context
15 this statement of the witness because precisely in the part that the
16 Prosecutor omitted, the witness says there is a command post in Han
17 Pijesak and they were there, which completely changes the sense of the
18 whole passage.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Mr. Krgovic. Do you wish to
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's absolutely not correct. I'm not changing
22 the context of anything. And he did talk -- he did go on to talk about
23 the other command post but that's why I came back specifically to Crna
24 Rijeka. I can read that. I was just trying to save some time, but given
25 the objection I'll read the whole thing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, can I make
3 a suggestion? Instead of my colleague reading this into the transcript,
4 maybe it's better if the witness reads his own text and then my colleague
5 can ask the questions he wants. I think it will be better proceedings.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's precisely what we were going to suggest to
7 Mr. McCloskey to do. If you have the version in B/C/S, we can make it
8 available to the witness.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
10 Q. And colonel, you can see the orange outline, that's where you
11 first mention Gvero. And then the part that was objected to that I didn't
12 read is the part below that and then shortly after that, you'll see when I
13 get to the specific question and I guess while the witness is reading it,
14 I can read out the part that counsel would like read out as well.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In the meantime, I think if we are to follow
16 properly, Mr. Krgovic's submission and your reaction to it, I think we
17 also we would like to hear read out the content of the missing --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and I can do that and I had just, as I said,
19 I did that to save sometime but I'll do that now. And as you recall, he
20 volunteered that he was with Gvero and Miletic, and then I confirmed
21 General Milan Gvero and I -- and then I say, "And where were you all?"
22 And then he says, "We were all in the command post. Now the staff was
23 divided into two parts so the rear part was in Han Pijesak and the staff--
24 I mean the command part in Crna Rijeka. Now in Crna Rijeka we had two
25 locations. Those were the barracks and the command post, wartime command
1 post. Now, how can I explain this? Dug up in the ground. So we spent
2 some maybe about 10 days, maybe even more than 10 days, in this command
4 And then I say, "Okay. And when Srebrenica fell on the 11th, were
5 you -- where were you?" And the colonel answers, "At that place. And
6 that's where we stayed."
7 And then I say, "In Han Pijesak?" And he says, "No, no, the
8 command post in Crna Rijeka."
9 And then I ask, "Okay. And who again was with you in the area to
10 command post in Crna Rijeka on the 11th?" And that's when he says, "So I
11 just listed the names, Gvero, Miletic, myself, Sladojevic, Pejic and now I
12 can't remember the -- some lower officers too. It's been a long time."
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic, I noticed you stand up while
14 Mr. McCloskey was reading. What's your problem?
15 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour, that's the translation issue
16 because in B/C/S the first sentence looks different, so can I read that in
17 B/C/S to the witness?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I think you read it to us for the time being
19 because the witness is being asked questions by Mr. McCloskey. But of
20 course the witness will hear. Yes, if you could read it out, please?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] "And where were all of you? We were
23 all at the command post, no, not in... because the staff was divided into
24 two segments. The logistical part was in Han Pijesak while the staff,
25 chiefs of branches and the command part, were in Crna Rijeka."
1 So in the first sentence, he says, "We were at the command post,"
2 comma, "not in ..." which is unclear. In my opinion, this changes the
3 meaning a bit because this addition "not in" does not exist in English.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to comment on that or
5 should we go straight to the witness who has read what there is in the
6 statement, understands the language and then whatever he says is going to
7 be translated to us in English, hopefully in a correct manner.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I think --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's the better way to go.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, Colonel Trkulja, you've heard the debate
12 that has been going on between Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Krgovic and ourselves
13 intervening in the meantime. What's your position now that you have read
14 the statement and also heard submissions on it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge, if I get
18 specific now, I told you I can't get the date right because Sladojevic and
19 Pejic as soon as they came to the Main Staff, they were assigned to the
20 operations organ. Now, the only problem here is I can't remember whether
21 they arrived on the 9th, on a transfer order, or the 10th or the 11th.
22 But at the time in any case, they were in the operations organ. So
23 practically, the whole problem is the date because as soon as they
24 arrived, they were there.
25 Now, when I was saying this, it was already ten years later. I
1 thought they were there on the 11th when I was giving the interview,
2 because after ten years, I can't remember whether it was on the 11th, the
3 9th or the 13th. But it seemed to me, since they were already at the
4 command post, that they were there.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And we are definitely talking of Crna Rijeka and not
6 Han Pijesak, no?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, only about Crna Rijeka.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Let's -- can you tell us a little bit about
11 how the reports from the Main Staff to the president were compiled, and
12 who compiled and drafted those reports, how were they reviewed by the
14 A. Prosecutor, sir, in July, General Milovanovic took a group away
15 with him and the staff remained with a small number of officers. I as a
16 chief of a branch, wrote up reports but waiting for reports to come in
17 from subordinates. There were six corps and they sent in their reports on
18 two pages each. All this had to be summed up, all those 12 pages had to
19 be summed up on two pages. You looked at those reports and you saw that
20 they contain two pages. So I put in the most important things. Once all
21 these reports came in, I would write it up, send it to be typed up, and
22 then give it to Miletic to sign, and then it would go to filing and the
23 encryption. That's -- that was the procedure.
24 Q. And would General Miletic sometimes have changes or alterations to
25 your summaries?
1 A. Yes, sometimes, not often but sometimes.
2 Q. So what would he do if he had changes?
3 A. Well, he would cross out a sentence or a word, he would insert the
4 word he thought was better and then he would give it to the typist.
5 Q. All right. Now, let's start with one of those documents so we can
6 show the Court how that worked. I'm going to start with a 12 July report,
7 and I don't think I have a B/C/S for you but it will come up on the
8 screen, if I don't. And it is number P02748. And we'll just start-- I'll
9 go over a couple of the key or important parts of the beginning. It's
10 entitled, "The VRS Main Staff," dated 12 July. And then very urgent. To
11 the president of the Republika Srpska. And then it lists the various
12 corps and some other units. Okay. And then as you know, it goes through
13 the various corps and we get to paragraph 6, which is the Drina Corps, but
14 let's flip to the end of this document first so that we can see the
15 signature page.
16 Now, we see Zastupa basically standing in for the Chief of Staff,
17 General Miletic.
18 And the initials are not very clear on this document but if we
19 could blow that up a little bit they are basically R and then the D with a
20 slash in it "Dj," I think. Do you know who that is?
21 A. It's not my initials. The Dj can only be Djeric but Djeric was
22 not at the command post so who could it be? He is the only one whose
23 surname begins with the"Dj,", Djeric. It can't be Pejic. It can't be
25 Q. All right?
1 A. And I know Djeric wasn't there.
2 Q. Okay. And do you recall looking at the same documents from the
3 10th and the 11th in my office? Do you remember whose initials were on
4 those, the 10th and the 11th, basically the two days before that?
5 A. I think they were mine.
6 Q. That's correct. All right. Now, do you know why -- do you know
7 where you were on this day or why your initials aren't on this one on the
8 12th? Could you have been gone or do you have any memory of that?
9 A. I wasn't away. It's not like I was designated to write these
10 things constantly. When the officers were present in the operations
11 organ, they would write the reports rather than any chief of branch.
12 Somebody must have come there, I don't know how or why. I was away just
13 for one day and a half in July. I was away from the command post only one
14 day and a half in July. And that's what I said in my statement.
15 Q. All right. Let's go to paragraph 6 of this document, which is the
16 Drina Corps section, and it's page 3 in the B/C/S, paragraph 6. We see
17 it's entitled, "The enemy" and the first part of that big paragraph A is
18 talking about areas that I'm not interested in asking you about.
19 But then as we get to the bottom of that, it says, "The enemy has
20 been attempting to withdraw from the Srebrenica enclave with women and
21 children in the direction of Ravni Buljin and Konjevic Polje but ran into
22 a minefield." And then as we get to B, it's the situation of the corps.
23 But before I get to B, this section A, do you have any independent
24 recollection of that information and knowing that information at the time?
25 A. I used to read the reports in the morning, but I was aware of what
1 will be put in the report even the evening before, because I was the one
2 who drafted them.
3 Q. Okay. So at the time you were aware. How about -- how about now
4 all these years later? Do you remember anything about that information
6 A. I read this report of the Zvornik Brigade for the first time now.
7 I don't know why the supplementary report was not read there. And some
8 things have now become clearer than they were at the time and all this
9 time up to a couple of days ago, when I read this report.
10 Q. Okay. You say -- can you tell us what reports of the Zvornik
11 Brigade you've read recently in preparation for your testimony?
12 A. The report from Colonel Pandurevic.
13 Q. And do you remember the date of that?
14 A. 16 July.
15 Q. All right. And we are still here, we are not quite to the 16th
16 yet, we are on the 12th in this report; is that right?
