1 Tuesday, 29 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All the accused are here. The Defence teams, I
11 notice the absence of Ms. Nikolic and Mr. Meek. The Prosecution, it's
12 just Mr. McCloskey.
13 Good morning, Mr. Butler.
14 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
15 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau, good morning to you.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau: [Continued]
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Butler.
20 A. Good morning, ma'am.
21 Q. Yesterday, we were discussing directive number 7, and I believe
22 that we agreed that this was the product of a so-called full method. I'd
23 now like to show you Exhibit P698 -- 699. It's the manual for commands
24 and staffs. It's a document you used when drafting your reports.
25 Can we have page 52 in English and 56 in B/C/S, please.
1 On screen we have the chapter dealing with the full method applied
2 to decision-making. I believe that it is not necessary for us to go
3 through all paragraphs, but can you confirm that in this part of the
4 document, we have a description of the decision-making process using the
5 full method?
6 A. Yes, ma'am, that's correct.
7 Q. I'd like us to turn to page 65 -- no, sorry, 56 in English and 60
8 in B/C/S. I will be reading out two paragraphs in B/C/S, because there's
9 a mistake in the English translation. That's the part of the chapter
10 dealing with the final stage of the full-method decision-making process.
11 Could we see the top of the page in English, please.
12 But as I said, I believe that there's a mistake in the English
13 translation of the document:
14 "Team members and other organs of the command, with their
15 assistants, formulate parts for the order pertaining to their competences,
16 and they submit them to the assistant chief of staff for operations. The
17 assistant chief of staff of operations puts the order in the right form,
18 organises its technical processes and its delivery to the subordinated
19 units and organs."
20 Would you agree that the actual role of the operations officer in
21 this method is to compile the various information that he received from
22 other organs?
23 A. For the -- for the organs in that respect, yes, his job, as the
24 operations order -- or as the operations officer, is to compile that
25 information and to integrate it into part of a master plan to make sure
1 that there are no conflicts, to make sure that all of the other organs
2 have participated as much as they need to and things of that nature. So, I
3 mean, he is -- he is the key part of the process, to coordinate that
4 entire process.
5 Q. But with respect to the role of General Miletic in the drafting of
6 the directive, would you agree that he did not write or draft the
7 directive, he edited it, he formulated it properly, but he did not draft
8 most of it?
9 A. Ma'am, I don't know that, how much or how little he might have
10 actually drafted himself. Certainly, there are segments of directive 7
11 where you can read that directive and it's clear that there were other
12 staff organs involved with respect to the issues of morale, with respect
13 to the issues of security, with respect to issues of the political and
14 intelligence. But I can't look at directive 7 as a body of work and say
15 this is the particular process which General Miletic may have drafted and
16 this is a part where he didn't draft. I mean, I just don't know that
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have P5, Exhibit P5.
19 That's directive number 7. Could we have page 10 in English and 15 in
21 Q. Do you agree that when the directive was formatted that way, once
22 it had been drafted, it was sent to Radovan Karadzic, the supreme
23 commander, who had to sign it?
24 A. Yes, ma'am. As I understand the process, the document was
25 compiled by the Main Staff and that because it represented a supreme --
1 you know, a directive in that regard, yeah, it did require the approval or
2 ratification of the supreme command and, by extension, President Karadzic
3 as the commander-in-chief.
4 Q. Radovan Karadzic, as the commander-in-chief and as the signatory
5 of this document, may have signed -- may have changed parts of this
6 document before signing it; isn't that possible?
7 A. Yes, ma'am, that is a possibility.
8 Q. You cannot rule out the possibility that the last sentence
9 regarding the tasks of the Drina Corps was a sentence that was added to
10 the document by Radovan Karadzic, against the will of the Main Staff
12 A. Ma'am, I agree. I mean, I have no information one way or another
13 about that, so I certainly cannot rule out that as a -- as a possibility.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have page 11 on the screen,
15 please. That's page 17 in the B/C/S version.
16 Q. If you look at the tasks given to the Drina Corps and the other
17 corps, but here we have the tasks entrusted to the Drina Corps, we see
18 that several operations are mentioned; the Spreca operation, the Zvijezda
19 operations, and further down another operation is mentioned in respect to
20 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps. Do you agree that some operations were at
21 strategic levels and others were conducted at operational level; all these
22 operations were not planified [as interpreted] at the same level? Isn't
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes, ma'am. Some of them had to do with large-scale issues which
25 would be defined as strategic within the Republika Srpska and their larger
1 goals. Some of them are very much operations that reflect much smaller or
2 tactical-level goals that relate to the battlefield area. So that's
4 Q. With respect to the Spreca operation we see mentioned here -- but
5 can we have the bottom of the document? Yes, thank you. Here we also
6 have the Prozor operation mentioned at the very bottom of the page. The
7 operation dealing with the -- or pertaining to the separation of the
8 enclaves was of a tactical nature, wasn't it?
9 A. I would say that it's probably -- as it was envisioned, it was not
10 tactical, it would be more of an operational nature certainly with respect
11 to the zone of the Drina Corps, but as a multi-corps operation is
12 something larger as a strategic one, it would not approach that one as it
13 was envisioned in this operation plan or this directive.
14 Q. In this directive, a number of strategic operations are mentioned,
15 one of them being the Prozor operation; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, it specifies Prozor as a strategic-level
18 Q. Do you agree that the Main Staff, and especially its Operations
19 Department, did not -- was not involved the same way in all these
21 A. That's a fair conclusion. I mean, certainly something like what
22 we saw in Krivaja-95, the planning process that went behind that, was
23 certainly well within the capability of a corps command and corps staff to
24 be able to plan. So there would have been no particular requirement for
25 the Main Staff itself to try and plan all the details of that operation.
1 So it would only be in cases where you would have multiple corps commands
2 involved in an operation, where you had significant issues and had to
3 de-conflict various command relationships and aspects, that you would see
4 the detailed involvement of the Main Staff. So, you know, I agree with
5 that. And, again, using Krivaja-95 as an example, that is exactly the
6 type of operation that a corps headquarters could have easily planned
7 within its own means.
8 Q. Remaining with Krivaja-95, would you agree that you have no
9 information, no indication, that the operations organ from the Main Staff
10 was involved in any way in the planning or in the preparation of
12 A. They were aware of the planning process itself, but I don't
13 believe that there are any documents which reflect that they took an
14 active role in planning that particular operation, certainly during the
15 initial planning stages and even the initial combat activities. I don't
16 believe the Main Staff took a role until approximately the evening of the
17 9th of July, when there started to be the decision-making process that
18 they were going to change the operation from where it was, in separating
19 the enclaves, to the actual decision to take the town of Srebrenica, and
20 at that point I think you see a lot more evidence of the Main Staff's more
21 hands-on involvement in that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madame Fauveau, in the meantime I forgot
23 to mention that we are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Judge Stole is
24 not feeling well today and he hopes to be with us tomorrow.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I confer with my
1 client for a very short time? It will allow me to shorten my
2 cross-examination. We don't need to have a break. I will need just a few
4 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, thank you.
5 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
7 Could we have Exhibit P849, please.
8 Q. This is a document dated July 9th, 1995. It's a document sent by
9 General Tolimir to General Krstic, and the -- it relates to the order of
10 General Karadzic to pursue the operations and to take over Srebrenica.
11 What I find relevant here is the following: "Would you agree that this is
12 the sort of document you would expect to be produced by the operations
14 A. Yes, ma'am, this is -- this is the type of document that I would
15 expect to be produced.
16 Q. This document bears the number 12/46-501/95. Would you agree that
17 the number 12 here indicates or refers to the security and intelligence
18 organ of the Main Staff?
19 A. I -- I'm not sure of that as a fact, but I believe you might be
20 right. I don't recall offhand what the number is, but it doesn't strike
21 me as it's a number from the Operations Department.
22 Q. At any rate, this document bears the name of Zdravko Tolimir, who
23 was the assistant commander for intelligence and security; isn't that
25 A. Yes, ma'am.
1 Q. Do you have an explanation? Can you tell us why this document was
2 not produced by the operations organ of the Main Staff?
3 A. I don't have an explanation for that, in so much as I don't
4 believe that the investigation has been able to determine that yet. The
5 presumption that I'm operating under when I look at this document is that
6 at some point in time members of the Main Staff, potentially to include
7 General Mladic, did personally brief President Karadzic on where the
8 operation was and what the next possible goals could be. It may very well
9 have been that, you know, either General Miletic was part of that and he
10 was relaying the message back through the Main Staff, or the alternative
11 is that General Tolimir was there at that particular meeting and that he
12 was taking it upon himself to call the command post. Those are the two
13 options, but I don't know why this particular document originated the way
14 that it did.
15 Q. Do you agree that what you've just said is pure speculation,
16 because you have no evidence that on the 9th of July, General Miletic had
17 contacts with General Mladic or President Karadzic?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. She asked that question and it calls
20 for that kind of a -- and Mr. Butler is just trying to be helpful, so I
21 think coming back at that is argumentative.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm not arguing with the witness.
24 I'm just asking him whether he's aware of anything or whether he's just
25 speculating in his answer.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Bourgon.
2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Mr. President, since the beginning of the testimony of Mr. Butler,
4 my colleague from the Prosecution has been making these useless objections
5 and saying that we are wasting time. There's absolutely nothing wrong in
6 my colleague asking the witness to confirm whether he has or not
7 information to support what he just said. These objections are making us
8 waste time. He is the one making us waste time.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 MR. BOURGON: Not the Defence, Mr. President.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've got nothing wrong with the way he posed the
14 question. It was asking for speculation -- a speculative question which,
15 if I remember the months and months ahead, as they challenged Mr. Butler,
16 that's exactly the kind of thing they did not want him to talk about.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We are wasting time, we are wasting time, or losing
18 time, in case anyone gets offended by the word "wasted." Let's proceed
19 with the question. You can -- but without speculating. You either know
20 or you don't.
21 THE WITNESS: No, we have -- as far as I'm aware, there's no
22 information as to the actual conduct of that particular meeting, where the
23 decision was made, and who attended.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
1 Q. There's also the possibility that on the 9th of July, 1995,
2 General Miletic may not have agreed with the decision of President
3 Karadzic and may not have been willing to draft this order himself?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, now it is purely speculative. I mean, he
5 doesn't know, he doesn't know. I mean, he can't ...
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is it correct that with respect to the 9th of July, you have
8 absolutely no information pertaining to the whereabouts of General
10 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, all I can do is tell you where he's supposed
11 to be, and according to the doctrine, as the chief of operations, he
12 usually accompanies the commander, which would be General Mladic. But I
13 can't tell you whether he did, whether he did not, or what his location
14 was on that particular day.
15 Q. You stated that usually he would accompany General Mladic. Would
16 you agree that on the 10th of July, General Mladic left for Srebrenica and
17 that there's no information indicating that General Miletic went to
18 Srebrenica with General Mladic?
19 A. Now, let me be clear. When I say "accompany the commander," I'm
20 referring to meetings or issues where there will be material that's put
21 out that, as the chief of operations, he's going to be responsible for
22 coordinating the plan for, so those types of things. He wouldn't normally
23 accompany the commander out to a site visit, like General Mladic coming
24 out to Srebrenica. So I believe, looking at the doctrine, you know, it's
25 reasonable to make an assumption that he might have been at that meeting,
1 because the information imparted at the 9 meeting would have been
2 information he would have needed to know and deal with as the operations
3 officer. He would not have needed to accompany General Mladic on the
4 10th, so there's no requirement for him to do that.
5 Q. You stated that you have no evidence, no proof with respect to
6 that meeting that would have taken place on the 9th; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, ma'am, I agree. We have no evidence or information as to the
8 internal participants or things of that nature, so ...
9 Q. Concerning the meetings in 1995 in which General Mladic
10 participated, did this associate members of the UNPROFOR or members of the
11 command of the corps? Do you have any proof at all that General Miletic
12 accompanied him at any of these meetings?
13 A. I don't believe that General Miletic has ever been identified as
14 someone who has accompanied General Mladic with meetings with the
15 UNPROFOR, and I -- again, I don't have a comprehensive catalogue of where
16 General Mladic was meeting with other members of the VRS or other members
17 of the government, so I have no way of knowing the answer to that.
18 Q. Do you remember on the 20th of July there was a meeting concerning
19 the departure of General Zivanovic?
