1 Monday, 17 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody, and good morning to you,
6 Madam Registrar. If you could kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
10 All the accused are present.
11 From amongst the Defence teams, I notice the absence of
12 Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Bourgon.
13 Prosecution is Mr. Thayer, Mr. Nicholls, Ms. Soljan; and
14 Mr. McCloskey, what happened to him?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: He was unable to be here this morning, Your Honour.
16 He might be here later, but I'm not sure.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you.
18 Before we bring in the witness, there are a few preliminaries.
19 There is a Prosecution motion which was filed last Friday for
20 leave to amend the 65 ter exhibit list with seven exhibits pertaining to
21 Witness 100. Is there a position that you take, Defence teams? I'm
22 asking you to respond now because there is very limited time. Basically,
23 this is the problem that we have, and the documents themselves don't seem
24 to be that dramatic. I'm choosing that word. And please, Mr. -- whoever
25 is responsible for this. I know that Mr. McCloskey is not here, but we
1 would have preferred if this motion had been filed some days earlier.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I agree, Your Honour. I'm responsible for that. I
3 apologise for that. I handed out copies of the documents to my friends
4 during the session on Friday, at the first break, I think, and explained
5 that I would be filing a motion shortly. So I tried to give them more
7 I talked to my friends. I'm not sure there is an objection. I
8 haven't heard one yet. I am sorry about the late filing of that. As you
9 stated, the documents are not dramatic in the sense that they are all
10 linked in or referred to things which are very clearly put forth in his
11 interview. Two of them were used in the interview.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: As I say, please try to do your utmost to file such
13 motions as early as possible. This weekend, it didn't matter much for us
14 because we were meeting to decide on the various issues that were raised
15 last week; and, very soon, we'll be coming down with our decision which
16 engaged us in discussions over the Friday, as well as the weekend. But in
17 future, please try to do your utmost.
18 Do I take it that there is no objection? Okay. So the motion is
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I thank my friends for that, and your point is well
21 taken, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And then there is another motion for
23 protective measures for Witness 116, who will be coming here to testify
24 pretty soon. He or she, so I don't give an indication, already testified
25 in another case, in the Milosevic trial; and in that case, this witness
1 was granted pseudonym, voice, and face distortion.
2 So, essentially, those protective measures still continue to
3 remain in force until or unless they are modified. So if perhaps the --
4 no one has any particular reason for seeking the modification of these
5 protective measures, we can proceed to grant the motion.
6 Mr. Haynes?
7 MR. HAYNES: No. We did have the opportunity yesterday of
8 discussing this, and the application for protective measures will be
9 resisted and we will be applying for the existing order for protective
10 measures in the Milosevic case, I think dated the 21st of November 2003,
11 to be rescinded.
12 Again, you might properly comment that this is an application
13 that's being brought very late. It's based on information that's four
14 years old, and this witness's testimony has now been scheduled four times
15 in this case: October of last year, May of this year, June of this year,
16 July of this year, and, finally, Wednesday of this week. It's somewhat
17 startling that, even though we only sat for one session on Friday, nobody
18 did us the courtesy of letting us know that this motion was going to land
19 later that day.
20 I've had the opportunity of speaking to Mr. Nicholls; and in the
21 absence of Mr. McCloskey today, it is a bit of a problem because some of
22 the underlying material in the Milosevic decision is very difficult for us
23 to get hold of. We haven't actually been able to get hold of in the time
24 frame a copy of the Trial Chamber's decision in Milosevic, and there were,
25 in fact, two. And we haven't been able to get hold of the confidential
1 annexes to the Prosecution's motion for protective measures in that case;
2 and until we have those in our possession, we will be somewhat restricted
3 in the arguments we can put before the Court.
4 But to put you on notice, the central thrust will be that as a
5 matter of public policy, this witness, who has given evidence about the
6 facts of this case openly, previously, and was given protective measures
7 in the Milosevic case in relation to evidence of a wholly different
8 nature, ought not to be given protective measures in this case; and,
9 secondly, that the circumstances which led to him being given protective
10 measures in 2003 no longer obtain.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 MR. HAYNES: I think to cut matters short, I'm perfectly well
13 aware what Mr. McCloskey is likely to be doing today and I have no wish to
14 interrupt him in doing that, and I think we feel the best thing would be
15 to schedule any discussion on this topic for tomorrow morning.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So this matter is being postponed
17 until tomorrow morning. Now, we promised you last Friday that we'll avail
18 ourselves of the time we had left that day, plus any further time needed,
19 to consider and dispose of the various issues that were raised in the
20 course of the week. We are going to deal with these issues orally, one by
22 One of these issues was raised by all the Defence teams in a joint
23 motion of the 12th of September, which was responded to orally by the
24 Prosecution the following day or the day after, and I am going to begin
25 with it.
1 This joint Defence motion seeks clarification of the Trial
2 Chamber's 9th March 2007 oral ruling on the application of Rule 65 ter.
3 The Trial Chamber is somewhat puzzled as to why you felt there is any need
4 for clarification of this particular ruling. The oral decision referred
5 to in the joint Defence motion explicitly states: "Material identified
6 for use in redirect need not be included in the 65 ter list or be given a
7 65 ter number before it is made use of."
8 Perhaps the confusion that you seem to have or indicate that you
9 had in your mind arises from looking and concentrating on another
10 statement of this Trial Chamber in the same decision but which related to
11 something completely different and certainly not the use of 65 ter
12 documents during redirect.
13 In our decision, there was no suggestion by the Trial Chamber that
14 for the document to be used, a showing had to be made by the Prosecution
15 that the cross-examination could not reasonably have been anticipated.
16 The decision is unqualified and without condition. As stated previously,
17 it is a general principle that will apply across the board both to the
18 Prosecution and to the Defence later on.
19 As to any surprise - and surprise is being made use of in quotes -
20 that may result on the application of this decision, the Trial Chamber
21 will consider on a case-by-case basis any representations that they were
22 unaware of evidence to be adduced. The specific case cited by the Defence
23 in relation to Witness 101 illustrates that points.
24 Therefore, the Trial Chamber can see no need to address that
25 matter by way of a general ruling, as each circumstance will be considered
1 individually; and, indeed, last week we did have some instances where
2 precisely we did that.
3 On this basis, the relief sought by the Defence in the joint
4 motion is hereby denied.
5 Impeachment of a party's own witness. You will recall that this
6 was debated last Friday as well, and we promised to determine it. As you
7 are aware, this issue is not a new one in these proceedings, and I'll be
8 coming to that very shortly.
9 If there was any uncertainty, we wish to make it clear that the
10 decision that we took in the case of Witness Simanic, to which reference
11 was made last Friday by Mr. McCloskey and also by one or more members of
12 the Defence teams, we wish to make it clear that this decision was not
13 particular to the circumstances of that witness and his questionable
14 status as a Prosecution, Defence, or Chamber witness. The majority of the
15 Chamber, with myself dissenting, is of the opinion that it is open to any
16 party to challenge the credibility of his or her witness in part or in
18 The reasons for this position are set out clearly in the separate
19 opinion of my colleague, Judge Kwon, of the 29th of April 2004 related to
20 the Trial Chamber's confidential decision of the 20th January, 2004, in
21 the case of the Prosecutor versus Slobodan Milosevic, and there is no
22 point in repeating the same case here. Suffice it to say that the
23 majority of Judges in this case is of the view that in a Tribunal of this
24 nature, where professional Judges decide on matters of fact and law, the
25 old-fashioned or maybe archaic rules prohibiting or restricting the
1 impeachment of one's own witness, applicable in some common law
2 jurisdictions, have no application here.
3 Quite simply, as outlined by my colleague Judge Kwon in his
4 earlier dissenting opinion, none of the reasons underlying those rules are
5 valid in this Tribunal. In the opinion of the majority, it is for each
6 party to determine to what extent and in what the credibility of a witness
7 is to be challenged, and they clearly take the at their own peril; but in
8 the end, the Chamber by majority is satisfied of their capability to
9 assess the credibility of the witness in whole or in part based on the
10 examinations conducted.
11 As to my position in dissent, I have previously decided or
12 participated in decisions on this identical issue in practically all the
13 cases that I have been involved, particularly in Brdjanin and Oric, and I
14 stand by the position I took in that instance.
15 So you know now where you stand in relation to impeachment of
16 one's own witness.
17 Now, in the course of last week, there was another issue raised
18 relating to 65 ter list documents. So the above decisions obviously
19 impact directly on the objections advanced by the Defence to the
20 admissibility of documents used by the Prosecution in the redirect
21 examination of witnesses, and you will recall that we have postponed the
22 admission of some of the documents precisely pending the determination of
23 the motion, the joint motion, and also the issue of whether one is allowed
24 to impeach his own witness.
25 What we are going to add now is that to the extent that the
1 objections rested on the 65 ter list, or the use of these documents in
2 impeaching the credibility of a witness, as a logical consequence of what
3 we have decided earlier today, the Trial Chamber now dismisses the
4 particular objections; and to be more specific, I'm referring to the
5 documents that were used during the testimony of Milomir Savcic and
6 Nedeljko Trkulja.
7 As to the fact that the witnesses in some instances claimed no
8 knowledge of particular documents or even in some cases of the matters
9 described therein, we believe that this does not preclude admission of
10 such documents as a general principle. There still may be very relevant
11 for assessing the credibility of the witness or other purposes. There
12 may, of course, be individual cases where the nature of the documents and
13 the witness's testimony is such that there is a particular argument
14 against admissibility; for example, on the basis of relevance. But that
15 would need to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
16 In this instance, again, I repeat, therefore in relation only to
17 witnesses Milomir Savcic and Nedeljko Trkulja, we are satisfied that the
18 documents preferred by the Prosecution are admissible, and we order
19 accordingly in favour of their admission.
20 Mr. Josse, in the course of last week, raised the matter relating
21 to document P528, which is a United Nations report on Srebrenica, which
22 bears a date of 15th October 1999. The Prosecution seeks to tender this
23 document, and we heard extensive submissions on this matter last Friday.
24 The UN report on Srebrenica is an extensive report issued by the United
25 Nations, as I said, in 1999, regarding the events surrounding the fall of
2 Some Defence teams, particularly the ones of General Gvero and
3 also General Miletic, have opposed the admission of this document for
4 reasons outlined during the oral debate, oral argument. We have given
5 this a lot of thought, and our participation in the oral argument gave an
6 early indication that we will be engaging ourselves in deep thought on
7 this issue.
8 We do not believe that there is anything in the nature of this
9 document which makes it inadmissible before the Chamber, and we note that
10 it has indeed been received by other Trial Chambers in previous cases
11 dealing with Srebrenica, the Srebrenica events. However, in our view, it
12 is a question of relevance in terms of the specific use to be made of it
13 by the Chamber that matters. As with other documents, any of the parties
14 may choose to use selected portions of this report with witnesses in
15 either direct or cross-examination, use which could lead to the
16 introduction of those parts of the report as evidence in the proceedings.