17 A. I can't see the date here.
18 Q. Yeah. Just so you know, this is the -- this is the 12th, the
19 report from the Main Staff.
20 A. Doesn't really matter, does it?
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I notice it's break time. It might be a good time
23 to just stop.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. We'll have a 25-minute
25 break starting from now. Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are all here. Mr. McCloskey?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. All right, Colonel. I want to just continue briefly to get
6 through this document that's up on the screen. If you could concentrate
7 on that section B, the situation in the corps, and I'll read it briefly
8 and ask you a question or two about some of it. But just before I do,
9 can -- where does the -- can you -- and I think you said this, but can you
10 just clarify where the information that is in this report, where does it
11 come from?
12 A. All this information, starting with the bullet point A, the 1st
13 Krajina Corps, to the bullet point 6, the Drina Corps, came from the
14 reports of the corps commands.
15 Q. Were there times when information was added to these Main Staff
16 reports that was received over the telephone or in some other reports than
17 the two-page corps report that you spoke of?
18 A. I can claim with certainty, because I drafted these reports, that
19 I never received information over the telephone or in a telegram. The
20 report started at 9.00 onwards, when I awaited information from corps
21 command in order to draft my reports. No additional documents ever made
22 it to the report.
23 Q. In the general -- or the situation in July, do you remember about
24 what time General Miletic would have reviewed the report and signed off on
1 A. You see, I can speak in general terms and pinpoint the time.
2 Sometimes corps reports would come late. They should have arrived by
3 9.00. Still some came at 11.00, half past 11.00. Sometimes I would wake
4 him up at midnight to sign. Sometimes the reports would be drafted by
5 10.00. Then I would take them to the operations room and he would sign
6 that those reports -- it all depended on the times when the corps reports
8 Q. So when you say 9.00, 10.00 or 11.00, you're talking about in the
9 evening is when the corps reports would come?
10 A. Yes, I'm talking about the evening hours.
11 Q. Okay. All right. And looking at this section B, entitled, "The
12 situation in the corps," it says, "All the corps units are at the highest
13 level of combat readiness and are doing everything to ensure that there
14 are no surprises."
15 And then it says, "The units engaged in carrying out the Krivaja
16 95 task are carrying out all the combat tasks according to plan." Do you
17 recall what Krivaja 95 was?
18 A. Yes. It was the operation near Srebrenica.
19 Q. All right. Then it says, "In the course of the day, they
20 liberated the village of Potocari and they are continuing to advance in
21 order to liberate all the places in the Srebrenica enclave." Can you read
22 the next sentence, what -- our English translation is not clear but could
23 you read the next sentence in the report?
24 A. "On the axis, some of our units and MUP units organised ambushes"
25 this is an error in grammar, "in order to destroy Muslim extremists who
1 did not surrender and who are trying to break out from the enclave and
2 proceed towards Tuzla."
3 Q. Okay. Thank you for helping us with that. Then the next section
4 is "the situation in the territory," and it says, "In the Drina Corps
5 zone, the population is being taken from Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj in
6 an organised manner."
7 And what population is that, as far as you know?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, can I have the text on the screen? Can this be
9 scrolled up a little? To be very concrete, I can't say anything about
10 this issue because I did not see anything.
11 Q. Go ahead and take your time from this, see if you can answer my
13 A. I suppose that it was all the population, but I can't say anything
14 more specific than that. I can't even say that this is correct. I can't,
15 because I was not present. I did not have any further information as to
16 what population was being transported in vehicles.
17 Q. When you say you weren't present, do you mean you weren't present
18 in -- where these events were happening or you weren't present at the
19 headquarters where the report was being written?
20 A. One can see what is written in the report. However, how things
21 were organised, who was -- who loaded the vehicles, I wasn't there. I am
22 not the right person to tell you how this was all organised, how the whole
23 thing developed. I wasn't there.
24 Q. And I wasn't asking you how it was all organised. This
25 information in this report, would that have been information that the
1 people at the headquarters, including yourself, General Miletic, was aware
3 A. Based on the report that we received from the Drina Corps, this
4 was well known.
5 Q. So is the answer yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And by sending this report to the president of the Republika
8 Srpska, can you conclude that the people that received this report at the
9 president's office would have knowledge of this information as well?
10 A. I think they did. I think so. I can't claim for a fact that they
11 did. But this must have reached the president and the president most
12 probably read this report.
13 Q. Well, was that your expectation in writing these reports from the
14 Main Staff, that they would be read by the president?
15 A. Whenever I drafted a report, I always expected that eventually the
16 president would read it.
17 Q. Okay. Now, at this time period, if it was you and General Miletic
18 and General Gvero at the command post and no other high-ranking soldiers
19 in this time period, who would have been in charge at the command post?
20 A. Well, at that time, we only dealt with minor matters. General
21 Miletic would draft letters, and one might say that he was in charge,
22 although he wasn't. The highest-ranking officer and the oldest officer
23 was Gvero. But he only appeared every now and then. Sometimes he would
24 call in the evening to say that he was there, he wanted us to play chess.
25 As for the orders, as for dealing with situations, he wouldn't go into any
1 of that. He would only be present in the morning when the reports were
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey. Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have a mistake in
5 the transcript. In last sentence on page 39, the witness said Gvero
6 wasn't present in the morning when the reports were read, whereas in the
7 transcript it says just the opposite, that Gvero was present when the
8 reports were read.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 Colonel, do you agree with what Mr. Krgovic has just corrected?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree fully. He was never, all
12 this time, the three years that I was in the Main Staff, he was never
13 present in the morning when the reports were being read.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
15 Mr. McCloskey?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Colonel, you just said that General Miletic would draft letters,
18 and one might say that he was in charge, although he wasn't. It's a
19 simple question: Who was in charge in this military command post when it
20 was Miletic, Gvero and yourself?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Colonel. Yes, Madam Fauveau?
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has never
23 made a basis for that, and maybe somebody else was in charge, maybe
24 Mladic, Tolimir, somebody else.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object again to this.
1 This is --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. Please proceed with your answer,
4 Yes, Mr. Josse?
5 MR. JOSSE: Our objection is that that question mischaracterises
6 the evidence.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's precisely what he said earlier on, and
8 Mr. McCloskey is seeking a clarification. Let's go back to the part where
9 the witness -- if you look at line 19 to 21 on page 39, to the answer as
10 who would have been in charge at the command post at a time when there was
11 just the witness, General Miletic and General Gvero at the command post,
12 the witness said, "General Miletic would draft letters and one might say
13 that he was in charge, although he wasn't."
14 Yes, Ms. Fauveau?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just read what he had said.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's hear what Madam Fauveau has to
18 Go ahead, Madam Fauveau.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am not saying that
20 the witness didn't say this, but what the witness is talking about is the
21 staff of the Main Staff, he's not talking about the command.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, please, please, please. Let her -- I think
24 we've heard what you had to say. We've heard what you had to say. What
25 you stated earlier on, Colonel, needs some clarification because when you
1 say that he was in charge although he wasn't in charge, you need to
2 explain what you mean by that. Please go ahead with your explanation.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It does
4 seem to me that an explanation is in order.
5 For example, a telegram arrived from the forward command post from
6 General Mladic. It arrives at Miletic's desk with an order as to what
7 needed to be done. Miletic is an operative. He drafts the -- what needed
8 to be drafted. That's why I'm saying that he wasn't in charge because he
9 could not issue any orders or decisions independently. He could not issue
10 orders on his own. He would only follow the instructions from the forward
11 command post, and the commander also gave instructions as to who would
12 sign such orders. Gvero was the oldest, so he was the one who signed
13 those documents. That's why I'm saying that he was there, he was the one
14 who did all that, but that's why there is ambiguity.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Colonel, who would General Miletic be getting his orders from that
18 he would be passing on?
19 A. Exclusively from General Mladic.
20 Q. Okay. Can you -- I want to -- you gave us a little bit of a
21 different answer when I asked you that question in the interview. Could
22 you go to what is tab 5 in the little blue -- blue tabs?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Usher, can you assist the witness, just in
24 case he cannot follow?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. You should see a tab 5 in the blue part. It's page 12 of the
2 English. It's about the same page. And I asked you, on 20 -- line 24 in
3 the English, "Okay. And this small group you've described, who was in
4 charge?" And you say, "Gvero was the most senior one, but in reality,
5 Miletic was ... was the one." And then there is something that's
6 unintelligible. Do you remember telling that to me?
7 A. Yes, and I'm repeating it again now. And what I've just said to
8 the Judge is that. He didn't -- was not in charge of anything. He was
9 just reading the telegrams that arrived and so on and so forth. I'm not
10 changing anything with regard to what is written in here, that you have
11 just quoted from.