20 A. Yeah, I believe we're -- you're referring to the restaurant in I
21 guess it's Hans Kram and there's -- that was the farewell reception for
22 General Zivanovic. I recall it vaguely, yes, and video from that.
23 Q. During that farewell party, practically all of the generals of the
24 Main Staff and a number of the corps commanders were present, but General
25 Miletic [Realtime transcript read in error "Mladic"] was not there?
1 A. I believe that's correct. I don't believe that General Miletic
2 was there at that -- at the luncheon.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I think there was a mistake. Page
4 12, line 5, in the minutes, it was "General Miletic" rather than "General
6 Q. When there was this meeting at the beginning of August to support
7 General Mladic, when there were problems between General Mladic and
8 President Karadzic, it was once again General Miletic who was not there?
9 A. I'm sorry, which -- I think I'm vaguely aware of what you're
10 talking about. I'm just --
11 Q. There was a petition signed at the beginning of August to support
12 General Mladic. This was signed by all the generals of the Republika
13 Srpska who were present at the time in the entourage of Mladic. General
14 Miletic was not one of those people, and I'm not saying that he didn't
15 support General Mladic. I just am saying that he was not with General
16 Mladic at the time, he did not accompany him once again.
17 A. I am aware that there is a written petition out there. I know
18 that several generals did not attend that meeting, for a variety of
19 reasons. I don't know much about the meeting other than the fact that it
20 occurred, and while there is a copy of the petition and which generals
21 have signed it, I don't recall at the moment whether or not General
22 Miletic was one of the officers who signed it or not. I know we have that
23 information. I just don't remember right now.
24 Q. Let me ask you this question once again. Do you have any certain
25 information that in 1995, General Miletic accompanied General Mladic to
1 any meeting whatsoever?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Asked and answered.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I don't think the witness answered
5 that particular question.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I think he's already explained, from his own
7 personal knowledge, what he knows. So I don't think he can tell us
8 anymore -- anything else. So let's move to your next question, please,
9 because I'm sure you can deal with this at a later stage.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In the period from the 2nd to the 12th of July, is it true to say
12 that there was no conversation intercepted that mentioned General Miletic?
13 A. I believe that's correct. I don't recall when that mentioned
14 General Miletic.
15 Q. Indeed, there is no evidence that at the time, during that period,
16 he was actually in the staff, the General Staff of the Republika Srpska.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Main Staff. Interpreter's correction.
18 A. I'm sorry, your question came in that he was actually in the
19 staff. I presume what you mean is that he was present at the -- at the
20 staff headquarters.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes, quite.
23 A. That's correct, I have no information that he would have been
24 present there.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. They may understand each other, but I
2 don't think the record is clear at all, what they're talking about.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Let me repeat the question, then.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the transcript doesn't really -- you are right,
5 Mr. McCloskey.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is it true to say that there's no evidence of the physical
8 presence of General Miletic at the headquarters of the Main Staff over the
9 period from the 2nd to the 12th of July, 1995?
10 A. Not that I'm aware of.
11 Q. Let me now show you Exhibit P3038. It is an order from General
13 Can we look at page 2 of the English version, and right at the
14 bottom of the B/C/S page. I do think there is a mistake in the English
15 version, because the words "SR," which means "personally," do not appear.
16 On the seal of the document, we can see that this document is
17 dated the 11th of July, 1955 -- 45, on the 11th of July. At that time,
18 General Mladic was at Bratunac. Do you agree?
19 A. Yes, ma'am, I believe that's correct. He would have been in
20 Bratunac at roughly at -- at the Hotel Fontana at that time that it was
22 Q. This order, in the B/C/S version, carries the word "SR" -- bears
23 the word "SR," and I think you explained on the 17th of January last, page
24 19872, that when a document bears the word "SR," that means that the
25 person signed it personally.
1 A. Yes, ma'am, that is my understanding of their protocol on this.
2 Q. Do you agree that on the 11th of July, in the evening, well, you
3 have no information that an officer from the operations organ of the staff
4 was in Bratunac with General Mladic?
5 A. I believe that's correct. I'm -- I'm not aware of an officer from
6 the operations staff being in Bratunac on the late afternoon or evening of
7 11 July.
8 Q. I would now like to show you Exhibit P1112ASE. This is a
9 conversation intercepted on the 12th of July at 1245. The version A and
11 You have had opportunity to look at this conversation on 16th of
12 January, and I think from this conversation, it's perfectly clear that X
13 refers to Panorama. And you said that Panorama is the Main Staff. Do you
14 agree that in compliance with this conversation that you have before you,
15 the person Y is the one reporting to Panorama the situation at Potocari?
16 A. Yes, ma'am.
17 Q. And from the report that Y is making to Panorama, the population,
18 those people who wish to remain can remain, and those who want to leave
19 will be evacuated?
20 A. Yes, ma'am, that's the text of the intercept.
21 Q. Do you agree that on the basis of this report that Panorama
22 received on the 12th of January at 1240, Panorama has absolutely no reason
23 to believe that anything illicit is going on at Potocari?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That calls for speculation.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Butler, if you think that you need to speculate
2 by answering this question, then don't answer it. Otherwise, if you have
3 sufficient knowledge on the basis of which you can give a knowledgeable
4 answer, then do proceed.
5 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, I believe as I've testified on this
6 particular one earlier, where I talk about the fact that correspondent Y
7 doesn't, you know, have a reflection of what's actually going to be
8 happening on the ground, so if correspondent Y is talking to Panorama at X
9 and giving his point of view that, you know, those who can stay want to
10 stay and those who don't, you know, will be evacuated, that is what
11 Panorama's going to hear from this particular correspondent, I mean.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
13 Q. With respect to the evacuation and the events that took place at
14 Potocari on the 12th, this is the only report received about this by
15 Panorama; you have found no other documents related to the events that
16 took place in Potocari on the 12th?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a two-part question, both of
18 which are contradictory to each other. There's a difference between
19 receiving reports and that you have no other documents.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think rather than contradictory, they are
21 complementary, one that's over -- or could possibly add over to the
22 other. But in any case, we also believe that the witness can answer this
23 question, so go ahead.
24 THE WITNESS: Go back to the original question?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The original question was: With respect to the
1 evacuation and the events that took place at Potocari on the 12th of July,
2 this is the only report received about this by Panorama? And you're being
3 asked -- it's being put to you that you have found no other documents
4 related to the events that took place in Potocari on the 12th.
5 THE WITNESS: I believe that's correct with respect to information
6 going to Panorama. I don't recall intercepts that discuss that were
7 directed to, you know, the correspondent that we understand to be the Main
8 Staff. I understand that there were reports pertaining to the logistics
9 aspects of getting buses and things of that nature, but I think when we're
10 talking about what was actually happening on the ground in Potocari I
11 don't believe that there were reports that were going back from that
12 situation to the Main Staff.
13 THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry I'm sorry, sir. I just need a
14 quick moment, please.
15 [Technical difficulties]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that we can go ahead.
17 JUDGE KWON: He has to repeat his answer.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Sorry.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a two-part question, and I think that's only
20 part of it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's the problem.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You had started by saying, Mr. Butler: "I believe
24 that's correct with respect to information going to Panorama. I don't
25 recall intercepts that discuss -- that were directed to, you know, the
1 correspondent that we understand to be the Main Staff. I understand that
2 there were reports pertaining to the logistic aspects of getting buses and
3 things of that nature, but I think when we're talking about what was
4 going, I would" --
5 THE WITNESS: But what I was saying was -- when I think we were
6 discussing the issues of what was actually happening on the ground in
7 Potocari, I don't see that situation reflected back in either intercepts,
8 and it wasn't reflected back in the concept of daily combat reports or
9 anything else. So, I mean, I think she's correct there, that, you know,
10 the actual situation on the ground in Potocari, with respect to what we
11 know was happening there, wasn't being accurately reported back to the
12 Main Staff.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. On the 16th of January, you stated, talking about logistics and
16 problems related to the buses and to fuel and so on and so forth, you
17 stated that the orders going to the Ministry of Defence were supposed to
18 be signed by General Miletic or one of the officers working under his
19 orders. Page 19234 of the transcript. Would you agree that the Defence
20 Minister was not part of the chain of command of the VRS?
21 A. That is correct, ma'am. The Minister of Defence is not part of
22 the VRS command chain.
23 Q. Would you agree that you never came across a document addressed to
24 the Ministry of Defence signed either by General Miletic or by one of his
1 A. I believe there are documents that -- from the VRS that go to the
2 Ministry of Defence requesting buses, but I can't tell you right off the
3 top of my head who would have signed them. But I know that we do have
4 some of those documents that are those requests.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
6 P2899. That's one of these documents sent by the VRS to the Ministry of
7 Defence. Could we have the signature displayed on the screen.
8 Q. This is a document signed by the assistant commander, Petar
9 Skrbic, and I believe we will agree that General Skrbic is definitely not
10 a subordinate of General Miletic.
11 A. Yes, ma'am, that's correct.
12 Q. I'd like to show you intercept P1111. It's an intercept related
13 to fuel from 12th of July, 1995. You've seen that intercept before. You
14 reviewed it on the 16th of January for us. What I find relevant here is
15 the part of the conversation where Miletic is mentioned, and we can read
16 the following:
17 [In English] "What are we going to do about fuel?"
18 "I don't know. I told Miletic."
20 "He doesn't know either."
21 [Interpretation] I'm not going to read out the rest of the
22 conversation, but would you agree that the rest of the conversation is
23 done not directly related to Miletic or to what Miletic could have done or
24 not done?
25 A. No, ma'am. I mean, I think the context of the conversation is
1 reflecting the fact that, you know, they have an identified fuel
2 requirement to move all of these individuals, to fuel all these buses, and
3 that what you see is the work of not only the Main Staff but who the other
4 correspondent is representing to figure out how they're going to get the
5 required amount of fuel to do this. So I -- the fact that it -- only
6 Miletic is mentioned in one line, I think the whole conversation pertains
7 to the work of the Main Staff trying to get fuel.
8 Q. It's quite possible, but what I'm interested in is Miletic.
9 Miletic here is mentioned, no rank is mentioned, only his name, and he did
10 not say that he would do anything. According to this intercept, Miletic
11 is not going to do anything in relation to fuel.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement of the evidence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes ...
14 [Trial Chamber confers].
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We agree with Mr. McCloskey, Madame Fauveau. In
16 addition, we think the question is argumentative. So please either you
17 rephrase it in an acceptable manner or you move to your next question.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have an intercept,
19 and in this intercept we see he doesn't know, either. There's nothing else
20 to interpret in this intercept. The witness interpreted the conversation
21 for the Prosecutor up to a certain point. I'm asking for the full
22 interpretation or analysis of this intercept. I don't see in what way I'm
23 misstating this exhibit or the evidence.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. By majority, we are of the opinion that
1 military expertise here has got nothing to do with the question asked and
2 partly answered. We don't need the witness' opinion on what is contained
3 in this alleged intercept. So let's move to your next question, madame.
4 JUDGE KWON: I think it's better specifying -- clarifying the
5 position. The second question was triggered by the witness' failure to
6 answer the first question, and if the witness is such a one that is
7 capable of dealing with complicated matters, I would prefer the evidence
8 to flow naturally. And professional judges are capable of distinguishing
9 the evidence which is based on speculation and that is not, so if it is
10 not the radically important thing, I would prefer the witness giving
11 evidence in a natural way.
12 Let's proceed.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, let's proceed. Your next question,
14 Madame Fauveau.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it not true to say that the commander for logistics was the one
17 who should have been -- had most details about fuel in the Main Staff?
18 A. Yes, ma'am, the logistics and rear services would have had the
19 most accurate information about the fuel holdings of -- of the Main Staff
20 or what their reserves would have been, that's correct.
21 Q. You said, and I'm not talking about this particular conversation,
22 I'm talking in general terms, you said that fuel in Republika Srpska in
23 1995 was worth gold. Do you agree that it was quite customary for army
24 people to talk about fuel at the time?
25 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, given the context that they were a mechanised
1 army, to some degree, and that fuel was going to be required for most of
2 the operations that they were engaged in, there was a natural
3 preoccupation for them to be trying to ensure that they had not only an
4 adequate amount of fuel to conduct the operations, but they were also able
5 to maintain fuel reserves in case some unanticipated requirement came up.
6 So, I mean, I agree, there is a preoccupation with fuel, absolutely.
7 Q. Do you agree that the units that supplied the fuel for
8 transportation of the population on the 12th and 13th of July, they needed
10 A. The -- my understanding of the fuel is that the original fuel in
11 the buses came from the locations where they were. In some cases, those
12 were VRS, which means the VRS provided the fuel. In some cases, they were
13 provided by the Ministry of Defence. However, I think as the information
14 is aware, by the 13th what the decision was made is that the military
15 would requisition fuel that was being held at the Vihor facility in
16 Bratunac, which is a state-owned industry, and that that fuel in fact then
17 would be replenished by fuel provided by the United Nations for the
18 purpose of doing that. So, I mean, that's how that process worked.
