1 Monday, 21 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So buenos dias.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All the accused are here. I think I also see
11 a full house on the Defence teams. I don't see anyone's absence. And the
12 Prosecution team, it's the same, Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Mitchell. And I
13 think we can start.
14 Present for today's sitting is the representative of the US
15 Embassy, Ms. Schildge, and I don't see the Defence experts. None of them
16 is present. Okay.
17 Good morning to you, Mr. Butler.
18 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome back.
20 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not going to straightaway with the first of
22 the cross-examinations, because the week starts with a very good piece of
23 excellent news.
24 Mr. Haynes. For Mr. Haynes, January 2008 brings the
25 much-aspired-for silk is being made, Queen's Counsel, and the news has
1 just arrived. It's a great honour for Mr. Haynes, a well-deserved honour,
2 I must say, but it's also an honour for all of us, being able to work with
3 Mr. Haynes and see the dexterity with which he fulfils his task as a
4 Defence lawyer for his client.
5 I'm sure that your team and the other Defence teams and the
6 Prosecution join me in congratulating you on this great honour that you
7 have received, Mr. Haynes, and that we, my country and many others, we
8 say, "[foreign language spoken]," you will go far, you will go far.
9 So that's it. I think we can -- also I must put on record that we
10 are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis today. Judge Stole couldn't be with
11 us. He will join us later on, if he can, but it is not very likely.
12 Now, before we start, let's have a re-revision of the estimated
13 cross-examination time.
14 Mr. Haynes now being a QC, will reduce -- will cut down on his
15 estimated cross-examination, but I'll come to him at the end.
16 Mr. Zivanovic, you had asked for five hours.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: For the time being, I cannot reduce my estimate.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm making it clear that this will, however long it
19 will take, it's not going to reduce or move by one inch the other time
20 limits and dates that we have established.
21 Mr. Ostojic.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. I still
23 have five hours, I believe. I'll work hard to try to reduce it somewhat.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic.
25 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. I had asked for four
1 hours. I had changed that to five hours, rather than the six that were
2 expected last week, and I hope to be able to reduce that to maybe the
3 four. But I need, at this moment, the five hours requested.
4 Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 Mr. Lazarevic.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I believe I was very
8 realistic about our cross-examination time. It's going to be two hours,
9 and I will stick to this estimation.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 And Madame Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I need eight
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Haynes.
15 MR. HAYNES: We took the opportunity yesterday to discuss the
16 topics of cross-examination that people were going to employ, and it
17 seemed to me that what was ahead of me left me with only three or four
18 very specific areas to cross-examine Mr. Butler about. My estimate is
19 very pessimistic, but I'm conscious of the fact that those ahead of me,
20 perhaps in light of my new status, have prevailed upon me to pick up
21 anything they miss out ahead.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
23 Let's start with Mr. -- Oh, I'm sorry. Mr. Josse or Mr. Krgovic.
25 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm glad you gave Mr. Haynes precedence over me
1 today, but, Your Honour, notwithstanding that, we stick by our day
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Four hours?
4 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madam, I don't know how this is going to work
6 for you, because there will be areas that are of interest to you and areas
7 that are definitely not, and our experience here is that the time estimate
8 is usually erratic. So I don't know what to tell you, but if I could ask
9 counsel to restrict -- or to put the questions that Ms. Schildge would be
10 interested in or is here for at the beginning of your cross-examination,
11 that would help her not spending too much time out of her office and in
12 the courtroom here.
13 Can we agree on this? Okay.
14 Mr. Zivanovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Butler.
18 A. Good morning, sir.
19 Q. My name is Zoran Zivanovic, and together with my colleague,
20 Ms. Mira Tapuskovic, I appear on behalf of Vujadin Popovic in this case.
21 You have studied the Rules of Service for the securities services
22 which were in force in Serbia as of July 1995 --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction "in the VRS."
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC:
25 Q. [Interpretation] It has to do with Article 477. I'm sure that
1 you've gone through the Rules on a number of occasions, and I'm
2 particularly interested in Item 6 and 7, which regulate the tasks of
3 security services. You may want to refresh your recollection concerning
4 those articles, and I will gladly give you an opportunity to do so, since
5 most of my questions will have to do with those.
6 I apologise. The figure should have been "407."
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have them available right before you now,
8 Mr. Butler?
9 THE WITNESS: No, sir, I have no reference material.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Because, I mean, there is no point in proceeding
11 unless you have these available.
12 Who is going to provide them? They are on e-court?
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: E-court.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. Then the reference, please.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. It is P407, pages 11
16 and -- actually, paragraphs 6 and 7.
17 THE WITNESS: Could I ask you to scroll to the next page in
18 English, please, so I could read.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Among all the tasks listed, did you find any particular one which
22 will have to do with POWs?
23 A. No, sir, there is no specific task with respect to prisoners of
25 Q. Tell me, please, you saw that in paragraph 6, there are tasks
1 listed and that it is said that security organs are to implement those
2 tasks. First of all, do you agree with me that this is concerning
3 counter-intelligence measures that you addressed in your testimony?
4 A. Yes, sir. The issues that you have listed in this particular
5 paragraph 6 are reflective of the counter-intelligence role, although I'll
6 note it again in 6(f) there is issues in respect to analysing and data and
7 intelligence reporting, but again that reflects more along the lines of
8 their view of counter-intelligence reporting as opposed to battlefield
9 information, yes, sir.
10 Q. What is your understanding of the expression that the security
11 organs are responsible for? Does it mean that, in your understanding,
12 they are independent in executing those tasks and that they do not receive
13 orders from their unit commander in that regard?
14 A. I'm sorry, in which regard, in the counter-intelligence function
15 or within the general purpose of -- okay, in the counter-intelligence
16 function, the unit commanders, for the most part, do not play a
17 substantial role, as I understand the regulations. The direction on
18 counter-intelligence functions comes as a result of the type of
19 specialised technical guidance and management that would come from higher
20 security organs. So with respect to counter-intelligence and related
21 roles, no, I do not believe that the unit commander of which that security
22 officer works for plays a definitive role.
23 Q. Does that mean, in your view, that the tasks listed and that the
24 security organs are responsible for are such that would fall only under
25 their competence, i.e., that no one apart from those organs can execute
2 A. No, sir. For example, looking back at this particular regulation
3 in both 6 and 7, it does discuss the fact that they prepare or propose
4 tasks for the military police. In that view, they are in fact, you know,
5 working as part of a cooperative or collaborative effort within the
6 Command to propose those steps for the commander to either adopt, you
7 know, decline, or modify as he sees fit. So it's not a complete isolation
8 within that respect. In large part, it depends upon the specific task of
9 the security officer.
10 Q. I may have been insufficiently precise. I only had in mind the
11 counter-intelligence tasks. Can those tasks be executed only by security
12 organs or by some other services or branches?
13 A. There, in the regulations, is some discussion with respect to
14 collaboration with the intelligence branch along this line. However,
15 within the strict confines of the counter-intelligence mission, the
16 security officer proceeds on that independently, getting direction from
17 his -- his specialty branch, the security branch. The commander does not
18 have a role in that.
19 Q. Can they revert those tasks to another, to someone else?
20 A. I'm sorry, who is "they"? Can the security officer delegate his
22 Q. Security organs.
23 A. I wouldn't think that by regulation they could delegate
24 counter-intelligence tasks to other organs of the Command in so much as
25 make them responsible for the completion of that. Would other organs of
1 the Command have a role? Again, depending on the situation. You know, if
2 information came that an officer on the Command Staff was potentially a
3 security -- a major security threat or risk, you know, the security
4 officer may choose to bring in the unit commander, inform him of that
5 fact, so that concrete steps can be taken to either remove that officer
6 from a position where he could potentially violate trust or to take some
7 other measures. But as for the absolute -- you know, abrogating that
8 responsibility to say, you know, the commander is responsible for
9 counter-intelligence strictly or the intelligence branch is responsible
10 strictly, no, sir.
11 Q. These counter-intelligence tasks conducted by the security organs,
12 do you believe them to be of importance for the armed forces, especially
13 at times of war?
14 A. Yes, sir, the denial of pertinent information to an opposing force
15 is always a primary objective of any armed force.
16 Q. Was that the reason due to which instruction -- a directive on the
17 part of the General Staff was issued, stipulating that 80 per cent of
18 their time they should dedicate to the counter-intelligence tasks?
19 A. I believe that that's a -- that would be a fair assumption, given
20 the fact that with the presence of not only opposing forces but of the
21 international forces that were, in some cases, you know, involved in, you
22 know, actions between the three warring parties, yes, the denial of
23 pertinent information would have been of high importance to the Main Staff
24 and, you know, in fact, you know, could have been the justification for
25 the publication of that instruction.
1 Q. I would kindly ask to clarify some of the answers you gave to the
2 Prosecutor concerning the military police.
3 At page 19636, lines 22 to 24, you said, by way of response, that
4 a military police unit is commanded by an officer of a higher formation
5 within which that particular military police unit is a part of. My
6 question is: Does the military police unit itself have its own commander?
7 A. Yes, sir, it does.
8 Q. And he is subordinated to the commander of the unit, the part of
9 which that military police unit is?
10 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
11 Q. You have explained that the security organ makes proposals to the
12 commander as to how to use the military police unit. Do you agree that
13 the commander need not accept such proposals?
14 A. Yes, sir, I agree.
15 Q. Do you agree that the commander can make his own decision on the
16 use of the military police unit without prior proposals having been given
17 by the security organs?
18 A. Yes, sir, and, you know, not only do I agree, I believe that for
19 large part, the military documents that we've analysed reflect that that
20 is what happened, you know, in a practical aspect as well.
21 Q. You probably went through the rules of the military police as well
22 and you've familiarised yourself with their tasks, and I wanted to ask you
23 about one particular task. Therefore, we would have to go to 707, P707,
24 this being the rules of the military police, page 13.
25 Please have a look at one particular task, since there is a number
1 of them here. It would be task 25(f).
2 A. I'm sorry, sir, it's not up on my screen yet.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Just a moment.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it now?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, I have it now.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 THE WITNESS: Could you repeat? (25)(f), sir.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. It says the military police should take part in directing the
10 movements of refugees and uncovering any members of enemy units who have
11 infiltrated the refugees?
12 A. Yes, sir, I see that.
13 Q. You were asked by the Prosecutor whether, among the refugees in
14 Potocari, there were able-bodied men. It was page 19822, line 20, on the
15 16th of January. Can you tell me whether you include in that category of
16 able-bodied men those who, according to the laws and regulations, were
17 obliged to take part in the defence of their country?
18 A. If you mean the men who were between age 15 and 60 who were in
19 Potocari, then those would fall within the category of able-bodied men
20 that the military police and other police organs would have been
21 separating, yes, sir.
22 Q. Since you studied regulations, the regulations of the former
23 Yugoslavia and the warring parties, could you please tell me whether the
24 regulations of Bosnia and Herzegovina regulated that those persons were
25 duty-bound to defend their country?
1 A. I cannot answer that question, in so much as while I may have
2 looked at those particular regulations many years ago, I cannot tell you,
3 back from memory, whether that was the case. I assume, like all of the
4 warring parties, that there were mandatory military call-ups that would
5 cover those individuals, but I can't give you specifics of the
6 regulations, sir.
