1 Thursday, 3 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Could
7 you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-05-88-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Good morning, everybody.
12 All the accused are here. From the Defence teams I notice
13 the absence of Ms. Tapuskovic, Mr. Nikolic,
14 and I think that's it. Prosecution is
15 represented today by Mr. McCloskey.
16 Do you think you will finish today, Mr. Zivanovic?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And could I ask you, Mr. Ostojic, if you
19 intend to cross-examine this witness?
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours. We
21 do for the time estimate 45 minutes to an hour, but I think Madam Nikolic
22 may have direct.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I'm coming to Madam Nikolic. And Ms. Nikolic,
24 do you still intend to examine this witness as your witness?
25 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, yes. We will
1 have some questions, and we need about four hours for those.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Lazarevic?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, good morning, Your Honours. We indicated 20
4 minutes for cross-examination of this witness. I will stick to this
5 estimation for the moment. I will have to wait for this witness to
6 finish his examination-in-chief, and then we will make a final decision.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau yesterday indicated that she doesn't
8 have any. And Mr. Krgovic?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour. I indicated one hour,
10 but I think we will have ten minutes, even that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Haynes? You had requested
12 two hours initially.
13 MR. HAYNES: That may be a little pessimistic. Maybe by about
14 100 per cent. I think we will probably be about an hour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Thank you. So we know where we
16 are, and your cross-examination as things stand at present, Mr.
17 McCloskey? You had originally stated four hours.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: At present I don't have anywhere near four hours,
19 but we will have to see, obviously, but at present, no. Nowhere near
20 four hours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then we can start again, Mr. Zivanovic.
22 Good morning, Colonel Vuga.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
24 morning to everybody in the courtroom.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Zivanovic will proceed with his
2 WITNESS: PETAR VUGA [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
5 Q. Mr. Vuga, first of all let me ask you to clarify a term that you
6 used yesterday. In many documents issued by the Army of Republika
7 Srpska, the same term is mentioned. You said yesterday that the groups
8 that launched attacks from the protected area were sabotage and terrorist
9 units. From the point of view of military terminology and the
10 terminology of the security organs, this term, "terrorist," is it
11 justified; and if it is, why is it justified?
12 A. By the selection of targets and by the consequences of attacks,
13 the notion of terrorism implies sowing of terror among the population and
14 in the environs. Any form of activity that produces such effects and
15 attacks on facilities which are not purely military by nature have the
16 characteristics of terrorist actions. If we are talking purely and
17 exclusively about military facilities during combat between the warring
18 parties when a cease-fire is not in effect, then we are talking about
19 sabotage actions. The difference between the two lies in what I've just
21 Q. Thank you. And now I would like to ask you to go back to point
22 4.25 in your report on page 38, and 46 in the English translation. The
23 number of the document is 1D1075. And I'm referring you to item 4.25 in
24 your report.
25 The report is in the first binder, and the document that we will
1 discuss is in the third binder. The report is in 1D1175, the report
2 itself. Were you able to locate that document?
3 A. Yes, I was.
4 Q. In your report, you referred to this document, so I would kindly
5 ask you to tell us briefly what the document is all about.
6 A. If we are on the same page, then we are talking about the term of
8 Q. I believe that we are not on the same page. Your report is item
9 or chapter 4.25. I apologise.
10 A. Well, that's a different matter.
11 Q. I apologise.
12 A. Could you provide more detail of the essence of your question,
14 Q. Did you find chapter 4.25 of your report? This is about a
15 document dated 11 April 1995.
16 A. This is an instruction if I'm now on the right page.
17 Q. You are.
18 A. An instruction of the security organ of the Main Staff of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska, which refers to the arrest and bringing in
20 prisoners of war and other persons. I studied the document from the
21 point of view of security. The instruction that was sent to the security
22 organs in the lower level units subordinated to the corps command refers
23 to the purely professional matters that concern the apprehension and
24 bringing in of persons in order to prevent the leak of information
25 through these persons that they might have collected during their
1 bringing in because some weaknesses had appeared in this part of the
2 tasks of the officers who had identified the places of their collection
3 and the directions of their escort. Those who were escorted were in a
4 position to collect information that would have been of some interest for
5 the side that they worked for.
6 Q. Tell me, please, does this document refer only to prisoners of
7 war, or does it also refer to other persons who were arrested?