19 Q. Do you know whether the Zvornik Brigade supplied part of the fuel
20 on the 12th and 13th of July for the transportation of the population?
21 A. Other than what is in the buses, I don't believe the Zvornik
22 Brigade did. There is another entity up in Zvornik, the 63rd Auto
23 Transport Battalion, which is a Drina Corps asset, or even higher than
24 that. Actually I think it's a Main Staff asset, but I don't have any
25 visibility on any fuel that they might have provided.
1 Q. And you cannot exclude with certainty that there was a possibility
2 that the Zvornik Brigade did supply fuel. If that had been the case,
3 would it be exact to say that on the 14th or 15th of July, the Zvornik
4 Brigade would have needed to ask the Drina Corps for fuel?
5 A. If the fuel -- if the Zvornik Brigade had used much of its fuel
6 reserves to supply buses or other vehicles, you know, as part of this, it
7 would have been reasonable to expect that they would have asked their
8 higher headquarters, the Drina Corps, to replenish those fuel reserves.
9 They're required to maintain a certain amount of fuel for emergencies and
10 things of that nature, and when you dip into that reserve, you want to
11 fill that -- you know, you want to regain that reserve as rapidly as
12 possible. So that wouldn't be an unreasonable expectation.
13 Q. Let me now show you P1164. Once again, this is an intercept dated
14 14th of July, 1995, 2102 hours. This is the conversation in which the
15 on-duty officer of the Zvornik, Jokic -- Brigade then informed Colonel
16 Beara that he should call number 155.
17 Perhaps we could look at the A and C version.
18 In the wording of this text, when reference is made to number 155,
19 it also talked about the senior house, the higher house.
20 A. I'm sorry, was there a question? I missed it if there was a
21 question. Sorry.
22 Q. Can you see this part of the document where reference is made to
23 number 155, which is part of the higher house?
24 A. Yes, ma'am, I do.
25 Q. Is it true to say that in the case of Jokic, as part of the
1 Zvornik Brigade, well, his higher house was the Drina Corps?
2 A. His immediate subordinate would have been -- or his immediate
3 superior would have been the Drina Corps Command, yes, ma'am.
4 Q. Colonel Beara, the Main Staff, is not his higher house, is it,
5 because he is part of the Main Staff, himself, is he not?
6 A. Yes, ma'am, and that's why, like I said, within the context of
7 this, the higher house and number 155, I mean, I combine both of those
8 facts to draw the conclusion that, you know, we're talking about the Main
9 Staff here. It's not just that one euphemism.
10 Q. You said that this number, 155, is connected with the operations
11 room of the Main Staff. Is it true to say that the operations room is the
12 place where somebody's always on duty?
13 A. Yes, ma'am, there should -- by function, there should always be
14 people on duty in the operations shop or operations room, I agree.
15 Q. When somebody's in the field, the easiest way of contacting the
16 Main Staff is to call the operations room, isn't it?
17 A. Yes, ma'am. It -- by design, it's supposed to be the focal point
18 where all incoming information starts, and then the officials in that room
19 will parse out to the other elements of the staff information that they
20 need to deal with. In large respects, it operates the same way that the
21 corps or brigade duty officer operates.
22 Q. Is it not unlikely that Colonel Beara, who for some years had been
23 part of the Main Staff, unlikely that he did not know the number of the
24 operations room of the Main Staff?
25 A. I'm quite sure that Colonel Beara knew the number of the
1 operations room of the Main Staff. I think that's -- that it's quite
2 reasonable that he would have known that.
3 Q. But when we read this conversation, it would seem that he doesn't
4 know what this number means, this number 155?
5 A. I -- I can't explain that little anomaly. I don't know whether
6 it's linguistics or what. But I certainly believe that Colonel Beara
7 would have known what the numbers of the Main Staff operations office is.
8 Q. Let me come back to what you said in the General Krstic case. The
9 transcript of the 30th of June, 2000, pages 5055 and 5056. At the time,
10 you said the following:
11 [In English] "The designator 155 and again a reflection of the
12 fact that the communications lines were not secure. As part of the
13 communication plan, individuals within the organisation were given a three
14 designator number that changed every ten days, and these numbers were
15 distributed to the entire corps."
16 [Interpretation] At the time, you didn't talk about the operations
17 room, nor about the staff?
18 A. No, ma'am, at the time that I -- that I said that, what -- what I
19 was referring to is that as part of the tactical-level intercepts, we had
20 that. I'm not sure I ever used -- I mean, if I did, it was an error. I
21 mean, the 155 number was a phone extension, it wasn't one of those
22 three-digit numbers. So, again, I'm not sure where this came from in
23 respect to what I said eight years ago, but the number 155, as I
24 understand it now, and certainly from my subsequent work, is not one of
25 those three-digit numbers that changes as a code issue. It is in fact a
1 telephone extension.
2 Q. I hope that you will accept that what I just read out to you, you
3 did indeed say in connection with this very same intercept. And as I
4 said, this was on the 30th of June, 2000, pages 5055 and 5056. You can
5 check this on the internet, that this does indeed relate to the same
7 A. No, ma'am, I'm more than happy to take your word for it. It's
8 just a reflection of -- again, my state of knowledge has obviously changed
9 over the last eight years. And I recall exactly the context that we were
10 discussing this with eight years ago, and certainly, you know, what I said
11 about 155 at that time, you know, I now know that it's certainly not the
12 three-digit number; it's in fact the phone extension. So, you know, that
13 is the beauty about this particular line of work. You learn something
14 every day.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can I now see Exhibit P1166A and B.
16 Q. The OTP last time claimed that the written version carries the
17 name -- bears the name "Obrenovic." Now, let's take a look at the B/C/S
18 written version. Even though you don't speak the language, I'm sure
19 you'll recognise the name. I think we can see "Obrenovic" in the B/C/S
21 A. Yes, ma'am.
22 Q. You said on the 18th of January that when you found this
23 intercept, you tried to find General Miletic in the Republika Srpska Army,
24 and since you didn't locate him, on the basis of the similarity of names,
25 you -- you mentioned General Vilotic on line 14, V-i-l-o-t-i-c, and when
1 you didn't find General Vilotic, on the basis of similarity of names, you
2 concluded that this must have been General Miletic.
3 Now, what I'm interested in is the following: Could you please
4 give us a temporal reference? When did you draw the conclusion that this
5 was in fact General Miletic?
6 A. It would be probably when I would have first seen this intercept
7 in -- sometime in 1999 when I was looking at them and came across the name
8 "General Vilotic." And from my understanding of the names of the general
9 officers that we were aware of in the VRS at the time, I recognised that
10 that was not a name that I was familiar with, so my first course of action
11 was to start going through all other documents and everything else to
12 determine whether or not there might have been a General Vilotic on the
13 VRS that I was unaware of. I mean, admittedly back at that time, we
14 certainly didn't have a complete picture of who all of the relevant
15 personalities were on the Main Staff, let alone the corps, so I certainly
16 held open the possibility that there was a General Vilotic that I was
17 unaware of. And as a result of my looking into that, I was unable to
18 find, within any of the documents that we had or any other open source
19 references, a reference to a General Vilotic. So coming up with a
20 negative on that, and again looking at the context of the conversation, I
21 assumed that there wouldn't be a situation where you would have a VJ
22 officer from the federal army in Serbia, then the Federal Republic of
23 Yugoslavia, calling the duty officer of the Zvornik Brigade under those
24 circumstances. You know, after eliminating all those other possible
25 issues, that's when I settled on the fact that the reference to General
1 Vilotic was, in fact, you know, a garbled translation or garbled
2 understanding and it was General Miletic.
3 Q. Do you agree that neither in the Krstic case nor the Blagojevic
4 case, you do not advance that this was indeed General Miletic? You have
5 always said that there was this possibility, but you prefer to be
6 cautious. In particular, in the Krstic case, you said - and this is on
7 the 30th of June, 2000, page 5057:
8 [In English]" In the context of the correspondence first clearly
9 Major Jokic, and as for General Miletic, I am unsure."
10 [Interpretation] And also in your report, the most recent
11 narrative, at page 74, footnote 455, and here you write:
12 [In English] "Presently the identification and role of General
13 Miletic is unknown."
14 A. Yes, ma'am, I take your point, and what I would answer to that is
15 that in 2000 and 2002, given the state of the investigation, you know, I
16 was willing to hold open the possibilities that were out there that there
17 was information I didn't in this respect and was willing to be very
18 conservative about that. I think now we're in 2008, and I guess the same
19 way that, you know, the conversation around the meeting of triage
20 revolved, you know, in 2002 I understood the state of the investigation,
21 that there was a possibility that there were wounded being treated on the
23 In 2008, given where we are years later, you know, I think all of
24 those things have been completely run to ground, as we say in America, and
25 as a result I have much higher confidence, you know, being able to say,
1 you know, what my opinion is on certain of these issues. So, I mean, I
2 certainly agree, yes, in 2000 and in 2002, I was more conservative, as a
3 process of the fact that there was a lot of information out there that I
4 didn't know as a fact. In 2008, I'm more confident in making some of
5 these assertions because I'm aware of the state of the investigation that
6 has ruled these other issues out.
7 Q. Indeed, if I say that starting from 2002, relating to this
8 particular conversation, no document exists that corroborates this
9 conversation, moreover corroborates the participation of General Miletic
10 in the conversation, can you tell me what is the information document that
11 would enable you to say that it was General Miletic now?
12 A. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe that in some of the various
13 discussions that the OTP has had with Major Jokic, that he has
14 acknowledged this. I mean --
15 Q. Well, let's set aside the interview with Major Jokic, who is not a
16 witness. Apart from the interview with Major Jokic, what is the basis for
17 your conclusion?
18 A. Well, again, the basis of my conclusion, if we set that aside, is
19 going to be by process of elimination. There's -- knowing who the general
20 officers are in the VRS, knowing who's out there, knowing who would be
21 making phone calls to this particular correspondent at this time, you
22 know, General Miletic is the only logical named individual whose name
23 would even closely correspond to "Vilotic." So, I mean, forcing me to set
24 other issues aside and then look at this in isolation, I mean, I still
25 believe as a process of elimination, my theory is supported.
1 Q. Let's take first what you say by process of elimination and
2 similarity of names. Let's start with that. Do you agree to say that the
3 person who wrote "Vilotic" could have heard "Miletic" but might have even
4 heard something completely different, because if you look at this
5 conversation, it would seem that there were problems with the
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: It seems like we're getting into the area that is
8 really not military expertise, that anyone can figure out and can be
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and I don't think we need the witness to tell
11 us that. I mean, we can draw our own conclusions, Ms. Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Fine.
13 Q. In the conversation, reference is made to Vasic, and you said that
14 he was the head of the Security Centre at Zvornik?
15 A. Yes, ma'am. At the time, I believe he was the head of CSB
17 Q. Can we go on to the next page. A reference is made to Tripkovic.
18 Do you know who this Tripkovic was?
19 A. I believe I might have at one time, but I don't remember now who
20 Tripkovic is, no, ma'am.
21 Q. General Miletic was the officer in the Main Staff of the Republika
22 Srpska. Do you agree that he was in charge of not only the Drina Corps,
23 the Sarajevo Corps, the Herzegovina Corps, the Eastern Bosnian Corps, and
24 he needed to take care of all those areas of responsibility? I didn't say
25 he was in charge. I said he had to take care of all the areas -- of those
1 areas of responsibility.
2 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, I agree with your position. As the chief of
3 operations, he would have been responsible for dealing with issues with
4 all of the corps.
5 Q. And doesn't it seem, too, improbable that he would know the name
6 of the head of the Zvornik Security Centre? Does that mean that he knew
7 the names of all the heads of security all over Bosnia, not just Republika
9 A. Ma'am, I don't know enough about the history of Mr. Miletic in
10 Eastern Bosnia to know by what basis he would or would not know some of
11 these other personalities. I just can't answer that question.
12 Q. According to the content of the conversation, wouldn't you say
13 that it is more likely that this conversation took place between General
14 Zivanovic and Jokic or General Krstic and Jokic, someone who is an actual
15 commander with the Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. I believe there is already an earlier intercept where there's a
17 conversation involving General Zivanovic with the Zvornik Brigade, so I
18 don't read it as that, no, ma'am. I mean, I think within the context, I
19 wouldn't agree that it's General Zivanovic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll continue after the break, because I have a
21 meeting now at 10.30.