7 Q. I'll try and jog your memory by showing you another document,
8 which is 1D504. This is a decree on defence which was passed by Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina on the 20th of May, 1992. I'm not sure whether this has
10 been translated or not, but I'm going to read to you Article 51 on page
11 six. Article 51 reads as follows:
12 "The right and obligation to be trained for defence belongs under
13 the conditions prescribed by the law to the citizens ranging between 15
14 and 60 years of age for men and 55 years of age for women if they are able
15 to follow such training. According to the provisions of this decree law,
16 this obligation excludes pregnant women, women with children under the age
17 of seven, and all those who are not able to follow this training."
18 Can you tell me, please, did you ever have an opportunity to see
19 or read this decree law?
20 A. I can't tell you absolutely, it's been a while, but I am familiar
21 with the general thrust of where you're going with it. I certainly don't
22 doubt that it's not authentic.
23 Q. I'm going to ask you a very concrete question now, more concrete
24 than the one that was posed to you by the Prosecutor. Do you have any
25 information that in Potocari, among the refugees, there were members of
1 the BiH Army as well?
2 A. The only documentary information that I have reflects to the 17
3 July and 18 July Bratunac reports with respect to wounded Muslims who were
4 evacuated from Bratunac, with the exception of one member who was listed
5 as a war crimes list -- or on the war crimes list, and I believe he is
6 being associated with being a military member. That's why he's on that
7 war crimes list.
8 The other information that I have, with respect to my knowledge of
9 the various videos of Potocari and the pictures of the individuals within
10 that, there may very well be men who are wearing various elements of
11 military uniforms. Whether that was their only clothing or whether they
12 were, in fact, military members, you know, because there's no documents
13 reflecting that, I don't know. I'm willing to assume, for the purposes,
14 that, you know, there would be some soldiers there who donned civilian
15 clothes because they wanted to remain with their families rather than trek
16 through the woods pursuant to their duty. But, you know, I don't know
17 that as a fact.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: So you are speculating, basically. You think it was
19 possible, but you're not -- you don't have any --
20 THE WITNESS: I have no evidence one way or another. I'm sure
21 it's possible, but I don't know that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's -- from your investigations, as
23 they have been put, you haven't come across such evidence, in other words?
24 THE WITNESS: Other than the one specific thing that I've
25 indicated, yes, sir.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's move, and try to avoid any
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I would kindly ask you to look at 1D463. I am not sure whether
5 that document has been translated, again. This is an interim report
6 issued by the General Staff of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dated 12th July
7 1995. It was dispatched at 1325 hours to the Presidency of the Republic
8 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 Can the document be scrolled down a little, please. Thank you
10 very much. This is excellent.
11 You say that the document describes what happened in Srebrenica.
12 I'm not going to go through the entire document, in order to avoid wasting
13 time. In the penultimate paragraph, in the second sentence from the
14 bottom, I'm going to read that, because it's very characteristic. It says
16 "Last night, around 2300 hours, we had between 15 and 20.000
17 refugees who were sitting in the area of war responsibilities together
18 with 300 fighters of the BiH Army in the Potocari camp."
19 Am I right in saying that among the refugees who were in the
20 Potocari camp, there were also fighters of the BiH Army; am I right in
21 saying that?
22 A. Yes, sir, based on this document, and again I'm willing to
23 conclude that, yes, sir.
24 Q. Mr. Butler, did you have an occasion to read reports on Srebrenica
25 that the members of the Dutch-Bat provided to the Dutch government on
1 their return from that mission, the so-called "Srebrenica debriefing,"
2 which is a collection -- a rather large collection of their statements?
3 A. The document that I read with respect to the Dutch debriefing on
4 Srebrenica was one that was published in, I believe, late 1995, and I have
5 referenced it as part of my analytical narrative. If there is a follow-on
6 larger Dutch document with respect to, you know, just all of their witness
7 statements, I may have reviewed it, but because again it's based primarily
8 on witness information, it wouldn't have been something I would have
9 included in my reports.
10 Q. Kindly look at another document, which is 1D39. This is a
11 statement which was provided during the investigation on Srebrenica by
12 Major Franken, who was the deputy commander of the Dutch-Bat, and I'm sure
13 you will remember that.
14 A. Yes, sir, I know of Major Franken and I am aware of his position.
15 Q. Please look at page 7. In the English version, you will find the
16 relevant part in the third paragraph, where it says:
17 "After the refugees had left ..."
18 And the reference is made to the refugees from the white house,
19 from Bela Kuca, the Serbs in blue uniforms set fire to the houses, which
20 were around the house, during which a considerable amount of small arms
21 ammunition exploded?
22 A. Yes, sir, I see that.
23 Q. Does this indicate that among the refugee belongings, there was
24 also ammunition that had been left lying around Bela Kuca?
25 A. Taking in consideration, you know, if this is in fact, you know,
1 an issue noted by Major Franken and it's accurate, it would reflect that,
3 Q. In the next paragraph, it says that the witness heard that after
4 the refugees had left, a number of weapons had been found. My question to
5 you, sir, is this: You did not use this information in your reports,
6 i.e., in your account of Srebrenica; would you agree with that?
7 A. You're correct, sir, I didn't use this information.
8 Q. Is this because you were not familiar with this or because you
9 considered all this irrelevant?
10 A. No, sir, it's because, as a matter of practice in my reporting, as
11 I've indicated in my reports, I was not prepared to be put in a position
12 where I would be cross-examined on information that was derived from a
13 witness who, by his position, would be testifying before this Tribunal.
14 So within that broader context, my goal has always been only to use
15 witness-based information when it was absolutely necessary to set the
16 context of a particular event, so my other analysis with respect to
17 documents and with respect to other intercepts would make sense.
18 The omission of witness statements by almost all of the parties
19 involved was by design. It was not by a lack of awareness or any other
21 Q. Mr. Butler, can you please tell me whether you had information
22 that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Srebrenica, had ordered
23 everybody to leave Srebrenica on the 10th of July or, rather, on the 11th
24 of July, 1995?
25 A. Yes, sir, I did, and that is included in my report, I believe.
1 Q. According to your information, everybody had to obey that order?
2 A. Whether they had to obey it or not, I can't say, but the practical
3 effect is that it was obeyed for its entirety when the VRS arrived in
4 Srebrenica on the 11th. The town -- with the exception of wounded, the
5 town was abandoned.
6 Q. Thank you. In the course of your examination-in-chief, you were
7 shown an order with respect to Krivaja 1995, dated 2nd of July 1995. This
8 is Prosecutor's Exhibit number 107, and it was an order for that military
9 operation. I would like to ask you a general question first.
10 This order, does it have all the elements that the military
11 doctrine considers to be standard for this type of military operation?
12 A. For the most part, that is correct. I am aware that the air
13 defence portion of this order was published, I believe, on the 5th, and
14 there may have been some additional logistical annexes that may have been
15 published. However, you know, on its face, this is a fairly complete,
16 by-the-book type of order.
17 Q. Can you please tell me, when we look at bullet point number 1,
18 actually, when we summarise that bullet point, we see that it says here
19 that the enemy had launched a general offensive in the territory of
20 Republika Srpska, conducting attacks targeting units of the Drina Corps.
21 Further on, there is an estimate of further enemy activities, and then a
22 conclusion that over the past several days, Muslim forces had been very
23 active in the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa. It says further on that
24 they -- that the sabotage groups and terrorist groups had been
25 infiltrating in order to attack and torch unprotected villages, kill
1 civilian population, and that there were also smaller units around the
2 enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa. And it also says that they are trying
3 especially hard to link up the enclaves and open a corridor to Kladanj.
4 According to your estimate, would that be a fair representation of
5 the situation that prevailed at the moment? If you look at the order,
6 would this be a good reflection of the situation?
7 A. Yes, sir, from the perspective or understanding of the Drina
8 Corps, I believe this is a very fair representation.
9 Q. You're saying that this is from the perspective of the Drina Corps
10 and that this is a fair representation of the situation. What about you?
11 As a military expert, would you say that, from your perspective, that
12 would be a fair representation? In the course of your analysis, did you
13 come across any documents that would corroborate this?
14 A. The documents that I came across in large part substantiate the
15 fact that the Bosnian Muslim forces of the 28th Division and of the Zepa
16 enclave were engaged in raids outside those areas for the purpose of tying
17 down VRS forces. Whether or not, again, they would actually be able to
18 physically link up the enclaves, in the sense of one homogeneous area,
19 they never had the combat power to do that.
20 So, again, I believe, like I said, from the Drina Corps'
21 perspective of the information that they were receiving, it's a fair
22 reflection of that situation, yes, sir.
23 Q. Did you have an occasion to look at the Muslim documents dating
24 from that time, i.e., the time which preceded the passing of the order for
25 active combat, dated 2nd July 1995?
1 A. Yes, sir, I did look at a number of those Muslim military
2 documents both preceding the beginning of the Krivaja 1995 operation as
3 well as after it started. So I have seen those documents, yes, sir.
4 Q. Then you must have seen in these documents that the defence of
5 Srebrenica had started on the 26th of June, 1995, some week or so before
6 the order for active combat was passed. Am I right in saying that?
7 A. I'm -- I'm a bit confused by your question. The defence of
8 Srebrenica from -- from whom? Was it the Muslims defending Srebrenica or
9 was it the Serbs who were defending the borders of the enclave from
10 Srebrenica? I don't understand.
11 Q. I will explain this on a document that I'm going to show you. The
12 number is 1D648. The page is number 17. We can also look at the first
13 page. This is a list of combat activities carried out in the area of
14 responsibility of the 2nd Corps between 1992 and 1995. If you look at the
15 last page -- can we please see the last page of the document. This was
16 signed by General Sead Delic, who was the commander of the 2nd Corps. If
17 we can go back a page. So this is page number 17. I would kindly ask you
18 to show us page number 16 of this document. Sixteen, page 16, please.
19 It seems that this page is missing, of all pages, but I'm sure
20 we'll be able to locate it.
21 Can this please be placed on the ELMO.
22 Can we look at that page together, operation under number 619,
23 this is what I'm interested in.
24 Under number 619, it says: "Defence of Srebrenica," the type of
25 military operation, and the last column indicates the duration of this
1 operation, which started on the 26th of June and ended on 16th of July,
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If Mr. Butler is going to be asked to comment on a
5 17-page report, if we could at least have just something about the first 1
6 through 15, because I don't know this document myself, I don't know if
7 it's an entire list of material or anything, so --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. I think it's a legitimate
10 Do we have a hard copy of it available?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Hard copies in e-court, but just this page was
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But in e-court, it doesn't serve us any
14 good if it's a multiple page that has to be consulted from time to time.
15 Is it available in hard copy?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madam Usher, please.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I can see that this is a large
19 list, beginning in 1992, but is there a cover page, is there something to
20 put it in context, I mean, something besides just a list? I mean, I --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know, Mr. McCloskey. I can't help you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I found this document in e-court, and it is the
23 whole document. I'm not aware that there is some part of this document
24 not published.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You're saying this is a list of combat activities
1 carried out in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Corps between 1992
2 and 1995?