8 A. This document refers to anybody who was arrested and prisoners of
10 Q. Mr. Vuga, in your report, you also speak about the obligations of
11 Vujadin Popovic in relation to the operation that the Army of Republika
12 Srpska was engaged in in Zepa. As a security organ, what were his
13 obligations vis-a-vis an operation of that kind?
14 A. The obligations of the chief of the security staff of the Drina
15 Corps as well as the assistant commander for security in Zepa operation
16 were primarily to make sure that the system of command functioned safely.
17 In other words, he was duty-bound to secure the command post from which
18 the combat operation would be commanded, and he had to secure it in such
19 a way as to not disrupt the system of command. He had to provide
20 counter-intelligence security and organize measures of security within
21 the command itself, such measures that would provide for the
22 uninterrupted functioning of the command post.
23 Q. When such activities are carried out, providing security for the
24 command post in such operations, when is that done and where?
25 A. There are some critical points that must be controlled. The most
1 critical point is the time of preparedness of the command post and
2 putting it in function because it is at that very moment that the enemy
3 tries to interfere, knowing that it is very complicated to start from
4 scratch at the moment when combat is about to start. This is a very
5 critical moment, and that's when all the security measures have to be in
6 place and they have to start functioning properly.
7 Q. We are talking about Vujadin Popovic's duties, and I'm going to
8 show you a number of documents dating back to 1995, ones that we came by
9 at least. I don't think you have them in your binder, but you will be
10 able to see them on the screen. When you do, could you please tell us
11 whether such tasks fall under the purview of the security organ and into
12 what groups of tasks that you spoke about during earlier days.
13 Could we please now look at 1D1076.
14 Did you have an occasion to see this document?
15 A. I did have an occasion to see this document, yes.
16 Q. Could you please tell me whether such tasks as indicated in this
17 document fall within the purview of the security organ?
18 A. Yes. This is a document which belongs to the part of the
19 professional guidance by the security organ along the
20 counter-intelligence line.
21 Q. Can we now look at 1D977?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, the interpreters have drawn our
24 attention that you need to speak into the microphone as much as you can,
25 please. Thank you.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. [Interpretation] 1D977, please. I don't think we have a
3 translation of this document yet, so could you just briefly explain to
4 the Trial Chamber the nature of this document?
5 A. This document points to the fact that a person under a false
6 identity was supposed to be found in Republika Srpska engaged in some
7 activities, and his real identity did not match the documents. The
8 obligation is the same -- similar if not the same as in the previous
9 document. This is a counter-intelligence task in order to establish his
10 whereabouts and what his activities were.
11 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at 1D979?
12 This is another document that has not been translated, so I would
13 kindly ask you briefly what the document is about. Would you like to
14 have it blown up on the screen?
15 A. No. It's not necessary. I was reading, but it was not easy to
16 recognise it. Now it's okay. This is another counter-intelligence
17 document, and it refers to a report of the security organ. They are
18 duty-bound to take measures to see how he was trying to persuade people
19 to abandon the army and everything else that was behind it.
20 Q. This is about --
21 A. Yes, the troops of the Army of Republika Srpska are being
22 persuaded to emigrate abroad, and it is not excluded that these are also
23 counter-intelligence activities against the Army of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. Can we now look at 1D1288.
25 Do you see the document?
1 A. Yes, I can see it.
2 Q. Can you tell us briefly about the nature of this document?
3 A. The counter-intelligence work is aimed at looking at the
4 activities of the American intelligence service and whether it is
5 targeted at the Drina Corps and the commands subordinated to the Drina
6 Corps. In other words, this document shows some of the
7 counter-intelligence activities of the security organ.
8 Q. Since the document has not been translated, can you just briefly
9 tell us something about the nature of this document? What is it exactly?
10 A. The nature of this document points to the fact that the lorry
11 drivers of the UNHCR in the territory of Republika Srpska were actually
12 people who were engaged by the American intelligence service as is stated
14 Q. So this document expresses a doubt that these people were
15 involved in intelligence?