22 Thank you. Twenty-five minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madame Fauveau.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
2 Q. With regard to this intercept, you stated that you do not agree
3 that it was General Milovanovic -- or, correction, Zivanovic. Would you
4 agree that it could be General Krstic?
5 A. Could you -- could I ask you to scroll -- the Registrar, to go
6 back to page 1 of the intercept, please, the English language.
7 It certainly is an intriguing possibility that if you replace the
8 name "Krstic" or "Miletic" or "Vilotic" with "Krstic." I think the
9 problem that I have, and again I just want to make certain it's not a
10 function of my memory, is that where I discussed the Zivanovic intercept
11 earlier, I think as part of that, one of the problems that they talk about
12 is the fact that the Zvornik Brigade has been unable to reach General
13 Krstic at an earlier point in time, and that is why they're having to talk
14 to General Zivanovic, and General Zivanovic in that intercept makes a
15 comment that says: "Take this as an order."
16 I -- certainly General Krstic won't own up to this intercept, that
17 it could possibly be him, and I'm just trying to recall if there was -- I
18 mean, I seem to recall again, and it may be just fading memory at this
19 point, that there was a question with respect to the Krstic trial where
20 (redacted), the communications officer, testified, and there seemed to
21 be an issue that was being raised that for a technical reason the IKM
22 where General Krstic would have been was out of the communications net for
23 about four or five hours due to a technical fault, which was one of the
24 reasons why people were complaining that they could not get in touch with
25 General Krstic. And this would have fallen during this time frame, if I
1 remember correctly, but I certainly -- I can't say that with full clarity,
2 because I'm trying to remember details that were discussed seven or eight
3 years ago. So, again, it's an intriguing possibility that it could be
4 General Krstic, but none of the information that I'm aware of would lend
5 weight to that. So I certainly -- you know, I hold it open in the
6 abstract. I just don't know how to prove it or not prove it at this
8 Q. [No interpretation]?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I don't know if your microphone is on, because
10 I have a suspicion that it wasn't. Could you repeat, because in any case
11 we were not receiving the interpretation.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
13 Q. On the fourth line, at the bottom of the page, we see the
14 following sentence, this sentence here:
15 [In English] "Carry out my order immediately."
16 [Interpretation] Is this sentence typical from a corps commander
17 when dealing with his subordinates at lower levels?
18 A. Yes, ma'am, it would be something that a corps commander would
19 certainly use, in tone and substance.
20 Q. When you talked about this intercept, on the 18th of January, page
21 19977, you stated the following, but I'd like us to have the second page
22 in English and in B/C/S, please.
23 When discussing the first sentence you see on the second page in
24 English, you stated that the subject is the column -- what it's about is
25 the column, and you said that this might refer to the prisoners. You said
1 that it was a possibility. Do you agree that when you reviewed these
2 intercepts, when you were able to find a military explanation, you stuck
3 to that military explanation?
4 A. Yes, ma'am, and I believe with this case, while it's a
5 possibility, I think I've testified prior that I think the most logical
6 explanation that they are discussing here is in fact the issue of the
7 column, you know.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we move to Exhibit -- Exhibit
9 P2754, please.
10 Q. In the meantime, I would like to tell you that it's a Main Staff
11 document regarding to a Krajina Corps unit going into the area of
12 responsibility of the Drina Corps. When discussing the exhibit on the
13 18th of January, you stated that this was a typical document, the type of
14 document discussing or showing the powers of the Main Staff, the powers of
15 the Main Staff to give orders to units from one corps, to move into the
16 area of responsibility of another corps?
17 A. Yes, ma'am, with respect to a redeployment of a particular unit,
18 that's correct.
19 Q. First of all, with respect to the authority to send one unit from
20 a corps to the area of responsibility of another corps, wouldn't it have
21 been better to talk about the authority of the power of the commander of
22 the army himself, General Mladic?
23 A. Certainly, the ultimate authority vested to do that would be
24 General Mladic. I believe I've been clear in this respect, that when
25 General Miletic exercises these functions, he's doing so under the
1 delegated authority of General Mladic to perform this, particularly on 15
2 July, when General Mladic is known to be at least for the good part of the
3 morning and early afternoon hours where he's in Belgrade. So, you know,
4 in this context, General Miletic is acting under the authority of General
5 Mladic to make this happen.
6 Q. You can see here that the title of this document is "Report," but
7 I don't believe that it is an accurate translation of [indiscernible],
8 because I believe that the proper translation would be "information."
9 When turning to the first page -- or sentence, rather, of this
10 document, you read:
11 [In English] "Based on an agreement with the 1st Krajina Corps
12 commander ..."
13 [Interpretation] With respect to the agreement entered into with
14 the 1st Krajina Corps, did you ever establish who entered into this
15 agreement with General Talic, the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps?
16 A. Establish who personally, on the Main Staff, was making this
17 discussion? No, ma'am, I don't know who personally would have been
18 talking with General Talic on this issue.
19 Q. You said that at the time Mladic was in Belgrade. General
20 Milovanovic was in the Krajina, wasn't he?
21 A. Yes, ma'am. I believe at the time General Mladic was -- I mean,
22 his IKM -- sorry, General Milovanovic's IKM was in Banja Luka. If I
23 recall correctly, it was actually even co-located in the same headquarters
24 building as the 1st Krajina Corps was.
25 Q. General Milovanovic was undoubtedly the one who had the powers,
1 the power, the authority, to enter into such an agreement with General
2 Talic; isn't that correct?
3 A. Yes, ma'am. General Milovanovic certainly could have directed
4 General Talic to make the forces available, absolutely.
5 Q. If General Milovanovic was at the HQ of the 1st Krajina Corps,
6 then quite logically he must be the one who has entered into this
8 A. Well, again, it doesn't say that in the face of the order, and as
9 you've noted, the question is the big "if." I don't know where General
10 Milovanovic was on that particular day, so I can't say that, you know, he
11 was aware of it or not. I know that he has testified. Maybe he's
12 provided the answer. I just -- I don't know what the answer is on that.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
14 P192. It's a document bearing the name of Lieutenant Colonel Savcic. We
15 can see that there's no date on this document and there's no reference
16 number on this document either. Do you agree that this is something very
17 unusual, for documents from the VRS not to use the proper format?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. There is a date on that. I think I
19 know what she means, but if she could be more particular.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, I don't believe there's a date.
22 There's a date written on the document afterwards. We can all see that
23 there is no date on this document. This document is not dated.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Where are you saying there is the date,
25 Mr. McCloskey?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's at the end. I think she means there's not
2 typed in the beginning, like what we're used to seeing, but there's a
3 clear date on the end, always has been.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. If you agree on that, I think it's clear for
5 the witness and he can proceed with answering the question.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Would you agree that there is no date on this document, typed on
8 this document, as is usually the case for VRS documents, and isn't that
9 very unusual or rather unusual for VRS documents?
10 A. Yes, ma'am, it certainly does not have the same header information
11 and order number that we've become accustomed to seeing on VRS documents,
12 that's correct.
13 Q. In this document, we see a mention of the IKM of the 65th
14 Protection Regiment in Borike -- and the name of Borike. Did you review
15 the testimony of General Savcic at the time he was a lieutenant colonel?
16 Did you review his testimony when he came to testify in this case?
17 A. Yes, ma'am, I did.
18 Q. Did you notice that General Savcic stated that there had never
19 been an IKM at Borike?
20 A. I don't recall that, but certainly I'll accept your word on that
21 if that's what he said. I mean, I just don't recall it off the top of my
23 Q. Let me specify that this is a transcript of the 12th of September,
24 2007, page 15263 of the French transcript. Were you able to establish
25 whether the commander of the military police of the 65th Regiment ever
1 received this document?
2 A. I'm sorry, I thought you were going to read me back the
3 transcript. I apologise. Was I able to establish? I think at one point
4 the investigative team did talk to the commander of the police. I do not
5 recall whether or not, one, they had this document at the time they talked
6 to him or, two, that that issue ever came up. So I don't know the answer
7 to that.
8 Q. With respect to this document, you do not have any information,
9 according to you, any information confirming -- corroborating this
10 particular document?
11 A. Well, I wouldn't say that, because I think when you look at the
12 context of the document, it makes it clear that the information that's
13 being described is consistent with the situation that's on the ground,
14 with respect to the number of individuals at Kasaba, with respect to the
15 Main Staff order that's discussed, with respect to the security measures
16 and everything else, so, you know, contextually speaking, it is consistent
17 with the other information that we know is out there.
18 Q. I get your point. But with respect to this particular document
19 here, is it correct that you do not have any information available to you
20 confirming that this particular document was received at the Main Staff
21 and was also received by the commander of the military police who was at
22 Nova Kasaba?
23 A. I don't have -- I mean, I see an ERN number, so I don't know --
24 you know, I don't know offhand where this document originated and how it
25 came into the OTP possession, so I don't know whether it was received by
1 an individual who was on the Main Staff or on the Drina Corps, whatever,
2 so I can't answer that one. And I think as I've said before, I don't know
3 if we've been ever able to confirm that Major Malinic, the military police
4 commander, ever received this or not.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we turn to the second page in
6 English, please.
7 Q. Let's assume that this document was sent at 1510 hours on the 13th
8 of July. Isn't it correct that at the time, General Mladic was in the
9 same region as commander Malinic?
10 A. I'm aware that on the afternoon of 13 July that General Mladic was
11 travelling up and down the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road and that he did in
12 fact get as far as Nova Kasaba. So, I mean, I can tell you that, yes, he
13 was there during the afternoon. I don't know how-- timing-wise, you know,
14 that particular hour.
15 Q. Do you know if Major Malinic on that day, on the 13th of July, had
16 any contacts with General Mladic?
17 A. I don't recall. I know that witnesses have put him at Nova
18 Kasaba. I just don't recall the details of what Malinic might have said
19 in an OTP interview, whether he actually physically met with him or not,
20 so, I mean, I just don't -- I just don't remember the answer, whatever it
21 may be.
22 Q. Just one more question of a technical nature. If you look at the
23 document in B/C/S, if you look at the form of this document, you can see
24 that this is not a document that was sent via -- through a telescripter or
1 A. No, ma'am, the actual construct of the document, this looks like
2 to be the typed-up version of what would be -- what we would call the
3 original. It's not the teleprinter version.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 I didn't want to interrupt my colleague, but I'd like if the
7 witness can tell us, just to clarify something. At page 23, lines 14, and
8 this is not the first time that this is mentioned, he says: "I know that
9 witnesses have put him at Nova Kasaba." I'd just like to know, is he
10 talking about witnesses in this case, witnesses in previous cases, or what
11 witnesses is he talking about, at least in a category, so that we can
12 relate to them?
13 Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough, and thank you for that.
15 Mr. Butler.
16 THE WITNESS: I believe that the witnesses I'm referring to in
17 this context was that, if I recall correctly, there were not Dutch, but I
18 think one of the Muslim individuals at Nova Kasaba places him there. I
19 mean, I think that -- that's what I remember. I don't think that it was
20 the Dutch officers who were at Nova Kasaba at that point in time, so ...
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that sufficient for you, Mr. Bourgon?
22 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, that's not exactly what I was looking
23 for. I'm looking for more if it's a witness in this case, when he got the
24 material, or if it's something he reviewed from a past case.
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I have referred back to you.
2 Are you in a position to tell us whether you recall this from
3 another case or from this case?
4 THE WITNESS: It would probably be from either another case or the
5 investigation. I don't recall that in this particular case that I went
6 over witness testimony related to that particular area, so it would have
7 to be back in the past.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Butler.
9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Just to come back to this document, you state that this is
13 probably the original, but then shouldn't it bear a signature if it's the
15 A. Yes, ma'am, in theory it should have a signature.
16 Q. On the 17th of January, page 19936 of the transcript, you stated
17 that the 65th Protection Regiment was an operational unit and therefore it
18 was under the orders of the operations organ of the Main Staff, it was
19 subordinated to that organ of the Main Staff; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, ma'am, for the most part, particularly the manoeuvre
21 battalions would have been.
22 Q. You stated that you reviewed the testimony of General Savcic. Do
23 you know that he said that the regiment was under the direct orders of the
24 commander of the Main Staff? Do you know that?
