1 Wednesday, 16 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, if you could call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin
10 Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you.
12 All the accused are here, for the record. The witness is also
13 present, already in the courtroom. Defence teams, it's a little bit
14 confusing, as it is, but I notice the absence of Mr. Meek. That's all.
15 The Prosecution, the same team as yesterday, Mr. McCloskey and
16 Mr. Mitchell. The four or five Defence experts are also present.
17 I think we can safely start. Thank you.
18 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, everyone.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: We left off yesterday with Exhibit 2884 up on the
22 screen. This is the Susica operation map, with the artillery side of it.
23 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Butler, if you could maybe take yours out. I believe you just
25 talked about it, and the Judge had asked the question, I believe, about
1 what the little -- what the numbers meant that were next to the orange
2 boxes which -- because we can see down in the key that the orange box is
3 marked, in the English translation: "Fire with Howitzer 122 millimetre,"
4 but can give us any idea about those numbers. I'm talking just about the
5 Srebrenica side of things now.
6 A. We don't have the corresponding document; that is, the target
7 table for the orange boxes in the Srebrenica enclave. What it compares
8 to, of course, is the target table that's listed on the right-hand part of
9 this map corresponds to those boxes in Zepa. So, presumably, there's
10 another document out there that we don't have or I've not seen that
11 corresponds to these target numbers for the Srebrenica enclave.
12 Q. What's the significance of a target number?
13 A. As you can look at the document, and you'll see several columns,
14 one of them is "Fire signal." A lot of artillery planning, of course,
15 goes to preregistering fires and predesignating coordinates; and in the
16 heat of battle, when everyone knows where the pre-planned fires can go,
17 it's a lot easier on a commander to give a particular fire signal to have
18 fire initiated in a certain area that's already been pre-registered,
19 rather than it is to make a brand-new call for fire and have to pass trig
20 coordinates over the radio, which can lend to mistakes.
21 So this is part of the fire support and fire preparation plan that
22 a headquarters staff would go through prior to the initiation of an
24 Q. All right. Let's just talk briefly about what this map tells us
25 about the Zepa targeting. You've got a target, a target table for Zepa,
1 as you've just stated. We see various targets listed there, many of which
2 are the -- identified as the enemy of the Muslim army. We also see the
3 war hospital, and close to the village of Luke, and all the UN
4 check-points, and the office of the military observers.
5 Now, if an officer wanted to fire upon the office of military
6 observers, what numbers on this target table would he use to do that,
7 based on what you've just said?
8 A. If you -- that's listed as target number 24, and the fire signal
9 would be - and, again, forgive the pronunciation, "Siklon-74."
10 Q. All right. And what military reason would there be to fire on the
11 military observers, the UN military observers?
12 A. If there was knowledge on the part of the VRS that perhaps that
13 facility had been taken over by Bosnian Muslim forces, it would in fact,
14 you know, be a legitimate target; but I can't figure out a reason why they
15 would want to fire on the UN, absent that fact.
16 Q. Okay. But to be clear, this was just a plan for something
17 called "Susica" that we don't know anything about and didn't happen; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Well, in the planning process, we don't know anything that went
20 off with this specific operation. However, as the other maps indicate,
21 other operations - and last night in looking over one of the other maps,
22 even the Krivaja 95 plan for the takedown of the Srebrenica enclave in
23 July - these particular map graphics were used in that context.
24 Q. Okay. Well, let's -- let's go on from there, and we're
25 continuing, as your narrative continues, through --
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: If you could ask the witness whether he has the
4 actual knowledge as to the source of this map and when it was actually
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Butler, the -- first, do you know where the OTP got this map
9 A. It's my understanding, sir, that these maps came from the
10 documents known as the Drina Corps collection.
11 Q. And can you -- I mean, as I think you've stated yesterday, we
12 don't see a date anywhere on this map, but can you tell -- can you
13 enlighten the Court and the rest of us on when you believe it may have, if
14 at all possible - we, of course, don't want you to speculate - had been
16 A. The indication of the operation Susica 95 certainly indicates
17 1995. From markings on other maps, and, in fact, by backing up to the
18 initial exhibit, there are markings on this map that actually correspond
19 to unit positions and axes of advance for the Krivaja 95. So while the
20 original maps may have been created, I estimate, somewhere around April or
21 May of 1995, there were penciled-in updates and markings on these all the
22 way up to June and perhaps even early July of 1995.
23 JUDGE KWON: So you think, don't you, that this is a spontaneous
24 map drawn at the time?
25 THE WITNESS: No, sir. These maps are part of a -- a prior
1 planning process. There are, however, penciled-in updates to them. I
2 believe the planning process occurred in the April/May 1995 time frame,
3 pursuant to the broader directives under 7 and 7-1. But the penciled-in
4 markings indicate that at least from a planning perspective, some
5 individual in the Drina Corps, operations side, did use these maps and
6 graphics and update them on a continual basis, as new variations of the
7 plan may have been thought up or anything else.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. All right, Mr. Butler, let's continue in a chronological order,
11 leading up to July 1995 in your narrative form.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 3028.
13 Q. This is a document from the Command of the Drina Corps, from its
14 commander at the time, General Zivanovic.
15 Now, May 27th, this is some ten days or so after the last set of
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And to refresh your recollection, they called off
18 that -- Mr. Butler has testified they called off that attack based on a
19 document that said so due to personnel shortages and other issues.
20 Q. So now, ten days later, we see something entitled: "Based on the
21 new situation at the front and around the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa
22 and the apparent need to prevent the opening of the corridor between them
23 and prevent enemy communications over our territory, and in order to
24 prepare in time for bringing in forces and material in the area of
25 engagement, I hereby ..."
1 Then he issues orders to units that are listed here: The Milici
2 Brigade, the Podrinje Brigade, others. What's this, Mr. Butler? How does
3 this fit into your narrative?
4 A. I don't believe I have this particular order in the narrative. It
5 arrived later than the publication of my report. But what this document
6 is is part of a deployment order associated with the VRS operation to take
7 over the terrain around UN check-point Echo at Zeleni Jadar. What this
8 order does is it directs the Commands of the 1st and 5th Podrinje units to
9 send platoon-sized detachments to the Milici Brigade where they will be
10 subsequently employed in supporting that operation.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 3030.
12 Q. This is from the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade. I believe
13 that is known as what brigade?
14 A. Rogatica Brigade, sir.
15 Q. Okay. And it's also dated 27 May, under the name of the commander
16 of that brigade, Major Rajko Kusic. What's this?
17 A. This is Major Kusic's order to his subordinates to form a company,
18 and the details necessary: What ammunition they'll take, what
19 transportation, who's responsible for executing the order.
20 Q. Okay. And I don't see, in either of these documents, any mention
21 of Zeleni Jadar or any OP Echo or any UN check-point. How do you make the
22 conclusion about that?
23 A. There are additional documents, and I believe they will discuss
24 them, that have to do with the Drina Corps order with respect to the
25 detail of operations around Zeleni Jadar and the UN check-point Echo; as
1 well as when one looks back at the Bratunac Brigade combat analysis of the
2 six-month period, the Bratunac Brigade, of course, was part of that
3 operation as well, and they listed as -- the operation's name
4 is "Jadar-95."
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 2669.
7 Q. I think you've talked about before. This is the same date, May
8 27th, and it's an order from the Army of the Republika Srpska. This
9 should be "Main Staff" - I think that's a mistranslation - to the command
10 of various corpses. It's entitled "Order on induction and stationing of
11 UNPROFOR members within the zone of responsibility of the corps," and it's
12 in the name of Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Manojlo Milovanovic.
13 I won't go into detail, but it talks in paragraph 1 "for various
14 commands to deploy captured prisoners of UNPROFOR and representatives of
15 their international humanitarian organisations within their zones of
17 Now, what does this have to do with your analysis?
18 A. It's just, in this context, you'll notice that there are a listing
19 of corps; and on the second page, there is, under number 5, it reflects
20 the fact that the Command of the Drina Corps shall placed captured
21 UNPROFOR troops at installations in its area of responsibility.
22 So while they did not get the first one, they did not get UN
23 soldiers or other members as part of the first wave that was coming in
24 from Sarajevo, given the context of upcoming military operations against
25 the southern part of the enclave in Check-point Echo, if they were to
1 capture or take custody of any UN soldiers, they were to be deployed to
2 any location, such as warehouses or headquarters, in order to be used as a
3 potential shield for NATO air strikes against those facilities.
4 Q. All right. And I don't want to get into the detail of all that,
5 but were UN people taken prisoner?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And was it in relation to air strikes?
8 A. The UN's people who were captured in and around Sarajevo were
9 captured, in part, in relation to the air strikes, yes, sir.
10 Q. And how were they used, just very briefly? I mean, for what
11 reason were they used, not in particular how they were used?
12 A. There was media coverage showing these individuals essentially
13 being detained at military locations that NATO had shown a history of
14 targeting or was considering targeting. They were being used, you know,
15 as a way of pressuring NATO not to strike those facilities without killing
16 their own soldiers.
17 Q. And did the -- did the VRS have success in this strategy?
18 A. Yes, sir, it did.
19 Q. And so did -- in your view, did it affect further air strikes?
20 A. Yes, sir. My understanding is that air strikes were suspended
21 shortly thereafter because of that reason.
22 Q. All right. And will you, as we get towards Srebrenica, take this
23 fact into consideration when looking at the Srebrenica events?
24 A. Yes, sir. In fact, not only was there, you know, an awareness as
25 part of my analysis, but, I mean, as reflected in, you know, other
1 documents and communications with the United Nations, as well as the VRS
2 contact with the United Nations forces.
3 Q. All right. Now, let's -- let's keep moving forward beyond that
4 period in late May and get to the period of early June, a document you've
5 commented on.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's 65 ter 2894.
7 Q. It's dated 2nd June, from the Command of the Drina Corps, in the
8 name of General Zivanovic, and it's entitled: "Restoration of the control
9 over the facilities on the Zeleni Jadar asphalt road."
10 Can you fit this into your analysis that you've been talking
12 A. Yes, sir. From previous documents, as well as comments that
13 General Zivanovic had made to UN members back in 1995, one of the comments
14 that he made - probably shouldn't have made - was that he indicated to the
15 UN that, "You'll know we're serious about taking over Srebrenica when we
16 start coming back down and taking Zeleni Jadar."
17 Tactically speaking, that's the main road that kind of came in
18 from the southern part of the enclave down the hills towards Srebrenica,
19 and the control of that Zeleni Jadar road area by the VRS was necessary to
20 give them a proper staging area to begin an actual military operation
21 against the town of Srebrenica in the future.
22 So, yesterday, as I discussed, these are the time of preparatory
23 military attacks that had to take place and missions that had to be
24 accomplished before the stage could be set for the actual main assault on
1 Q. All right. And in this document, we can see, on the first page, a
2 very specific spelling out, word for word, to soldiers on the ground of
3 how to deal with the UNPROFOR people, just some of which says
4 specifically: "I am warning you. Do not stand in my way."
5 Then saying that they should fire a warning salvo; "Hands up, put
6 down your weapons"; if they don't comply, fire a hand-held rocket, a
7 Zolja; at the generator, to neutralise it; "Hands up; otherwise, I'm not
8 responsible for your lives."
9 Then, basically, after they surrender, "You're absolutely safe, my
11 Is this serious?
12 A. It's serious in the context that the Drina Corps and, presumably,
13 the Main Staff as well, there was not an intent there to not want to
14 overtly attack the United Nations personnel and check-point in order to
15 inflame the situation. What they wanted do, and you see this similar
16 pattern in Srebrenica a month later, is they want to create the conditions
17 through firing around the UN and pressuring the UN position, where they
18 would voluntarily withdraw of their own accord.
19 So they're not looking to -- in that sense, they're not looking to
20 actually engage the UN directly and create a larger diplomatic and
21 political problem than they already have at the moment.
22 Q. All right. So did this General Zivanovic's formula work in
23 some -- in Srebrenica, to your knowledge?
24 A. Yes, sir, it did.
25 Q. Can you take a look at the -- it's the second page in the English
1 and B/C/S. It identifies a couple of people regarding after the UNPROFOR
2 soldiers' surrender and, "They're absolutely safe, my friends."
3 It says: "After that, Petrovic will call Nikolic, who will take
4 UNPROFOR soldiers." Then it says: "Legenda and Petrovic shall take over
5 the UNPROFOR check-point," and then,"further instructions."
6 Can you tell us who you believe these the people are?
7 A. Yes, sir. The individual listed as "Petrovic" is, in fact, Sreten
8 Petrovic, the deputy commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the
9 Bratunac Brigade. "Nikolic" is Captain First Class Momir Nikolic, the
10 chief of security for the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. Milan --
11 Captain Milan Jolovic is the commander of the Drina Wolves organisation,
12 which normally is subordinate to the Zvornik Brigade and to the Drina
13 Corps. So those are the personalities involved in this situation.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 217.
16 Q. Can you tell us how this fits in?
17 A. Yes, sir. This is an order from the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
18 Brigade after their mission has been accomplished to take over the
19 check-point, which reflects changes in the local unit dispositions, so
20 they can now move the lines and defend the area more comprehensively that
21 they have just taken over.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to, actually, the next two exhibits, 65
24 ter 3011 and 3012.
25 Q. These are lists of Drina Corps duty officers and assistant duty
1 officers for July 1995. Can you confirm, Mr. Butler, that that is what
2 they are and that they were found as part of the Drina Corps collection?
3 A. Yes, sir. The first document is the actual assignment of -- or
4 the schedule of duty for the duty officers, and the second one is for the
5 assistant or deputy duty officers for the month of July 1995.
6 Q. All right. And can you just very briefly tell us the importance
7 of the duty officer position?
8 A. In the -- given the fact that the commander and often the Chief of
9 Staff is out visiting the units, the duty officer and the duty operations
10 office is the focal point for incoming and outgoing communications of a
11 particular unit. The, you know, phone calls that will come into various
12 units will come in normally to the duty officer.
13 He is, in effect, the commander's representative at the
14 headquarters who is responsible for ensuring that the commander or the
15 Chief of Staff or other staff sections are informed of developments as
16 they come in from higher headquarters. He's also responsible for ensuring
17 that reports and other forms of communication with the lower headquarters
18 are done and brought to the higher headquarters as requested.
19 So it's a fairly important position within the framework of any
20 military command.
21 Q. How many different duty officer positions are there in any -- in
22 any particular, well, command or army?
23 A. Well, generally, within the context of the VRS, what will you
24 normally see, particularly at the brigade level, and in the corps level,
25 is you'll have one duty officer and one or two duty assistants. In this
1 context, it's -- it's not a designated duty. No one person is designated
2 as a permanent duty officer. It's just part of a rotating schedule. Each
3 officer in the command is expected to perform this duty.
4 Q. Okay. You mentioned brigades, corps. Would the Main Staff have a
5 duty officer as well?
6 A. Presumably, it would, sir, yes. I can't say that as a fact, but
7 it should have a duty officer as well.
8 Q. Do you have any records related to the Main Staff duty officer,
9 anything like that?
10 A. I don't recall if we do or not, no, sir.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's continue on now, just getting into July 2nd,
13 a 65 ter 2889.