16 A. This is about an obligation to establish that for a fact.
17 Q. Can we now look at 1D981.
18 Do you recognise this document?
19 A. Yes, I do. I recognise it.
20 Q. Can you say something about it?
21 A. This is a very significant document for the security organs
22 because the security organs had a long-term task according to this
23 document, and that task was to engage in counter-intelligence and look at
24 the volunteers arriving from the SRJ in order to discover among them
25 those with different motives and intentions because their arrival did not
1 always coincide with the interests and goals of the Army of Republika
2 Srpska. That is why this had to be borne in mind, and their true goals
3 and intentions could come to the fore at any given moment.
4 Q. Can we now look at 1D539.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, 1D539.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is in e-court. I found it in e-court. 1D539.
9 I found it in e-court. It is on my display.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that the one?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is okay.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We can proceed, then. Thank you.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Vuga, can you see this document? Can we zoom in a bit?
15 A. I have nothing on my screen.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you assist the witness, please?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Before you answer, Mr. Vuga, I believe you saw in previous
19 documents, and it's in this one as well; can you tell us to whom were all
20 these documents sent by the security organ of the Drina Corps?
21 A. All of these documents were sent to chiefs of security organs of
22 subordinated units. Let me not read the list. Units subordinated to the
23 Drina Corps.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you now look at this one, as well, and tell us,
25 does this also fall within the scope of work of security organs?
1 A. It does, but it doesn't fall within counter-intelligence. It
2 falls within staff and command affairs because these affairs are
3 conducted following orders down the chain of command, so there is an
4 order. And pursuant to that order, security organs are to take the steps
5 required here.
6 Q. Since this one is not translated yet, can you just tell us
7 briefly what is required, what is demanded, by this document?
8 A. Measures were required to be taken to protect the secrecy of
9 places and areas where UNPROFOR members who were arrested were kept.
10 Q. Can we now move to 1D983?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. Could we at least find out who sent
13 that document, what date it was? I mean, I couldn't tell from that. I
14 mean, this series of -- we are completely in the dark on this but a few
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, could you give us that information, Mr.
17 Zivanovic, or --
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: All of these documents were sent by security
19 chief of Drina Corps, Mr. Vujadin Popovic. It is a whole series of
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that satisfy you, Mr. McCloskey?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I couldn't make the date out, and the time period
23 of taking UN prisoners is of interest. I can recognise some words in
24 here, but I won't say which words I can recognise.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can we then come back to the previous document, 539, and you will
2 tell us, Mr. Vuga, about the date.
3 A. I don't see the document anymore, but it was the 23rd of June.
4 Yes, it's back now.
5 Q. It's not the document we have just seen on the screen. The
6 previous one.
7 A. The previous one was sent on the 31st of May, 1995. It was sent
8 by the security section of the command of the Drina Corps. At that time,
9 it was Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. I said earlier it was sent to the
10 security organs of the units subordinated to the Drina Corps.
11 Q. I think that will suffice. Can we now move on to 1D983? Are you
12 able to tell us, first of all, are you familiar with the document?
13 A. Yes, I am. It refers to preventing leaks in radio traffic, and
14 discipline is required in radio traffic. The attention of security
15 organs is drawn to the fact that they should monitor this problem with
16 the means that they have at their disposal. That includes
17 counter-intelligence, finding how and why; but also within the purview of
18 command and staff affairs down the chain of command this problem is to be
19 dealt with.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If there is anything mentioning the change of
22 frequencies in this document, could it be read out?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic. I can't help either.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Since we don't have a translation for this, could you read it and
1 tell us -- I am sorry, I just see -- I just saw that this document was
2 translated but it's filed under 3D319. 3D319 is the translation. So
3 maybe we don't need to read it. The whole 3D319 can be shown because it
4 was found on two lists.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No. That's a transcript. 3D.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] 3D319.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If there is some mention of frequencies in this
8 paragraph. I think it's short. If it's there, I --
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let me ask you, what is the heading in this document?
11 A. "Discipline In Radio Communications, Observations." This
12 document was drafted based on observations made.
13 Q. Another thing I want to know, is the security of radio
14 communications part of the responsibilities of the security organ?
15 A. Prevention of leaks of information is the job of security organs,
16 regardless of how these leaks occur. In this case, we are dealing with
17 leaks through radio traffic and radio communications intercepted by the
18 enemy and the enemy's ability to do that. It refers to using devices for
19 data protection and more frequent changes of frequencies so that
20 communications cannot be listened to if they are being listened to on one
21 frequency. If various frequencies are used, the enemy will get one part
22 of the message but not all of it. The security organs are required to do
23 whatever the regulations require them to do to prevent leaks in radio
24 traffic whenever they have information that such leaks can occur and they
25 can respond.