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: And it was made by the commander of the corps.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, but the last page, you will see this is
5 signed by General Sead Delic, who was the commander of the 2nd Corps. And
6 then you refer him to page 17 and then to page 16. Then there is a
7 missing page. But I am completely at a loss, like Mr. McCloskey and I
8 suppose also like my colleagues. I can't help you, Mr. McCloskey. I
9 don't know what this is.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: If that's all there is, I'll sit down.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed.
12 When is it dated? When did Delic allegedly sign this and date
13 this document?
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know. I found this document at the EDS.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Butler, it says here that the defence of Srebrenica started on
18 the 26th of June, 1995. In a nutshell, much before than the order for
19 combat activity of Krivija 1995 was ever passed; would you agree with
21 A. Yes, sir, that's what it says.
22 Q. Can you please look at the operation before that, number 618. It
23 says here: "Attack on Visnjica" which was carried out on the 25th of
24 June, 1995. Do you know where Visnjica is?
25 A. Not off the top of my head, no, sir.
1 Q. I will try to refresh your memory. Let us look at P428. It is a
2 Prosecution exhibit.
3 This is the situation report of the 28th Division of the Army of B
4 and H from Srebrenica, dated the 30th of June, 1995. Have you had an
5 occasion to see this report before?
6 A. Again, I may have. I couldn't tell you absolutely whether I did
7 or did not.
8 Q. The date is the 38th of June [as interpreted], and that's what it
9 should read in the transcript. I apologise, the 30th of June, the 30th of
10 June. In item 1 it says the soldiers of the 28th Division decided to
11 contribute as much as possible to the efforts of the Army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina in their fight against the aggressor, thus increasing their
13 activity in the temporarily-occupied territory.
14 Did you see that part of the report?
15 A. Yes, sir, I have.
16 Q. The temporarily-occupied territory is referred to with the
17 acronym "TPZT" in the document. What is referred to here is the territory
18 that was controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska. Do you agree with
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. In paragraph 1, it is stated that 13 Chetniks were killed, that
22 some weapons were seized, and I won't go through all of it, but is your
23 understanding here that the 13 Chetniks killed were actually soldiers of
24 the VRS?
25 A. I -- I have no way of knowing whether they were all soldiers or
1 not. Again, when you were asking me the initial question about where it
2 was, I was kind of hoping you'd put a map up there. I'm not at this
3 juncture still able to look at this and -- you know, I am aware of what
4 you are talking about with respect to the particular raid, but it's still
5 not picturing in my mind where it is. As a result, at the time we did
6 have the casualty -- the daily casualty records of the Bratunac Brigade,
7 we don't have -- or at the time we didn't have the ones for Milici or
8 Skelani separate battalion.
9 I don't recall in this particular context that at any given date
10 the Bratunac Brigade had 13 soldiers killed in a particular raid on 30
11 June, so, I mean, I rule the Bratunac Brigade out, but I have no way of
12 knowing about the other formations that would have been around the
14 I can also tell you that given the ERN number range on both the
15 original and the English language translation, I believe that there's a
16 high probability that I would have seen this document. It's got a very
17 early ERN number that's consistent with the same numbers of the Drina
18 Corps -- or the Zvornik and Bratunac material that I was working with.
19 Q. Your answer allows for a possibility that the 13 killed may have
20 been civilians?
21 A. It is a possibility, yes, sir. I just don't know the answer,
22 because I don't have the requisite data behind it.
23 Q. Have a look at paragraph number 2. It says that on the 23rd of
24 June, 1995 --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 I'm taking you back in time to when we handed down our decision on
2 adjudicated facts, and there are these two facts, fact 67 and fact 68,
3 which we decided were to be taken as adjudicated facts and on which we are
4 not going to allow further questions. Fact 67: A raiding party of
5 Bosniaks attacked this nearby Serb village of Visnjica in the early
6 morning of 6th June 1995 and relatively low-intensity attacks. Some
7 houses were burned and several people were killed.
8 Fact 68: Following this attack on Visnjica, the then-commander of
9 the Drina Corps, General Major Milenko Zivanovic, signed two orders on the
10 2nd of July 1995 laying out the plans for the attack on the enclave and
11 ordering various units of the Drina Corps to ready themselves for combat.
12 The operation was code named "Krivaja 1995".
13 So please no further questions, neither from you nor from anyone
14 else on this, unless there are side issues that haven't been touched upon.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will not be putting any further
16 questions concerning this document, given the decision by the Chamber.
17 Q. But in your view, was this the reason why the order for combat
18 activities was issued?
19 A. I don't believe it was the underlying reason. I believe the
20 underlying reason is reflected in directive 7 and 7-1. This particular
21 raid at this particular time, coupled with the situation on the broader
22 battlefield which made the VRS forces available, may have been the
23 catalyst behind it, but I don't believe that this particular raid, in
24 isolation, was the cause.
25 Q. These attacks, coupled with the previous ones, could they have
1 been the reason for making the decision of the 2nd of July?
2 A. My analysis reflects the fact that the decision to want to conduct
3 the operations with respect to Srebrenica and Zepa was, again, part of
4 directive 7 and 7-1, something that they would have wanted to do earlier
5 rather than later. The fact that the Bosnian Muslim military forces of
6 both 2 Corps and 1st Corps were engaged in offensive combat operations
7 which tied down a large portion of the mobile forces that the Drina Corps
8 would need either at Mount Majevica or causing forces to be deployed to
9 the Sarajevo battle front precluded that, so my view is that again this
10 is -- this may have been the immediate catalyst because the timing and the
11 availability of forces worked, but I don't believe that this or just the
12 other smaller raids was the underlying cause, no, sir.
13 Q. Let us now go back to the previous exhibit, the Prosecution
14 Exhibit P107, this being the order for active combat activities. Below
15 the paragraph we referred to, we have units of the Army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were at the defence lines of the enclave. Were
17 those units indeed there and were they deployed along the lines as shown
18 in this order? A number of those units carries over to the next page.
19 Therefore, I would kindly ask you to see the following page as well.
20 A. Yes, sir, it's my understanding that at least in the broad -- in
21 the broad sense that the brigades that are listed were in fact in the
22 enclave. As a component of my analysis and what I was asked to do, I
23 didn't feel it necessary that I had to go back and verify with respect to
24 what the Drina Corps' understanding of where the actual combat lines or
25 combat positions and cross-indexed them to determine whether or not Drina
1 Corps was correct in its analysis of where the enemy forces were located,
2 so I didn't do that.
3 Q. Do you conclude from this order that the Drina Corps knew or was
4 familiar with the strength of the forces of Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 that were in the enclave?
6 A. Yes, sir, I do.
7 Q. In item 2 that you can see on the screen, it states that the goal
8 of the operation was to separate the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica and
9 their reduction to the urban parts of the enclaves.
10 In item 4, it says -- rather, it states the lines at which the
11 Serb units should stop or, rather, the lines to which they will advance.
12 It also states the goal, which is to improve the tactical conditions in
13 order to eliminate the enclave?
14 A. Yes, sir, it states that.
15 Q. Further down in item 5, we have tasks of the units, and there we
16 can see which units participated in the operation. My question to you, as
17 a military expert, is this: Am I correct in saying that the Drina Corps
18 engaged its best units for this operation or parts of its best units?
19 A. Yes, sir, I agree with that.
20 Q. The goal stipulated here, that is, to separate the enclaves, was
21 achieved on the 9th of July, 1995. I believe you will agree with that?
22 A. Yes, sir. The immediate goal as articulated in this plan would
23 have been achieved by the lines that were achieved on the 9th of July,
24 yes, sir.
25 Q. Please have a look at Exhibit P849. You saw this document before,
1 I believe.
2 A. Yes, sir, in testimony, as well as it's a component of my reports.
3 Q. You believe this document to be an order that was to regulate the
4 continuation of the Krivaja 1995 operation; am I correct?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. In the second paragraph of the letter, three tasks are listed.
7 One is to occupy Srebrenica. The other is to disarm the Muslim terrorist
8 gangs, as referred to here. And the third one is to demilitarize the
9 enclave. Do you agree with that?
10 A. Yes, sir, that's what the paragraph says.
11 Q. What is your understanding of the term "Muslim terrorist gangs"?
12 Do you believe it to be the military and paramilitary forces of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina that were inside the enclave?
14 A. I take that to effectively mean the 28th Infantry Division, yes,
16 Q. In this document, I do not see any units that were to participate
17 in the realisation of the goals set out, and I believe you cannot see any
18 either, since it's not in the document. But my question is this: Did you
19 see any other documents which would show what exact units were chosen for
20 the task, what their specific tasks were, and so forth -- so on and so
22 JUDGE AGIUS: From the Drina Corps, you mean, from the Drina.
23 Yeah. But what's the purpose of the question?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Or some other ...
25 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the purpose of the question? What are you
1 trying to get from the witness?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Just his answer, yes or not.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Butler.
4 THE WITNESS: No, sir. As far as I'm aware, the document
5 holdings, we do not have a copy of whatever implementation order was
6 drafted at the IKM that evening which assigned specific units and tasks
7 for the final part, which would be the actual entering of the town of
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You said that on the 12th of July, 1995, a decision was made that
11 the units of the VRS be deployed around Zepa. It is page 19692, lines 1
12 to 6.
13 A. I don't see it, but I will agree with your statement, yes, sir.
14 Q. Those units indeed went there?
15 A. The military units that were designated, which were at that time
16 the 2nd -- the elements of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, the elements of the
17 Zvornik Brigade and the elements of the Birac Brigade did, in fact, go
18 there, as well as the other composite units of Milici and the Bratunac
19 Brigade. So those units that were involved in that particular aspect of
20 the Srebrenica operation did, in fact, go to Zepa.
21 Q. Can you confirm that concerning the Zepa operation, the very same
22 units were sent there that had participated in the Krivaja 1995 operation?
23 A. That's not correct, sir, because there were some additional
24 formations of the 65th Protection Regiment that were engaged in that
25 operation, that were not engaged in Srebrenica, as well as of course the
1 southern units of the 1st Podrinje -- or the Rogatica Brigade, as its
2 known, that also did not participate in Srebrenica.
3 Q. In any case, a great number of the units that had participated in
4 the Krivaja-95 operation, for which you said were the best and strongest
5 part of the Drina Corps, were indeed sent to Zepa. Do you agree that they
6 could no longer participate in the implementation of the tasks set out on
7 the 9th of July, 1995, i.e., the disarmament of, as stipulated here,
8 Muslim terrorist gangs?
9 A. The formations that particularly were involved with the takeover
10 of the town of Srebrenica, the tactical group from the Zvornik Brigade,
11 the presumed tactical group from the Birac Brigade and the Romanija
12 Brigade all left the enclave area starting the morning of -- the former
13 enclave starting the morning of 13 July and took the roads from Srebrenica
14 around through the Bracan-Milici area and then to their positions. By
15 taking those routes and by deploying to Srebrenica, those three particular
16 units were not involved in either disarmament activities in Potocari or in
17 combat with respect to the column that occurred on 13 and 14 July.
18 Q. The Muslim column that was moving from Jaglici and Susnjari
19 starting with the 12th of July early in the morning and onwards, was
20 moving the other way, away from Zepa; can you confirm that?