14 Q. This is a report from the Main Staff, dated 2 July, and the name
15 of General Miletic, standing in as the Chief of Staff. I just want to
16 refer you to the section on the Drina Corps, which is B/C/S page 3,
17 English page 3.
18 It talks a little about what's going on in the Drina Corps; and
19 under section B, it says: "Unengaged forces are being prepared for the
20 forthcoming active combat operations."
21 Any idea what they're talking about there on July 2nd?
22 A. Yes, sir. They're talking about the planning and movement of
23 military forces related to the actual Krivaja 1995 operation.
24 We know, from other sources of information with respect to the
25 movement of officers from the Drina Corps, that they began their final
1 reconnaissance and the initial part of their planning process as early as
2 30 June 1995. So this reflects an awareness at the Main Staff level that
3 the Drina Corps and, presumably, you know, with the support of the Main
4 Staff, is planning the Krivaja 95 operation as they're writing this.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next one, number 106, from the
7 Command of the Drina Corps.
8 Q. It's also dated 2 July, General Zivanovic. This is to the
9 commands of several of the brigades, including the Zvornik Brigade and
10 others. It gives some history about the Muslim offensive.
11 Then it says, in paragraph 2: "The Command of the Drina Corps,
12 pursuant to operation directive 7 and 7-1 of the Main Staff, and in view
13 of the current situation at the front in its own area of responsibility,
14 has to obtain forces for the intervention and repulsion of the enemy
15 attacks to conduct active combat operations along the entire front,
16 particularly towards Kladanj and Olovo."
17 But we know directives -- the directives are pretty broad
18 documents, and this talks about preparing operations on the entire front,
19 mentioning Kladanj and Olovo. What, if anything, does this have to do
20 with Srebrenica?
21 A. Well, what they're doing, in this particular context, first you
22 have to understand what a warning order is. A warning order is, in a
23 military parlance, it is an order, not necessarily a preparatory order,
24 but it is an order that is designed to give units that you are going to
25 task with a particular mission the required preparatory time to start
1 undertaking the things that they need to do, so that when you do give them
2 the order, that they're prepared to do that.
3 What they're doing in this particular context, while not
4 saying "Srebrenica," is they are directing a number of brigades, the
5 Zvornik Brigade, the Bihac Brigade, the Romanija Brigade, to assemble
6 mobile forces. It tells them that they're going to be employed on an
7 independent axes which is out of their particular area and the steps --
8 you know, and to start preparing those steps, knowing it's going to take
9 one or two days to get these units assembled, again not revealing the
10 ultimate objective.
11 It says later on that at a point in time, "The plan will be coming
12 to you." But the point of a warning order is to give the subordinate
13 formation the maximum amount of time necessary to prepare what it needs to
14 be able to do so that, in fact, when the order does come out, they've
15 taken all the preparatory steps that they need to take so they can
16 initiate the order.
17 So you see this particular warning order to start mobilising
18 formations for deployment out of the brigade areas, and you read it in
19 concert with the actual attack order, and all of a sudden it makes sense.
20 Q. Did a subsequent -- did an order for Srebrenica come shortly
22 A. Yes, sir, it did.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to --
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Butler, if you could give me, tell me the
1 difference between the warning order and preparatory order. I'm asking
2 this because the 65 ter list of the Prosecution names this as a
3 preparatory order.
4 THE WITNESS: I may be a victim of my own military terminology.
5 This is what we would call a warning order. I don't know if somewhere the
6 terms are being used interchangeably. A warning order, you know, it may
7 very well be, like I say, the warning order, and it tells the unit to
8 prepare for certain types of activities. So it may very well be the term
9 is interchangeable. I don't think there's a difference in the term of art
10 between a warning order and a preparatory order.
11 JUDGE KWON: Because you said not necessarily a preparatory order.
12 THE WITNESS: In some degrees you will have a preparatory order
13 which will be more much detailed, which will actually lay out the
14 objectives and things of that nature. You don't necessarily have to have
15 that degree of specificity in a warning order.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: I don't want to leave the impression that it's
18 necessarily different.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next document, 65 ter
21 Q. This is dated 2 July, the same date as this warning order. This
22 is a document entitled "Krivaja 95," from the Command of the Drina Corps,
23 again from General Zivanovic. What's this?
24 A. This is the actual combat order related to Krivaja 95 or the
25 operation against the Srebrenica enclave.
1 Q. So that's not a whole lot of warning.
2 A. Part of a warning order is the recognition of the fact that the
3 actual full plan is not fully fleshed out or completed yet; and, again,
4 the goal of the warning order is to allow the subordinate units to take
5 the steps that they need to take. In the beginning, they don't
6 necessarily need to know the contents of the entire plan.
7 So, you know, looking at a matter of timing, this may very well
8 have come six, nine hours, even twelve hours after the initial warning
9 order. Having said that, when you're trying to pull platoons or companies
10 out of the front line and make sure that they're rested, that they're
11 fully supplied, that their gear is done, you know, 12 hours can be very
12 valuable to that unit.
13 Q. Okay. I'm not going to spend a lot of time with this, but I do
14 want to ask you a couple of questions. The first page, we see some of the
15 laying out of the Muslim forces and their activity.
16 In fact, why don't you give us just a very brief historical update
17 on the facts here, especially what the Muslim army has been doing in
18 the -- in the spring, early summer of 1995.
19 A. Briefly, what the Muslim forces have been doing is launching a
20 series of offensives out of the 2nd Corps area, Tuzla, against Mount
21 Majevica and the transmitter sites up on the mount. The 1st Corps out of
22 Sarajevo has been launching offensive operations.
23 And with respect to the activities of the 28th Infantry Division,
24 what the 28th Infantry Division was specifically tasked to do was to
25 conduct small-scale raids and military operations out of the enclave, with
1 the goal of preventing the VRS and specifically the Drina Corps from
2 pulling forces away from those enclaves and sending them to more important
3 areas of the front lines.
4 So their job was, essentially, to take whatever military actions
5 they could in order to tie down the VRS away from where the main attacks
6 were going in the 1st and 2nd Corps area; and, in fact, they engaged in
7 those types of raids against Serb military and village positions.
8 Q. And, again, just briefly, do you know where the most significant
9 supplies -- military supplies came from for the 28th Division to be able
10 to conduct these sorts of operations?
11 A. Well, sir, the land route was what's commonly known as the
12 smuggling trail that originates in Muslim territory actually near the
13 Zvornik Brigade area, near Tuzla; and it transits through the Zvornik
14 Brigade zone and the Bratunac Brigade zone through the valleys, and
15 allowed them to bring equipment and supplies, small arms, things of that
16 nature, over-land.
17 I believe that there has also been ample evidence that the Bosnian
18 Muslim military did, in fact, commission clandestine helicopter flights
19 from Tuzla into the enclave in order to drop off war materials such as
20 ammunition, money or pay for the soldiers, evacuate wounded, things of
21 that nature.
22 Q. Okay. And does this plan lay out several military targets in and
23 around the enclave?
24 A. Yes, sir. It's a fairly comprehensive plan. It lays out -- as a
25 first component, it lays out the VRS's understanding of the military
1 situation on the ground with respect to the deployments of the 28th
2 Infantry Division; and, again, going back to the map graphics that we
3 discussed earlier for Susica, this is -- you know, these are almost
4 identical. So, in this context, you know, the VRS is fairly certain in
5 its mind -- you know, it understands what the enemy environment looks like
6 inside the -- the enclave.
7 The second component, again referencing operation directive 7 and
8 7-1 --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: And that is on B/C/S page 2, English page 3.
10 THE WITNESS: -- starts talking about, particularly in paragraph
11 4, what the corps commander has directed to take place, in broader terms.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Let me get you specifically back, though, to paragraph 2, where as
14 you say, it states: "The Command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to
15 operations directive 7 and 7-1 of the Main Staff, and on the basis of the
16 situation in the corps area of responsibility, has the task of carrying
17 out offensive activities with free forces deep in the Drina Corps zone as
18 soon as possible in order to split apart the enclaves of Zepa and
19 Srebrenica and to reduce them to their urban areas."
20 First of all, you've already cited to directive 7 and 7-1, so let
21 me just ask you: What, in your view, does it mean to "split apart the
22 enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica"?
23 A. While they are physically separated, obviously, on the ground and
24 in a map, those supplies that were brought in to Srebrenica, those
25 military supplies, it was the expectation that the 28th Division would
1 also send a portion of those supplies down to, you know, the Zepa Brigade,
2 which was considered to be a component part of the 28th.
3 When they talk about splitting the enclaves apart, what they are
4 referring to is essentially completing the defence lines of the blockade,
5 so that the Muslim military forces inside the Srebrenica enclave can no
6 longer over-land supply the Muslim forces in Zepa, or the Muslim forces in
7 Zepa cannot travel over-land into Srebrenica.
8 There was a fairly active land route that those military forces
9 were using, and one of the themes from 1993 on was the, you know, attempts
10 by the VRS to cut those land communications between Srebrenica and Zepa.
11 Q. You use the word that there was -- the VRS had an "expectation"
12 that this would be used, and then you went on to what you just said. Was
13 this more than just an expectation on the part of the VRS?
14 A. No, sir. I mean, the VRS knew that the supplies were going from
15 Srebrenica to Zepa and had tried, unsuccessfully for years, to be able to
16 block the supply line.
17 Q. All right. Now, the next part of this, after splitting the
18 enclaves, was "to reduce them to their urban areas." You've talked
19 briefly about this before, but now we see it in this plan. Can you just
20 say what you think they mean by that?
21 A. Again, as I indicated earlier, you know, the way that I read this,
22 based on the situation in May 1993 and subsequent information in documents
23 or even interviews and statements, is that the VRS never recognised the
24 broader designated safe area that was around Srebrenica that we call the
1 Their view was the only part that they ever agreed to was that
2 area immediately surrounding the urban area or the actual town of
3 Srebrenica. So this goes back to, you know, a one-kilometre by
4 two-kilometre area centred on the, you know, downtown Srebrenica.
5 Q. And what, in your view, was -- would be the situation if the
6 enclaves were, in fact -- or the Srebrenica enclave was, in fact -- sorry,
7 both enclaves were reduced to their urban area?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
9 MR. HAYNES: Well, Mr. President, you stopped Mr. McCloskey asking
10 that question two days ago. He's asked it before.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't believe so.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Haynes is right.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Well, we'll go on.
14 Q. Now, if we go down into paragraph 4, as you've stated, we got to
15 the objective to separate in size the Srebrenica enclave and "to improve
16 the tactical position of the forces in the depth of the area and to create
17 conditions for the elimination of the enclaves." What does that mean?
18 A. Well, in several keys, by improving the tactical positions and in
19 the depth of the area, by bringing the VRS front lines closer to the town
20 of Srebrenica, on more favourable terrain, as well as bringing it closer
21 to the town of Zepa, it gives the VRS units a lot more depth in their rear
22 areas, which means if the Muslims are going to smuggle material, they have
23 far, far greater distance to go through enemy territory to do it, which
24 would make it that much harder.
25 "At the same time creating the conditions for the elimination of
1 the enclaves," I read that to, again, be the same type of situation that
2 they had created in May of 1993, where they want to create an environment;
3 whereas, the -- either on their own accord, the Muslims would leave the
4 enclave or that the UN would evacuate them.
5 Q. And what do you mean -- when you say "1993", what do you mean, in
6 particular? What event or time period are you talking about?
7 A. I'm referring to the situation in May of 1993, when, as a result
8 of the earlier VRS military operations, the VRS forces were surrounding
9 the town of Srebrenica, and you had the Muslim military forces as well as
10 this large civilian population of Muslims all crowded in the town.
11 And at that point in time, you actually had the undertaking of
12 evacuations. I believe some eight to ten thousand civilians were pulled
13 out of the town by the UN as part of evacuations until they were stopped.
14 So they're trying to recreate that situation in order to create the
15 conditions that that decision will again start and the UN will evacuate
16 the area.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document.
19 Q. This is dated the next day. It's a report from the Main Staff in
20 the name of General Miletic, still standing in for the Chief of Staff.
21 Just going briefly to the Drina Corps section, it --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, thank you. 65 ter 2890.
23 Q. And on page 3 of the B/C/S, page 3 of the English, there's a --
24 there's a short line that says: "Forces that are not engaged are carrying
25 out preparations for forthcoming active combat operations."
1 And, briefly, Mr. Butler, what does that tell us, in your view?
2 A. It reflects the awareness of the Main Staff of what's going on in
3 the zone of the Drina Corps and that they're keeping their superior
4 commands informed. In this case, it would be the Supreme Command.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 3025.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you do so, since you didn't seem to recollect
8 what Mr. Haynes pointed out and what we agreed with, we refer you to
9 yesterday's transcript, page 19707, lines 1 to 4.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. You know, I have no --
11 no doubt, especially when you agree with Mr. Haynes, so I thank you very
13 All right. Let's -- we're at 65 ter 3025.
14 Q. It's dated 5 July 1995, the next day. This is a document in the
15 name of Commander Colonel Blagojevic of the Bratunac Brigade, and it makes
16 reference, in the right-hand corner, of Krivaja 95 and order for active
17 combat operations, and it appears to be partly a repeat of the Drina Corps
19 Mr. Butler, can you tell us, is that correct?
20 A. Yes, sir. I mean, it was fairly customary in their orders process
21 that, in large respects, the subordinate formation would mimic the
22 language of the orders and directives from the superior formation, in part
23 to make sure that everyone understood they were on the same framework for
24 what the commander had intended. It's changed insomuch as it gives more
25 specific orders that are directed towards their subordinate formations.
1 So it's just additional detail.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to page 4 in the English, B/C/S
4 page 3.
5 Q. Under "Tasks," 6.1.1, it talks about: "Open fire on observed
6 targets in the sectors of Potocari school, Pasica, Budak, Pale, and
7 Cizmici." It says: "Prevent the enemy from introducing fresh forces from
8 their depths towards to their positions."
9 But what I want to ask you about is it says: "Open barrage fire
10 in the Potocari sector in case of possible attack and prevent withdrawal
11 of UN weapons towards the depth of the enclave."
12 Why would they want to prevent withdrawal of the UN weapons
13 towards the depth of the enclave?
14 A. Tactically speaking, where most of the UN's combat power was with
15 respect to armoured vehicles was that they were out at the deployed
16 check-points along the perimeter, in some cases along the perimeter where
17 there was no attack planned.
18 One of the intents that they wanted to be able to do was, at least
19 in their mind by putting this together, to prevent the United Nations, the
20 Dutch Battalion forces, from pulling all of their armoured vehicles and
21 other combat power away from spread-out locations and to concentrate that
22 combat power, which would make it far more difficult and allow the Dutch a
23 much more increased ability to defend the enclave if they elected to do
25 It was much more tactically desirable to have the Dutch forces
1 scattered out all over the width of the enclave, rather than have them
3 Q. Do you know, is there any indication that the VRS ever had to do
4 that, ever had to actually physically prevent UNPROFOR to do this?
5 A. No, sir. I don't believe there were any instances where the VRS
6 targeted the UN deployed check-points with the goal of preventing them
7 from withdrawn from their positions.
8 Q. Was there targeting, though, and I don't want to get into a lot of
9 that, but was there targeting, in your view, by the VRS on the UN
10 check-points or other UN targets?
11 A. Yes, sir. They did target the UN, again with the goal of having
12 them abandon those positions.