25 A. Well, yes, ma'am. I mean, that -- you know, when I talk about
1 under the operations, again I'm distinguishing the operational command
2 chain from, for example, the intelligence and security command chain. I
3 don't mean to make the impression that this is a subordinate formation
4 that directly answers to General Miletic, as the chief of operations.
5 Q. In other words, you agree that the 65th Protection Regiment was
6 placed under the command of General Mladic?
7 A. Just the same as all the other corps formations would be, you
8 know, under the command of General Mladic, yes, ma'am. I mean, I guess
9 maybe the best way to clarify it is to -- as a Main Staff asset is to
10 distinguish it, for example, from the 10th Sabotage Unit, which is an
11 independent unit as well, but not under the operations people. It in fact
12 answers to the assistant commander for intelligence and security. It also
13 is under Mladic, but it's not something that the operations people are
14 deeply involved in. This is an intelligence and security unit. So that's
15 how I need to distinguish it when I say under the sight of operations
16 versus under the sight of another assistant commander.
17 Q. So you agree that General Mladic couldn't have given orders to
18 the -- sorry, Miletic couldn't have given orders to the lieutenant
20 A. No. I mean, any orders that General Miletic gave to --
21 Q. Savcic.
22 A. Yes. Any orders that he gave to Lieutenant Colonel Savcic, you
23 know, he would be doing so under the derived authority of General Mladic,
24 the commander of the army, not necessarily of an independent authority.
25 It would be the derived authority.
1 Q. General Mladic, this delegated authority could have been given to
2 any officer in his staff?
3 A. Well, in -- you know, keeping it in context, you know, the Main
4 Staff officers are all going to function within their assigned not only
5 competence but within the authorities that they understand that they
6 have. That's a natural military staff issue. I mean, as I've discussed
7 before, you're not going to find, as part of good working order and
8 military professionalism, where you're going to have individuals who are
9 giving orders outside of their normal competence. The orders that General
10 Miletic may or may not give to a certain individual under a certain
11 circumstance are going to be orders that he believes he's empowered to
12 give on the basis of his guidance from his superior, General Mladic.
13 So, you know, that's what I talk about when I mean "derived
14 authority." All the authority to give those orders ultimately comes from
15 the commander of the Main Staff.
16 Q. In the context of the operations at Zepa and Srebrenica, we do
17 need to talk about the hypothetical situation, because in that context you
18 didn't see any order from General Miletic in this respect?
19 A. I don't understand "talk about a hypothetical situation." Could
20 you --
21 Q. You explained the situation in which General Miletic might have
22 given an order that -- in the case of the Srebrenica and Zepa operations,
23 is it true to say that you never saw an order from General Miletic?
24 A. I guess we go back to that 15 July document. I mean, that's
25 General Miletic -- I take that, particularly when you look at it in
1 context, as an order from General Miletic at the Main Staff through the
2 Drina Corps to the Zvornik Brigade, telling them that they're going to be
3 receiving a particular unit and what steps that they have to take. So, I
4 mean, that is an order from General Miletic.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we go -- or come back, rather,
6 to P25 -- sorry, 2754. This is a document entitled "Report" in the
7 English version, and as I said, the word "Information" is more appropriate
8 when you look at the B/C/S version.
9 Q. Would you agree that, yes, indeed, this is information about what
10 was going to go on and that it is not an order?
11 A. Ma'am, I wouldn't agree, and I believe that when you read
12 paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, they are directive in nature. Paragraph 1
13 indicates where the company commander shall report to. Paragraph 2
14 indicates what steps the Zvornik Brigade needs to do to organise the
15 reception and deployment of the unit. Paragraph 3 directs the Zvornik
16 Brigade that they have to assume logistic support. So regardless of the
17 linguistics issue of instruction, report, or whatever, I read this in
18 context. This is directive in nature.
19 Q. Now, when you look at the addressee of what you call an order, and
20 you say that this is an order for the Zvornik Brigade, but it is addressed
21 to the Zvornik Brigade only for information. The Zvornik Brigade is not
22 the direct addressee of this. It is addressed to the Krajina Corps and to
23 the Drina Corps.
24 A. Yes, ma'am, and I believe there are a number of orders that have
25 the same type of information, and I believe, you know, not only have I
1 talked about this, but other VRS officers, you know, have indicated that
2 this was a common practice when they were dealing with a very
3 time-sensitive issue and they wanted to ensure that in the proper time,
4 that the actual effective unit, which in this case would be the Zvornik
5 Brigade, would be seeing this order at the same time that the Drina Corps
6 did and could -- and that way, they had the appropriate time to take what
7 measures they needed to. So, I mean, this -- this is a common practice.
8 Q. And do you agree that this document couldn't have been written if
9 there hadn't been the approval with the Command of the 1st Krajina Corps?
10 A. The -- the implied behind this is that, yes, at some juncture,
11 with the concurrence of the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, that this
12 unit was released from whatever its current assignment was. Now, whether
13 that's -- you know, somebody directed them to agree to that or whether
14 that was something that, in a more inquiring tone, the Main Staff
15 asked, "Do you have any resources available," and General Talic agreed, I
16 don't know, but certainly I can't see a situation where if General Talic
17 had said that, "I can't spare this unit because I will risk a problem in
18 my own formation," that the Main Staff would have directed him to send it
20 So, I mean, again as part of the staff process, you have an
21 inquiry that before you issue an order, you know, you want to be able to
22 make sure that your subordinates have the material means to carry that
23 order out, so that's how I take it when we say, you know, in agreement
24 with the 1st Krajina Corps, that it has been properly staffed and that the
25 corps commander, you know, acknowledges that this is something he can
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we now go to Exhibit P1231A and
3 C. This is the intercept between General Krstic and General Mladic on the
4 17th of July at 1950 hours.
5 Q. As you can see, the name "Miletic" is mentioned in that
6 conversation, and you said that indeed General Mladic said to General
7 Krstic that he should contact Miletic so as to get the details about the
8 operations, the Zepa operations. This was on the 17th of January, page
9 19920. Is it true to say that General Krstic, as commander of the Drina
10 Corps, had responsibility for the region around Zepa, but also in the
11 other areas of Zvornik, Bratunac, Potocari, Gorazde?
12 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, General Krstic, as the corps commander, would
13 have had responsibility for those regions.
14 Q. This conversation does not show the topic of the conversation that
15 General Miletic had with General Krstic?
16 A. I believe from the context of the conversation, we're talking
17 about the -- the acceptance of the conditions, and when you look at it,
18 what was happening on the ground, you know, my inference is that we're
19 talking about Zepa here.
20 Q. Do you know, at the time in July of 1995, what the involvement of
21 the operations organ was of the Main Staff in the events at Krajina or
22 around Sarajevo?
23 A. I'm sorry, did you -- did you say "Krajina or around Sarajevo"?
24 Q. Krajina or around Sarajevo, or the other fronts, Posavina,
1 A. I can't say that I know in great detail how deep the Main Staff
2 was involved in that. Obviously, as a reflection of the combat -- daily
3 reports that they sent up, I mean, there was a full awareness of what was
4 going on, but I can't give you details on a day-by-day basis what they
5 were doing.
6 Q. Do you agree that for the operations organ of the Main Staff,
7 there's no reason to take -- pay more attention to the Drina Corps zone
8 than the zones of other corps?
9 A. Well, ma'am, we are talking 17 July, and as I believe there's
10 adequate information -- one of the primary concerns of the Main Staff on
11 17 July was trying to figure out what had happened in the Zvornik Brigade
12 area, and as a result two Main Staff officers or three, actually, were
13 dispatched up there. So I'd have to disagree with that.
14 At the same time, we also know what's happening in Zepa with
15 the -- you know, with General Mladic's involvement there, so, I mean, I
16 just -- I can't agree that there's not a reason why there would be more of
17 a focus there than anywhere else. I think that, you know, when you look
18 at the historical context, the -- there was a reason why they should be
19 focusing more there.
20 Q. I'll come back to this later on. Do you agree that at the time, a
21 brigade of the Drina Corps was on the Sarajevo front in the area of
22 responsibility of that corps?
23 A. Yes, ma'am. The unit was called the 4th Drinski Brigade, and it
24 was a two-battalion brigade that was put together in an ad hoc manner out
25 of the resources of the Drina Corps and had been sent to the Sarajevo
1 battle front at Trnovo I think around mid-June.
2 Q. But at the time in July, it was still there, was it?
3 A. Yes, ma'am, it was.
4 Q. And if General Krstic for any reason, and we know that he did have
5 contacts with the command of that particular unit, if he had wanted to
6 contact Colonel Velotic [Realtime transcript read in error "Miletic"], who
7 was the commander, he would have probably gone through the Main Staff,
8 wouldn't he?
9 One second, please. Line 29, I mentioned Colonel Velotic.
10 A. V-E-L-O-T-I-C, I understand what you're talking about, Velotic. I
11 think I've got it close. I know who you're talking about, obviously.
12 I disagree with that, because I think there are intercepts on the
13 16th or even -- the 15th or 16th with respect to communications with that
14 particular unit, because they were trying to get Lieutenant Colonel Vlacic
15 back from the Drinski unit to deal issues with the Sekovici or Birac
16 Brigade, and so, I mean, I think we've seen intercepts there, and I don't
17 think they go through the Main Staff.
18 Q. For Colonel Vlacic to come back from this unit, was the
19 authorisation from the Sarajevo Corps commander necessary?
20 A. I don't know whether it would have or not. I mean, the
21 circumstances, of course, were that with General Andric, one, deployed
22 down in the Zepa area with elements of his unit, and now also at this time
23 being, you know, put in as the chief of staff of the Drina Corps, there
24 was certainly a requirement for the former chief of staff, you know,
25 Vlacic, to get back to the -- you know, to the unit to exercise a stronger
1 command. Whether or not General Milosevic would have had to approve that,
2 I don't know the answer to. And in this case, just -- it's General
3 Dragomir Milosevic, the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
4 Q. Do you agree that you cannot rule out the possibility that General
5 Krstic was required to get in touch with General Miletic on this
6 particular point regarding this unit that was a part of -- this unit of
7 the Drina Corps that was at the time deployed in the area of the Sarajevo
8 Romanija Corps?
9 A. I wouldn't agree with that, ma'am, because the second sentence of
10 the line: "I didn't accept the Turks' conditions," and given the context
11 of what was happening at Trnovo, I just do not see what that particular
12 sentence would have to do with that particular situation.
13 Q. Would you not agree that in a war situation as that one, people
14 were trying to say a lot of things, using few words, and that sometimes
15 the information we get is rather mixed and it's rather risky to draw hasty
16 conclusions on the basis of this?
17 A. Certainly, as they're occurring in a contemporaneous manner, I
18 would agree that you could have problems there. But when you kind of
19 overlay this particular situation and look back at what actually happened
20 in the context of the historical background, I mean, I believe you can
21 clearly see where, you know, at this date and at this time, what General
22 Mladic is referring to are the ongoing discussions about whether or not
23 the Muslims would surrender in Zepa and under what circumstances.
24 Q. As a follow-up of this conversation that took place at 1950 on
25 that 17th of July, do you have any other conversation available between
1 Krstic and Miletic or any other type of contact?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe I should take that as a sign, no mic.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You are having second thoughts on whether you should
6 raise an objection or not. Let's proceed.
7 Could you answer the question, please.
8 THE WITNESS: I don't know that I can give an answer with a lot of
9 certainty. I mean, it's been a lot of years since I've had to go through
10 a lot of this type of information, and I just don't know if I could
11 remember an answer with a degree of certainty that there wasn't another
12 particular issue of contact or something like that. I mean, I -- I don't
13 mean to not be helpful on the particular issue, but I just don't know that
14 I can answer that, you know, just as a function of memory.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Ms. Fauveau.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
17 Q. On the 17th of -- 19th of January -- or 17th of January, you
18 stated that General Miletic was the chief of operations at the Main Staff,
19 and you said that on that basis, you assumed that he had more informations
20 related to the Zepa operation than anyone else. Isn't it true that the
21 Zepa operation was planned at Bratunac on the 12th of July?
22 A. Yes, ma'am, that's correct.
23 Q. You stated on the 15th of January, page 19692 of the transcript,
24 that the army commander, in consultation with some of his officers, not
25 many of them, just the brigade commanders, conducted a rapid analysis of
1 the situation and decided to go to Zepa. General Miletic was not one of
2 the officers that were consulted at the time, was he?
3 A. General Miletic certainly wasn't present in Bratunac while this
4 process was undergoing. I can't say one way or another whether or not he
5 was consulted as part of the process. I don't know the answer to that.