17 Further, we are aware that at least General Smith and Richard
18 Butler, future witnesses in these proceedings, have relied upon this
19 document in the preparation of their own reports, which are to be
20 proffered to the Trial Chamber. Obviously, at some point, it may become
21 necessary for the Chamber to review those parts of the report referenced
22 by these two individuals and perhaps other parts, too, to be able to
23 properly assess their evidence.
24 Finally, it is open to any of the parties to introduce selected
25 portions of this document from the bar table for particular purposes that
1 the party specifies in introducing the document. We do not, however,
2 think or believe that it would be useful to this Trial Chamber for the
3 entire document to be before us for unspecified purposes as sought by the
4 Prosecution. We agree with the Defence submission that this would leave
5 them in a position of doubt as to the use to be made by the Chamber of
6 this extensive report which covers a myriad of issues.
7 While the parties may wish to consider agreeing on the submission
8 of selected portions, we do not consider that to be mandatory. As
9 indicated, any of the parties may make a submission for the admission of
10 any part of the report by justifying its relevance and probative value on
11 any particular point.
12 And that disposes of the issues we had before us in the course of
13 last week.
14 Any preliminaries that you wish to raise?
15 Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Simply, Your Honour, that I think the next witness
17 should be advised of his rights --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Cautioned?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: -- yes, under Rule 90, and I have told him that
20 that was likely and have explained the rule to him.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: There are no protective measures, are there?
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Skrbic, and welcome to this
25 Tribunal. Very soon you're going to give evidence; but before you do so,
1 we need to have you undertake by means of a solemn declaration that you
2 will be testifying the truth. Madam Usher is going to give you the text
3 of the solemn declaration. Please read it out aloud and that will be your
4 solemn undertaking with us.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: PETAR SKRBIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
10 Mr. Nicholls will be the first one to ask you questions. He will
11 then be followed by the various Defence teams or some of them.
12 However, before you start giving evidence, my attention has been
13 drawn that since you lived a part of these events, it would be better if I
14 alerted you to a particular right that you enjoy under our Rules. And
15 that relates to an individual's right not to be forced to incriminate
16 himself by answering questions.
17 There is the possibility, although I am not saying that this will
18 happen, that questions may be put to you which, if you answer truthfully,
19 could expose you possibly to criminal proceedings. I know this has been
20 explained to you, but it's my responsibility as the Presiding Judge to
21 explain it again to you. In such cases, you have a right to address the
22 Trial Chamber, the four of us up here, and seek an exemption from
23 answering such questions.
24 Of course, we will hear what you have to say; and if we are
25 convinced that it's the case of exempting you, we will grant you such
1 exemption. However, we also have the absolute discretion not agree with
2 granting the requested exemption and, rather, decide to force you, to
3 compel you, to answer such questions. If we do that, you enjoy a further
4 right, and that being the following: Unless in answering such questions
5 you have committed false testimony, then whatever you state in answering
6 those questions cannot be used and will not be used against you in any
7 future proceedings that may be instituted.
8 Have I been clear in explaining this to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely clear.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Major General, and I'm going now
11 to pass you into the hands of Mr. Nicholls. You still estimate an hour
12 and a half?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour, I think it will less.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
15 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:
16 Q. Good morning, sir.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Could you give us your full name?
19 A. I am Petar Skrbic.
20 Q. And your current occupation, please?
21 A. I am a retired general, so I am retired.
22 Q. Where were you born, sir?
23 A. I was born in the village of Hotkovci, Glamoc municipality in
25 Q. And what is the date of your birth?
1 A. I was born on the 20 October 1946.
2 Q. And you are Bosnian Serb; is that how you would describe your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. As I told you when I met you on Saturday, I will try to not keep
6 you in that chair for any longer than necessary, so I'd like to go to our
7 topics as quickly and concisely as we can.
8 And the first one of those is your military background. Correct
9 me if I'm wrong in any of these statements I'm going to make.
10 In 1966, you went to the military academy in Belgrade; is that
12 A. In 1965. That's when I started.
13 Q. Thank you. And how long were you at the academy?
14 A. I was at the academy in Belgrade for two years; then I continued
15 for one year in Zadar at the anti-aircraft academy; and then I returned to
16 Batajnica, where I completed my military academy education in 1968,
17 graduating from the rocket school.
18 Q. And then what was next in your career, military career?
19 A. I was assigned to the units of air -- Anti-Aircraft Defence in the
20 vicinity of Belgrade. There I stayed until 1981. Do you want me to give
21 you any details about my duties and tasks or not? Then I went to the high
22 military political school to complete that school, and I completed that
23 school and I remained teaching there. My subject was the dialectic of
24 society which was actually a philosophy subject. That was the course that
25 I was teaching. In 1985, I was transferred to the Federal Secretariat for
1 National Defence, to the Administration for Moral Guidance.
2 Q. And then if you could just continue briefly, take us through to
3 1993, if you can just briefly describe your positions.
4 A. Yes. I shall do it straight away. After the reorganisation of
5 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence of the former Socialist
6 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, the political administration from that
7 Secretariat was reorganised into the Administration for Moral Guidance
8 affiliated with the General Staff. That's how I ended up with the General
9 Staff of the army of Yugoslavia. I was in that administration, the chief
10 of the first section, the section for Moral Guidance. I remained there
11 until 1993. In 1993 for a brief period of time, I was the chief, i.e.,
12 the director, of the Military Publication Centre, until the moment I
13 joined the army of Republika Srpska which was on the 17th of November
15 Q. And can you tell us which -- what position you held in the VRS and
16 in which corps?
17 A. I joined the 2nd Krajina Corps. I was assistant commander of that
18 corps for Moral Guidance, Religious, and Legal Affairs, and I stayed in
19 that position until the 24th of July, I believe that it was then, 1994.
20 Q. Okay. Let me stop you for one moment. Why did you -- if you can
21 explain, why did you go to the 2nd Krajina Corps? Why that particular
23 A. That's how I was assigned when I reported to the Main Staff of the
24 army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Is it also in the area where you were born, that corps?
1 A. The command post of the 2nd Krajina Corps was at Ostrelj near
2 Drvar, which is some 70 kilometres away from my native village, from
3 Glamoc; maybe not exactly 70 kilometres, but thereabouts.
4 Q. Okay. All right. Well, continue, please. What happened to you,
5 you were going to tell us, in July 1994?
6 A. I received information that I should report urgently to the Main
7 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska to be reassigned to a new duty.
8 When I arrived at the Main Staff, I was told that I would be proposed to
9 be promoted to the post of the assistant commander for Organisation,
10 Mobilisation, and Personnel matters, and that's what happened. I was
11 appointed because all appointments that required a person to have the rank
12 of a general is within the purview of the president of the republic.
13 Q. Okay. And when were you promoted to general in the VRS?
14 A. As far as I can remember, this was on the 23rd of June 1995. Any
15 general has to spend some time performing duties requiring the ranks of a
16 colonel in order to gain some experience.
17 Q. When did you resign or leave the VRS?
18 A. On the 31st of December 1996.
19 Q. And then what's the next step in your career? Where do you go?
20 A. At that time, I was still not fulfilling conditions for
21 retirement, and that's why I remained without any assignments in the army
22 of Yugoslavia; and then when I was up for retirement, I was eventually
23 retired in 2001. That's when I fulfilled all the conditions.
24 Q. And so after December 1996, where did you go physically? Did you
25 stay in the RS, or did you go to Belgrade? Where were you living?
1 A. I went to Belgrade.
2 Q. And when you retired in 2001, what was your rank?
3 A. Lieutenant-General.
4 Q. All right. Let me just say for the record I see that you have a
5 document in front of you and a note pad. Could you just tell us - I think
6 I see what it is - what you've brought into the courtroom today?
7 A. This is a notebook that I received from you. It is clean. There
8 is nothing in there. I prepared it just in case I had to make any notes,
9 and this is a copy of my interview that I had with Mr. McCloskey in 2005
10 in Serbian language, and I have nothing else.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. Just a pencil.
13 Q. All right. If you want to refer to your interview, please let us
15 Now, that transcript of your 2005 interview with the OTP, you
16 reviewed that before you came here in your own language; is that right?
17 A. Yes. I've reviewed it.
18 Q. And on Saturday, when you met with me, you made various
19 corrections and comments to your -- to the interview; is that right?
20 A. That is right.
21 Q. All right. Now, I want to go to July 1995, the time when you're
22 an assistant commander in the Main Staff. I'd like you to very, very
23 briefly tell the Trial Chamber what your main tasks were as assistant
24 commander for Organisation, Mobilisation, and Personnel Affairs. If you
25 could give us a brief description of your duties, and I mean as brief as
1 you can make it and be accurate.
2 A. I'll try and be brief but we are talking about a very broad area.
3 I'll start with the Organisation. The Organisation of the army of
4 Republika Srpska, when I first arrived, had already been established and I
5 did not have much to do in that respect.
6 As for the Mobilisation of the army, this pertained to my duties
7 in the following respect: The requirements of the army for mobilisation
8 of people and materiel were within my purview. However, the call-up
9 papers, issuing call-up papers and calling on people to join the army,
10 were within the purview of the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.
11 As for the Personnel affairs, they occupied most of my time, and
12 let me just tell you briefly what they entailed: Education of officers
13 and non-commissioned officers, assignment of officers, preparation of
14 documents for their appointment to their establishment positions,
15 preparation of documents for the promotion of the officers, preparation of
16 documents for decorations, as well as the preparation of documents for
17 reassignment from one unit to another. There may have been some other
18 minor things.
19 Q. Thank you. On 11 July 1995, where were you posted?
20 A. As far as I can remember, I was in Han Pijesak at the rear command
22 Q. Who was your immediate superior at that time?
23 A. All the time, throughout the entire war, my superior was the
24 commander of the Main Staff, not for a single moment did I have somebody
25 else as my immediate superior.
1 Q. General Mladic?
2 A. General Mladic, yes.
3 Q. I want to now start talking about some documents with you, and the
4 first one is 02899. Now, in a minute this document should appear on the
5 screen in front of you in your language. If it doesn't, let me know.
6 Excuse me. It may take a moment.
7 A. Your Honour, may I ask something, please?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the left screen, I have the
10 English translation. Would that be customary in this courtroom?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it bother you in the first place?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not at all, no, but I was
13 just wondering. I understand English just a little.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: On the left scene, there is a transcript of what is
15 being said now. Every single word that you say in Serbian is being
16 translated to us into English; and for those of us who prefer French, in
17 French. And, well, you have it there in front of you as well, and the
18 transcript is only in English. You can't have it in Serbo-Croat. But if
19 it bothers you, don't look at it. Concentrate on the other one, on the
20 other monitor.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm not bothered. On the
22 contrary, this is a good opportunity. It would be, if I had the time, to
23 brush up on my English. Unfortunately, I don't have the time.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest you concentrate on your testimony
25 rather than brushing.