13 Q. All right. And I -- this is a -- makes reference to some
14 artillery targets, and I just -- I won't take us back to the document. But
15 back to General Zivanovic's plan, it says, on page 5 of the English and
16 page 4 of the B/C/S, that: "During a preparatory fire to neutral the
17 enemy targets as a plan for preparatory fire."
18 Did you ever, or did the OTP ever, in your possession have -- in
19 your knowledge, have possession of an artillery plan such as we've seen
20 from those maps?
21 A. The Bratunac Brigade, sir?
22 Q. For anything to do with the attack on Srebrenica?
23 A. No, sir. I don't think we've ever had the actual targeting plan,
24 the written document that goes with it, no, sir.
25 Q. And under 6.2, there's a notation: "At 0300 hours on 6 July 1995,
1 it will fire four projectiles (50 kg air bombs)," which if we look at the
2 original, it talks about Avijo Bombi, "on the Potocari sector, the school,
3 the 11th March Factory in the Gracic hills," and then it is "Kula and
5 What's a 50 kg avio-bomb or air bomb?
6 A. The ordinance as designed was just what it says, it's in fact a
7 bomb designed to be dropped by an aircraft against a ground target. In
8 the latter part of the war, what the VRS armaments industry started
9 engaging in the practice of was trying to modify these weapons or this
10 ordinance to be used in a ground type of environment by ground forces.
11 You saw it a lot in Sarajevo and in Western Bosnia.
12 It dealt with the issue of, you know, homemade -- homemade
13 modifications by the RS Defence Ministry or the defence industry to
14 potentially weld or put rockets on the back of these weapons, so you could
15 push or propel them off of rail launchers in the general direction of the
16 enemy that you were targeting. They were not particularly accurate
17 weapons at all.
18 Q. And these target lists that they give, do you have any reason to
19 believe any of those are either civilian or UN targets?
20 A. Yes, sir, I do. I believe the facility known as the 11th March
21 Factory was, in fact, one of the buildings that the UN was using.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's -- let me go back -- well, excuse me. No,
24 let's continue there.
25 Q. On page 5 of the English and the B/C/S, Colonel Blagojevic notes
1 that: "Prisoners of war and war booty will be collected in Pribicevac
3 He underlines "Comply with the Geneva Convention," and then he
4 underlines again "in the treatment of prisoners of war and the
6 So is that a reference that certainly Colonel Blagojevic was aware
7 of the conventions and the regs that you'd talked about previously?
8 A. Yes, sir. I mean, I certainly can't attest that he might have
9 personally underlined it; but the fact that it is in this order, it is
10 signed by him, Colonel Blagojevic is aware of these provisions; and,
11 again, also the fact that Pribicevac is the location not only of the
12 forward command post of the Drina Corps but also of the Bratunac Brigade.
13 So he wants to make sure these people are assembled in the
14 position where presumably down the line they can quickly be questioned for
15 any information of tactical value.
16 Q. All right. Now, I want to go to -- I just want to skip ahead in
17 time to a document the Court has seen. It makes a reference -- in
18 English, it's called "aerosol bomb." And if we look at the B/C/S, it's
19 something very similar to that, "arisolnir" or something like that.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is at 65 ter 2517.
21 Q. I don't want to get into the details of this. This is a 21 July
22 document by General Tolimir relating to Zepa and the Muslims, and Muslim
23 refugees, and the Muslim army.
24 And in paragraph 5, it says: "The most convenient means of their
25 destruction would be usage of chemical weapons or aerosol grenades and
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I should be more clear. I think he's referring to
3 the army in that context. I didn't mean to suggest he was referring to
4 the civilians.
5 Q. Is this aerosol bomb anything related to this avio or air bomb
6 that you talked about, in your knowledge?
7 A. No, sir. They are different weapons systems. The aerial -- the
8 aerosol grenade or bomb is what we would call in the West a fuel-air
9 explosive. It's a weapon that takes advantage of the physics behind
10 vapours being more explosive than solids; and for the weight and size, you
11 get a much greater blast and shock effect from the weapon than you would
12 with conventional munitions.
13 It's particularly effective against structures that you want to
14 knock down, and it's very effective as an antipersonnel role. The blast
15 overpressurisation has a particularly lethal effect on soldiers at a far
16 greater range than conventional explosives do.
17 Q. How does it work, just briefly? How is it delivered?
18 A. It can be delivered either by an aircraft-delivered device or by a
19 large rocket. What it is is it's a system that, as it gets close to its
20 target, it's parachute-retarded, so it slows down. It starts ejecting
21 explosive vapour out; and at a certain concentration where that vapour
22 becomes explosive, an igniter of some device will go off, creating a spark
23 which will, of course, ignite that vapour.
24 Basically, it's the same principle of why you don't smoke while
25 filling up your gas tank at the fuel station. It's not the gasoline that
1 gets you, it's the gasoline vapours that can cause an explosion.
2 Q. In your view, is there anything illegal about that weapon?
3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. Okay. All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document. We're going ahead
6 in time, 6 July 1995. This is 65 ter 233.
7 Q. It's a daily combat report from 6th July, the date that we were
8 talking about in the previous document by Colonel Blagojevic.
9 Just to refer you down to paragraph 2, it says: "Firing support
10 against set targets was provided by 50 kg," and now we have a new word in
11 English, "shell launcher," and then it has those same sites, school in
12 Potocari, 11 March Factory.
13 Can you make out what that means, that part about 50 kg shell
15 A. Yes, sir. I believe we're talking about the same weapons system
16 that's described as the, you know, aerial bomb.
17 Q. Not the aerosol bomb?
18 A. Correct, sir.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Staying now with July 6th, the Main Staff report
21 to the Presidency, 65 ter 2895; and, again, in the name of General Miletic
22 standing in.
23 Q. Let's go to the zone of the Drina Corps, and referring you to the
24 part that says: "The forces have been prepared and grouped for active
25 combat operations towards the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa --"
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, a technical question.
3 Could we have the corresponding page in B/C/S, because the accused are --
4 cannot follow if they don't have the page in B/C/S.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Page 3. Sorry.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madame Fauveau.
7 Yes, Mr. McCloskey. They have it?
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay. I'm being informed that the text is
10 in front of the accused. They can see it. They can follow from there.
11 Correct me if I am wrong, but this is --
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, they have the first
13 page only.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I left out the "page 3."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's not waste time.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's there, I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time, it's okay. Go ahead.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Page 3, B/C/S, 4 in English.
19 That also reminds me. Ms. Fauveau, just to clear up an issue with
20 Ms. Fauveau yesterday, when she mentioned the document that she read that
21 did not have the term - it was number 414 - did not have the
22 term "operations officers" in it, our team interpreter has reviewed that
23 and agrees with Ms. Fauveau.
24 It's the term "referent," which gets interpreted in many different
25 ways, but we think "administrators" or "administrative officers" is a fair
1 translation, and we actually have a revised translation.
2 Q. Okay. Again, this section on B/C/S page 3: "The forces have been
3 prepared and grouped for active combat operations towards the enclaves of
4 Srebrenica and Zepa. Upon receiving an interim report, we will inform you
5 of the combat results."
6 Is this correct, to your knowledge?
7 A. Yes, sir. The actual ground operation began the morning of 6th
8 July. Given that the regular combat report for the Drina Corps is
9 normally drafted at the main headquarters in Vlasenica, everyone would be
10 dependent upon an interim report by, at that time, it would be General
11 Krstic, the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps at the IKM, for details
12 pertaining to how the actual attack at Srebrenica was being conducted and
13 how it was going according to plan.
14 Q. All right.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's now go to 8 July, to the next document, 65
16 ter 109.
17 Q. It's a one-page document from the Drina Corps Command to the
18 forward command post, General Krstic personally, and to Major-General
19 Zdravko Tolimir for information at the Main Staff, from General Zivanovic.
20 What do you make of this?
21 A. Well, it -- you know, when you look at the context of this, this
22 appears to be the VRS's response to a complaint raised by UNPROFOR that
23 their forces are being attacked by the VRS. Knowing how that system
24 worked during the period, it looks like, you know, the complaint was made
25 to General Tolimir, some other official at the Main Staff. There's been a
1 discussion with General Zivanovic.
2 General Zivanovic is now talking to his subordinate at the time,
3 which would be General Krstic, as well as keeping General Tolimir informed
4 about what he's telling his subordinate commander. So that's what the
5 context of this particular order depicts.
6 Q. I note it says: "The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack
7 UNPROFOR, but to prevent any surprises and stop the Muslims in their
8 intention to join up Srebrenica."
9 What do you make of that, given that there's a complaint to --
10 that they've been attacked?
11 A. Well, as I've discussed prior and in my narrative, of course, the
12 basic method that they wanted to use to get around or through the UN
13 check-points was not to directly attack them. It was to fire over their
14 heads, fire on the side, keep edging up, you know, the goal being to
15 achieve the desired result of gaining the territory without the political
16 risk of actually firing at United Nations soldiers.
17 So this is a reiteration of that. You're not supposed to be
18 attacking the UNPROFOR directly.
19 Q. I won't ask you about whether UNPROFOR knows they're being
20 attacked or not.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 9 July 1995,
22 Exhibit 6D00022.
23 Q. This is a document, an interim combat report from General Krstic,
24 at that time the Chief of Staff, and it talks about the, as we see, the
25 developing combat situation and the success. How does this document fit
1 into your analysis?
2 A. Well, sir, if you go back to the original 2 July order for
3 Krivaja 95, and you look at the specific tasks of each of the units, what
4 this combat report is essentially reporting is that they have reached all
5 of their primary objectives, and now the stages are set for further
7 So, in some respects, it's letting them know that, "We've achieved
8 the lines that we've wanted to do." You know, "What's the next step in
9 the plan here?" The other part of it is, reporting up the chain, that
10 they have taken a number of UN soldiers and equipment into custody, and
11 further explains where they are being accommodated.
12 Q. And where was that?
13 A. I believe some of them were accommodated in Milici and others were
14 taken to Bratunac. They eventually ended up at the Hotel Fontana.
15 Q. All right.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 3018.
17 Q. And before I get there, everyone knows that the Hotel Fontana is
18 not very far from the base in Potocari. Have you made any conclusion
19 regarding why the VRS kept those soldiers in the Hotel Fontana as opposed
20 to just getting them back to the -- Potocari?
21 A. Presumably, they -- they could have potentially taken them through
22 the yellow bridge check-point, but, you know, their intent was probably
23 just to hold on to these soldiers at the Hotel Fontana and other
24 locations. I don't -- I don't know why they wouldn't have returned them
25 back to UN custody.
1 Q. On 11 July, is -- does anything occur relating to those -- those
2 UN members in the custody of the VRS?
3 A. Yes, sir. I mean, again, whether it's by specific design or by
4 default, those members of the UN who are in custody of the VRS are, in
5 fact, used as leverage, and threats are made or implied against them in
6 order to force the NATO forces to suspend bombing VRS units and positions
7 around Srebrenica.
8 Q. Did that have any success, those threats against the UN hostages
9 in the Srebrenica context, in your view?
10 A. Yes, sir, they did; and, in fact, as a result of that, the bombing
11 was suspended.
12 Q. Okay. Let's go back in time to --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I need to leave the courtroom for one
14 minute or two minutes. In the meantime, you can continue.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. It's on 9 July, 65 ter 3018, which I see is up there, from Tolimir
17 to General Krstic personally, and General Tolimir personally for
18 information. First of all, is General Tolimir sending something to
19 himself? Does that make -- I mean, it may not be a big issue, but do you
20 know why that would be?
21 Perhaps we have a translation issue. I don't know.
22 A. No, sir, it means being sent from the Drina Corps, and, you know,
23 the fact is when you look at the context of the conversation, the message
24 that's being left is for General Tolimir. So, I mean, the fact that they
25 want to make sure General Tolimir is informed about what's happening is
1 normal protocol.
2 Q. But this appears to be authored by General Tolimir, is my point.
3 A. In this particular context, he's located at the Drina Corps
4 Command while he's sending it.
5 Q. How do you know?
6 A. If you look at the top left-hand side, the "Drina Corps Command
7 and Intelligence Security Department, 7/184," that's one of their sequence
8 numbers, that's not a Main Staff sequence number. It may very well just
9 be he wanted to have a paper copy of what this message said, to make sure
10 he had it available at the Main Staff when he got back there.
11 Q. Okay. And what do you make of the substance of this
13 A. Well, it basically discusses in substance a conversation with
14 General Nikolai, reflecting the fact that, you know, they're concerned
15 about the incursion into the enclave.
16 What General Tolimir is doing is essentially temperising,
17 basically saying, "We don't have --" you know, "We think we're fighting
18 the BiH. We don't have the same information you do. I will check the
19 information you have," and making sure that -- you know, telling the
20 forces they're safe and noting that he is going to talk to them in 40
21 minutes. What he obviously wants is he's letting -- you know, he's
22 letting the military commanders know on the ground that he's getting
23 pressured by the UN, and he's letting them know what he's telling the UN.
24 The final context of that is a request that says, you
25 know, "Please check in," you know, "as often as possible." Every hour, he
1 would like a report, so he can give the best, not necessarily the most
2 accurate, information to the UN, so that he has the most accurate
3 information in order to say whatever plausible story he wants the UN to
4 hear in this manner.
5 Q. Does this document indicate in any way that, in your view, that
6 General Tolimir is not aware of what's really going on on the ground?
7 A. No. I mean, I believe he fully is. When he's at the Drina Corps,
8 where he would have been briefed, in his last line: "I congratulate you
9 on your results, and I wish you the good fortunes of war."
10 I mean, clearly General Tolimir knows exactly what the plan is
12 Q. All right.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 236, 9 July.
14 Q. It's a combat report from the Bratunac Brigade, and I just want to
15 refer you to what's on the first page of the B/C/S and page 4 in English,
16 the last line.
17 It says: "Two UNHCR vehicles with 15 UNPROFOR soldiers who fled
18 to our territory were brought into the brigade command and have been put
19 up in the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac."
20 Is that related to what you've said earlier?
21 A. Yes, sir. I mean, somewhere during the course of the operation,
22 the UN check-points were given the authority by their commander to --
23 depending on what they felt was the safest course of action was, they
24 could withdraw through the combat area or through the Muslim lines or they
25 could put themselves in the custody of the VRS.
1 I believe, in this particular context, most of the UN check-points
2 elected to put themselves into the custody of the VRS rather than try and
3 transit through Muslim lines.
4 Q. Well, in one case, did that prove very dangerous for the UN, to go
5 through Muslim lines?
6 A. Yes, sir. The only Dutch soldier killed was, in fact, killed by a
7 grenade thrown by a Muslim soldier at the UN forces.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 849.
9 Q. This is a one-page document, and this time it says: "From the
10 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska," from General Tolimir: "Very
11 urgent," to the president of Republika Srpska for information, Drina
12 Corps, forward command post, Generals Gvero and Krstic personally.
13 First of all, can you -- do you have any idea where Tolimir is
14 during this communication?
15 A. During this particular communication, based on where the order
16 originated, I believe he's at the Main Staff.
17 Q. And we -- we've all read this many times. Can you just give us
18 your brief take on this document?
19 A. This particular document is the first document that I've seen of
20 the broader collection of material in the possession of the OTP that
21 reflects that because of the success of the combat operations, now, for
22 the first time, the goal is going to be expanded and it will actually be
23 the occupation of the very town of Srebrenica.