12 Q. Okay. Well, let's keep going in this, just keep reading a bit.
13 It's on page 13, and I ask, "Okay. All right. And tell us about what you
14 remember about the day Srebrenica fell. What kind of work did you and
15 others do?" And you say, "So we -- we got an assignment from Miletic."
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Well, we received -- I can't see it in here. Mr. Prosecutor, what
18 you've just quoted, I can't find it in here.
19 Q. Okay.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need some assistance here, someone could
21 direct us to the corresponding page in B/C/S. We should still be behind
22 tab 5.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Sorry, Colonel, we flipped to the wrong page. It's page 12 in the
25 B/C/S and we've got it outlined there for you.
1 A. Very well.
2 Q. Does that help? Did you get an assignment?
3 A. I did. But not just me. We all did. We took turns at the
4 command to see whether the security was in place, in order to prevent any
5 unpleasant surprises. We would take turns to leave the shelter and that
6 was that.
7 Q. And who did you get that assignment from?
8 A. From Miletic.
9 Q. And was Mladic present the when Miletic gave you that assignment?
10 A. No. I suppose that the assignment had been conveyed by him over
11 the telephone, most probably.
12 Q. So this assignment, as you have stated, was to look after the
13 security of the headquarters of the VRS command; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And this was a very important assignment, I take it? Yes or no?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a form --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Madam Fauveau?
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This seems like a benevolent
20 question but still a very leading one.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: He's asking him whether it was an important
22 assignment or not. It's --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was going in the leading direction and I tried
24 to save it at the end with a yes or no, so --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. McCloskey, and he's answered it
1 anyway, I think, although no, it's not in the transcript. So Colonel, you
2 need to answer the question again. And Mr. McCloskey --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was just a formality because
4 the security also had been given their task, to be alert. It was a
5 formality for us because they were always on the detail, on the security
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Had the command post been overrun by Muslim forces, that would
9 have been a real disaster, wouldn't it?
10 A. I don't think so. Because the command post was well secured.
11 There were mines placed all around. There were guards on various axes. I
12 don't think it would have been. But just in case, the security
13 propositions were in place.
14 Q. And was this an order you received from General Miletic?
15 A. One can't say that this was an order. It was just an instruction
16 according to which we divided ourselves into twos. We would spend an hour
17 outside. We would then be replaced by the other pair. There was nothing
18 written to that effect, nothing special.
19 Q. So when General Miletic, who has the direct line of communication
20 from Mladic, issues a colonel an instruction to look into the security of
21 the command post, it's not an order, in the VRS?
22 A. Well, we didn't go out to really do anything. We just went out to
23 see whether the guards were in place, that they were awake, that they were
24 not slacking at what they were doing. This is what we did.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, that's not an answer to the question that
1 was put to you. The question was a very simple one, whether these -- this
2 assignment that, the way it has been translated to us, whether you
3 consider that to be an order, and if you don't consider it to be an order,
4 why don't you consider it to be an order or what distinction are you
5 making in your mind between that assignment and an order? This is what
6 Mr. McCloskey is basically asking you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a matter of fact, there is no
8 difference between an order and an assignment, because both had to be
9 carried out. We would go out. We did the same as if we had been ordered
10 to do that. There is no major difference. This is something that we
11 carried out.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness. Did you receive an order from General Miletic
14 to go somewhere in those days?
15 A. Yes, I did. Sladojevic and I were ordered to go to the Zvornik
16 Brigade and to convey a message that the security of the units on the
17 front line should be raised to the highest level because there was a
18 possibility that Muslim groups would come from Srebrenica on their way to
20 Q. And when did General Miletic give you this order, as best as you
21 can recall?
22 A. Look here, after the 11th, when I provided my first statement in
23 which I said that it was in the morning, I gave it a long and hard
24 thought. You were the one who put me that question, whether it was in the
25 morning or in the evening, and I said that it was in the morning.
1 However, later on, it occurred to me that this was not in the morning but
2 in the evening. He also arranged for the transportation. So that a
3 vehicle was awaiting us in the morning. My first, my initial answer was
4 given in haste. When I said that this was in the morning, I was wrong.
5 It occurred later to me. I remembered only later that it was actually in
6 the evening but I don't think it makes any difference, does it?
7 Q. Okay. We just need your best recollection. And do you remember
8 roughly how many days after Mladic had gone through Srebrenica you got
9 this order from General Miletic? Or if you know the date?
10 A. Look here, I've told you that already, the last time I spoke to
11 you, I told you, I had it in subconscious and I went through the reports
12 to look for it. It seemed to me at the time and it still seems to me that
13 this was maybe three or four days after the fall of Srebrenica. If you
14 look at the reports, it seems that this was on the 15th or the 16th. This
15 is when I looked at Pandurevic's report. In my recollections, that was
16 not the case, but it seems that it actually was, if you look at the
17 report, but, you know, it was a long time ago, 12 years ago, and it's very
18 difficult for me to remember the exact dates of any of the events.
19 Q. Fair enough. How, in what manner or form, did General Miletic
20 give you this order? Written, verbal?
21 A. Verbally.
22 Q. Face to face, over the telephone? How did that happen?
23 A. In the operations room. My rest room was just next to the
24 operations room. He would call me, tell me the assignment, to raise the
25 readiness of the Zvornik Brigade units on the front line. That's all.
1 Q. Was this in the -- in the bunker or above ground?
2 A. Yes, yes, in the bunker.
3 Q. Was it in person or over the phone? That wasn't clear.
4 A. In person, in person. We were both there.
5 Q. And was there anybody else in the room that you remember when he
6 gave you this order?
7 A. Sladojevic.
8 Q. And as best as you can remember, can you tell us what he said to
9 you, what Miletic said to you?
10 A. I'll tell you what I remember. The assignment was as I said
11 before, and he told us to drop by the command of the Drina Corps to pick
12 up the senior officer and to tour the front line, and to drop by the
13 command of the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Q. Okay. So the -- when you say the command of the Drina Corps, that
15 would be the HQ in the city -- sorry, let me finish, it will be clear.
16 When you say the command of the Drina Corps, you mean the headquarters in
17 the city of Vlasenica?
18 A. Yes, yes, in Vlasenica.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you say that you now remember receiving that order on
20 the eve -- on an evening a few days after the fall of Srebrenica; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, prior to receiving that order, either that day that you
24 received it or the day before, had you been in the field anywhere?
25 A. No. In the whole month of June, I was away from the command only
1 for a day and a half. That was that day when I left and I returned the
2 next day after lunch.
3 Q. We got the translation of June.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. I want him to clarify. Is this June
5 or July?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] July, July.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Okay. And what was that day in July that you left? Was that
9 before or after the fall of Srebrenica?
10 A. After the fall of Srebrenica.
11 Q. Okay. So if Srebrenica fell on the 11th of July and you got
12 ordered a few days after to go to Vlasenica, it was between the fall of
13 Srebrenica and when you got ordered to go to Vlasenica that you left and
14 had gone out somewhere; is that right?
15 A. No. When I got the orders, in the evening, I left for Vlasenica
16 the next morning, picked up one officer, one major, to take us to the
17 Zvornik Brigade, and from there to the front line, and before that he
18 asked me to drop by Srebrenica.
19 Q. Okay. We'll get to that, but what I'm asking you to clarify is in
20 one answer, when I asked you if you'd been to the field, you said, "In the
21 whole month," meaning July, "I was away from the command only for a day
22 and a half. That was the day when I left. And I returned the next day
23 after lunch." And you just told me that day you left was after the fall
24 of Srebrenica. That's what you've testified to. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Now, are you talking about this trip to Zvornik as the day and a
2 half that you were away from the command post or is there something in
3 addition to that?
4 A. No. That's that day.
5 Q. Okay. Aside from to secure the lines, did you have any other
6 information on what this trip to the Zvornik Brigade was all about?
7 A. It was exclusively to raise the alertness and the security of the
8 units on the front line, nothing else.
9 Q. Were you given any information on why Vinko Pandurevic needed to
10 be reminded to raise his alertness?
11 A. Vinko Pandurevic was busy, engaged by the commander of the Drina
12 Corps. Only his deputy was there, the Chief of Staff, Obrenovic. Why
13 Miletic told us to go to the Zvornik Brigade, I don't know.
14 Q. Okay. And tell us what you did the next day, in the morning. I
15 think you were starting to tell us about following that order.
16 A. Well, that morning, Sladojevic and I got into a car with a
17 driver. We stopped by the command. There is a parking lot there. We
18 didn't even park, because a major was already waiting for us. It's not
19 Lazic. Lazic is an operative. Some colonel or a major. I can't remember
20 his name to this day. To take us to the front line. Later when you ask
21 me, I'll explain.
22 So when we were going from Vlasenica, Sladojevic asked me, "Come
23 on, please, there is so much talk about Srebrenica, let's go and see it."
24 So we toured about half of the town, never leaving the car, before we left
25 for Zvornik.