1 Yes, let's go ahead. Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. Sir, can you see that document in your language?
4 A. I apologise for this digression, first of all. Now I can see the
5 document. I can see the number as well. I apologise. Let me just get
6 hold of my glasses.
7 Q. Would you prefer to have a copy of the document in paper in front
8 of you, or can you see that clearly?
9 A. No need for that. I apologise. No need for that because the copy
10 on the screen is quite legible.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: And could we scroll down so that the witness can
13 see the entire document?
14 Q. Now, do you recall, Witness, that we looked at this document
15 together on Saturday?
16 A. Yes. We saw it, yes.
17 Q. All right. Do you recognise this document?
18 A. I recognise it, yes.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could go back up to the top, please.
20 Q. We see here that at the top, on the third line on the left, the
21 confidential number begins with 09. What does that 09 signify, which
23 A. That number indicates the sector in which I was assistant
24 commander for those affairs, so it belonged to the sector for
25 Organisation, Mobilisation, and Personnel. Other numbers indicated other
1 things. The 09 means affiliation to a certain sector.
2 Q. All right. And we can see that this document is dated 12th of
3 July 1995, correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And your name, if we go down to the bottom again, appears on the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Do you recall this document, drafting this document?
9 A. As far as I remember, I did; but to tell you the truth, I can't
10 see the initials clearly. It seems to indicate that somebody else drafted
11 this but I believe I dictated those words.
12 Q. And what is this document?
13 A. Can you scroll up a little?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. This document is addressed to the Ministry of Defence of Republika
16 Srpska with a request to requisition buses at the Secretariats enumerated
17 here because they were in charge. They were responsible for ordering
18 these Secretariats to requisition. Just a minute. It's about buses.
20 Q. Now, let me read quickly what -- this is a short document. It
21 states: "Order: As urgently as possible the Sarajevo and Zvornik MO
22 Secretariats, to mobilise through the Pale, Sokolac, Rogatica, Visegrad,
23 Han Pijesak, Vlasenica, Milici, Bratunac, and Zvornik Ministry of Defence
24 departments MO, all available buses in these municipalities. It is
25 necessary to mobilise at least 50 buses which must be sent to Bratunac
1 Sports Stadium by 1430 on 12 July 1995 at the latest."
2 Now, it says: "Order: As urgently as possible." Is this an
3 order or a request?
4 A. In wartime, it's difficult to find the right words, and sometimes
5 inappropriate words slip in. What should be written here is that it is
6 necessary to instruct Secretariats to do whatever, not order Secretariats,
7 because it was their responsibility, and we were asking them to do so.
8 But if you allow me one comment, it's not that I'm saying that
9 Secretariats were free to ignore our requests, but we did not want to
10 interfere in their jurisdiction, the jurisdiction of National Defence
12 Q. Right. Well, we'll look at some other documents soon and see how
13 they perceived this document which says "Order" on it. Who told you to
14 direct this order, or however you want to characterise it, to the MOD?
15 How did you get the information which you passed on here?
16 A. I received that information by telephone; but for the life of me,
17 I can't remember who passed it on to me.
18 Q. But when I--
19 A. After that, I also used the phone to call the Ministry of Defence
20 to tell them it's necessary to requisition these buses, and the person who
21 answered my call at the Ministry of Defence said that I should put it in
22 writing without fail, and I did that.
23 Q. When did you receive that telephone call?
24 A. I don't remember exactly, but it was sometime in the evening.
25 Q. And on which day? On the 12th when this order was drafted, or
1 on another day?
2 A. Well, it was during the night, so I suppose it was the night of
3 the 11th because, as you see, this document was written on the 12th. That
4 means the previous night.
5 Q. Now, on 11th you said you were at Han Pijesak. Do you know where
6 that telephone call came from; in other words, where it originated from?
7 A. No, I don't know. I can't remember.
8 Q. Do you remember which body of the VRS gave you this information to
9 pass on?
10 A. I can't remember.
11 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you to look at your statement, if I may, on
12 page 24 at lines 2 to 9. You find that, and I'll read out the question
13 and answer that might help you.
14 Question - this is page 24 as well of the English - "Did you know
15 that his," I think it should be this, "or his request of 12 July came
16 from Ratko Mladic?"
17 And your answer was: "Indirectly through somebody." That's around
18 line 8 of yours.
19 A. Yes, I see the statement.
20 Q. Okay. And on page 25 of the English, which is also on page 24 of
21 yours, at lines 28 to 32, you were asked: "You are passing on Mladic's
23 And your answer was: "That must have been or he -- that was his
24 request, his demand." Do you remember saying that in the interview?
25 A. I do. I remember saying that and I stand by it. Should I repeat
2 Q. No. You don't need to repeat it, thank you, if you stand by it.
3 Now, at this time, on the 11th, when you got this information and
4 that you were to pass on this order, or on the 12th, what did you know or
5 what were you told these buses were to be used for, these buses that are
6 to be sent to Bratunac stadium?
7 A. As soon as it was said that buses were needed, I knew that they
8 were needed to transport people but I didn't know which people.
9 Q. What do you mean by "people"? What kind of people are you talking
10 about? Soldiers? Civilians? What?
11 A. During the war, we used buses to transport our personnel, our
12 fighting men, or we used trucks. This time, I was told that such a large
13 number of buses was needed for an evacuation. But an evacuation of whom
14 or what, nobody said anything about that.
15 Q. Did you know that day what was happening? That day, the 11th and
16 12th, did you know what was happening in Potocari?
17 A. No, I didn't know.
18 Q. Okay. I'd like to show you another document now.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: This is 65 ter 12, please. Okay.
20 Q. Take a look at this document, sir. Do you remember we looked at
21 this one as well on Saturday?
22 A. Yes. We looked at it together. What is the question?
23 Q. This is a document dated 12 July 1995, "Secretariat of the Defence
24 Ministry, Sarajevo. Subject: Request for mobilisation of buses."
25 I'll just read the beginning part: "Pursuant to a request by the
1 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army," and then it's got the number
2 0931-12-3154 dated 12 July 1995, regarding the mobilisation of buses.
3 "Immediately mobilise at least 20 buses and drivers from the
4 municipalities of Pale, Sokolac, Rogatica, and Han Pijesak. The drivers
5 are to report with their buses to the Sports Stadium in Bratunac by 12
6 July 1995 at 1430 hours. Immediately send a report to this ministry about
7 the actions taken in connection with the aforementioned request."
8 Now, the number referenced in the first line, that's the same
9 number as your order that we just looked at, is that right, the one that
10 ends in 154?
11 A. That is correct. We have discussed this before, sir. You see the
12 wording, "pursuant to the request." They don't say pursuant to an order.
13 Maybe it's same in English; but in our language, there is a distinction.
14 So it was clearly understood by the person who wrote this, and the number
15 indicated is correct. We did the comparison yesterday or the day before
17 Q. So, very briefly tell us, what is this document? What is this
18 document attempting to accomplish?
19 A. The Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence is responding to our
20 request and immediately orders the Secretariat in Sarajevo to mobilise 20
21 buses, as I see now, according to their assessment, which means they were
22 able to requisition that number, and they order the Secretariat to
23 immediately report back. That would be a brief summary.
24 Q. Thank you. I'd like to look at now 65 ter 13, a similar document,
25 dated 12 July 1995. This one Secretariat of the Defence Ministry,
1 Zvornik. Take a moment to look at this document, please, sir.
2 A. I can see it.
3 Q. And this is another one that we looked at together on Saturday,
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Very briefly, as you did with the last one, can you just tell us
7 what this document is?
8 A. The same as with the previous document. The only difference is
9 that the Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence of Zvornik is now reacting
10 to the same document in the same way. Taking a look at the number of
11 buses, it seems they had the ability to requisition 30 buses.
12 Q. Thank you. And I think you answered this, but was the person you
13 spoke to on the telephone, on the night of the 11th, Momcilo Kovacevic,
14 the person who is signing this document and the last one?
15 A. The person I talked to is Momcilo Kovacevic, Momo Kovacevic.
16 Could you raise it a bit?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. I think he signed it. No. This document is from the Zvornik
19 Secretariat, and Momcilo Kovacevic signed the document. Right. That's
20 him, Momcilo Kovacevic. And can you show the document of the Ministry of
21 Defence, because I'm confused now. Could there be another Momcilo
22 Kovacevic in Zvornik?
23 Q. Well, you'll see this one is signed for, and we'll keep going
24 through some documents and maybe it will be clearer to you?
25 A. Yes, yes. But it's true that I talked to Momcilo Kovacevic, who
1 worked at the Ministry of Defence.
2 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go to 65 ter number 14 now. Take a look
3 and read this document which again is similar. Here, again, we have
4 mobilisation of a minimum 50 buses including drivers to report immediately
5 to the Sports Stadium in Bratunac, also dated 12 July 1995.
6 And in the bottom, it states: "Keep this ministry regularly
7 informed about the actions taken in connection with the aforementioned
9 You recognise this document, sir?
10 A. I recognise the document. We looked at it recently, during
12 Q. And, again --
13 A. I can note that it is related to the request from the Main Staff,
14 and their number is correct. I wouldn't like to go into the further
15 details and how they are responding. We can see that they are responding
16 to the document of the Main Staff and taking the measures that they see
17 fit; and, of course, they are required to report back to the Ministry of
18 Defence of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. Thank you. The next one is 65 ter number 15, now 13 July 1995,
20 Secretariat of the Defence Ministry, Sarajevo. We looked at this
21 document, sir. Very briefly, is this again connected to the Main Staff
22 document that you authored and sent to Kovacevic?
23 A. This document does not mention the number of the request from the
24 Main Staff; but in view of the text itself, it's obvious that this
25 document, too, is related.
1 Q. Thank you. Just a couple more of these. 65 ter number 16;
2 again, 13 July 1995.
3 A. I can see it. We reviewed it as well, together, I believe.
4 Q. Yes. And this one is also related, is it not, to your document?
5 A. The same.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: And now if we could go to 65 ter number 17.
7 Q. Take a look at this one, sir, from the 13th of July 1995,
8 Secretariat of the Defence Ministry, Bijeljina. This one references the
9 number from your order or request, as you call it, correct?
10 A. Yes, correct.
11 Q. And so, again, this document is, to be brief, a result of your
12 order or your request, as you call it, to the MOD?
13 A. Look at the heading: "Republika Srpska, Ministry of Defence." So
14 the Ministry of Defence authored this request for the Main Staff, and then
15 they elaborated the details in their own way.
16 Q. Yes. And it's pursuant to a request by the Main Staff, and then
17 we see the same number that appears on the document you drafted, correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, if we could have the break now, I just
20 have a few more documents to organise that are related but a little bit
22 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem. Madam Registrar.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now.