21 A. The large bulk of the column was moving away from Zepa. I
22 understand that some small units, perhaps platoon-sized, did attempt to
23 infiltrate and did in fact make it to Zepa. I believe the number is
24 approximately 200 or 300 people. But given the size of the overall
25 column, you know, it was not a substantial number compared to that.
1 Q. Mr. Butler, as a military analyst or expert, can you confirm that
2 the Army of Republika Srpska wanted to -- or, rather, had the VRS wanted
3 to kill those people in the column, it would have sent its best and
4 strongest forces towards the column rather than sending them to Zepa?
5 A. No, sir, I disagree, because I believe that, first of all, as I've
6 testified and as my report reflects, the political factor of General
7 Mladic and the leadership of the RS wanting to very quickly move and take
8 Zepa before the broader international community could react to what had
9 happened at Srebrenica was a key factor. And, in fact, based on
10 statements from individuals that were at that 12 July meeting where the
11 decision was made, that issue was in fact raised, that there was a
12 substantial military threat and it was one that Mladic took into account
13 before he made his decision.
14 So the other factor that is involved and, again, as I've discussed
15 before was that the actual size, particularly on 12 July 1995, the actual
16 size and threat posed by the column was still being consistently
17 underestimated by the leadership of the VRS, Mladic and others on the Main
18 Staff, as well as the Drina Corps. So my view is that, you know, based on
19 the decisions that were taken at the time, the VRS was comfortable, if not
20 overly confident, that the forces that they had arrayed there were
21 sufficient to contain that military threat and to destroy the column.
22 Obviously, in retrospect, knowing the numbers, they were
23 incorrect, but based on the decision that they made and the information
24 they had available, I think it was a fair conclusion that they did.
25 Q. And you say that in spite of the information contained in the
1 order for active combat activities, that Srebrenica should be defended by
2 five brigades?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, that Srebrenica is
4 being defended by five brigades.
5 A. Yes, sir, and again in light of the fact that, one, there was not
6 clear intelligence or information available to the Main Staff and the
7 Drina Corps on the size and combat power of the column, and it also
8 reflects the fact that there was a considerable body of opinion within the
9 military leadership that, in fact, a large component of the combat power
10 that had come out of Srebrenica was in fact going to go to Zepa.
11 Q. And you are claiming that in spite of the fact that the best units
12 of the Drina Corps fought for five days to enter Srebrenica, that they did
13 not know the real strength of their enemy?
14 A. I believe that those units knew and understand the strength of
15 their enemy when they were fighting to go into Srebrenica. I believe that
16 as the military situation and as individuals have -- have come forward
17 later have said that when they arrived in Srebrenica, they found it
18 abandoned, and in military terminology the 28th Infantry Division had
19 successfully managed to break contact with the VRS. As a result of them
20 breaking contact, as a result of the army not knowing where they were, the
21 decision was made that on the 11th of July, the -- I'm sorry, the 12th of
22 July, that the most powerful combat formations that we've just discussed
23 were going to be sent to sweep through the Bardera [sic] Triangle area of
24 the former enclave to engage the enemy. In fact, they swept through empty
1 So it was a series of miscalculations with respect to the enemy's
2 strength and the enemy intentions that may have played a significant role
3 in the decision by General Mladic to send his best available forces to
4 Zepa rather than to place them along that key intersection to facilitate
5 the complete destruction of the column.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, we'll have a break now, 25 minutes.
7 Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Butler, we left it off with the column that
13 was moving from Srebrenica towards Tuzla. Kindly tell me, you must have
14 arrived at the information that at one point, this column represented a
15 serious military threat to Zvornik?
16 A. I -- I have always testified as such, that the column size was
17 being consistently underestimated during the period of 12 and 13 July and
18 that it did in fact represent a significant military threat to Zvornik.
19 Q. Do you agree with me that this threat was even reinforced by the
20 fact that there was very few troops of the VRS in Zvornik at the moment?
21 A. Yes, sir, the -- the documents reflect that the leadership of the
22 Zvornik Brigade at the time - that would be of course Major Obrenovic as
23 the chief of staff - was having considerable difficulty in mustering any
24 available forces to put out in ambush positions to either delay or
25 potentially defeat these enemy formations coming up, because almost all of
1 the reserve manoeuvre forces of the Zvornik Brigade had been tasked to be
2 part of the tactical group led by Colonel Pandurevic.
3 Q. You probably know that mobilisation of all able-bodied men was
4 carried out in Zvornik around the time and that they were involved in the
5 defence of the town.
6 A. There was in fact orders to mobilize all able-bodied men, military
7 members who were on leave or otherwise not on duty with their units were
8 recalled and sent back to their positions, and the police forces of the
9 public security sector, the SJB for Zvornik, were mobilised in a military
10 company form and were also employed in the defence, yes, sir.
11 Q. Can we now go back for the last time to the order for active
12 combat. The number is P107. We will look at bullet point 10(p) on the
13 penultimate page of this document. You also answered some questions by
14 the Prosecutor about this document and about this particular page. The
15 paragraph that I am interested in is on page 5 of the B/C/S version.
16 You're familiar with the second paragraph on page 5, where it
18 "The security organs and military police will designate the
19 collection sectors where the prisoners of war and the war booty will be
21 And it says further on that when dealing with prisoners of war and
22 population, the troops have to comply with the Geneva Conventions. You've
23 already testified about that, you must surely remember. I've just shown
24 you this to jog your memory a little, because I'm going to be asking you
25 some questions -- a question about this paragraph.
1 And now I would kindly ask you to look at 1D382.
2 This is the same order for combat activities. The only difference
3 is in the right upper-hand corner, where it says "Copy number 2," whereas
4 the previous order was copy number 3. Now I would kindly ask you to look
5 at the same, the same paragraph number 10, which is again on page number
7 In the B/C/S version -- sorry, in the English version, this should
8 be towards the end of the page, towards the bottom of the page. In the
9 English version, it is towards the bottom of the page, and can you please
10 scroll up the B/C/S version to show the place where we were before. What
11 I need is the previous page of the B/C/S version. Thank you.
12 In this version of the order, you will see that this particular
13 sentence has been crossed out, the sentence which says that:
14 "The security organs and military police will indicate the sectors
15 of collection where prisoners of war will be secured, together with war
17 Can you see that?
18 A. Yes, sir, I do.
19 Q. I don't see it as being shown in the English version, but in the
20 B/C/S version you can see a line with handwritten text added on the upper
21 margin, with an arrow pointing towards it, and the text reads:
22 "The sector where prisoners of war will be collected is the sector
23 of Pribicevac."
24 I'm not sure whether this is very legible for you.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The B/C/S page, yeah.
1 [Interpretation] The upper margin of the text, I don't know
2 whether this is visible in the English version. Could you please scroll
3 down --
4 [In English] Scroll up, sorry.
5 [Interpretation] This part of the text has not been translated, as
6 I can see, but it says here that the sectors for gathering and securing
7 prisoners of war and war booty will be the sector of Pribicevac.
8 Q. My very short question, to start with, is whether you've seen this
9 document before in this particular version.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Zivanovic, just to let you know that the
11 translation of those handwritten letters are an English translation.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know why it is not translated. I cannot
13 see --
14 JUDGE KWON: It is, it is, not -- in the main text.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: In the main text?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, sorry, sorry, yeah.
18 THE WITNESS: I do not believe that I've seen this particular
19 B/C/S version of this document, no, sir.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you agree with me that in the version that I'm just showing
22 you, the sector for collecting prisoners of war and war booty has been
23 defined and coincides with the tasks that were given to the security
24 organs; in other words, the security organs share with this document that
25 the prisoners of war are not to be their concern and their responsibility?
1 A. As the document is written, with respect to those handwritten
2 scratch-outs that you've mentioned, it's translated as such, and in that
3 any reference to either the security organs or military police has been
4 scratched out, yes, sir.
5 Q. I'm sure that you must have seen it in the other document that the
6 Prosecutor showed you, which is 3025.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be brought up on
8 the screen. Again, I'm looking for page 5 in this document.
9 Q. In the third paragraph, you will find -- just give me a moment to
10 check whether it is indeed on the screen, the third paragraph of the B/C/S
11 version. It should be. It is the third paragraph from the bottom. This
12 is repeated there -- in the English version, I apologise, the third
13 paragraph from the bottom, and it's the third paragraph from the top in
14 the B/C/S, and it says as follows, and this time it has been typed out:
15 "Prisoners of war and war booty will be collected in the
16 Pribicevac sector."
17 Once again, neither the security organs nor the -- have been
18 mentioned. Do you agree with that?
19 A. Yes, sir, that is what that particular document says. I believe
20 that document is the implementation order from the 1st Bratunac Light
21 Infantry Brigade.
22 Q. As a military expert, could you tell me, please, whether you
23 believe that the security organs were not given the task in order to give
24 them room to focus on their main task, which was counter-intelligence; is
25 that the reason why they were not given this particular task?
1 A. Given this particular task by whom, the commander of the Bratunac
2 Brigade or the commander of the Drina Corps?
3 Q. Both.
4 A. Okay. With respect to the document reflecting the Bratunac
5 Brigade, what it says is what it says. Whether or not -- what the intent
6 was behind Colonel Blagojevic, I can't say. He didn't testify, and there
7 was no particular evidence with respect to why it was written the way it
8 was written, if I recall.
9 As for the issue with the Drina Corps, I don't accept your premise
10 that the Drina Corps did not order the security organs to do this. The
11 document that we have from the original Drina Corps order has an origin of
12 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
13 I do not know the origin of the document that you've shown me that
14 has been scratched out. That leaves one or two -- one of two
15 possibilities. The first possibility is that the Command of the Drina
16 Corps published conflicting sets of orders and guidance with respect to
17 the same military operation and sent them out to different formations, or
18 the other possibility is that the document that you showed me before with
19 the hand cross-outs were hand cross-outs that were in fact not made by the
20 Drina Corps personnel but represent changes in that document that were
21 used then to formulate, you know, lower orders for various units.
22 Again, I don't know the origin of the second document, but
23 certainly from the consistency of language, you know, I believe it's, you
24 know, a fair presumption to say that, you know, the changes in that
25 particular document reflect the changes that were shown in the Bratunac
1 Brigade, it may very well be that they were the ones who made those
2 handwritten changes.
3 Q. Thank you. According to the information that you are privy to,
4 can you tell me whether you know that in the security organ of the Drina
5 Corps Command, there was anybody else, save for Vujadin Popovic, was there
6 anybody else employed in that organ?
7 A. I don't believe so. My understanding is that Major Golic was with
8 the intelligence organ. I believe at some point in time there was a --
9 not deputy, but a security referent who would have assisted Colonel
10 Popovic, but I don't recall that that person was available in July of 1995
11 to him.
12 Q. You may be aware of the fact how many people were supposed to be
13 working in that organ?
14 A. I -- certainly more than one, but I couldn't tell you, off the top
15 of my head, what the organisational formation was for that specific organ,
16 at least as far as the VRS was concerned.
17 Q. I also do not have the formation of the Drina Corps, but I'm going
18 to show you another document from which we might be able to draw some
19 conclusion. The number is 1D647.
20 I don't think the document has been translated. This is an
21 overview of the future and current number of officers in the Command of
22 the Drina Corps. In the first column, there are different departments and
23 divisions of the Command of the Drina Corps.
