1 Wednesday, 4 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar. Good afternoon,
6 everybody. Could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. All the accused are here.
10 Amongst the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Haynes and
11 Mr. Bourgon. That's about it.
12 Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Nicholls and Mr. Thayer.
13 Nobody else? No.
14 All right. I take it, Mr. Ostojic, you have some preliminaries?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. One
16 preliminary and I apologise for bringing this orally as opposed to in
17 writing but we were anticipating the prior witness to be here a little
18 longer and also you were anticipating a decision from OLAD. It concerns
19 my learned friend Mr. Nikolic, we would ask leave of court to allow him
20 to examine the next witness, which is waiting to be heard. He's
21 qualified, as the Court may know from our prior submissions in connection
22 with Mr. Nikolic. He's an attorney, he was a former judge. We have the
23 acquiescence of my learned friends from the Office of the Prosecutor that
24 he can in fact lead the witness upon direct examination, we are waiting
25 to hear from the Registry that Mr. Nikolic be appointed co-counsel. We
1 have been told verbally that we are going to get a favourable decision on
2 that any time soon. They did advise me they were going to do it last
3 week and then as recently as yesterday, they informed me they were going
4 to give us that decision today. I haven't received it yet. I'm sure the
5 Court hasn't either, so we are asking leave of court to allow Mr. Nikolic
6 to lead in direct the next witness when it's our turn. We hope to go
7 second and our direct examination should last no more than 45 minutes but
8 roughly 30 minutes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What's his position at the moment? Is it same as
10 that of Mr. Mrkic held at the time?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: It is, Your Honour, with a little expanded. He was
12 also our investigator for a while, since September, October of last year
13 but he's also our legal consultant and has over 20 years of experience in
14 the criminal field.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I asked because I wanted to inquire whether there
16 would be any reason to treat him differently than how we treated
17 Mr. Mrkic. Thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
18 Mr. McCloskey, can I have a confirmation?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, that's correct, we've spoken of that. No
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ostojic, permission granted.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, let's deal with the exhibits first. Yes,
1 Mr. Nicholls?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Good afternoon, Your Honours, if you don't mind I
3 have a preliminary I would like to raise before that.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: It relates to a change in the Defence witness
6 order and just since I'm not entirely up to speed on who might have
7 protective measures, could we go into private session, please?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 21711-21717 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And we should have been in open session for all
18 So while we were in private session, we dealt with problems
19 relating to the next witnesses for the rest of this week and the coming
20 week because of problems that have arisen, we had to stay in private
21 session because some of them may eventually be protected witnesses and we
22 had to take every precaution. However, that is all sorted out. There is
23 going to be change to the order, which witnesses from the Popovic Defence
24 team are on but we have taken stock of the situation.
25 Now, exhibits relating to the Krajisnik evidence, testimony.
1 Mr. Zivanovic?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We have sent our list.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I have four documents. Is that --
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Correct.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: -- correct? These have been circulated to the
6 Prosecution and to the other Defence teams?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection. Any objection from any of the
9 Defence teams? None. So documents bearing 65 ter numbers 1D1160,
10 1DIC 201, 1D1156 and 1156 A and 1D1105 are being admitted into evidence.
11 They will be numbered accordingly by our staff.
12 Prosecution -- any of the other Defence teams wishes to tender
13 any documents? None?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: We circulated our list, Your Honour. No changes
16 to that list.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. This has been circulated. Any
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No objection.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from any of the Defence teams?
21 Mr. Josse?
22 MR. JOSSE: I've spoken to Mr. Nicholls about this and my
23 apologies, I perhaps should have spoken to Mr. Zivanovic as well. We
24 have some concerns about all of these assembly sessions going into
25 evidence, but Your Honour, having spoken to Mr. Nicholls we are prepared,
1 if the Court is so willing, for them to be admitted but on condition that
2 in effect the Court simply looks at the passages that were cross-examined
3 upon and are clear from the transcript. If the Court is unhappy with
4 that, then we would ask the Prosecution to identify those passages that
5 are relevant and that were cross-examined upon.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls. Thank you, Mr. Josse.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm in agreement with my friend. I'm happy to put
8 them in. The entire documents are in e-court because there might have
9 been some jumping around during the testimony, but I'm perfectly happy
10 for the Court just to look at the sections which were spoken about during
11 the testimony and are relevant, the passages which I read out and which
12 were commented upon.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, what's your position on that?
14 Because yesterday, for example, in relation to the last video that we
15 saw, that's of the mass meeting that took place in Banja Luka --
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I agree with Mr. Josse.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but we saw the entire speech by
18 Mr. Krajisnik.
19 MR. JOSSE: I'm not taking the point about that rally for that
20 very reason.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That is excluded, that is excluded.
22 MR. JOSSE: For that very reason.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Then I just wanted to make sure
24 whether you were restricting your point to the assembly meetings or
25 whether you were extending it also to the other video that we saw.
1 That's clear enough then. All right. I think we can deal with that.
2 Okay. Point taken, Mr. Josse, and I think there is agreement on
3 that approach.
4 So these documents are all admitted and they will be given the
5 exhibit number by the Registry.
6 Next witness, Mr. Lazic.
7 At the end of today, Madam Tapuskovic and Mr. Zivanovic, at the
8 end of today, possibly no later than tomorrow, could you kindly file
9 again an updated list of the witnesses in the order that you intend to
10 present them for the next week and the week after, please?
11 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We've already prepared
12 that so we just wanted to wait for the confirmation that the visas had
13 been granted. That's why we hadn't presented that to you before, thank
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much, Madam.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Lazic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. I'm the Presiding
20 Judge and sitting together with Judge Kwon, Judge Prost and Judge Stole.
21 You are a witness for Colonel Popovic in this case and you're about to
22 start giving evidence. Madam Usher is going to hand to you the text of a
23 solemn declaration that you are obliged to take or to make before you
24 start giving evidence. Please read it out aloud and that will be your
25 solemn undertaking with us. I correct myself. You haven't been called
1 by Colonel Popovic alone but also by Colonel Beara and General Miletic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand what you have said.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead. Read out the text of that solemn
4 declaration and we can start with your testimony.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MILENKO LAZIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazic. Please make yourself
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, who will introduce himself to you,
13 will go first.
14 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Lazic. We've already met.
16 There is no need for me to introduce myself. I would like to ask you for
17 the transcript to tell us your name.
18 A. My name is Milenko Lazic.
19 Q. Can you please tell me the year of your birth and the place of
20 your birth?
21 A. I was born on the 24th of October 1945 in the village of Verici
22 near Banja Luka.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 Q. And what is your family situation?
1 A. I'm married, I have a wife and two daughters.
2 Q. And what is your ethnicity?
3 A. I'm a Serb.
4 Q. Can you please tell us the education you completed?
5 A. In my village, where I was born, I completed elementary school
6 and completed secondary school in Banja Luka, I completed the military
7 academy in Belgrade. These are the schools that I completed. Actually
8 two military academies, senior academy and elementary or basic military
10 Q. Can you please briefly tell us about your career in the service?
11 A. I completed the military academy in 1968. I was deployed to duty
12 in Nis, and I was performing commander and operative duties in a unit
13 there in Nis for some 14 years. After that, I was transferred to
14 Krusevac where I was again entrusted with operative duties. I was the
15 Chief of Staff and I was the commander of a brigade. I spent ten years
16 in Krusevac until the end of the -- until the beginning of the war in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 In 1992, when the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started, I was
19 summoned or I responded to the national appeal for all the officers who
20 originate from Bosnia and Herzegovina to report to national armies so I
21 reported there, and on the 19th of June 1992, I found myself in the Army
22 of Republika Srpska. The first year, 1991 to -- 1992 to 1993 actually
23 until May 1993 I was working in the Main Staff of the army of Republika
24 Srpska, mostly on operative duties. In 1993, in May, until August 1994,
25 I was commander of the Guards Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska.
1 From 1994, September, until August 1995, I was in the Drina Corps. I was
2 the chief of operations and training. From September 1995, until the end
3 of the war, I was commander of operations group 2 which was part of the
4 1st Krajina Corps. After that, I stayed in Banja Luka for another two
5 years and then returned to the army of Yugoslavia.
6 In 1997, it was suggested that I retire from the army of
7 Yugoslavia and I retired on the 1st of January 1998. In 2000, I found
8 work in Banja Luka, part-time work in the Secretariat of the government
9 of Republika Srpska for cooperation with The Hague and investigations of
10 war crimes and I worked there until 2005. After that I stopped working
11 and I haven't done anything since, so this is my -- an overview of my
13 Q. You've just told us that you were in the Drina Corps from
14 August -- actually from September 1994 until August 1995, as chief of
15 operations and training. Can you explain to us what those duties imply,
16 what kind of work is that?
17 A. The work mostly is of an operative nature, implying planning,
18 organising and execution of combat actions, training and education.
19 Q. Can you tell us if the chief of operations and training has the
20 power to issue orders?
21 A. The chief of operations and training doesn't have the authority
22 to issue orders.
23 Q. Can you please tell me to whom the chief of operations and
24 training subordinated?
25 A. He's subordinated to the chief of the corps staff.
1 Q. Does that mean that he receives orders from him as well?
2 A. Yes. He receives orders, instructions, and everything pertaining
3 to the work from him.
4 Q. What is the relationship between the chief of operations and
5 training on one side and the commander of the unit on the other side?
6 A. When the Chief of Staff is absent, the commander can issue orders
7 to everyone, but the chief of training receives orders from the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One movement, Madam Fauveau?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I believe that
11 there is a small translation mistake on line 16 to 18. The witness said
12 that when the Chief of Staff is absent, the commander may issue orders to
13 everybody. That's what we can read in the transcript. But the witness
14 said that the commander could [Realtime transcript read in error
15 "couldn't"] always give orders to everybody but when the Chief of Staff
16 is absent, he then gives the orders to the head of education and training
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do you confirm that, Mr. Lazic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander has the right to
20 issue orders to everyone, but if somebody is not directly linked to the
21 commander, then they are obliged to inform their immediate superior about
22 receiving an assignment from the commander.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that clear enough, both Mr. Zivanovic and Madam
24 Fauveau? All right.
25 Let's proceed please, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] In 1995, were you performing this duty, the
3 chief of operations and training?
4 A. Yes. I said that as of August 1994 -- actually as of September
5 1994, until August 1995, I was the chief of operations and training of
6 the corps.
7 JUDGE KWON: Can we know the rank at the time?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please tell us your rank at that time?
10 A. I received the rank of Colonel in 1992, in December. I was a
12 Q. In 1995?
13 A. In 1995, I was a colonel.
14 Q. Let me just add this: Did you retire with the same rank?
15 A. Yes, I did, as a colonel. I retired with the rank of colonel.
16 Q. Do you know that at the time, in 1994 and 1995, while you were at
17 this post in the Drina Corps, what was the situation with the Srebrenica
18 and Zepa enclaves?