24 Q. And what can you tell from the fact that this is directed to
25 Generals Gvero and Krstic personally?
1 A. General Krstic is the man at the forward command post of the Drina
2 Corps in Pribicevac, controlling the operation and directing it. General
3 Gvero, the Main Staff officer, is present at that location as well.
4 This is sent to them primarily for the benefit of General Krstic,
5 to tell him that, you can, "You need to start putting together the next
6 step." There are no plans to take Srebrenica, so it's giving him the
7 directive to start doing the steps you need to take, planning wise and
8 force-movement wise, to occupy the town.
9 Q. Does General Gvero's presence at the forward command post have any
10 significance for you in your overall analysis?
11 A. No, sir, other than it's just a -- again a reflection of the
12 practice where, in critical operations, that often officers of the Main
13 Staff will be present at these command posts to help oversee the
14 operations and be there as a person who can potentially de-conflict any
15 problems between the corps and the Main Staff with respect to resources,
16 with respect to orders, with respect to understanding what the overall
17 Commander Mladic's intent is.
18 Q. All right. And, again, we see in this document a full
19 understanding of the Geneva Conventions, and there's an actual order not
20 to torch residential buildings and to treat the population and war
21 prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. General Tolimir, this is the person that talks about aerosol bombs
24 and refugees. How do you -- can -- does General Tolimir appear to be the
25 author of this document or would this be a document passed on? Do you
1 have any knowledge about that?
2 A. If you look at the bottom of the document -- I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry, Mr. President.
5 I'll object. I think it mischaracterises the facts.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can move on. You're not necessarily
7 right, but we can move on.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: I can explain, if the Court wishes, because --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just need to reference the document.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Just move on, please, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next document in line.
13 Q. We're now at 10 July, a document you've already talked about.
14 It's 65 ter 57, but that was for your legal discussion. And what I wanted
15 to ask you about is: Do you know, from your review, where Mr. Borovcanin
16 was prior to 11 July, when he had to go to the Bratunac/Srebrenica area?
17 A. I understand that Mr. Borovcanin was directing MUP forces along
18 the Trnovo battle front.
19 Q. All right. And do you have any knowledge about whether or not he
20 was working with any forces from Serbia in that Bosnian battle front at
21 that time?
22 A. Yes, sir, it's related within paragraph 2 of the order.
23 Q. All right. And you're referring to a mixed company of joint
24 RSK -- sorry, not "RSK" but Serbian and RS forces?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Has the investigation ever corroborated or identified any Serbian
2 MUP forces involved in the Srebrenica/Bratunac operations of 11 July
3 through 17/18 July?
4 A. No, sir, not to my knowledge.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: It might be a good time, Mr. President, to take
6 the break.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. We're still on July 10th in our chronology.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 181.
14 Q. This is a document from the Main Staff, dated 10 July, in the name
15 of General Mladic, and we see a received stamp of about 1300 hours.
16 And on the first page of the B/C/S, this order talks about the
17 newly-arisen situation at Srebrenica and the success, and provides an
18 order apparently in the direction of Zepa.
19 What do you make of this, on 10 July?
20 A. Well, sir, when I discussed earlier about, you know, thinking
21 tactically about the battle on the ground and then thinking operationally
22 about what happens beyond that, this is a good example of the Main Staff
23 thinking operationally, presumably at the direction of General Mladic.
24 They're already beginning to take the next series of steps with
25 respect to planning and manoeuvring forces based on what they call the
1 unexpected success of Srebrenica, and they're already thinking through
2 about the potential for engaging in combat activity in Zepa along the same
4 So this is a reflection that, you know, the Main Staff isn't, you
5 know, totally engrossed in the current battle,. They're already thinking
6 through the mechanics of what needs to happen to set the framework for the
7 next battle.
8 Q. And this appears to only go to the Drina Corps and the 65th
9 Protection Regiment. What do you make of that?
10 A. The Drina Corps and the 65th, you know, the Drina Corps, Zepa is
11 in their zone, and the 65th Protection Regiment are local forces who are
12 at -- garrisoned in and around the Main Staff, which is, of course, close
13 to Zepa, that, you know, could be used in this operation. At this
14 juncture, they're not envisioning having any outside forces from the Drina
15 Corps participate. They're going to try and deal with this on their own.
16 Q. There's no -- this is not sent to any brigades at this point, why
17 not, if you can -- if you know or have an opinion?
18 A. Well, sir, I mean, this is, you know, not necessarily something
19 that is particularly urgent, where you would see the Main Staff send it to
20 the Drina Corps and the brigades. This is something that can go along the
21 more formalised line. It goes through the corps' command and staff,
22 telling them, "Start and," you know, "plan to launch offensive operations.
23 Here's where you will set unit boundaries."
24 The expectation is that the operations people at the Drina Corps
25 will start delving into the details of this, and they will send out the
1 detailed orders to the brigades.
2 Q. Okay. And a little later on, do we see an order from the Drina
3 Corps, a more operational order about Zepa?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. And when is that?
6 A. I believe that's within the next day or two. It may be as early
7 as the 11th or the 12th.
8 Q. All right. Well, we'll -- we'll get there.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to now 11 July, Exhibit 6D00207.
10 Q. We're going to 19, Mr. Butler, on your tab, and this is an 11 July
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've put the old translation in here because it
13 was, I believe, already in evidence, but it's General Staff of the Army -
14 and that should be "Main Staff," we'd all agree - 11 July, in the name of
15 Assistant Commander Major General Milan Gvero.
16 Q. It's received it seems by somebody it looks like at about 1735
17 hours, entitled: "Warning on treatment of UNPROFOR personnel in the
18 enclave of Srebrenica."
19 It says: "In relation to the total situation in the enclave of
20 Srebrenica, the monitoring of reactions from UNPROFOR representatives and
21 world public opinion indicates that the attitude of the Army of Republika
22 Srpska personnel towards UNPROFOR personnel and units in the area of
23 Srebrenica is in the focus of attention.
24 "To that end, Drina Corps command, acting through its subordinate
25 commands, will ensure utmost decency in the attitude towards UNPROFOR
1 personnel, our guests, and prevent any actions or provocations directed
2 against UNPROFOR units in the enclave, regardless of their behaviour.
3 "Such attitude towards UNPROFOR units is at this moment of
4 multifarious importance for the realisation of the assignment at hand and
5 of our set objectives."
6 What's your analysis of this?
7 A. At this juncture, General Gvero, who was at the IKM, is apparently
8 back at the Main Staff headquarters.
9 Q. Why do you say that?
10 A. Well, we know that, for example, we have documents which show him
11 at the IKM on the 9th. We know, from other documents and other
12 information, that General Mladic shows up at the IKM personally on the
13 10th. With General Mladic on the scene, there's no reason for General
14 Gvero to be there as the Main Staff representative. General Mladic can
15 obviously do that better than anyone else. So General Gvero goes back to
16 his position or back to his headquarters at the Main Staff.
17 And, you know, in this context, it's clear that once he's arriving
18 back there, he's taking the pulse of what the media, what the
19 International Community, is saying about the operations related to
20 Srebrenica and the fact that UN personnel are in VRS custody, and
21 reminding them that, you know, "People from the outside, the International
22 Community, are looking at us. Let's make sure we put our best face on."
23 Q. Do you take about this comment, "Such attitudes towards UNPROFOR
24 units is at this moment are of multiple importance"?
25 A. Particularly, when you look in light of what happened in May, when
1 VRS were taking UN personnel as hostage, considering that at this time
2 there were public pronouncements with respect to potential NATO
3 involvement in protecting the Dutch Battalion at Srebrenica and that these
4 conversations are happening in the media and diplomats and politicians are
5 making these related comments, General Gvero is trying to remind people,
6 you know, "Let's not give the International Community or NATO any pretext
7 whatsoever to become involved in this fight."
8 Q. And at this time, this would be around the late afternoon or
9 evening, have there been any actions directed against UN -- I don't
10 mean "actions." Had the UN people that had held hostage, the UNPROFOR
11 people - excuse me - held in the Hotel Fontana, have there been any
12 statements by the VRS about them regarding their treatment?
13 A. Yes, sir. This is a fair example of a good military idea that was
14 overcome by events. For example, while General Gvero was potentially
15 drafting this, in the meantime NATO forces had already begun to strike VRS
16 targets on at least two occasions at the edge of the enclave.
17 And before this message is even delivered to the IKM, which is
18 where I believe it went, a threat had been communicated to Dutch-Bat that
19 if UN or NATO air forces did not stop bombing, that there would be
20 retaliation against Dutch soldiers in the custody of the VRS.
21 Q. Now, such a threat, at what level of the Army of the VRS or the
22 political apparatus would such a threat be, in your view, allowable under
23 the organisation of this government and army?
24 A. I can't see that anyone below General Mladic, personally, would
25 feel that they had the authority to make such a -- such a threat.
1 Q. And would such a threat --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we can go on.
3 Let's continue to go on, on 11 July, 65 ter 438, from the Drina
4 Corps Command by General Zivanovic.
5 Q. What's the concern in this document, briefly, entitled: "Order to
6 block the linking up of the forces of the 28th Enemy Division with forces
7 in the enclaves"? We see a received stamp about 2230 hours on the 11th.
8 A. Well, the VRS, just like the BiH, was doing what it could to
9 collect information about what Muslim military forces -- their goals and
10 objectives were. The information that they were receiving at the time
11 indicated that the 28th Division was going to be given instructions to
12 leave the enclave, which left one of two possible scenarios: One, that
13 they would attempt to link up, either in whole or in part, with the Muslim
14 forces that were still in the enclave in section; or that, two, that they
15 would attempt to break out of the enclave and get to what's referred to
16 as "free territory," Bosnian Muslim territory, opposite Tuzla.
17 So, in keeping in line with what this order is, it's General
18 Zivanovic directing units of the Drina Corps to be aware of those facts
19 and to take precautionary measures to prevent this from happening.
20 Q. Can you tell from this document if the VRS has had any knowledge
21 about which direction they're actually going in at this point on the 11th;
22 the Muslim forces, that is?
23 A. No, sir. I mean, they're making an estimate. They don't know
24 exactly which course of action the Muslims will take.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Staying at 11 July, but going to 65 ter 3019, this
2 is another report from the Main Staff under the name of General Miletic,
3 to the president.
4 Q. And if we could go to B/C/S page 3, I just want you to check the
5 information in this. It talks about: "In the Srebrenica enclave, the
6 enemy has been putting up fierce resistance to VRS units. The NATO air
7 force has been pounding our forces in the following sectors."
8 It talks about an interim report will be sent. It goes on to talk
9 about: "In the course of the day, our forces entered the town of
10 Srebrenica, and we will forward you an interim report on the results
11 achieved and the details relating to the offensive operations."
12 Do you agree with this or disagree with this information, as to
13 its validity?
14 A. Yes, sir. I think -- I'm quite sure at this juncture the Court
15 has seen the video footage of VRS forces and officers entering the town of
16 Srebrenica, and this corresponds to that, yes, sir.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's now go to the 12th, and we have a 65 ter
19 1099A for English, and B/C/S, 1099C.
20 Q. It's a very brief intercept between X and Y, talking about
21 Jaglici, from Jaglici towards Buzim: "Up there towards the neighbour on
22 our right, let them know they need to be warned. You understand."
23 "Understood, a column."
24 What do you think this is at 063 -- 0603 hours in the morning?
25 A. This is what I determined to be the first plausible piece of
1 information that begins going up through the VRS information chain of
2 command, that they are noticing that the VRS, at least the people on the
3 ground, are noticing the establishment of a column and that there are
4 Bosnian Muslim in the forces at that location, and that they're trying to
5 penetrate the VRS lines at that particular location.
6 Taken in context with the understanding the VRS had at the time,
7 their view was that the most -- most of the 28th Division was, in fact,
8 going to retreat towards the Bandera Triangle and potentially go to Zepa,
9 and, in fact, the VRS operations scheduled for 12 July 1995 had the bulk
10 of their combat power sweeping through that particular area in order to
11 attempt to regain contact and engage the 28th Division.
12 Q. Just to be clear, when you say "that particular area," which one?
13 A. Bandera Triangle area, sir.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. In fact, at least now you're getting indications from VRS soldiers
16 in other parts of the battlefield that the division isn't where everyone
17 had expected it to be. It is, in fact, doing something completely
19 Q. And so Jaglici, that's up in the direction towards Konjevic Polje,
20 on towards Tuzla?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next intercept, number 1100A, and
24 in English, and C in the B/C/S.
25 Q. It's, again, dated 12 July, 0656 hours, and there's comments in
1 here related to similar areas: "They inform me first at 3.00 that it was
2 broken in several parts."
3 THE INTERPRETER: Please read slowly. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. And, again, we hear "Jaglici, Kamenica." What's this, just
7 A. This is another intercept between two correspondents, discussing
8 their knowledge of the military actions, where the column is, what they're
9 attempting to do, at roughly 7.00 in the morning on 12 July.
10 Q. And is this consistent with previous intercept, that the column is
11 going in the direction?
12 A. Yes, sir. I mean, again, there's no hard facts on how large the
13 column is, how powerfully armed it is. You're getting that these
14 represent the initial battlefield reports and contact that's coming in.
15 Q. Okay. So this kind of information at this -- at this stage, as
16 initial reports, how do you, as an intel analyst, would you have valued
17 that at the time?
18 A. There's a -- there's a saying, particularly in my military with
19 respect to combat information, that the first report is wrong, the second
20 report is only half right, you don't know which part of the report is, in
21 fact, correct. It isn't until the third or fourth report that you start
22 to get a clear picture of what is actually happening in a particular
23 battle or a particular situation. I think what you're seeing, you know,
24 in broad terms, is a manifestation of that.
25 As these events are occurring on the ground and more and more
1 reports about them are being passed up the chain of command, it's going to
2 take a while, but people are now starting to get a little bit of a clearer
3 picture that their initial assessments on where the 28th Infantry Division
4 were might not be completely accurate.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next exhibit, 1101A and B.
7 Q. This is another intercept. It's 12 July at 0735 hours in the
8 morning, between people identified as Krstic and Lieutenant-Colonel
10 Who are these guys, and briefly what are they talking about?
11 A. In this conversation, the individual named "Krstic" is
12 Major-General Radislav Krstic, still the Chief of Staff of the Drina
13 Corps. Lieutenant-General Krsmanovic is the transportation officer for
14 the Drina Corps.
15 Q. And what are they talking about, in your view?
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey, just bear in mind that what the Judges
17 are following it a bit slower than appears. It now appears. Now we have
18 the intercept.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. I will keep my eye on that screen, and
20 I think we're on track to finishing this week, so I should slow down.
21 JUDGE KWON: I fully understand.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll slow myself down a bit. Thank you.
23 Okay. We all have this now, this intercept.
24 Q. So what are these people talking about?
25 A. What we have is General Krstic is informing his transportation
1 officer where he wants buses sent and at what location and at what time.
2 Q. And what relevancy are buses at this point to the Drina Corps, in
3 your view?
