1 Wednesday, 30 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Good morning, Madam
7 Registrar. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, madam.
11 All the accused are here. Absent, Ms. Nikolic, Mr. Meek. The
12 Prosecution, it's just Mr. McCloskey today.
13 The witness is already present. Good morning to you, Mr. Butler.
14 Mr. Josse will be proceeding with his cross-examination.
15 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed].
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: Good morning, Your Honour, and thank you.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
19 Q. Mr. Butler, this morning I would like to turn to the issue of your
20 independent expertise. And on the 22nd of January of this year, at page
21 20158 of the transcript, my learned friend Mr. Ostojic was cross-examining
22 you on this topic, and forgive me for saying this. He then got slightly
23 waylaid on the issue of aerial images, and I would like to return to the
24 subject without touching on that rather sensitive matter. And you had
25 said to him that, and I paraphrase, with respect to the Srebrenica team
1 and investigation, you accepted that you were integrated as a strategic
2 member of the OTP. Do you recall that?
3 A. Not of the OTP, but certainly a strategic member of the Srebrenica
4 investigative team, yes, sir.
5 Q. Yes. Well, the transcript says that. I'm not going to hold you
6 to that slight difference, because it's understandable, in particular
7 because Mr. Ostojic speaks English so fast. But, anyway, leaving that
8 aside, perhaps you'd tell us this: What was your role within that team;
9 purely an analyst or did you have any other role?
10 A. My role as an analyst was -- was primarily to help the team
11 members, the investigators and the prosecutors, to understand the military
12 context of the issues surrounding the crime base that they were
13 investigating. I did not perform duties as an investigator in so much as
14 interviewing witnesses and things of that nature. I mean, when I
15 participated in those events, and I did participate in a number of
16 interviews, I did so second chair, so to speak, to the investigator. They
17 ran those types of issues that are within their competence to do,
18 certainly. So my views, analytically speaking, with respect to where
19 military units or police units were involved in various areas and time and
20 everything else ultimately became part of the team's understanding of, you
21 know, the larger issues of where military formations were and who their
22 commanders were with respect to the crime base. So that was my role as an
23 analyst. I was not a super investigator or something of that nature.
24 Q. So far as the interviews were concerned, did it ever occur to you
25 to say to your bosses, "Well, perhaps I shouldn't participate in these.
1 It's going to compromise my independence"?
2 A. No, sir. In fact, the -- for me, the opposite was more
3 applicable. Given the fact that much of my work, as I've testified,
4 revolves around the fact of taking what was for formerly the JNA doctrine,
5 the VRS documents and rules as I understood them, and because I wasn't a
6 member of the JNA or VRS, I had a very keen interest in talking
7 particularly those military officials who could provide information as to
8 whether or not I was in fact pursuing a correct theory on the
9 applicability of those issues. I mean, I felt that it was vital to my
10 analysis to be able to get that opinion from these individuals.
11 Q. And you were present at the interviews of some significant
12 characters, so far as this case is concerned. Correct me if I'm wrong.
13 You were present at Trivic's interview, Sladojevic's interview, Momir
14 Nikolic's interview, Borin's [phoen] interview and Erdemovic's interviews;
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. And bearing that in mind, wouldn't it be fair to say that you were
18 Mr. Ruez simply with a military hat on? You've had a few years experience
19 in the US military, you got to the rank of warrant officer, you did some
20 analysis for the United States. What's the difference between you and
21 Mr. Ruez? Why can't he give the evidence you're giving?
22 A. Well, sir, I mean, going back to that particular context,
23 Mr. Ruez, as a experienced police investigator and as the team leader,
24 dealt with many aspects of the conduct of the investigation, which I would
25 have had no involvement in; the issue of forensics, the issue of evidence
1 collection, those types of things. I mean, those are not my area of
2 expertise. I have no qualifications in them.
3 Conversely, you know, as a police investigator and expert, you
4 know, Mr. Ruez's limits with respect to being able to spend the months and
5 in some cases years that I have spent looking at the military doctrine,
6 understanding how the military interrelationship worked during the
7 conflict, I mean, he would not have the ability to do that by virtue of a
8 lack of the professional education to do so. So our roles are
9 complementary and they're not necessarily overlapping.
10 Q. So what do you put it down to, your education and experience in
11 the United States Army or the very many years you had working for the very
12 organisation that's prosecuting these seven men? What is it that you say
13 allows you to come here and give expert military opinion?
14 A. It's a combination of both. My training with the United States
15 Army gave me the knowledge and the tools to be able to understand what the
16 job was and to know how to organise it to do the analysis, as I've had to
17 do that in the past. My specific experience here, essentially working
18 with, for lack of a better term, a non-public collection of material, gave
19 me the specific expertise relating to this particular crime base and this
20 particular military unit, the Drina Corps.
21 Q. How many warrant officers are there in the United States Army or
22 how many were there at the point you retired?
23 A. I couldn't tell you that. I could tell you that in my particular
24 career field, as all-source intelligence analyst, there were, when I
25 retired, roughly 150.
1 Q. Would the number of warrant officers go into the thousands?
2 A. Well, the warrant officer field in the United States Army probably
3 would go into about, I mean, easily 25, 30,000.
4 Q. Thank you. And perhaps you'd help us. The correlation between a
5 warrant officer and, shall we say, an officer who has just come out of the
6 US military academy with the rank of second lieutenant is what, please?
7 In other words, the lowest commissioned officer and a warrant officer,
8 what is the correlation and the command structure between those positions?
9 A. Warrant officers, we are considered by -- in at least my military,
10 we are considered to be our army's professional experts on technical
11 issues. So in that context, that is why we exist. We are considered to
12 be, certainly once you get to the rank of chief warrant officer two, you
13 are commissioned, and in fact you take a commissioning oath. A young
14 lieutenant coming out of the system, you know, these are young officers
15 who will one day, you know -- are considered to be individuals who are
16 also professionals in their trade and they will be groomed for command.
17 As such, their professional education and professional development and
18 career track, you know, are going to differ.
19 By accepting the fact that warrant officers are not going to be
20 individuals who are going to be groomed for senior leadership issues -- or
21 senior issues of command, you know, we have the ability to be able to
22 focus strictly on technical issues of our career fields and not have to,
23 as we say, you know, be reassigned to other areas in order to broaden our
24 perspective on various military issues that are of value to the service
25 but not necessarily have any bearing to our own technical qualifications.
1 Q. If push comes to shove, a situation occurs where there's a warrant
2 officer and a second lieutenant, who's in charge?
3 A. Well, the second lieutenant is in charge in the chain of command.
4 Q. So -- and there must be tens of thousands of commissioned officers
5 in the United States Army who therefore have command over warrant
6 officers; correct?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Literally tens of thousands?
9 A. Absolutely, yes.
10 Q. Now, let's go back, if we may, to your role within the Office of
11 the Prosecutor. You've described how you would give this, as you put it,
12 technical expertise to the investigators and the lawyers. To what extent
13 were you involved in constructing the case theory with the investigators
14 and the lawyers, or did you step aside from that in order to maintain your
16 A. No, sir. I mean, I -- I didn't see it as an issue of my
17 independence. I was involved in setting up the case theory, with the --
18 to the extent that we were talking about the potential involvement of
19 units of the Drina Corps and their subordinate formations. I mean, that
20 was a fundamental component of my analysis, to be able to provide
21 information which we would share with the investigators and with the
22 lawyers that said, you know, here were the designated commanders at the
23 time, here is the information that proves that they were in command during
24 various portions. So, I mean, it was an integrated process. I mean,
25 there wasn't an artificial separation there.
1 Q. To what extent were you party to discussions as to who should and
2 should not be indicted before this Tribunal?
3 A. I believe as I testified before, I was probably a party to almost
4 all of those discussions while I was here. The difference is I just
5 didn't get a vote.
6 Q. What about the construction of the indictment in General Krstic's
7 case; did you have any say or party -- or part in the construction of that
9 A. In the sense of General Krstic, I was certainly involved in the
10 construction with respect to the factual issues that went as part of the
11 indictment. I don't believe I was involved with respect to issues
12 relating to, you know, legal issues, theories of liability, things of that
14 Q. You had your part and your say in the construction of the factual
15 allegations that that man faced when he stood trial in this building;
17 A. Yes, sir, absolutely.
18 Q. What about when it came to Colonel Blagojevic and I think it's
19 Major Jokic?
20 A. Yes, sir, to the same degree. My responsibility as part of that
21 process was to contribute with respect to the factual basis.
22 Q. And clearly perhaps most importantly, what about in relation to
23 these seven gentlemen who are standing trial here?
24 A. Well, Colonel Pandurevic was indicted as part of the same package
25 that General Krstic was, so certainly I was heavily involved in the
1 indictment of Colonel Pandurevic. I think there was -- I was involved to
2 a certain degree with Colonel Beara, Colonel Popovic, because I believe
3 the discussions on those individuals was still occurring while I was
4 here. With respect to Generals Gvero and Miletic and Colonel Borovcanin
5 and Drago Nikolic, I don't believe I was involved, because I think most of
6 the substantive issues behind that may have already occurred either as I
7 was getting ready to leave or as I was leaving, so I don't think I was
8 heavily involved in that process.
9 Q. All right, let's move on. I'll ask a matter of a little
10 sensitivity. What about the unfortunate victims and all their families of
11 these awful crimes; have you had any dealings with them?
12 A. No, sir, not -- not at any level I'm aware of. I mean, I would
13 have obviously come across them with respect to, you know, their testimony
14 as witnesses and things of that nature, but on a professional
15 investigative basis, other than maybe meeting, you know, once or twice,
16 you know, someone like Hasan Nuhanovic, no.
17 Q. What about the wives of some of the men killed; did you ever meet
18 any of them in the field, inadvertently or otherwise?
19 A. I know that I may have come across the testimony of one or two,
20 again, as part of the witness process, but, you know, as a general
21 practice, dealing with the actual victims was not something that I needed
22 to do or deal with to do my work, so I didn't.
23 Q. Now, you have conceded that you are not independent of the Office
24 of the Prosecutor, for the reasons you've described, but you have
25 maintained that you're entirely objective. That's really what you're
1 saying, isn't it?
2 A. Yes, sir. I mean, as a practical reality, you know, I acknowledge
3 that I'm not independent of the Office of the Prosecutor because I worked
4 for them. Having said that, you know, my understanding of what my role is
5 within the organisation, as an analyst, is to be able to, to the extent
6 that I can, demonstrate what ground truth was, and it has the impact that
7 it has on where the Office of the Prosecutor takes cases. That is why
8 I've tried to do as detailed a job as I can in footnoting and making clear
9 all of my particular judgements and conclusions, you know, because I am
10 aware of the fact that I'm not going to be perceived as a neutral party.
11 Q. Do you think the maxim "he who pays the piper calls the tune" has
12 any application in your case?
13 A. Again, as I indicated before, as a matter of my professional
14 training, my military superiors expected me to be able to give them the
15 most candid and truthful observation of what was happening on the
16 battlefield, obviously despite my own loyalty to my own army. That's what
17 I was paid to do, that's what I was trained to do. I did it in the United
18 States Army, and to the best that I could, I did it in the same location
19 for the exact same reasons.
20 Q. Well, I don't want to upset the United States Army, so I'm not
21 going to ask you about your role there, but I am going to ask you about
22 your role here and try and test what you have just said.
23 Give the Trial Chamber one concrete example of where you stood up
24 to your bosses in the Office of the Prosecutor and said, "No, I don't
25 think that theory is right because of X, Y and Z," in relation to the
1 military field. Demonstrate your independence to this Court.
2 A. You've -- you could probably subpoena half of the Galic trial
3 team, to include the Deputy Prosecutor of the OTP, and get an entire
4 chapter on my disagreement with how the Office of the Prosecutor dealt
5 with the Galic case. I was one of the two military analysts assigned to
6 that, and I think that if you polled the second floor, you probably would
7 get most of the senior trial attorneys who would be able to tell you in
8 chapter and verse how bloody that fighting was with respect to military
9 opinions versus prosecutorial goals.
10 Q. And how did that manifest itself in the trial, for those of us who
11 don't know?
12 A. Well, at the end of the day, it's the responsibility of the senior
13 trial attorney to make the decisions for the conduct of the trial.
14 Perhaps the best thing that can be said about that is the fact that after
15 the Prosecution case was over, I was no longer working for that particular
16 trial team.
17 Q. And this aspect of your independence you've just described, did it
18 manifest itself at all in the Srebrenica team?
19 A. To a large degree, it didn't.
20 Q. Because there was no disagreements?
21 A. The thing which made it very professionally rewarding for me in
22 the Srebrenica team, and what set it apart from the Galic case, for that
23 matter, was the fact that from the very beginning, the investigative team
24 did not have a preconceived notion of who they were going to indict and
25 how it was going to work and then tried to make the analysis fit. They
1 were very receptive to the idea -- to the fact that collectively at the
2 time, we all didn't know. I mean, I think I've testified that the Drina
3 Corps when I got here was an abstract entity. We didn't know what it was
4 and what it meant, and it was a collective process where we all came to,
5 you know, the knowledge base together.
6 So it wasn't a question of trying to jam military analysis in
7 order to fit a legal theory. It was more along the lines of the fact that
8 the legal theory was built around the analysis.
9 Q. All right. Let's go back, if I may, to where I began. I've
10 nearly finished this line of questions.
11 You are saying that what distinguishes you from Mr. Ruez or, for
12 that matter, Mr. McCloskey are the years of experience you had in the US
13 doing military analyst work and the fact that you were able to devote so
14 much time to military issues when you came to The Hague; correct?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. You accept, don't you, that if it wasn't for the fact that you'd
17 had all this time to examine these particular matters, you in fact
18 wouldn't be in a position to comment on these matters, over and above
19 thousands of other members of the US Army, for example?
20 A. Yes, sir. My expertise is based on my work. I know we've had
21 this discussion on a legal basis about what a military expert is or is
22 not, but I can assure you that other than CNN, you know, nobody has the
23 title "military expert." You know, your expertise is developed on the
24 basis of your history, your training, and the work that you do, not that
25 you go to a qualification course and you walk out as a military expert who
1 can talk about any particular region under the sun.
2 Q. But it would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that you couldn't
3 comment about practicalities in combat in the way that a person who
4 actually served in combat could? Do you agree with that?
5 A. I would disagree, in so much as I have done a number of
6 contingency and combat-related tours, and I understand that. That's my
7 job to understand that. I mean, the United States Army trains me to do
8 intelligence, you know, in the clear light of the fact that it's going to
9 be done in combat.