19 A. Yes. I knew what the situation was in the Srebrenica and Zepa
20 and Gorazde enclaves. Srebrenica and Zepa were in the area of
21 responsibility of the Drina Corps. Those two enclaves were supposed to
22 be demilitarised, but this was not completely carried out, and we
23 continually suffered under fire from those areas, and we also sustained
24 losses, and this is not hard to see in our records.
25 Q. Are you aware that the Drina Corps had an operation to eliminate
1 the danger coming from the enclaves?
2 A. Yes. That operation, which was aimed at ending firing from those
3 areas, was initiated in late June 1995, when the president came to the
4 corps command from somewhere, President Karadzic, accompanied by the
5 president of the assembly, Krajisnik, and his wife, and of course the
6 entourage that remained afterwards, I was in the operations room on duty,
7 and the person on duty at the gate informed me that President Karadzic
8 had entered the command building, I came out, they were already in the
9 corridor. I submitted a report, he asked that we sit down somewhere. I
10 suggested the corps commander's office, who happened to be away at that
11 time. But he said no, no, it doesn't matter, we'll sit anywhere.
12 Then we sat down in the room immediately next to the operations
13 room. We offered them, if they wanted to drink something, as hosts. He
14 said yes, coffee is all right. And he immediately asked that we summon
15 Krstic, Colonel Krstic. He was a colonel at the time. I called Colonel
16 Krstic, and when he came, they stood up, they said hello to Colonel
17 Krstic, they kissed, then we sat down facing one another, and the talks
19 President Karadzic asked how long do you need to set off for
20 Srebrenica? And Krstic said then depending on the objective,
21 preparations could take from three to five days. President Karadzic
22 said, well, try to make that as short as possible, which we understood to
23 mean that as soon as the preparations were completed, that task needed to
24 be carried out.
25 After that, we spoke informally for a little bit with the
1 president and then they left the command building. Colonel Krstic saw
2 the president out, and then after seeing the president out, Colonel
3 Krstic called me to his office and said that we should start planning the
5 I received the assignment to draft the plan of the work for the
6 command, and he was drafting the basic concept. He also ordered me to
7 summon the entire command to the operations room. After half an hour to
8 an hour, Krstic came to the operations room and told the senior officers
9 what assignment we had been given. From that point on, the corps command
10 worked pursuant to the command plan of work to draft a combat plan. In
11 the meantime, the brigade commanders were told to come the next day at
12 8.00 in the morning, to the corps command.
13 Once the brigade commanders arrived, they were told, orally, what
14 they needed to do, to set aside forces for active combat, to execute
15 material preparations, and to complete the planning so that this task
16 could be completed successfully. The day after, commander reconnaissance
17 was scheduled, we carried that out in the Milici Brigade area of
18 responsibility. This took us until about 2.00 p.m. After that we
19 returned to the command of the Milici Brigade for lunch. After lunch,
20 everyone went to their own command.
21 That day in the evening, Colonel Krstic summoned me to his office
22 and he said that we had overlooked something. I said, what did we
23 overlook? He said that we didn't plan anything once we started the
24 implementation of the assignment vis-a-vis Srebrenica to prevent the
25 possible break-through of the forces of the 2nd Corps, the Tuzla Corps of
1 the B and H army by the shortest route towards Srebrenica. Then he
2 ordered me orally to be responsible for that, to see to it that surprises
3 are prevented, which means that I would go to the front line, the western
4 section of the front, facing Tuzla, and to step up reconnaissance and
5 combat readiness in order to prevent surprises and to be able to respond
6 adequately to any possible attempts of a breakthrough by the B and H army
7 forces. This was the first attempt to carry out any kind of action in
8 relation to Srebrenica.
9 Q. And did you act pursuant to this order from Krstic?
10 A. Yes. That evening, I immediately went to the Milici Brigade
11 command because it seemed to me that this was central to any kind of axis
12 of action by the B and H army forces because I believed that the shortest
13 possible directions were Kalesija, Vlasenica, Srebrenica and Kladanj,
14 yes, Kladanj, Vlasenica, Srebrenica. Sekovici is kind of in the middle
15 and I decided to go to Sekovici from where I went to the front line and
16 monitored the situation on the front.
17 Q. When you went there, did you still continue to make preparations
18 for the Krivaja operation?
19 A. No, no, I no longer had anything to do with the preparation for
20 the Srebrenica 95 operation.
21 Q. If I understood you correctly, you -- and please correct me if
22 I'm wrong and if you remember -- that some two days after you received
23 the assignment to begin these preparations for this operation, you left.
24 How much time passed from the moment you received the assignment?
25 A. Mine?
1 Q. Yes, yes.
2 A. Yes, that's correct, two days. After I received the assignment,
3 I left the corps command two days later to carry out my assignment.
4 Q. I'm going to show you a document now. This is an order for
5 active combat, and this is Exhibit 4D378.
6 Can you please tell me if you recall this document? Do you
7 remember when it was -- although I showed it to you already. If you wish
8 to look at it once again --
9 A. I remember this document.
10 Q. Can you please tell me if this document -- or when did this
11 document begin to be written?
12 A. The document was drafted, or it began to be drafted, immediately
13 the following day. The assignment was issued in the evening so the
14 following day, work started on this particular order.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Zivanovic, do you not have an English
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] The document has been translated.
18 It's in e-court.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What we have on the screen is the B/C/S text. What
20 Judge Kwon is asking you for is the reference so that it can --
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I understand.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we have that in e-court as a
24 Prosecution exhibit as 107. There should be an English translation that
25 you can look at in relation to that if we want to swap that in e-court
1 for the other version.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you please tell me -- I've shown this document to you and you
4 had the opportunity to see the date of the document. This version, the
5 way you see it and the way you read it, was it already drafted at the
6 time when you were leaving Vlasenica?
7 A. I can't be sure of that. I'm not sure whether the contents were
8 the same but the form was the same, and it was there while I was at the
10 Q. Did you participate in the drafting of this document?
11 A. I did not participate in the drafting of this document or in its
12 wording. This was done by Colonel Krstic. I drew the outlines of the
13 decision on the map.
14 Q. You saw this document and in the first paragraph it says that the
15 enemy within the framework of the general offensive in the territory of
16 Republika Srpska carried out attacks with a limited target towards the
17 units of the Drina Corps, and then an estimate is provided as to what the
18 enemy is going to do next. Do you remember that estimate? Do you
19 remember that assessment or that part? Do you remember that it was there
20 before you were reassigned to the duty in Sekovici and redeployed there?
21 A. Yes, I remember. This paragraph and the information about the
22 enemy is always the first paragraph in any order. It contains the data
23 on the strength, the deployment, the mission and the possible targets of
24 the enemy activity. I did see the contents of the document, and I
25 believe that this is the contents that I saw at the time.
1 Q. At the time, were you familiar with the fact or did you have any
2 information about the strength of the enemy force in the enclave of
3 Srebrenica? Do you know how many of them there were, how well organised
4 they were and so on?
5 A. Yes, we knew all that. The information was mostly correct, and
6 one could sense that in practical terms and later our information was
7 proven; it was subsequently confirmed. There were five brigades in
8 Srebrenica. There were about 9.600 troops, as far as I can remember.
9 That was the figure. And the units were deployed in a circle shape on
10 the edge of the enclave, and they occupied defence positions there.
11 Q. Would this paragraph reflect your information about the
12 deployment of the enemy troops and the lines where they were deployed?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'm not going to ask you anything about the second paragraph.
15 I'll move on immediately to paragraph 4. This is a concept for the
16 execution of your mission, i.e. the decision on the execution of that
17 mission. I would kindly ask you to tell us and explain what kind of a
18 mission it was? What were you supposed to do during the operation known
19 as Krivaja 95?
20 A. Paragraph 4 is the basic concept for combat task or the decision
21 for combat task. It contains the way the troops of the army of Republika
22 Srpska or the Drina Corps will be deployed in order to carry out the
23 combat mission. The main objective was to separate the enclave Zepa from
24 the enclave Srebrenica and to reduce them to their urban areas in order
25 to avoid any further activity on their part against our forces from those
1 two enclaves.
2 Q. And I am just going to ask you about paragraph 10 b. That's the
3 penultimate page of the document. Do you at all remember or do you know
4 who was the author of this paragraph? If you remember and if you know.
5 A. Since I did not participate in the drafting of the order, I
6 wouldn't know exactly who the author of this particular paragraph was.
7 JUDGE KWON: If could you help us with the English portion of
8 that page? I note there are 10 a and b in B/C/S.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is 10 b.
10 JUDGE KWON: If you could take a look in the English translation.
11 I note Mr. Thayer is on his feet.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
13 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I had to switch to the other
14 microphone. It's not working. My apologies.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. It is working now.
16 MR. THAYER: Okay. There we go. No. Okay. It is -- my
17 apologies. It's page 7 of the English, at the top, the ERN is 0088359 --
18 it's hard to read, 99, I believe, but it's page 7 of the English
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we have on the screen actually now. Go
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I wanted to ask you something else. When planning this
24 operation, at least during the phase that you participated in, did you
25 expect that there would be prisoners and that their number would be
1 large? Can you tell us something about that?
2 A. In any operation, it is assumed that there would be prisoners
3 taken, that there would be a certain number of POWs. The same was true
4 of this operation. And it was regulated how to deal with the issue of
5 prisoners of war.
6 Q. Can you tell us just roughly what number of prisoners did you
7 expect? Did you think that there would be in the thousands given the
8 nature of this operation, Krivaja 95?
9 A. Obviously we did not expect a large number of prisoners because
10 the operation was to be carried out along one axis in a very narrow area,
11 and without any ambition to encircle and to take prisoners. Actually,
12 what could be expected was just like in any other operation, that there
13 would be sporadic individual prisoners of war taken.
14 Q. I would now kindly ask you to tell us whether in this operation,
15 Krivaja 95, did the -- all of the Drina Corps participate with all of its
16 units, all the brigades?
17 A. Of course not. You can see from the heading of the order who the
18 addressees were. Those units assigned some of their troops for
19 participation in this operation.
20 Q. Can you remember how many troops were there in the units that
21 were engaged in the operation? What was the strength of the group?
22 A. About 2.000, as far as I can remember, participated in combat
23 operations, about 2.000 troops all together.
24 Q. I would now ask you this: When planning the operation, as far as
25 it -- you can remember, again, was there a plan to kill men, military
1 conscripts, who were to be found in Srebrenica at the time?