4 A. Well, looking at the broader knowledge of what happened with the
5 series of the two meetings that occurred between the VRS, the UN Dutch
6 forces, and the representatives of the Bosnian Muslims on the 11 -- on the
7 evening 11 July at Fontana, some time after that series of meetings,
8 either at the back end or shortly thereafter, the VRS, General Mladic
9 specifically, you know, took it upon himself that, you know, the VRS was
10 going to organise the evacuation of these individuals from Potocari.
11 They didn't want to wait for the UN. They didn't want to give the
12 opportunity for the UN and the UNPROFOR to stall. He wanted these people
13 out. He wanted them out in a quick manner.
14 And very quickly after that, through the evening of the 11th and
15 the morning of the 12th, there's a lot of messages and orders going out
16 for buses that are under control of the army and buses that are under
17 control of the Ministry of Defence or state-owned industries to start
18 being sent to Potocari.
19 Q. Well, this says: "Fifty buses in total are to be at the stadium
20 in Bratunac by 1700 hours."
21 Did they make it?
22 A. I believe the first evidence of buses started arriving as early as
23 noon on the 12th of July in Potocari.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. I'm not sure when buses may have arrived at the Bratunac stadium.
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 110.
3 Q. It is dated 12 July, from the Command of the Drina Corps, in the
4 name of General Zivanovic, and we see now that it is entitled: "The
5 provision of buses for evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave," order to
6 the Zvornik Brigade and other brigades. What is this?
7 A. It amplifies what I've been talking about with respect to the last
8 series of exhibits, the fact that formal orders have been going out
9 through the early-morning hours of 12 July to military and Ministry of
10 Defence organisations for them to take the measures to organise their
11 buses and start sending them to the Srebrenica area.
12 Q. Now, when you say "their buses," the Zvornik Brigade, for example,
13 what buses?
14 A. Each of the brigades had some buses or some form of
15 transportation. The Zvornik Brigade was better than most, and they had
16 some minibuses and some trucks. Up in Zvornik, also you had the 63rd Auto
17 Transport Battalion which had vehicles. But the majority of buses were
18 going to have to be requisitioned from the civilian economy, and that
19 falls more in the purview of the RS Ministry of Defence than it does
20 strictly the army.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 1105A and B, and an
23 intercept from 12 July, at 9.15 in the morning.
24 Q. This is just a synopsis of a conversation, and it says, with
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic: "They told him that they only have two
1 buses. They can't requisition without papers and an order. They have
2 problems with fuel. There is none."
3 You've talked a bit about requisitioning. How does this fit, if
4 it does?
5 A. Well, it does in the sense that, you know, they understand what
6 the process is, and it's a reflection of the fact that, you know, even
7 General Mladic can't snap his finger and demand, you know, 50 to 100 buses
8 to show up instantly and it's going to happen. There is a lot of
9 planning, there is a lot of logistics, there's a lot of coordination that
10 has to happen to carry out that order. Normally, you plan for these
11 things so you're not in a situation like the VRS finds itself in the
12 circumstance, where they're trying to organise these large-scale bus
13 convoys on the fly.
14 So what you see in the intercepts, you know, are the reflections
15 of these various staff officers who are trying to do, as fast as they can,
16 take all the necessary steps to acquire the buses, make sure they have
17 adequate fuel, make sure they have drivers, make sure they know where
18 they're supposed to be, and when they're supposed to be there.
19 Q. Okay. This comment about "they have problems with fuel," can you
20 briefly describe the fuel situation for the VRS and RS at this time in
22 A. Because of the embargo which prevented fuel from flowing freely
23 over the Drina River and the Serbian border, fuel was a valuable commodity
24 to not only the VRS but well within the Republika Srpska at the time. It
25 was a very popular black market item, as you might imagine.
1 Therefore, to ensure that the military supply of fuel was properly
2 guarded and properly regulated, the VRS took great steps to make sure that
3 their fuel was accounted for on a litre-by-litre basis, so they weren't
4 wasted fuel and they could ensure fuel was not being siphoned off by
5 members of the military for private purposes.
6 At the same time, you know, those same procedures were in place,
7 you know, throughout the state-owned economy and government of the
8 Republika Srpska, that there was a broad fuel shortage.
9 Q. Do you know any significant source of fuel for this, the movement
10 of the people from the Srebrenica area outward?
11 A. Yes, sir; and, in fact, what happened was that an arrangement was
12 made where, while the UN agreed to provide the fuel at some juncture, it
13 would not be fast enough for the purposes that they wanted these people
14 out of Potocari starting on the 12th.
15 So what the military did is it went to the Vihor transportation
16 company, a state-owned transportation company in Bratunac, requisitioned
17 the fuel from Vihor; and then, when the UN ultimately provided the fuel,
18 they used that fuel to pay back the state-owned industry for what they had
20 Q. How do you know that?
21 A. There's a -- there's a series of documents that kind of reflects
22 that trail of where it went, and I believe that there has been testimony,
23 certainly in past trials, to that effect.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the -- the next exhibit, 65 ter 2899.
1 Q. This is a document from the VRS Main Staff under the name of
2 General Petar Skrbic, assistant commander. There's some abbreviations
3 there, but -- for that sector, but who, in your knowledge, was Petar
5 A. He was the Main Staff's assistant commander for rear services or
7 Q. And how does this document fit into your analysis?
8 A. It reflects the legal relationships between the army and the
9 Ministry of Defence at the time, noting the fact that the army can't
10 unilaterally, within its own authority, you know, pull buses from the
11 civilian economy and that this is something that is appropriately or under
12 the competence of the Ministry of Defence.
13 So this is an order, or a request actually, you know, requesting
14 that the Ministry of Defence issue the orders for these buses and place
15 them at the disposal of the army.
16 Q. Okay. And this reference to 50 buses at the Bratunac stadium by
17 1430, that's the same information we saw in this intercept with Krstic and
18 Krsmanovic. Is that related to you?
19 A. Yes, sir. I mean, the time is off by a few hours between 1430 and
20 1700, but I mean we're talking about, fundamentally, the same situation,
21 that there is an urgent demand for buses to be at these locations.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter number 13.
24 Q. This is a document, again dated 12 July, the Secretariat of the
25 Defence Ministry, Zvornik. The subject is, again: "Request mobilisation
1 of buses." It talks about pursuant to a request by the Main Staff of the
2 Republika Srpska Army; and then, again, talks about 30 buses.
3 Is this consistent with what you've been saying about this
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. All right. Anything else you want to add from this?
7 A. No, sir. I mean, I think we've kind of beat this one to death.
8 Q. That's what I was thinking.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go on to the next document. We're at 65 ter
10 number 59.
11 Q. We're now into a different set of -- a different kind of document
12 from -- something we haven't talked with you about before. But this is
13 from the -- entitled "The Zvornik CJB," or the Public Security Centre, and
14 it comes out under the name of the chief of the CJB, Dragomir Vasic.
15 First of all, before we get into this at all, can you tell us a
16 bit about who Dragomir Vasic was at the time?
17 A. In July 1995, Dragomir Vasic was the chief of the Zvornik sector
18 for security, public security. As I believe the Court is aware, within
19 the framework of the Republika Srpska, organised on a municipality basis,
20 you had individual sectors for public security; and then, in various
21 regions, you had an overarching command structure known as "the Centre"
22 that these sectors worked for.
23 Dragomir Vasic was the head of the Centre for Public Safety up in
24 Zvornik, and he oversaw a number of municipalities in that area.
25 Q. All right. And where, to your knowledge of the investigation, was
1 he on July 12, 19 --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
3 MR. HAYNES: It's not an objection, as such, but Dragomir Vasic is
4 going to give evidence in a week or so time. What's the point in asking
5 this witness all these questions when we can get it from the primary
6 source? We've already had him asked who was Skrbic, who has given
7 evidence. It's really quite a waste of time, this.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I completely disagree. There's never a guarantee
10 that a witness will show here. It took about 15, 20 seconds to get out,
11 and I think it's fundamental -- a fundamental reminder about this document
12 and the previous document. I am doing my best not to repeat material that
13 I think the Court is fully aware of; but after such a long period of time,
14 I'm not sure of what I'm fully aware of. But I'm trying to hit the key
15 points and move on.
16 A document -- a first-time document from a key person like this is
17 something that we need more than just a brief discussion of.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't agree with you this time, Mr. Haynes. The
21 fact that Mr. Vasic will be here to give evidence shortly doesn't deprive
22 or shouldn't prevent Mr. McCloskey from asking this witness questions
23 about that other witness. So let's proceed.
24 Do you wish Mr. McCloskey to repeat the question, Mr. Butler, or
25 are you in a position to give us an answer?
1 He did start the question: "To your knowledge of the
2 investigation, was he, on July 12th, 1995 ..."
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. I think he was in Bratunac. I believe
4 the investigation has established that.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. All right. Let's go over a couple of these points.
7 Number 1: "Acting in accordance with your dispatch, I contacted
8 the civilian commissioner in Bratunac, Miroslav Deronjic."
9 Now, the Court has heard about Miroslav Deronjic and him being the
10 appointed civilian commissioner, so I won't ask you about that, on the
11 invitation of Mr. Haynes.
12 On number 2: "A meeting with General Mladic and General Krstic
13 was held at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters at," the translator's think
14 maybe, "0800 hours, at which tasks were assigned to all those involved."
15 Do you have any information on the meeting at the Bratunac
16 headquarters on the morning of 12 July?
17 A. Yes, sir. I mean, my own -- like I say, my own information with
18 respect to, you know, previous trials and the investigation reflects that
19 prior to the third meeting with the UN forces, the VRS -- a number of the
20 VRS commanders and the police commanders who were on the ground did meet,
21 and General Mladic and General Krstic gave various tasks to which units
22 would be located where and what their functions would be for that day.
23 Q. Okay. Well, let's continue, then.
24 Number 3 says: "The military operation is continuing according to
25 plan. The Turks (derogatory term for Muslim) are fleeing towards Suceska,
1 while the civilians have gathered in Potocari ( about 15.000)."
2 How does this conclusion of Mr. Vasic about the Muslims heading
3 towards Suceska fit in with what you've told us about that same subject?
4 A. Assuming the timing is right - and I think from the Serbo-Croatian
5 version of this behind this, it is in fact 8:00. They are right, the
6 translator - by this time, the senior leadership of the army, General
7 Mladic and of the Drina Corps, General Krstic, are aware that not only of
8 the fact that the military is heading towards Suceska, but that there is
9 an awareness that there is at least 15.000 civilians in Potocari.
10 What they don't appreciate have at this juncture is an
11 appreciation of the size --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Just a moment.
13 Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [In English] Your Honours, I think that none of us
15 is receiving translation.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What exactly is the problem? Who is not receiving
17 the translation?
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: It is just that we are on channel 6, and I haven't
19 received it, nor has my expert witness, and I believe --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Borovcanin, and anybody else? You are also not
21 receiving the translation? All right. It seems that all the accused are
22 not receiving. Okay, so we have a problem. Thank you for informing us.
23 Shall we have another try? Are you receiving interpretation of
24 what I am saying now? All right. So I think the problem is solved. I
25 had nothing to do with it.
1 Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I think you need to repeat the question,
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. I think you were halfway through your answer, you can probably see
5 on the screen, where you left off.
6 A. Yes, sir, if I can continue.
7 While I understand that some of the military forces from the 28th
8 Division are heading towards Suceska it's clear they don't have an
9 appreciation for the sheer number of forces that are going there.
10 It also, again, reflects the fact that they do start to take some
11 preventative measures by sending some police units along the road, given
12 the fact that the army is in a completely different location, most of the
13 army's combat power.
14 Q. Do you remember where Suceska was?
15 A. Roughly, it is in the -- on the northwest quadrant or side of the
16 Srebrenica enclave. In the area of Suceska and Jaglici village, this is
17 the jumping-off point where the column and the military forces assembled
18 before trying to penetrate the lines and leave the enclave.
19 Q. Okay. Well, number 4, talking about appointing a police chief for
20 Srebrenica, so I won't ask you about that.
21 Number 5, it says: "A meeting will begin at 1000 hours with
22 representatives of UNPROFOR and the International Red Cross and the Muslim
23 representatives of Srebrenica, at which an agreement will be reached on
24 the evacuation of the civilian population from Potocari to Kladanj."
25 Did that happen, to your knowledge?
1 A. Yes, sir, it did.
2 Q. Okay. And number 6: "Joint police forces are advancing on
3 Potocari with the aim of taking UNPROFOR personnel prisoner, surrounding
4 the entire civilian population, and cleansing the area of enemy troops."
5 What do you believe -- what forces do you believe Vasic is talking
6 about when he says "joint police forces are advancing on Potocari"?
7 A. In this particular context, he's referring to the joint police
8 forces of the special police of the MUP, which would either be the 2nd
9 Sekovici Detachment or the Jahorina special police, as well as those
10 police companies that were formed off the basis of the municipal MUP
11 organisation. The civilian police who also are designated, when
12 necessary, to form into police companies for military accesses.
13 Q. Can you refer us to any particular document or order that helps
14 you identify which units you're talking about?
15 A. I believe somewhere, certainly Colonel Borovcanin's after-action
16 report about events that occurred in Srebrenica, lists in detail the
17 specific units that were involved and under his direction at various
18 points in time. I believe there are other references in the documents,
19 not only military but police documents, referring to the Jahorina police
20 as well as the members of the 2nd Sekovici Detachment police.
21 Q. How about that 10 July order by Kovac that we've already talked
22 about? I don't remember the exhibit number.
23 A. Yes, sir. That's a laundry list of most of those same units, with
24 the exception of the Serbian MUP.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: That was Exhibit 57, for the record.
2 All right. Perhaps we'll wait for the good Mr. Vasic to ask him
3 about the rest of that.
4 Let's go to the next chronological exhibit, 65 ter 156.
5 Q. That's -- we are still on 12 July. It's from the Command of the
6 Drina Corps, General Zivanovic. I think we're back to that subject again,
7 Mr. Butler. Could you just briefly deal with it?
8 A. Well, General Zivanovic, or the Drina Corps staff, in his name,
9 are forwarding a request to the Main Staff to send fuel. I mean,
10 certainly the Drina Corps does not have, you know, on a disposable level,
11 10.000 litres of diesel fuel, 2.000 litres of petrol. So they're looking
12 for their headquarters, the Main Staff, to provide that type and quantity
13 of fuel.
14 Q. Okay. Given that you've testified that this fuel is for vehicles
15 to move out the population, what do you make of this comment: "Their
16 final destination is unknown to us for the moment."
17 Can you tell what that's a reference to?
18 A. The -- make sure I read the time right. I mean, this is dated 12
19 July, 1000 hours. It may very well be, and, in fact, as far as I know, at
20 this point in time the Drina Corps staff does not know what the ultimate
21 destination of these buses is going to be. That decision either has not
22 been yet made by General Mladic or the decision hasn't been translated to
23 the corps staff.
24 Q. Just to be clear, we've heard about the destination to Bratunac
1 A. Yeah, that's the inbound. It doesn't say the final destinations
3 Q. So what are you referring to, when you say "destination of those
4 buses," who's in those buses?
5 A. Well, those will be the civilians from Potocari.
6 Q. So what does this indicate to you, if anything, about the planning
7 process as it's occurring at this time on the morning of the 12th?
8 A. From a military perspective, the commands and staffs of all the
9 relevant formations are -- are doing a herculean job, at being able to
10 assemble, on very short notice, the equipment required. There's a lot of
11 work going on and a lot of people are engaged in this process.