10 Q. How can you comment in the way that, for example, an officer who
11 had senior command of a unit in combat would be able to, bearing in mind
12 the events that you're dealing with here, with real fighting, real flesh
13 and blood, I'm afraid?
14 A. Well, sir, I would go back to, again, as a role of the training
15 and experience. The United States Army, and my knowledge of the British
16 Army, you know, they don't take experienced combat commanders off of the
17 line and say, "Well, today you're going to be my intelligence officer,"
18 or, "You're going to study logistics." You know, the fact that I'm not a
19 brigade commander, you know, is precisely why, you know, my army trained
20 me to understand how their brigade commanders work, an opposition force.
21 I don't have to be a brigade commander to understand that. I do the
22 research. I don't have to be a professional logistician to understand how
23 an opposing force's logistical train should work. We don't use our
24 logisticians to do intelligence. We use our logisticians to supply our
25 army. That is how we operated. That is the course of my training and
2 So I understand your position, how can I comment on what a brigade
3 commander was or was not supposed to do with respect to the rules and his
4 training because I wasn't one, but, you know, the opposite is that because
5 that is precisely what I was trained to do as part of my own military
7 Q. Your lack of practical experience of combat makes you very
8 ill-equipped to comment as an expert, doesn't it?
9 A. You may have that opinion, but I will disagree.
10 Q. Let's -- let me ask you one last thing. Shortly after the passage
11 that I referred to at the beginning of this morning, the learned Presiding
12 Judge tried to cut through things in "a radical way" and asked you about
13 how you understood your role as an expert. And you commented that, and
14 I'm paraphrasing here at page 20159, that you weren't an independent
15 arbitrator of the facts who had no association with the OTP, but you
16 believed the way your reports are written and information is provided,
17 that you're being as fair and as technically accurate "as I can with the
18 assistance of the Court."
19 You're bound to say that, aren't you?
20 A. That is -- that is my role as an analyst. I'm bound to say a lot
21 of things. I don't quite understand the question. I mean --
22 Q. Let's have a look at what I suggest --
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. -- is you betray your objectivity and you showing your bias
25 towards at least one of these accused.
1 And If we could please have in e-court the VRS Main Staff command
2 responsibility report. I'm told I need a 65 ter number. 2764. And we
3 need to go, please, to paragraph 2.10.
4 Now, this was the report that you wrote dated the 9th of June of
5 2006 in relation to the Main Staff, and the passage that I'm taking you to
6 is the passage that deals with the assistant commander for morale, legal
7 and religious affairs. And after saying that the sector was an important
8 component of the Main Staff, you say:
9 "First and foremost, this staff element was responsible for
10 managing the information/propaganda campaign in support of war aims."
11 That's not true, is it?
12 A. I believe it is.
13 Q. You are saying that the main role of that sector was propaganda,
14 rather than morale, are you?
15 A. Propaganda is a tool by which people use, you know, information in
16 order to impact morale. It's -- it's a component part of how it's done.
17 It's not a separate issue.
18 Q. That may be right, but first and foremost, that sector dealt with
19 morale; propaganda may have been part of the issue and import of morale,
20 but what you should have said there is that they dealt with morale, not
21 propaganda. You said "propaganda" because it sounds worse. That's the
22 truth, Mr. Butler, isn't it?
23 A. No, sir, I guess I don't -- I don't put the same meaning or
24 connotation to "propaganda" that you do.
25 Q. Well, why don't you describe in that report anywhere anything else
1 about morale other than propaganda?
2 A. The issue of morale, while an important part of military
3 operations, I mean, doesn't play into the issue of what happened in July
4 of 1995, as far as I can determine. I mean, the fact that the staff
5 section is entirely involving itself -- to a large degree, I should say,
6 not "entirely," you know, involving its issue to maintaining the positive
7 morale of the soldiers of the VRS and, to a larger extent, also the RS
8 population behind the war aims, is a fascinating military issue that has
9 very little bearing on July of 1995.
10 Q. You're making it up as you go along, Mr. Butler. Read 2.10.
11 There's no reference to 1995, is there?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, okay. Please.
13 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour, I'm going to put my case forcefully
14 to this witness, and I'm entitled to do that, in my submission. And if my
15 learned friend feels he needs to be a hound dog and guard dog for this
16 gentleman, then so be it, but I am going to put my case firmly and
17 squarely to him. If the Court thinks I'm exceeding the bounds of
18 propriety, then they'll tell me.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and we're telling you precisely that. I don't
20 think we should -- you should use such words as, "You're making it up as
21 you go along, Mr. Butler." Please, you can make your point and get there
22 using more moderate language.
23 All right. I mean, please keep in your mind that not everyone is
24 used, familiar to the kind of cross-examination that you are used to, and
25 that some people happen to be more sensitive than others and some people
1 would understand the words or the phrase that you used in a way which is
2 very offensive. I don't, but I think it's the case of moderating.
3 MR. JOSSE: I'll heed the warning, thank you. I'll rephrase the
5 Q. 2.10 does not deal with 1995, does it?
6 A. No, sir, but the whole context of these reports, as I've indicated
7 as a component part of the introduction of these reports, is that they
8 ultimately deal with issues of 1995. So I've said it up front. I hope I
9 don't have to repeat it in every paragraph.
10 Q. Well, for example, to test what you've just said, why mention at
11 all, then, the issue of the military prosecutor's offices, bearing in mind
12 they had ceased to be a responsibility of my client from mid-1993? What
13 possible relevance did that have?
14 A. The possible relevance of that is even though General Gvero's
15 office ceased to have control over that process, the fact that that
16 process was still available to him, first of all, in July of 1995. The
17 second part and why I believe it's relevant is that going back to the
18 October 1992 guidance, where the -- his particular branch, you know, sends
19 out the information in a correct manner, reminding the senior military
20 officials of the army what their obligations are, and at the time he was
21 sending it out, he also controlled that as well. So, for me, it's a
22 framework of establishing the fact that by position and not just by his
23 own, what, over 25 years of military experience, that these are issues
24 that he should have been acquainted with and in fact was acquainted with
25 in 1992. So that was the connection that I am trying to make.
1 Q. Would you accept that the concept of morale, using the
2 word "concept" reasonably advisedly, connoted and involved a great deal
3 more than information/propaganda?
4 A. Absolutely, yes, sir.
5 Q. And the reason you didn't say that was because you say it had no
6 relevance to the events that concern this case; is that your evidence?
7 A. Well, sir, I mean, just going through the issues of morale, for
8 example, under the issue of morale, how soldiers who are killed serving
9 their army and their country are dealt with, their military funerals and
10 the benefits that the army provides with that respect, particularly in the
11 culture I understand it, is of enormous significance, and the particular
12 morale branches of those units were deeply involved in doing that
13 correctly to honour the families and the service members. It's an
14 important position, but in the context of what we're talking about in July
15 1995, is not of particular relevance. By not mentioning it in that
16 context, I'm not saying that it's not an important factor. It certainly
17 was. But for the purposes of why we're all here today, it's not relevant.
18 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you this once again. Let's look at the
20 "First and foremost, this staff element was responsible for
21 managing the information/propaganda campaign in support of war aims."
22 Bearing in mind your concession that the sector was involved in
23 much more than information and propaganda, do you think that sentence was
25 A. Oh, absolutely not, sir. I mean, the reality is that most of the
1 soldiers in the army did not, one, have a vested interest in the creation
2 of an independent state, they did not have a vested interest in the
3 ascension of power of Radovan Karadzic and the SDS, and that they were
4 fighting for their own simple goals of the protection of their families
5 and the protection of their villages. So the efforts of the VRS, in order
6 to try and reach out through informational campaigns, through propaganda,
7 through whatever means necessary to try and impart shared goals and shared
8 values on a largely apathetic group of soldiers was of enormous importance
9 to the army. And I think from very early on, the senior leadership of the
10 army recognised that as such.
11 Q. Well, I think it's arguable whether you've answered my question,
12 but I'm going to move on and invite you to consider the answer you've just
13 given, because it's an interesting answer. And you might want to read it
14 back. It's an answer that comes from someone who has expertise in matters
15 political rather than military, isn't it? Isn't it a good example of your
16 straying over the boundary and really simply saying whatever suits the
17 Prosecution case?
18 A. No, sir. I'm saying what's in a reflection of the military
19 documents that I've read. I mean, I don't need to be a political expert
20 to understand the ramifications of the 1993 Banja Luka military mutiny and
21 issues related to that. I don't need to be a military expert to
22 understand what General Mladic is saying in military publications.
23 Q. Absolutely, Mr. Butler, but none of us need to. The reason you're
24 here is not to help with things that you don't need to be a military
25 expert about. You're here to help specifically with military matters, and
1 that answer belies that, doesn't it? That answer shows you're straying
2 into matters of politics and media and propaganda, different areas of
3 expertise. Wouldn't you agree?
4 A. No, sir, because the issues that I'm talking about revolve around
5 the conduct of how the VRS operated, I mean, which is a fundamental
6 component of why I'm here and what, as a role -- my role was in the office
7 of Prosecutor, understanding how that worked and why it worked the way it
8 did under various circumstances.
9 Q. In this case, we haven't heard from a media expert, but media
10 experts have been instructed by the Office of the Prosecutor, haven't
11 they, in other cases?
12 A. I -- I mean --
13 Q. If you don't know --
14 A. I don't know. I mean, I won't say that you're wrong, I just -- I
15 don't know. I don't know what you qualify as a media expert, but --
16 Q. Well, that's what we said in the case that I was involved in. Be
17 that -- be that -- be that as it may, you wouldn't accept that the issues
18 contained in, if we turn the page, 2.11 of this report really matters that
19 are better dealt with by someone who has political, media, or even perhaps
20 expertise in the area of propaganda?
21 A. No, sir, only so much as the fact that my views on these matters
22 are a direct reflection of my work with the VRS military documents. I
23 mean, if an outside expert wants to come in and spend three years
24 reviewing this in the same manner for these same types of insights, I'm
25 certainly -- you know, it's something that can be done. But my expertise
1 on this and what I've written in this particular paragraph is a reflection
2 of my understanding of what the VRS was saying in its own documents about
3 its own goals.
4 Q. Can I just pick you up on what you just said? It really did take
5 you three years or more to get to this state of knowledge to be able to
6 give this type of expert evidence; is that right?
7 A. Probably considerably more than that. I started the process in
8 June of 1997, and as I think I indicated to Ms. Fauveau yesterday, you
9 know, every day I still learn something new about this particular case.
10 So, I mean, I've been working on this now over a decade, and I'm not going
11 to say that I'm even close to approaching the peak of knowledge that I
12 hope to one day have on this.
13 Q. Let's look at the last paragraph on this subject, 2.12, please.
14 Would you accept that all the warring parties were engaged in
15 disinformation to some extent?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Why do you say that the sector for morale was itself involved in
18 showing increasing sophistication throughout the war in relation to
20 A. Well, sir, I think -- and again my reflection of reading their
21 documents is that in the early part of the war, their view was that the
22 Western media was particularly biased against them, in substance and form
23 of reporting, and their initial inclination was to deny access to much of
24 that Western media. As the war progressed, the VRS leadership came to
25 realise that cutting off the media in that respect was actually being more
1 counterproductive and that what they needed to start engaging in was a
2 process by which they could start to offset the negative media by allowing
3 select access to Western media or by offsetting it by media outlets that
4 they viewed to be more sympathetic to their views.
5 So part of it is potentially, you know, the socialist culture of
6 being able to completely control the media, and then here these
7 professionals are where they don't have that and they start to recognise,
8 you know, the ramifications that an independent media and independent
9 reporting, as they called it, was having on their war aims and how their
10 operations and war aims were being viewed by larger communities. So they
11 did become more sophisticated over time in their efforts to structure
12 information that was being put out by these media outlets in a light more
13 favourable to them.
14 Q. My question was specific and related to the sector for morale,
15 rather than the VRS --
16 A. The sector for morale controlled access of the media. It went
17 through them in the Main Staff and through the corps. So they were the
18 leading edge of being able to control that process.
19 Q. But the matter was largely in the hands of the politicians, wasn't
21 A. Not with respect to the armour, sir, no.
22 Q. No, but largely, insofar as the outside world was concerned, it
23 was the politicians, it was Dr. Karadzic who was controlling it. Don't
24 lay the blame at my client's door. Be fair.
25 A. Again, my views on these issues are shaped by the VRS military
1 documents that I've read. They reflect that the VRS itself believed that
2 it had a role to play in this process and did so. Whether or not it was
3 subordinate to Karadzic or superior to the politicians is not a matter
4 that I looked into.
5 Q. All right. Let's have a look at another aspect of this
6 paragraph. You say that the activity of disinformation reached a zenith
7 in 1995 when UNPROFOR and later the Rapid Reaction Force were seen by the
8 VRS leadership as significant obstacles to their objectives. Well, the
9 Rapid Reaction Force was undoubtedly a significant obstacle to the
10 objectives of the VRS; we can agree on that, can't we?
11 A. Yes, sir, I mean, certainly from their perception.
12 Q. And that's why General Smith wanted to create that Rapid Reaction
13 Force, in order to obstruct the Bosnian Serbs; it's as simple as that,
14 isn't it?
15 A. Well, I believe General Smith has testified to that. I don't -- I
16 didn't follow all of General Smith's testimony, so I can't tell you what
17 he would have answered with that. I mean -- so, I mean, I don't know the
18 answer to that. I mean, I assume General Smith was asked and answered
19 that question.
20 Q. Okay. Let's examine UNPROFOR, which is General Smith as well, in
21 fact, because of course he was the commander of UNPROFOR. But from your
22 perspective as a military expert, UNPROFOR were posing significant
23 obstacles to the objectives of the VRS. You admitted that yesterday in
24 relation to the Srebrenica and Zepa zones, the enclaves, not policing them
1 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
2 Q. So all you stated there is the obvious, isn't it?
3 A. Well, I mean, "obvious" is a point-of-view argument. My views on
4 that, again, are with respect to what the VRS was saying about the
5 UNPROFOR in their own documents. Whether, in the light of a neutral
6 review by somebody, the UNPROFOR was or was not neutral is not an issue of
7 relevance to me. What is an issue of relevance is the fact that the VRS
8 believed that the UNPROFOR was tilted against them and that that was a
9 planning consideration for them and they took it into account.
10 Q. So you're saying it's not for you to say if that was fair on their
11 part or not; you're just saying it's a fact of life that it's something
12 that they, the VRS, took into account? That's the tenure of your
13 evidence; correct?