25 Thank you.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Could we have 65 ter number 13 back up, please, just for a
6 moment. Thank you, sir. Thank you.
7 Q. I just want us to look at this document, again, for a minute to
8 make a note of the number at the top, 3615/95. Do you see that, sir?
9 A. Your Honours, if I may, I have something to tell you now at the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I brought into the courtroom another
13 pair of glasses that would be more practical now because of the
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you see the number at the top of this
19 A. 02213615/95.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could now go to P02900, number 02900.
22 Q. Sir, this order to the Ministry of Defence departments in Zvornik,
23 Milici, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and Bratunac, dated 12 July 1995, for bus
24 drivers and buses to immediately go to the Sports Centre in Bratunac is
25 another document we looked at Saturday, correct?
1 A. We've also seen that document on Saturday, I believe, but we
2 didn't make out this word in the heading, "Republika Srpska, Ministry of
3 Defence, Secretariat section," then we don't see the word; and then on the
4 right-hand side we see, "Republika Srpska, Ministry of Defence, department
5 of Zvornik." I don't know whose stamp is there on the left, but I can say
6 that this is a response to all the other documents. Now it's in the
7 purview of the Secretariat.
8 Q. Yes. And there is no question in your mind -- well, is this an
9 order? What is this document?
10 A. Yes. They are issuing an order.
11 Q. And it refers specifically and says that it is pursuant to the
12 document we just looked at, 65 ter number 13, number 02-213615/95 also of
13 12 July, correct?
14 A. Correct. This document invokes that document of the Ministry of
15 Defence of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: And if we could now look at 02901.
18 Q. Quite similar, sir. Will you take a look at this document, also
19 from the 12th of July?
20 A. Yes. We've reviewed this one, too.
21 Q. And, again, just as the last document we looked at, 02900, this
22 order is directly in response to the previous order we looked at, 65 ter
23 number 13. You can see the same number on the second line. It ends
25 A. We established during proofing that the numbers corresponded, as
1 you said just now, but I can't compare now because I don't have the other
2 document. But you stated it correctly because we did analyse it during
4 Q. All right. Just a few more documents I want to look at now.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could look at 65 ter number 156.
6 Q. This is a command of the Drina Corps 12 July 1995 document headed,
7 "Very urgent." It will come up in a minute, sir, and I think this is one
8 which you did not see Saturday, so take a moment to look at it.
9 A. That's true. I've not seen this document before. Let me just say
10 that I saw some of the documents that you showed me during the proofing
11 for the first time, save for those documents that I myself drafted in the
12 Main Staff; and as for this document, we did not even discuss this
13 document during the proofing, not at all.
14 Q. No. Again, but, as with the previous documents of 12 July, this
15 one, if you can read in your version, states that pursuant to the VRS
16 General Staff commander's order to provide 50 buses for evacuation from
17 the Srebrenica enclave, and then it goes on talking about the types of
18 fuel that will be allocated and the places the buses will come from.
19 So is this related to the same operation?
20 A. This is probably related to the same operation. I cannot comment
21 upon this document because this is really not within my purview. I did
22 not deal with fuel and the petrol. But since a reference is made to the
23 place from which the buses were requisitioned, I would say that this had
24 to do with that document.
25 And I apologise, let me dwell upon this document for just a brief
1 moment. I don't know what document by the commander of the Republika
2 Srpska army is referred to herein.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Let me go now to 65 ter number 871. Again, 12 July
4 1995, command of the Drina Corps document, headed, "Urgent." And it
5 states that the topic is the provision of buses for the evacuation of the
6 Srebrenica enclave, and it's an order.
7 Q. We did look at this Saturday, sir. Do you recall that?
8 A. Of course, I recall that. I saw this document during proofing.
9 Q. And, again, if you look at the second paragraph -- I'm sorry. It
10 will be the first paragraph on your version, the first full paragraph
11 after the distribution list. It states that all of the available buses
12 and minibuses belonging to units of the RS, VRS, must be secured for the
13 use of the Drina Corps and head towards the Sports Stadium in Bratunac on
14 12 July 1995.
15 Is this --
16 A. Could I please see the addressee block? Thank you. It was sent
17 to the command of the brigades that were on the strength of the Drina
18 Corps. The only difference is specific of this document is that it says
19 the buses owned by the units, which means that these buses were not
20 requisitions. They were owned by the units already, and they served to
21 transport their own men to the front lines and back from it.
22 Q. But, again, according to this order, on this day, 12 July, 1995,
23 they are going to Bratunac Sports Stadium, correct?
24 A. If that is how the document reads, then it must have been that
1 Q. Is that how the document reads to you, or does it read some way
2 different to you?
3 A. This is exactly how the document reads: "Bratunac, the Sports
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: And sorry, if we could just take a look at the
7 number of this order, it's 22/226, and if we could now go to 02901 --
8 02902, excuse me. I apologise. We do not yet have a translation of this
9 document. This document is from the 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade,
10 dated 12 July 1995.
11 Q. The only part I want you to look at, sir, is the bottom two lines
12 of the second full paragraph. Forgive my pronunciation, it starts off
13 "Vasje naredenje." Could you read that out to us, please? Yes. Where
14 the cursor is.
15 A. I can see that sentence starting with "Vase naredenje."
16 Q. Could you read it, please, out loud?
17 A. The whole paragraph?
18 Q. No, just that last sentence, which has the date 12 July 1995 in
20 A. "Your order, strictly confidential number 22/226, dated 12 July
21 1995, was carried out in keeping with our capabilities."
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. So I think that speaks for itself, but this
23 document, then, is connected to the previous document we looked at; is
24 that -- do you agree with that?
25 A. Can we see the heading, please?
1 This document was issued by the command of the 5th Light Infantry
2 Brigade, which was subordinated to the command of the Drina Corps, and
3 reported to the command of the Drina Corps on all the things stated
4 herein, including the thing that you asked me to read.
5 And can we now scroll up, please?
6 Who signed it? I suppose it was the commander. Actually, it does
7 say here the commander of that brigade. This was part of the regular
8 procedure that was in place to provide for the communication between the
9 commands. Whenever they received an order, they were supposed to report
10 back on that order.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'm done with that topic.
12 I've got a new topic now, and I want to talk to you about any
13 meetings you had on the 14th of July 1995.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: And could we have 02905 up, please? If we could
15 scroll down to the entry for the 14th of July, this is an excerpt of the
16 appointment calendar for Radovan Karadzic for 14 July 1995.
17 Q. Do you see your name on here, on the list of persons with
18 appointments that day with Mr. Karadzic? I can help you. It says "12.15
19 to 12.35," fifth line down.
20 A. Yes. I can see that. It is in the Cyrillic.
21 Q. Okay. Did you meet with Radovan Karadzic that day, 14 July 1995?
22 A. I did. I met with the president.
23 Q. Why did you meet with him? What was the purpose? What was the
25 A. I went to see the president of the Republika Srpska because I had
1 received an order to take to him the orders for the decorations that he
2 was supposed to sign, and this is exactly what I did. I took those to
4 Q. Okay. Now, was anybody else present at the meeting with you and
5 Dr. Karadzic on the 14th of July, around noon? Try to remember as best
6 you can.
7 A. I really can't remember, but I believe that only Bogdan Subotic
8 was present. He was a general and a chief of the military part of the
9 president's offers, and I really wouldn't be able to recall anybody else.
10 Q. Okay. Do you remember a time when you thought there might have
11 been somebody else present at that meeting?
12 A. Yes. I remember --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic?
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I believe that the witness has
15 already answered the question as to who was present during the meeting;
16 in other words, this was asked and answered. The witness has already
17 answered that, and my learned friend is repeating the same question.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: It's not the same question. I'm asking if a little
20 while ago he had a - I am looking for my question - if he had a different
21 view on who was present.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Your previous question was: "okay. Now was anybody
23 else present at the meeting with you and Dr. Karadzic on the 14th of July
24 around noon? Try to remember best."
25 He told you: "I can't remember, but I believe that only Bogdan
1 Subotic," et cetera, et cetera," and I really wouldn't be able to recall
2 anybody else.
3 And your next question: "Okay. Do you remember a time when you
4 thought there might have been somebody else present at that meeting?"
5 So what you're being asked now is that perhaps now you don't
6 recall anybody else being present at that meeting, but was there another
7 occasion in the past when you did recall the presence of someone else and
8 you said -- you said as much.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have stated that
10 General Gvero was also present at the meeting, but the following thing
11 confused me: The President of Republika Srpska did mention General Gvero
12 at that meeting in the sense that he had written a report which was
13 detrimental to the morale of the Republika Srpska army. And this
14 information has confused me, and I really can't claim that General Gvero
15 was there.
16 I can only say, upon reflection and based on logic, that what my
17 job with the president was had nothing to do with what General Gvero had
18 to deal with. So my conclusion would be that General Gvero probably was
19 not there.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to proceed to your next question?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then go ahead.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Let me ask you this, sir, and it's something you talked about
25 before: What other issues, beyond military issues which would fall
1 directly within your competence, your mandate, were discussed at the
2 meeting with Karadzic? You already started talking about morale reports,
3 but what else was discussed there?
4 A. I apologise. I need to correct you here. I did not report to him
5 about the state of morale. That was not within my purview. But the
6 president said - and I paraphrase because I can't remember his words
7 exactly - that he was not an old lady and that he would certainly remove
8 General Gvero; that Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic, as far as I can
9 remember - and this is what I said to Mr. McCloskey as well - had sold a
10 tape; and he also mentioned a name that I don't want to mention because
11 the person is deceased, and out of respect. He mentioned that name as
12 well; and if you insist, Your Honours, I can say that name.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know that name so I don't know what could or
14 could not be entailed. Mr. Nicholls, if you are aware of the name and you
15 wish to pursue this line of questions, we can go in private session and he
16 can mention the name in private session. I don't know if it's of any
17 relevance or it's important.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I think at this point I can just continue, Your
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Move on. Okay. Go ahead, then.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Let me just ask this: Who drafted the morale reports you talked
23 about a minute ago? Who would have drafted those reports?
24 A. What morale reports are you referring to? I don't understand your
25 question. Are you talking about information about the state of morale?
1 Is that what you're implying?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. They were drafted by the sector for Morale Guidance, Religious,
4 and Legal Affairs, and they were sent to the units to inform them about
5 the state of morale within the army of Republika Srpska, and that
6 information was also sent to the corps. I don't know whether it was sent
7 to the higher command unit, i.e. the supreme command. I wouldn't know
9 Q. Okay. Do you recall stating in your interview who you said
10 probably spoke about morale issues at that meeting with Karadzic?
11 A. At the Office of the President, we did not go into any detail on
12 that subject. The president himself told us that that alleged information
13 was detrimental to the morale of the army, rather than being beneficial to
14 it, and that he had corrected that. I don't know how he did that. I
15 suppose that in that information - that's what I've already stated, and I
16 repeat it today - one could read about the problems, especially problems
17 in society, were exerting negative influence on the morale in the army,
18 which I believe the president did not find very pleasant to read.