1 Q. Just to clear up something, you said when you went to the -- you
2 stopped by the command, there was a parking lot, was that the command of
3 the Drina Corps in Vlasenica you're referring to?
4 A. Yes. I'm only talking about Vlasenica because I never went to the
5 forward command post, and when I speak, I never refer to the forward
6 command post. I mean the stationary command post.
7 Q. Had you been to the Vlasenica command post the day before?
8 A. No. Only that morning, to pick up that officer.
9 Q. And did that officer get in the car with you and go?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. And as you sit here now, do you know if it was a major or a
12 colonel? I think you've said both. You're not sure?
13 A. I'm certain that a colonel was awaiting for us and then summoned a
14 major who got into the car and then we continued.
15 Q. Does the name Colonel Cerovic -- I think I've asked you before but
16 does Cerovic - you've had a chance to think about it - could that have
17 been -- does that sound familiar?
18 A. No, it doesn't ring a bell. Maybe I saw that man. Maybe not.
19 Q. Okay. And after your tour of Srebrenica, where did you go?
20 A. To Zvornik.
21 Q. And roughly what time of day did you get to Zvornik?
22 A. I think it was lunchtime, around 12.00, maybe later.
23 Q. And where in Zvornik did you go?
24 A. To the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
25 Q. And did you see anybody there?
1 A. No one but the duty officer. That major spoke to him and
2 explained to him what and where.
3 Q. What do you mean, "what and where"?
4 A. Where the officers, the senior officers, were.
5 Q. And do you have any recollection of that duty officer, who that
6 was, what rank, anything about him?
7 A. I know that it was a reserve officer, not active-duty, but I can't
8 be sure whether he was a captain or something else.
9 Q. And after getting these instructions or whatever it was you got,
10 what did you do?
11 A. The major -- in fact, I showed the major which part of the front
12 line I wanted to visit, and he knew all the by-roads. When you turn away
13 from Zvornik, we went to that location. Once there, I ran into Obrenovic,
14 who was close by.
15 Q. When you say you showed the major which part of the front line you
16 wanted to visit, how did you know what part you wanted to visit?
17 A. I showed randomly that location, because I didn't know anything
18 about it, and then it turned out it was interesting. Nobody told me at
19 the corps command where to go and even the duty officer didn't tell me
20 anything. I just pointed randomly.
21 Q. Where did you -- what area of this battlefield did you randomly
22 point to?
23 A. Well, where the Muslim group tried to break out through our lines
24 and move towards Tuzla. I hadn't known about it, and at the brigade
25 command, they hadn't known about it.
1 Q. Well, how did you know to go to this area of the breakout?
2 A. By accident. I could have pointed out another location, but I
3 pointed my finger at random there.
4 Q. And where was that? Do you know the name of the place?
5 A. I think it was elevation Crni Vrh. There must be another place
6 name but I can't recall it.
7 Q. And what happened when you got there?
8 A. As soon as the vehicle stopped, Obrenovic turned up from God knows
9 where, and he reported to me that a Muslim formation had started to move
10 around 5.000 people, that they ran into mortars, they were massacred, they
11 ran into self-propelled vehicles, like tanks, and he tried using those
12 self-propelled vehicles like tanks to push them back, and that he had
13 established contact with the leader of that group and agreed that he would
14 separate two platoons, in fact, to withdraw two platoons, from the front
15 line, that they will de-mine 600 to 1.000 metres of a belt from the front
16 line, and that they would be able to pass through that corridor the next
17 day around 11.00 or 12.00.
18 He reported that to me and then Colonel Lazic, an operations
19 officer at the Drina Corps, turned up. Now, I'm not sure whether Vinko
20 Pandurevic appeared at that moment or not. I'm sure he was there the next
21 day. But while this was going on, it was already getting dark. Maybe not
22 dark but it was late afternoon. I'm not sure whether Vinko was there
23 then, but he was certainly there the next morning. He sat next to me on
24 that elevation.
25 Q. Did Major Obrenovic, in this briefing to you, tell you anything
1 about Serb casualties?
2 A. No. He still had not received the numbers. The events were still
3 fresh. He knew only about the mortars and the self-propelled tanks. But
4 he had not received information from his subordinated units. He just told
5 me about the mortars and the tanks he used. He knew there were losses but
6 he didn't know how many. So he didn't tell me.
7 Q. When he told you about opening this line to allow people to pass,
8 did he indicate he had the authority of his commander to do that?
9 A. Prosecutor, sir, when you showed me that report three days ago,
10 and when I read the report of Colonel Pandurevic, and when I replayed this
11 whole movie as to what Obrenovic told me, I can now say with 90 per cent
12 certainty, although I told you at the time it was only Obrenovic, after
13 seeing the report, I see that Pandurevic was actually justifying himself,
14 so I now believe that Vinko Pandurevic was the one who ordered that this
15 line be opened. He didn't mention women, children and unarmed people
16 because the report is contradictory. It was Vinko who must have ordered
17 the elite unit of the 28th Srebrenica Division and Vinko, I am certain, 90
18 per cent, although it's not written anywhere, was the one who ordered it,
19 because that report was not a situation report. It was his justification,
20 self justification, before the command.
21 Q. Okay. And let's just so we are clear, we are talking about the
22 interim combat report of 16 July 1995. It's 65 ter 330. And that was
23 among the many documents you were provided to help refresh your
24 recollection of these events; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. And thank you for showing it to me because I had not read
1 that report at the command post. I saw it then for the first time.
2 Q. Okay. How long did you stay out in that area that you've gone to
3 and seen at least Obrenovic?
4 A. Obrenovic, Lazic and some other officers. I can't remember the
5 names of the Drina Corps. I saw them for the first time. They introduced
6 themselves but still it was 12 years ago. Lazic found us accommodation
7 for the night in a monastery. We spent the night there, we had breakfast
8 in the morning and we -- this passage was supposed to start at 10.00. We
9 came there earlier. Now I'm sure Vinko Pandurevic was there. He sat next
10 to me. There was Lazic. There was this major, Sladojevic. There were
11 certainly around 10 officers.
12 We were sitting at an elevation. I didn't have these glasses with
13 me. And I couldn't see through the hedge how they were withdrawing
14 because these are reading glasses only, and I heard from them that the
15 people were passing but basically I didn't see them. And we kept sitting
16 there until he got the report that the last person had passed through.
17 When that happened, it was ordered that the soldiers come back to the
18 front line and close this line.
19 Now, whether I was still with Lazic, I don't remember. In any
20 case, we returned from there to Crna Rijeka. They reported verbally to
21 Miletic -- we reported verbally to Miletic, correction.
22 Q. When Miletic had given you this order you now remember being an
23 evening, was Mladic present anywhere in the area of the bunker, as far as
24 you knew?
25 A. You see, throughout this time that we were in that shelter, I'm
1 sure about one occasion that Mladic came by. He didn't stay long. He may
2 have come twice. I'm sure about only once. He didn't stay long. He just
3 toured the command, the operations room, had a look, and then left. In
4 all that time, he visited once or twice. I'm not sure about twice but I'm
5 sure about once. The second time, I recollect very vaguely.
6 Q. So can you give us any idea where he -- where Mladic was when
7 Miletic gave you this order to go to Zvornik?
8 A. Probably at the forward command post, together with Krstic.
9 Q. This small group, you, Sladojevic, who was in charge of your small
11 A. I.
12 Q. And when you got back to Crna Rijeka, who reported back to General
14 A. I did.
15 Q. And what did you report to him? Can you just give us your best
16 recitation of what you remember?
17 A. Sir, everything that I've just told you was the same thing I said
18 to Miletic. That we had passed through Srebrenica, that we visited the
19 Zvornik Brigade, from the point the major joined us to when we met with
20 Obrenovic, what Obrenovic told us about the mortars and the rest, about
21 the decision to let this group pass through towards Tuzla. I reported all
22 that to him.
23 Q. Did you give him your viewpoint on the decision to allow the
24 Muslim group to pass through?
25 A. To be quite frank, as soon as Obrenovic reported to me that he had
1 agreed with the Muslims that he would let them through, since I was
2 occupying the post I was occupying, I immediately realised, although I
3 didn't want to say anything, that it was not a decision Obrenovic should
4 have made or made. It must have been a decision of Vinko Pandurevic. To
5 open up a line in the front line, 600 to 1.000 metres, it was something
6 that only the commander could have decided.
7 It's not something the Chief of Staff can decide. Obrenovic
8 didn't decide that. I'm certain about that because God knows how many
9 brigades could have passed through that corridor. And when I saw that
10 report, which seems to be in contradiction with the other report, that was
11 something that the commander decided himself without the knowledge of the
12 commander of the Main Staff or the Drina Corps, because he could have
13 destroyed those forces.