24 Can you please scroll the document down a little.
25 I have used an arrow to indicate the Department for Intelligence
1 and Security as -- it has been shown here as one department. In the first
2 column is number 9. Number 9 is in the column which shows how many
3 officers should this organ actually have per establishment. Number 9
4 indicates the number of officers. Number 4 is the number of
5 non-commissioned officers. And the fourth column is the sum of the first
6 two figures. The rest of the table shows the actual situation as it was
7 at the time in the organ, and you can see number 3 indicating that there
8 were three officers, again number 3, which means that the grand total of
9 the officers working in both the intelligence and security organs,
10 according to the information that I have, the three were Vujadin Popovic,
11 Svetozar Kosoric and Pavle Golic.
12 Could you please tell us whether you know if there was anybody
13 else employed in either the intelligence or the security organs at the
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get a date? What do you mean by "the
16 time" or -- in this document? Is there a date, is there more of it?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
18 Mr. Zivanovic?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm afraid not at the moment. I'll do my best to
20 provide my colleague with it.
21 THE WITNESS: If we're talking about the time frame of July 1995,
22 other than the three individuals mentioned, I am aware that there was one
23 other officer present, a lieutenant, whose function was to monitor the
24 collection of -- and information related to intercepted BiH Army
25 communications. I can't recall his name offhand. I believe that he
1 actually -- his name is compromised in some of the intercepts. He was not
2 a security officer, per se. He was somebody who worked out of the
3 intelligence shop. But since this particular number covers all three, I
4 have to say that in July of 1995, you know, using that criteria, you have
5 a total of four.
6 Q. Could you please confirm that Kosoric and Golic were members of
7 the intelligence organ?
8 A. Yes, sir, my understanding is that Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric was
9 the intelligence officer and Major Pavle Golic was also an intelligence
10 officer subordinate to Colonel Kosoric.
11 Q. Mr. Butler, after these orders that we have just looked at, do you
12 know if anything changed with regard to issuing orders with regard to the
13 prisoners of war after the fall of Srebrenica?
14 A. Yes, sir, obviously something changed.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D690, please.
16 This is a decision on the appointment of the civilian commissioner for the
17 Serbian municipality of Srebrenica. It was passed on the 11th of July,
18 1995, by the president of Republika Srpska, Mr. Radovan Karadzic.
19 Q. I'm sure you've seen this decision before.
20 A. Yes, sir, I have.
21 Q. Pursuant to this decision, Miroslav Deronjic was appointed as the
22 civilian commissioner. Can you now please look at item 4 of this
23 decision, which reads:
24 "The commissioner shall ensure that all civilian and military
25 organs treat all citizens who participated in combat against the Army of
1 Republika Srpska as prisoners of war and also ensure that the civilian
2 population can freely choose where they will live or move to."
3 Does it arise from this decision that the highest authority with
4 regard to the prisoners of war lay with Mr. Deronjic?
5 A. No, sir, I disagree with that, and I suspect Mr. Deronjic has
6 disagreed with that in the past as well.
7 Q. Mr. Deronjic's reasons are totally understandable to me, but could
8 you please share your reasons with us?
9 A. As -- I'm sorry, I'm just fumbling with the volume here because
10 it's a bit annoying. Okay.
11 As noted by the activities of the 12th in Potocari, as well as the
12 activities on the 13th with respect to the taking of prisoners from the
13 column, the practical reality on the ground was that the organs of the
14 armed forces under military command, the VRS command, in Potocari and
15 along the road were those organisations that were dealing with the
16 prisoners at ground level, so they were the ones, you know, at face value,
17 who had responsibility for the prisoners. Whether at some point -- you
18 know, like I said, whether or not at some point it was recognised that
19 Miroslav Deronjic had the ultimate responsibility, I don't know. And
20 certainly from the way that the situation developed afterwards, it doesn't
21 appear that Miroslav Deronjic had any particularly substantive involvement
22 with ensuring that the Geneva Conventions were complied with in this
23 respect with the prisoners of war.
24 So, you know, Miroslav Deronjic does not have authority over the
25 VRS. I mean, General Mladic does. And in that context, you know, the
1 army assumes responsibility for the prisoners that it captures, as well as
2 for the prisoners that the police formations who are under its command
4 Q. Was this decision made by Radovan Karadzic, who had certain
5 authority over the VRS? Wasn't he the supreme commander of the VRS?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. In item 4, it says that:
8 "The commissioner shall ensure that all civilian and military
9 organs treat all citizens who participated in combat against the Army of
10 Republika Srpska as prisoners of war ..."
11 Can you tell me what it means? What is your interpretation of it,
12 as a military analyst? What is your interpretation of the word "ensure"?
13 How can a civilian commissioner ensure that military organs treat all
14 citizens who participated in combat as prisoners of war?
15 A. Well, sir, the -- the way that I would read that is that that
16 particular civilian would in fact be charged with monitoring the
17 activities of the army and civilian organs, and when it came to his
18 attention that, with respect to the military, that prisoners were being
19 treated in a way that was not consistent with his instructions, he would
20 be under an obligation to go to the superior officers responsible in the
21 military for this issue and to bring that to their attention. If the
22 military officers and the military failed to make any remedial efforts or
23 actions, his next step would be to bring that situation to the attention
24 of the authorities who are over the head of those particular military
1 So in practical application, you know, if he sees members of the
2 Drina Corps not complying with his instructions, he's obligated to report
3 that fact to General Krstic or whoever the senior Drina Corps person is
4 around. If General Krstic or that senior official does not take remedial
5 action, he's obligated to go to his superior, General Mladic. If that
6 particular person does not take any remedial action, he's obligated to go
7 to General Mladic's superior and inform him, which would be the president
8 of the Republic. That is how I read that particular paragraph to mean.
9 Q. In this order, it is not said that in case of need, he should
10 report to anyone, in particular General Krstic, Mladic, or anyone of that
11 nature, since he was a civilian commissioner. Do you see this order --
12 or, rather, do you see this decision by the supreme commander by which the
13 supreme commander transfers very high authority to the commissioner
14 concerning the treatment of prisoners of war ...?
15 A. I just want to make sure I understand your question, sir. No,
16 there's no specific instructions in paragraph 4 that deal with what I've
17 just discussed. However, as you've noted yourself, he's a civilian
18 commissioner. The appointment as a civilian commissioner does not give
19 him a collateral authority over the armed forces with respect to ordering
20 them what they can and cannot do. Given that particular context, you
21 know, that Miroslav Deronjic can somehow give orders to the army with
22 respect to their treatment of prisoners or how they will handle the
23 prisoners that are in military custody is not what I believe is a fair
24 reading of this order.
25 Q. Do you agree that Mr. Karadzic, as the president of the Republic
1 and as the supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska, and
2 being the highest-position person in the Republika Srpska, could delegate
3 any of his authority to someone else? In other words, are you aware of
4 any regulation that would prevent him from doing so?
5 A. I'm -- you're going to have -- "any authority" is a fairly broad
6 term of art. Could you be a bit more specific, please, sir?
7 Q. Do you know if there is anything in place that would prevent or
8 that would have prevented Mr. Karadzic, as the president of the Republic
9 and the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, to transfer very broad
10 competences to the civilian commissioner regarding the treatment of POWs
11 in the territory of Srebrenica?
12 A. Well, sir, I mean, it goes back to the VRS Law on Defence and the
13 VRS Law on the Army, circa 1992. Those particular laws regulate the
14 competencies of the army as well as the roles and responsibilities with
15 respect to civilians and what -- what the commander-in-chief can and
16 cannot delegate with respect to authority. And, you know, in part because
17 of my knowledge of those particular laws, that's why, you know, I conclude
18 that an order, you know, as noted in paragraph 4 of this is not to be
19 interpreted as giving Miroslav Deronjic any form of operational control or
20 command over issues that fall within the competence of the military.
21 Q. You will agree that Mr. Karadzic was not the commander-in-chief?
22 [In English] The commander of the VRS?
23 A. I'm sorry, I think that's translated wrong. It says the question
25 "You will agree that Mr. Karadzic was not the commander-in-chief?"
1 Was that your correct question, sir?
2 Q. [Interpretation] Supreme commander.
3 [In English] Armed Forces of the VRS.
4 A. Yes, sir, he was not the commander of the Main Staff, he was in
5 fact the supreme commander which, in the 1992 law, I believe is translated
6 as "Commander-in-chief."
7 Q. Do you know if this decision was ever changed?
8 A. I'm sorry, which decision? Are we talking -- was the 1992 law
9 amended at points in time; is that what we're referring to, sir?
10 Q. I'm talking about the decision on the appointment of Mr. Deronjic
11 to be the civilian commissioner for the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica
12 and his obligation to ensure that the civilian and military organs treat
13 all citizens who participated in combat against the Army of Republika
14 Srpska as prisoners of war.
15 A. I believe that by the end of July 1995, there was a change in the
16 status of Mr. Deronjic reflected in -- in various presidential orders or
17 directives which redesignated him as the war president of the Srebrenica
18 War Presidency by the end of July of 1995. So at some point, these
19 instructions were superseded by additional ones.
20 Q. During the examination-in-chief you were shown another order from
21 the Drina Corps Command, dated the 13th of July, 1995. It is P991. Let
22 us bring it up on the screen, please.
23 In item 3 of the order, it says that captured and disarmed Muslims
24 should be accommodated in appropriate facilities that can be secured with
25 a small number of troops, and to immediately notify the superior command?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. In this order, did you find any obligation of the security organs?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could he be allowed to see the entire order, if
4 he's going to be asked that?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, of course.
7 [Interpretation] We can move on to the next page.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: When you are ready, please let us know, Mr. --
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, let's move on to the next page. I was
10 just about to say that.
11 Okay. Yes, sir, I've read the document. Your question again
12 being ...
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. My question was whether, in this order, you see any obligations or
15 tasks issued to the security organs.
16 A. I don't believe that there are any specified tasks to the security
17 organs on this one. I believe that the tasks that are listed are -- are
18 general in nature and for the commands and commanders.
19 Q. Thank you. During the examination-in-chief, among others, you
20 also provided answers to certain Prosecutor's questions that had to do
21 with strategic goals of the Serb people, and those goals being published
22 in the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska. I will not invite you to
23 analyse the very contents of the goals. I believe some other Defence
24 teams will busy themselves with that.
25 However, I wanted to ask you this: Do you know or do you recall
1 whether there was a military or international or diplomatic forum or
2 context within which those strategic goals were discussed?
3 A. My understanding is that the political forum by which those
4 strategic goals were discussed was the assembly meeting of 16 May 1992.
5 So being it was an assembly meeting, it was in fact a political forum, a
6 governmental forum. It dealt with not only those strategic goals, but
7 dealt with issues related to the organisation and essentially the adoption
8 of an army and various other aspects, and it also talked about, you know,
9 in the context of the larger series of discussions, you know, the relevant
10 political and strategic situation, yes, sir, as well as the international
12 Q. Would you agree that on the 4th of April, 1992, over a month
13 before that, the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, which was still part of the SFRY, made a decision on
16 A. I don't know the exact date, but I'm willing to agree with the
17 underlying premise of the question, yes, sir.
18 Q. Did you know that a few days later, the same body declared
19 imminent threat of war?