1 Q. We've heard here that the VRS had various types of equipment for
2 protecting radio communications, radio relay communications, et cetera.
3 Can we see from this document which particular types of equipment are
4 referred to? If you can see that.
5 A. One of the devices is mentioned here, S-35, for cryptographic
6 data protection. I've already said something about the degree to which
7 it is necessary to protect a particular document. The information within
8 a document is protected in such a way that for as long as this document
9 is topical, premature leaking is prevented. Information that is leaked
10 once it is no longer topical is not so significant. In fact, it has a
11 historical significance.
12 Q. [No interpretation]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please repeat the number of the
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] 1D987.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What is this document about? Does it also fall within the
19 purview of security organs?
20 A. It does fall within the scope of work of security organs because
21 the topic of this document - that is activities - was a subject of abuse
22 and problems in these communications that were maintained in the area of
23 the Drina Corps through sponsorship, but also on the territory where
24 sponsors were active in locations where it was not desirable and there
25 was the possibility of abuse of this sponsorship. Counter-intelligence
1 work is called for here to see what was going on without disturbing
2 regular forms of work.
3 Q. Mr. Vuga, could you just look at one more document, 1D990.
4 Do you recall this document? Was it within the scope of work of
5 security organs?
6 A. It was. It has two dimensions. The Main Staff ordered how to
7 treat journalists and reporters. Security organs had an obligation as
8 counter-intelligence agents in the area of the corps to keep this kind of
9 work under control, as well, and to have full information about what is
10 going on; but we see also from this document that this order was not
11 consistently executed, so the security organs are reminded once again to
12 activate measures of protection and to warn journalists and reporters
13 that they may not visit without a special permission from the Main Staff.
14 It falls within command and staff affairs but also within the area of
15 counter-intelligence protection of sensitive spots.
16 Q. I believe on the first day of your testimony one document of the
17 BH army was mentioned ordering general mobilisation of all men of
18 military age. Can you tell us if you have ever seen a document after --
19 saying that after the demilitarisation and the proclamation of Srebrenica
20 as an UNPA there occurred a demobilisation of men living in those
22 A. I'm trying to recall if I found a single line of text written
23 about that. No, not a single word or a single line about demobilisation.
24 Q. We know -- I mean, you certainly had seen documents related to
25 the column that started moving from Srebrenica towards the territory held
1 by the BH army. Can you tell us whether there were also unarmed men of
2 military age in that column?
3 A. Yes. There were also unarmed men of military age.
4 Q. Can you tell me if you know, what was the reason for that
5 decision to include in the column unarmed men of military age alongside
6 members of the 28th Division? Have you seen any documents or any other
7 information that could explain this?
8 A. There is a decision communicated in one of the documents to form
9 this column provided with armed escort so that they could go through the
10 territory controlled by Serb forces and reach or rather break through to
11 the territory held by Muslim forces. Military experience and military
12 knowledge tells us that there is no army that can relinquish or sacrifice
13 so easily a whole division with all its equipment. A division with all
14 its equipment is a formidable force, a very necessary one.
15 Q. In the documents that you analysed, were you able to find out
16 what was happening with those people in that column who ended up in the
17 territory held by the BH army after the 16th and the 17th of July, 1995,
18 and later?
19 A. To make my answer very brief, there are several documents, and
20 one of them speaks explicitly about how they were received and the kind
21 of units that were organised from the 28th Division, how volunteers were
22 recruited among them to go back to the territory they came from so that
23 they could be infiltrated and help those who had not yet managed to break
24 through to the territory held by the BH Army.
25 Q. Can we now see document 1D1280. 1D1280. It's the wrong
1 document, I'm sorry. Can we look at 1281? This one is wrong too. I
2 apologise. We are not going to show documents any more.