14 Q. And again you're talking -- when you say report, you're talking
15 about the interim combat report from the brigade to the Drina Corps?
16 A. Yes, and to the Main Staff.
17 Q. You were there. How -- and you've just concluded that Pandurevic
18 could have destroyed those forces. Can you explain how he could have done
20 A. It was extremely simple and easy. Srebrenica had fallen. He had
21 those forces. He could have engaged some units using mortars, recoilless
22 guns and others to destroy them. They were in a depression, these
23 people. Nobody would have survived.
24 Q. Did you report your opinion, that opinion, to General Miletic?
25 A. No. I only conveyed what Obrenovic told me without stating my
1 personal opinion, but the report you showed me convinced me in my earlier
2 suspicion, and I now believe that what I had only suspected then is true.
3 Q. Did you get a written order, ever get any kind of a written order,
4 to go to Zvornik on this trip you're talking about?
5 A. [No interpretation].
6 Q. Do you remember seeing this written order signed by Mladic dated
7 the 17th of July, ERN 00922973?
8 A. In 2005, I saw it, when you showed it to me in Belgrade.
9 Q. Okay. That was the first time you had ever seen that?
10 A. That's when I saw it, and then I told you that I did not go
11 pursuant to that order. I had already been and returned when that order
12 came containing certain tasks that I wasn't aware of.
13 Q. All right. Now, we heard from another witness in the case that
14 the trip to Srebrenica was done after you visited the lines in Zvornik.
15 Do you think that -- you could have got that mixed up or do you think
16 you're right, that you went to Srebrenica before you visited the lines in
18 A. I'm sure. When I picked up major in Vlasenica, Sladojevic asked
19 me, and it had never occurred to me before, he asked me to go and look at
20 that place, Srebrenica, and then I asked the driver to make a turn there.
21 Q. All right. Now, there is an intercept I want to show you. It's
22 an intercept you've seen before and we've talked about before, and it's--
23 we'll show you the original version of it, which is 1187B, which should
24 come up on your screen. A is the English version.
25 So this is a conversation that we believe the Muslim army
1 intercepted. And it is thought to be intercepted on the 16th of July at
2 11.11 hours in the morning, between Colonel Ljubo Beara, person named
3 Cerovic and a person identified as X.
4 Now, if you could -- I know you've seen this before but take a
5 look at it. And perhaps we can allow him to see the whole document. I
6 have a photocopy, but I think -- can you read that okay, Colonel? Maybe
7 they can bring it up a little better.
8 A. Yes, I can see it.
9 Q. First of all, who is Colonel Ljubo Beara?
10 A. He was the security officer in the Main Staff.
11 Q. Okay. And do you know a Colonel Cerovic of the Drina Corps?
12 A. No, and I don't even know what position he held.
13 Q. Okay. And you can see, and I won't read it all, but we can see
14 that in the early part of this there is some talk about triage. Triage
15 has to be done on the prisoners is mentioned by Cerovic. And someone X
16 says that Colonel Beara is right here by me. Cerovic says, "Give me
17 Beara." Then there is a short conversation between Cerovic and Beara.
18 And once Cerovic gets connected with Beara, Cerovic says, "Trkulja was
19 here with me just now and he was looking for you. I don't know." Now, do
20 you know of any other officers of the Main Staff or the Drina Corps named
22 A. No. No, I was the only one.
23 Q. And according to this, if Cerovic was at the headquarters of the
24 Drina Corps in Vlasenica, he's stating that you were just there meeting
25 with him. Did you around this time period you're talking about meet with
1 a person named Cerovic?
2 A. A colonel was waiting for me there. He may have been Cerovic but
3 I never exchanged a single sentence with me. The only thing I told him or
4 asked him, rather, was who was going to come with me. That was all. And
5 I never left the vehicle.
6 Q. When you were in Vlasenica, at the headquarters, as you've told us
7 you were, had you received instructions from the Main Staff to pass on to
8 the Drina Corps that triage must be done on the prisoners over in Zvornik?
9 A. No. Not a word was said about that.
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I don't have any further questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
12 Now, let's just go through the estimates. We have a revision of
13 the given estimates for cross-examination. Mr. Zivanovic, you had asked
14 for 20 minutes.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no questions for this witness, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ostojic, you had asked for 45 minutes.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I think 20 to 30 minutes
18 may suffice but I'll look at it again but no more than that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Bourgon? Thank you.
20 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I have two questions for the witness
21 and no more than ten minutes at the most. Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. And Mr. Stojanovic?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. We
24 will not have any questions for this witness, just as we had announced.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madam Fauveau? You had asked for an
1 hour and a half.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, but I believe that one hour
3 will suffice.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Krgovic?
5 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, less than 40 minutes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Mr. Sarapa?
7 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] 15 minutes at the most.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Who wishes to go first?
9 Madam Fauveau?
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
11 Q. Sir, when examined by the Prosecutor in 2005, or when interviewed,
12 rather, you said that General Milovanovic was the closest to General
13 Mladic and that he was the most competent officer. Can you confirm that
14 today? Can you confirm that General Milovanovic was the most competent
15 officer and the closest to General Mladic?
16 A. Just one correction in terminology. He was the most professional
17 and skillful one. And that's what I can confirm today.
18 Q. And he was also his closest associate?
19 A. He was his deputy.
20 Q. When General Miletic replaced General Milovanovic, he could never
21 replace him as a deputy commander would?
22 A. No, he only replaced him within the framework of the staff
23 partially because he could not issue any orders to anybody. This was not
24 within his purview. He was just a deputy. He was not the acting
25 commander, standing in for the commander, and only such people could
1 actually exercise command.
2 Q. Would you agree with me that General Miletic was not General
3 Mladic's adviser?
4 A. No, he wasn't.
5 Q. In your interview with the representative of the Prosecutor's
6 Office, you said on page 40, which is 38 in B/C/S, that General Miletic
7 was from the rocket unit. What exactly did you mean by that?
8 A. This is the anti-aircraft defence, long-range. He did not
9 complete the military academy in Belgrade, but in Zagreb --
10 THE INTERPRETER: In Zadar, interpreter's correction.
11 A. [Interpretation] -- and I believe that Miletic as an operative
12 could put some thesis on the paper when instructions were being given.
13 Mladic would listen to him, just as a formality. But the only person who
14 could help him in professional sense was General Milovanovic and no other.
15 Q. Just one clarification, sir, because the interpretation wasn't
16 finished. You said that General Miletic did not complete the military
17 academy of the army in Belgrade.
18 A. That's true. He completed the military academy in Zadar, which
19 was the anti-aircraft orientation, so he was not the graduate of the
20 ground forces academy in Belgrade.
21 Q. You have just spoken about the guards that were organised around
22 the command post. Is it true that such guard posts existed throughout the
24 A. Yes. It is the same security. The only difference was that we
25 had to be extra alert. All the guards had already been explained what the
1 situation was all about, and they knew what to do.
2 Q. So this was not a measure that was put in place as an
3 extraordinary measure, in light of the Srebrenica operation?
4 A. No. The security measures were not stepped up.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to give you an indication, instead of having
6 the break at 12.30, we'll have the break at 12.20, ten minutes earlier,
7 all right? So that you regulate your questions accordingly.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Is it true that the security around the Main Staff facility fell
10 under the staff of the Main Staff?
11 A. The Protection Regiment was in charge of that.
12 Q. You have told us earlier today that the staff of the Main Staff
13 did not have a lot of men on board. Is it true that since there were not
14 enough officers, that you helped General Miletic in the operations room?
15 A. I drafted reports, and as for the minor matters that came from
16 above, Miletic carried those out on its own -- on his own.
17 Q. Is it true that the operation that was carried out had not been
18 planned in the Main Staff, according to your knowledge?
19 A. I, as the chief of a branch, did not know what was going on until
20 the reports started pouring in and I believe that the same is true of the
21 other officers. If the operation had been planned in the Main Staff a map
22 would have had to been drawn in the operations room. It could not have
23 been done in Miletic's room because Miletic's office was too small.
24 Irrespective whether this was done in the barracks or in the shelter, the
25 situation would have been the same.
1 Q. In any case, what you are saying is that if that map had been
2 drawn at the Main Staff, you would have seen it?
3 A. All the officers of the Main Staff would have seen it.
4 Q. You have also spoken about the reports that arrived at the Main
5 Staff from the corps. Is it true that the Main Staff received reports
6 from the corps but not from the brigades?
7 A. There is a hierarchy. The brigades sent their reports to the
8 corps, the corps drafted their compound reports. They then send those
9 reports to us. And then we forwarded those reports higher up. There is a
10 hierarchy in that.
11 Q. In other words, the information that the Main Staff received with
12 regard to the situation on the front line in Eastern Bosnia arrived
13 exclusively from the Drina Corps?