14 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
15 Q. And you also end with the lovely word "obscured," the true intent
16 of the VRS military objectives obscured. It's not surprising that the VRS
17 military objectives were obscured. Most, if not at all, military
18 objectives are obscured in some way, are they not, particularly in
20 A. Yes, sir, and -- you know, just like -- you know, I don't mean for
21 the phrase "obscure" to have some sort of a sinister connotation. You
22 know, the fact that the VRS would want to hide its true military
23 objectives from outside observers, to include the UNPROFOR, is a natural
24 consequence of military actions. I don't see that as a problem.
25 Q. I'll be stopped if this is a rude or unfair question, but haven't
1 you deliberately structured that paragraph, which states, for the most
2 part, no more than the obvious, in a particularly pejorative way so it
3 sounds and reads badly for General Gvero?
4 A. I guess I have to confess that even though we share a common
5 language, your view of it and mine are radically different. No, I don't
6 see it that way at all, sir.
7 Q. I don't have views, Mr. Butler. I'm simply putting a case to you
8 and asking you some questions. Let me make that clear.
9 A. No, sir, I would disagree. I don't believe that I have structured
10 this in some form of a sinister view, no, sir.
11 Q. All right. We'll return to the report in a few minutes' time in
12 relation to one other aspect.
13 I would like now to turn, if I may, to my client's presence at
14 Pribicevac and the document P849. It's 849. Yes, that's the right
15 document in e-court.
16 Now, you gave evidence, in relation to this document, what seems
17 to many of us, and I suspect this includes the Trial Chamber, an eternity
18 ago on the 16th of January, 2008, at page 19794, and you were asked what
19 you can tell from the fact that it was directed to Gvero and Krstic
20 personally, and you comment on Krstic and then you say:
21 "General Gvero, the Main Staff officer, is present at that
22 location as well."
23 And you in no way qualified that. You simply said that it shows
24 that Gvero was present as well. That wasn't always your opinion, was it?
25 A. My understanding of what General Gvero was doing there was, as
1 I've discussed before, it was rather a common practice for the Main Staff
2 to send out an officer --
3 Q. I would --
4 A. -- to do that, I mean, so --
5 Q. Well, I'm going to stop you because I --
6 A. If my opinion has changed on that, I mean, you're obviously free
7 to show me, because I think I've been fairly consistent through the years
8 on what General Gvero was doing there or not.
9 Q. I was only stopping you because we are going to turn to what he
10 was doing there in a few moments' time. I'm not going to avoid that
11 issue. The issue that I'm first asking you about is whether your evidence
12 has ever shifted on the issue as to whether in fact he was there and --
13 A. Oh, okay, whether in fact he was there?
14 Q. Yes. I'll give you an opportunity, if you want, before --
15 A. It -- it may very well have. I don't believe initially -- I don't
16 believe initially that we had visibility that General Gvero was there at
17 the time. I think it was only through some latter documents that came out
18 that his presence was established at that location. So, I mean, it
19 wouldn't surprise me that my view would have changed on that.
20 Q. Well, it did, because in the case of General Krstic, at page 4823,
21 you were asked this question by Mr. McCloskey:
22 "Now we have General Gvero. What can you make of his presence on
23 this document?"
24 And your answer was as follows:
25 "This part for me, analytically speaking, an unanswered question.
1 We have no physical evidence or we have no other information, either from
2 sightings or from any other aspect of our information, that indicates that
3 General Gvero was physically on the ground at Srebrenica or at the forward
4 command post. There are a lot of ways to read this. I mean, he could in
5 fact be there, and this is the only indication that we have of it, and I
6 cannot confirm that or that this message was sent to him at the Main Staff
7 for his benefit as well. But the short answer is, relative to General
8 Gvero, I don't know."
9 Now --
10 A. Yes, sir, I remember that passage, and, yeah, at the time that was
12 Q. And what is it that's made you change your mind?
13 A. Well, I believe that subsequent to that, as part of the continuing
14 investigation, a number of officers from the VRS, you know, have in fact,
15 you know, reflected that he was there during this time.
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. So, I mean, that tends to confirm that.
18 Q. Yes. So I would accept that, that based on what various people
19 have said in the eight years since you gave that evidence, it's been
20 suggested by a number of witnesses, not all of whom were in the VRS, for
21 your information, in fact, that he was present at that command post at
22 that time. Why didn't you say that? Why didn't you qualify the answer,
23 because it's quite an important point, isn't it?
24 And let me explain the point to you and put it to you. Your
25 analysis of the document didn't reveal that Gvero was there. You were
1 quite clear about that in the Krstic trial. The only reason you're giving
2 support to my client being present there is based on what other people
3 have said in the intervening period. Why didn't you say that? Why didn't
4 you make it clear the nature of your analysis?
5 A. I believe that I did. I don't -- again, as I discussed before, I
6 wasn't in the habit or practice of putting witness base testimony into the
7 context of my reports, but certainly where I'm asked these questions in
8 court, you know, I can wrap that particular issue in, and I do as part of
9 my oral testimony.
10 Q. But you didn't, Mr. Butler, you --
11 A. At that point in time, I didn't have that information.
12 Q. Apologies. Let me finish.
13 A. Okay.
14 Q. You didn't -- when you gave evidence before this Chamber ten days
15 or so ago, you simply said:
16 "General Gvero, the Main Staff officer, is present at that
17 location as well."
18 You didn't seek to qualify that by explaining that you make that
19 assumption, that conclusion, on what others have said and not on the basis
20 of the document. It belies your trade is what I'm saying to you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's the second time he's misstated
23 the evidence, as if this document has nothing to do with the presence of
24 General Gvero. It's improper to misstate the evidence. It creates a
25 chaos in the record and it creates confusion in the witness. The witness
1 should not have to identify when a lawyer misstates the evidence. It is a
2 fundamental principle that I -- I'm sorry, that I need to object to.
3 MR. JOSSE: Well, I agree with that, but how am I misstating the
4 evidence? I don't understand the objection at all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey's suggestion is that the document
6 itself has nothing to do with this or cannot be used as a basis reading --
7 it's --
8 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry, Your Honour, with respect. I simply don't
10 JUDGE AGIUS: He said:
11 "This is the second time he is misstating the evidence, as if this
12 document has nothing to do with the presence of General Gvero."
13 This is precisely what he is alleging that you have misstated.
14 MR. JOSSE: It must be my fault. I'm --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. You asked the witness to explain why, in making
16 the statement that he made to us some ten days ago, if I remember well --
17 MR. JOSSE: Shall I try again, Your Honour, and see if I'm
18 misstating the evidence? I'll try again, if I may. Perhaps I didn't make
19 my point or my question clear.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me find your question, because I think the
21 question was clear. You said:
22 "You didn't -- when you gave evidence before this Chamber ten days
23 ago, you simply said General Gvero, the Main Staff officer, is present at
24 that location as well. You didn't seek to qualify that by explaining that
25 you make that assumption, that conclusion, on what others have said and
1 not on the basis of the document."
2 MR. JOSSE: It's been explained to me, I think.
3 Q. You're saying, are you, Mr. Butler, that you make the conclusion
4 that Gvero was present based on the document? I think that's where
5 Mr. McCloskey is saying I'm misstating the evidence. Is that --
6 A. I'm trying to unravel this in my own mind --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't read Mr. McCloskey that way. I don't
8 know. Perhaps Mr. McCloskey can explain further or perhaps we can -- but
9 I didn't read Mr. McCloskey as meaning that.
10 Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Butler has testified he's always taken the
12 document into account and he's also now taken evidence into account. To
13 pick one or the other and suggest it's the only reason why Mr. Butler has
14 come to a conclusion is a misstatement of the evidence, in my view, and
15 it's an important point. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered. But to
16 suggest, one way or the another, that his opinion is only based on the
17 document or his opinion is only based on the evidence, is improper,
18 because as I view it, his questions have incorporated both.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think we can safely move, Mr. Josse.
20 MR. JOSSE: Indeed.
21 Q. So far as the document is concerned, the document alone, you
22 presumably stand by what you said in Krstic's trial --
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. -- document alone in isolation?
25 A. In isolation, yes, sir.
1 Q. And what you're saying is in this court, your evidence needs to be
2 read in conjunction with what other people have subsequently said? I
3 think we can agree on that.
4 A. Yes, sir, and to expand on that point, the whole purpose of my
5 narrative reports, and in the past trials as well, you know, need to be
6 looked at in the light of what other witnesses and what other individuals
7 have said on these issues. I don't want my reports to be taken in
8 isolation for precisely that reason.
9 Q. And my question is a simple one. When you gave the evidence ten
10 days or so ago, why didn't you say that? Why didn't you say, "It's not
11 based purely on the document, it's based on oral testimony, statements,"
12 whatever, as well? That's what I'm exploring.
13 A. Well, sir, if I recall the question correctly as you recited it, I
14 wasn't asked to explain why I know, and, you know, I have been encouraged
15 to some degree to be as brief as possible with my answers. Certainly, had
16 the question been asked, and it has been asked by you, I'm willing to
17 explain it.
18 Q. And are you able to say offhand who the individuals are who've
19 made you change your mind?
20 A. I believe that it was -- one was, in fact, General Krstic. I
21 believe that the OTP interview of Obrad Vicic, the operations officer for
22 the Drina Corps, also confirmed that fact.
23 Q. Anyone else? Anyone who's given evidence in this trial?
24 A. Nobody strikes me as someone who's given evidence in this trial,
25 so I just don't know.
1 Q. Okay. I promised we'd come to the second part of the evidence in
2 relation to that, and that is your analysis of Gvero's presence there and
3 having any significance. And you went on to say:
4 "No, sir, other than just, again, a reflection of the practice
5 where in critical operations, that often officers of the Main Staff will
6 be present at these command posts to help oversee the operations."
7 And you go on and expand upon that. Do you have any idea now
8 where General Gvero came from prior to arriving at the IKM?
9 A. No, sir, I don't.
10 Q. Do you have any idea where he went when he departed the IKM?
11 A. I believe that at some juncture, he arrived back at the Main Staff
12 headquarters, because we have him in intercepts and in orders, I believe,
13 on the 11th and 12th. But, I mean, if -- from where he left and where he
14 went after that, I don't know.
15 Q. So based on that, how can you conclude so confidently that the
16 reason he was there was to oversee operations on behalf of the Main Staff?
17 A. Okay, I see. Then maybe this is where context is useful. When we
18 normally talk about General Gvero's involvement, particularly with respect
19 to previous trials, a fundamental component of the Defence of General
20 Krstic, particularly, was that General Gvero was in fact there as some
21 form of a manifestation of an independent chain of command around the
22 corps commander. When I talk about the issue of General Gvero's presence
23 there, you know, as the Main Staff representative, it's -- it's in light
24 of the fact that he's performing his function as the Main Staff and that
25 he is not somehow usurping the responsibility or authority of General
1 Krstic as the chief of staff and later commander at that juncture. So
2 that's -- that's how -- you know, the context by which I address that.
3 Q. I invited you to give that particular answer, but what you're
4 saying is you're basing your analysis, in effect, on what Krstic said in
5 his own defence at his own trial; correct?
6 A. No, sir. What I'm saying is that normally when the issue of
7 General Gvero comes up and what his purpose is, that is -- that is one of
8 the main reasons that colours that. My analysis of what General Gvero is
9 doing there is on the basis of what General Gvero's role would have been
10 as a Main Staff officer and the customary practice of the Main Staff to
11 send these people to these forward locations.
12 Q. But that is ultimately speculation; you don't know what he was
13 doing there, do you?
14 A. No, sir, and I know that. My role -- my view of what he was doing
15 there is coloured by his role as a Main Staff officer. I don't have the
16 specific document that articulates why he's there and exactly what he's
17 supposed to accomplish there.
18 Q. My last question on this: Bearing in mind what you've said, from
19 my point of view, rather helpfully in that last answer, I don't want to be
20 unfair, but why didn't you say that when Mr. McCloskey asked you the
21 original question, because the an important qualification, isn't it?
22 A. Sir, I believe I have said that, when I was asked what he was
23 doing there, and I explained what he would be doing there in his role as a
24 Main Staff officer within the custom.
25 Q. But you don't actually know that; it is ultimately speculative on
1 your part, so --
2 A. No, sir, it is a presumption, yes, sir. I don't know, as a fact,
3 exactly what he was doing.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. I mean, I assume he wasn't there in a lounge chair, but I can't
6 tell you that, you know, his role, you know, on the basis of any
8 Q. I think I'll settle for that and move on. The next issue I'd like
9 to turn to, please, is the order purportedly from General Gvero of the
10 13th of July, and that can be found at P45.
11 And simply bring that up for a moment so we can remind ourselves
12 of what I'm talking about. I'd like to briefly look, as a preamble to the
13 questions about the document itself at what you said about it in your Main
14 Staff report at page 24. So could we have the Main Staff report up again,
15 please, which was 2764. And it's 4.9.
16 I'll let you read the paragraph to yourself, Mr. Butler.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we blow that up? I can't read that very
18 well. I don't know if the witness can.
19 THE WITNESS: That's why I've got my glasses.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it good like that?
21 THE WITNESS: I'm fine, sir, yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I can read it, anyway.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. You don't give there the detailed analysis of the document that
25 you have in your oral testimony. Any reason for that?
1 A. I'm noting there the context of the order. If you want to read
2 back my oral testimony on it to refresh my memory, it might be helpful,
3 and then I can explain, you know, or answer your questions.
4 Q. Well, in essence, you deal there with the fact that -- your
5 evidence that Gvero was competent to issue the order and also that it was
6 a broader reflection of the cooperative effort of the generals of the Main
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. That's summarising it. Why didn't you put that in the report?
10 A. In this context, I mean, it was something that I didn't know that
11 was going to be an issue brought out in court as part of my testimony.
12 This part of the report, it's just kind of time-lining issues through. I
13 didn't put that there. I mean, I thought it was fairly self-evident that
14 that was part of the process.
15 Q. What, that it was within Gvero's competency, one, and, two, part
16 of the collaborative effort of the Main Staff; you took that as read, did
18 A. Well, yes, sir. I mean, the documents that you showed me on the
19 issues of unity, command yesterday and those laws, as a matter of practice
20 that, you know, because we're talking about professional military
21 officers, many decades of experience in some part, you know, I -- I
22 operate under the general working assumption that, you know, as military
23 professionals who understand the importance of these issues, that they're
24 not going to be issuing orders that are outside of their competence to do
25 and that at the Main Staff level that these officers are not going to be
1 engaged in some kind of guerrilla campaign to undermine their own
2 authorities, the authorities of their fellow officers, or the goals set by
3 General Mladic. So that's why I make those statements in that respect.
4 Q. I'll come back to that in a moment, if I may. Briefly on this
5 paragraph itself, two things. Firstly, it says "finally directs the Main
6 Staff be kept informed of ongoing activities ..." In fact, the document
7 says that the Corps Command and the Main Staff should be so informed. Any
8 reason why you didn't put that in your report?