3 Could we go back now to the 12th of July, 1995. From the
4 documents that we have, we know that at that time Vujadin Popovic was
5 seen in Bratunac and in Potocari. Since you know what was going on in
6 Potocari at that time, tell us whether his presence in those locations
7 was justified from the viewpoint of his regular duties.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: This assumes the fact that not in evidence that
10 this man knows what was going on in Potocari at the time. Perhaps a
11 foundational question would be, you know, what based on your view of
12 whatever --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, fair enough. Fair enough.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Very good point. I'll ask it that way.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Vuga, do you know what was going on on the 12th of July,
18 1995, in Potocari? Have you seen that from the documents you studied?
19 A. I did analyse documents dealing with the developments in Potocari
20 on the 12th, and these documents speak of large number of people who
21 found themselves in Potocari, either in the UN base or around it, or
22 should I say UN forces located in Srebrenica. That was a very variegated
23 group, a large mass of people that was awaiting a denouement of all these
24 events. Since it was the territory of the Drina Corps, the security
25 organ and the military police acting pursuant to regulations had the
1 obligation to gain an insight into all these developments to prevent a
2 possible surprise because there was no control yet over this large mass
3 of people, and anything could be expected to originate from that large
4 group of people that would endanger security. High-risk situations in
5 general incorporating such a large component of security risk require the
6 presence of a security organ who would be able to quickly evaluate the
7 situation and select the best response from his own area of work as well
8 as provide adequate information to others who would take adequate steps
9 within their respective scope of work. That was the role of Popovic.
10 Q. To clarify what you just said, you said there was a large number
11 of people in the UN base and outside the base. Can you tell us more
12 closely who these people were, at least their ethnicity?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer. Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. I don't see why this is relevant for
16 there witness to tell us what we have been hearing for over a year now,
17 what --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And he testified on this, also, yesterday with
19 reference to a particular document that Mr. Zivanovic showed him.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: That's true, but Mr. McCloskey asked for
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. All right. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
23 Fair enough.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Vuga, can you now tell me this: You spoke about this
1 yesterday, and you said that amongst other things there are also
2 documents showing that there were also BiH army soldiers among the
3 refugees in Potocari. According to the rules that were in force at the
4 time, was there a legal foundation to separate those for whom there was a
5 suspicion that they were members of the armed forces of the enemy from
6 the group of refugees?
7 A. The regulation on the service of the military police and the
8 instruction on the use of the military police provide for the military
9 police to check refugees and to try and discover those persons who merged
10 with the refugees in order to hide their identity and to move together
11 with the refugees most commonly to the side that will guarantee them
12 safety as they see fit. Second of all, the security organ is duty-bound
13 in those terms to establish whether that process from the point of view
14 of the profession evolves in a proper manner and on the other hand to
15 take over such persons for whom it has been established under the
16 regulations that the military police should hand them over to the
17 security organ.
18 Q. When you say the military police hands over persons to the
19 security organ, do we know who these persons are? Could you please be
20 more specific?
21 A. This is provided for by regulations, which say that any crime
22 that might have been committed by these persons and which fall within the
23 purview of the security organs' duties, they have to be handed over to
24 the security organ. Everything else, everybody else, will be prisoners
25 of war which will be checked once the conditions for that are in place.
1 Q. Persons who are separated in this way from the group of
2 civilians, will they have their freedom of movement and communication
3 limited? Do the regulations allow for these persons' freedom of movement
4 and communication to be limited, that they be separated from the rest of
5 the group?
6 A. According to the criteria that are envisaged, the separating
7 people from the group represents the limitation of their freedoms of
8 movement and communication. As soon as they were separated, these people
9 were placed under the so-called isolation.
10 Q. Would this be similar to an arrest?
11 A. This is identical to an arrest. However, when a person is
12 arrested, you know in advance the reason for which the person is
13 arrested, whereas in this particular case, the -- all the actions that
14 are necessary to establish that should follow after the event.
15 Q. Can we now look at Prosecutor's document number 242.
16 Are you familiar the document? Can you see it all right on the
18 A. I'm familiar with the document.
19 Q. Can you just briefly tell us the nature of this document. What
20 is it?
21 A. This document is a list of 387 names of persons for whom there is
22 a suspicion that they committed war crimes and who were supposed to be
23 identified in the place where identification was being carried out, in
24 all such places. This was the obligation of all those who were involved
25 in identifications, primarily the MP, because military police are charged
1 with identification of people as well as all those who had other duties
2 when recording the names of the people in such places where conditions
3 for that were in place.