14 A. Yes. Everything arrived from the Drina Corps, save for the
15 extraordinary report that was drafted by Pandurevic on the 16th, but I
16 believe that it was their command that didn't want to make any alterations
17 but sent it directly to the Main Staff.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness
19 Exhibit number P330, which I believe is the -- precisely this report from
20 the Zvornik Brigade?
21 Q. Sir, did you have in mind this report of the Zvornik Brigade?
22 A. Yes, the one dated 16 of July. You see that this was submitted to
23 the Drina Corps and the Drina Corps received a -- sent this report in its
24 original to the Main Staff without making any alterations.
25 Q. But you have also told us that you never saw this report until the
1 day it was shown to you by the Prosecutor; is that correct?
2 A. I suppose that Miletic also didn't want to make any alterations,
3 because I had already sent my main report --
4 Q. Just a moment, sir. Just a moment, sir. This report, the one
5 that you see in front of you, it was sent to the command of the Drina
6 Corps, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And nothing in this report indicates that it might have been sent
9 to the Main Staff?
10 A. That's true, but most probably it was sent to the Main Staff.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, is this the
12 convenient time for our break?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, and thank you, Madam Fauveau. We'll
14 reconvene in 25 minutes' time.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Sir, we were talking about that report that was transmitted to the
20 Main Staff by the corps. Is it true that the officers in the brigade did
21 not address directly the officers and generals in the Main Staff?
22 A. Yes, they did not. Except in exceptional situations. I believe
23 that this report was sent by the Main Staff after all, in view of certain
25 Q. I'm asking not about reports but about telephone calls, for
2 A. No, they did not address themselves directly.
3 Q. My colleague tells me that just a moment ago when you were talking
4 at line 16 to 18, you said that it was the Drina Corps that would have
5 sent to the Main Staff the report of the Zvornik Brigade. Is that what
6 you said?
7 A. Yes. I'm certain of that.
8 Q. So the brigade itself could not have done it on its own, could not
9 have sent it directly?
10 A. No. It went through the Drina Corps. They didn't change
11 anything. They just sent it on.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we show the Witness P48? It's a
13 report of the Main Staff dated 14 July 1995.
14 Q. Sir, you see it's marked here as being sent to the President of
15 Republika Srpska, but also to the commands of various corps. Is that
17 A. Well, I'm looking at the heading. This document was typed up at
18 the Main Staff. This document I'm seeing on the screen now was typed at
19 the Main Staff of the VRS and it is filed under a certain number,
21 Q. And it was sent to the President of Republika Srpska and also to
22 the commands of various army corps?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And we see that it was sent to the forward command post 2 of the
25 Main Staff of the army, and that's the forward command post where General
1 Milovanovic was located, wasn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness the last
4 page of this document?
5 Q. We see initials NT. They are yours, aren't they?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And a moment ago, we saw initials NDj. Could they have been the
8 initials of Mihajlo Djurdjevic?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Initials MDj.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly, possibly, but I'm not
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation].
13 Q. And do you remember the post of Mihajlo [Realtime transcript read
14 in error "Djordjevic"] Djurdjevic at that time, in 1995?
15 A. He was chief of engineering in the Main Staff.
16 Q. Can I just correct, it's page 67, 6, it's Mihajlo Djurdjevic
17 spelled as Dju -- and the rest is correct.
18 Can we say that it was common practice for persons who
19 participated in the drafting of a document to be indicated on reports of
20 the Main Staff like by initials in your case?
21 A. It was not only practice, it was also a rule, according to
22 instructions, for the initials of the person who participated in the
23 drafting and even typing to be indicated.
24 Q. So in fact, the full name of the person who wrote the report is
25 written there, not only the initials.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness P5? In
2 B/C/S, it will be page 21. In English, it's 15. Can we zoom in on the
3 bottom of the page?
4 Q. You see it's indicated here that this document was authored by
5 Colonel Radivoje Miletic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us what was the role of Radivoje Miletic in the
8 drafting of this document?
9 A. If you allow me, I'll explain, but it will take time. When the
10 inner circle of the command meets, the operations officer also comes
11 along, although he doesn't belong in the inner circle. When various
12 commands or directives are issued, this operations officer receives
13 instructions, and that's the answer to all the questions that he has to
14 compose, and when he receives this from the commander, he goes back to his
15 office and drafts this. There is a rule governing this, and that rule
16 says that the person who actually wrote this up has to be indicated and
17 the typist as well.
18 The Chief of Staff, who was present at the meeting, reviews the
19 document and checks whether everything was done in the spirit of the
20 instructions given by the commander. If there are any corrections to be
21 made, they are made. But the operations officer is actually a notary in
22 this story. It's taken back to the Chief of Staff and at this point it
23 has already been through two revisions.
24 Q. And when you speak of the chief of the Main Staff, you speak of
25 General Milovanovic in this case, March 1995?
1 A. Yes. In this case, it was Milovanovic. But I said that it was
2 generally the rule according to the instructions for the work of Main
3 Staffs, the operations officer writes this up and hands it in to the Chief
4 of Staff. In this case, it was Milovanovic.
5 Q. I would like to show you page 23 now. In English it's strangely
6 page 1.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we see the signature?
8 Q. Sir, you worked for a long time with General Milovanovic. You
9 recognise the signature of General Milovanovic on this directive 7, what
10 is practically the transmission of directive 7 to the 1st Corps?
11 A. Well, it's written there, Milovanovic, and the signature is
13 Q. You spoke of meetings that took place in the HQ of the Main Staff
14 every morning. Is it the case that these were meetings of officers who
15 were there at the HQ of the Main Staff?
16 A. I didn't understand the first part of your question. Morning
17 briefings were?
18 Q. The morning briefings where reports from various corps were read
19 and analysed, these meetings were attended by officers who belonged to the
20 headquarters of the Main Staff?
21 A. Yes. Only organs of the Main Staff were present, nobody else, not
22 politicians, not logistical officers, nobody from the outside.
23 Q. And just to clarify, assistant commanders did not attend these
25 A. No.
1 Q. Is it correct that at the barracks in Crna Rijeka, and in the
2 bunker there, General Miletic had his own room?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said a moment ago that General Miletic sent you to Zvornik.
5 Could we say that General Miletic, in fact, conveyed to you an order that
6 only the commander, General Mladic, could have issued?
7 A. Most probably.
8 Q. When you arrived at the Zvornik Brigade, you did not have the
9 authority to issue any orders to the officers of the Zvornik Brigade, did
11 A. No, I did not. That's why I only listened and kept my opinion to
13 Q. And General Miletic did not have such authority either. He could
14 not give any orders to officers of the Zvornik Brigade?
15 A. Yes, same as me.
16 Q. You mean that there were no orders?
17 A. He did not have the authority, the powers.
18 Q. When you came back from Zvornik, you reported to General Miletic,
19 and you spoke at length about what you actually said to him. But did you
20 say that a column of Muslims was actually enabled to pass through by the
21 Zvornik Brigade?
22 A. I told him absolutely everything. I described to the Prosecutor
23 the whole thing and I can repeat it from my meeting with Obrenovic to the
24 very end. I said exactly the same thing to Miletic.
25 Q. Is it correct that General Miletic was neither surprised nor
1 concerned that this column of Muslims was able to pass through?
2 A. No. He took it as a matter of course, something normal.
3 Q. Is it true that according to the information that the officers in
4 the HQ of the Main Staff at Crna Rijeka had, the civilian population from
5 Srebrenica who wanted to leave could be evacuated?
6 A. Yes. That was the only information available to us.
7 Q. And you had no information from the HQ of the Main Staff about any
8 mistreatment or abuse during this evacuation?
9 A. No. Out of those people who were there at the command post,
10 nobody had a clue about that. And I don't even know if there was any
12 Q. When you say, "Over there at the command post," you meant the
13 command post of the Drina Corps, there, on site?
14 A. No. I mean the command post of the Main Staff.
15 Q. All right. So what you mean is that nobody at the command post of
16 the Main Staff had a clear idea of what was going on there?
17 A. Precisely.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: That calls for a conclusion he cannot answer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: What's your comment on that, Madam Fauveau?
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe the witness
23 has already answered. I wanted only to clear up what is already on
24 record, but I have no problem stopping there.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance, it's
2 about line 1 on page 71.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We agree with you, Madam Fauveau, on line 2 of page
5 71, the witness said nobody had a clue about that, so your subsequent
6 question is perfectly in order. If you could answer it, please, Colonel.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already answered. I don't
8 know --
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
10 Q. It's in fact my mistake because I followed the interpretation in
11 three languages. Could you just tell me, when you say that nobody at the
12 command post had a clear idea what was going on, you mean the command post
13 at Crna Rijeka, the command post of the Main Staff at Crna Rijeka?
14 A. Yes. Throughout, when I say command post, I mean only the command
15 post of the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka.