9 A. No, sir. I mean, that is something that, as you've just noted,
10 should have been something that should have been in the report, yes, sir.
11 Q. Thank you. And the other point, arguably equally pedantic, at the
12 same sentence you talk about interim combat reports. The actual
13 document - and it might be worth getting it back up on to the screen, but
14 perhaps you'll take this from me - says "send interim reports with
15 specific details of the situation," et cetera. There's a difference,
16 isn't there, between an interim report and an interim combat report?
17 A. I don't take it as such. I believe that they're one and the same
18 type of documents.
19 Q. Let's break that down, if we may. Is there a difference, in your
20 expert opinion, between an interim report and an interim combat report?
21 In other words, isn't there a type of report which could be called an
22 interim report which is not necessarily an interim combat report?
23 A. If there is, I'm not -- just not familiar with it. I mean, in
24 almost all of the contexts that I've seen the phraseology used, it's
25 always "interim combat reports."
1 Q. And a follow-up from that is: Notwithstanding the answer you've
2 just given, why did you add the word "combat" into your report when it
3 isn't in the actual document? Do you want to have a look the document?
4 A. No, I mean, I take your word for it, and I guess the answer would
5 be, like I said, it's a phrase that I've long been accustomed to using,
6 it's one report and it's generally referred to as interim combat report.
7 If it is your position that there are in fact two different types of
8 reports, one of them is not -- is an interim report and a combat report, I
9 mean, I would like to see that, but, I mean, I certainly will hold that
10 open as a possibility.
11 MR. JOSSE: Let's have the document on the screen, please. That's
13 Could I have a moment.
14 THE WITNESS: This one, you're going to have to zoom up a little
15 bit. Thank you.
16 MR. JOSSE:
17 Q. Yesterday, you were being asked questions by Madame Fauveau, and
18 in the course of an answer, you're talking about General Tolimir, in fact,
19 and you say:
20 "You know he is aware, like everyone else, that, you know, General
21 Mladic is the commander of the army and he's not going to give orders in
22 contravention to what General Mladic wants accomplished."
23 And then you added:
24 "We see this with people like General Tolimir. We see the same
25 situation with people like General Gvero, who are given what are presumed
1 to be operational orders that, at face value, one would think they
2 shouldn't be giving because of their specific role."
3 Now, it's right, isn't it, that certainly at first blush, when we
4 look at this order, one wouldn't expect it to come from the assistant
5 commander for morale, religious and legal affairs?
6 A. Yes, sir, I agree.
7 Q. And it's right, isn't it, that in the title "Assistant Commander
8 for Morale," et cetera, the important word was "for"? In other words,
9 what he had to do was look after morale, religious and legal affairs; that
10 was his portfolio within the VRS?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And it goes without saying, as you've already conceded, that this
13 order fell, certainly at face value, outside the remit of that particular
15 A. Correct, sir.
16 Q. Would you also concede that General Gvero had limited operational
17 experience, probably none that you're aware of, anyway?
18 A. I disagree, sir. I've read the translation of his military
19 records, and he had a -- over a decade, at least, of operational
20 experience as an infantry officer before assuming his next, you know, part
21 of his military career and the political side. So I disagree with your
23 Q. And when did that cease?
24 A. Oh, boy. I think probably by the -- and again, you know, I think
25 we have the documents, I hate guessing, but probably by the mid-1980s he
1 was focusing much more of his career on the political work side rather
2 than the operational side. But, I mean, he is and he remains -- until he
3 became a general, he remained an infantry officer by career.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps at the break we could get Mr. Butler that
6 document so that his refreshed recollection to answer the question is more
8 MR. JOSSE: Agreed.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I couldn't agree more.
10 Shall we have the break now? Is it convenient for you, Mr. Josse,
11 or do you wish to finish this --
12 MR. JOSSE: No, it is convenient. Because also this is, I'm
13 afraid, my longest topic, but I'm doing well time-wise, I can tell the
15 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good, nice music for our ears. We'll have a
16 25-minute break.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
20 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, Mr. McCloskey has been very helpful, if I
21 might say. However --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: He always is.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we can go into private session on this subject
24 at first.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You want to go into private session?
1 MR. JOSSE: That's what he said. He didn't have his microphone
2 on, but that's what he just said.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I thought I had heard that, but let's go into
4 private session for a while, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 20703 redacted. Private session
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now, Mr. Josse.
7 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Let me show you this, Mr. Butler, and see if this is what you're
9 referring to. I will give you the B/C/S version of the record card, plus
10 the part from 1980 that has been translated. If you are, in the answer
11 you gave just before the break, alluding to a different document, perhaps
12 you'd let us know.
13 A. No, sir, I think we're on the same track with this. There is --
14 on the B/C/S version, there is the material from the 1970s as well, but I
15 think we're all on the same page of data here.
16 Q. Right, in which case I'll deal with this shortly, and I hope not
17 to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
18 Let's put it on the ELMO.
19 A. The English or B/C/S version, sir?
20 Q. Well, English, I think. Would you agree with me that from 1980
21 onwards, there is no operational experience on that record sheet?
22 A. I certainly agree that by 1980, it looks like he has tracked into
23 political and legal affairs as his main career focus. Maybe it's -- and
24 in my mind, a definition of "operational," when I see him performing
25 duties at 2nd Corps in Titograd, I see that as operational, but as I
1 certainly agree that by 1980 he is spending most of his career focus
2 dealing with issues of the political and legal affairs branch.
3 Q. Yes. It may be a case of semantics, possibly important semantics
4 over the use of the word "operational," but this is completely different
5 sort of work that would be done in the staff section of the Main Staff;
7 A. I don't know that I can say that as an absolute fact, only because
8 I didn't do a whole lot of in-depth research on the political office or
9 process in the JNA, so --
10 Q. You don't know?
11 A. I don't know the answer to that.
12 Q. All right. Well, so far as the document prior to 1980 is
13 concerned, unfortunately, as I've already said, we only have that in
14 B/C/S. Let's put that on the ELMO.
15 Whilst that's being done, you think you've seen an English
16 translation of this, Mr. Butler?
17 A. No, sir. I think my view of it is off of the B/C/S one as well. I
18 don't believe I've seen an English translation of that.
19 Q. And this isn't --
20 A. This must be something else, because I wouldn't have -- there's
21 something else out there.
22 Q. I think you know what my next question was going to do, which is:
23 How were you able to interpret that?
24 Can I put my case to you? My case is that General Gvero was the
25 commander of a platoon in 1963 and thereafter was not involved in
1 command-type work for the rest of his career.
2 A. (redacted) he
3 was an infantry branch officer and held the normal suite of infantry jobs
4 for approximately the first 12 years of his career, which I believe in one
5 of them is a company command. But I certainly concede that after that
6 12-year or 13-year mark, he spent most of his career dealing primarily
7 with the issues of the political branch and did not continue to follow the
8 mainstream track of an infantry officer with respect to a battalion
9 command or a brigade command. So, I mean, I think we're good on that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry to do this, but can we go into private
12 session again?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 20707-20708 redacted. Private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session, Mr. Josse.
14 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, before the break, I was asking you about the 13th
16 of July order, and we were going through various aspects of General Gvero
17 which related in some way to the order.
18 The next issue I wanted to ask you about was something we touched
19 on yesterday, and that's the subordination principle. Bearing in mind the
20 subordination principle, again, on the face of it, the order was outside
21 his competence, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, sir. I mean, from my view of it, it certainly looks like an
23 order that would have more appropriately been type-signed by the chief of
24 operations as opposed to Colonel Gvero -- Colonel -- General Gvero.
25 Q. And in the answer that you gave Madame Fauveau yesterday, you
1 talked about presumed operational orders, in the plural, that at face
2 value one would think they shouldn't be giving. Can you think of any
3 other example like this in relation to Gvero?
4 A. During this particular period, I don't believe so, sir.
5 Q. Any other period?
6 A. To be honest, I haven't -- I haven't gone back and looked for
7 similar types of orders in 1993 or 1994 or even early 1995, so I just
8 don't know the answer to that.
9 Q. Now, looking at what was happening at the time, there is no
10 question that the VRS perceived that they faced a serious threat; would
11 you agree?
12 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
13 Q. Matters undoubtedly required expedition? In other words, the
14 instructions, the orders, call it what we will, needed to go out to the
15 subordinate command expeditiously?
16 A. Yes, sir, I agree.
17 Q. And there might even have been, within the ranks of the VRS, dare
18 I say it, even within some of the Main Staff itself, a sense of panic at
19 what was happening with the column; do you agree with that?
20 A. Certainly by 13 July, there was a growing awareness of the
21 military threat of the column. I wouldn't call it "panic" at that point.
22 Maybe that sets in a few hours later.
23 MR. JOSSE: All right. Let's have P45 back on the screen, please.
24 Q. If we look at the top of the document, and for this purpose the
25 original B/C/S will be fine, if not better, we can see that it
1 says: "Strictly confidential number," and then it says "03/4-" and then
2 there's four digits. "03" meant what, please?
3 A. My understanding of the numbering sequence is that the "03/4" was
4 the numbering sequence used by the operations shop for its orders.
5 Q. The number of the morale sector was "07," wasn't it?
6 A. I'll take your word for that. I mean, I think you're correct, but
7 I just can't recall with certainty. But it sounds right.
8 Q. What significance, if any, in the context of this document, do you
9 place on the fact that it says "03"?
10 A. As I believe I've testified, if not in this case, certainly in
11 other cases, that I believe that this -- the contents of this document
12 were drafted by the operations people.
13 Q. And bearing that in mind, what reason do you think they would have
14 got Gvero to sign it?
15 A. Again, as I think we discussed yesterday with Madame Fauveau, I
16 mean, since I don't know the hour-by-hour whereabouts of General Miletic,
17 I mean, one of the assumptions that could be made is that General Miletic
18 was temporarily unavailable to sign it. The bottom line is that, you
19 know, I don't know what the motivation was of the operations people to
20 decide that this order needed to be issued under General Gvero's name
21 versus General Miletic's name.
22 Q. You said helpfully in your evidence-in-chief that the document had
23 not been signed, as such, by Gvero. It certainly has his name at the
24 bottom. There's absolutely no dispute about that. The fact that the two
25 letters "SR" don't appear on it has what significance, if any, to you?
1 A. Again, I think we've all noted that it reflects the fact that it
2 wasn't personally signed by the individual.
3 Q. And it's also right, isn't it - I'm sure there's no dispute about
4 this - that very soon after receiving it, General Zivanovic at the corps
5 level basically sent the order out again to his subordinate?
6 A. Yes, sir, and in fact, in large degree, it's because of that issue
7 is why, when I look at this and while it makes for an interesting
8 discussion on why General Gvero's name would be on it, you know, I think
9 that given that the people who drafted it didn't seem to have any
10 particular difficulty with it, and certainly the people who it was
11 intended for didn't see this as an unusual type of occurrence, that there
12 was no question about the fact that the people involved, that this was --
13 you know, the fact that General Gvero's typed signature block is on this
14 order was somehow irregular or improper.
15 Q. So far as that is concerned, what about the reverse point, that
16 when Zivanovic receives it, he thinks to himself, "Hang on, this is
17 strange. It's come from Gvero. Gvero has no authority to send out this
18 order. I'd better send it out again under my name," because it clearly
19 makes sense and it's clearly important, "so there is absolutely no doubt
20 that it has proper command authority"; in other words, a complete reverse
21 to what you've just said? Isn't that likely or equally likely?
22 A. Well, sir, if it were a one-time occurrence, it would be. Having
23 said that, given that there's just such a large body of these types of
24 things where an order will come in from superior command and then
25 effectively be regenerated by the intermediate command, the corps, and
1 sent down to the lower brigades, that I don't view it as such. And, you
2 know, my issue on that would have been, is that General Zivanovic would
3 have been the first point, on receiving this order, that if he had that
4 type of a question, it would have been incumbent upon him to inquire back
5 to the Main Staff, if this were something that could be issued under those
6 particular circumstances. And I don't believe there's any information
7 that says he did that.
8 Q. Now, you've just said that my theory, for want of a better word,
9 would be okay if this was a one-time occurrence, but this was a one-time
10 occurrence, wasn't it? I don't understand what you're saying.
11 A. No, sir. I think when you look over the context of orders that
12 are coming in from various organisations within the VRS, from the Main
13 Staff to the Drina Corps or other corps, for that matter, and then with
14 the corps sending those out to the brigades, it was generally a practice
15 where those intermediate headquarters would essentially -- in many cases
16 they cut and paste these same contents or guts of a directive and put
17 their own header information over it and sent it down. So, again, as part
18 of that much broader review of material that I've done is where I say I
19 don't see this as a one-off issue, I see this as a consistent practice in
20 most respects.
21 Q. But it wasn't consistent so far as General Gvero is concerned.
22 You've said that a minute or two ago.
23 A. No, sir. Yeah, most of the situations that I've seen, it would be
24 coming under other individuals' signatures. Like I said, I haven't gone
25 back and looked at Main Staff orders specifically with respect to General
1 Gvero on this, so I do hold open the possibility that this may very well
2 be the first time that General Gvero has done this.
3 Q. I think we can agree, can't we, that this would not have been sent
4 by whoever without General Mladic's approval? You've said that in your
6 A. My evidence -- whether or not he specifically approved this, my --
7 my thrust of the discussion is the fact that this isn't going to be sent
8 in such a way that anyone could conceive it as being in contravention of
9 what General Mladic ultimately wants. It's going to be issued in the
10 context of that and it may very well be the fact that it is directly based
11 on instructions he gave. It's not going to be counter to that.
12 Q. Would you --
13 [Technical difficulties]
14 THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: I'm beginning to think it's just me.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no. At beginning of this thing I told
17 my colleagues that you had given me some piece of good news during the
18 break, found the solution to the problem.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I know that you, like yesterday and
20 before, you will be doing your utmost -- we'll be patient and --
21 THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you, sir.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay now? I am still not -- yes, yes, it
23 seems to be okay.
24 THE WITNESS: I assume I need to re-answer the question for the
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly.