2 A. Of course not. Far from it. No.
3 Q. From the military point of view, since you were a professional
4 soldier, could something like that be expected from an operation of this
5 kind, in view of the enemy strength that you were aware of and in view of
6 the strength of the units of the Drina Corps that were engaged in the
7 operation, and in view of the way the operation was to take place?
8 A. Of course not. It could not be possible -- it wasn't feasible.
9 The operation had a very clear goal and there was no question that there
10 would be encircling, destroying, killing, no, that was out of the
11 question altogether.
12 Q. I would like to ask you something else. Can you remember, since
13 you were in that position at the time, whether the Drina Corps had the
14 sufficient number of troops, the sufficient number of weapons to do
15 something of the sort if they had wanted to do that?
16 A. I believe that not even then, even if they had wanted to do so,
17 they did not have enough strength. The Drina Corps had about 18.000
18 troops and in order to destroy 10.000 troops, you need at least three
19 times as many. So the ratio has to be 1 to 3 in order to carry out a
20 destruction operation.
21 Q. Thank you. And now I would kindly ask you to tell me this: Two
22 days after having received your mission, you left to the front lines and
23 there you were tasked with certain things and you were in charge of
24 certain things. Can you tell me what you did on the front line, as far
25 as you can remember, from the moment when you arrived there and further
1 on in the course of those July days in 1995?
2 A. I tried to monitor the situation on the front line, to collect
3 information and intelligence about the developments in front of our
4 lines. I inspected the units in order to be kept abreast of the
5 situation. I moved along the line of the Zvornik Brigade, the Milici
6 Brigade, actually not the Milici Brigade but rather -- I can't remember,
7 the Sekovici Brigade, the Sokolac Brigade and so on and so forth. I
8 would go to the front line, I would enter their command posts and I would
9 listen to their reports. They would brief me.
10 Q. Do you know whether at that time there was a threat of some sort
11 against the defence lines of the army of Republika Srpska in that segment
12 that you were in charge of?
13 A. Yes. It was sometime around the 17th of July, I learned that the
14 forces of the 2nd Corps appeared at the forward line of the Zvornik
16 Q. Do you know what happened or what was happening with the 28th
17 Division once Srebrenica was taken and once the units of the army of
18 Republika Srpska entered Srebrenica? What happened to that unit? Do you
19 know? Did you have any information about that?
20 A. At first, there was no correct information as to the deployment
21 of the 28th Division troops. I'm referring to the 11th, 12th --
22 actually, on the 12th, the troops already turned up and it was obvious
23 that they were moving from the concentration that they had been at, which
24 was the village of Susnjari, and that they were on their way, moving
25 along the northern axis towards Zvornik.
1 Q. Tell me, please, were you aware at the time of the exact
2 direction of their movement or was there any risk posed by their movement
3 through the territory?
4 A. Their direction of movement could be followed and monitored, but
5 we didn't know what their intentions and goals were. And there could
6 have been a threat posed to any large settlement, and especially Zvornik,
7 because they were moving towards Zvornik.
8 Q. Can you please explain how did it occur that the troops of the
9 28th Division were moving in this way and reached a point from which they
10 could pose a threat to Zvornik, as far as I could understand you? How
11 come they hadn't been stopped?
12 A. In the area through which they were moving, there were no serious
13 troops on our side that could have opposed that large group. The forces
14 of the Drina Corps that participated in the mission against Srebrenica
15 had been sent towards Zepa, south of Srebrenica.
16 Q. If I understood you well, they were sent to the area opposite of
18 A. Yes, opposite.
19 Q. Tell me, do you know roughly -- although I know you were not
20 there, but do you know, still do you know roughly when the forces of the
21 army of Republika Srpska who had participated in Krivaja 95, when were
22 they sent off towards Zepa?
23 A. I don't know exactly because I wasn't there but I believe that
24 already on the 11th of July, those troops had been sent in the direction
25 of Zepa.
1 Q. One more thing let me ask you. Is there any possibility for the
2 forces of the 28th Division from Srebrenica to be moving along the
3 direction that you mentioned without nobody knowing? Is it possible that
4 they could have been moving for two days unnoticed and that they could
5 have only been spotted on the third day?
6 A. Of course not. They could not have done that unnoticed. They
7 were noticed. They were observed. And in one way -- in a certain way,
8 they were monitored and followed visually. There was a visual contact
9 providing us with an insight as to what their movement was, but we did
10 not have enough force to face them.
11 Q. You said among other things that at one point there was the
12 possibility that they would go towards Zvornik. Do you know perhaps what
13 was done in order to prevent that from happening so that they wouldn't
14 attack or capture Zvornik?
15 A. From what I found out later, a company of the police was sent to
16 Zvornik, civilian police, with the objective of assisting in the possible
17 defence of Zvornik. I also know that the police commander went to the
18 area along the axis of movement of the 28th Division forces, and he and
19 two policemen were captured. That policeman, the commander, was taken to
20 Tuzla while the soldiers were killed right away. The commander was used
21 to force certain benefits. For example, he was told to call his
22 commander and to tell him not to open fire on our forces, which is what
23 he did.
24 Q. You said that this police unit was sent for the defence of
25 Zvornik. Can you tell us why Zvornik was not defended by the Zvornik
1 Brigade? We have information that a brigade existed there.
2 A. The Zvornik Brigade was deployed on the front line, and the
3 available forces that were there that could be used for such a manoeuvre
4 were already engaged in the direction of Zepa.
5 Q. Do you know if the movement of the 28th Division later had an
6 effect on any decisions vis-a-vis the Zvornik Brigade that was in Zepa?
7 Do you know if they received any kind of assignment?
8 A. I didn't understand the question.
9 Q. Did the -- are you aware if, later, the Zvornik Brigade took part
10 in the defence of Zvornik, the one that you said was at Zepa?
11 A. Again, I didn't understand the question very well. I don't know
12 what I would answer to this question.
13 Q. All right. I'm not going to insist.
14 Just tell me one more thing now, please. That July, in 1995, did
15 you go to Baljkovica? Are you familiar with this place called
17 A. Yes. From what I recall, I came to the forward command post of
18 the Zvornik Brigade on the 17th of July, with the goal of gathering
19 information about what was happening in front of the forward sector and
20 in the rear of the line of defence of the Zvornik Brigade. When I was at
21 Baljkovica, I saw that something was happening on the front line. Or,
22 rather, I heard something. I heard firing. I heard that the commander
23 of the Zvornik Brigade was negotiating with the commander of the Kalesija
24 Brigade, from the 2nd Corps of the B and H army, about opening a corridor
25 at the line of defence, at the front line. Later, they agreed, and this
1 corridor was opened. I had no influence on what the Zvornik Brigade
2 commander decided.
3 Q. Do you remember, when you were there at Baljkovica, did you meet
4 any officers from another brigade, from the Zvornik Brigade, or from any
5 other unit, and did you have any communication or exactly what my
6 question is did you communicate with any other officers? Were you --
7 A. Since the situation was what it was in the Zvornik Brigade, it
8 was very busy at this -- and brisk at this command post. There was a
9 unit from -- there were officers there from the Main Staff. There were
10 three officers there from what I can remember. There was Colonel
11 Trkulja, he was the chief of the armoured mechanised units of the Main
12 Staff. Then Sladojevic, from the operations organ of the Main Staff. He
13 was also a colonel. And Colonel Stankovic from the intelligent organ of
14 the Main Staff. They were there. I spoke with them briefly, mostly
15 about some kind of injustice that was actually perpetrated against me for
16 some personnel reasons. These were personnel matters.
17 Q. Do you recall perhaps how long you stayed at Baljkovica?
18 A. I couldn't really give you the exact time. I wasn't there for
19 long. I stayed there very briefly, and I continued on towards Sekovici.
20 Q. Can you just please tell me if you ever went to Baljkovica before
22 A. No. I never went to Baljkovica before.
23 Q. And after that, did you ever go?
24 A. No, I didn't go again.
25 Q. Do you remember how you got to Baljkovica?
1 A. Since I'd never been there before, I don't know. The driver took
2 the road that leads to Baljkovica.
3 Q. Do you remember or would you be able to recognise the road or the
4 places that you passed by, the villages you passed through? Do you
5 remember any of that?
6 A. I don't believe that I would find my way without a good map.
7 Q. Let me just put one more question to you. When you were passing
8 then, when you were going to Baljkovica and generally before that, did
9 you hear that there were any prisoners there in the Zvornik area? Did
10 you have any information about that at that time?
11 A. Nobody said anything about that, and I didn't have any
12 information about that then, no.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, any time soon, we need to have a break. So if
14 it's convenient for you now.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have it now. 25 minutes. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.14 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I recognise Madam Fauveau.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one small
21 correction of the transcript, page 17, line 24, it's my own intervention
22 actually, the word "cannot" must be read as "can."
23 JUDGE AGIUS: "Can always give." Okay. Thank you so much.
24 Thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lazic, do you remember in 2004 in Banja Luka
3 you talked with investigators from the OTP of this Tribunal? This was on
4 the 22nd of July 2004 to be exact?
5 A. Yes. I remember that conversation.
6 Q. In the conversation, I'm going to remind you, you, among other
7 things, talked about the military police, about the military police unit
8 in the Drina Corps, and you said that it was under the jurisdiction of
9 the security organs and that the chief of the security organ was
10 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. So could you please explain what you meant
11 when you said under the jurisdiction? Can you please clarify? I'm going
12 to put a precise question to you. Who was in command of that unit of the
13 military police? Well, let that be the first question and then I'm going
14 to put some more questions to you.
15 A. Yes. I will explain. "Under the jurisdiction" means that the
16 security organs, in the professional sense, were superior to the military
17 police. Or, rather, in their work, they are the ones who use military
18 police the most. Command of the police proceeds along the command line
19 going from the commandant to komandir so that the commander of the
20 military police is subordinated to the corps commander.
21 Q. I saw that there is an expression, a term in military
22 terminology, and it's called professional control. Does this refer to
23 the military police organs and the security organs?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I would just like to put one more question to you. In this
1 interview, you talked about -- actually a document was shown to you, and
2 the document stated that -- and it's a document from the Bratunac Brigade
3 sent to the Drina Corps -- and the document said that Captain Gavric said
4 that fire was opened at Srebrenica pursuant to the commander -- the
5 command of Colonel Lazic. This referred to May 1995, I think. Do you
6 remember being asked questions about that at the time?
7 A. Yes. I do remember.
8 Q. Well, let me just put one more question to you on this. You did
9 give an answer then, you said at the time that you do not recollect that
10 event, that there are different options possible, and so on and so forth.
11 So what I'm asking you is at the time in May 1995, were you authorised to
12 issue any kind of orders in that sense?
13 A. I did not have any authority to command units or to issue orders
14 directly to units. So my duties did not include any such authority.