12 Q. Do you see so far, in looking at these documents and their
13 interrelationships with the other evidence, any hiccups or real problems
14 or significant -- sorry, significant derivations from the JNA/VRS command
15 structure and process that should have been in place on the ground?
16 A. No, sir. I mean, given the body of material that we've been
17 talking about, understanding on -- you know, understanding the law and how
18 the VRS worked and the doctrine, I think what you've been looking at, in
19 the context of these orders, are a reflection of how this process should
20 have been working and, in fact, did work.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 157.
23 Q. We're still at 12 July 1995, a one-page document. This, again, is
24 it from the Command of the Drina Corps, under the name of General
25 Zivanovic, entitled: "Traffic regulation on the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac
1 road and in the town of Bratunac and orders, commands of the Bratunac
2 Brigade and the Zvornik Brigade, and then it gives both those brigades'
4 Just briefly, can you synopsis what those orders are and how they
5 have to do with any of the -- any of the subjects you've been talking
7 A. Well, sir, one of the -- one of the functions of the military
8 police is traffic regulation and control, and this is from the Drina
9 Corps, directing the Zvornik Brigade to establish a traffic control point
10 at this intersection in order to regulate the regulate the transport, the
11 movement of buses through there; as well as to the Bratunac Light Infantry
12 Brigade, that they should coordinate with the local Bratunac police to
13 regulate the traffics going up and down the road to Konjevic Polje from
15 Q. When you say "regulate buses," do you include in that the movement
16 in those buses of the Muslims from Srebrenica?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. All right.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, let's go to the next document, 1107A and C.
20 Q. We're back to an intercept between X and Y at 1200 hours; and as
21 we will soon see, well, it's difficult to make much out of who's talking.
22 We see it talks about buses from various places. Do you know anyone
23 named "Radakovic"?
24 A. The name is not familiar to me, no, sir.
25 Q. Okay. How about this comment about "the request for fuel has been
1 forwarded to Krstic"? What does that tell us about -- "Krstic" is a
2 fairly common name. In your view, who do you think this is?
3 A. In this context, I believe the correspondents are talking about
4 General Krstic, the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps.
5 Q. Why?
6 A. He would be -- presumably, from the staff process of trying to do
7 the orders to get additional fuel, any request to the Main Staff or any
8 request to the civilian organisations would have to go out under his name
9 for this type of thing. I'm not aware of any other "Krstic" in the
10 context of the Drina Corps units that would be able to do this at a lower
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 3040.
14 Q. This is another report from the Zvornik CJB. The original is not
15 very clear, but it's from the chief of the CJB, and it's number 278.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just for the record, the 65 ter 59, the
17 previous Vasic document, was numbered -- the CJB number was 277.
18 Q. So who do you think this document is by?
19 A. I believe it was drafted by Dragomir Vasic. He was present at the
20 meeting that was -- that this was discussed.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And it actually says there, as we can see:
23 "Re-dispatch number 277 of 12 July."
24 Q. I'll ask you a few things about this. It's now describing this
25 10.30 meeting that was held at the hotel in Bratunac, "attended by the
1 following." Does that information correspond with information that you
2 have from the investigation, videos, and other information?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Okay. We see his conclusions, and there's one in particular I
5 want to ask you about.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, it's -- it's either -- it looks like it should
7 be on the first page of the B/C/S, but it's number -- in any event, it's
8 number is 3 and 4 on the document, if that can be made out.
9 Q. 3 says: "They all request free passage for able-bodied men
10 because, allegedly, they are unarmed and they are not in contact with
11 their army in the woods."
12 What do you think that's a reference to?
13 A. The Muslim -- it sounds like the Muslim leadership at that meeting
14 has informed them that, in fact, there's not one large column, that there
15 are two separate groups: One of them is the army, and the other one is
16 a -- the group of civilians. You know, in this context, it's making it
17 sound like all the civilians who are hiding in the woods are waiting for
18 is a commitment from the VRS that they will be allowed to go as well, and
19 then they'll come in from the woods.
20 Q. Were there able-bodied Muslim men among the crowd of Muslims at
22 A. Yes, sir, there were.
23 Q. Okay. And could this reference be a reference to those men?
24 A. Well, if you take it -- what it says specifically in the above
25 paragraph number 1, where it talks about 10 per cent of the conscripts
1 between 17 and 60, and then look at this one, they also request free
2 passage for the men because they are armed and they are not in contact
3 with their army in the woods. I mean, it could potentially be that same
4 body or it could be a different body.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at number 4.
6 It says: "It was decided to grant their request and with UNPROFOR
7 assistance (presence and provision of fuel for transportation) and the
8 trucks were provided, boarding of the vehicles will commence at 1400
9 hours, and escort will be provided until Kladanj."
10 Is that correct, did it happen like that?
11 A. The buses arrived at 1200 hours, from the video evidence that we
12 have; and by 1400, they started moving out, and I believe the evidence
13 shows that they were escorted up to that point, yes, sir.
14 Q. Okay. Now, this is the -- the next comment that he makes is what
15 I'm most interested in.
16 It says: "After the inspection, depending on Mladic's decision,
17 able-bodied men may be allowed to go in order to have the others from the
18 woods to surrender, since our command urged them to do so."
19 What do you make of that?
20 A. In a prior meeting, General Mladic had indicated that he intended
21 that the military-aged men from 17 or 16 to 60 would be screened for their
22 potential involvement in prior war crimes activities. Again, it's
23 indicating the fact that, you know, Mladic may decide at some point in
24 time to allow some of the men to go out and encourage other Muslim males
25 to come in.
1 Q. Okay. And what I want to ask you, as you are and everyone is well
2 aware, it's the position that the Prosecution that those men in Potocari
3 were designated to be killed sometime in the late hours of 11 July or
4 morning of 12 July.
5 Now, if that is the case - that's the Prosecution's position -
6 what does this comment by Vasic indicate, his knowledge of any potential
7 decision by the VRS?
8 A. I think it's fair to conclude at this juncture that Dragomir Vasic
9 has not been informed of what the ultimate plan is.
10 Q. Is that reasonable to believe in the circumstances, in your view?
11 A. Yes, sir, I believe it is.
12 Q. All right.
13 And just on paragraph 5: "Acting upon President Karadzic's order,
14 which was conveyed to us today over the phone, the 2nd Company of the
15 Zvornik PJP shall be dispatched to Srebrenica with a task to secure all
16 facilities of vital importance in the town at all costs and protect them
17 from looting and misappropriation.
18 "It will carry out the task without cooperation of military police
19 which is busy with other tasks. A platoon of this company will lie in
20 ambush at Ravni Buljin, since the Muslim groups were spotted fleeing along
21 this axis."
22 Can you relate this statement with an account of who we refer to
23 him as the Jadar river survivor, who survived an execution along the --
24 allegedly survived an execution along the Jadar River in the morning of 13
25 July - we have to go way back to remember that - and his identification of
1 one of the shooters as a guy named Nenad Deronjic? Can you tie up some
2 details for us as it may or may not relate to this paragraph?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
4 MR. HAYNES: I've sat quietly as long as I could, but this is so
5 far away from military analysis as to defy credibility. This is simply an
6 invitation to the witness to put together pieces of the evidence and make
7 what amounts to a second Prosecution speech, and this is precisely the
8 line which I warned we would draw at the start of this man's evidence.
9 This is not borne of any expertise. This is simply evidential
10 analysis by him. It's also the most outrageous leading question.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Just to be timely, we join.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
15 MR. BOURGON: Likewise, Mr. President. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] [No Interpretation]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau, as well.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I agree with Mr. Haynes' point that
20 this is analysis of evidence, but this is precisely what Mr. Butler has
21 been doing for three days, mostly.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: And we've objected.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And what he's doing is he's, in this case, taking
24 the pieces of the puzzle, whether it be in an intercept or a document, and
25 then he's not making any kind of a judgement on that, and reminding you
1 and us who these people are and how this particular paragraph may relate
2 to the evidence of a survivor. And, you know, very importantly, this --
3 this is a MUP officer, an important MUP officer.
4 I don't hear an objection from the people that have the most at
5 stake here, and that is the Borovcanin team, because they're very closely
6 related to this MUP officer. They share some of the same units, and these
7 issues can potentially implicate the responsibility of these people, which
8 in my view probably are exculpatory.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
10 Mr. Bourgon.
11 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Just to put some more information with respect to our objection,
13 I'd simply like to recall the Trial Chamber's decision at paragraph 23.
14 This was read already by my colleague, Mr. Haynes, at the beginning of the
15 examination-in-chief of Mr. Butler, but I'd like to recall this further
16 holding by the Trial Chamber which goes as follows:
17 "The testimony of an expert witness with special knowledge in a
18 specific field is intended to enlighten the Judges on specific issues of a
19 technical nature."
20 I don't see the technical nature, and I don't see how this can be
21 helpful to the Judges of this Trial Chamber. The Prosecution likes to say
22 that this Trial Chamber and all Trial Chambers are composed of
23 professional judges. The kind of links that is being offered to the Trial
24 Chamber is simply taking over the role of the Trial Chamber, which is to
25 assess the evidence on the record.
1 Furthermore, Mr. President, for the past about half an hour, and
2 for the past three days, Mr. Butler is making some links and is referring
3 to "the evidence reveals that," or, "my information reveals that." The
4 result of this, Mr. President, will be that we will have to cross-examine
5 Mr. Butler on every single one of these documents and every single one of
6 his answers, and we will be here for ever, unless the modus operandi of
7 this examination-in-chief changes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic first, and then you, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, it's going to be very brief.
10 The only reason why we didn't object to this line of question was
11 because Mr. Haynes was faster and then all of a sudden all the counsels
12 raised. So we basically did want to raise this objection, first of all,
13 because the way the question was posed by Mr. McCloskey was a highly
14 leading one, a highly leading one. I believe that Mr. McCloskey was
15 literally giving evidence into the record.
16 Then the other issue is that what Mr. McCloskey indicated and the
17 name that he mentioned, and that this person was a member of the 2nd unit
18 of the PJP is not in the indictment related to Mr. Borovcanin, so this is
19 something that also should be in mind when deciding about our objection.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 I join obviously in the objections by Mr. Bourgon and
24 Mr. Lazarevic, but I think, with all due respect to my friend, the
25 Prosecution, he tells the Court on page 66, line 28, that he's not asking
1 him to give a judgement or to make a judgement; but if you look on just a
2 prior page, on page 65, lines 10 through 11, he does that very thing with
3 Dragomir Vasic, and he's done it throughout.
4 We've been patient, in light of the Court's prior rulings to allow
5 at least some latitude, but he asking him specifically at page 65, lines
6 11, what his -- for him to conclude at this juncture whether or not he had
7 been informed. If that's not a judgement call, then the Court should
8 perhaps enlighten us.
9 He has been -- it's improper for him to be asked such questions.
10 It is far beyond the purview of this military expert, Mr. Butler, to give
11 that type of evidentiary analysis on the evidence the Court has heard and
12 will hear, especially in light of the fact that you haven't heard the
13 evidence of the Defence yet, and we think we're asking the Court - or we
14 know we are - that you restrict the Prosecution and this witness to
15 confine his testimony to the order that the Court issued.
16 And I would just, for the record, give a standing objection on
17 that for the remainder of his testimony.
18 Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey -- Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 I would just like to join to the submissions of my colleagues.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the problem here is probably my
24 question. Perhaps people don't remember, but I think the vast majority of
25 my question is based on facts already put forth in this Trial Chamber. If
1 I'd broken it down and gone one by one by one by one, I probably wouldn't
2 have gotten an objection, but these are facts that have been established.
3 This witness knows what unit Nenad Deronjic belonged to.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Then ask him that question and leave it at that.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm just trying to save a little time, and ...
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So we reiterate what we said earlier on the
8 beginning of this, Mr. Butler's testimony, that his testimony ought to be
9 limited to his military expertise.
10 We don't consider the question, as put to you and as it appears
11 between page 65 and 66, falls within those parameters. However, you are
12 free to ask the witness if all examination of Zvornik PJP records, 2nd
13 Company, he can give us any information about Nenad Deronjic, such as
14 being or not being a member thereof. But otherwise, please restrict your
15 questions to military expertise aspects.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Mr. Butler, have you -- do you have any information as to what
18 unit Nenad Deronjic belonged to?
19 A. Yes, sir. He is -- he is a member of the 2nd PJP Company out of
21 Q. And has his name been mentioned by any survivor?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Now, is the 2nd PJP Company mentioned in any of the documents
24 relating to the forces that Mr. Borovcanin are under the command of?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
1 MR. BOURGON: Same objection, Mr. President.
2 The form of the question is asked -- my colleague is asking the
3 witness to confirm what is or is not in the evidence. This is not what
4 this witness is here for. This witness is here to say if there is a
5 particular fact that my colleague wants to put to him and say, "Is this in
6 accordance with the doctrine of the VRS forces," that's what he's here to
7 say. He's not here to say whether there is or there is not something in
8 the evidence.
9 Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the value to this witness is that
12 he is aware of the pieces of the military puzzle and the -- as he's
13 described in depth, and the facts on the ground, and can link them
14 together because of his over-reaching knowledge of this subject. This all
15 goes to his expertise because of his vast knowledge of these military
16 subjects as they relate to these crimes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES: The organisation and general procedures of the
21 Republika Srpska Army is an issue which is relevant to this case. The
22 Trial Chamber finds that Butler's experience rendering his opinion on this
23 matter of potential value in assisting the Trial Chamber to understand or
24 determine issues in the dispute. That question and this topic does not
25 fall within that, no way.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You ought to read also the preceding paragraph
2 before the ones that you read.
3 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All I can say, Mr. President, is for the last
5 three days, two days, Mr. Butler has been putting the pieces of the puzzle
6 together, based on his knowledge. I don't believe for a minute that
7 you've limited him to -- purely to doctrine. If he can't tell us who he
8 thinks the 2nd PJP unit is under the command of, what can he say? There's
9 no point in going forward.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we disagree with you, Mr. Bourgon and
14 Mr. Haynes, this time. We consider this question to fall perfectly well
15 within the parameters established by our decision, especially in light of
16 what was asked earlier on, particularly yesterday, in relation to the
17 incorporation of MP units and the involvement of Mr. Borovcanin or the
18 appointment of Mr. Borovcanin.
19 So go ahead and answer the question, which is: "Mr. Butler, now
20 is the 2nd PJP Company mentioned in any of the documents relating to the
21 forces that Mr. Borovcanin are under the command of?"
22 I read it literally as it is.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. In fact, it was when we talked about it,
24 I don't know the 65 ter number, but it's the Republika Srpska MUP order
25 number 64/95, dated 10 July 1995, paragraph 2 specifically.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry --
2 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're going to need to go back to that order. It's
4 number --
5 THE WITNESS: I apologise. It's the 1st Company the PJP that's
6 under that. So, in this context, the special police detachment from
7 Sekovici is not the same as the 2nd Police Company from Zvornik SJB.
8 So in that context, I misspoke. The 2nd Company is not designated
9 as being directly under the command of Colonel Borovcanin.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
11 Perhaps we could take a break, Your Honour. I mean, for me to
12 have to go through that to get a piece of exculpatory information for
13 Borovcanin is beyond me, since Mr. Butler has been testifying about these
14 precise things over and over again. This is what his narrative does.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Calm down. Let's have a 25-minute break. There is
16 no point in getting keyed up on anything. Take the example from us.