2 THE WITNESS: Okay.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see first whether we have the full question:
4 "I think we can agree, can't we, that this would not have been
5 sent by whoever without General Mladic's approval. You've said that in
6 your evidence-in-chief." You didn't add anything to that, did you?
7 MR. JOSSE: I didn't.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So you can now proceed with your answer,
10 THE WITNESS: And again, as I discussed I believe in my
11 evidence-in-chief, while I don't know that General Mladic may have
12 specifically directed this to be sent out in such a way, it is that -- you
13 know, that it's not going to be in contravention to what General Mladic's
14 views are on the situation and what his overall goals are. So it's not
15 going to be General Gvero or any general on the Main Staff, for that
16 matter, issuing orders that are in contravention to those decisions by the
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. Mr. Butler, would you exclude the possibility that this order was
20 sent out in General Gvero's name without him actually knowing of its
21 existence at that time?
22 A. No, sir, I can't exclude that as a possibility. I mean, while as
23 a matter of military professionalism an officer is supposed to know what
24 orders are going out under his name, I certainly can't prove as a fact
25 that he did know this.
1 Q. Thank you. I've got two small issues and then one slightly longer
2 one, and then I'll be done.
3 The first of the small issues relates to Colonel Djurdjic, who you
4 referred to in your examination-in-chief at page 19725. You were asked by
5 Mr. McCloskey who, in your opinion -- I'll read it as it reads in the
7 "Who is your opinion of who Djurdjic works for, if you can tell?"
8 And your answer was:
9 "I believe the documents that I see in Colonel Djurdjic is a Main
10 Staff officer. I'm not sure at present whether he in fact worked directly
11 for General Gvero or worked out of the operation shop for Colonel
13 In that regard, could we please have in e-court 6DIC149.
14 Now, Mr. Butler, whilst this is being brought up, let me tell you
15 what it is. You will immediately recognise the diagram or the schematic.
16 The addition to it was made by General Skrbic on the 18th of September of
17 last year when he was giving evidence before this Chamber, and it's the
18 short -- the little addition that I want to ask you about.
19 There it is.
20 We can see that other than his signature and the date, he has
21 added, next to the commander of the Main Staff, "AK," and that "K" was "K"
22 for "Kabinet," and in effect he was saying that in parallel with General
23 Mladic, there was a cabinet or an office which was involved in running the
24 Main Staff. And I'm not going to ask you to comment on that quite yet.
25 MR. JOSSE: Can we go to the next document, which again was used
1 by Madame Fauveau in her cross-examination, which is 5D431. And we'll
2 need to go, please, to I think the second page of that in both English and
3 B/C/S. Yes.
4 Q. We can see that this is a summary of duties of units and
5 establishment elements, and at the top we've got the commander and his
6 aide-de-camp and then after that we have something which is described as
7 Kabinet, with a "K," in B/C/S, translated as "office" in English. And
8 beneath number 4, we see: "Foreign military representative liaison
9 department," and underneath that, the chief.
10 And that, we suggest, is Colonel Djurdjic, and that's where we say
11 he fits into things. In other words, what I'm putting to you, and I know
12 this is a long question, is that he was part of the cabinet of the
14 A. Well, yes, sir, and again while it is inconsistent with the
15 information that I've seen, certainly this raises that as a valid
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One question perhaps which you can explore with --
18 or one matter which you can explore with the witness, Mr. Josse. I see
19 that against that "chief" under number 5, there is a code which is exactly
20 the same as that next to "chief" under 3 under "office," so could we be
21 talking -- does the fact that the two code numbers are identical mean that
22 we're talking of the same person, or could we have two different persons
23 having the same code reference?
24 THE WITNESS: Is that question directed to me or --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not putting the question directly. I'm asking
1 Mr. Josse whether he wishes to explore this with you.
2 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm glad to say I'm not in the witness box.
3 Q. Can you help, Mr. Butler?
4 A. I'm afraid not, sir. I would have to look at this document in its
5 whole context. I notice, going down there, there's another "chief" that's
6 listed, and it has the same particular code as well. So I don't know if
7 it has a direct relevance or not. I mean, so far -- on the B/C/S version,
8 I'm seeing three with that same code numbers, and I can't possibly believe
9 it would be the same individual trying to hold three positions. So the
10 short answer is: Probably not, but I really would have to look at it.
11 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, Mr. Krgovic has gone to take some
12 instructions, and perhaps I could be given a moment.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The way I see it - but of course I may be
14 wrong, and the witness can help us further if he is in a position to do
15 so - is that for a chief in whichever area of duty it occurs, the code
16 number is what you see on the screen, that's "110001". That's how I
17 understand it, because wherever it occurs, you have "Nacelnik," and
18 that's "chief"?
19 MR. JOSSE: In fact what I -- I can help a little.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I don't know. Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: The same way with "adjutant." Obviously, the phrase
22 "adjutant" is there three times and it has three code numbers as well, so
23 I mean--
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So that's what I think it is.
25 MR. JOSSE:
1 Q. Can I suggest to you that in fact the chief of the cabinet was a
2 man called Banduka [phoen]?
3 A. I have heard that name associated with -- while it's called
4 cabinet, we call it -- basically it's the commander's personal staff. I
5 believe that's correct.
6 Q. Now, just going back to the answer you gave a few moments ago, you
7 said that it is inconsistent with the information that you've seen. What
8 information is it inconsistent with?
9 A. Yes, sir, I have a -- a version of the Main Staff -- a working
10 roster of that organisation where the names of individuals are penciled in
11 at various points of time, how long they've been in that position, and
12 where it fits within the organisational structure. I have a copy of that
13 in my hotel room with the notes. I believe this is a document that
14 Ms. Fauveau and I had talked about before. I guess I will add that to my
15 shopping list of material to bring at the end of court today for your
17 Q. Thank you. The next issue relates to P3025, which is the
18 Krivaja-95 document. Could we go to page 4 in the English, please, and
19 it's going to be page 3 of the B/C/S. The very bottom for the B/C/S.
20 English, middle of the page.
21 We see that it mentions here, as part of the targets, "open fire
22 on observed targets in the sector of the Potocari school," and then it
23 mentions a number of other places. And you were asked, at page 19783:
24 "And these target lists that they give, do you have any reason to
25 believe that any of those are either civilian or UN targets?"
1 And you say:
2 "Yes, sir, I do. I believe the facility known as the 11th March
3 Factory was in fact one of the buildings that the UN was using."
4 Now, a few points. First of all, isn't -- wasn't that factory
5 outside of the UN compound?
6 A. Yes, sir, I believe it was.
7 Q. But your understanding is, nonetheless, the UN were using it?
8 A. I believe, like I said, this is an issue that the investigation
9 had looked at and determined that there was either equipment being stored
10 there at some point for the UN, so that's the basis of my decision, that I
11 understand it was. If in fact that's not the case, then certainly I'll
12 stand to be corrected on that.
13 Q. Was it in fact targeted, that factory?
14 A. I believe that question was raised at some juncture with the
15 individual concerned, Captain Mico Gavric, who was the artillery officer
16 for Bratunac. I'm not sure what his answer was. I believe it's a
17 component of the Blagojevic case so -- I don't believe that I'm aware of
18 any direct information that shells were hitting it, but I'm not, again,
19 sure whether or not -- whether Mico Gavric indicated that it was shelled
20 or at least targeted. So, I mean, I don't know the answer to that
22 Q. So far as the school is concerned, could we go to page 2 in the
23 English and page 1 at the bottom in the B/C/S.
24 At the top there, we see the suggestion that the 28th Division
25 reserve, I'm paraphrasing, "is stationed in Srebrenica, the village of
1 Potocari (the school)." So it does appear on the face of this document
2 that it was the belief of the VRS, or at least the author of this
3 document, that there was a military component at the school?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Any idea whether the school in Potocari was actually targeted?
6 A. I don't know, sir. Again, it's been a while since I've heard Mico
7 Gavric talk about it, so I just can't recall.
8 Q. All right. I'll move on, if I may.
9 You were asked in your evidence about 6D207, which was a document
10 purportedly from General Gvero to the Drina Corps headquarters, and at
11 page 19800, in the course of your evidence-in-chief, I'm going to
12 paraphrase this I hope fairly by saying, in effect, you said that what the
13 VRS were saying here is:
14 "People from the outside the International Community are looking
15 at us. Let's make sure we put our best face on."
16 A. Yes, sir, that's a fair characterisation of it.
17 Q. Gvero sent this very soon after a rather fraught conversation that
18 he had with General Nikolai; isn't that right?
19 A. Correct, sir, I believe so.
20 Q. And that conversation with Nikolai, certainly common sense would
21 indicate, had a significant causal effect in him sending out this warning;
22 would you agree with that?
23 A. It may very well have. I mean, I won't disagree with that. I
24 mean, I don't know the -- the answer, but it certainly is a plausible, you
25 know, explanation.
1 Q. You're in effect saying that this was put out not so much for
2 show, because of course it was an internal document, but to make sure that
3 VRS subordinates, corps and brigades, presumably, would behave in a way
4 that would be seen as acceptable by the International Community? In other
5 words, it was a rather cynical document is really what you're saying?
6 A. No, sir, I'm not saying it at all, per se. What I -- what I
7 believe I've testified about this is the fact that, and again what we
8 discussed earlier this morning, it was a legitimate military interest for
9 the VRS to be perceived as acting fairly in this regard. And, again,
10 particularly with this document, you know, I highlighted the fact, I
11 believe, that at the time that General Gvero is sending this, his
12 superior, General Mladic, is orchestrating threats against the UN.
13 Q. You did -- I want to be fair. You characterized it as "a good
14 military idea."
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And so I certainly don't want you to get resolved --
17 A. I think this illustrates exactly what we were talking about this
18 morning, that, you know, it isn't eye-wash; it is the fact that General
19 Gvero inherently recognises the value of this towards the aims of the VRS.
20 Q. Right. And there are other documents that we can find in the vast
21 array of documents at your disposal which indicate VRS commands telling
22 subordinate units to obey international humanitarian law, for example?
23 A. Yes, sir. You can go over them, but I agree, I would say there
24 are multiple references.
25 Q. I'm not going to go over very many, but perhaps we could have a
1 look at P414, which is the combat analysis document of 1993. Page 59 in
2 English. No, it's 414. It's a very large document.
3 And this extract, I'm sure you'll take it from me, is in section
4 2, which is the part that deals with the assessment of the morale of the
5 Army of the Republika Srpska in 1992, so it's from the morale section of
6 that report, which itself is quite large. Page 53 in the B/C/S.
7 And we see here it says:
8 "In contacts with UNPROFOR, ICRC representatives and those of
9 other humanitarian organisations and of the media, establish correct,
10 measured and civilised relations befitting the military and perform the
11 duties professionally with mutual respect and appreciation."
12 That's right, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 MR. JOSSE: Could I just have a moment.
15 Q. I'm going to take what you've said, Mr. Butler, your helpful
16 remark, at face value and save some time. You have said a few moments ago
17 you can go over them, but I agree there are multiple references.
18 A. Yes, sir. I mean, from 1992 onward, there are multiple references
19 that VRS senior officers understood the importance of adhering to the law
20 of war throughout the course of the conflict.
21 Q. Finally, and on a similar note, could I ask you to have a look at
22 two photographs, which is 6D193 and then 6D194.
23 Now, 6D193 is a photograph of a commemorative plaque, dated 13th
24 of August, 1996, that was given to General Gvero by Michael Walker, a
25 British general. And if you turn it over, on the other side is the actual
2 I don't know whether you've become aware of this in the evidence
3 in this case.
4 A. No, sir.
5 Q. This hadn't -- wasn't something you --
6 A. It wasn't hit by the radar scope --
7 Q. No.
8 A. -- no, sir.
9 Q. And 6D194, take from me, was a bottle of whiskey signed and
10 presented to my client by a Major General Wilcox, another British
11 general. Both of them were with the -- it says there the Ace Rapid
12 Reaction Corps, which was the succession of the Rapid Reaction Force in
13 1996, so this was just after the war had ended.
14 In your exploration of this unfortunate war, have you come across
15 multiple examples of UN generals giving gifts to the warring parties?
16 A. It was relatively a common practice. I mean, one that stands out,
17 of course, in my mind and I believe many people's is, you know, the rather
18 playful picture of General Mladic and General Clark switching hats
19 around. It happened.
20 Q. And why did it happen?
21 A. I -- I couldn't begin to explain that, that one. I mean, how
22 they're going to interact with each other as part of their liaison
23 professional relations, I just don't know.
24 Q. Because you were never in that position, isn't that --
25 A. No.
1 Q. -- is that --
2 A. I was not in a position to be doing that type of stuff, I agree.
3 Q. That's why you don't know, is it?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Yes. Well, that's fair enough. And the fact that these gifts
6 were given after the war, in other words, there was far less reason for
7 the giver of the gift to in any way try and curry favour with the
8 recipient, any significance in that?
9 A. You know, I don't know. I mean, I have heard many anecdotal
10 stories, again particularly with the focus of the VRS, because that was
11 the American sector, and their very high thoughts about what they saw was
12 the professionalism of the VRS where they were and that this type of
13 practice did occur, but, I mean, I don't have an opinion one way or
14 another on it.
15 Q. And as you've already explained, you've -- do you have any
16 specific awareness in relation to this particular case, have you come
17 across it in relation to any of the other accused either in this case or
18 indeed in relation to the Krstic case, or anything that you specifically
19 have investigated or analysed yourself?
20 A. I'm sorry --
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. More time-consuming than probative.
22 MR. JOSSE: I'll move on.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse, and thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. Just finally this in relation to it: You're saying this doesn't
1 surprise you at all, that General Gvero received these gifts from these
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he said it, he's not surprised.
4 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
5 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Yes. I've got nothing else.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So thank you, Mr. Josse.
7 Mr. Haynes.
8 MR. HAYNES: I wonder if you could just give me five minutes to
9 get physically set up and take over from Mr. Josse.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. If it's even more convenient for you or if you
11 so wish, we could also have the break now, and then you start and continue
12 until quarter to 2:00.
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes, that would be fine. Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Agreed?
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's what we will do. We'll have a 25-minute
17 break now. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Haynes.
21 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Butler. I'm the last of the magnificent
24 seven, and as you can probably tell, another Brit.
25 A. I won't hold that against you, sir.
1 Q. I'm glad about that. In May of 2000, when you wrote your first
2 Srebrenica military narrative, can we take it that the -- you had reached
3 a state of knowledge that the Drina Corps was no longer an abstract entity
4 to you?