20 A. Again, sir, yes, I believe that's correct.
21 Q. Did you know that at the time, there should have been held an
22 international conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina which was supposed to come
23 up with a solution, a political solution for the crisis?
24 A. I don't know if that is true or not. That -- that was an issue
25 that was more appropriately researched by other people and not me.
1 Q. Do you know that after the session of the assembly, when the
2 strategic goals were decided upon, and their publication in the Official
3 Gazette, during that one year, that there were negotiations between the
4 international community, on one side, and the different parties in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the solution for the crisis?
6 A. Yes, sir, I am aware of that, at least in the broadest of terms.
7 I can't get into the technical details, because I'm not aware of those.
8 Q. I don't know whether you'll be able to answer this, but did you
9 know that the strategic goals were published only once the diplomatic
10 efforts had failed and only once there was no political solution planned
11 that had been adopted; during the entire process of negotiations, the
12 goals were not published?
13 A. In part I agree, the goals were not published until a point in
14 time when they were, but you're correct, on the other hand, I can't
15 comment as to why they were not published and whether or not that was part
16 of a designed plan for any particular political or international reason.
17 I just don't know the answer to that.
18 Q. Thank you. I won't press this matter any further.
19 Mr. Butler, we, as well as you, know that Srebrenica was not
20 demilitarised the way it was envisaged and agreed upon. Therefore, I
21 won't ask you any questions regarding that topic.
22 However, in the course of your analysis and in the course of
23 preparing your reports, did you see how many pieces of weaponry in the
24 period once the enclave had been declared and until it was occupied later,
25 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued to the 28th Division and its
1 military units within the enclave?
2 A. Well, I'm sure that there are ABiH documents out there that will
3 reflect the gross inventories of weapons of the 28th Division, or before
4 that it was known as Operational Group 8, and I may have seen them. I
5 don't recall any specifically. I certainly don't not doubt that they're
6 out there. I mean, certainly the enclave did have weapons. I just --
7 like I say, if you want to refresh my memory or show me a document, that's
8 fine, but I don't recall one offhand.
9 Q. It may not be necessary for me to show you those documents so as
10 not to waste any time concerning the amount of weapons that were
11 distributed. However, I wanted to ask you this: Did you ever, in any
12 document concerning the forwarding of materiel and equipment and ordnance,
13 see that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina distributed its units in
14 Srebrenica food?
15 A. No, sir. The material that was being smuggled into the ABiH --
16 from the ABiH 2nd Corps over the known over-land smuggling routes would
17 have been, as a function of efficiency, limited to ammunition, documents,
18 weapons, things of that nature. I think it's a fair categorisation to say
19 that the 28th Infantry Division in Srebrenica and, before that, OG-8
20 depend the on its foodstuff supplies as part of the larger food efforts
21 that were being brought in under the UN.
22 Q. Is it called "Human-sharing aid"?
23 A. Under the rubric of humanitarian aid, I would generally categorise
24 things such as food, things such as medicine, basic commodity issues
25 potentially with respect to certain clothing items, non-military
1 obviously, or things of that nature. So, yeah, in that respect, the 28th
2 Infantry Division did, in fact, you know, use those humanitarian aid
3 supplies for the sustenance of its military forces, yes, sir. They are
4 referred to in military parlance as dual-use items. They have both
5 military and civilian applications.
6 Q. We heard Major Franken's testimony here. It was between the 17th
7 of October, 2006, page 2446, lines 4 to 14; namely, he said that
8 humanitarian aid that reached the enclave would be put in warehouses.
9 The page of the transcript is 2446; that the humanitarian aid was
10 placed in storage and that it was at the municipal authority's disposal,
11 as well as of UNHCR.
12 The same day, Major Franken said, at page 2538, lines 3 to 11, and
13 page 2642, lines 1 to 4, that the municipality reported to him that the
14 28th Division keeps taking a part of the UNHCR rations for their needs.
15 He also said that they thought they were so important that they took most
16 of it or a large part of it for themselves. He said that -- he stated the
17 same before the parliamentary commission of the Kingdom of the
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Butler, wait one moment, please.
20 Mr. Zivanovic, what are you trying to prove?
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd just like to know if the -- if the witness is
22 aware of this.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Of what?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: That the Army of ABiH -- Army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina confiscated a part of humanitarian aid from --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I take you to our decision on adjudicated
2 facts, fact 50:
3 "Bosnian Muslim helicopters flew in violation of the no-fly zone.
4 The ABiH opened fire towards Bosnian Serb lines and moved through the safe
5 area. The 28th Division was continuously arming itself, and at least some
6 humanitarian aid coming into the enclave was appropriated by the ABiH."
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thanks.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So this has already been taken as an adjudicated
9 fact, and we shouldn't waste more time, unless you wish the witness to
10 contradict it.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, thanks.
12 Q. [Interpretation] I'm actually interested in an answer to another
13 question in relation to this. For you, as a military expert, do you
14 believe that the VRS was supposed to tolerate such supplying of their
15 enemies by humanitarian -- with humanitarian aid which was primarily meant
16 to serve the civilian population of the enclave?
17 A. Were they supposed to tolerate it in a military sense? Obviously,
18 the siphoning of humanitarian aid, or any such aid going into the enclave
19 that was being appropriated by the military, the ABiH 28th Division, would
20 substantially increase or at least maintain, you know, the ability of that
21 unit to conduct military operations. So from a military standpoint, the
22 VRS, you know, would see that as detrimental to their purposes. Whether
23 they were supposed to tolerate it or not on a larger scale was a decision
24 whereas presumably, you know, they had to weigh the detriment of
25 maintaining the 28th Infantry Division, you know, in some status, allowing
1 them to be resupplied off of humanitarian aid, versus the issue of whether
2 or not they would be justified in completely constricting off all such aid
3 and the collateral effects it would have on the civilian population in
4 order to degrade the military capabilities of the 28th Division.
5 So it's a very complex set of variables that the VRS had to juggle
6 at that time, and in part not just the VRS, the RS political leadership at
7 that time.
8 Q. Mr. Butler, did you ever come by the information that the
9 inhabitants of Srebrenica could not leave Srebrenica without the approval
10 of the civilian and military authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina that
11 existed in the enclave? Would you agree with that, if I made -- if I put
12 it to you this way?
13 A. Yes, sir, I believe that there is information available, and I've
14 seen it, that reflects that the -- not only the Srebrenica but also the
15 Zepa enclave, that there are specific instructions that civilians are not
16 to leave those enclaves.
17 Q. As a military expert, I would like to ask you the following: The
18 authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, did they want to keep the
19 population in order to make the population the human shield for the
20 activities of the 28th Division that were undertaken from the enclave,
21 because if the population had left, those units would have remained
23 A. I'm not sure whether, in a strictly military sense, the human
24 shield applicability is fully accurate, only in as much that there is also
25 the political justification that was used by the ABiH leadership that the
1 presence of the civilian population there, you know, their primary
2 motivator was in fact, because of that civilian population, that the
3 United Nations -- UN protection forces would be deployed there to, in
4 fact, create a buffer between the two forces.
5 If -- your hypothetical would make sense if there were in fact no
6 international forces providing that role, and then it could very well be
7 looked at as that type of a calculated decision. But you have that third
8 international party in there, so in this context I believe that, you know,
9 the ABiH government wanted the population to remain in there in order to
10 continue the justification for having the UN maintain those safe areas,
11 yes, sir.
12 Q. Thank you. I'll move on to the intercepts, another area that you
13 have spoken about at great length.
14 In answering questions about the intercepts, you said that as a
15 military professional, you were aware of the fact that you might be misled
16 on purpose with all that material, that this could have all been
17 misinformation. The way I understood you, you said that during your
18 career, you also had experience in the area of radio communication?
19 A. Yes, sir, I do. I think my -- okay, my microphone is back. I'm
20 sorry. Yes, sir, I do have, as part of my military career, some
21 experience in processing and analysing that information, yes, sir.
22 Q. Were you familiar with the technical aspects of the job or were
23 you only involved in analysing the information obtained through radio
25 A. Both, sir. The -- as a function of the analytical practice of my
1 particular branch, and as I believe I've discussed before, you know, part
2 of evaluating the accuracy of the material is also understanding how the
3 information was in fact collected, to ensure that the material that you
4 are looking at, you know, could in fact be collected and again, as the
5 first part, was authentic.
6 Q. When we are talking about radio communication, would that imply
7 radio relay communication as well?
8 A. Yes, sir, it falls under that same broad category.
9 Q. The intercepts that you had an occasion to see, you found them
10 reliable and authentic. At least this is what you said in answering the
11 Prosecutor's questions, as far as I could understand.
12 A. Yes, sir, they're authentic in so much as the fact that they
13 are -- you know, they are and were at the time within the capabilities of
14 the ABiH to collect that material, and the fact that the material that is
15 listed in the various notebooks, printouts, and I believe there are a few
16 audiotapes that have been discussed, you know, is a reflection of that,
17 reliable in fact so much -- reliable with respect to that the processes
18 that the collectors were using to write down the information, and to
19 process that information with respect to what they were doing with it at a
20 collection point, not analysing it, in a broader sense, were reliable.
21 The question of reliability as to the actual intelligence
22 information that can be gleamed from the intercept itself, in fact -- you
23 know, its reliability is in part determined by whether or not the
24 individuals who were being intercepted, you know, know what they're
25 talking about.
1 So we do have to be careful with the phrase "reliability." I
2 mean, the fact that you can get a perfectly valid intercept of a
3 communication, you know, and it may be perfectly accurate and reliable, in
4 that sense, doesn't in fact mean that the information that the two
5 correspondents are talking about corresponds to reality.
6 I know it's a technical parsing-out of phrases, but that's why I
7 always steer away from the idea that, you know, reliability, you know, can
8 cover all of those bases. I believe each intercept has to be looked at on
9 an individual basis and individual judgements and determination of
10 reliability on those intercepts have to be based, you know, on the context
11 of other things as they're occurring at the time.
12 Q. Given your experience in the area, you must be familiar with some
13 standard procedures that are applied when intercepting radio
14 communication. Am I right?
15 A. I don't know what you mean with reflect to "standard procedures."
16 I mean, I'm aware of the procedures of my own military. I can't comment
17 as to whether or not other militaries followed similar procedures, whether
18 they followed different procedures. I mean, I can tell you that, you
19 know, while it was an extraordinarily low technical approach that the ABiH
20 did to collect this information, my own -- with my own background and the
21 research that I did with respect to their abilities, you know, I do
22 conclude that, you know, while low tech, they were more than technically
23 capable of collecting the information that they collected.
24 Q. And from the material that you had available, I'm sure that you
25 could familiarise yourself with the procedures that the BiH Army applied.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Can you please confirm whether the collection of this information
3 is actually part of the intelligence service?
4 A. The material that we have, with respect to those from ABiH 2
5 Corps, as well as from the 24th Division, were part of, as I understand
6 it, their intelligence branch. I am aware that some of the other
7 intercepts originated from intelligence bodies that were outside of the
8 control of the ABiH military, and they were in fact civilian or Ministry
9 of the Interior. I believe the categorisation was "AID" at the time. So
10 I hope that answers the question.
11 Q. Yes, it does, thank you. And can you also confirm that
12 intercepting such communication is carried out in order to obtain
13 information about the enemy strength and the enemy intentions?