16 Q. I've got only one question left. When you were giving that
17 interview to the Office of the Prosecutor, you said you did not recall the
18 name Krivaja. Is it true that this name was not mentioned at the HQ of
19 the Main Staff before the fall of Srebrenica?
20 A. That's correct.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
23 Who is going next? I suggest either the Gvero team or the Beara
24 team. Unless, of course, there is an understanding or an arrangement
25 amongst you.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: There is.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, I don't want to interfere with this.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: That's fine.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
7 Q. Sir, my name is John Ostojic and I represent Mr. Ljubisa Beara
8 here. I would just like, if we could look again at document 1182 which
9 was shown to you during your direct examination? 1187, that's correct.
10 While that's being brought up, sir, you remember you gave actually
11 two interviews to the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Peter McCloskey,
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And the second interview was a follow-up interview on some
15 documents but it doesn't relate to this exhibit that we are looking at.
16 During your first interview with him, I think he asked you about this
17 exhibit 1187, correct, which as we called it, a purported intercept from
18 July 16th at 11.11 hours. And that was the only time he asked you about
19 that intercept, correct?
20 A. Yes. I don't think he asked me about it the second time, just the
21 first time.
22 Q. Well, I don't think that's in dispute. In fact, we have it. It
23 was a short interview and there is no doubt that he didn't ask you about
24 it in the second interview, but if you'd like, I can share that with you
25 but I don't think it's important.
1 My question, sir, is do you remember when you gave this interview
2 to Mr. McCloskey on the 11th of July 2005 and when he asked you about this
3 intercept where your name purportedly is mentioned, you answered him as
4 following and it's on page 41 line 19, when he asked you about whether or
5 not you were looking for someone, and your answer was, first of
6 all, "First of all, I never -- I never asked to see or talk to Beara or
7 Beara." Do you remember that?
8 A. I remember.
9 Q. As you sit here today although it's been a couple of years since
10 your interview, it's still correct, sir, that you never asked to see or to
11 talk to Mr. Beara as seemingly reflected in this purported intercept; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Correct. I didn't ask for that. And I was surprised in 2005 when
14 I saw this document, because I said I had never gotten out of the car, nor
15 did I know the man who was expecting me at Vlasenica. I only asked for an
16 officer to be seconded to me who would take me there.
17 Q. Thank you. And I know we have heard Mr. McCloskey's view of who
18 this Cerovic might be, but do you remember a person by the name of
19 Keserovic as well, with a K?
20 A. The name could only be Keserovic, certainly not Cerovic --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Mr. Ostojic. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record if we could get the spelling of
23 Keserovic correct, because it does cause confusion.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure. I would rather -- I -- if there is a name
25 you're suggesting, which you think is or may be different from what the
1 witness said, then you please spell it out. If you think it's the same,
2 then we can ask the witness to spell it out and then you can confirm
3 whether it's the same one or not.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't know, so I'll just ask the witness,
5 Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, can you -- if you would be kind enough just to spell the name
7 of this Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic?
8 A. He wasn't a colonel, if that's the man I mean. If that's the
9 Keserovic whom I know, because he had served in Macedonia and we had known
10 each other for a long time, I believe he was Lieutenant-Colonel and I can
11 spell his name for you: K-e-s-e-r-o-v-i-c.
12 Q. Thank you. And as you sit here is it -- am I correct that you do
13 not know of any individual named Cerovic, which is C-e-r-o-v-i-c as
14 reflected on this Exhibit 1187; is that correct?
15 A. You're right, because the Drina Corps did not have units up to
16 establishment so I avoided going there because I would have had to do
17 Miletic's job and tour the infantry. Apart from Lazic, Krstic and
18 Zivanovic, I don't know any other officers.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, that's all I have with
20 this witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
22 I have got Nikolic, Gvero and Pandurevic left.
23 Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You have roughly half an hour left.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Sir, good afternoon.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. On behalf of General Gvero's defence, I'm going to ask you a few
6 questions about your testimony today. Since the two of us speak the same
7 language I would kindly ask you to wait for the end of my question before
8 starting to give your answer in order to help the interpreters interpret
9 your words and in order to avoid overlapping.
10 In answering Mrs. Fauveau's questions you said that the operation
11 around Srebrenica was not planned or carried out within the Main Staff.
12 Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. The Prosecutor in his interview asked you and suggested to you
15 that Mladic was in command of that operation and that in the field he was
16 assisted by General Gvero, to which you said this was not true, and that
17 the operation Srebrenica was not executed at the Main Staff. Do you
18 adhere by that?
19 A. Yes, I adhere by that because this is exactly what happened.
20 Q. Also, you will remember the discussion about the location of
21 Gvero's office in Han Pijesak and I'm now going to show you a document
22 that concerns the barracks that you have not mentioned in your testimony.
23 One of the previous witnesses has already spoken about this sketch.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And please slow down, both of you, witness and
2 Mr. Krgovic. You're not allowing a small pause between question and
3 answer, which is necessary for the interpreters to be able to translate
4 everything to us. Thank you.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Colonel, this here is the facility in which you were, I assume.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: Mr. Usher, I need your assistance.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay now?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it is. Can the usher please
10 explain the witness how to use the marker pen, as I'm going to be asking
11 the witness to mark certain places on this document.
12 Q. Sir, you see the facility here. Could you please tell us -- yes.
13 As far as I can understand the correction reads Tolimir which means that
14 he was using two offices at the time. When the blue salon was built, I
15 understand that Gvero no longer had an office in the barracks?
16 A. Sir, I have made a correction here. The blue salon, Tolimir had
17 two rooms because he was with his wife, and then there were the chief of
18 engineers, Salapura, Beara and finally Colonel Maric. The schematic
19 representation on the other side is also wrong.
20 Q. Can you tell us where your office was?
21 A. I can, if you scroll up a little. Here is the operations room and
22 then below it you'll find my office. Can this be scrolled up a little?
23 But this is also incorrect on the left. Above the operations room there
24 should be Miletic, which does not exist here.
25 Q. Can you please make the markings, the necessary markings?
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Can we scroll up a little?
3 A. Yes, if we could, then we would be able to see my office.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we can do that. So we need to mark
5 this, save it, and then do it again.
6 Yes. And what Judge Kwon is suggesting is also possible. We
7 could scrap this, zoom out a little bit, and then possibly try to get
8 everything done in one, whichever you prefer, Mr. Krgovic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we should do the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We should start all over again.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So this is no big deal. We can scrap this and if
14 the other alternative is not possible, then we can come back to this. All
15 right. So now if we can zoom out on this, please.
16 All right. If you could zoom in just one degree only, please?
17 Okay, and scroll it a little bit down. Okay. Is that okay for your
18 purposes, Mr. Krgovic?
19 MR. KRGOVIC: Yeah, it's okay.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So then you can proceed once more with
21 the series of questions to the witness and he will mark the diagram that
22 we have here now.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Put just a T.
25 A. [Marks].
1 Q. Very well. Thank you.
2 A. [Marks].
3 Q. M stands for Miletic, doesn't it?
4 A. [Marks].
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's all right, but we haven't got a
6 confirmation on the transcript as to what stands for what. If we start
7 with the first column on the left, M stands for what, Colonel?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first two offices belong to the
9 chief of staff, Milovanovic. The next, the third office, was Miletic's
10 office. And then after that, the operations room. After the operations
11 room, you can see my room. It was first Djapa and then Djeric's room.
12 And then there was the IT room for computer operators and the toilet. On
13 the right-hand side, the blue room, Tolimir had two offices after the blue
14 room, and after Tolimir was the chief of artillery and engineers, then
15 Salapura, then Beara, the late Maric and Pancic. Those were the only
16 offices that existed in this building.
17 Q. Sir, the first on the left where you see Miletic's name, Miletic
18 wasn't there, was he? Below Mladic and Milovanovic you see Miletic?
19 A. No. This is just a random marking. There were doors leading from
20 one to another. The second one was General Milovanovic's bedroom and
21 behind there was Miletic's office, which you can't see here, and then the
22 operations room.
23 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I will no longer need this diagram but
24 before, can you please put your initials on the diagram and put today's
25 date? You can put it in the right upper hand corner.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. On the document, please.
3 A. What's the date today?
4 Q. The 10th. 10 September 2007.
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. Sir, I'll take you back to another topic that you have already
7 spoken about earlier. It concerns your very brief stay in Srebrenica,
8 when you stopped there on the way to Zvornik. You had an occasion to pass
9 through the town of Srebrenica on your way to the Zvornik sector?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you notice at the time, in Srebrenica, can you describe, as
12 far as we could see, there is just one long street with flanked by houses
13 on both sides?
14 A. Yes, but more to the left, as you look from the direction of
15 Bratunac, on the right-hand side there are houses missing.
16 Q. Did you notice, at the time, any traces of shells or damaged roofs
17 or anything like that?