6 Q. But when you mentioned the decision taken at Bratunac, you agree
7 that General Miletic was not there, don't you?
8 A. Yes, ma'am.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to move to Exhibit P146.
10 It's a document from General Tolimir, dated July 23rd -- no, it's document
11 186. It's a document from General Tolimir, sent to the IKM of the Drina
12 Corps Command to General Krstic and to a number of other individuals.
13 THE WITNESS: Okay, now I'm looking at the right document.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This document bears number 12, that's the number at the beginning
16 of the reference number, and it bears the name of General Tolimir.
17 Could we have page 2 of the document, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 2 in B/C/S or in English, Madame Fauveau?
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Page 2 in English. I believe it's a
20 one-page document in the original version in B/C/S.
21 Q. Could you please turn to the paragraph starting with the words:
22 [In English] "Continue combat operations in order to surround and
23 destroy the 1st Zepa Brigade until the Muslims make the exchange and carry
24 out the agreement from the 24 July related to their disarmament and
1 [Interpretation] This relates to an operational order, to a
2 combat-related order; isn't it correct?
3 A. Yes, ma'am. I mean, in the context of this, you know, General
4 Tolimir is noting the continued combat operations with respect to the 1st
5 Zepa Brigade.
6 Q. Is he just taking stock of the operations or is he giving the
7 order to continue the combat operations?
8 A. It's difficult to tell. Again, he is, particularly at this
9 juncture, you know, in contact with General Mladic, and as I've noted
10 before, you know, as a military professional, he's not going to be giving
11 orders that are outside of his competence to do. Whether or not, you
12 know, he's indicating, you know, take all necessary measures to prevent
13 them from leaving the encirclement, I mean, these are directive in nature,
14 so I certainly, you know, understand that, you know, he is in fact giving
15 some form of orders on this, yes.
16 Q. The problem is that when you look at the B/C/S version, the
17 imperative tense is used, and that's the sort of tense you used, "combat
18 activities," to give orders. How come General Tolimir gives an
19 operational order? That's my question.
20 A. Again, ma'am, I'd have to go back to what I just said. You know,
21 my presumption is that when I look at something like this, that General
22 Tolimir is giving this order because he has been given the either
23 delegated responsibility -- or delegated authority to give this order;
24 that he's not, as a matter of his routine function, is going to give
25 orders that are outside of his competence. You know, he is aware, like
1 everyone else, that, you know, General Mladic is the commander of the army
2 and that he's not going to be giving orders that are in contravention to
3 what General Mladic wants accomplished.
4 We see this with people like General Tolimir. We see the same
5 situation with people like General Gvero, who are given what are presumed
6 to be operational orders that, at face value, one would think that they
7 shouldn't be giving because of their specific role.
8 Q. Well, that's indeed my question. Why, in those orders that are
9 operational in nature, that we don't see General Miletic, who was the head
10 of the Administration for Operations, why do we always see somebody else?
11 A. Ma'am, I don't know the answer to that. I mean, it may very well
12 be because since General Mladic is physically at that location with some
13 of his other generals, a determination is made that, you know, they're
14 more aware of what his orders may or may not be. General -- you know,
15 again, General Miletic, there is some evidence that puts him physically on
16 the ground at that location, other than at the Main Staff, so again I
17 can't answer that question, why we're seeing it or why we wouldn't see
18 something that would normally come out of under the chief of operations.
19 Q. Do you agree that at a given period, that General Tolimir was
20 indeed on the ground in Zepa?
21 A. Yes, ma'am, and I think when you look at the larger body of
22 information that we have, it reflects General Tolimir's active involvement
23 in many of the aspects of what's happening around Zepa.
24 Q. And we also know that General Mladic spent a few days or at least
25 a few hours on the ground around Zepa?
1 A. Yes, ma'am, that's correct.
2 Q. And so there were two generals of the Main Staff, including the
3 commander, who actively occupied or engaged in Zepa. The head of the Main
4 Staff was at Krajina, General Milovanovic. Don't you think that the Main
5 Staff should have taken some interest in the other corps, in particular
6 the situation in Sarajevo was rather tense and that there was a dangerous
7 situation that prevailed in the corridor, and that it would have been not
8 logical to assign a third general to Zepa because Zepa, after all, is a
9 rather small territory, and leaving aside or neglecting the other corps
10 and without supervision from the Main Staff?
11 A. I -- I agree with the concept that with -- between a corps
12 commander, General Mladic and General Tolimir, with respect to Zepa, there
13 was certainly enough command presence in that particular region to warrant
14 attention there.
15 Having said that, I mean, there are still going to be issues that
16 are going to have to be dealt with, and, you know, with respect to Zepa,
17 specifically the fact that with a lot of the Zvornik Brigade resources
18 being pulled out, to continue the offensive operations, you know,
19 additional reinforcements will have to be found, additional logistics will
20 have to be found.
21 So, you know, the fact that there are three generals at that
22 location dealing with the details of that is not going to mean that the
23 Main Staff has an ability or should be washing its hands of the
24 situation. I also recognise that, you know, they do have another workload
25 as well, and certainly they are going to have to keep track of what's
1 happening in the situation elsewhere around the country. As a matter of
2 military prudence, they're not going to ignore that either.
3 Q. Do you know how many people worked in the Operations
4 Administration of the Main Staff?
5 A. I think we have a good recounting of the individuals who were
6 there as the senior branch individuals. I don't know that I have at the
7 top of my head an accounting of their assistants and things of that
8 nature. But, I mean, it certainly wasn't a large number, or perhaps to be
9 more fair, it wasn't anywhere near the number of officers that they would
10 have really needed to completely manage all those activities. I mean,
11 they, like everyone else, were short of talented officers.
12 Q. Do you agree that the person at the Main Staff who received only
13 field information, because he didn't have enough personnel, may have had a
14 totally disfigured image of what was going on in the field?
15 A. Well, I mean, in the military reporting chain, and certainly as
16 applied to the VRS, you know, there was the, you know, obligation that the
17 subordinates were going to report up as accurately as possible. One of
18 the reasons why the Main Staff and even the corps headquarters undertook a
19 practice of sending one of their officers down to these locations is to
20 ensure that, you know, people at the higher headquarters would have not
21 only a mechanism for getting additional information, but also, you know, a
22 person on the ground to make some of the decisions that could be made on
23 the ground. Yeah, but I mean, you know, in an abstract situation, higher
24 headquarters is dependent upon the reporting of its lower headquarters to
25 find out what's going on. If that's not reported accurately or there's a
1 deliberate effort to deceive, it's going to skew the perception of that
2 higher headquarters.
3 Q. I suppose that you have looked at many reports from the Drina
4 Corps, particularly when the Srebrenica operation was ongoing. Do you
5 agree that these reports are daily reports that provided very little
6 information in fact?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objections. What reports? I mean, there's so
8 many reports.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It is a rather broad -- a very broad question that
10 you put, Madame Fauveau.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, this is a general
12 question on the daily reports of the corps, not just the Drina Corps, but
13 I think the witness has looked at the Drina Corps ones mostly.
14 Shall I go on to another question or can I remain with this one?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you in a position to give an answer to that
17 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, I understand that certainly the Drina
18 Corps sent up its daily combat reports, which was, you know, one of the
19 mechanisms by which the Main Staff kept itself informed of what was
20 happening in the Drina Corps. Interim combat reports would, of course,
21 supplement that information. And as I understand the process, as part of
22 that information-gathering, at a certain point in time every day the Main
23 Staff would call down to the corps for a telephonic update as to what was
24 happening to ensure that they had the most up-to-date information before
25 they had to generate their own report.
1 Those are the primary reporting mechanisms that I'm aware of.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think you can move to your next question
3 now, Madame Fauveau.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
5 Q. This document, can we go back to page 1 of this document, and the
6 upper part of the B/C/S version, please.
7 When we look at the addressee of this document, one of them is the
8 1st Krajina Corps. Can you explain to us why this document, which
9 concerns Zepa in Eastern Bosnia, was sent to the 1st Krajina Corps, which
10 is in Western Bosnia, i.e., diametrically opposite?
11 A. Well, I notice that it's to the East Bosnia Corps and the 1st
12 Krajina Corps, so it's to two outside formations in that regard. And if I
13 recall the context correctly and why they were engaged in this process, it
14 was because there was a previous document or request out there from at
15 least the 1st Krajina Corps that indicated that they were aware that a
16 number of their prisoners -- their soldiers had been taken prisoner by
17 various Muslim formations, and that particularly when we were talking
18 about Zepa, there was an interest in being able to, as we catalogued
19 various prisoners captured at Zepa, to be able to use them as a
20 negotiating lever to free Muslim prisoners who could then -- not to free
21 the Muslim prisoners, but to trade them in order to get captured Serb
22 soldiers back. So I believe that's the context of what we're talking
23 about in this situation.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we now go on to Exhibit 3036.
25 This is a document from the Podrinje Brigade, sent to several people,
1 including General Miletic.
2 Q. This document was sent to the Krajina Corps and to the staff of
3 Republika Srpska. The date is the 1st of August, 1995. Do you agree that
4 on the 1st of August, most of the members of the Main Staff were in the
6 A. I'm sorry, I'm -- are you sure that this was sent to the Krajina
8 Q. No, no, no, no. That's an interpretation mistake. I might have
9 misspoken. But in any case, it was sent to the Drina Corps and to the
10 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska Army, and my question was: Do you
11 agree that on the 1st of August, most of the members of the Main Staff
12 were in the area of the Krajina?
13 A. I don't know that I can agree or disagree with that. I mean, I
14 just don't know the answer. I mean, I know that there were a number of
15 staff officers at the Krajina IKM, but I certainly can't qualify it as
16 some, more than half, or most. So I just don't know.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we now go to page 3 of the
18 English version.
19 Q. Look at the last paragraph, which mentions the number of Muslims,
20 referred to in a derogatory manner, that remained in the Zepa area. In
21 particular, in the corridor between Srebrenica and Zepa. This is a
22 document written by the intelligence officer of the Podrinje Brigade. Do
23 you agree that this information, in particular, had operational
25 A. I -- I have to disagree with your -- your categorisation of the
1 location when we're talking about the thousand people, because as it says
2 in the context, they seem to be crossing the right bank of the Drina
3 River. I don't take that to mean that they're between the former
4 Srebrenica and Zepa enclave, first of all. And, second, this is a --
5 Q. Just at the beginning of the last paragraph. Perhaps I could read
6 out to you the part I was referring to.
7 A. Please, ma'am, that would help clarify.
8 Q. [In English] "Persons who know the territory well, the number of
9 balija remain in hiding in the general area of Zepa, especially in the
10 area of the former Zepa-Srebrenica corridor."
11 [Interpretation] That was the portion I was referring to.
12 A. Okay, eliminating confusion. Like I said, I think this is -- it's
13 operational in so much as the fact that as an intelligence report, it's
14 providing valuable information to commanders to make decisions on as to
15 their next course of action. So, I mean, I agree, it is of an operational
17 Q. Do you agree that this document, dated 1st of August, do you agree
18 that prior to that, with the exception of the Podrinje Brigade, which was
19 located in this area anyway, the other forces withdrew from the Zepa area
20 at the time?
21 A. I don't know that as a fact. I know that at some point in time,
22 there were Zvornik Brigade assets that were withdrawn on the 15th, but
23 again they -- they went back down there later in the month. I don't know
24 as a matter of timing, whether by the 1st of August all of those
25 particular formations had been withdrawn again. So, I mean, I haven't
1 analysed the situation to a point where I can say on that day, the
2 deployed units had already departed.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like now to show you Exhibit
4 P528, the UN report from the Secretary-General of the UN concerning
5 Srebrenica. Let's go to page 96, I believe.
6 THE INTERPRETER: 93, correction from the interpreter.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] That's right.
8 Q. Look at the paragraph 431, in which it is said -- let's start with
9 the second sentence:
10 [In English] "On 29 July, the UNPROFOR commander wrote to his
11 superiors at UNPF headquarters in Zagreb that the BSA regular troops
12 around Zepa had largely been withdrawn and that most of the remaining
13 troops were reservists who he assessed would not conduct operations to
14 clear the area of remaining Bosniaks."
15 [Interpretation] From your analysis, does this -- is this
16 consistent with what happened in the field, starting from the 29th of
18 A. And again, ma'am, I don't know the answer to that. I could --
19 like I said, we have the documents to be able to do that, and, you know,
20 as a matter of consequence, you know, I think it's well known that the UN
21 didn't have an accurate reflection of all of the things that were
22 happening in these areas. He may very well believe what he's saying. I
23 think we have the vehicle to verify that one way or the other. I'm just
24 saying I haven't done it yet, so I can't agree or disagree.