19 Q. Let me stop you. I don't think you understood my question. My
20 question was other than you -- my question was who spoke about morale
21 issues, not what those issues were and the long answer. And let me just
22 ask you if you remember saying this in your interview. It's on page 39 of
23 the English, page 38 of the Serbian: "Okay. So if you didn't speak to
24 him about those morale issues, who did?"
25 Your answer, this is about that same meeting: "Probably Gvero."
1 Do you remember giving that answer?
2 A. I do, and I can read it as well.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse, one moment Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. JOSSE: Could I ask whether this cross-examination goes to the
5 credibility of the witness or to the truth of the answer? Because if it's
6 the former, then no problem.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we should discuss this in the presence
8 of the witness.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to move on, Your Honour. I'm just trying
10 to help the witness -- I'm not -- it probably should not be discussed in
11 front of the witness. You're right. But I don't know that we really need
12 to get into a discussion about it now.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously, the witness understands English. So if
14 you want to discuss it further, we need the witness to leave the
16 MR. JOSSE: If Mr. Nicholls is going to move on, I don't want to
17 make a mountain out of a mole hill.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I am moving on.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's move on.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we look at 02648 [sic]?
21 Q. That's a different topic now, Witness.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: And, actually, Your Honours, before I discuss this
23 document, I guess I should -- I don't know if I can. This is a document
24 that we had previously asked to have assigned a 65 ter number. That's
25 referenced in the motion, and that decision is pending. The only purpose
1 of this - and I think I can say this in front of the witness - is that
2 it's the witness's document. He wrote it, which is why I wanted to show
3 it to him, but I believe Your Honours, unless I'm wrong, have not yet made
4 a decision on whether it can be added to the list.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it the current motion that I told you, you should
6 have filed -- we would have preferred to you file earlier or not?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: No. It's an earlier motion, Your Honour, from 6
8 July, which I --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I have a list here of all pending
10 motions. Just give me a moment. We have the Butler one, 26th. 6th of
11 July, Prosecution filed a motion requesting leave to amend the 65 ter list
12 with 18 exhibits pertaining to Alistair Graham.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, that may not be it. This was -- this was
14 sought to be admitted as corroboration for some of the intercept exhibits.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Then there was a 12th of July motion, still pending,
16 requesting to supplement its 6th July motion. On 6th of July, Prosecution
17 have a motion to amend the 65 ter list pertaining to intercept
18 corroboration documents.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: It would be one of -- that is the one, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And this, obviously, we haven't decided upon
21 because we are dealing with this matter together with the other issues
22 related to intercepts.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. I'll ask my friends if there is
24 an objection. I simply want the witness to look at the document in order
25 to help lay the foundation and authenticity of this document, even if it's
1 not admitted at this time pending your decision.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there anyone from the Defence teams that doesn't
3 agree with this?
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have just one
5 question that I would like to clarify with my learned friend. According
6 to the 65 ter list, a document that will be used for these documents,
7 under the number, if the counsel could repeat the number. I have the
8 document. I wonder whether the mistake is in the list or in the
9 transcript, and are we talking about the same document? Because in the
10 transcript, page 37, line 13, we have 02648. Could the counsel please
11 repeat the number?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls. Thank you, Madam.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: It's 02468.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: 02468.
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] So this document is on the list for
16 direct examination of this witness. I believe that the Defence has
17 already objected to the admission of these documents on the list according
18 to Rule 65 ter.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I understand that my friend has objected in
22 the context of the motion that was filed first referring to this.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: On the 6th of July.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. What I was wondering is since we have the
25 witness here, if I could show the document just to establish its
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Independently and irrespective and without
3 prejudice to your position taken vis-a-vis the 6th of July Prosecution
4 motion, for the purpose of this witness, and for the purpose of
5 establishing, it seems only, the authenticity of this document, do you
6 have an objection for the use of this document with the present witness,
7 Mr. Josse?
8 MR. JOSSE: Got nothing to do with us, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you were -- you wanted to intervene.
10 MR. JOSSE: We've got no interest in this document. Others might.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Anybody wishes to object to the limited
12 use? We hear no objection, then you may proceed accordingly, and use of
13 this document will not prejudice the pending issue.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 If I could have 02468 up on the screen, please? And with the
16 assistance of the usher, I have the original, if I could show it to the
17 witness; and, perhaps, show it to my friend, if they want to see it.
18 Q. Thank you, sir. I showed you this document as well Saturday. Can
19 you just tell me what that document is and whose signature is on it?
20 That's all I'd ask from you.
21 A. You've already showed me this document, the contents of which have
22 reminded me of this document. The signature is by General Skrbic, which
23 is myself, and the signature is absolutely authentic. The document speaks
24 about sending two volunteers from Poland to the Drina Corps.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I have no other questions at this time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
3 Mr. Zivanovic?
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No questions for this witness, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 Mr. Meek?
7 MR. MEEK: No questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Ms. Nikolic?
10 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No questions, thank you, Your
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam.
13 Mr. Stojanovic?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no questions either.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Mr. Petrusic?
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence of
18 General Miletic does have questions for this witness, and we will seek to
19 stay within our estimate.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrusic:
22 Q. Good morning, General. My name is Nenad Petrusic, and I have some
23 questions for you on behalf of the Defence of General Miletic.
24 A. Good morning, Mr. Petrusic.
25 Q. When you arrived at the Main Staff of the VRS, that command had
1 already been completed in organisational and other terms, as you stated in
2 your evidence earlier, and I would like to know whether this military
3 establishment was set up in keeping with the constitution and the Law on
4 the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska and the Law on the Army of Republika
6 A. The organisation of the entire army of Republika Srpska, including
7 its Main Staff, was based on the constitution, the Law on Defence and the
8 Law on the Army of Republika Srpska, and the establishment for each
9 organisational unit had been stipulated.
10 Q. A lot of enactments, laws, and by-laws dealing with the
11 organisation of the army had been taken over by the VRS from the JNA, just
12 as by the other two armies?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Could we then say that in July 1995, and in the course of the
15 entire year 1995, the army of Republika Srpska was an organised and
16 disciplined military establishment?
17 A. I could agree about the organisation, but I cannot say anything
18 about discipline. It is not such an easy matter that I could elaborate on
19 here. I could not agree that it was completely disciplined, but it would
20 require scientific analysis to prove the truth of the matter.
21 Q. In any case, the principles of subordination and single command
22 were observed?
23 A. Up to the level of brigade, which I'm familiar with, formal
24 relations prevailed in the VRS, that means subordination and single
25 command in terms of personnel interrelations, but I cannot say anything
1 about lower levels.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] May I have 5438, Exhibit 5438 --.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: P438.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 5D438.
5 Q. General, would you be able to follow this schematic?
6 A. With great difficulty because the letters are too small. But in
7 my proofing with you, after the proofing with the Prosecution, I did see
8 this document before.
9 Q. General, can we agree that the commander -- that this is the
10 composition of the Main Staff of the VRS in July 1995, as indicated on the
12 A. You mean in terms of names and surnames?
13 Q. I mean organisationally and in terms of personnel.
14 A. This schematic has nothing to do with the organisation as it was
15 in July 1995. There are occasional similarities, but not more.
16 Q. We'll come to the name and to the details, but I would like to
17 know whether the commander of the Main Staff in this schematic is
18 presented in the appropriate place here, in the proper place, in keeping
19 with the organisation of the Main Staff?
20 A. Yes. The commander is indicated in his right place but a small
21 box is missing here, which may not be important because formally the
22 military office of the commander of the Main Staff did not really exist,
23 but it was envisaged by the establishment. So a small box should be there
24 that has nothing to do with the subordinates down there.
25 Q. General, when you look at this schematic, please ignore the
1 operative units below the command of the Main Staff. Look only at the
2 command, please.
3 A. I understand.
4 Q. I hope that right next to you there is a pen that is able to write
5 on the screen. Could you please look at this schematic and see if the
6 position of Chief of Main Staff is correctly indicated?
7 A. No, it isn't.
8 Q. Can you place the Chief of the Main Staff in the right place
9 according to organisational structure? General, wait a minute.
10 Wait until I've finished my question so that the interpreters can
11 keep up; otherwise, the record will be a mess, and can you please take
12 care to remember this in future?
13 A. I'm sorry.
14 Q. So I'll repeat the question. Can you place the Chief of Main
15 Staff in his right position?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. Then please draw it in, write the letters "NS" with a diacritic,
18 to indicate the proper place of Manojlo Milovanovic, Chief of Main Staff.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. I understand you want to erase this first line.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Is it technically possible to
22 erase the first line, because I understand the general is trying to do
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Line erased] Can you erase this,
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So we could say that the Chief of Staff was the Chief of the Staff
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. The next box we see on the schematic, to the right of the first
6 box, marked as The Staff, and you say that it's really the Staff Sector,
7 is the Section for Air Force and Air Defence. Is the section properly
8 placed in the schematic?
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] If I may ask the AV directors to
10 zoom in on the central part of this schematic because that's the one we
12 THE REGISTRAR: We need to save this image if you want to keep it
13 and then we can zoom in.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be better, because I
15 can't see. Where is this section in the schematic?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: To cut it short, let's save this.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, I see it now. I'm sorry.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But if I may be
19 allowed to suggest something before we save this, may I ask the witness:
20 Would it be correct to cross out the Chief of the Main Staff as he is
21 represented originally?
22 Q. So, General, on this schematic, where you see the Chief of the
23 Main Staff, could you cross that out with that red pen?
24 A. There it is, because I put him in the proper place.
25 Q. Let us also look on this schematic for the part where it says,
1 "Staff," and could you correct that to read, "Staff Sector"?
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. In the right-hand corner, please write today's date, the 17th of
4 September; and in the right-hand corner, place your initials.
5 A. [Marks] Is this enough?
6 Q. Yes.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now save this document?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, save it. For the record, the date
9 appears -- does not appear near the signature, but it's still visible on
10 another part of the document.
11 Yes. Now, if you could indicate which part of the same document
12 you wish to refer the witness to, we can go straight to that part, and we
13 can zoom in.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The part of the schematic which is
17 to the right of the date placed by the witness.
18 Q. So, General, do you agree that the section of Air Force and Air
19 Defence is properly placed in organisational terms?
20 A. Well, the name is not accurate, and its position on the schematic
21 is not accurate. Can I tell you exactly what it was called?
22 Q. Go ahead.
23 A. Administration for Air Defence and Air Force. It's true that it
24 was headed by Major General Jovo Maric. It's true that he was assistant
25 commander for Air Force and Air Defence, and this box should be on the
1 right end of this line, before the Administration for Planning,
2 Development, and Finance.
3 Q. All right. General. Let's go ahead. The Section for
4 Intelligence and Security, is that one correctly positioned?
5 A. The name, again, is not correct. It's called Administration for
6 Intelligence and Security. Sorry, let me repeat. It was called the
7 sector for Intelligence and Security, without the J, which is in a
8 different dialect.