5 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
6 Q. And that at that point in time, you felt sufficiently
7 well-appraised of all the documents you had by then seen to draw the
8 conclusions that you did in that report?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Just to place matters into context, by the time you signed off
11 that report, General Krstic's trial had been underway for about two
12 months; that's correct, isn't it?
13 A. I thought it had been a little bit longer, I mean, but again my
14 memory may not be clear on that. Two months sounds --
15 Q. It probably doesn't matter, Mr. Butler. You knew the trial was
17 A. Oh, yes, sir, the trial was underway before I signed off on it,
19 Q. And did you at the time you signed off the report appreciate the
20 purposes for which that report was going to be used?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Namely, that it was going to be used as evidence to convict
23 General Krstic of the most serious offences imaginable?
24 A. I knew it was going to be used as evidence in court. The issue of
25 guilt or innocence was not something that I was making a consideration out
2 Q. Well, I don't want to get into an argument too early, but you knew
3 you were going to be called as a Prosecution witness?
4 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
5 Q. And you knew your evidence was going to be used to support the
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Can I ask you this: The form of that report has been put to you
9 as historical. Was that a report the form of which you had ever written
10 before in your prior career as an intelligence analyst?
11 A. Yes, sir, I have on occasions been asked to take a static point in
12 time and to essentially deconstruct it and to explain it as a part of my
13 role as an intelligence analyst, so I have done that on occasion. It's
14 not my primary purpose, which of course is more a predictive issue, but
15 it's something that I have engaged in in the past, yes, sir.
16 Q. Well, that was the point I was seeking to make, but I'm not going
17 to labour the point. In terms of the content of the report, I want to see
18 if you agree with my assessment that the military narrative report really
19 contains four categories of information, and I'll list them for you, and
20 you tell me whether you agree. Firstly, there is unattributed prose;
21 secondly, there is prose which is directly referred to a footnote;
22 thirdly, there are quoted sources, for example, the rules of the brigade;
23 and, lastly, there are phrases placed directly inside quotation marks or,
24 as you may say, parentheses?
25 A. Yes, sir. I mean -- I mean, I -- "prose" versus "text" may be a
1 semantic, but, I mean, yes, I believe what we're talking about is the same
3 Q. And I assume that in placing phrases inside quotation marks, your
4 intention is to reflect the fact that you are directly quoting from a
5 document or other source.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Now, you were good enough to tell an advocate earlier in the case
8 that you had been heavily involved in the preparation of the case against
9 Vinko Pandurevic, my client?
10 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
11 Q. And I'm not sure you did tell us this. At what point in time did
12 that become part of your responsibility?
13 A. Well, the preparation of the case, you know, it's always been my
14 responsibility with respect to, you know, analysing the information and
15 related to that. I think that if I get the thrust of where you're going
16 on this, is at a point in time, and I believe it would be probably around
17 summer of 1999, if I have it correct, is when the state of the
18 investigation and the material that we had gave us an initial read on the
19 first three individuals that, you know, the decision was being made might
20 have potential criminal liability, those being General Krstic, Pandurevic
21 and Blagojevic.
22 Q. So certainly by the time you signed off the report of May 2000?
23 A. Yes, sir. I mean, I'm not -- as indicated, the Pandurevic
24 indictment was approved internally by the Office of the Prosecutor and, I
25 believe, then sent to -- you know, for confirmation by one of the Judges
1 at the same time as the Krstic one. So, I mean, that was the initial
2 series of indictments.
3 Q. Thank you. And just to complete this little chronology of the
4 report and your involvement in various people's cases, you testified in
5 the Krstic case on the 17th to the 21st of July, 2000, a couple of months
6 after you signed off the report?
7 A. Yes, sir. I mean, if it was 2000, I'm -- I'm just trying to
8 remember offhand. I don't exactly recall whether we -- when we actually
9 did the indictments, whether it was the summer of 1998 or the summer of
10 1999, so I'm a little bit fuzzy on that. I just -- but, yeah, I do recall
11 testifying in the summer of 2000.
12 Q. Now, as somebody who, like me, is heavily involved in the case of
13 Vinko Pandurevic, I'm sure you'll agree that one of the, if not the most
14 significant documents in his case is the interim combat report of the 15th
15 of July, our P329?
16 A. Yes, sir, I agree.
17 Q. And you'd also agree that it's very important that anybody trying
18 to determine his guilt or innocence gets a full understanding of his
19 meaning in that document?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And that is a document which you sought to interpret not only here
22 in evidence but in your narrative report of May of 2000; that's right?
23 A. Correct, sir.
24 Q. I'll suggest to you at the outset that the critical phrases in
25 that report are pregnant with ambiguity and give you the opportunity to
1 comment on that now. Would you agree or disagree?
2 A. I would disagree, and my basis for disagreeing is that, you know,
3 having gone through this issue of ambiguity and parsing of words, my
4 foundational position is that, you know, military documents, written by
5 military professionals, are written for clarity and so that there are no
6 misinterpretations of the meaning, so that's usually my foundational
7 position on these issues. It means what it says, but certainly I will
8 hold open your, you know, comments on ambiguity, and I expect you'll ask
9 me about them.
10 Q. Well, to cut straight to the chase, I'd like to ask you a few
11 questions and see whether you agree with me about, as it were, the context
12 in which the document was written, before we come to the precise words of
13 the document itself. And if you don't mind, can we move to a couple of
14 days after the document was written, the 17th of July of 1995, and that is
15 the day after the so-called corridor had been opened and many thousands of
16 enemy soldiers, many of whom were armed, had been allowed to walk free to
17 the free territory by Vinko Pandurevic; that's correct, isn't it?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. And as you told Mr. McCloskey, this had been done in direct
20 contravention of orders of superior command?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And on that day, the 17th of July, the brigade -- the Zvornik
23 Brigade, that is, was visited by three colonels from Main Staff?
24 A. Correct, sir.
25 Q. And the purpose of their visit was to investigate why an order of
1 superior command had been disobeyed by Vinko Pandurevic?
2 A. Yes, sir, correct.
3 Q. And to put that visit in context, throughout the prior 24 hours
4 we've seen several examples of disingenuous behaviour by Vinko Pandurevic
5 towards his superior command as to what he was doing and what in fact he
6 had done?
7 A. I wouldn't agree with that characterisation of his behaviour. I
8 don't know that it matters for where we're going, but I don't believe he
9 was being disingenuous. It may very well have been a function of the fact
10 that, you know, he made the decision, hadn't been able to fully brief his
11 superiors at that point, but I don't think there was ever a design that he
12 was trying to deceive them about what he did. And in fact he made it
13 clear later on exactly what he did and why. So, I mean, I don't agree
14 with your characterisation on that.
15 Q. Very well. Prior to the opening of the corridor - and I will come
16 to this in another section of my cross-examination - would you agree that
17 there is evidence of frequent communications between Vinko Pandurevic and
18 enemy forces, with a view to negotiating the passage of the 28th Division?
19 A. There is -- there is much information out there, and I believe
20 Dusko Vukotic was a part of that, I believe that PW-168 discussed that to
21 some degree as well, that certainly on the Muslim side, they were trying
22 to forge an agreement with Colonel Pandurevic to let the column through.
23 But, you know, throughout the 15th and at least the early morning hours of
24 the 16th, Colonel Pandurevic felt he had the military means to continue to
25 resist the column and did so.
1 Q. And is it within your knowledge that the negotiations were
2 conducted throughout the day and the evening of the 15th of July, before
3 and up to the point at which the irregular combat report of that date was
5 A. I don't have an exact timeline of when they were going on. I
6 mean, I certainly believe that by the 15th, the Muslim commanders are
7 talking. They may have even been talking over this issue as early as the
8 14th, before Colonel Pandurevic got there. So I take what you're saying.
9 I just don't know it as a fact. But it wouldn't surprise me if it were
10 that early.
11 Q. Just so that we're clear, did you, during the whole of your seven
12 years' attachment to the Office of the Prosecutor or at any time
13 previously, ever have the opportunity to listen to tape-recorded
14 conversations between Vinko Pandurevic and Semso Muminovic?
15 A. No, sir. If they exist, I didn't listen to them. I mean, I don't
16 know whether they're in the possession of the OTP or whether they're in
17 possession of ABiH Army, so, I mean, I did not listen to the context of
18 those conversations.
19 Q. Did you ever during the course of your seven years employment at
20 the OTP or any period since then have access to witness statements or
21 interviews with members of the 28th Division who'd passed through in the
23 A. Yes, sir, and at one point I remember early on talking with
24 Semso - and I'm going to butcher his last name. I apologise in advance -
25 is it Mutanovic [phoen] or --
1 Q. I think if you just call him "Semso," we'll know who you mean.
2 A. I did talk with him and he had indicated that. But at the times
3 of having that discussion with him, my own basis of information wasn't
4 sufficient that I really understood what he was really trying to get to.
5 So, I mean, I was aware that there was a -- you know, talk back and forth
6 between Colonel Pandurevic and others of the Zvornik Brigade and the
7 members of the column to negotiate this, but it wasn't an issue that I
8 particularly focused on.
9 Q. So when you give your opinion as to any meaning of the irregular
10 combat report of the 15th of July, it is ignorant, as it were, of the
11 exchange of information between them that might have dealt with their
12 respective military and humanitarian positions?
13 A. No, sir. I mean, again, going back to what I've said before, it's
14 not a question of not knowing about it. Whether or not it's in the detail
15 that I may have liked to or not, it's the fact that given the position
16 that, you know, what happened with the column was a military act, it
17 wasn't a particular issue of relevance, the negotiations back and forth,
18 with respect to what happened along the crime base. So that's why it
19 didn't receive perhaps as much attention as you suggest.
20 Q. Not for the last time during the course of this cross-examination,
21 I'm going to refer you to some evidence which you may have now appraised
22 yourself of, namely, the evidence of PW-168 before this Trial Chamber. He
23 agreed with these two propositions: That by the evening of the 15th of
24 July, two things were obvious; that in order to avoid massive loss of life
25 on both sides, the soldiers of the 28th Division would have to be let go;
1 and, secondly, that Vinko Pandurevic's superior command were never going
2 to give him an order to do that. Does that affect your opinion as to --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 MR. HAYNES:
18 Q. But here we must be careful, Mr. Butler. Does the information
19 that you have available to you cause you to concur with his assessment of
20 the situation?
21 A. Yes, sir, I believe that the documents that we had and we have in
22 our possession to this date does correspond to that view.
23 Q. I don't want there to be any ambiguity here. I'm suggesting that
24 that was the position by the evening of the 15th of July, at the time the
25 irregular combat report was written.
1 A. Like I said, I mean, the documents correspond to the general
2 situation. I cannot say, obviously, as a fact whether or not that the
3 witness is correct with respect to what Colonel Pandurevic recognised at
4 that juncture. I mean, I just -- I don't know that. I can confirm that
5 the documentary evidence that's out there does dovetail with the situation
6 on the ground.
7 Q. Very well, then. Let's turn to your interpretation of this
8 document. And can I make a couple of very simple points first.
9 You're not the author of our P329, the interim combat report of
10 the 15th of July, are you?
11 A. You're asking me if I wrote the combat report; is that correct,
13 Q. Correct.
14 A. No, sir, I did not write the combat report.
15 Q. And you haven't spoken to the man who did write it, have you?
16 A. I agree, I have not.
17 Q. So your interpretation of this document is not based on any
18 knowledge of what the writer had in his mind?
19 A. Well, sir, certainly during the proceedings with respect to the
20 first two trials, I agree with that. There were -- and maybe I shouldn't
21 do this in public session. Maybe this might be more appropriate in
22 private session.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll just jump into private session straightaway.
24 [Private session]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in private session, Mr. Butler.
1 THE WITNESS: I just -- again, not knowing the full background, I
2 mean, I understand that at some point in time, there were contacts between
3 the Office of the Prosecutor and then General Pandurevic where there were
4 discussions related to his potential surrender to the custody of the
5 ICTY. And, again, while I wasn't a direct participant in those, one of
6 the issues that did come up was, you know, I did become aware of
7 information with respect to the explanations that Colonel Pandurevic gave
8 for that particular document. So, I mean, I certainly have that in mind
9 when I get to this particular juncture in time. So that's all I needed to
10 raise. I don't know whether it was appropriate to do that in public or
11 private session, sir. I apologise then.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we could have done it in public session, if
13 you agree to change the status of that part of the transcript. I don't
15 Mr. McCloskey, I don't see any problems with the Prosecution.
16 We've heard more or less the same evidence before, and I think it
17 was in public session so --
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that part of the -- this part of the
20 transcript will become public.
21 We can revert to open session now and proceed from there.
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Butler, and thank you, parties.
24 Go ahead.
25 MR. HAYNES:
1 Q. Just to clarify that last answer, there's no mystery about what
2 you're talking about. You're talking about an investigation report that
3 deals with a conversation or an interview over the course of a meal
4 between an investigator on a different team called Eileen Galice and my
5 client, Vinko Pandurevic, aren't you?
6 A. In part, but there was also a series of conversations related to
7 the potential negotiation process of a surrender that weren't part of that
8 particular issue, and that's why I -- that was the other part that I was
9 thinking of, because I know that there was some sensitivity at the time
10 pertaining to the Office of the Prosecutor and those contacts with the
11 accuseds, so that's the other part of it.
12 Q. Very well. But you can't possibly have known about them in May
13 2000, when you signed off this report, can you?
14 A. No, sir, and that's what I said, that's why I structured
15 accordingly what my state of knowledge was at that time during those
16 proceedings and then what it is at this juncture.
17 Q. And even after May 2000, did what you read in the investigation
18 report from Eileen Galice impact at all on your interpretation of this
20 A. Well, sir, it did impact in so much as that as part of Rule 68
21 obligations, it was an issue -- you know, his interpretation of what that
22 phrase meant or what he was talking about was an issue that we had to
23 explore, because it was, you know, a potentially exculpatory issue. So it
24 did impact me.
25 Q. Are you suggesting that at any stage in your review of this
1 document, you have sought to use it as exculpatory material in the case of
2 Vinko Pandurevic or, indeed, anybody?
3 A. I haven't sought to use it as such, because I don't get into the
4 issues of whether, you know, it's exculpatory or not. My view is, you
5 know, I interpret the document based on what I understand at the time.
6 There is, to some degree, a difference of opinion between myself and
7 others, you know, with respect to its legal value, I mean, so, I mean,
8 that's why I just stick with what it means in the context of the military
9 issue, not what it means in the legal sense or anything else.
10 Q. Now, before we actually come to looking at the document, I want to
11 revisit something you said to Mr. Josse yesterday when you were dealing
12 with your understanding of the Serbian language.