4 Q. Can we now move to the last page of the document just to look at
5 the date when it was drafted. You will find the date at the bottom.
6 A. The date is 12 July 1995 in Bratunac.
7 Q. Mr. Vuga, you have already told us something about Zepa
8 operation. Did you come by information as to what had happened with the
9 units that participated in Krivaja 95 once Srebrenica was taken? Do you
10 know what happened to them after that?
11 A. Once Srebrenica was taken, both units had participated in Krivaja
12 95, so those units were redirected to another task, which was to take
13 Zepa following an order that ensued after that.
14 Q. What happened with the order by the Supreme Commander to disarm
15 all Muslim terrorist gangs? I believe that's the precise word that was
16 used in this document dated 9 July. We've already spoken about it, and
17 if you want to do that, we can look at it again. Does this mean that
18 these units were not sent into that operation?
19 A. The fact that they were redirected to Zepa confirms the fact that
20 they did not continue any activities regarding the disarming of the
21 Muslim forces that had left Srebrenica by then.
22 Q. And now can we look at Prosecutor's Exhibit number 131. I
23 believe you have it in your binder.
24 A. I have the document.
25 Q. Could you please tell me, who was it who sent this document and
1 who signed it?
2 A. The assistant commander, Major General Zdravko Tolimir, and the
3 date on the document is 13 July 1995.
4 Q. Can I now ask you, please, to look at the time when the document
5 was dispatched?
6 A. The time is 2230 hours. This is when the document was
7 dispatched, on 13 July 1995.
8 Q. What was Mr. Tolimir's position at the time?
9 A. At the time, Zdravko Tolimir was the assistant commander of the
10 Main Staff for security and intelligence.
11 Q. Can you just briefly tell us the outlines of this document. What
12 is it that Mr. Tolimir indicates in this document?
13 A. This document is information or information about the fact that
14 in Sjemec in the facilities of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade,
15 there are accommodations for 800 prisoners of war, and it says further on
16 if there is not enough room for them to be accommodated, they could be
17 accommodated in Sjemec where they could be engaged in farm work. They
18 would tend to horses, pigs, and sheep. In other words, they would be
19 involved in the farming activities as stated herein.
20 Q. Mr. Vuga, in this courtroom we heard that the Army of Republika
21 Srpska when planning and executing the Krivaja 95 operation had a
22 predesigned plan to kill all able-bodied Muslims that would be arrested
23 or that would surrender to them. Could you please tell me whether you
24 came by any document demonstrating that before the 13th of July, 1995,
25 any such plan existed?
1 A. Mr. Zivanovic, after the analysis of all the documents that were
2 studied from the point of view of security, one could get a grasp of
3 their main contents and see whether the security aspect of these
4 documents point to a possibility that prisoners of war might be killed
5 contrary to the Geneva Conventions and the customs of war under
6 international documents and the laws of Republika Srpska. The documents
7 that I studied contain quite a number of orders to the units and officers
8 engaged in Krivaja 95, ordering them to strictly comply with the
9 provisions of the Geneva Conventions. The president, moreover, orders a
10 step further, which is to make sure that civilian facilities were not
11 destructed unless it was so required by military goals. In other words,
12 I did not come by anything that would point to the fact that there might
13 be an instance of killing of prisoners of war from the point of view of
14 planning and execution of the Krivaja 95 operation before the date that
15 you indicated and asked me whether there was anything to such an effect
16 in the documents issued before the 13th of July, 1995, i.e. before the
17 time indicated on the document that is now on the screen.
18 Q. From the point of view of the list that you looked at, does this
19 list tell you that at the time no such plan was in place?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It is leading, Mr. Zivanovic. If you could
23 rephrase it, although I think it's too late now.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Vuga, what was the purpose of drafting a list of potential
1 prisoners of war in this particular situation that we have just spoken
2 about as it was on the 12th of July, 1995?
3 A. The purpose of compiling a list of war crime suspects was to
4 place them under a special treatment because they were in for a procedure
5 that would establish exactly whether they are liable or not according to
6 the rules of Republika Srpska and international conventions regarding the
7 separation of persons that might be subject to further processing. In
8 order for them to be separated from the rest of the group, such a list
9 had to be compiled. And that was its main purpose, to separate such
10 potential suspects from those who did not fall under that category.