9 Q. That sector had two administrations?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. The Administration for Security and the Administration for
12 Intelligence; that is, the intelligence administration?
13 A. There was an intelligence administration, you put that correctly,
14 but the other one was called Administration for Security.
15 Q. The next organisational unit, according to this schematic, is the
16 Section for Moral Guidance, Religious, and Legal Affairs; is that one
17 correctly positioned?
18 A. Its place is proper. It's correct, but the name is not. It was
19 called the sector for Moral Guidance, Religious, and Legal Affairs; and,
20 again, it's a different dialect, with a J.
21 Q. The next sector or the next organisational structure or element is
22 the Department for Replenishment and Personnel Affairs. Is that correct?
23 A. This name is completely wrong. The name is Sector for the
24 Organisation, Mobilisation, and Personnel Affairs.
25 Q. If we go on, we can see the Department for Logistical Services.
1 Is that name correct?
2 A. No, it's not. The name is this: The Sector for the Rear.
3 Q. The next one is the Department for Development and Finances. Do
4 we have another problem with the name?
5 A. Yes. The problem is still the same. The name is not correct.
6 The name was the Administration for the Planning of Development and
7 Finances, and this was together with the administration that we have
8 already mentioned, the Air Force and the Anti-Aircraft Defence, the only
9 other independent administration at the sector level.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you to zoom
11 out this schematic that is on the screen now. Actually, can you blow up
12 the whole image a little bit? We would still like to have the whole image
13 on the screen.
14 Q. General, can you encircle the Staff Sector on this schematic?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we zoom in a bit more, please? Thank you.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this is all right
18 Q. General, could you please encircle the Staff Sector?
19 A. [Marks] I've done it.
20 Q. Could you use a different colour, if there is one, and encircle
21 the command?
22 A. I can't. I don't understand your question.
23 Q. Can you encircle the command of the Main Staff? Could you
24 encircle the Main Staff?
25 A. Yes, I can do that. The whole schematic, save for the corps, is
1 the Main Staff.
2 Q. Put a circle around it.
3 A. You want me to put a circle around it. [Marks]
4 Q. The position of the Chief of the Staff Sector, Manojlo
5 Milovanovic, should this be at the head of the red circle?
6 A. Not that it only should be, but it was at the head of that square.
7 Would you like me to mark that? I'll do that if necessary.
8 Q. No. This is enough for the record.
9 In other words, the head of all the other sectors and the two
10 administrations -- actually, the heads of all those were heads of sectors?
11 A. No. Those were the assistant commanders of the Main Staff of the
12 Republika Srpska army under establishment. That was not their official
13 title. The only chief was the Chief of the Staff Sector. That was the
14 only name.
15 Q. General, I'm not trying to challenge your testimony, but we've
16 heard some other officers here, among them Manojlo Milovanovic, who have
17 told us that the heads of these sectors were chiefs who were also
18 assistant Commanders. But at this point, this is not of much importance.
19 What I'm going to ask you now is this: Did the Chief of the Staff
20 Sector hold an equal footing with the other assistants of the commander,
21 as you call them, or could one say that he was one among the equals --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Or that he was he was
23 the first among the equals?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the establishment, the
25 Chief of the Staff Sector, who was also the deputy commander of the Main
1 Staff, was at the same level with the other assistants. Your definition
2 was correct when you said that he was the first among them, obviously,
3 after the commander.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let's go back briefly to the Staff Sector. Will you agree with me
6 if I put it to you that in that sector, there was an Administration for
7 Operations and Training, and that the head of that administration, in July
8 1995, and the rest of 1995, was Colonel, later on General, Radivoje
10 A. This is correct, yes. What you've just said is correct.
11 Q. Within the framework of his administration, if we want to call it
12 that way, there were three departments: The training department, the
13 operations department, and the operations centre. Is that correct?
14 A. Kindly do not make me analyse these lower levels because I don't
15 remember. However, the way you described the composition is correct, but
16 you did not mention the organs of the branches.
17 Q. Let's take it easy, General. We will come to the branches in due
18 course. I would just like to ask you to confirm that these three
19 departments were indeed part of the Administration for Operations and
20 Training, nothing else.
21 A. Yes. That is correct.
22 Q. Within the Staff Sector, there were also branch organs. Let's not
23 go into any details of that. Could you please tell us or do you remember
24 what branch organs were those? If you don't know, never mind.
25 A. Yes, I remember some. I'm not sure that I'll be able to remember
1 all of them. Let's start with first things first: Infantry; armoured and
2 mechanised units; artillery, engineers; the anti-aircraft units, i.e. the
3 branch of service called the Anti-Aircraft Defence. Now, whether I've
4 managed to remember all of them, I'm not sure.
5 Q. You will agree with me that the Chief of the Staff Sector was the
6 first superior to the organs and the branches of services, as well as to
7 the Chief of the Administration for Operations and Training. In other
8 words, Manojlo Milovanovic was their immediate superior?
9 A. You've put it absolutely correctly. There is no need for me to
11 Q. Could you please put today's date in the lower right-hand corner
12 of the schematic, General.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Also mark the schematic with your initials.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And now take the red pen and put the words "Staff Sector" above
17 the red square.
18 A. You want me to put in words what we have just discussed?
19 Q. Above the red square, yes, yes.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. "MM."
22 A. [Marks] "Chief, MM." S with the diacritic T is the abbreviation
23 for the Staff Sector.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's remove that from the e-court,
25 and now I would like to call Exhibit 5D431.
1 Q. General, you will agree with me, won't you, that this is or at
2 least this is what it reads: "Establishment number 111.900," that this is
3 personal material, the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, 1993.
4 This is what it reads: "Military secret, strictly confidential," and the
5 record number is 1. Could you briefly tell us what is this document?
6 A. What I see in front of me is a copy of the first page or the title
7 page of the book whose title you have just read out, and this is really an
8 authentic copy. The word "Serbian" should be in capital letters. It
9 should not be in minuscule.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we go to page 2 of this
11 document? Can you move the document a bit to the right; actually, to the
12 left. I apologise.
13 Q. In the title of this document, we can read as follows: "An
14 overview of duties per units and establishment elements, the Main Staff of
15 the army of Republika Srpska."
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we scroll up a little to show
17 bullet point 10? Okay. Let's scroll down. Thank you. I apologise.
18 Let's look at bullet points from 1 to 10.
19 Can we please see entries from 1 to 10 on the screen? Scroll up
20 the document, please, 1 to 10? That's enough. That's enough. Thank you.
21 Q. General, so you see that this is the establishment of the Main
22 Staff. Under 1, we see the commander of the Main Staff, and 10 is the
23 Chief of Staff. At the same time, we see in brackets, assistant
24 commander -- sorry, deputy commander.
25 So that is how it was envisaged also in 1995. Those were the
1 establishment positions in the Main Staff.
2 A. The establishment of the Main Staff did not change. That's how it
3 was in 1995 as well.
4 Q. Look at number 10, that's staff. And under number 12, we see the
5 Chief of the Administration for Operations and Training. Can you see
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So we see that according to this schematic, the law maker did not
9 envisage that the Chief of the Administration for Operations and Training
10 would at the same time be deputy commander?
11 A. There was no such possibility under the establishment.
12 Q. All right. Let's move on.
13 But the general rule is that every position in establishment
14 should be supported by appropriate rules.
15 A. We observed in practice their titles and positions in
16 establishment. So if the chief of an administration was not intended to
17 be a deputy, he was not called the deputy, and he was not the deputy. If
18 I may clarify: When making appointments to this position - you see that
19 this was a major general - it is done by decree. And this decree says
20 that this person is appointed to be Chief of Operations and Training, and
21 it is not mentioned anywhere that he would be a deputy.
22 Q. I suppose that you know, and it is not contested, that General
23 Milovanovic, as Chief of Staff of the VRS, spent a certain time in 1995 -
24 we won't guess how much time - outside the command post in Crna Rijeka.
25 Do you know that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Do you know whether he was replaced in that period by any superior
3 officer, including Colonel, later General, Miletic? Was he represented by
4 any officer, if you know?
5 A. I do know that General Milovanovic, Manojlo Milovanovic, was part
6 of the army of Republika Srpska, and he was not absent from the army. As
7 long as he was there, and he was not infirm or unable to perform his
8 duties for objective reasons, nobody can replace him.
9 Q. Would it then be fair to say that General Milovanovic - and we now
10 know that he was at the forward command post of the Krajina Corps - in
11 addition to his regular duties of Chief of Staff of the VRS, also
12 discharged certain functions entrusted to him by, I suppose, the commander
13 of the Main Staff?
14 A. The question was not quite clear, but I suppose that you mean he
15 was given the duty to command part of our troops which were located in
16 that part of the theatre of war, in the west.
17 Q. But in addition to that duty that he was assigned, he continued to
18 be Chief of Staff of the VRS?
19 A. He remained the Chief of Staff of the VRS.
20 Q. We have documentation, to be more precise daily combat reports of
21 the Main Staff of the VRS, addressed to the Supreme Command and to
22 subordinate units signed by Colonel, later General, Miletic; and above his
23 signature, we see, "Replacing the Chiefs of Staff" [as interpreted].
24 If General Miletic had been appointed as representative or
25 replacement for the Chief of Staff, would that enactment, would that
1 appointment, have had to go through your sector? Would you have had to
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before you answer that question, yes,
4 Mr. Nicholls.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if my friend finished his question but
6 the wording is important here. I'd rather we see the document in the
7 original language that he's referring to, rather than worry about any
8 shading of the words in translation into English.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think the point made by Mr. Nicholls is very
11 pertinent, a very pertinent one. I don't know what to suggest to you, but
12 perhaps you can refer straight to the document you have in mind.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I have this document, and I can
14 give it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] We can put it in e-court, as my
17 colleague suggests.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] P48.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: We can do that. I was just alerted to a possible
22 error in the transcript. It says in English that my friend's question was
23 at line 6 of the previous page, "We see: 'Replacing the Chiefs of Staff,'"
24 and I'm told what my friend said was "Standing in for Chiefs of Staff,"
25 which I won't comment on that, but --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you for that as well.
2 So we have the document now on the screen. I don't know if the
3 witness can see it. I think he should be able to see it.
4 Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Go ahead with your question. Perhaps it would
5 be better if you repeated it.
6 And I would enjoin the interpreters to ensure that we have a
7 correct translation of the precise words used by Mr. Petrusic in his
9 Go ahead, Mr. Petrusic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, could you look at this front page? In the heading, we
12 see, "the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, strictly
13 confidential, 03/3-234, date 22 August."