13 In your evidence-in-chief, you told us that the Serbian
14 word "asanacija" has been translated by the CLSS as meaning restoration of
15 the terrain and that you understood it to mean the process by which
16 biological, human, animal waste and things of that nature were removed or
18 A. Or disposed of on the battlefield, yes, sir.
19 Q. Does that phrase come from the military lexicon or is it, as it
20 were, an expression that you, together with the CLSS at this Tribunal
21 have, to use a better word, compromised on?
22 A. It is my understanding that it does come, and if memory serves, it
23 was actually we pulled the phrase right out of the JNA lexicon, and it was
24 an exhibit in the Krstic case, so everyone was quite clear what it meant.
25 So I don't think I'm attributing a different meaning to it. I mean, we did
1 bring the meaning forward before the Court because we did recognise that
2 particular terminology issue existed.
3 Q. And forgive me, did I understand the drift of your evidence
4 correctly that the difficulty with that particular word meant that the
5 irregular combat report of the 15th of July, in translation, went through
6 a number of drafts?
7 A. I don't believe so. I think the difficulty with that -- and I
8 don't know if that was the first document where it was used. The
9 difficulty wasn't with -- at multiple revisions. I believe the difficulty
10 was that from an English language perspective, I didn't feel that the
11 euphemistic phrase of "restoration of the terrain" somehow conveyed the
12 right context of the fact that what we were talking about was, you know,
13 in a technical state, you know, burying biological hazard products, human
14 and animal wastes, and that's why, I mean, as a matter of just trying to
15 keep the record as clear as possible, we endeavoured to actually put the
16 definition before the Court so we wouldn't get into an interpretational
17 battle. It meant what it said.
18 Q. Did you look at other documents other than the military lexicon in
19 translating this unusual expression?
20 A. I don't believe so. I mean, the JNA lexicon gave what I believe
21 was an adequate definition. I know that somewhere along the line, we did
22 come into possession of a JNA document which was dated 1974, if memory
23 serves, that talked about medical and veterinary processes on the
24 battlefield, and I think we actually did check there and came up with
25 essentially the same definition. So, I mean, I didn't think we went any
1 further than that. The issue seemed to resolve itself in the Krstic case
2 as to what the definition meant. Nobody essentially disputed it, and we
3 moved from there.
4 Q. And just to finish on this particular aspect of your involvement
5 with the CLSS, was it the case that you were in consultation over how the
6 English translation of this document should be produced or what it should
7 look like or what it should say?
8 A. No, sir. I -- I don't get involved in stuff like that at all. My
9 involvement was strictly revolving around the phrase that, when translated
10 into its literal term, didn't seem to make any sense.
11 MR. HAYNES: Now, I wonder if we can put our first document into
12 e-court. It's 7D480, please, and we'll start with the first page of that
14 THE WITNESS: Definitely a newer version than I've seen before,
16 MR. HAYNES:
17 Q. You haven't seen this document before?
18 A. No, not this particular version. This is a much more recent
19 document than -- than I'm familiar with.
20 Q. We've had this translated by the CLSS, and, I mean, you can look
21 straightaway and see that their 2008 translation of this document is quite
22 different. They translate "asanacija" as hygiene and sanitation measures,
23 rather than restoration of the terrain. Was that how the 1974 document --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's apples and oranges. The term
1 was "asanacija terena [phoen]," and so -- and I don't see that on this.
2 And grilling Mr. Butler about, you know, words such as this, I think the
3 definition should be -- or the word should be correct. The term we're
4 talking about is -- in the document is "asanacija terena."
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment on that?
6 MR. HAYNES: I'm going to come to that. Mr. Butler has told us
7 that the phrase "asanacija" means restoration of the terrain, and I'm
8 going to come to why there's a "terena" in that sentence. So that's an
9 you utterly false objection, and I'll carry on. I'm merely showing him
10 the front of the document so that we can proceed.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't believe that that's -- was what Mr. Butler
13 said. That may be the way it's being interpreted.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we should continue this discussion in
15 the presence of the witness. I think if there is going to be a
16 discussion, it won't be in the presence of the witness, but I think we
17 can -- having heard you both, I think we can proceed.
18 Mr. Haynes.
19 MR. HAYNES: Yes. Can we go to English page 5 and B/C/S page 6 in
20 this document.
21 Q. Mr. Butler, is that sufficiently enlarged and focused for you to
22 read it?
23 A. Yes, sir, and I appreciate that because I've noticed I've left my
24 glasses in the room, so that's fine.
25 Q. You and I both have the same problem.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. The B/C/S and the English
2 pages that we see do not correspond. The B/C/S starts with paragraph 4.
3 MR. HAYNES: Yes. Well, the B/C/S probably needs to go back a
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. No, no, no. No, I still don't think we are
7 MR. HAYNES: Well, in that event --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are there now, we are there now.
9 MR. HAYNES: Yes, thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we -- yes, zoom in, please, that's correct. And
11 start with 1. Yes.
12 Okay. Your question, Mr. Haynes?
13 MR. HAYNES:
14 Q. Just read, really, the first two paragraphs over to yourself. You
15 said you saw a much earlier document. Was it in similar terms to these as
16 to, as it were, the general provisions of hygiene and sanitation measures
17 in battlefields?
18 A. No, sir. I mean, this is the same -- in general terms, this is
19 the same type of process that they are talking about.
20 Q. And so under paragraph 2, the process that you were talking about,
21 hygienic and sanitation measures, included the following: Finding the
22 wounded who were accidentally left behind, gathering them, giving them
23 first aid, and evacuating them into medical institutions; finding,
24 gathering and helping wounded or deceased animals or animals that were
25 accidentally left behind and, if necessary, evacuate them.
1 I'm going to stop because somebody is trying to attract my
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, I don't read the B/C/S language, but now,
4 even comparing the two texts, it's obvious that they do not correspond.
5 For various reasons. If you look at paragraph 1, there's something
6 missing in the English translation. Paragraph 2, it's not subdivided into
7 the various bullets in the B/C/S, so I don't think we are looking at the
8 same page in B/C/S.
9 MR. HAYNES: Well, I'm going to suggest a practical measure. If I
10 carry on reading it slowly, we can cure the problem in e-court later on,
11 and then the translators can do their best to let the accused know how
12 this document translates back into B/C/S. But for present purposes, I'll
13 read paragraph 2 and pose a question to Mr. Butler.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think if we go to the previous page in B/C/S, we
15 are there. Yes, correct.
16 MR. HAYNES: Certainly looks like it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, it is, that's it. Thank you, Madam Usher
18 and Madam Registrar.
19 Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES:
21 Q. And carrying on:
22 "Finding, gathering and (burying or burning) those who have been
23 killed and establishing the necessary records; finding, gathering and
24 removing (burying or burning) or using animals carcasses; gathering and
25 eliminating (burning or burying) all kinds of waste dangerous to the
1 health of people or animals; catching abandoned (lost, stray) animals,
2 gathering military property and personal belongings of wounded military
3 personnel (or military personnel who have been killed or who have died of
4 natural causes)," and so on.
5 And did your understanding of the term mean that it included, as
6 it were, the recovery of the wounded and the treatment of them?
7 A. No, sir, my understanding of the term did not include the
8 treatment of wounded in that broader phrase.
9 Q. So in your view, when you wrote your report of May 2000 and you
10 interpreted the irregular combat report of the 15th of July, you were
11 predisposed to the view that "asanacija" could only be carried out once a
12 battle was over; would that be right?
13 A. No, sir. My view was that the phrase "asanacija" was -- that we
14 were talking about was resulting in the issue of burial of biological
15 waste, human or otherwise. It didn't reflect on to whether it occurred
16 before, during, or after battle.
17 Q. Well, forgive me. Then that must mean, seeing a document that now
18 describes to you that it includes the recovery and treatment of wounded,
19 that you concede you had a fundamental misunderstanding of the term when
20 you wrote your report, mustn't it?
21 A. No, sir, I believe the term as it's used in that report is
22 referring to the activity that was occurring on the ground. I mean, we
23 can parse words all we want on this, but you have to look at it in context
24 to the overall situation, and we can talk all day about what it could have
25 meant, but when we are confronted with a large body of information that's
1 saying -- or that's indicating exactly what it was, you know, it could
2 have meant recovering the wounded, but there's absolutely no information
3 that suggests that it was. It could have meant digging -- burying animal
4 carcasses, but there's no information to suggest it was. It could have
5 been gathering straight military property, but there's no indication that
6 that's what it was. So, I mean, we can play the word game, but I think
7 that you have to ultimately, when you look at these military documents,
8 look at them in the context of what was happening at the time.
9 Q. Well, we'll do that. But before we do, let's just have a look at
10 English pages 8 to 10 and B/C/S pages 15 onwards of this document to
11 reinforce this particular point.
12 Thank you.
13 I'm not going to invite you to read entirely Chapter 3, but you
14 can see that it's a chapter that describes the procedures for implementing
15 hygiene and sanitation measures in battlefields during combat operations.
16 And in particular, I invite you to look at 84:
17 "During attacks, hygiene and sanitation measures shall be
18 implemented as soon as the situation so allows. Units within the first
19 combat echelon will not always be able to implement hygiene and sanitation
20 measures in the battlefield, in which case it is their duty to inform
21 superior officers that hygiene and sanitation measures have not been
23 Just quickly, your understanding of the term, did it include, in
24 May 2000, when you wrote your report, the concept of "asanacija" during
25 combat operations?
1 A. Yes, sir. I mean, I would -- I would read 84 and not see that as
2 inconsistent with my understanding, yes, sir.
3 Q. So without having seen this document, where did you get that from?
4 A. Again, it goes back to my understanding of the definition under
5 the JNA lexicon. Certainly as a practical matter, I agree with the
6 context of paragraph 84, and first echelon units who are engaged in combat
7 are often not going to have the time to implement these measures. That's
8 a practical matter of common sense in some regard. So that's why I'm
9 saying, my reading of paragraph 84 is not consistent with my broader
10 understanding of what that process was.
11 Q. And did you ever review any VRS document giving instructions for
12 the carrying out of implementation of hygiene and sanitation of the
14 A. At the time of the May 2000 narrative, the OTP did not have in its
15 possession the documents that it now has, which talk about those
16 activities that I believe they're now -- they take place in context of
17 time starting around the 20th of July. I did not have those available to
18 me at the initial reports.
19 Q. Have you seen them since? I'm going to show you 7D481, please.
20 A. I believe I talked about them in one case or they were on a
21 Prosecution exhibit list. I don't know if I actually talked about them or
22 not. I think I did.
23 Q. Well, they're not on a Prosecution exhibit list in this case, so
24 I'm going to show you 7D481, if I may.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's not correct.
1 MR. HAYNES: Well, if I'm wrong, I'm sorry, but can he see this
2 document and can we get on?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you insisting on a ruling on that or -- we've
4 had this happening in the past, and we always found a solution.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, I think we can work it out. I just want to
6 make sure that we're clear.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: If there are other documents that you have not
8 indicated previously, Mr. Haynes --
9 MR. HAYNES: I don't think it's a case of not indicating it. It's
10 on my list of documents for cross-examination. I think the issue between
11 us may well be whether it bears a Defence 65 ter number or a Prosecution
12 65 ter number. It's really a matter of little consequence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. If that is the case and if you agree, I think
14 we can move ahead.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we can move. It was on my -- there's two
16 of them that were on my list. I can't remember if I pulled them to save
17 time or he spoke about them, but they're clearly -- there's no
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move, let's move. Okay.
20 MR. HAYNES:
21 Q. Have you seen this document before, Mr. Butler?
22 A. No, sir, it does not look familiar to me.
23 Q. Just describe to us who it's an order from and what it concerns.
24 A. It appears -- like I said, in its initial context, it appears to
25 be an order from the Main Staff on issues relating to clearing up the
1 battlefield, and as was noted, one of the earlier practices that the Drina
2 Corps Command just essentially scratched off some of the header data,
3 rewrote in their own, and it was a document that looks like it would have
4 been disseminated all the way to the brigades.
5 Q. And, again, under paragraph 1, a description of the duty of
6 virtually every unit, operative and tactical, of the army to carry out
7 clearing up of the battlefield, including gathering and offering first aid
8 to wounded, offering first aid to wounded and sick animals, gathering
9 (burying or burning) the bodies of the dead, and establishing records,
10 finding and gathering animal corpses or using them, gathering and removing
11 all types of waste dangerous to humans, much in the same terms as the
12 order of the -- as the instructions of the JNA we just looked at?
13 A. Yes, sir. I mean, in large terms, it's a reflection of a known
14 military concept that often in modern battlefield environments, disease
15 kills more soldiers than combat does, and these issues reflect the
16 importance that the Main Staff, particularly the medical branch, places on
18 Q. Now, were you aware that during the course of the 15th of July, at
19 Baljkovica, there was or were ceasefires arranged between the column and
20 the forces commanded by Vinko Pandurevic?
21 A. On the 15th, no, sir, I was not.
22 MR. HAYNES: I wonder whether we could look at P2232, page 13 in
23 the English and page 17 in the B/C/S.
24 I'm very sorry. Of course, I've forgotten that the exhibit has a
25 different 65 ter number in B/C/S. It's 2231. But I think the clerk has
1 found it anyway.
2 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to the entry beginning at 1330:
3 "Vuk to Lovac: I talked to Semso."
4 Then there's Djuko:
5 "He wants to negotiate. He wants me to give him the frequency of
6 the Turk who is leading the group."
7 "1345. Vuk spoke to Zukov again and agreed to ceasefire under
8 pretence that they would negotiate later. Then he fired one more round 1
9 for 1."
10 "Igman to Igman 1 - cease all activities."
11 This is the book of the tactical intercepts operators for the
12 Muslim forces. That indicates that there were negotiations for and in
13 fact a ceasefire on the 15th of July, doesn't it?
14 A. It may have indicated that the individual in question, and I
15 assume in this context we're talking Vuk is Dusko Vukotic, the
16 intelligence officer who's carrying these out, I mean, he may believe
17 that, but that's not the way that the situation played out on the ground.
18 Q. Go to the very bottom entry:
19 "Vuk to Ikar to Pavle. I talked to Semso and stopped the
21 What does that mean?
22 A. Well, I have to assume that Semso is Semso Muminovic, and again I
23 poll joins for butchering the pronunciation. Again I don't know what --
24 the context of what he's talking about. I mean, they are obviously
25 talking about the mechanisms of trying to negotiate a ceasefire, but as I
1 again recall, they may have been talking about this over the radio, but
2 that's not what was happening on the ground.