11 Q. Does this mean that there should have been a different treatment
12 between war crime suspects and others?
13 A. In part, this is contained in my previous answer. As soon as
14 they are separated, that means that they would be processed, and let me
15 put it this way: This was a more strict form of isolation aimed at
16 making sure that these persons would not become subject of exchange or
17 anything else because they were potentially criminally liable.
18 Q. Within that context, how do you look at the letter that you see
19 on the screen sent by General Tolimir, the list that contains his
20 proposal for a certain number of prisoners of war to be accommodated in
21 the facilities indicated in the letter?
22 A. The mere fact that a certain number of prisoners of war will be
23 involved in farm works according to this letter points to the fact that
24 they would be treated in a different way in view of the fact that they
25 were not on the list, so they could enjoy the status of prisoners of war
1 rather than of persons that are in for a criminal procedure pending
2 against them.
3 Q. In the chain or in the hierarchy of the Republika Srpska army,
4 was it possible to create a plan about killing of all able-bodied men who
5 were either arrested or who surrendered themselves without a person in
6 the position of General Zdravko Tolimir being aware of that?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel Zivanovic please come closer to
8 the microphone.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By his position -- by virtue of his
10 position, General Tolimir had to be informed about everything that was
11 going on in the Army of Republika Srpska and particularly when it came to
12 the activities surrounding Krivaja 1995, which is confirmed by this
13 document. In other words, he's speaking about prisoners of war that the
14 President of the republic ordered to be disarmed, and also he said that
15 all those who had participated in combat against the Army of Republika
16 Srpska should be treated as prisoners of war. In other words, General
17 Tolimir must have been aware of what was going on. If not, he could not
18 have issued such information because it would have been pointless.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I'm sorry. My question was not interpreted in full because I
21 said part of it while not speaking into the microphone. I will restate
22 that part of the question, and you will either leave your answer as it is
23 or answer differently. So my question is: Was it possible to have a
24 plan to kill all able-bodied men who surrendered or who had been captured
25 without a person like General Zdravko Tolimir in the position that he
1 held knowing anything about it at the time when he sent this letter?
2 A. To a question phrased like that, I can answer that it would have
3 been possible only if General Tolimir had been completely left out of the
4 loop as far as this plan is concerned. General Tolimir as a member of
5 the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska would have been otherwise
6 involved in that plan. He would have had to execute it.
7 Q. Was it possible for him in his position to know nothing about
8 such a plan?
9 A. He -- I said he was assistant commander for security and
10 intelligence affairs. By virtue of his position, he would have been the
11 best-informed man in the VRS.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me something else. From the document you
13 had occasion to analyse, what happened later on that 13th of July, 1995?
14 Do you know what happened with the column that was moving from Srebrenica
15 towards the territory held by the BH Army?
16 A. The column that had been formed and was escorted or was breaking
17 out under arms came into the area of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. They
18 launched a breakout, and from the documents I analysed that disposition
19 was such that it really had the nature of a breakout from encirclement,
20 and that is the main feature of that stage of entry of the column into
21 the area of the Zvornik Brigade because the whole territory they were
22 breaking out of was under the control of the VRS.
23 Q. On that day, was any decision made regarding prisoners? Did you
24 come across or analyse one of the documents of the Drina Corps command
25 or, more precisely, the Drina Corps commander from that time? Could we
1 look at P36, please.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, could we get more precise on what day? I
4 mean, it's not exactly clear to me.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is omitted obviously. It was the 13th of
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really need a break
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's have the break. Would 25 minutes be
11 enough for you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it will be enough, Your
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we'll have a break of 25 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Vuga, before continuing with my questions, over the break we
20 realised that you seemed to be tired. If that is indeed the case, please
21 say so, and then the Chamber may discuss any possibilities in relation to
22 that. Please tell us if you are extremely tired.
23 A. The Chamber gave me the choice to decide how far I can go. When
24 going through the testimony in my head, I realised that I may have caused
25 some damage in terms of providing the answers which are not the best, but
1 I will do my utmost to keep it up.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because this is a statement that
3 doesn't really make me feel serene, and serenity of mind is perhaps one
4 of the most important requisites for good judgement on our part on a
5 daily basis.