15 Q. You also said at that time that you do not recollect that event
16 and that you were unable to remember that, that there were different
17 possibilities. I'm not going to mention all of them now. My question
18 is: If you were to be asked this question right now, in the meantime,
19 have you reached some new knowledge or had access to some information and
20 would your answer now be different?
21 A. No. In 2004, I didn't remember that event because, as far as I
22 was concerned, it was not something that I was supposed to remember.
23 Secondly, right now, definitely, I cannot remember if there was any kind
24 of mention of my issuing orders to a unit to fire at Srebrenica. It
25 wasn't up to me to issue orders, and those who were executing the tasks
1 knew that they should not have accepted an order from me. So if I had
2 issued an order in that sense, they would have had to check back with
3 their commander, so I don't know how it could have happened that it's
4 written there that I issued this order.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Lazic.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, no further questions.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We have a technical problem but we'll
10 sort it out.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you. I have no further questions. I have
12 completed my cross-examination. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic? Yeah, what happened is that -- all
15 MR. NIKOLIC: Your Honour, thank you for allowing me this
16 privilege to represent the Defence for Mr. Beara and to examine the
17 witness, although I do not meet all the necessary requirements. I also
18 thank the Prosecution for not opposing this.
19 Examination by Mr. Nikolic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lazic, let us please go back to the point in
21 time when President Karadzic, with his escort, arrived at the corps
22 command. In answer to my colleague Zivanovic's question, you said that
23 President Karadzic was accompanied by some individuals. My question is
24 as follows: Was President Karadzic, who was also the Commander-in-Chief
25 at the time, accompanied by any officer from the Main Staff of the army
1 of Republika Srpska?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did President Karadzic cordially greet you and kiss with you
4 after he was he reported to the way he greeted with Colonel Krstic?
5 A. No. I was not on such intimate terms with President Karadzic.
6 Q. As an officer who, for a considerable time, served in the Main
7 Staff as well, did you have occasion to witness similar situations in
8 which a superior was being reported to, and if so, did in such situations
9 the president of the republic, in the presence of other officers and
10 towards some other officers, exhibit that degree of intimacy?
11 A. To my knowledge, no. The custom was that the individual who had
12 reported to the superior would be shaken hands with.
13 Q. When Mr. Karadzic issued an order to the corps, that was an order
14 coming from the Commander-in-Chief, was it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Based on your experience and knowledge, was this the customary
17 way for a Commander-in-Chief to issue orders for the preparation of an
18 action, directly to one of the army units?
19 A. To my knowledge, this was the first such occasion that I
20 witnessed where the Commander-in-Chief circumvented the Main Staff and
21 directly issued an order to the corps.
22 Q. Based on your long-standing experience as an officer, what is the
23 customary way of issuing orders, what is the rule for issuing orders for
24 such an action?
25 A. The rule is that the chain of command should be observed,
1 although exceptions are allowed, such as this one.
2 Q. Based on what you just answered, that was the only such case you
3 were aware of during the war?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What was the position of the Main Staff in relation to the corps,
6 and specifically in relation to the Drina Corps, within the subordination
7 and organisation of the army?
8 A. The Main Staff is the superior command to all the corps and the
9 units directly subordinated to the Main Staff.
10 Q. When General Krstic received this order, and to all intents and
11 purposes started acting pursuant to the order by asking that all the
12 chiefs of all the command sectors be summoned, did he report or inform --
13 report to or inform the Main Staff upon receipt of this order?
14 A. I can't tell you that precisely because he had a direct line from
15 his office with the Main Staff. I can't tell you if he informed the Main
16 Staff and in what way but I presume that he did.
17 Q. Did you ever have occasion to see one such document?
18 A. I had never seen a document about the Main Staff having been
19 informed or informing the Main Staff about something.
20 Q. Was this an obligation on the part of the Chief of Staff or one
21 of the authorised officers at the staff, to inform about -- the Main
22 Staff about the receipt of such an order and about the preparation for
23 such an action?
24 A. It is the obligation of the commander of the corps to inform the
25 Main Staff about the fact that he had received a combat assignment.
1 Q. As the preparations commenced, did any of the officers of the
2 Main Staff become involved in the preparations?
3 A. While I was engaged in the preparations for this assignment, I
4 didn't see a single officer from the Main Staff.
5 Q. Since for some time before this period you were an officer at the
6 Main Staff, presumably you were acquainted with the officers of the Main
8 A. Yes. I knew almost all of them.
9 Q. Can you name some of them?
10 A. I can. General Milovanovic, Colonel Beara, General Miletic.
11 Q. You were therefore acquainted with Colonel Beara as well, since
13 A. I knew him since the 19th of June 1992, when I first came to the
14 Main Staff.
15 Q. During preparations for this particular action, did you see
16 Colonel Beara present at the corps command for the purposes of the
18 A. While I was at the corps command, I didn't see him there.
19 Q. How long did the preparations take in all? How many days, to be
20 more precise, did the preparations of subordinate units for this action
22 A. The preparations commenced at the point when the order was
23 received and lasted until the 5th of July, which would total some six
24 days, I believe.
25 Q. In your earlier answers, you also said that the chief of the
1 corps staff, General Krstic, issued an order for the brigade commanders
2 to gather at the staff the following day; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Which commanders of which brigades attended the meeting?
5 A. All the brigade commanders were there, which meant all the
6 brigades of the corps, and the commanders of independent units as well.
7 Q. Can you give me the titles of all the brigades and independent
9 A. I will do my best. It was a long time ago, after all. Let me
10 start from the top. Zvornik Brigade. Sekovici Brigade. Vlasenica
11 Brigade. Milici Brigade. Sokolac Brigade. And Gorazde Brigade. Next,
12 the artillery battalion, the military police company, and rear units,
13 logistics units.
14 Q. Since this is my first examination after all, I seem not to have
15 been specific enough in my question. I expected you to give me the names
16 of the respective commanders of these brigades.
17 A. I'll try to do that as well. The commander of the Zvornik
18 Brigade at the time was Vinko Pandurevic. I don't know what his rank
19 was. I believe he was Lieutenant Colonel. The commander of the Sekovici
20 Brigade, Colonel Andric. Milici Brigade, Colonel Vicic. Sokolac
21 Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Krivic, or rather, Colonel Krivic. Gorazde
22 Brigade, I don't know his rank, he may have been a major, and he was not
23 a professional serviceman so I don't know his name. Vlasenica Brigade,
24 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric.
25 Q. Among the officers, was there Vidoje Blagojevic as well?
1 A. Yes, Bratunac Brigade, Vidoje Blagojevic.
2 Q. When did you receive the order to go to the forward command post?
3 A. After the commanders' reconnaissance was conducted, which was
4 organised one day after the order was issued.
5 Q. And when did you exactly come to the forward command post?
6 A. I don't recall if it was the 29th or the 30th, but it was around
7 that time that I went to the forward command post. In other words, on
8 the evening of the second day, counting from the day the order was
10 Q. Was this practically the time when you ceased to have any more
11 knowledge about the activities in that part of the battlefield?
12 A. Yes. General Krstic set up a new team to execute that combat
13 assignment and for all the other combat assignments which were carried
14 out without my involvement.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. NIKOLIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
18 Madam Nikolic?
19 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of General
20 Miletic would like to examine the witness in direct first and at any rate
21 I will have no cross-examination of this witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Madam Fauveau? He is also your
23 witness. Mr. Petrusic will be examining this witness.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will be examining
25 the witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, go ahead.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] But before I start, I should like
3 to give the witness hard copies of the documents that are in e-court, to
4 facilitate my examination. Of course, the Prosecution can have a look at
5 the documents. These documents will be the subject of my examination.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you familiar already with the list of documents
7 that is intended to be used?
8 MR. THAYER: I am, Mr. President, thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
10 Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
11 Examination by Mr. Petrusic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lazic, my name is Nenad Petrusic and I will
13 be examining you on behalf of the Defence for General Miletic this
14 afternoon. It seems to me that at the outset of your testimony today,
15 you had a slip of the tongue. At page 22, line 19, you said that upon
16 receiving the assignment, you went to the Milici Brigade. A bit before
17 that you said that you went to the Birac Brigade. Can we clear this up?
18 Was it the Birac or the Milici Brigade?
19 A. The Birac brigade or rather I refer to it as Sekovic Brigade
20 because that's where it was stationed. Its title, Birac, derives from
21 the area around Sekovici. So I went to the Birac Brigade, not the Milici
23 Q. Let us be mindful of one thing that is quite commonly adopted
24 here. Since we speak the same language, please make a short pause before
25 answering my question, to allow for the interpretation to take its course
1 so that we may not overlap.
2 A. I understand.
3 Q. You also told my learned friend Zivanovic that you performed
4 certain duties at the Main Staff, or to be more precise, that you were
5 the deputy chief of operations.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Can you tell me what the structure of that administration was
8 within the Main Staff?
9 A. According to its organisation and the establishment, the
10 administration was supposed to have 18 men. However, in the year that I
11 spent at the Main Staff, it had several individuals there. For the most
12 part, there was the chief of the administration and two or three officers
13 who were chief of operations sector and training sector. These were the
14 sectors making up the administration.
15 Q. You said that there were two sectors.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you recall who the heads of the sectors and the administration
19 A. Colonel Ilic was the first head of administration. I was at the
20 head of the operations sector or department. And General Prstojevic was
21 the head of the training sector. He was colonel at the time. I will not
22 be mentioning the chiefs of branches.
23 Q. The administration for operations and training, was it housed in
24 the headquarters? Was it part of the staff?
25 A. Yes. It's one of the most important organs of the staff.
1 Q. Who was your superior officer?
2 A. Colonel Ilic.
3 Q. To your knowledge, in terms of operation and establishment, did
4 the makeup of the administration ever change in the period between 1992
5 and 1995?
6 A. It changed but negligibly. The chief of the administration
7 changed --
8 Q. I apologise but my question didn't have to do with the personnel.
9 I meant in operations and establishment, in that sense.
10 A. There was no change in that regard.
11 Q. You can continue your answer in terms of the personnel that
13 A. To my knowledge, after I left the Main Staff, General Miletic
14 became the head or chief of the administration.
15 Q. In your position as the deputy chief of administration for
16 operations, what were your tasks? What did you do?
17 A. The word is self explanatory. It's operations. Operational
18 monitoring of the situation on the front line, collecting reports from
19 the subordinate units and the analysis of these reports, as well as
20 drafting proposals for measures to be taken in order to improve the
21 situation on the front line. In other words, the use of armed forces in
22 order to carry out the tasks that were assigned to the subordinate units.
23 Q. During your work in the administration, did you also draft
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. According to your best recollection, could you please tell us
2 what does the word "drafting orders" imply?