14 A. I don't have that document on my screen.
15 Q. I'm sorry. My mistake. I was looking at a different document.
16 I'm sorry.
17 So we see, "Main Staff of the VRS, strictly confidential number
18 03/3-195, date 14 July 1995. Very urgent. To the president of Republika
19 Srpska, to the commands of ..." --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you need to read them all. Shall we
21 go straight to the bottom part of the document, where there is his
22 signature, and I think we need to go to the next page.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Mr. President.
24 So the last page.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you need to go to the next page or the last
1 page any way, where we see his signature. Yes.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, you see this document was issued by Radivoje Miletic, and
4 it says, "Acting on behalf [as interpreted] of the Chief of Staff, Major
5 General Radivoje Miletic."
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'm sorry. It's not an objection.
7 I'm told it's another error in the translation. Again, it was: Standing
8 in for the Chief of Staff," which is what he said. Maybe he can tell us,
9 and the translation is coming as something different.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I would leave it. For the witness, it's not
11 relevant for the time being, because he can see the words over there.
12 Yes, Madam Fauveau? Yes, Madam.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm sorry to
14 intervene. But since it is a linguistic problem, I do prefer to speak for
15 myself. I believe the interpreters-- I think we have excellent
16 interpreters here, and they see very well what is written on the
17 document. So if they interpreted in that way, it must be a possible
18 interpretation or translation of this document. I don't know how the
19 Prosecutor can insist on standing in, because I believe that the
20 Prosecution bench is not really bilingual in B/C/S and English, and I
21 would give credence to the interpreters.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau and Mr. Nicholls. I think
23 this whole business can be proceeded with and cleared up through the
24 questions that Mr. Petrusic will be putting to the witness.
25 Go ahead.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, did a request ever reach your sector to appoint General
3 Miletic representative of the Chief of Staff of the VRS?
4 A. There was no such request and there was no such order ever
5 written; therefore, General Miletic never represented anyone by virtue of
6 an order because such an order did not exist.
7 And if you allow me to add, it is correctly written on this copy
8 that he is representing or acting on behalf, but it's not correctly
9 written. What should have been written is "Chief of Staff,
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Milovanovic"; and then, Mr. Miletic, who was probably
11 told by Milovanovic, "Sign some documents for me, please," should have put
12 the word "Za," meaning in English, "For," in front of Milovanovic's name
13 before signing.
14 Q. So Milovanovic could have told General Miletic to go on and sign
15 some documents on his behalf?
16 A. General Miletic would not have done it without the permission of
17 General Milovanovic, but Milovanovic probably instructed him what he may
18 and may not sign.
19 Q. So these combat reports, be they daily or interim, addressed to
20 the president of the state and subordinate commands, fall within those
21 documents that General Miletic was allowed to sign on the authority of his
22 own superior, Chief of Staff Manojlo Milovanovic?
23 A. Well, I couldn't really answer that question. It's obvious that
24 he did sign. These seem to be regular, daily reports, and they do contain
25 important information. But since they are done routinely, then I suppose
1 General Milovanovic authorised General Miletic to sign them.
2 Q. Could we say, then, that for the purposes of regular functioning
3 of the staff during the day, certain documents should be put out from that
4 staff, documents that are not that important and could be signed by
5 General Miletic? Would it be fair to say that?
6 A. Such documents he was able to sign, General Miletic, I mean. But
7 he could not have signed important documents without consulting General
8 Milovanovic, so he had to make a phone call; and even in those cases, when
9 Milovanovic would tell him, "Go ahead, sign," he could sign.
10 Q. So General Milovanovic would have received each of those reports
11 at his forward command post and he would have been aware, and he would
12 have seen, that the document was going to be signed or was signed by
13 General Miletic?
14 A. Since I'm not sure, how can I answer that question? Could you
15 bring back the page with the heading so that I see where it was sent?
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we see page 1, please, again?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Go ahead.
20 A. It says, "IKM," meaning forward command post, "-2," and that's
21 where General Milovanovic was. So he knew about this document and he knew
22 who signed it.
23 Q. And he would have been able to object to this signature at this
24 document, or on any other document, if he had not authorised General
25 Miletic to represent him in regular staff duties?
1 A. Of course, he was able to object because he was the superior, but
2 he didn't need to object in this case.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see it's time for
4 the break.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a short break of 25 minutes. Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Could we now have in e-court 5D447?
11 Q. General, this is a document from the Main Staff of the VRS, signed
12 by the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel General Manojlo Milovanovic.
13 Can you see it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you please read it?
16 A. I have read it.
17 Q. You will agree that briefly this document concerns a transfer of
18 troops from the 65th Protection Regiment to the Drina Corps; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The document was issued on the 21st August 1995. Could we say
22 that this document is one of the regular documents necessary for the
23 functioning of the staff? Or to put it more simply, is this the kind of
24 document that could be written by General Miletic?
25 A. Not even General Manojlo Milovanovic should have signed this. I
1 was the one who should have signed because that was my job. If you
2 remember, this number, 09, is the number indicating the sector that I
3 belonged to. It's possible that I was not present and this needed to be
4 dealt with urgently, and then General Manojlo Milovanovic signed. That's
5 as far as I remember.
6 We had lots of problems at the time at the western part of the
7 theatre of war, and we were all there, but not all of us in one location;
8 and when I say "we," I mean generals belonging to the Main Staff.
9 Q. General Milovanovic was together with you, or rather, you were
10 together with him on the western theatre of war, correct?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls?
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Just for clarity, what time period are we talking
14 about? Just the date of this document, or is he -- it's a general
15 question he's asked?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, fair comment [Realtime transcript read in error
18 Mr. Petrusic?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I'm talking about this date, 21st
20 August 1995.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, line 16, I didn't say, "Yes, fair
22 meant." I said, "fair comment."
23 I think once you have mentioned the date, you need to go back to
24 the witness and ask him to confirm whether the information he gave in
25 reply to your previous question is precise, is correct, applies as well to
1 the 21st of August 1995.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, you heard the suggestion of His Honour the Presiding
4 Judge. What we said earlier about this information and the presence of
5 you and General Milovanovic, does that apply to the 21st of August?
6 A. When I was answering, I meant only this day, the 21st August 1995,
7 because I remember clearly that we were in the western theatre of war.
8 But whether we were together or not, I cannot recall. When I say
9 "together," I mean in the same location, but we were both certainly in
10 the western theatre of war.
11 Q. So from that forward command post of the Main Staff, General
12 Milovanovic had the ability to use radio relay communications,
13 teleprinters, and all the prerogatives of the command; and when I say,
14 "prerogatives," I mean code numbers and reference numbers and everything
15 else we see in the heading of this document?
16 A. For as long as radio relay communications were not destroyed by
17 air strikes, he had the ability to use them in any part of the theatre of
18 war controlled by the VRS.
19 Q. To avoid confusion about the period, since you mentioned air
20 strikes, which period are you talking about?
21 A. The year 1995.
22 Q. And when were communications destroyed?
23 A. I believe towards the end of 1995, just before the Dayton
24 Accords. Almost all of our radio communications were destroyed. On this
25 date, however, they were still working because this was sent by teletype.
1 Q. And if a document of this kind had reached your sector, signed by
2 General Miletic, what would you have done?
3 A. Well, I would have suggested to him that he shouldn't do that
5 Q. Yes. Go ahead.
6 A. First of all, I would read what it was about. Since this is about
7 a transfer of troops, I would have forgiven him, of course. I mean, in
8 any case, I would not have punished him or anything. It was not my
9 responsibility, but I would tell any other colleague not to do it.
10 Q. Was General Miletic able to issue any orders to you? And I'm
11 talking about orders.
12 A. General Miletic was never able to give me orders.
13 Q. Was he able to coordinate the work of the command?
14 A. In my understanding of the word "coordinate," he was not able to
15 do that. If you meant something different, then you can rephrase your
17 Q. General, did you have regular collegium meetings? Are you
18 familiar with the term? If you did, can you tell me something about that?
19 A. Yes. We did hold Sector Staff meetings up to the 15th of January
20 1996. All of these were extraordinary meetings of the collegium of the
21 Main Staff. It was only in 1996, when we had peace, we had regular
22 meetings. During the war, we did not have regular meetings. We met on an
23 ad hoc basis. Most of the meetings that had to be held were relative to
24 the personnel issues, when we had to discuss promotions, appointments,
25 decorations. I've already spoken about that.
1 Q. When you use the term "we," who do you mean? Who were members of
2 this Sector Staff or the collegium?
3 A. Do you want me to -- I apologise. Do you want me to give you
4 their names?
5 Q. First of all, can you confirm whether there was an inner collegium
6 and a broader collegium?
7 A. Yes, there were.
8 Q. Who were members of the inner collegium or the inner Sector Staff?
9 A. The commander of the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army, the
10 Chief of the Sector Staff, and all the assistants. Those were the members
11 of the inner collegium.
12 Q. When you say "assistants," are you referring to the assistants to
13 the commander of the Main Staff?
14 A. I mean the assistants to the commander of the Main Staff for
15 Intelligence and Security matters, for Organisation and Mobilisation, for
16 Logistics, for Air Force and the Anti-Aircraft Defence, and the assistant
17 for Planning and Finances.
18 Q. Tell me, please, who the members of the broader collegium were.
19 In order to save time, you don't have to give us any of their names.
20 A. Those were the corps commanders of all the corps; the commander of
21 Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defence; and, as needed, some commanders of
22 the independent units that belonged to the Main Staff; for example, the
23 Guards Brigade.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can I now call Exhibit 5? That is
25 0005 into e-court. That is P5, document P5. In order to speed the
1 matters up, I would kindly ask the usher to give the document in hard copy
2 to the witness.
3 Q. General, in short, you can see that this -- are you going to
4 confirm that this is Directive Number 7 issued by the Supreme Command of
5 the armed forces of Republika Srpska, signed by the Supreme Commander,
6 Dr. Radovan Karadzic?
7 Please look at the last page where it is stated that the directive
8 was drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic. The date is 8 March 1995. Do
9 you agree that we can find this in the document?
10 A. I am looking at the copy, at the hard copy of the document, and I
11 can also see it on the screen.
12 Q. Could you please look at number 1. The title is, "Basic
13 Characteristics of the International Military and Political Situation."
14 And then on page 2, in the Serbian version that you have in your hand, it
15 says, "Croatian and Muslim coalition forces."
16 General, do you agree that these two bullet points or these two
17 paragraphs were written in the present form in the Sector for Intelligence
18 and Security Affairs?
19 A. I don't know where they were drafted, but it says here that the
20 document was drafted by General Miletic.
21 Q. This is beyond dispute?
22 A. I don't know where this was written, and let me add to this. I
23 saw this directive for the first time on 12 May 2005 when Mr. McCloskey
24 showed it to me. Is my pronunciation of this name correct, Mr. McCloskey?
25 Q. General, I will agree with you that you saw this directive for the
1 first time at that moment, but you said on that occasion that you and your
2 sector were -- had not been asked to provide any input where the directive
3 was being drafted.