14 A. In a broad sense, yes, sir. That would be why they would be doing
16 Q. And with that goal in mind, this information is then conveyed to
17 the superior commands?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. When you said that the BiH Army had had technical capabilities to
20 intercept the radio communication of the VRS Army, had you been able to
21 establish that based on some technical documentation or technical
22 information that was available to you?
23 A. Well, with respect to the intercepts that we have that cover the
24 Drina Corps and VRS, you know, multichannel relay communications backbone,
25 as well as what are known as the tactical intercepts, which are the radio
1 intercepts that cover the short-range VHF transmitters, what I was able to
2 do early on is, looking at various Drina Corps communication plans that we
3 had seized as part of the Zvornik seizure, you know, lay out some of those
4 communications plans and annexes. And I was able to, while not exactly
5 parse through frequencies and things of that nature, you know, get a
6 general appreciation that the VRS backbone communications relay sites and
7 systems as it existed and what the ABiH 2nd Corps people thought they were
8 intercepting were consistent, yes, sir.
9 Q. We've heard a number of witnesses here who have spoken about that
10 and who worked on that, and they have explained the procedure to us, in
11 short terms. This -- they have spoken about the technical aspects of
12 inspecting radio communication. I don't know whether you have the same
13 information, so I'm going to give you some of the details, and I will
14 kindly ask you just to confirm whether what you know is the same as what
15 we know.
16 We heard that the BiH Army operators recorded the conversations on
17 audiotapes. Do you have the same information?
18 A. Yes, sir. My understanding is that during the initial process,
19 the conversations were in fact audiotaped.
20 Q. We've also heard that the conversations that had been audiotaped
21 were then transcribed and then sent to the superior command in the form of
22 reports. Would you be able to confirm that this is also what you know?
23 A. Yes, sir, I believe that's generally consistent with the process.
24 Q. Further on, we -- we've been told that the audiotapes, once they
25 were full, were also sent to the superior command.
1 A. No, sir, my understanding was that the standard practice, at least
2 with respect to the ABiH 2 Corps sites, was that because there was a
3 shortage of audiotapes, many of the sites in fact, once they had fully
4 transcribed the conversations necessary, used those tapes over again.
5 While I suspect some -- or, you know, a few may have been sent up, because
6 ultimately we do have audiotapes, you know, I do understand that the
7 practice was, for the most part, that they would re-use the audiotape over
8 and over again.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, it's not our intention to stop you,
10 by any means, but we are all wondering why you're dealing with these
11 details in relation to intercepts with this witness when you had every
12 opportunity, and you did, actually, deal with the persons who were in a
13 much better position to inform us on the procedure.
14 Anyway, if you want to keep on going, go ahead.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Because this witness testified that ABiH was
16 capable, that he established that they --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and he's confirming it, thanks to your
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: And I'd just like to see the scope of his
20 investigation regarding the instances.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We're not going to stop you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you very much.
23 Q. [Interpretation] You've told us that you didn't know that the
24 tapes were sent to the Command once they were full. Could you please
25 share with us the source of different information, or maybe it would be
1 best for me to share with you the statement of a witness to whom we refer
2 as PW-130, who has told us that the tapes would be sent to the Command,
3 listened to, and then the most important conversations were re-recorded on
4 different tapes, and then the second set of tapes were stored, whereas the
5 first set of tapes were re-sent to the units after the conversation had
6 either been erased from them or not, in which case the units would make
7 sure that the tapes were re-useable by erasing the first set of
8 conversations, would -- are you familiar with this? Is that the
9 information that you might have?
10 A. No, sir, I don't -- I don't have that information. I'm not
11 familiar with that.
12 Q. In the spring of 1998, were you in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time
13 when these tapes were found, i.e., when part of that intercept material
14 was handed over to the Tribunal?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Clarify that. That's very different information
16 in the same question, those are all different things.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You're right, but I think Mr. Butler can make some
18 sense of it.
19 THE WITNESS: I recall being in Bosnia in the spring of 1998 and
20 dealing with ABiH 2 Corps officers who were giving us some of those tapes
21 that they had, in company with Mr. Jack Hunter, I believe. Whether it was
22 part of the same mission or a different mission again in the spring of
23 1998, I recall being up at one of the particular intercept sites where we
24 came across a number of the actual notebooks. So in general terms, I
25 recall what you're talking about.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And obviously on that occasion, you requested for the tapes to be
3 handed over?
4 A. I didn't request. The request, of course, was made by the leader
5 of the investigation, and the investigation, you know, once we became
6 aware of the tapes, we did request that they be turned over to the Office
7 of the Prosecutor. There was a process that had to be followed where the
8 ABiH 2 Corps had to get approval from Sarajevo to do so.
9 I think on the subsequent mission, when we returned, that they had
10 in fact received that information, and the OTP took custody of 14
11 audiotapes, if I recall correctly.
12 Q. Will you still agree with me that only one or two tapes referred
13 to the events in Srebrenica?
14 A. I don't know the answer to that. Because I don't speak the
15 language, I didn't sit there and listen to all the tapes or a streaming
16 transcript. I mean, I know that the tapes cover in some cases, you know,
17 1995, from the beginning portions of it, that they're not a complete
18 record of all of the intercepts, so, I mean, I couldn't give you a
19 ballpark figure on how many of the tapes only deal with issues related to
21 Q. You must be aware of the fact that the intercepts and the
22 intercepted material were first requested in 1995.
23 A. No, sir, I don't know that. I wasn't here at that time.
24 Q. And you did not hear that when you joined the Tribunal, that the
25 intercepts had already been on request from 1995?
1 A. No, sir. When I first joined the investigative team with respect
2 to supporting them, and my initial discussions with Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez,
3 you know, he had indicated that they had information that there were
4 intercepts available primarily because the Bosnian government had released
5 some transcripts of some intercepts and they were being made in -- you
6 know, they were in the local press, and that they had been requested. But
7 I'm not aware that that request went all the way back to 1995.
8 Q. You, as a military analyst or, rather, expert, did you find it
9 strange that you received the intercept material three years after the
11 A. Not particularly strange in so much as, as I've come to learn the
12 various governmental procedures, particularly after the war in Bosnia,
13 nothing happens fast, and also as our own efforts and investigation
14 revealed, even by 1997 and 1998, when we were trying to acquire this
15 information, it was clear that the Bosnian government didn't themselves
16 have a full handle on all of the different people who might have had this
17 material and have it centralised. Would I have liked it, you know, to
18 have been available sooner or later? I mean, obviously everyone wants to
19 get it immediately for whatever reasons it's going to be used, but what
20 political drivers that the military and the civilian leadership in Bosnia
21 used or did not use to make their decision and release it, I don't know.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Butler, I would kindly ask you to have a look at 1D12. It's a
3 statement given by the chief investigator, Mr. Ruez, concerning the
4 retrieval of intercepts.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, so no broadcast, because this document is
6 under seal.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have a hard copy, if necessary.
8 Maybe that will be speedier, to show it to the witness.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's already on the screen.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: All right, all right.
11 Q. [Interpretation] To explain it briefly to you, this is Jean-Rene
12 Ruez's statement in which he provides his experience in the requests for
13 intercept material. Please direct your attention to paragraph 3, in which
14 it is said that:
15 "During the summer 1995, the question was raised with AID ...",
16 the question of intercepts collected by the 2nd Corps of the BiH. It also
17 states that --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness has already read it. You're
19 taking much longer than anyone who would need to read that paragraph,
20 Mr. Zivanovic.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I would ask you to look at the penultimate sentence of the
23 paragraph, where it says that:
24 "Through the same means the answer consistently confirmed the
25 existence of these intercepts, but that the timing for a request of access
1 was not appropriate."
2 You, as a military analyst, what would be your interpretation of
3 this answer, which acknowledges that such intercepts are in existence, but
4 however that the time is not right to request them and that the same
5 request was being made throughout 1995, 1996 and 1997?
6 A. I can tell you exactly what it was, and let's keep in mind, you
7 know, a little perspective on this particular issue.
8 With respect to the intercepts and our abstract use of them within
9 the court and within the investigation, you know, we're talking about
10 information that may become evidence. In the real world, that was Bosnia
11 from 1995 to 1996 and 1997, what the Office of the Prosecutor was asking
12 the government of Bosnia to do was to essentially compromise a significant
13 wartime and even peacetime intelligence collection capability that would
14 essentially reveal how extensive and successful their intelligence
15 operations had been not only against the VRS but, by definition, you know,
16 or by extension, how successful they had been against the HV -- or HVO --
17 and HVO, as well as the United Nations and other such agencies. I have no
18 doubt in my mind that within the government, there must have been some
19 significant push-back with respect to discussions as to whether or not the
20 providing of this information to the Office of the Prosecutor, in the
21 interests of justice, you know, would have outweighed at the time their
22 legitimate security concerns with respect to protecting a valuable source
23 of information.
24 I mean, what we were asking at the time, and I'm not -- like I
25 said, I didn't get here until 1997, but, you know, during this period what
1 we were asking for was essentially unprecedented.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't you think it's time to move to another
3 subject, Mr. Zivanovic?
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Such a reply, could it raise doubts with you, as a military
6 analyst, as to whether that material was yet to be made up in the
7 following period, and that that was the reason why the request was not
9 A. Yes, sir, you're exactly right, and I believe I've testified
10 extensively that that was my primary concern.
11 Q. Thank you. I wanted to show you but one statement, or rather it's
12 an information report drafted during the March 1998 mission. It is an
13 interview with one of the operators.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move into private
15 session for that, just for a brief period of time, please. It is 1D577.
16 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Let us have a look at another exhibit, but before that, tell me
21 this, please: Would you agree that out of the intercepts you listened to,
22 you did not encounter a single one that would have to do with June 1995?
23 A. I don't know that I can -- either June of 1995 or -- I mean, the
24 intercepts that I listened to, because I -- okay.
25 Q. I apologise. July 1995.
1 A. Because I don't understand the language, my purpose of listening
2 to the audiotapes that we had, or copies of them, was strictly limited to
3 my attempt to get a feel, for lack of a better word, as to a lot of the
4 intangibles that I understand go into radio traffic, issues of static,
5 issues of mechanical switching devices. Multichannel radio communications
6 have a peculiar way of demodulating slightly when they drop up and down in
7 frequency a bit. You know, as part of my own effort to look at these and
8 determine whether or not what we were actually listening to was
9 multichannel communications or, you know, tactical-level VHF
10 communications, which have their own things.
11 So, again, I am aware that at least one audiotape had something
12 related to at least Zepa at the end of July 1995, because that was a
13 potential exhibit in the Krstic case.
14 Q. Thank you. Let us have a look now at 1D218. It is a letter of
15 the State Security Service of Bosnia-Herzegovina, dated the 24th of July,
16 1995. It is very brief. I am not sure whether this has been translated,
17 although it had been requested. It is very brief. I'll read it out to
19 In it, a request was made of the 2nd Corps -- well, it reads:
20 "Given that in the latest offensive against the protected area of
21 Srebrenica, the aggressor committed genocide over the Bosniak people. We
22 kindly ask you that you require all phono material, audio material,
23 pertaining to Srebrenica, from the assistant chief for security. The
24 audio material is needed in order to open a file that will be put at the
25 disposal of the International Tribunal in The Hague."