3 A. This implies that if the Chief of Staff or the commander issue an
4 order, they would provide us with the outlines and the operations officer
5 is duty-bound to draft the order according to the rules and customs of
6 administration, to shape it as a proper order containing all the elements
7 and satisfying all the criteria that an order has to satisfy.
8 Q. In other words, who is it who actually formulates the order? Is
9 it the commander or is it his deputy?
10 A. The commander defines the task, and as for the order form, this
11 is formulated by the person drafting the order, which is usually
12 operative officers in the operations sector.
13 Q. In 1994, to be more precise in September, you were assigned to
14 the Drina Corps as chief of department for operations and training. Did
15 anything change in terms of your tasks? Let me rephrase that. When you
16 were transferred to the Drina Corps, to become the chief of operations
17 and training, your duties that you previously had in the Main Staff as
18 the deputy chief of the operations sector, did they change significantly?
19 A. Yes. They changed significantly. I became the chief of the
20 operations and training of the corps and also the deputy Chief of Staff
21 which means I -- my duty was to stand in for the Chief of Staff, whereas
22 that was not the rule in the Main Staff. At that strategic level, the
23 chief of administration would not automatically stand in for the Chief of
25 Q. In the Drina Corps, who was your superior officer in 1994?
1 A. The Chief of Staff.
2 Q. Who was that personally?
3 A. Colonel or rather General Krstic, the Chief of Staff.
4 Q. And by establishment, as far as I can understand you, you were
5 also his deputy. You were standing in for him when necessary?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You had certain information, at least that's what you said, about
8 the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, and although this should be a
9 notorious fact, could you tell us whether they were completely
10 demilitarised at the time when you joined the Drina Corps?
11 A. I already said that Srebrenica and Zepa, as enclaves, had never
12 been demilitarised zones and that these zones posed a constant threat for
13 our units and positions.
14 Q. Do you know that during the negotiations about the
15 demilitarisation of these enclaves, clear demarcation lines were
16 established between the two sides?
17 A. Yes. Those lines were clearly determined, and on those lines,
18 defence lines were established on both sides.
19 Q. When it comes to the taking of those lines on both sides, and I'm
20 primarily talking about the army of Republika Srpska, was -- were those
21 lines taken completely unfortunately?
22 A. On the side of Republika Srpska, those lines were never taken
23 completely. The defence lines were not manned fully. There were
24 interspaces that were not manned.
25 Q. Can you tell us where that interspace was?
1 A. One of such spaces that were not manned was an area towards Zepa
2 and above the canyon of the Drina River and also on the southern border
3 of the enclave of Srebrenica in the area around Zeleni Jadar.
4 Q. The area around Zeleni Jadar, it is in the southern part of the
5 enclave, is it not?
6 A. Yes, that's what I said.
7 Q. Was that area manned -- actually, when the agreement was being
8 signed, whose area was that supposed to be, who was supposed to control
9 that area?
10 A. Obviously the army of Republika Srpska.
11 Q. And do you have any information dating back to 1994 and 1995, in
12 particular, whether that area of Zeleni Jadar ever came under the threat
13 of incidents or combat activities on the part of the BiH army or by the
14 said 28th Division?
15 A. I heard that on one occasion, the forces of the 28th Division
16 from Srebrenica, from the general area of Srebrenica, carried out an
17 attack towards this area and broke through into that area. They
18 collected everything from the factories that are there and as far as I
19 know there was a saw mill there as well as a furniture factory. So that
20 the machinery were taken away or damaged, and the Zeleni Jadar-Skelani
21 road communication was interrupted or damaged.
22 Q. Was that road supposed to be under the control of the army of
23 Republika Srpska?
24 A. Yes, it was supposed to be under the control of the army of
25 Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Do you know who was supposed to control, which unit was supposed
2 to control that road?
3 A. This is a connection between the village of the brigade and the
4 Skelani Battalion but there was not enough troops to link up the two and
5 that area was never well defended.
6 Q. As far as I could understand you, members of the 28th Division
7 took that area?
8 A. Yes. For a certain while, they remained in the area and
9 obviously, something should have been done to return that unit, to take
10 it back, to push it back, if nothing else, by fighting them. But as far
11 as I know, there were no combat activities in the area to do that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just for clarity of the record if we
14 could have an approximate date as to the witness's recollection of these
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you formulate the question yourself,
17 Mr. Petrusic?
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] That was going to be my next
19 question. Thank you, my learned friend.
20 Q. Sir, Colonel, you heard the Prosecutor's intervention. Could you
21 please tell me what time period are we talking about here? Be as precise
22 as possible, as far as you can remember.
23 A. It is very difficult for me to remember the date when this
24 happened or the period when this was taking place. And I don't want to
25 speculate and I can't provide you with any exact answer to your question.
1 Q. I would like to call up document E -- D107 [as interpreted] in
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you proceed, usually when you
4 have an answer like this, you try and find out whether there is any way
5 in which one could aid, help one's memory, the witness's memory. Are you
6 going to use this document to try and help his memory or are you moving
7 to something different? Because as I understood you, you are moving to
8 something different. Yes.
9 Mr. Thayer, do you wish to pursue the matter further or --
10 MR. THAYER: I'll save it for redirect, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. Then please --
12 MR. THAYER: Freudian slip.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please proceed, Mr. Petrusic. Thank you.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Page 49, line 8, instead of D107, it should be P107. I would
16 like to call up the document in e-court, please.
17 Mr. Lazic, this is one of the documents that I've provided you
18 with. The first one on your right-hand side. You should have it in hard
20 A. Yes, I have this document which is a combat order, document
21 number is 107.
22 Q. You have told us that when President Karadzic arrived and issued
23 the order that he did, that General Krstic gave you a task and gathered
24 the whole command, all the officers, and distributed tasks to them as
25 well, I suppose to act upon the order. Would that be put correctly?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And now I would kindly -- I would kindly ask you to start from
3 item 1 -- no, I withdraw. When you say the whole command, who were the
4 members of the command?
5 A. Since the commander was not there, there was the Chief of Staff,
6 so the first person would be the Chief of Staff, and then down to the
7 last officer of the command, but the inner circle is the commander with
8 his assistants and the chief of security, and the staff is composed of
9 the operations officer and the chiefs of combat arms.
10 Q. In the Drina Corps, there was obviously the corps commander and
11 among his assistants were the assistant for logistics, assistant for
12 security, assistant for moral guidance, religious and legal affairs, and
13 that's it?
14 A. Yes, that's that.
15 Q. I would kindly ask you to start from the beginning of this order,
16 from item 1. Tell us, please, if General Krstic was the main person
17 there. Who, if anybody else besides him, participated in the preparation
18 of this item 1, and this item 1, you know it better than me, speaks about
19 the enemy force.
20 A. In addition to the Chief of Staff, who was in charge of drafting
21 the document, he engaged all the organs of the command and as for item 1,
22 it was the intelligence officer who was in charge of inputting
23 information for this item 1.
24 Q. And now if we move on to item number 4 -- number 2, can you tell
25 us something about this item?
1 A. Item number 2 is the task given to the corps as received from the
2 superior command, and this item is actually copied word for word as it
3 was received from the superior command.
4 Q. So it is not a decision of anybody from the command or the staff
5 but of the superior command?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in this case, it is Karadzic's decision?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I would now kindly ask you to read item 2.
10 A. I'm reading. "The command of the Drina Corps pursuant to the
11 directive operative number 7 and 7/1 of the GSVRS and based on the
12 situation in the area of responsibility of the corps, is tasked with
13 using all the free troops in order to carry out offensive activities in
14 the depth of the area of the Drina Corps to separate the enclaves Zepa
15 and Srebrenica as soon as possible and to narrow them down to their
16 respective urban areas."
17 Q. So the task is the second sentence. Could I please turn your
18 attention to the next document, which is P5, document number 5.
19 A. I've got it.
20 Q. I would like to call the document up in the e-court as well.
21 Mr. Lazic, look at the Serbian version. You have a hard copy.
22 Look at page 8. In e-court it is page 15. And in the English version,
23 it is page 10.
24 Mr. Lazic, do you see this title here, "Drina Corps"? Do you see
1 A. Can you please repeat the question?
2 Q. Do you see this heading, "Drina Corps"?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On page 8?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the middle of that first paragraph, do you see where it says,
7 "Carry out the physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa vis-a-vis the
8 Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves, thereby preventing the individual
9 communication between these enclaves"?
10 A. Yes, I see that.
11 Q. Let's go back to 107 now, please. You told us that this
12 paragraph 2 is literally copied from the superior command. I am asking
13 you, this item 2 that is in document 107, is it copied in the way that
14 you assert?
15 A. Evidently it was not.
16 Q. Very well. Mr. Lazic, let us now go back to 107. We are now on
17 item 4. Can you please tell me which organ or who of the command, of all
18 those who are invited, actually participates in the drafting of this
20 A. I've already said earlier that this item contains the basic
21 concept for the execution of combat actions and it always begins with the
22 words, "I have decided." And that is why it is called the decision
23 because of those words. It has a standard format and content, and it
24 says, usually, the commander, but in this case, it was the Chief of Staff
25 who wrote it, and in that case, it was Colonel Krstic.
1 Q. Then we have item 4, [as interpreted] "Tasks of units for
2 separating and narrowing the enclaves."
3 My question is, can you please tell us who writes this item?
4 A. The commander again writes this item. No one else can do that.
5 He specifically allocates assignments to the subordinate units.
6 Q. In item 10, we have -- on page 53, line 7, instead of number 4,
7 there should be number 5. This is for the transcript.
8 Mr. Lazic, item 10 states, "securing combat activities." And
9 then there is the subtitle "Security -- intelligence security." And then
10 under B it says security. Can you please tell us something about the
11 drafters of this item?
12 A. As a rule, these contents should include -- should be drafted by
13 the security chief.
14 Q. Engineering support, applying a certain kind of logic, and you
15 can please respond to that engineering security, I assume that one of the
16 branches would do that but who is in charge of this article?
17 A. The chief of engineering is in charge of that particular item,
18 that would be the head of the engineering arm who is at the corps
20 Q. And the morale and psychological preparation of the men for
21 executing the assignment?
22 A. That is the assistant commander for morale.
23 Q. On the last page, in the Serbian version, we have logistics.
24 A. Logistics is written by the assistant commander for logistics,
25 with his chiefs of services.
1 Q. This document is titled, "Command for active combat actions."
2 Can you tell us what type of document this is?
3 A. The word itself says, "for active combat action," so this
4 document is part of the combat documents.
5 Q. So is this a command document or a document of command?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. According to your recollection, can you tell us what other
8 documents of command are?
9 A. Besides these commands that must be written for any combat action
10 or activity, combat documents are also, starting from the top document, a
11 directive, then an order, and then other direct verbal orders that can be
12 issued on the spot.