25 Q. That's fine. And just above that paragraph, the preceding
1 paragraph, can we look at the upper part of that page, please. No, up.
2 I'm interested in this sentence that begins: "General Mladic ... ":
3 [In English] "General Mladic, who had spent the whole of July in
4 the Srebrenica-Zepa area of Eastern Bosnia, moved to Banja Luka, taking
5 key staff, including General Tolimir, and some military resources with
7 [Interpretation] I think what is of particular interest here in
8 this sentence, when he mentions key staff, I think that you can agree that
9 General Miletic never went to the Banja Luka area, did he? I'm talking
10 about this particular period, of course.
11 A. No, ma'am, I don't believe that I'm aware of any information out
12 there that suggests that during the late July, August 1995 time frame,
13 that General Miletic was one -- was going up to Banja Luka. So, I mean,
14 I -- I agree with your -- like I said, I'm just not aware of any
15 information from people who would, in theory, know, so I agree.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like now to show you P3015.
17 I think everybody will be happy to know that this is the next-to-last
18 document I will be presenting.
19 Q. This is a request from General Krstic that was sent to General
20 Miletic on the 20th of July concerning the deployment of the military
21 police of the 65th Protection Regiment in Zepa. First of all, do you have
22 any information whereby the Commander Malinic's unit ever came to Zepa?
23 A. No, ma'am, I don't -- I don't know if -- I don't think --
24 certainly they didn't deploy as a whole body, and I don't have any
25 information that a company or two may have gone down to Zepa or not. So,
1 I mean, like I say, I don't know that this was in fact acted upon.
2 Q. Let me now ask you to look at the paragraph -- the second
3 paragraph of this document that refers to people who were pillaging or
4 looting Zepa and didn't contribute to liberating Zepa, and then there's a
5 reference to the former enclave of Zepa on the last line. Do you agree
6 that this document is dated the 20th of July and that on the 20th of July
7 Zepa hadn't been liberated from the point of view of Serbs; Serbs hadn't
8 entered into Zepa yet?
9 A. I don't agree with your position that when they're making the
10 phrase "into the former enclave," that they're referring to Zepa. I
11 believe, in fact, that when they make the reference, you know, "into the
12 former enclaves and loot for themselves," I think we're talking about
13 Srebrenica, and I think what they're doing is a comparative -- what
14 they're saying is that, you know, "We know what happened in Srebrenica,
15 where various military formations came in and looted, and that we don't
16 want to have that situation repeated in Zepa." I mean, that's --
17 Q. But this document talks about the deployment of the military
18 police at the check-points around Zepa, so I don't see, if you place the
19 police around Zepa, how you can compare with looting that took place in
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction "prevent looting in
23 A. Again, it may be just a function of linguistics, but, I mean,
24 whether it is or is not, again it goes back to the function that what they
25 wanted to do was to prevent a situation where material that they would
1 capture would not essentially get stolen, it would in fact be maintained
2 and properly accounted for by the army.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau, aren't the words in paragraph
4 2 "check-points on roads leading out of Zepa" indicative that the enclave
5 that is referred to, the former enclave that is referred to here at the
6 end, at the end of that paragraph, couldn't be Zepa itself?
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe that we need to read out
8 the whole sentence:
9 [In English] "At check-points on roads leading out of Zepa and
10 would take most vigorous measures to prevent the looting of war booty by
11 looters who did not contribute to the liberation of the Zepa enclave in
12 any way, but got together to loot and are waiting behind the combat
13 formation of the units to make an incursion into the former enclave and
14 loot for themselves."
15 THE WITNESS: I certainly -- I mean, I can read it and I can see
16 exactly what your point is on this, and I think for the purpose of your
17 question, I mean, at this point in time, you know, I would agree that the
18 Zepa enclave had not fallen yet.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When we analyse this document today, we do it on the basis of
21 information that we have. But at the time, when such a document with that
22 wording reached the Main Staff, do you think that the person who received
23 it at the Main Staff might have thought that Zepa was liberated?
24 A. Well, as -- as you're aware, at various points in times, the VRS
25 thought that Zepa was liberated, in so much as they thought they had
1 reached an agreement on the surrender of the Muslims, only to find out
2 that either the Muslims had been ordered to repudiate that agreement or
3 backed away from it on their own. This easily sounds like one of those
4 times where they thought that the operation was now concluding, they had
5 achieved their goal, only to find out that, no, it wasn't the case.
6 So, like I said, I mean, this obviously looks like, you know,
7 again something that a prudent, you know, commander would be thinking
8 about, how to control the battlefield after the liberation, and, yeah, he
9 jumped the gun a few days because it wasn't quite liberated yet.
10 Q. In any case, for somebody who was not in the field and received
11 such information, well, the situation was rather confused, to say the
12 least. Would you agree with that?
13 A. Yes, ma'am. I think when you look at the whole body of
14 information there, there are many cases where the VRS thought that a
15 situation was turning out in one particular way, only to find out that
16 they were wrong, again either by design or just by faulting reporting.
17 That's a natural part of it.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] One last document and one question
20 only. Would you let me finish before the break? I think it's only going
21 to take us two minutes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means, Madame Fauveau.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Exhibit P3039. This is an exhibit from the OTP. We only have it
25 in B/C/S, but you've seen it before. It's a document from MSF. And we
1 have a list of the local personnel that left the former enclave of
2 Srebrenica with them.
3 Q. This document is addressed to the 2nd Corps of the ABiH. You can
4 see the seal of the Command of the 2nd Corps on this document. We can see
5 the date, 19th of July, and the document was received by the Command of
6 the 2nd Corps on the following day. The only thing I'm interested in here
7 is why MSF drew up the list of its local personnel and addressed the list
8 of its local personnel to the ABiH. Why?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau and Mr. McCloskey, should we
10 broadcast this or not? It's not being broadcast. Okay.
11 THE WITNESS: I have no idea, ma'am. I don't know the answer to
12 this one.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
14 further question.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madame Fauveau.
16 We'll have a 25-minute break, and then who is going -- Mr. Josse
17 or Mr. Krgovic?
18 MR. JOSSE: I've got the pleasure, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And how long do you expect your cross-examination to
21 MR. JOSSE: I'm confident that I will finish within my four-hour
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll continue later. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.13 p.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for the delay. It wasn't our fault, it's
2 again a technical hitch that has now been solved.
3 Mr. Josse, towards the end we will need a few minutes to get an
4 update from Mr. McCloskey on the Beara motion.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Just quickly, I think we can resolve it. That's
7 been resolved, Mr. President. We've withdrawn the motion.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then we just need one minute to hand down a
9 decision -- a ruling rather than a decision, yeah.
10 Mr. Josse.
11 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
14 Q. Mr. Butler, my name is David Josse, and along with Dragan Krgovic,
15 we represent General Gvero in this trial.
16 And I want to begin by asking you something which is very dear to
17 General Gvero's heart, and that is the issue of morale as a military
18 concept. Presumably, you received some basic training in that concept in
19 the US Army. Correct?
20 A. Yes, sir. Morale and the maintenance of good morale is of
21 fundamental importance to a military formation.
22 Q. And did you receive specific training in morale as a military
24 A. As part of my junior officer training, issues of morale, yes.
25 Q. What about when you left the US military and you came to the
1 ICTY? And by that I mean either on secondment or as a UN employee. It
2 doesn't matter for the purposes of this question. Did you make specific
3 studies of the concept of morale in the JNA, or the VRS, or Warsaw Pact
4 countries in general?
5 A. Yes, sir, I did. I mean, beyond my knowledge of how that works
6 within the Warsaw Pact, I did look at it within the context of the
7 importance of where the former JNA placed that, as well as how it was
8 applied in the VRS during the war.
9 Q. To what extent are you aware of the development of the role of the
10 assistant commander for morale in both the JNA and the VRS, really, since
11 partisan times?
12 A. Well, within the context of the JNA, morale as a concept was
13 covered under the broader mantra of the types of issues that the political
14 officers would deal with. Again, it was part of the larger process of
15 motivating soldiers by educating them on the -- at that time, obviously,
16 the socialist values of the nation-state of the former Yugoslavia and, you
17 know, how that process evolved.
18 As it turned into the VRS and the communist/socialist droppings
19 came off, it was more along an exercise of how to be able to essentially
20 educate the rank-and-file soldiers with respect to, you know, the goals
21 and objectives of the new nation-state Republika Srpska and what they were
22 fighting for and what their fight actually meant.
23 Q. It goes without saying that the socialist ethos that you have just
24 described does not exist in the army in which you served. It's an obvious
25 point. I'm sure we can all agree on that.
1 A. I've heard it declared in some quarters that the United States
2 military is the last bastion of socialism in an otherwise capitalist
3 nation, but, yeah, I agree, we don't train our officers and personnel in
4 the socialist methods.
5 Q. And at a practical level, there's no concept or notion of an
6 assistant commander for morale in the US Army or, indeed, any NATO army;
7 isn't that right?
8 A. Certainly within the United States, there's not an assistant
9 commander or equivalent position for morale. Morale or the maintenance of
10 good morale is a responsibility that all officers are required to engage
12 Q. And morale is looked after in the US Army by commanders rather
13 than a specific assistant commander; would you agree with that
15 A. Yes, sir, it is a command function.
16 Q. And your study of how the morale sector developed within the VRS,
17 from the socialist days into the JNA and so on and so forth, came from
18 what, in short?
19 A. The -- looking at the doctrine and regulations of the former JNA
20 on how they describe the roles and the functions of that particular
21 branch, again under the auspice of the political works at the time and
22 then looking at the VRS and seeing how they applied it or how they did not
23 apply certain aspects of that.
24 Q. Did you have a tutor who was familiar with this type of thing, in
25 other words, someone who'd served in an army where there was an assistant
1 commander for morale or such like post?
2 A. No, sir. At the time, we did not have any members of the military
3 analyst team who had any background in a former Warsaw Pact or socialist
5 Q. So would it be fair of me to say that your experience is
6 exclusively academic and has no practical background at all?
7 A. The basic tenets of morale, obviously, I know as an officer, but
8 certainly the aspects of how the JNA applied it and -- you know, and how
9 the VRS applied it are based on my studies. They're not based on any
10 practical realisation I have done.
11 Q. And nor, for that matter, based on a conversation that you've had
12 with anyone?
13 A. I have had discussions with some individuals who are associated
14 with this, but I don't -- to the degree that I think you're looking for,
15 no, we didn't do it to that depth.
16 Q. All right. Now, the next issue I'd like to ask you about is some
17 of the terms that we have seen in military documents. And we had a brief
18 example of that earlier, I'm not going to bring it up, where Madame
19 Fauveau showed you a document, and she said the particular term in it had
20 been slightly mistranslated. Issues such as that, how, when you started
21 at the ICTY, did you confront them?
22 A. Certainly in the early days of my analysis, as we would go over
23 military documents and they were translated, there were a number of
24 questions that would come up on various documents as to how a word or how
25 a phrase was translated, and at that point I would go to the various
1 translators, not only team translators but in some cases to the CLSS
2 translators and advisers, and, you know, using the JNA lexicon or other
3 military documents, we would seek to come to an understanding as to what a
4 term or phraseology would be and how it best translates into the English
5 language. So we did come across those issues.
6 Q. How would you use the JNA military lexicon, practically? It's in
7 Serbian, isn't it?
8 A. Yes. It would be translated -- you know, the various phrases
9 would be translated. You know, we would bring up a phrase, what we needed
10 to do, and talk to the translators and ask them what this meant under the
11 various circumstances.
12 Q. Did you have any specialist military translators?
13 A. At the time, the ICTY did not have anyone who I would call a
14 specialist military translator. I think as a course of working through
15 this over the years, a number of those translators that we're dealing with
16 in the early years are probably now some of the best in the world at doing
17 it, but certainly not in 1997 and 1998.
18 Q. Well, if what I'm about to do is deemed unfair, then I'm going to
19 be stopped, but we, in the Gvero team, have looked in part at the JNA
20 lexicon and have compiled a list of terms, which is 6D227, please. I've
21 got a hard copy for you, to make it a little easier, Mr. Butler. This,
22 for obvious reasons, is not translated, but all the words that -- all the
23 words that are on this list, we have had officially translated, the
24 entries that relate to them from the JNA military lexicon. If you could
25 perhaps turn to that in a few moments' time. I hope that's clear.