3 Q. "I talked to Semso (Vuk) and stopped all activities."
4 Mr. Butler, are you not able to construe anything in a way that
5 might be favourable to a defence suggestion?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's a misquote. It says "stop the
7 activities," not "all activities."
8 MR. HAYNES: I'm very sorry, I'm very sorry.
9 Q. Is that not capable, Mr. Butler, of indicating that a ceasefire
10 took place on the 15th of July?
11 A. Again, sir, I mean, he may have believed it. I'm just saying that
12 my information of what was happening on the ground reflects that that's
13 not accurate information. I mean, it's not the first time where I've
14 talked about the fact that in intercept information, it's not necessarily
15 uncommon that correspondents who are talking about it don't have the
16 accurate information. There's no corroborating information that I'm aware
17 of that would support this.
18 Q. So you dismiss it as a possibility because of the absence of
19 corroborating information; is that right?
20 A. I don't dismiss it as a possibility. I hold it open. I'm just
21 noting that I don't have any corroborating information that suggests that
22 there was a -- there was a ceasefire in place that early on the 15th.
23 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at another document, please, which
24 you won't have seen, I don't believe. It's 7D293. English, page 5;
25 B/C/S, page 6. And the witness will need to look at paragraph 20.
1 Q. This is a witness statement made by Dragan Obrenovic, dated
2 February 2004, so it post-dates your departure from the OTP, as I
3 understand it. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, sir, I would have been gone by then.
5 Q. And I direct your attention to paragraph 20, please.
6 "I think that many Muslims were killed during the fighting and
7 that the corpses had been removed, because we only found about 20 corpses
8 between the 17th and the 19th. The Zvornik Brigade buried these corpses
9 at Motovska Kosa on the 19th or 20th of July, 1995."
10 What Mr. Obrenovic is saying -- well, I better check this with
11 you. Had you read this before?
12 A. No, sir, I don't believe I've read his -- this particular
14 Q. What Mr. Obrenovic is saying is that at least the Muslim forces,
15 prior to the 17th of July, had and took the opportunity to remove a lot of
16 their wounded and dead?
17 A. Yes, sir, and my understanding is that where they could, they did
18 in fact do that, they carried their dead out.
19 Q. Then presumably, you concede that that was something that was open
20 to the VRS side to do during the period prior to the 17th of July, would
22 A. I guess I'm not clear about your question. Are you suggesting
23 that -- I mean, I'm not aware of the VRS, except in maybe one or two
24 instances when soldiers went missing, that the VRS abandoned its dead
25 casualties. My understanding is, for the most part, that as the units
1 withdraw -- withdrew from the lines, they took their dead with them. I
2 don't think there was a large body of missing soldiers that fall into the
3 same context. So I think if I understand your question correctly, you
4 know, the VRS took out its dead as well, yes, sir.
5 Q. And wounded?
6 A. Yes, sir. I don't believe they've left any wounded behind.
7 Q. So during the course of the 15th of July, if they were carrying
8 out those sort of operations, namely, taking their dead or wounded from
9 the battlefield, that would be "asanacija," wouldn't it?
10 A. Yes, sir, in the technical sense that we're talking about on that
11 definition, it would. The evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield
12 would qualify as that, yes, sir.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I'll be content with that answer.
14 Can we now have a look, please, at P329. I should say 65 ter
15 P329. And just a few basic question about it.
16 In its original form, it is a handwritten document; is that right?
17 A. Correct, sir.
18 Q. And have you troubled to identify the sort of paper it is written
20 A. I don't believe I've done that, no, sir.
21 Q. It's not paper that has any formality about it, it's the sort of
22 paper that might have just been to hand at the forward command post;
23 that's the sort of thing it is, isn't it?
24 A. That's certainly a fair characterisation, yes, sir.
25 Q. And I think you and I will agree that this was something that was
1 dictated to another man and written out on dictation.
2 A. Yes, sir, that is my understanding.
3 Q. And in the circumstances as you know them to be, not a document
4 that got, in the circumstances, a great deal of thought; would you agree
5 with that?
6 A. I would disagree with it. I mean, when you look at the document
7 in its entirety, it reflects what I believe to be a fairly accurate
8 reflection of how Colonel Pandurevic understood the battlefield situation
9 at the time. So, I mean, I can't say that it didn't have a lot of
10 thought. I think the opposite is true. I mean, I think he puts a very
11 clear message out with respect to the situation that he's facing and the
12 problems that he has.
13 Q. In any review you've given -- I'm sorry. In any review you have
14 given of this document, you have confined your interpretation, haven't
15 you, to paragraphs 4 and 5?
16 A. I believe for the purposes of this testimony and others, yes,
17 sir. I mean, the paragraphs that people were concerned about were
18 paragraphs 4 and 5.
19 Q. So you've lifted them from the context of the document, have you?
20 A. When I considered the document in its entirety, no, I didn't lift
21 them out of context. It's just for the discussions -- the larger context,
22 I mean, I will certainly entertain talking about that as much as you want,
23 but most situations, again, the part that people were interested in were
24 those two paragraphs.
25 Q. Well, what people were interested in?
1 A. When questions would come -- arise from either the Prosecution or
2 other Defence counsel, or in the Krstic case, when the Judges were talking
3 about this. I mean, those were the operative paragraphs. I don't think
4 the issue of the combat situation on the lines, as well as other issues
5 beyond that on offers to negotiate, I mean, I believe I've talked about
6 them, but those obviously weren't the issues of interest in this document.
7 Q. You would, I assume, concede that apart from the fourth paragraph
8 in the English version, the entirety of this document is written about the
9 military situation, isn't it?
10 A. Well, I -- I disagree, only so much as I believe that the fourth
11 paragraph is part of the military situation as far as Colonel Pandurevic
12 was concerned at the time. It's all part of the military situation, just
13 the same as, you know, the discussion on -- you know, with respect to
14 offers to the opposite commander about issues, I mean as part of the
15 military situation. So I disagree with the characterisation. It's all
16 part of the military situation.
17 Q. I'd like now to turn to the interpretation of this document that
18 you gave in your narrative report, please, since we are short of time, and
19 I'd like to conclude this aspect today. And that's P685 at page 101 in
20 English and page 106 in B/C/S. And I want to focus your attention,
21 please, on paragraph 13.12. And, really, you can begin eight lines up
22 from the bottom of that paragraph with the sentence that begins: "Later
23 that same day ...," and you can read it over to yourself.
24 Firstly, can we just satisfy ourselves that you are talking, in
25 that interpretation of this document, about the interim combat report of
1 the 15th of July?
2 A. Correct, sir.
3 Q. Would you like a hard copy alongside you while I go through this?
4 A. I guess if it adds to clarity, yes, sir, I mean.
5 Q. Then I'll give you one. You agreed with me earlier, I think, that
6 the use of quotation marks was intended to -- in your report, was intended
7 to reflect/direct attribution to a source; is that right?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. And for example, you attribute certain words to Colonel Beara,
10 "we'll see what," and you put in square brackets because presumably the
11 word "here" is not there, "he can do." Is that right?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And, again, in this report you note that Colonel Pandurevic noted
14 that there were a large number of prisoners distributed in schools in the
15 brigade area. And we'll find that phrase in your report, won't we?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. The next phrase in quotation marks: "Security operations," do we
18 find that in the report?
19 A. Obligations of security. It is not a literal translation. I
20 agree, sir.
21 Q. Well, why have you put the phrase "security operations" in
22 quotation marks?
23 A. A technical error on my part. I concede your point on that one.
24 Q. Technical error?
25 A. And I think we can go down further and there will be another one,
1 I'm just looking at it, where it says: "Let the prisoners go." So, yes,
2 those are technical errors. I hope I dealt with them on my testimony in
3 the court, but certainly in this context my default position is always go
4 back to the original document.
5 Q. Why did you put the phrase "asanacija" in brackets after the
6 words "burying of the bodies"?
7 A. Again, as part of the issue of clarity on my understanding of what
8 the phrase "asanacija" meant.
9 Q. Who translated "asanacija" as meaning burying of the bodies for
11 A. Again, that's a -- what I understand that the passage means, and
12 that's what I put it at. We can go over, around and around on the words,
13 but again this is a reflection of my understanding of it at the time.
14 Q. So you put "asanacija" in the brackets after the phrase "burying
15 of the bodies" as an indication that that was a proper translation of that
16 Serbian word, did you?
17 A. Well, no, sir, not as a proper translation, but within the context
18 of when the phrase is used, what we're talking about.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Perhaps this would clarify things in my
21 Looking at the supposedly corresponding B/C/S text, "asanaciji" is
22 also in brackets, and those brackets are preceded by the words "i
23 pokapanju tijela." Can anyone tell me what "i pokapanju tijela" means?
24 THE INTERPRETER: "And the burying of bodies."
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So isn't it the case of a literal translation? The
1 question was: Why did you put "asanacija" in brackets. It's in brackets
2 in the original text -- oh, I see. This is a translation of his report.
3 Okay, all right, okay. That explains it, then. All right.
4 Thank you, thank you, Judge Kwon.
5 Mr. Haynes.
6 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
7 Q. I'm not sure you've answered my question, and I'm going to ask it
8 again. Please clarify why you put the word "asanacija" in brackets after
9 the phrase "burying of the bodies."
10 A. Because that's what I was talking about, it was an interpretation
11 of burying of the bodies, that's why I put it there.
12 Q. Where did you get that from?
13 A. Again, my understanding goes back to the phrase out of the JNA
15 Q. So you chose to ignore the official CLSS translation and imposed
16 your own, as it were, understanding of the word; is that --
17 A. No, sir. I mean, somewhere along this line, in a footnote I have
18 the CLSS definition of what the phrase means as a footnoted thing. I'm not
19 ignoring it.
20 Q. Well, let's come to the third one.
21 "Finally, he made it clear that his unit could no longer deal with
22 these issues, and that if 'no one' takes responsibility, he would be
23 forced to 'let the prisoners go.'".
24 Is that phrase in the irregular combat report of the 15th of July?
25 A. No, sir, and I think I said it a little bit before, that I did
1 recognise it in looking at it. That is a technical inaccuracy on my part,
2 and again I invite the Court to go back to the document and not rely on
3 this as a direct quote.
4 Q. Why did you put that in quotation marks? Did you genuinely
5 believe that's what Vinko Pandurevic had written in the irregular combat
6 report of the 15th of July?
7 A. I'd love to be able to tell you the exact reason why I did it in
8 2000, but I just don't have the ability to say that. I mean, the reality
9 is it is a wrong quote and it shouldn't be there.
10 Q. Did you check this document before you signed it off?
11 A. Yes, sir, I did.
12 Q. So you saw those errors, did you?
13 A. Obviously not, because in this particular context if I saw them, I
14 wouldn't let them go through.
15 Q. Well, I thought you agreed with me that there is scarcely a more
16 important document in this whole case. You didn't see that you'd
17 misquoted it twice and imposed upon it your own interpretation of a word
18 in a language you don't understand?
19 A. No, sir, and I hope that when one goes back and looks at the
20 Krstic transcripts, that in fact the actual issue of what the document
21 said and what it meant would have been explored there. I don't think that
22 this was something that was left askew at this juncture.
23 Q. That's not my point, Mr. Butler.
24 A. Okay, well --
25 Q. You wrote it.
1 A. Yes, sir, and I've acknowledged that it is inaccurate.
2 Q. And you knew what it was going to be used for?
3 A. Yes, sir. I -- I acknowledged that it was inaccurate, it's not
4 the literal translation, and again, you know, I believe that it has been
5 dealt with prior. But if not, certainly, I mean, my position is that we
6 should go back to the original document and not to rely on a quote from
8 Q. And you knew, presumably, that it was going to be published?
9 A. In so much as published by ...
10 Q. Well, made a public document in the Krstic trial, which had by
11 then started.
12 A. It was going to be tendered as an exhibit, yes, sir. I
13 guess "published" is -- okay.
14 Q. I just want to give you the opportunity to assess yourself and
15 your work. Just imagine for a minute that you did not write that and you
16 were reviewing it as, for example, a Defence expert. How would you assess
17 those few sentences as an example of expert document analysis?
18 A. Again, sir, I take it as a technical inaccuracy. I acknowledge
20 Q. Score it 1 out of 10, Mr. Butler.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can stop here on this. You keep
22 qualifying it as a technical error. Why is it technical and not a
23 substantive one?
24 THE WITNESS: Sir, I -- and I'm sure Defence counsel will go into
25 this more, but I don't believe that it changes the context of the
1 discussion that was underway and what this means, and I'm sure we'll
2 explore that down the line. So, I mean, it's a technical inaccuracy on my
3 part that I misconstrued the actual translation of the document. I do not
4 believe that it changes the overall context of the discussion, and again I
5 think we're going to hear more about that down the line.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go to the point, please, Mr. Haynes.
7 MR. HAYNES:
8 Q. The phrase you used earlier when you were answering questions to
9 Mr. Ostojic was that you thought your objectivity was such that you always
10 strove to be fair and technically accurate?
11 A. Yes correct, sir.
12 Q. Is that passage of your report, interpreting the interim combat
13 report of the 15th of July, technically accurate?
14 A. No, sir. I believe that we've acknowledged that it is not.
15 Certainly I acknowledge that it's not.
16 Q. Left as it stands, is it fair?
17 A. Again, it's inaccurate, but I don't believe that, when I look at
18 this as from the original document, that it changes my opinion as to what
19 it means. So whether it's fair or not is not something I -- I'm qualified
20 to comment on. It certainly will be an issue for the Trial Chamber to
21 look at.
22 Q. Is it professional?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think he's made his point very clear, and --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's move to -- let's move to whatever you
1 have in mind, Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: I don't want to move to anything else this morning,
3 so if that's a convenient time to stop.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So we can stop here, adjourn.
5 Mr. Butler, thank you so much. We'll continue tomorrow morning.
6 Mr. McCloskey, working on the assumption that tomorrow, hopefully,
7 Mr. Haynes will conclude his cross-examination, as things stand at the
8 moment, do you have a re-examination or are you planning for one, in which
9 case could you give us an indication of the expected duration?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I am, and I hope one session will do it.
11 There's a -- I am going to go look at the documents that I think have
12 been -- are now relevant, and I'll try to get them cut down and then get a
13 better estimate. And, of course, I'll revise it depending on how far we
14 go with this cross, but I should have a better estimate for tomorrow.
15 As you know, I hope I can do this in an hour and a half. I really
16 want this to be over with.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning.
18 Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st of
21 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.