13 Q. You spent a certain amount of time at the Main Staff. I would
14 like to know if you had an opportunity to get to know command documents,
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Can you please tell us what kind of a document that is?
18 A. Which one?
19 Q. In principle, a directive.
20 A. A directive is a command document or a document of command, and
21 as the word says itself, it is directive, meaning that it's a document
22 referring to a longer time period and is of a directive nature, and it
23 sets down what would need to be done in a specific time period, which
24 does not mean that this would actually necessarily be carried out.
25 Q. Can you please look at this document, P5? This is the directive
1 of the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska, signed
2 by Mr. Karadzic, the Supreme Commander.
3 Can you please tell us, according to your recollection, of the
4 time when you were at the Main Staff, first of all, tell us, did you have
5 the opportunity to get familiar with this document at the Drina Corps?
6 A. Unfortunately, I did not familiarise myself with this document at
7 the Drina Corps because the corps commander receives it directly, and
8 it's up to him if he would and to what extent he would inform his
9 subordinates about the contents of this directive, so that I did not see
10 the directive at the Drina Corps.
11 Q. When you were at the Main Staff, can you please explain to us the
12 actual procedure of adopting a document like this? Does it have any
13 similarities with the procedure of adopting the order that we discussed
14 or, rather, is this document adopted individually by one person or is
15 this the work, as you said of the previous document, of the entire
17 A. This is just like the other combat documents drafted by the
18 commands. It's the result of the group work of the command.
19 Q. Mr. Lazic, can we look at 5D361 in e-court now, please. This is
20 your next document, Mr. Lazic.
21 It's a document of the Main Staff of the army of Republika
22 Srpska, of the 31st of March 1995, entitled, "Directive for -- Directive
23 7/1." Can you please look at page 5 in the Serbian version, item 5.3? I
24 think that it's the same page in the English version.
25 A. I found it.
1 Q. Can you please read 5.3?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not see the English
3 translation on our screen.
4 A. I'm reading, "Drina Corps, with a persistent defence and active
5 combat activities --"
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you read a bit slower, thank you.
8 A. "On the northwestern part of the front and around the enclaves,
9 prevent the breakthrough of the enemy at selected operative tactical
10 axes, and by applying demonstrative action and applying measures of
11 operative tactical masking, link up or engage as strong a force as
12 possible. In joint action with the IBK, implement as soon as possible
13 assignments from operation Spreca 95, in quotes, and in the first stage
14 of the operation, break out on to the line: Vis/Kalesija, and then
15 regroup the forces and in joint cooperation with forces IBK, the 1st
16 Krajina Corps, and the V and the PVO, in the second and third phases of
17 the operation, by applying a suitable manoeuvre, infiltrating stronger
18 groups into the rear of the enemy, and by introducing stronger armoured
19 mechanised forces, execute an attack along the general axes: Kalesija,
20 Dubrave, Tuzla, and break out as soon as possible to the line: Village
21 Serici, Zivinice, Jasicak, Ravno Brdo. And in that way, cut off the
22 forces of the 2nd Corps of the so-called army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
23 south of the cited line, supported by the -- and the PVO. Forward
24 command post of the corps, pursuant to the corps commander's decision."
25 Q. Mr. Lazic, can you please tell me if, in this assignment given to
1 the Drina Corps, the engagement of the Drina Corps is mentioned in any
2 way in relation to Srebrenica and Zepa?
3 A. Evidently, Srebrenica and Zepa are not referred to here.
4 Q. If we now go back to that document, 107, the first document that
5 you looked at, and item 2, where your commander, General Zivanovic,
6 refers to directive 7/1, among other things, I'm asking you whether he
7 could have referred to directive 7/1 in view of the content of the
8 assignment of the Drina Corps from directive 7/1.
9 A. Looking at the assignment given to the Drina Corps from this
10 directive, there was no need to mention directive 7/1.
11 Q. So there was no basis for that in that directive.
12 While you were carrying out your duties as chief of operations
13 and training at the Drina Corps command staff, the Drina Corps staff, you
14 brought in certain documents, you as the chief of the service.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you bring in certain documents?
17 A. I didn't understand what you mean by bringing in.
18 Q. Did you write, form, draft, participate in the drafting or
19 conception of certain documents? I'm speaking from the aspect of your
20 profession and your position or the duties that you were performing.
21 Let's put it that way.
22 A. Yes, that is one of the first assignments.
23 Q. Just take it slowly, Colonel. We need to make breaks. Please
24 wait until I'm finished.
25 A. Yes, I did perform such duties because they are part of my job
2 Q. Can we now look at document 5D989?
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know if
4 this document is in e-court, but we do have hard copies, the English
5 version. So if you agree, we could give you these copies.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Page 57, line 17, following the
8 word "directive 7/1" your answer should have been recorded. You said
9 yes. The question was -- so following line 17, answer, "Yes" should be
11 Q. The plan of work of the Drina Corps command for the month of
12 December 1994, which was approved by the commander, Major General Milenko
13 Zivanovic and the document was drafted by the Chief of Staff, Colonel
14 Radislav Krstic. Mr. Lazic, do you see on page 1 under item 3, fully
15 close off the Srebrenica enclave, do you see that bit?
16 A. Yes, I do. These were the priority tasks listed on page 1.
17 These assignments were written on the first page as a rule, to emphasise
19 Q. If you turn to the following page and look at number 5, under
20 assignment, it says, "Fully close off the Srebrenica enclave."
21 A. I can see that. This meant that in that time period, the
22 Srebrenica enclave was not fully closed off or, rather, the defence line
23 had not been set up around Srebrenica and this had to be done in the
24 course of the month.
25 Q. If we look at these headlines in the different columns, which
1 says, "Person responsible", the person cooperating on the task or the
2 assignment, the date of commencement, the -- and so on and so forth, can
3 you explain all these elements in relation to the assignment?
4 A. The first column says, "Assignment." First we have the ordinal
5 number and then the assignment. Then the person responsible for the
6 assignment because there always had to be the person, the individual,
7 responsible for the execution of the task. In this instance it is the
8 operations and training department. Then, in the column entitled, "Units
9 cooperating," these were the units that were in fact to be physically
10 used to perform the assignment. The time limit for the assignment would
11 define exactly that. And in this particular case, we have the entire
13 Q. Was this document drafted in your sector, that's to say in your
15 A. Are you referring to the work plan?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Yes, it was.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we break, because we are going to break
19 soon. Just for completeness sake, can you explain to us what you have
20 already said, there were no means officer for training and what else?
21 Yes, Mr. Lazic, O and O means what?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Operations and training department
23 or sector.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And who was in charge of that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And then OBO, what does it mean?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Intelligence support, intelligence
3 organ or intelligence support.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And who was in charge of that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The intelligence officer.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And who was the intelligence officer?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember at this time. I
8 can't remember the name. It was -- or he was a major. He was a reserve
9 officer at any rate. That's why I am less familiar with him. I can't
10 remember the name right now. If I do, I'll let you know. Golic, I
11 believe it was major Golic.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And under number 9 we see DK and then NV.
13 What does DK stand for?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the chief of communications
15 of the Drina Corps. Since these were KZ documents, this meant that these
16 were encryption or encrypted documents. That's why it says KZ.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's continue after the break. We'll
18 have a 25-minute break now.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazic, under number 14, NS, if you could
22 explain what that NS, supposedly means Chief of Staff?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Give me a moment, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's chief of the traffic
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. Thank you.
3 Yes, Mr. Thayer?
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if I might --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, it's the document that you were looking at
6 before, this document that was circulated by Mr. Petrusic.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm referring to number 14, drawing up of a plan
9 for the engagement of the KDK in subordinated units. That's what I am
10 referring to.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Chief of Staff of -- it should be
14 NS and ONO, or rather, there should be a comma after NS but there isn't
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And KDK means what?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's encryption documents. KDK.
18 No, no, I apologise. KDK stands for the Drina Corps command in this
19 case, although it's not what you'd call a usual acronym.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. OBO, you ever told us what it is,
21 intelligence. I see both, yes, Mr. Thayer?
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, actually on that particular issue I
23 don't know if it was something getting lost in the electronics somewhere
24 but, I think my friends will agree with me, with respect to that
25 particular acronym, OBO, I'm not sure if the witness's answer was
1 recorded correctly or not.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know that.
3 MR. THAYER: Perhaps we can put the question again just so the
4 record is clear what OBO indeed stands for.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Rather than going back to the transcript to
6 find it. Mr. Lazic, what's OBO, what does OBO stand for?
7 JUDGE KWON: Number 4.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: At page 60, lines 7, 8 and 9, he said OBO,
9 intelligence support, intelligence organ or intelligence support. That's
10 what he has answered, page 60, line 7 to 9.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And you stick to that answer, don't you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. What's PP under section 4, mobilisation and
15 personnel, number 1?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that these acronyms are
17 quite unusual and they were probably used locally. Since this is a
18 draft, probably the author of the draft used these unusual acronyms.
19 Anyway, organ for PP would be the organ for personnel.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, if I take you to section 5,
21 logistical support, under number 1 and number 2, you see the acronym
22 NOONP, which I'm informed means chief of operations and training. But if
23 it is so, why is this same area or section described as ONO previously in
24 this same document? Are they the same, ONO and OONP, or are they
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are not the same. This refers
2 to the chief of the operations organ in the rear, although I don't
3 believe that such acronyms could have been used. I, for one, would not
4 be able to decipher this OONP. The double O is something I've never come
5 across. But I believe that what it has to do with is the organ for
6 operations in the rear.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And while we are still on those two entries,
8 under 1 and 2, section 5, what's POOB?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In which sector, section?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Section 5, where we are the NOONP, section 5,
11 number 1 and 2.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I don't understand. I
13 don't know if I can see it on the screen.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think if you can't see it now, it needs to be
15 shown to you. Now you're right, on the screen, you don't have section 5.
16 Yes, yes, yes, you have section 5. Under 1, the second column, okay, I
17 can see it myself, you have a capital P, a small O, and then a capital O
18 and a capital B. You have it under 1 and you have it under 2.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. All right. That's
20 short for logistics support or rear support. So that's the term we used
21 for logistics support, PO, logistics; OB, support.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And under number 3, third column, you have NTSI.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] MSAS. That's mines and explosives.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no. Under 3, the third, NTS and
25 small --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to explain this fully. We
2 have the acronyms here which relate to the chiefs of technical services.
3 The acronym you referred to was the chief of the technical service.
4 Below that you have the chief of the quartermaster's service. Below that
5 one you have the chief of medical service. And there you have the
6 assistant of the veterinary service, further down. This is what the
7 acronyms in that column stand for.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I thank you. I think more or less that
9 is enough. I don't need to know more. I give him back to you,
10 Mr. Petrusic.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Let us
12 clarify one more thing.