1 Now, we appreciate, Mr. Butler, as you've made clear, that you
2 worked in conjunction with translators, but there is often a very narrow
3 and subtle difference in the meaning of some of these terms. Would you
4 agree with that?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Now, take, for example, at number 12, and you'll have to excuse my
7 pronunciation because it's absolutely atrocious, but I think
8 it's "naredjenje," that is a word that is frequently seen in the documents
9 to mean "order"; correct?
10 A. I believe that's my understanding of it, sir, yes.
11 Q. But by the same token, the word at number 23, "zapovest" also
12 means "order." Would you, without consulting the lexicon, be able to help
13 the Trial Chamber with the difference between those two terms?
14 A. In fairness, I'm not familiar with the term listed under 23, so I
15 couldn't do that. I don't recall seeing that in the documents that I've
16 dealt with.
17 Q. Perhaps I should go back a stage and ask you this: Would you
18 accept that the word "naredjenje" is a term of military art?
19 A. The whole point of them being in a military lexicon is a
20 reflection that it has, in military art, a specific terminology to it,
21 yes, sir.
22 Q. What about 17, "odluka"? That -- I don't want to be unfair.
23 That, translated in the translation that I have as "decision."
24 A. Again, that's not a word that I am particularly familiar with. I
25 mean, I may have seen it, but it doesn't strike me as a word that I'm
1 familiar with.
2 Q. So -- and I could go through this exercise in relation to several
3 other words, for example, words that relate to information, which is 2, 5
4 and 15, for everyone's information. You, when confronted with these
5 terms, would be obviously wholly reliant on the translator, wholly
7 A. When -- I mean, certainly reliant completely on the translator for
8 a translated version of that. Where my role in this process would be is
9 if I were reading a particular order or a document and I recognised within
10 the context of that document that there was a word or phrase that just
11 seemed completely out of place with the body of the remainder of the
12 material, is where I would ask for a clarification to determine whether or
13 not it had been translated properly, because certainly I'm aware that many
14 of the words as they're defined in the lexicon have a different meaning or
15 different interpretation in a civilian context. And particularly in the
16 early years, we did have situations where our translators would translate
17 them in a civilian context and not necessarily in a military one.
18 Q. So one last try on this, and then we'll have a look at the
19 lexicon. Take 2, "informacija," and number 15, "obavestenje," which I
20 understand means "notice," offhand, are you able to tell us what the
21 difference is, if any?
22 A. No. I mean, I'm familiar with the term at number 2, but I'm not
23 sure that I've seen the term 15 used in the military context.
24 Q. Okay. Let's then have a look at the lexicon briefly so that we
25 have some idea how you might work with the lexicon, along with the
1 translator, of course.
2 So this is 6D223, and let's go to page 5 in the English. Let's go
3 to the word we perhaps see most commonly, "naredjenje" and I'm about to
4 get the B/C/S page number. Page 9 -- 8, I beg your pardon, it's 8.
5 So this entry in the lexicon has been officially translated. What
6 would happen? Would the translator who was assisting you have written out
7 the definition for you, or would he or she read this out to you, would it
8 be a joint effort? I'd like to know how you were able to deal with these
9 highly-technical matters in a language you simply don't understand at all.
10 A. What I would do as a matter of course, if there were a question on
11 the definition of the word -- or not definition but in where the word was
12 or how it was being translated, I would go up to, in this particular case,
13 you know, as my first port of call, would be our team translator, and she,
14 in this case, would read out the definition to me, as to what it was
15 and -- you know, in its entirety, and I would make a decision, you know,
16 whether or not, well, are we talking about this or is this a potentially
17 different word.
18 If there still remained a question in my mind that, you know,
19 somewhere along the line a word was being mistranslated because it didn't
20 fit within the broader context, I would actually go over to the revisers
21 at CLSS, who were considered to be, you know, the most senior authorities
22 on these issues, I would explain, you know, what the document was, how it
23 was translated, and ask them to look at it because my understanding is
24 that the way it's being translated now didn't make sense in the military
25 context, and to go back and confirm that this was in fact what it had
1 said. If they went back and researched it and said,"This is what it
2 said," that's fine, and if they came back and said, "We went back and we
3 believe that this word is a more appropriate word," you know, that's what
4 they did. And I think, you know, the give -- the give and take that we
5 did with respect to the phrase "asanacija" is a good example of that,
6 because that as a phrase in the Yugoslav language doesn't literally
7 translate well into the English language, and it took a lot of discussion
8 to come up with a phrase that, you know, somehow made sense, and knowing
9 what -- and what the intent and meaning was behind that.
10 So there was a lot of work with respect to trying to understand
11 these phrases as accurately as possible.
12 Q. That is a good example, because that remains a matter of
13 contention in cases where that word is of pertinence. It's not really in
14 this case, but --
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. That's right, isn't it?
17 A. Yes. You know, from an English language perspective, obviously
18 restoration of the terrain, as it is literally translated, does not have,
19 you know, the same underlying meaning as when you look at the actual
20 definition of what the word is, and so there is some kind of -- you know,
21 there is some discussion that goes along to try and determine how one can
22 describe the word, even though it doesn't literally translate, in order
23 that the proper meaning is employed.
24 Q. Would you agree that it was a great failing on the part of the
25 Office of the Prosecutor not to provide you with a military expert who
1 understood intimately, (a), the B/C/S language and, (b), the use of these
2 terms, having had practical experience of working with them over a number
3 of years?
4 A. I would disagree, because if you understand the reality at the
5 time, the reason why that wasn't the case is because precisely these
6 people did not want to cooperate with the institution or the Office of the
7 Prosecutor. Certainly, I would have loved to have had these same battery
8 of military experts that we all see now back in 1997.
9 Q. Well, that's a -- that's a completely different point.
10 A. Well, no, sir, not if you're going to judge whether or not it's a
11 failing or not.
12 Q. You're saying that practically it wasn't possible --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. No arguing with the witness. If you have a
14 question -- I think he's answered your question, that he doesn't agree
15 with your proposition that it was a failing -- failure on the part of the
16 Prosecution. If you have a further question for him, go ahead. If not,
17 then proceed with your next question, but no argument with the witness.
18 MR. JOSSE: My apologies.
19 Q. You're saying practically it wasn't possible?
20 A. That is correct. I mean, under the circumstances at the time, we
21 didn't really have the ability to get these types of individuals. They,
22 for the most part, were not interested in cooperating with the Office of
23 the Prosecutor.
24 Q. But you are saying it would have been highly desirable, aren't
1 A. Yes, sir. I certainly -- I certainly would have welcomed that
3 Q. And that development never happened during your tenure with the
4 Office of the Prosecutor; correct?
5 A. That is correct, yes, sir.
6 Q. And perhaps finally on this, you said it's not practical. To what
7 extent did you personally ever, for example, consult with a -- well, why
8 don't I give you an example. A Macedonian general who had no direct
9 involvement in this conflict, ethnic or otherwise.
10 A. Where -- where I had the opportunity, I tried to avail myself to
11 that. I think in one particular case, I know I couldn't talk to him
12 personally, I mean, I was aware that we had, I believe, a Slovenian expert
13 who assisted in one case, and I closely followed that person's work to
14 essentially glean what information that I could out of that, recognising
15 that, you know, that person would have a more JNA-unique perspective, and
16 I did that as a way to, you know, continue to try and verify that where I
17 was going down was the correct path. So to the extent that I could do
18 that, I tried to.
19 MR. JOSSE: Could we, before we leave this document, have a quick
20 look at the definition of number 3, "informacija," which is page 2 in the
21 English. And then I'm going to show you number 14 or 15.
22 Q. Just looking at the document I've given you there in hard copy,
23 227, are you able to tell us offhand the difference between those two
25 A. I'm sorry, which two terms again?
1 Q. Number 2 and number 14 or 15.
2 A. Again, no, sir, I don't believe I'm familiar with that -- that
3 second term. I mean, I may have seen it, but it doesn't strike me in the
4 same way that I've seen on a number of occasions number 2.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you put the question already and he
6 confirmed that he was not familiar with the second --
7 MR. JOSSE: I'll move on, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. A matter I can deal with quickly before we break for the day.
11 Single subordination, a very important concept in the JNA and the VRS;
12 would you agree?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 MR. JOSSE: And just for completeness, could we have a look,
15 please, at P703, and it's page 24 in English. And it's Article 173 at the
16 bottom of the page, and it's my apologies, I'm afraid I don't have the
17 B/C/S page number offhand, but it's a short article:
18 "Command in the Army shall be founded on principles of a unified
19 command regarding the use of forces and means, single authority,
20 obligations to enforce decisions, command and orders issued by superior
22 And this, for completeness, comes from the Official Gazette of the
23 Serbian people in BH of June of 1992, and it's part of the Law of the
25 Q. Are you familiar with it?
1 A. Yes, sir, I am.
2 Q. And that sets out the single-subordination principle?
3 A. Yes, sir, it does.
4 Q. And just help us. That principle, does it apply in the US Army?
5 A. I believe it applies with most respects to most modern military
7 Q. So is there any difference between that and the US Army? Is that
8 the law in the US Army?
9 A. I couldn't quote you the chapter and verse out of Title 10, but I
10 mean certainly as a military principle within the US Army, unity of
11 command, which reflects the single authority, is in fact, you know, the
12 principle that we follow.
13 Q. And just before we finish, for completeness, if we go down to the
14 bottom of the page, Article 175, and then turn over to the actual text of
15 that article, we see, summarising it, it says that the commander of the
16 Main Staff shall command the army in compliance with the authority
17 delegated to him by the president of the Republic in accordance with the
18 law. So that's how the structure is devised?
19 A. Yes, sir. I mean, that's -- it's evident.
20 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
21 That's a convenient moment, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 Mr. Butler, you can leave the courtroom. Thank you so much. We'll
24 meet again tomorrow morning at 9.00.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just to let you know, as I've
3 mentioned to my colleagues, it is my intention to withdraw Mr. Vasic as a
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. We have no comments.
6 We have a --
7 MR. HAYNES: No, I should say I haven't fully digested that
8 information yet. It may well be that I want to place a certain condition
9 on that, but I'll discuss it with Mr. McCloskey.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
11 We have a ruling which will refer you back in time to a previous
12 decision of this Trial Chamber, which goes back to the 12th of September
13 of 2006. In that decision, which I will be referring to as "the Rule 92
14 bis decision" for practical reasons, the Trial Chamber provisionally
15 admitted the written statements of Witnesses 27, 51, 57, 60, 61 and 81,
16 without requiring any of the said witnesses to appear for
17 cross-examination, and that was pending the provision of their statements
18 in a form that, in the Trial Chamber's judgement, satisfied the
19 requirements of Rule 92 bis, paragraph (b).
20 Reviewing our records, it transpires that Witness 81 subsequently
21 testified before this Trial Chamber pursuant to Rule 92 ter on the 11th
22 and 12th of January of last year. Witness 60 was subsequently withdrawn
23 by the Prosecution, according to our records, on the 3rd of October, 2007.
24 In a submission which dates back to 19th October 2007, the
25 Prosecution provided certified statements for Witnesses 27, 57 and 61.
1 Subsequently, in a further submission dated 8 November 2007, the
2 Prosecution provided a certified statement for the remaining witness,
3 namely, Witness 51.
4 Now, we have, that's the Trial Chamber, reviewed the four
5 submitted statements carefully, and we have come to a conclusion that they
6 comply with the requirements of Rule 92 bis, para (b). Accordingly, the
7 four written statements are being admitted in evidence, in accordance with
8 the Trial Chamber's decision of the 12th September 2006, which I referred
9 to as a Rule 92 bis decision.
10 The statements are the following: P02199, and that refers to
11 Witness number 27; P02203, and it refers to Witness 51; P02217, and it
12 refers to Witness 57; and P02225, and it refers to Witness number 61.
13 So we stand adjourned until tomorrow. I would suggest at this
14 point in time, because we have no intention of wasting any time at all,
15 that Mr. McCloskey and the representation of the Defence teams, you sit
16 down and organise a little bit the scheduling now that Vasic is not coming
17 over. I think Mr. Josse and Mr. Haynes need to give you an indication of
18 how long their cross-examination of this witness will last, and then you
19 do the rest, and you will give us a little bit of a clearer breakdown
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Just one thing. Mr. Parsons, it's my understanding he is
23 available for all day Friday but then the following week has various
24 meetings, so we hope to get to him on Friday. And the other person is
25 in-house and is ready to go, so I'll be discussing that, but just so you
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Thank you. And please convey our
3 apologies to the next Trial Chamber. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
6 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.