4 My question is this: The person who drafted the directive, in
5 this case, Colonel Miletic, did he approach various sectors in order to
6 ask for their input? This is my question to you.
7 A. If the commander of the Main Staff had issued an order to him to
8 consult particular sectors and to ask for their input, then he was
9 duty-bound to do that.
10 Q. I'm asking you whether paragraphs 1 and 2, in respect of their
11 contents, could only have been supplied by the Intelligence and Security
12 Sector, in light of the fact that these paragraphs speak about the
13 strength of the enemy. And you know only too well that the enemy was
14 within the purview of the intelligence department, first and foremost.
15 A. Based on my military knowledge, or general military knowledge, and
16 de facto, I assume that nobody else could have provided this input, save
17 for the sector, because this type of information and data is accessible
18 only to that sector.
19 Q. And that sector should have provided that information to Colonel
20 Miletic, judging by what is indicated on the last page of the directive
21 under the word "drafted by"?
22 A. I can't answer that question. I don't know whether they provided
23 any information or not.
24 Q. Could you please look at paragraph number 3? I repeat, this is a
25 directive issued by the Supreme Command, by the president of the republic;
1 and under item 3, he issues tasks to the army of Republika Srpska. I am
2 now referring to a general military knowledge, and I'm asking you whether
3 this task could -- was phrased by the then Supreme Commander,
4 Dr. Karadzic, in light of the fact that this task was given to the entire
6 A. Bullet point 3 must be phrased by the person who signed such a
8 Q. In that case, we will agree that it was President Karadzic?
9 A. Yes. He was the Supreme Commander. He signed this decision,
10 which means that he was the one who worded items 3 and 4.
11 Q. And now if we move to bullet point 5 on page 7, you can see that
12 this bullet point contains tasks given to particular units. Can you see
13 the title, "Tasks to the units" on the top of the page?
14 A. Yes, I can.
15 Q. So these are the tasks issued to subordinated units, is that
16 correct, to the subordinated units, i.e., operative groups; in this
17 particular case, the 2nd Krajina Corps, the 1st Krajina Corps, the
18 Herzegovina Corps, and so on and so forth. Is that correct?
19 A. To all the corps, including the Sarajevo Corps, which you did not
20 mention, the Air Force, the Anti-Aircraft Defence, and the Central
21 Military Schools as a combat part of the army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. In other words, the tasks of these operational units was given by
23 the commander of the General Staff Ratko Mladic?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Can you tell us who was it who gave out those tasks?
1 A. It was the Supreme Commander of the army of Republika Srpska,
2 President Radovan Karadzic.
3 Q. Let's move on to bullet point 6 on page 10 in the Serbian
4 version: "Support to combat activities." Can you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. According to your military knowledge, who would it have been to
7 draft this bullet point? In other words, which sector would be dealing
8 with the issues in this bullet point?
9 A. I apologise. Can you bear with me while I read the text?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: And could I ask my friend to break that question
12 up, because it's who would draft it and who would deal with it. There are
13 names on this document as drafters, and he is asking, I think, about
14 something else.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair comment.
16 General, you have heard Mr. Nicholls. Perhaps you can do the
17 exercise yourself.
18 First, who would have drafted this bullet point, to use the same
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was
21 drafted by the person indicated herein, Colonel Radivoje Miletic. So he
22 was the one who drafted this bullet point as well, the bullet point that
23 we are talking about, number 6.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And who have dealt with it, with the issues
25 mentioned in these -- in this paragraph?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morale and psychological
2 preparations were within the purview of the Sector for Moral Guidance and
3 Legal Matters. However, I have read the text in order to be able to tell
4 you this: This phrase could have been copied from any document, even from
5 literature on morale and psychological preparations of fighters for an
6 operation, for a mission at hand, and so on and so forth.
7 It would have been within the authority of the sector that I've
8 just mentioned. But who it was that submitted information to General
9 Miletic, I really wouldn't know.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, I will not go into any details, in this bullet point or
12 any other for that matter. That was not my intention in the first place,
13 but I would like to say or suggest to you that a document was prepared in
14 this way, i.e. that all the sectors did what they were supposed to do,
15 that the information was collected by Colonel Miletic, and then that he
16 gave the document the form that you have in front of you and entitled it,
17 "Directive number 7."
18 And after this form was produced, this document went for signature
19 to Dr. Radovan Karadzic, who could have signed it or refused to sign it or
20 asked for some amendments. Do you agree with me?
21 A. When it comes to the wording of all bullet points in this
22 directive, according to my general knowledge, and particularly bullet
23 points from 3 to 7, the responsibility lies with the signatory, i.e. The
24 Supreme Command of the army of Republika Srpska, the President of
25 Republika Srpska ..." [No interpretation]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: General, we got stuck here. I'll read to you what
2 we have and then you complete your answer, because the last part of your
3 answer was not taken up and translated to us.
4 "When it comes to the wording of all bullet points in this
5 directive, according to my general knowledge, and particularly bullet
6 point 3 to 5, the responsibility lies with the signatory; that is, the
7 Supreme Commander of the army of Republika Srpska, the President of
8 Republika Srpska," and then you said something else but it never showed up
9 in the transcript. If you could repeat it, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember what I said. I'm
11 really sorry.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. I wouldn't interfere here
13 because you did ask a question before. Perhaps you could either repeat it
14 all or repeat part of it. I don't know. I don't want to interfere with
15 the way you wish to conduct your cross-examination.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Well, that would be for the most
17 part an answer to my question.
18 Q. General, when you look at this document, to the best of your
19 military knowledge, is the document deficient in any way? Is something
21 A. This is a copy. The document itself, in view of the degree of
22 confidentiality indicated, which is written in the right-hand corner in
23 the first page, "National Defence, State Secret," had to be verified by a
24 stamp on each page. That is the main objection to this document from the
25 point of view of military rules.
1 I don't know if there is something wrong with this copy, or maybe
2 the document was done without the stamp. God knows.
3 Look at point 6. There is 6.2 -- sorry, there is 6.1, but where
4 is 6.2? If you mark a paragraph with 6.1, there should be 6.2, and there
5 is none.
6 Q. Are you trying to say that it was possible for some pages to be
7 forged or torn out of this directive?
8 A. I couldn't say that. I couldn't answer. I cannot suppose what
9 happened. I can only tell you what is wrong from the point of view of
11 Q. Now, in the light of this directive and its paragraphs 1 to 7, I
12 believe we've gone through them all, which item was written by then
13 Lieutenant Miletic? Is there an item written by Miletic himself?
14 A. Well, he wrote them all, but none of them are within his
15 jurisdiction. He was just a technical person. He was the signatory; and
16 if the signatory had any objections, they would have to return the
17 document to Miletic to make the corrections. That's the procedure.
18 Q. And who is able to make corrections and return the directive?
19 A. Well, I suppose that the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS
20 had to review this document before the president signed it, but sometimes
21 the president signed even though the commander of the Main Staff wasn't
22 aware of it, and I don't know whether the commander of the Main Staff had
23 reviewed this or not. However, when the president looked at this
24 directive before signing it, he could have said, "This is all wrong," and
25 he could have returned it, then he would have been able to say exactly how
1 it should read, and then the person in charge of the drafting would
2 redraft it and take it back to the signatory.
3 As long as the signatory is not happy, he does not have to put his
4 signature on it.
5 Q. Well, since this document is marked "State Secret," who took to
6 directive to Karadzic? Do you know?
7 A. I don't know.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we have in e-court again 5D431;
9 second page, please. Right.
10 Q. So, General, we are looking, again, at the establishment of the
11 Main Staff of the VRS, and you will see under 5: "Chief of the Section
12 for Communication or liaison with Foreign Military Representatives." In
13 that section, was this chief or liaison Colonel Milos Djurdjic?
14 A. As far as I remember, the first chief of that section was Colonel
15 Vidoje Magazin, to be later replaced by Colonel Milos Djurdjic.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have P33?
17 Q. So, this general -- this document is dated 9 July 1995, issued by
18 the Main Staff of the VRS, the army of Republika Srpska --
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let us have a look at the
20 signature, please.
21 Q. -- signed by assistant commander Major General Tolimir.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see the top again,
24 Q. Tell me, General, where did this document originate?
25 A. What do you mean where did it originate? It's obvious, the Main
1 Staff of the VRS.
2 Q. I meant this number, 09. Is it 09?
3 A. It's not 09.
4 Q. How about number 12? Is that the Staff Sector?
5 A. Each sector had its number. Mine was 09. The Staff Sector was
6 03. But in view of the fact that - and if you would raise it a bit,
7 please, lift the document - you see that it's signed by assistant
8 commander Major General Tolimir, I conclude that this number belongs to
9 the Sector for Intelligence and Security.
10 With your leave, Your Honours, I only remember the numbers of the
11 Staff Sector and my own sector. They are the only ones I know by heart.
12 I don't know about the numbers of the other sectors, so I had to infer
13 that this is the number of the Intelligence and Security Sector.
14 Q. As of 1993, you were in the Personnel Sector of the Main Staff.
15 From that time until the end of the war, do you know whether a
16 representative of the Chief of Staff had ever been appointed?
17 A. I was in the Main Staff beginning with 1994 until the end of the
18 war. In that time, not a single order on representation was written. If
19 it had been written according to the rules of interrelations within the
20 staff, it would have had to be written in the sector in which I was
21 assistant commander, but I have never seen such a document.
22 Q. General, do you know whether General Miletic was ever absent in
23 July 1995 from the command post and, specifically, whether he had
24 travelled to Belgrade?
25 A. I don't know where he went at that time. I don't know where he
1 was at that time.
2 Q. So you don't know whether he was absent from the command post?
3 A. I don't know either way. His location was in Crna Rijeka.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's true that some
5 time is left, maybe one minute, until the official end of our time today,
6 but I would like to finish here. It's possible that I will not have any
7 questions left for tomorrow, or I will perhaps have only one or two.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I make a correction, Your
9 Honour, because I'm afraid the record will not reflect my words precisely
10 and correctly.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. I take it you are reading through the
12 English transcript, no?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I'm sorry if I pronounce
14 badly in English [In English]: "Don't know either way his location was in
15 Crna Rijeka." [Interpretation] I wasn't saying that he was in Crna Rijeka
16 at that time, at that moment. I am saying that he was located in Crna
17 Rijeka throughout the war.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General. Before we adjourn, Mr. Krgovic
19 or Mr. Josse, will you be cross-examining the witness?
20 MR. KRGOVIC: I would like to cross-examine the witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And for how long?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: One hour at least.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One hour at least.
24 And Mr. Sarapa?
25 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I don't think I will have questions;
1 although, it depends on the cross-examinations to follow. But I don't
2 plan any at this moment.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll meet again tomorrow morning.
4 General, between now and then, please make sure that you don't
5 discuss with anyone or allow anyone to discuss with you the subject matter
6 of your testimony.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand completely.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
11 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.