17 So we'll have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Getting away from paragraph 5 in this document to paragraph 6,
23 it says: "The 1st Company is successfully carrying out given tasks."
24 What, in your view -- what unit is this, in your view, the 1st
1 A. I'm sorry, could you -- I'm sorry, could you refer back to which
2 document we're talking about?
3 Q. Oh, sorry. We're at 65 ter 3040. We're at that Vasic 12 July
5 It's the paragraph right after that talk of the 2nd Company, and
6 it just says: "The 1st Company is successfully carrying out given tasks."
7 What -- can you identify what unit you think that is?
8 A. In this context where he would refer to it as the 1st Company,
9 this is the 1st PJP Company.
10 Q. All right. And can you provide any -- we have, I think as
11 you've just testified, the 1st Company was mentioned in the Kovac
12 order with Mr. Borovcanin, and now we have Mr. Vasic reporting on the
13 1st Company, himself.
14 Can you make any -- give any opinion regarding the command
15 relationships regarding Borovcanin and Mr. Vasic, regarding the 1st
17 A. I've not come across any information which would suggest that at
18 a -- at this particular juncture, 12 July 1995, that the 1st PJP Company
19 has been resubordinated from the direction of Mr. Borovcanin and, in fact,
20 given back to Mr. Vasic. So the activities, while -- while Mr. Vasic is
21 talking about what they're doing and what -- in a broad sense, this
22 company is still under the control of Mr. Borovcanin.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document. It's an intercept,
25 English 1111A, B/C/S is the B.
1 Q. This is a 12 July intercept at 1220 hours, and it's a conversation
2 between two unidentified men, X and Y.
3 As we see, X says: "What are we going to do about fuel?"
4 Y says: "I don't know. I told Miletic."
5 Then there's some talk about trucks and leaving towns, and then
6 some fuel.
7 Can you, from your analysis, offer an opinion on who you believe
8 Miletic is in this reference?
9 A. I believe, in this context, that the individual that they're
10 referring to -- the correspondents are referring to General-Major Miletic.
11 Q. Why is that?
12 A. Even though it may be under the direct purview of the assistant
13 commander of logistics of the Main Staff to go through the actual process
14 of obtaining the fuel, certainly this is an issue that General Miletic, as
15 the chief of operations and as the Chief of Staff at the time, you know,
16 would be -- would have to be aware of and, to some degree, engaged in.
17 Q. But why?
18 A. In this particular juncture, the orders -- any orders going out to
19 the Ministry of Defence would have to, you know, have his signature on
20 them, as opposed to one of the other staff officials.
21 Well, not necessarily his signature would have to go out under his
22 broader authority; but moreover is the fact that General Miletic would be
23 in the position to know what other potential fuel holdings that other
24 military units of the Army of the Republika Srpska might have and be in a
25 position to authorise the transfer of fuel from one location to another.
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I let the witness finish. I accept
5 his explanation, in general, but he's speaking about this document, and I
6 would like the Prosecution to present the whole document as it appears,
7 and then he starts his analysis -- and then he can start his analysis on
8 this document, because the problem is the Prosecution read only part of
9 the document.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madame Fauveau. You can't do that
11 yourself on cross-examination?
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Certainly, Mr. President, but the
13 problem is that this is going to lengthen the cross-examination, and
14 perhaps this is not necessary. We could shorten things and work in a more
15 efficient way, perhaps.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm doing my very best to make reference to things
18 that I think are specific and that affect various subjects; and if there's
19 something in this -- I will continue to try to do that, but I don't want
20 to, nor do I think the Court wants me to read out everything that I'm
21 looking at.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm very sorry, but
25 we heard, for five minutes, about the fact that General Miletic knew
1 something, and this conversation, this intercept says, precisely where the
2 Prosecutor stopped reading: [In English] "He doesn't know, either."
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: The fact that General Miletic either knows where
5 to get the fuel or doesn't know where to get the fuel shows that he's
6 involved with fuel.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but we are starting -- we're starting an
8 argument now.
9 Please proceed with your next question.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's try the next exhibit, 1112A.
11 Q. This is an intercept that is of one page, that we see the entire
12 intercept on the page.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: "C" is the B/C/S.
14 Q. It is at 1240 hours on the 12th, and it's between Panorama, as X,
15 and Y, who is barely audible. Can you remind you, Mr. Butler, if you know
16 who what Panorama or what Panorama is.
17 A. The broad phrase "Panorama" refers to -- it's a communications, I
18 won't say, "code word," but it's a word that is used to refer to the Main
19 Staff. We see it often in radio -- in the radio intercepts. It's their
20 code name.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: They may need to go to page 2 in the B/C/S to
22 get -- to get the B/C/S up there. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Stewart.
24 Q. So we have this person, Y: "We are starting the evacuation of
25 those who want to go towards Kladanj."
1 Then Panorama says: "Okay."
2 Y says: "Pass it on. Just let provide transportation."
3 Then we don't hear from X.
4 Then Y says: "And reinforce with trucks and buses, and a water
5 truck should be sent to give them water and food. This morning we
6 organised it here. We'll give them everything. I talked with them, and
7 we'll accept all the civilians who want to and they can stay. Those who
8 don't want to can choose where they'll go."
9 What, in your view, is Y referring to when he's talking to
11 A. He's talking to --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
13 Yes, Madame Fauveau.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has just said that
15 Panorama said, on line 9 of the transcript: [In English] "We don't need
17 [Interpretation] I don't believe this is Panorama.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll just -- I'll talk out that part of the
20 question at this point, just to: What do you think this statement from
21 whoever to whomever means? Then he can tell us if he knows.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm very sorry, but
24 we can't work like that here. Here, we've got people that are accused of
25 something, and you can't put -- charge them with something and say maybe
1 this concerns them.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Please answer the question, Mr. Butler.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The way Mr. McCloskey has rephrased it, it becomes
5 new to whoever Y is.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. In this context, it doesn't make clear
7 who Y is; but simply at this juncture, the correspondent Y is relating to
8 X, which is listed at Panorama, some organ of the Main Staff, that the
9 evacuation is commencing at that time.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. And so you think this is a reference to the evacuation of what?
12 A. In the context of time on this particular day, it would be the
13 evacuation of the individuals from Potocari.
14 Q. All right. And from what you read in the -- what can you -- what
15 is your evaluation regarding what the plan is for the options, if any, of
16 these -- of these refugees?
17 A. These are -- you know, this correspondent believes the options are
18 as laid out by General Mladic, that, you know, those who want to stay can
19 stay and those who want to -- don't want to, you know, can choose where
20 they'll go.
21 Q. And when you refer to General Mladic, is there -- do you have
22 something you can cite to where -- for that?
23 A. Within the context of, one, you know, the most immediate document
24 goes back to the report of Dragomir Vasic; and beyond that, looking at the
25 transcripts of the videotaped meetings between the Muslims and the
1 Dutch-Bat and the VRS, which General Mladic presided over on 11 and 12
2 July, that this is the input from that final meeting.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next intercept. It's 1113A and B.
5 They should be both on page 1, I believe.
6 Q. This is at 1250 hours, and at about ten minutes after the one we
7 just heard. And according to this, the conversation is between General
8 Mladic, M, and an unidentified male, X.
9 X says: "Go ahead, General."
10 Mladic says: "Have these buses and trucks left?"
11 X says: "They have."
12 Mladic says: "When?"
13 X says: "About 10 minutes ago."
14 Mladic says: "Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the
15 situation. Don't let small groups of them sneak in. They've all
16 capitulated and surrendered and we'll evacuate them all: Those who want
17 to and those who don't want to."
18 X says: "I understand, General."
19 Mladic says: "Don't issue any statements and don't interrupt them
20 over the" something. "We'll open a corridor towards Kladanj."
21 Then Mladic goes on to say says: "Indeed, let it pas there. Take
22 a patrol of ours to wait on the road, and remove the mines and
23 obstacles... leave the territory."
24 Now, in this, where Mladic is attributed as saying,"They've all
25 capitulated and surrendered," and "We'll evacuate them all," who do you
1 believe in the context of what's going on and in the context of this
2 intercept, Mladic is referring to when he says, "We'll evacuate them all:
3 Those who want to and those who don't want to?"
4 A. I believe he's referring to all those Bosnian Muslims who are at
6 Q. All right. And how about this "will open a corridor towards
7 Kladanj," did anything like that happen?
8 A. Yes, sir. I'm not sure whether they're exhibits or not, but there
9 will be a series of orders that follow this from the Drina Corps to the
10 Vlasenica Infantry Brigade, which garrison in that area, which will
11 provide instructions to them as to procedures to take for them to clear
12 some of the barriers away from that road; and then that's going to be the
13 designated terminus point for this convoys, at which point the Bosnian
14 Muslims will proceed to Muslim territory.
15 Q. This reference to remove the mines and obstacles, what does that
16 have to do with?
17 A. The -- they weren't buried mines or obstacles, so to speak. What
18 they were referring to is barriers that had been placed on the road. The
19 road runs through a tunnel. At one side, it's Muslim territory; the other
20 side, it's Serb territory. They're referring to the fact of removing the
21 barriers off the road.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to another document, 65 ter number 72.
24 Q. This is a different sort of document than we've seen before,
25 entitled: "Republika Srpska MUP, RDB, to the deputy Ministry of the
1 Interior, personally, held of the Public Security Department, MUP of the
2 Republika Srpska, Bijeljina, personally, chief of the RDB Centre,
3 Bijeljina, personally." What is the RDB?
4 A. The RDB is the Republika Srpska state security apparatus.
5 Q. Can you give us a brief description of the Ministry of Interior
6 police and security, how they're related to each other, just briefly,
7 especially at like the CJB level?
8 A. Within the Ministry of Interior, as it was structured, you had the
9 three component responsibilities. You had public safety, which was
10 administered by the SJBs and the CJBs, those public safety officers and
11 public security offices.
12 You had another wing which was the organisation of the special
13 police units which were nominally designated for use in anti-terrorist
14 types of operations. The reality was, because of the shortage of combat
15 troops, they were often used on the front lines.
16 And the third component relevant to this is the state security
17 apparatus, which is responsible for the maintenance of internal security.
18 Q. How would the state security person in Zvornik be related, if at
19 all, to Dragomir Vasic, for example, the head of the CJB?
20 A. He does not work for Dragomir Vasic. The state security apparatus
21 is a separate chain. He's not under the command of the special police,
22 he's not under the command of the local municipal authorities. His line
23 of control runs directly up state security channels to the president.
24 Q. And can you briefly describe what it is they do, especially in the
25 context of the kind of things we're looking at here; in their documents, I
2 A. As I testified I believe Monday or Tuesday, they provided, on
3 behalf of the president, a separate line of information with respect to
4 what was happening in Bosnia to ensure that the information that they were
5 receiving from the army or from other political sources was, in fact,
7 The RDB was one of those mechanisms doing internal security and
8 reporting on the internal security situation, that the supreme commander,
9 Karadzic, and the Ministry of the Interior used to keep aware of what was
10 going on in the country.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. That's outside of their normal counter-intelligence-related
13 functions with respect to political and other issues.
14 Q. All right. And can you tell, from this document, whether or not
15 there's a state security person on the ground reporting this, or is he
16 getting it from somewhere -- I mean, can you -- what can you tell us about
17 this -- how this information gets put on this piece of paper?
18 A. Well, from the document, apparently they do have somebody on the
19 ground, and I don't know whether it's specifically Mr. Kijac or not, who
20 is gaining with respect to the understanding of what the international
21 humanitarian organisations are saying.
22 Q. I don't think -- I think we can all read that. I don't think I
23 need to ask you about that at this, unless someone else does.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next exhibit, 1114A and in -- in
25 the English, and B.
1 Q. This is an intercept from the 12th of July, 1305 hours, between
2 Krstic and Sobot.
3 At some point, it looks like K says: "Put me back to the
4 switchboard. Miss, put me through to the Vlasenica Brigade."
5 Then as we go down, Krstic says: "Get in touch with these guys
6 from the MUP. That means you, your brigade, and them."
7 The person responds: "I gave everything there is."
8 Krstic says: "Wait, slow down, man. Secure the road first from
9 the crossroad below from where you are 12 kilometres towards"
10 something, "and up to the tunnel."
11 The person says: "To the tunnel? Of course, okay, that's where
12 they'll be disembarking."
13 "Take care nothing must happen to any of them. Okay, is that
15 "Yes, sir."
16 "Until further notice, secure that part of the road. That's it."
17 "Okay. That's it, chief. Bye."
18 Now, from the various references that we see here, can you make
19 anything out of this?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. What?
22 A. The person referred to as "Krstic" is General Krstic, and what
23 he's trying to do first is contact an individual named "Kosoric." In this
24 context, there's two Kosorics. One is his own chief of intelligence and
25 the other one is an individual named Mile Kosoric, who is the commander of
1 the Light Infantry Brigade. So I believe he's referring to that
2 particular Kosoric, not his chief of intelligence.
3 Q. And what else, as they get to the substance of it?
4 A. As I noted before, it talks about, in context with an exhibit two
5 or three ago, the procedure that's being put in place to secure the
6 proposed road, the evacuation route that the buses were going to take to
7 the Kladanj area. That fell into the area of responsibility of the
8 Vlasenica Brigade, and he's tasking the Vlasenica Brigade to do this.
9 Q. And to take care that nothing must happen to any of them, who is
10 he referring to in that?
11 A. He would be talking, in this context, to the Bosnian Muslim
12 individuals being taken from Potocari.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go on to the next one, 65 ter 60.
15 Q. We have another Zvornik CJB document, 12 July. This one is their
16 number 281, with Vasic's name. This gives, as we can see, an update. We
17 see here that Vasic says at one point that: "Sekovici special detachment
18 and the 1st Company of the PJP of the Zvornik CJB and the 5th Company of
19 Zvornik CJB are blocking this section with the goal of destroying these
21 Can you tell us what he's talking about here, when he says "this
22 section"? What section is he talking about, if you can tell from this
24 A. The section that he's referring to in this context is the section
25 of the column that we generally understand to be transiting that area at
1 the time. They're blocking, within the contents of the section, those
2 particular areas of the enclave that those MUP forces are garrisoning.
3 They've been set up along that road, along that northern perimeter.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to your tab 41, 65 ter 147.
6 Q. We see a document from the Command of the Drina Corps to the VRS
7 Main Staff, Intelligence Affairs Sector, Intelligence Administration, and
8 the Drina Corps Bratunac IKM, personally Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric.
9 It talks about an enemy soldier that was captured, and Drina Corps
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric who is the duty officer. Some other
11 information by Major Pavle Golic.
12 First of all, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, who is that?
13 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric is the chief of intelligence of the
14 Drina Corps.
15 Q. And Major Pavle Golic?
16 A. Major Pavle Golic is an intelligence officer who works for Colonel
18 Q. And what significance, if any, has this document had for your
19 analysis and/or narrative report?
20 A. It reflects the fact that by the early afternoon of 12 July of
21 1995, that the intelligence organs of the Drina Corps are starting to
22 receive information from captured Muslims. Those Muslims are being talked
23 to, they're being interrogated to find out what information of value they
25 As this report indicates, they are getting intelligence
1 information and are further passing it on to other -- you know, other
2 agencies, in this case to the -- personally toward the forward command
3 post, to make sure that the intelligence officer of the Drina Corps gets
4 this information.