1 My question is this: Did you ever see this document?
2 A. No, sir, I don't recall that I did.
3 Q. For you, as the expert, would this raise any doubts if even after
4 such a request, the tapes with alleged conversations would be destroyed?
5 A. Yes, sir, I mean it would -- it would continue to, you know, be a
6 piece of the weighting of information particularly with respect to my work
7 on the intercepts, that, you know, would have continued to keep in the
8 front of my mind that I always had to be aware of the material that I was
9 working with that had been provided by these measures were a form of
10 disinformation or deception, yes, sir. I had that in the front of my mind
11 going in, and this piece of information would have just continued to pour
12 weight on that.
13 Q. In order to save time, I will not show you some other requests
14 requiring that such audio material be forwarded. Those documents had the
15 same goal in mind. However, I will show you a reply by the intelligence
16 administration of the General Staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina, sent on the 7th
17 of June [as interpreted] 1996 to the Ministry of the Interior of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is 1D221. The date is the 7th of July, 1996.
19 To remind ourselves, at that time, according to Mr. Ruez's
20 statement, the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina were saying that they did
21 have the intercepted conversations, but that the time was not right for
22 them to be delivered or, rather, that access be granted. I am quite
23 positive that we do have a translation of this document.
24 Since it seems that the translation is not appearing, although I
25 am certain that we have it and it was put in e-court, it was actually
1 exhibited, I just wanted to tell you that this refers to the information
2 which, until July 1996 -- or by July 1996, was in possession of the Army
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and their counter-electronic warfare section.
4 The first paragraph states:
5 "Pursuant to your request, we ran a check and research of most of
6 the information that had been gathered during the period of occupation of
7 Srebrenica and Zepa. We established which units of the aggressor
8 participated in the occupation and crimes. We also determined the names
9 of those who were in any way engaged during the occupation operations, be
10 it by commanding and controlling directly or by taking immediate part in
11 it. In addition to the names of those people, we also mention specific
12 parts of information that we have at our disposal, their participation,
13 and nature of engagement. Most of the information was gathered by
14 electronic reconnaissance, and the audio documentation had been forwarded
15 earlier, back in 1995, pursuant to a request made by the Agency for
16 Research and Documentation of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so
17 that the Intelligence Administration of the General Staff of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina does not have the original documents that may be used
19 as valid proof in a court proceeding."
20 I won't read out the whole document, but the page continues
21 listing the units which participated in the operations, and then what
22 follows is the names of individuals, and for that we'll have to go to the
23 next page.
24 Please have a look at the names mentioned and tell me whether,
25 among those names, you see the name of Vujadin Popovic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You had a question which you took three minutes to
2 read, and now we have a list which anyone can read and come to a
3 conclusion whether your client is listed or not. Do you have to ask the
4 question and get the information from a witness?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I didn't finish. The examination of my client got
6 in this document, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Then you could have gone straight to this list. You
8 suggest to the witness that your client is not listed there and ask for an
9 explanation, if that is what you want. This is why you asked for five
10 hours, and ...
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It was not -- all right. It was not main point of
12 my question, sorry.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go to your main point, please.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I'm expecting the answer.
15 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Do not let the witness tell us whether your client
17 is included in this list --
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Right.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- if we can see it for ourselves.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Please, could you go through the rest of the document for
22 yourself, and you'll see that specific conversations are referred to,
23 starting with the 3rd of June, 1995.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The rest of the document, that if the witness is
25 seeing what I am seeing, it is in B/C/S.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Just the dates are relevant in the context.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. Then go straight to your question,
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Can you go through the document, please, so as to be able to see
6 the dates? Just the dates.
7 Please stop there.
8 Can you see a single conversation between the 12th and the 19th of
9 July, 1995? We can go back to the previous page.
10 A. I -- I confess that you have me at a bit of a disadvantage here,
11 not understanding the language. I see date time hacks that I recognise
12 because they're in Latin, but I can't tell you what the context is. I
13 mean, it doesn't appear to be a conversation in so much as the way that
14 the OTP has translated conversations, but I don't know what I'm looking
15 at, sir, I'm sorry.
16 Q. I will have a translation of this for you, and perhaps you will be
17 able to answer some of my questions then.
18 A. Thank you.
19 Q. I believe you are familiar with the devices used by the VRS in
20 July 1995, and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was intercepting the
21 conversations made via those devices?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Would I be right in saying that these are RUR-1 and RUR-800?
24 A. The -- I am familiar with the 800 devices, which are the high-end,
25 multichannel ones. I think the -- to make sure I'm not confusing it with
1 the RU-12, which are the VHF ones, the RU-1s are the low end or what we
2 would call low-end frequency UHF multichannel. They don't have the same
3 extensive bandwidth.
4 Q. Are you familiar with the radio relay frequency modules used by
5 the RUR-800 devices?
6 A. In very broad terms, the ranges, but, I mean, I couldn't give you
7 frequency numbers off the top of my head, no, sir.
8 Q. Were you able to see the frequency plans of the VRS?
9 A. In the documents that we primarily use with respect to the Zvornik
10 Brigade, which we had seized first, and to the Bratunac Brigade, I am not
11 aware that there was a specific frequency plan with those documents. I
12 don't know, having not gone through the entire Drina Corps material, the
13 new stuff, whether or not there is a frequency plan for each of those
14 networks in that, so the short version is: No, I have not seen a
15 frequency plan for the radio relay.
16 Q. During the March 1998 mission, you had an interview with one of
17 the participants. 1D232 is the number of the document that I'm kindly
18 asking you to look at.
19 A. Yes, sir, this is --
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at the second
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Don't broadcast, please. And if they
23 have broadcast it, let me redact -- okay, thank you.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In the first paragraph, it says, finally:
1 [In English] "Changed either the operating frequencies of the
2 channel designations of the network. This allowed the BiH to fine tune
3 their collection to both specific relay stations and to specifically
4 target channels which were dedicated to commanders and key staff
6 [Interpretation] Did you ever hear such an explanation provided by
7 this person? I believe that -- actually, there's no need for me to
8 mention the person's name, because you will find it in the next
9 paragraph. He was not a protected witness, but there is really no need
10 for me to spell out his name.
11 A. I'm sorry, what -- did I hear the explanation provided by this
12 person? Yeah, I'm familiar with that explanation, yes, sir.
13 Q. Was that your information also, that the frequencies didn't
15 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean, "was that your information also"?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you receive this type of information from somebody else to the
18 same effect?
19 A. If I can ask you to go back to the first page of this document,
20 please, sir.
21 At the time that this document was written, we were still indexing
22 through all of the material that we had seized from both Bratunac and
23 Zvornik and hadn't begun to significantly do that type of analytical work
24 yet as part of the intercepts. You'll notice that, you know, while the
25 date of the memo is 18 December, you know, and the actual meeting occurred
1 on the 5th of March, 1998. At that point in time, I don't think we even
2 had -- we had the documents yet. So what is in this text here is what the
3 individual told us.
8 Q. If I understand you correctly, you don't know exactly how many
9 features participated in the radio relay communication via RRU-800, and
10 I'm talking about July 1995.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't understand the question. What do you mean
12 by "features"? It could be a translation error, but --
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. How many objects were on the radio relay or else that were
15 involved in the communication between Vlasenica and Zvornik, to be more
17 A. On 05 March 1998 when I discussed this issue with him, and when we
18 wrote it up on 18 December 1998, that information was not available to
19 me. My purpose behind this was strictly to get an accounting of what the
20 individual was saying. At that time, I had no material ability to either
21 confirm or deny the information, and I didn't, myself, have an
22 appreciation of what the VRS communications architecture was in that
23 region. We had no information.
24 Q. When you evaluated the authenticity of the material that you
25 received with regard to the intercepted conversations, did you take into
1 account all these frequencies and did you make your own evaluation as to
2 whether these conversations could have actually taken place at the places
3 as denoted in the intercept?
4 A. Yes, sir, that was a fundamental component of my work in
5 attempting to authenticate that body of information not only, like I said,
6 to the satisfaction of the Trial Chamber, but also in the Krstic case and
7 the Blagojevic case, as well as for use in my own reports. That's why I
8 worked with that particular information, in order to make sure that it was
9 in fact what it was purported to be before I would use it as a component
10 of my analysis.
11 Q. Would you please tell me which elements you used in order to be
12 able to establish that the conversations of the VRS could be intercepted
13 at these locations? You've told us that you didn't know whether there was
14 any frequency plan at the moment.
15 A. As we were going through the material from the Zvornik Infantry
16 Brigade, one of the most useful documents that we found, from a beginning
17 point of view, was a document that was essentially called "Shield-95." It
18 was an operation -- it was a very large detailed operations plan that the
19 VRS had drafted for the post-Dayton environment. One of the annexes to
20 this plan was a rather detailed communication annex which led out and gave
21 us the schematic of the backbone of the VRS communications in that
22 particular area of the country. Now, granted it was in November of 1995,
23 but it gave us, analytically, a starting point to then go backwards in
24 time with the, you know, goal of either confirming or denying that the
25 locations remain valid and the systems and capabilities remain valid.
1 I mean, the next step is we went through the drill of once the
2 documents, in large respect, had set up the context of where the military
3 units were, you know, looking over the broader body of the intercepts -
4 and again I took them in one entire batch for the month of July when they
5 were done, I didn't do this piecemeal - to determine how they overlaid
6 contextually with the situation on the ground that was being portrayed by
7 the military documents of the Zvornik Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade.
8 As a general rule, I could at least move forward with a high degree of
9 confidence that the ABiH 2 Corps, as well as the AID and other agencies
10 that were collecting that material, you know, didn't have access to those
11 military documents. As such, they would provide a very meaningful and
12 fair check by which we could then cross-index the intercepts to. That was
13 a continual process over time as we developed -- as we developed the
14 analytical picture.
15 Q. When you say that when searching the premises of the Zvornik
16 Brigade, you came by the communication plan of the VRS, does that mean
17 that you also obtained the frequency plan for the RRU-800 communication at
18 the same time?
19 A. No, sir, I didn't say that we came across the -- the communication
20 plan that we came across in Zvornik was "Shield-95". I don't believe that
21 the Stit-95 plan had an associated frequency plan with it. It just
22 indexed out the network. It didn't have frequencies.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you. [In English] ... If you permit.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: My cross-examination is not concluded. I have
3 another topic, and there is just two minutes left.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we'll continue tomorrow. We can stop
5 here. We'll continue tomorrow.
6 There is a redaction that you will get notified of in due course.
7 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
9 Mr. Butler, I think you can leave. Thank you. And we'll
10 reconvene tomorrow morning as well, I think, yeah.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 9.00.
13 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I'm not familiar with Mr.
15 Butler's -- well, this week I know Mr. Butler's schedule. The following
16 week, we may need to check with him or someone else to see. He may have
17 court --
18 JUDGE KWON: We can ask him.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, he's escaped.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We should have stopped him before. Okay. But I
21 think the Registrar will communicate this to him and he will come back to
22 us tomorrow.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. That's all we need, thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
25 All right. We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
1 Thank you.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 22nd day of
4 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.