13 Q. The acronym OBO, the OBO of the command, and MUP. Mr. Lazic, do
14 you know if the intelligence and security organ of the Drina Corps in
15 1991 -- 1994 were one and the same organ?
16 A. I don't know exactly if the intelligence and security organ was
17 just one. I only know that there was an intelligence organ and a
18 security organ.
19 Q. Let us go back to the concept of command and control, combat
20 training and education. Would that fall within the obligations which
21 were down to the staff and the chief of the operations and training
22 department? In other words, under 1 and 3 respectively?
23 A. Obviously, I don't have the document you're referring to in front
24 of me. Can you repeat the title of the document?
25 Q. Mr. Lazic, please take the document 5D89 -- or rather, 589.
1 A. Yes, I have that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 989.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Look at the Serb version.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you see the title, "Command and control"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. On the following page, page 3, you have combat training and
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Zivanovic, and for the record, we
11 need to go to page 2 of the document in English.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I cannot see this document.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The English is circulated. We need to go to page
14 2, I suppose, of this document. Yes. I think it's on the monitor now.
15 Can you see it now, Mr. Zivanovic?
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, Mr. Petrusic.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. On page 1, we have the title, "Command and control." On the
20 following page, under Roman numeral III, combat training and education,
21 have you found that page?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This falls within the remit of the tasks to be carried out by the
24 staff and by the chief of the operations and training department; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do the moral guidance tasks, mobilisation and organisation tasks,
3 logistics support and intelligence and security support fall within the
4 remit of the chiefs and desk officers of these organs of yours? Are they
5 in charge of these?
6 A. Yes, for each of these tasks, the persons responsible are the
7 ones that are listed there. For instance, for logistics support, it is
8 the logistics officers or chiefs of respective services who are tasked
9 with them. For security and intelligence, it is the intelligence and
10 security officers respectively who are in charge of them. And this
11 applies to all the rest. As for education and training, it is quite
12 evident on the basis of this plan that only the training of the policemen
13 is being covered here, nothing else. That's why, under column 3, you
14 have the OBO. In other words, the organ for security support.
15 Q. After having received these elements, would you then draft the
16 document entitled, "Plan of Drina Corps command work for December of
18 A. Please repeat.
19 Q. Do you then, after having received elements in this way from all
20 the sectors or combat arms, would you then draft the document?
21 A. Yes. Somebody from the operations sector would put all these
22 elements together and would have put this plan together.
23 Q. And then when the plan is drafted in this way, would you have
24 taken it to the Chief of Staff for his signature and for his inspection?
25 A. Of course.
1 Q. And then, would the Chief of Staff provide his commander and your
2 commander for that matter for his approval?
3 A. Yes. It is -- it transpires from this document that the
4 commander approves them and the Chief of Staff signs these documents.
5 Q. Can the commander approve or reject any such plan?
6 A. Yes, of course.
7 Q. Are you familiar with the operation that took place in 1994 under
8 the name Krivaja 94? Did Krivaja 94 ever take place?
9 A. As far as I know, it was never carried out.
10 Q. Was the enclave of Srebrenica ever totally enclosed as it has
11 been outlined under task number 5?
12 A. I believe that this task was never completed, although there were
13 attempts to enclose the enclave.
14 Q. We are still on the 1994 plan, the December 1994 plan, and this
15 was supposed to be carried out between the 1st of December and 31st
16 December. My question to you is this: During this period of time,
17 according to your information, was the enclave enclosed?
18 A. As far as I know, it wasn't.
19 Q. Can you tell us why?
20 A. Probably conditions were not put in place that were conducive to
21 the execution of this task. I believe that there were not enough troops
22 or equipment.
23 Q. Do you know that towards the end of that month in 1994, the
24 four-month cease-fire period agreement was signed?
25 A. I heard of that.
1 Q. Obviously between the two warring sides, the Muslim side and the
2 Serb side?
3 A. If I may add to that, maybe that's also one of the reasons for
4 which this task was never carried out, was never executed.
5 Q. Let us just briefly go back to page 4 of this document. You will
6 see that under item number 1 in the logistics support, it says,
7 "Cooperate with HK, standing for the Herzegovina Corps, and SRK, standing
8 for the Sarajevo Romanija Corps." Tell me, please, whether these two
9 corps had anything whatsoever to do with the planning of the enclosing of
10 the enclave of Srebrenica?
11 A. It transpires from this plan that all that was envisaged was
12 support or cooperation with the Herzegovina Corps in the organisation and
13 realisation of the logistical support but not in combat terms but in
14 logistic terms.
15 Q. Mr. Lazic, do you know that this operation, Krivaja 94, applies
16 to Srebrenica at all?
17 A. I'm not familiar with this operation. I am not familiar with
18 these plans. I was not involved in any of them. I never saw them
20 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to the next document, 5D996. This
21 document is also in e-court and a hard copy version has been provided to
22 the witness.
23 Mr. Lazic, look at the document entitled, "Plan of work of the
24 SPB command for December 1994." SPB Skelani, would that be the
25 independent or autonomous infantry battalion Skelani?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This document was approved on behalf of the commander Lieutenant
3 Colonel Yugoslav Tobus [phoen] and it was drafted by the deputy
4 commander, Captain First Class Zoran Arsovski?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Please look at items number 4, 5 and 6. These are certain
7 activities which refer to the enclave of Srebrenica. Under number 4, it
8 says, organisation and carrying out of ambushes on the directions leading
9 from the enclave of Srebrenica to the enclave of Zepa.
10 Do you have any information about that?
11 A. No. Because this does not involve the operations and training
12 officer. The person in charge was the commander in cooperation with the
13 commander of the sabotage and reconnoitering unit. So we did not have to
14 be abreast of all the activities. Only those who were directly involved
15 in the task had to be aware of such tasks.
16 Q. At the beginning of your today's testimony, you spoke about the
17 road leading from Skelani to Zeleni Jadar.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now could you please look at item number 6, where it says
20 maintenance of the road direction Skelani-Jadar-Jasenova [as
21 interpreted]. Would that be the same road that during that period
22 obviously sometime in December 1994 came under threat?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Lazic, we have the previous document 5D989, and this document
25 5D996. These documents were issued by the superior and subordinate
1 commands, so one of them is a plan of the Drina Corps and the other one
2 is a plan of one of the subordinate units. Tell me, please, if you know,
3 obviously, how were these plans issued? Was there any cooperation in
4 drafting these plans? Do you know anything about how these plans were
5 issued, if you know?
6 A. These are monthly plans which arise from the annual plan of work
7 of the command. They are drafted at all levels of command, at all unit
8 levels, from battalion upwards or from the Main Staff down to the
9 autonomous battalions. These are working documents or drafts. They are
10 drafted in the command in order to help the work of the command for that
11 month. All the organs encompassed by the plans participate in their
12 drafting, and the plans are approved by the unit commander. These plans
13 may be submitted to the superior command by the subordinate unit and
14 likewise the superior command may submit those plans to subordinate units
15 in order to provide them with an insight into the planned tasks that lie
17 Q. One more question. This 1994 plan of the Drina Corps which was
18 issued on the 1st of December, and early on you saw directive number 7
19 which was issued on the 8th of March 1995, which means significantly
20 later after this period when this particular plan was drafted, when this
21 plan of the Drina Corps command was drafted, in other words?
22 A. Yes. The directive was issued in March 1995, and has nothing
23 whatsoever to do with this particular plan.
24 Q. Does this plan refer to the closing off of the enclave of
1 A. Please, you have to know that the enclosure as a term refers to
2 the cutting off of the defence line towards Srebrenica because there were
3 interspaces which were not manned and the forces from Srebrenica used
4 those interspaces to leave the enclave and enter the space of Republika
5 Srpska, where they threatened our forces. So enclosure or closing off of
6 the enclave is not a combat activity. It arises from the need to define
7 the troops and the equipment that will cover the areas towards an
8 enclave. In this particular case the enclave is Srebrenica.
9 Q. Would that imply the physical separation between Zepa and
11 A. No. This does not imply the physical separation, but the
12 physical separation is the result of the enclosing of the line or of
13 linking of the line, defence line, but since the configuration of the
14 terrain on the border between Zepa and Srebrenica, that it makes it
15 almost impossible to take up the whole area, and especially not the
16 valleys and the river courses. So that the forces of the 28th Division
17 always found free interspaces and used those in order to leave the
18 enclave and enter the territory of -- under the control of the army of
19 Republika Srpska.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazic and Mr. Petrusic, please slow down.
21 You've been overlapping and I can sense the difficulties that the
22 interpreters are encountering.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour, and I
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. 5D992 is the following document I would like to show you. This
2 document is in e-court.
3 This is another plan, the plan of work of the Drina Corps command
4 for April 1995, which was drafted by the Chief of Staff, Milenko Lazic,
5 Colonel Milenko Lazic, acting -- standing in for the Chief of Staff, and
6 it was approved by the commander, Milenko Zivanovic. Mr. Lazic, please
7 look at the last page of this document.
8 A. What's the question?
9 Q. Please look at the last page of the document.
10 A. Okay. I understand.
11 Q. On your behalf, somebody else signed the document?
12 A. Obviously, I wasn't there, so the document was signed by somebody
13 from the operations and training sector.
14 Q. On the following page, under item 5, a task given to the Drina
15 Corps, "Continue with the operation of completely closing the front line
16 in the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps with the focus on
17 Srebrenica enclave."
18 In the English version, it is on page 2. In the Serbian version,
19 it is also page 2. Yes. That's the page.
20 Let me go back to item 5 which reads, "Continue with the
21 operation to completely close the front line in the zone of
22 responsibility of the Drina Corps with a focus around Srebrenica enclave.
23 The person in charge is the operations and training sector," and so on
24 and so forth. Mr. Lazic, tell me, please, when it comes to this task,
25 was it carried out between the 1st of April 1995 and the 30th of April
1 1995, which was the envisaged period of time according to this plan for
2 the task to be carried out?
3 A. It is evident from these monthly plans that this task spills over
4 from one month to another, that you have shown me here today, which means
5 that this task was not carried out when it was planned.
6 Q. Let's move on to the following plan. So, is this task identical
7 to the December task?
8 A. Yes. In essence, yes.
9 Q. And did this task follow the directive number 7 in chronological
11 A. I didn't understand your question.
12 Q. Did this plan follow the directive in chronological terms?
13 A. Yes. But it is obvious that the authors of this plan were not
14 aware of the directive.