18 A. As we were entering Srebrenica and as we turned around in the
19 centre, we could not see even a tile on the roof missing. People were
20 cleaning their courtyards but they were getting rid of rubbish and
21 garbage, nothing else. There were no traces of any damaged walls or
23 Q. Just one thing. When you were talking about the left side full of
24 houses and on the right side some houses missing, you meant that there had
25 been no houses there in the first place?
1 A. No, because there was a ditch or a canal there, just in one part
2 of that street on the right-hand side.
3 Q. You are an expert in artillery and armoured vehicles. Did
4 Srebrenica at the time look at you as a town which had been shelled for
6 A. Srebrenica looked like no shell had ever fallen on it. If there
7 had been shelling at least one roof would have been damaged and I didn't
8 see any such thing. I went from the north to the south and back and I
9 didn't see any such thing.
10 Q. And that was your impression that you conveyed when you arrived
11 back at the Main Staff?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Sir, now I'm going to move on to another topic. In answering the
14 Prosecutor's question about General Gvero and his role, you said that when
15 you returned from the Zvornik sector, that Gvero wasn't there because
16 Gvero did not interfere in the staff matters. Would you confirm that
18 A. That was the case, so I have to confirm it.
19 Q. And furthermore, when you were asked by the Prosecutor about
20 Gvero's position and what he did, you said that Gvero was in charge of the
21 signals centre and information centre, he published wall papers and he was
22 more or less engaged in the matters of morale. Can you remember that?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 Q. And you can confirm this as you sit here today?
25 A. Well, I don't want to belittle his role but that was his only job
1 and that's the only thing that he could do.
2 Q. In the transcript, we are missing one word. I said wall paper,
3 i.e. the bulletin that is usually pinned to a notice board in military
4 barracks to inform soldiers of what -- of what's going on, and this is
5 missing in the transcript.
6 Would you agree with me that this is what you said to the
7 Prosecutor and would you confirm that today?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In answering the Prosecutor's question who asked you about the
10 influence of certain officers and their significance in the Main Staff,
11 he -- the Prosecutor also asked you about the influence that General Gvero
12 had on the command. Do you remember what you said to the Prosecutor?
13 A. Well, I can't quote myself, but when it came to the use of the
14 units, I believe that Gvero did not have a say in that. He was in charge
15 of morale, and in his previous career, he was only a platoon commander,
16 nothing else.
17 Q. I'm going to read to you a passage from your interview with the
18 Prosecutor. You said at the time that, if you -- this is page 36 of the
19 B/C/S version, and in English I have a redacted version so if you can just
20 bear with me, this is page 40.
21 You said at the time you can look at somebody's CV. Gvero cannot
22 have any influence. Gvero could not have any influence given the fact
23 that all his life he was the principal of a military grammar school. He
24 was never in command of any military unit so what proposal could he have
25 put forth?
1 A. That is the case. That indeed was the case. I can't change
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: There is a translation issue. It says does not
5 have much influence and I don't know if the booth can have the English so
6 they can read from it in this situation to try to avoid -- I know it's
7 difficult but --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: The difference is between "any "and "much," isn't
9 it? Do you agree with what Mr. McCloskey has stated?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Since this part,
11 as far as I know, was provided to the Prosecutor in B/C/S, and what I have
12 read was the B/C/S original. What the Prosecutor has is a translation
13 which may not be correct. The exact translation is in the
14 transcript. "Gvero cannot have any influence. He was a grammar school
15 principal all his life."
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey. We can't help you or
18 anyone else, for that matter, because we don't have the text in B/C/S, and
19 even if we had it, we don't have -- we don't read it. We don't understand
20 it. So we have to rely on the interpretation on this.
21 MR. JOSSE: May I -- may I just explain, Your Honour? Because I
22 discussed this with my learned friend Mr. Bourgon at the break because
23 this is exactly the same difficulty as he had with PW-108. Of course,
24 this interview was conducted by Mr. McCloskey in English, the witness
25 answered in his own language, the answer was then translated immediately
1 back to Mr. McCloskey. The English version which I have got is what
2 Mr. McCloskey said and what Mr. McCloskey heard at the time from the
4 What Mr. Krgovic has, of course, is what the witness said at the
5 time in B/C/S. In other words, it's been transcribed from the tape in the
6 original B/C/S language. Therefore, what Mr. Krgovic in effect is saying
7 is that the reliable answer is the one the witness gave at the time in
8 B/C/S, the one that he's just read out, and that's precisely why he wanted
9 it retranslated today. I hope that's clear.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Are you satisfied -- thank you,
11 Mr. Josse.
12 Are you satisfied with that explanation, Mr. McCloskey?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. And I agree with that. That's why I sat
14 down, though I might disagree whether it's a reliable answer or not but I
15 think the words that are used have been clarified and I trust Mr. Krgovic
16 absolutely on that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's proceed, Mr. Krgovic. Thank
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sir, you knew General Gvero and you said that during those days,
21 you played chess with him often. That's what you said to the Prosecutor.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And your discussions and conversations with him focused mostly on
24 chess; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, for the most part.
1 Q. I'll now show you a document that is indicative of Gvero's job and
2 preoccupations at the moment. Can we show 6D140, please?
3 Sir, I don't think you had the opportunity to see this document at
4 the time. It's a document whereby -- which the command of the Eastern
5 Bosnia Corps sent to Gvero and it concerns documentation for the
6 manufacturing of a giant plate. Do you know anything about it? Of a
7 giant chess board, in fact.
8 A. Yes, something similar to the giant chess board in the hotel in
9 Kupari. It was a useful thing to have.
10 Q. When you say that hotel, you mean that hotel in Han Pijesak?
11 A. Right. Han Pijesak is not a hotel.
12 Q. Thank you. I don't need this document any more.
13 Colonel, I'd like to ask you one thing. I asked you about the
14 duties of General Gvero. In the Main Staff, were the assistants
15 interchangeable? Did assistant commanders and chiefs of certain sectors,
16 because Gvero was among other things chief for religious affairs, morale,
17 et cetera, did Gvero ever perform the duties of General Tolimir or
18 Djukic? Do you know anything about that?
19 A. I know that it's impossible to replace the logistical man or the
20 man for morale because they don't go to the staff academy. They have
21 special training. They go to a special school. I don't remember that
22 anybody was ever assigned to replace the man for logistics or the man for
23 morale. You can't put an engineer, mechanical engineer, to be Chief of
24 Staff. So interchangeability never existed in the JNA and could not
1 Q. And later, in the VRS?
2 A. We worked by the same laws.
3 Q. Another question, a related one: The Prosecutor and Madam Fauveau
4 showed you several combat reports that were passed on to the Supreme
5 Command and that reached you in your sector. At that time, there were six
6 corps in the VRS?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And all these reports arrived from all corps on your desk?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Throughout most of 1995, the focus of you operations personnel was
11 on a particular theatre of war. Could you tell me which one and which
12 corps was expected to face the greatest problems?
13 A. The 2nd Krajina Corps.
14 Q. You mean the one commanded by Talic?
15 A. Not Talic. 2nd Krajina Corps. That's why Manojlo went there.
16 Q. Kelecevic or Tomanic?
17 A. No. Talic was the commander of the 1st one and Tomanic replaced,
18 I can't remember the name now. When Kupres was lost, Tomanic came to be
19 the commander -- the new commander.
20 Q. Why was that the focus of your attention at the Main Staff?
21 A. Because territory was being lost, Kupres first, then the attack on
22 Drvar so the whole territory of the Krajina Corps was in jeopardy.
23 Q. And if I understand you well, that was the concern of General
24 Gvero in view of his duties, the assistant for morale is most concerned
25 not when the army is winning but when the army is losing?
1 A. Yes, most probably.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have about ten or 15
3 minutes left. I don't know if the Prosecution has any -- or maybe if
4 there are any other colleagues, Mr. Sarapa, I don't know whether to speed
5 up or to -- if there is going to be redirect and any cross from
6 Mr. Sarapa.
7 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We will not have any
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa, you're not having any cross-examination?
10 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No, thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Nikolic? Sorry, Mr. Bourgon? My apologies.
12 MR. BOURGON: If it can help in finishing with the witness today,
13 we will have no questions. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Under 10 minutes. Will you have a re-examination?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, quite a bit.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Quite a bit. Then we have to continue tomorrow.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Then, Your Honour, since I'm about
18 to move to another topic that is completely different, maybe now is a good
19 time to adjourn.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. One moment.
21 So we'll continue tomorrow afternoon, I think tomorrow, the
22 sitting, isn't it? In the afternoon. Yes. Mr. Bourgon?
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President, if we do indeed continue
24 tomorrow, then I would like to ask my questions.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Your position is reserved.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
3 September, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.