5 One of the larger reoccurring themes that we as part of these
6 reports and which causes problems later down the line for the Zvornik
7 Brigade was that there was always an under-appreciation by the military
8 operations people and the military intelligence people on just how large
9 the column was and how many armed members were part of the column.
10 So this is part of that process, where they're trying to figure
11 out the scope and the combat power of that column from early prisoner of
12 war reports.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 239.
15 Q. It's a daily combat report from the Bratunac Brigade on
16 St. Peter's Day, which is the 12th of July.
17 Now, what does this report indicate the -- at least the Bratunac
18 Brigade's knowledge of the column and the direction its taking?
19 A. As indicated in paragraph 1, you know, at this time in the
20 afternoon, most of the VRS is aware that, in fact, the 28th Infantry
21 Division is not in the Bandera Triangle where they thought it was that
22 previous evening. In fact, it is trying to make a breakout of northern
23 portion of the enclave.
24 So paragraph 1 is just a general awareness of that.
25 Q. All right. In paragraph 7, is that -- that statement regarding
1 the transport of the Muslim population correct, as far as you knew from
2 other documents or evidence on the ground?
3 A. Yes, sir. I mean, at this particular point in time, the movement
4 of the Muslims from Potocari is -- is well underway.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, let's go to another document, 65 ter 322.
7 Q. This time we have a Zvornik Brigade document, a regular combat
8 report of the same date, 12 July, and I just want to ask you about a part
9 that's in the middle of it.
10 It says: "We sent to Bratunac, pursuant to your order, eight
11 buses from Drina-trans, two buses from our VP, and four of our trucks.
12 One military police detachment was sent to Konjevic Polje pursuant to your
14 I just want to ask you about what do you think this eight buses
15 from Drina-trans and two buses is about?
16 A. They're part of those initial directions that came on the late
17 night of the 11th or early on 12 July 1995 for the military units to send
18 equipment. I don't believe they specifically reference it, but the Drina
19 Corps order to that effect. They're noticing "your order," although of
20 course they don't give the order number.
21 Q. How about this next line: "One military police detachment was
22 sent to Konjevic Polje pursuant to your order"?
23 A. Again, there's a Drina Corps order out that specified that the
24 Zvornik Brigade was to establish a military police check-point at that
1 Q. Is that the one you've talked about earlier today?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to the next one, 65 ter 2748, which
5 we've jumped now to the -- another one of these Main Staff reports to the
6 president of Republika Srpska.
7 Q. It's dated 12 July, and this is also under the name of General
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: It hasn't quite come up yet. There it is.
10 Q. I'd just like you to go, again, to the Drina Corps section, where
11 we see, on page -- it's B/C/S page 3, and English page 3. It's under
12 paragraph 6, and we see a specific update on the Zepa situation.
13 Then we also see that it goes on to say: "The enemy has been
14 attempting to withdraw from the Srebrenica enclave with women and children
15 in the direction of Ravni Buljim and Konjevic Polje, but ran into a
17 Now, it goes on to talk about the units engaged in carrying
18 Krivaja 95 or carrying out all the combat tasks according to plan. In the
19 course of the day, they liberated the village of Potocari, and they are
20 continuing to advance in order to liberate all the places in the
21 Srebrenica enclave.
22 It says on axis: "Parts of our unit and of the MUP units have
23 laid ambushes in order to destroy Muslim extremists who have not
24 surrendered and who are attempting to break out of the enclave in the
25 direction of Tuzla."
1 Any comment on this information, from your knowledge, anything
2 that's not correct or fits into your analysis?
3 A. Well, in this context, you know, it reflects the Main Staff as
4 being informed by the Drina Corps, for the most part, about what is
5 happening. Some of the information is not accurate, in fact. I don't
6 believe there's any evidence that women and children, in any sizeable
7 number, were accompanying the column, so that's inaccurate information
8 that was being reported up. It --
9 Q. Are you aware of any evidence that there were women and children
10 in that column?
11 A. There were some children aged 13, 14. I believe there is one
12 video that shows that, but certainly not appreciable numbers. I mean,
13 there were some isolated incidents, yes, sir.
14 Q. Okay. What else?
15 A. And it reflects the fact that the units are still engaged on task
16 related to the base operations order, and it notes not only the army
17 positions but the MUP is engaged in these activities as well. So, again,
18 on the broader sense, there's a general understanding that at this
19 juncture the 28th Division is now moving in a column formation out of the
20 former enclave and is trying to break out towards Muslim territory.
21 What's not present here, again, is a specific listing of numbers
22 that would give anyone an appreciation to the fact that the size and
23 combat power of the column is far greater than they're estimating at this
25 Q. All right. I left out one part under the situation in the
1 territory. It says: "In the Drina Corps zone of responsibility, the
2 population is being taken from the Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj in an
3 organised manner. It is estimated that on this day, there are about
4 10.000 Muslims to be transported."
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: That should be page 3, if they haven't sorted
6 that, on the B/C/S. 4 on the English, I'm sorry.
7 Q. Is that -- do you have any -- any disagreement with that
9 A. No, sir. That's a reflection of the Drina Corps reporting about
10 the -- the movement of the buses out of Potocari.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to another report, 65 ter 240.
13 Q. We're still on July 12th, but this document is dated -- it's got a
14 stamp on it or a time on it of about 7.55 p.m., and it's from the Command
15 of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, from a person named Captain
17 It reads, "Attention: Major Golic," and it talks a bit about
18 Ramiz Becirovic and Zulfo Tursunovic and some other information about the
20 Can you tell us, who is, if you know, Captain Pecanac?
21 A. Captain Pecanac is an officer from the Main Staff. He works out
22 of the intelligence and security sector. He is often associated by
23 individuals as somebody who is, if not personally responsible for close
24 security for General Mladic, but as an officer who's in charge of
25 coordinating his security.
1 Q. All right. This information that there is a group led by
2 Becirovic and Tursonovic consisting of about 300 men, how accurate do you,
3 in hindsight, as an intelligence, is that?
4 A. It's easy to be an intelligence officer in hindsight, but it's a
5 reflection of the fact that the Bratunac Brigade, at this juncture, you
6 know, is getting information related to the column from individuals who
7 they're capturing and questioning, but again reflecting the fact that
8 their numbers are low.
9 Q. Can you help with any kind of an estimate of how many -- from what
10 your study of the materials is, how many members of that column made it
11 across that road, the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road, around this time
12 period, 11/12 July?
13 A. Most of the armed front portion of the column, considering the
14 majority of the fighters did, in fact, get across the
15 Konjevic Polje-Milici road that first evening, and I think the numbers
16 generally float around between four and six thousand.
17 Q. Okay.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter number 73.
19 Q. This is another State Security document dated 12 July from Dragan
20 Kijac that you have cited in your report as a basis of information and
22 Unless you have anything special about this -- was this just more
23 information for you in your narrative analysis?
24 A. Yes, sir. It's a reflection of the fact that on the larger level,
25 that there is other information coming out of the enclave that's going
1 into the hands of the Republika Srpska, you know, political leadership.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next one, 65 ter 76.
4 Q. This is, again, from Mr. Kijac on the 12th, providing more
5 information from the area that we're concerned about.
6 Anything particular about this information?
7 I note that at one of the bottom paragraphs, it should be B/C/S
8 page 1, Kijac is saying: "According to the commander of the UNPROFOR
9 Ukrainian Battalion stationed in Zepa, the successful Serbian offensive
10 against Srebrenica caused utter disorientation and uncertainty among the
11 population and the civilian and military authorities of this Muslim
13 Then he goes on to talk about more facts or more issues related to
14 that, which I don't want to get into.
15 Do you have any idea of the source of where Kijac is getting this
16 information or does this -- can this give you any insight into his sources
17 or anything else?
18 A. The document is fairly explicit in identifying the source, that
19 it's the commander of the UNPROFOR Ukrainian Battalion.
20 Q. Do you have any idea whether that's a -- whether he's getting
21 that -- how he's getting that from the commander?
22 A. No, sir, I don't.
23 Q. And I mean is he -- whether it could be by tapping, overhearing
24 him, or cooperating with him? You have no idea how that is?
25 A. That's correct, sir. I have no idea how he obtained this
2 Q. Okay. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: One more of these that you have -- that you've
4 cited. I believe it's 65 ter 75, again 12 July.
5 Q. It's from Mr. Kijac, reporting on what's going on in the area on
6 12 July, reporting on the transportation of the women and children.
7 It reads, looking at the bottom of the English page and the B/C/S
8 page: "When the evacuation was suspended at night and would resume in the
9 morning of the 13th, it should be noted that among the people staying in
10 Potocari, there are hardly any men fit for fighting."
11 Anything -- you want to comment on any of this, aside from just
12 information that assisted you in your evaluation?
13 A. Not specifically. I mean, it's fairly straightforward insomuch as
14 a reflection of the fact that they're receiving information about the
15 composition of the column that could only be obtained from interviewing
16 Bosnian Muslim members of the column who they had captured.
17 It talks about the column itself. It talks about the evacuation.
18 I mean, there's not much interpretation that has to go into it. This is
19 simply a reflection of their reporting.
20 Q. This kind of document, does it have any value for you as you
21 review all the documents and the facts and try to sort this all out?
22 A. This, as well as the other documents, you know, lay the foundation
23 of what the individuals in the army and what the individuals in the
24 Ministry of the Interior understood the ground truth to be at the time and
25 what they were reporting up their chain of command.
1 So, I mean, from the framework of my analysis and looking at it,
2 you know, how this then impacts what happens in the future, I mean, these
3 are the types of documents that set the framework with respect to who knew
4 what and at what time.
5 Q. Okay. Now that we've gone over a few of these State Security
6 reports, do you see any glitches or any -- anything strange or out of the
7 ordinary in the reporting chain and the chain of command in the State
8 Security/Ministry of the interior side of things?
9 A. No, sir. Obviously, some of the information is inaccurate, as one
10 might expect, but this is a reflection of the reporting process working as
11 it should.
12 Q. All right.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 148, still on 12 July.
14 Q. There's a time reference to it at 2210 hours on the 12th, as well
15 as a stamp on the 13th from the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade. I'm not
16 sure I need to ask you if this is a time-sensitive document.
17 All right. This is from the Drina Corps Command, Intelligence
18 Section, to the Main Staff, Intelligence and Security Sector, Intelligence
19 Administration of the Drina Corps, Pribicevac, General Krstic personally,
20 General Krstic personally, Drina IKM Bratunac, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic
21 personally, and the chiefs of intelligence organs, listing the brigades.
22 Does this help us identify anything about the location of
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic?
24 A. Yes, sir, it does.
25 Q. How so?
1 A. It identifies that the individual who drafted this report was
2 aware that Colonel Popovic was at the IKM in Bratunac at the time.
3 Q. All right. Okay.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Going to the B/C/S page 2, this is -- this is -- I
5 think I failed to mention, but it's from -- it's from Major General
7 Q. Can you give an opinion where you believe Tolimir is at this
9 A. I can't say that General Tolimir personally would have drafted
10 this report, even though it's under his signature. But it's a reflection
11 of, at this time, General Tolimir is, in fact, at the headquarters of the
12 Drina Corps in Vlasenica.
13 Q. All right. And just calling your attention to - I think we should
14 be able to see most of that - the paragraph on the top of page 2 in the
15 English. I won't read that out, but the first two paragraphs talk about
16 the Muslims in Potocari.
17 Then it says, in the third paragraph: "We have informed organs of
18 the MUP of the RS in Konjevic Polje about the illegal corridor used by the
19 Muslims of Srebrenica, since it is their task to control the
20 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road."
21 What is it you believe General Tolimir is referring to here?
22 A. As indicated by an earlier document with respect to Dragomir
23 Vasic, the MUP forces were given specific areas of responsibility as part
24 of the larger army programme.
25 What this document does - and, in fact, it notes that the MUP is
1 an addressee of this document, is it reflects that, you know, "We've taken
2 the intelligence report from this particular subject, and we've also taken
3 the next step and we've informed the MUP as to the information on this as
4 well, who are out at the road at Konjevic Polje, because this information
5 could have a direct impact on them."
6 I mean, it shows that, you know, all parties, the MUP and the VRS,
7 are sharing information relevant to the potential military threat.
8 Q. All right. And I want to read the next sentence.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just noticed something that I may need some help
10 from the bilingual folks here. It may be an improper translation.
11 Q. It says: "Brigade commands have the duty to fully inform the SJB
12 in their area of responsibility."
13 Then in English it says: "Intelligence organs shall propose
14 measures to be taken by commands --"
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry. Sometimes they get intelligence organs and
16 intelligence and security organs mixed up. I hear silence, so I guess
17 we'll sort that out ourselves, and I'll skip it for the time being.
18 Q. This last paragraph: "The commands of the Bratunac, Zvornik and
19 Milici Brigades, in cooperation with the SJBs in their respective areas of
20 responsibility, shall regulate traffic during the night on the
21 Bratunac-Milici-Vlasenica" and then "Konjevic Polje-Vlasenica roads."
22 This term "cooperation," does this use of cooperation have
23 anything to do with the definition of or the word "cooperation" as you
24 spoke about it a day or two ago when you were going through the JNA rules?
25 A. No, sir. In this context, there's not a linkage that they're
1 saying that these local municipal MUP forces are going to be under a form
2 of command of the military for this.
3 This is simply along the lines of, "You need to cooperate with
4 your public safety and security people to ensure that during the evening
5 hours," you know, "the police," you know, "exercise their function and
6 close these roads in part to protect the civilian population, the Bosnian
7 Serb population," so they don't run into a potential combat zone. So I
8 don't look at this, in this context with the local SJBs, as a formal
9 relationship existing between them.
10 Q. Okay. Let me go back to what I was asking you before, that
11 paragraph in the middle, where it says,"Brigade," because I have been
12 confirmed that this is a correct translation.
13 "Brigade commands have the duty to fully inform the SJB in their
14 area of responsibility. Intelligence organs shall propose measures to be
15 taken by commands to prevent armed Muslims from illegally reaching Tuzla
16 and Kladanj, such as setting up ambushes along the routes they use in
17 order to arrest them and prevent possible surprises against civilians and
18 our combat units along those routes."
19 Can you explain how is it that this would be a job of the
20 intelligence organs?
21 A. Given the context of the military threat of the column and the
22 fact that this is a classic intelligence function, what this is saying,
23 essentially, is that intelligence officers in the commands who presumably
24 have the best picture based on the intelligence information they've been
25 receiving need to make sure that, you know, they go to their commanders
1 and their operations people.
2 That's why it's used that general sense phrase "commands," it
3 says, "Let them know where the column is and work with them to propose the
4 best places where the column can be stopped." In this context, the
5 intelligence officers, as a normal function of their duty, would be the
6 most informed about the information that would explain the size of the
7 column and its possible destination.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. Butler.
9 Mr. President, we're at break time, and I think we're going to
10 finish this week. If we're lucky, we'll finish tomorrow. There's, as you
11 know, in the next days, there's a lot of documents, but we will certainly
12 do our best to get through them.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 We'll meet again tomorrow morning at 9.00.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of
17 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.