15 Q. Mr. Lazic, you've told us that you do not -- and correct me if
16 I'm wrong -- fall under the category of persons to whom the directive
17 would have been delivered. Not just you personally but your sector as
18 well; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is correct. The directive was delivered directly to the
20 commander and as I've already told you, he's the one who then decided how
21 many and to what extent will the people in the corps command be informed
22 about it.
23 Q. The plans that we are talking about are approved by the corps
24 commander, aren't they?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know whether the directive was delivered to the corps
2 commander? I believe that you have told us that it was delivered to the
3 corps commander as well.
4 A. I know that from the common practice, from my own practice while
5 I worked in the Main Staff.
6 Q. I would now kindly ask you to go back briefly to the -- to
7 document P5.
8 This is a document accompanying the directive. In some versions
9 it is on the first page and in some versions on the last page. In the
10 English it is on the first page, where you can see the signature of
11 Lieutenant Colonel Manojlo Milovanovic, and I believe that in the Serbian
12 version it is the penultimate page or the last page.
13 Mr. Lazic, you have it on the last page and we have it on the
15 Mr. Lazic, this is a document of the Main Staff of the army of
16 Republika Srpska issued by the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General
17 Milovanovic and sent to the command of the 1st Krajina Corps, and this
18 document clearly shows that he sent this directive number 7 to the 1st
19 Krajina Corps.
20 Do you see that?
21 A. This is the accompanying document, accompanying the directive
22 which was being sent to the 1st Krajina Corps.
23 Q. If we go back to the first page of this document, P5 --
24 A. I don't see it on my monitor or -- I can see it now on the
1 Q. Do you see to whom the directive is sent? Is it sent to the 1st
2 or the 2nd Krajina Corps, the Sarajevo Romanija, the Eastern Bosnia, the
3 Herzegovina, the Drina and so on corps? Do you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you able to conclude, even though we don't have such a
6 written document, that the Chief of Staff, Manojlo Milovanovic, sent this
7 document to the command, or rather, to the commander of the Drina Corps?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I would like to go back to another plan. This is the last plan.
10 5D995. There is an English version of this document. It's a plan with
11 the same name, "the work of the Drina Corps command for July 1995." Can
12 we look at page 2, please? No, no, sorry. This document has been issued
13 by the Chief of Staff, major Radislav Krstic and it was approved by
14 general corps commander, the corps commander, General Zivanovic. Can we
15 look at page 2 now?
16 Can you look at item 5 again where it says, "Continue with the
17 operation of completely closing the front line in the area of
18 responsibility of the Drina Corps with a focus on the Srebrenica
19 enclave"? This is July, and the time when the actual assignment began to
20 be implemented was the 1st of July 1995.
21 Would a characteristic of all the plans that we've seen to date
22 be that the beginning and the end of the action around Srebrenica and the
23 closing of the front line was supposed to last for a month?
24 A. If you're asking me about the duration of the assignment, it was
25 planned to be completed in that month, but it should not -- otherwise, it
1 would need to be regulated with a separate order, the execution of such
2 an assignment, and that would regulate the time period in which that
3 particular assignment would need to be specifically implemented. So it's
4 normal in the monthly plan to have something from the first to the last
5 day of the month but then the regulation of a particular --
6 implementation of a particular assignment would need to be dealt with in
7 a separate document.
8 Q. So the assignment was supposed to begin at the beginning of July,
9 so were combat actions undertaken in order to close off the Srebrenica
10 area and were any activities of the Drina Corps planned in that period?
11 A. Since this is a plan for July 1995, when Srebrenica practically
12 stopped existing as an enclave, it is evident that this plan was drafted
13 before President Karadzic came to the Drina Corps, and the plan did not
14 include President Karadzic's order. What was actually planned in the
15 annual plan was entered into the monthly plan and it's evident that this
16 assignment has remained outstanding and unresolved even though it was
17 planned for several times.
18 Q. So could we conclude that the operation Srebrenica was not
19 executed pursuant to this plan?
20 A. It's evident that the order on the implementation of the
21 Srebrenica assignment did not become part of this plan because the plan
22 was completed before the assignment was given for the implementation
23 pertaining to Srebrenica.
24 Q. We are going to look at a video now.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we will look at the video tomorrow,
1 Mr. Petrusic, because our time is up.
2 Yeah, yeah, it's okay.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I know you're tired. And everyone is. But let's
5 continue until 7.00. Let's proceed and we'll finish at 7.00.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] This is document 5D1177. Can we
7 please start playing it at 28 minutes and 37 seconds until 29 minutes and
8 22 seconds.
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Only a Serbian state can provide
11 tranquillity and happiness to the Serbian people. And second, as far as
12 commanding and functioning of the army is concerned, it will not be any
13 special changes in Supreme Command staff, neither in corps commands. We
14 are very satisfied with the corps commanders. Perhaps we also failed a
15 little too. We wanted to and we created the legend of Mladic because we
16 know that our people want legends. However, we failed to state the
17 success of some other corps commanders. Let's see now. Krstic was
18 planning right in front of me and I commend -- I awarded that task to him
19 for Srebrenica and he did that in an excellent way, of course the Main
20 Staff and Mladic and all the others but we should know that Krstic is a
21 great commander."
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that, Mr. Petrusic? There
23 were two problems, one, your client and the other accused couldn't follow
24 in the Serbian language because at least from what I could gather, that
25 was not audible. And the second is, I don't know whether it stopped
1 where you meant it to stop or whether it stopped prematurely.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Petrusic. Microphone for
4 Mr. Petrusic.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The video was played before the
6 hearing today. I didn't have any problem with the audio and following
7 the audio. If anyone in the courtroom did have a problem, there is a
8 transcript. We transcribed this segment.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted to make sure that you're happy with
10 the way it went on. So let's continue now.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 Q. Mr. Lazic, you already talked about this 28th of June, that's
13 already well known, and your meeting with President Karadzic. I played
14 this insert, and I want to ask you if this statement of his given to the
15 television of Republika Srpska at the then programme called Na Braniku
16 Otadzbine [phoen] at the -- defending the homeland, was this interview
17 that President Karadzic gave something that reflects what you said? And
18 that was to plan and execute the operation relating to Srebrenica.
19 A. Yes, evidently.
20 Q. During your testimony today, you mentioned operative documents,
21 command documents, supplemental documents. Can you please tell us
22 something about combat reports? What sort of documents are those?
23 A. The word itself, "Combat report," indicates that those documents
24 are combat-type documents.
25 Q. So we are talking about reports of the subordinate commands to
1 superior commands, combat reports, regular and interim reports? This is
2 what I asked you about.
3 A. Yes, and that is what I am answering. These are combat
5 Q. Can you please tell me how a combat report is drafted? Who is
6 responsible for that job? Who is supposed to carry it out? Where does
7 such a document come from? Where does it originate from?
8 A. Operative commands and strategic level commands such as the Main
9 Staff have -- just one moment.
10 MR. THAYER: I was going to ask for some clarification about the
11 level of command but the witness began doing that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Leave it to later. Let him finish first.
13 Go ahead, Mr. Lazic. And if you can cover the point raised by Mr. Thayer
14 as you go along, I think it will be better. Go ahead.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said that operative
16 level commands, I'm thinking of the corps command, and at the strategic
17 level commands, too, there are operation centres and operational -- or
18 duty shifts. And these operations duty officers are obliged, based on
19 the information about the situation in the unit, to draft combat reports
20 based on particular formats. They are created in the operation centre,
21 certified by the corps commander or the commander of the Main Staff.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And what does this form mean, the usual form?
24 A. Well, the usual form means that the items are the same, that are
25 written about. You provide information about the enemy. It's similar to
1 a combat order, in a way.
2 Q. Is it the duty -- well, the Drina Corps had several brigades,
3 let's not mention all of them, five or six, and did those brigades send
4 combat reports to you at the Drina Corps?
5 A. Yes, absolutely.
6 Q. Based on those reports, did you make reports for your
7 subordinate -- to your superior command?
8 A. Yes, of course. Based on reports of subordinate units and
9 information available to the corps command, a report is drafted for the
10 Main Staff.
11 Q. Was it the duty of your subordinate units, or any subordinate
12 units, vis-a-vis the superior command, to provide objective and timely
13 reports to the superior command about the situation in their area of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Lazic, you must pause before you begin your answer.
17 Otherwise we will both be criticised for speaking quickly or for
19 A. Very well. Yes. Every military staffer was obliged to report
20 truthfully and timely, and this also applied to the commands. This is
21 one of the basic criteria in commanding, to present facts faithfully and
22 to inform the superior command about this in a timely manner.
23 Q. I would like us to look at Exhibit 5D1012.
24 A. I didn't understand.
25 Q. 5D1012. You have a hard copy of this document. Yes. We can see
1 it on the screen.
2 Mr. Lazic, this is an information of the Main Staff of the army
3 of Republika Srpska issued by the Chief of Staff, General Manojlo
4 Milovanovic, sent to the commander of the Drina Corps personally. The
5 commander at the time was General Zivanovic. At the time that this
6 document was sent, the 21st of October 1994, were you at the command or
7 the staff of the Drina Corps? Were you at the Drina Corps staff at that
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that I will
11 be able to deal with this document before we run out of time. So let's
12 not leave it for tomorrow.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Lazic, General Milovanovic says in this document, "In view of
16 the fact that the Muslim armed units in the Srebrenica enclave have been
17 continuously carrying out certain preparations for conducting combat
18 operations, which you have also known about for the past 19 months, it
19 was your duty to thwart them in their intentions. You always reported
20 that everything was all right in that enclave. In view of the above, now
21 you must prevent an enemy breakthrough from the Srebrenica enclave at the
22 cost of the survival of the corps command. There will be no pulling back
23 of units from other areas."
24 Mr. Lazic, I would like your comment on this document, please.
25 A. It's obvious that the chief of the Main Staff of the army of
1 Republika Srpska wishes to warn the Drina Corps commander about the
2 unrealistic reporting on the situation in Srebrenica, in the Srebrenica
3 enclave. Go ahead, go ahead.
4 Q. Is this unrealistic reporting something that could have led to
5 the consequences mentioned by General Milovanovic?
6 A. Not necessarily, because what was done was done. We probably
7 should have closed off the enclaves. It wasn't done, and this is obvious
8 from the monthly plans, for a long period. So the space between the
9 enclaves was used by forces of the 28th Division to communicate between
10 the enclaves.
11 Q. Well, we just have one more question and then we are finished.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then go ahead.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In the spring of 1995, and even during the time of the signed
15 cease-fire, did you have sabotage or terrorist activities or incursions
16 from the Srebrenica enclave?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to stop
19 here for today.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Lazic. We will continue
21 tomorrow, hopefully finish with your testimony as well. We'll try.
22 We'll do our best. I don't know. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow
23 morning at 9.00.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day of June,
1 2008, at 9.00 a.m.