6 Are you in a position to continue? If you have a preference, if
7 you think that you shouldn't continue, that we should give you a complete
8 rest today, then I can assure you we will find absolutely no difficulty
9 at all, Colonel. We are not here to make it difficult for anyone.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
11 understood you well. It was my mistake that at a certain point -
12 however, it wasn't today but yesterday - I didn't provide the best of
13 explanations and I couldn't go at full thrust, but I feel all right now.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Then let's continue, Mr.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Vuga, previously, when you were talking about the documents
18 you analysed, you mentioned what was taking place with unarmed
19 military-age men who left Srebrenica in the column and found themselves
20 in the territory that was controlled by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 I tried showing you some documents. However, I made an error, but now I
22 have the right figures, the right numbers, and I want to show them to
23 you, and perhaps then you can tell us whether these were the documents
24 you had in mind. That is 1D1080.
25 A. I have the English version on the screen.
1 Q. I believe you will be able to see it now in the B/C/S original.
2 Is that one of the documents, Mr. Vuga?
3 A. It is. There is also a document of the 28th of July in the form
4 of a report pertaining to the 27th of July from the 2nd Corps command of
5 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which states that the 2nd Corps command
6 had registered 2.311 fighters, members of the 28th Division, who were
7 assigned to different units, and they were undergoing training and being
8 rearmed in order to re-establish that unit again.
9 Q. Let us move to 1D1081 next. I believe that is the document you
10 have in mind. [In English] Scroll down, please.
11 A. Yes, that is the document I mentioned. This is a report which
12 indicates the exact figures of those members who arrived per units. That
13 is the report I had in mind. There is other data, but this data is
14 closest in terms of being nearest to the date concerned.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go back to where we left it off before
16 the break. I asked you whether you know of the existence of an order of
17 the Drina Corps command concerning the 13th of July, 1995, which referred
18 or may have referred to POWs.
19 Could we please look at P36 next.
20 A. I have the order before me.
21 Q. Please tell us briefly what did you conclude from this order?
22 A. The Drina Corps command on the 13th of July, 1995, as very urgent
23 sent this order to the commands of all subordinate units of the Drina
24 Corps, as well as to the forward command post of the Drina Corps for
25 information so that they could carry out their tasks in relation to the
1 issue concerned. The document states, "Blocking the passage of Muslim
2 groups to Tuzla and Kladanj. Order." My attention was drawn to the
3 first item of the order just below the heading. I just wanted to say
4 that this obliged all the units. They were being informed that
5 military-aged men from the enclave were tasked to divide themselves into
6 groups and with arms to go in the direction of Tuzla and Kladanj. It
7 reads further that among those, there are those who are criminals and
8 villains who will stop at nothing to avoid being captured, and they will
9 try to reach the territory that was under the control of the Muslims.
10 This was a warning which stated that in addition to some armed and
11 unarmed military-aged men who were supposed to be disarmed, all those
12 involved will have to deal with those from the column who are qualified
13 as such in the document. The idea behind this document warned those who
14 were supposed to implement those tasks to be cautious so as to avoid any
15 surprises and losses due to being careless and poorly informed in terms
16 of what the enemy concerned was like.
17 That is important because each commanding officer issuing an
18 order is duty-bound to provide sufficient information that will provide
19 for a successful implementation of the task or order involved.
20 Q. In item 1 of the order -- well, based on that, can you tell us
21 who the order was sent to and who was supposed to implement it?
22 A. As I read at the beginning, it was sent to the commands of all
23 subordinate units and the IKM for information.
24 Q. Thank you. The second item of the order is interesting in its
25 part which says that all those who can carry weapons should be engaged.
1 How do you interpret this part of the order? I have referred to only one
2 part of the item. Perhaps I should have read out the whole sentence.
3 A. It is clear from what you've said that this was a full
4 mobilisation of all those who were able to participate in combat, i.e. to
5 participate in the execution of the task as formulated therein.
6 Q. In item 3 of the order, it is specified what needs to be done
7 with those who are captured and disarmed. I won't go through the
8 document item by item, but I wanted to ask you this: In this order, did
9 you see a separate task assigned to the security organ in relation to
11 A. In this order, there is no task requiring the attention of
12 security organs. Their participation as part of this task was such that
13 they carried out their own tasks as envisaged by the scope of activity
14 and responsibilities of security organs. This only had to do with the
15 security organs in cases that they have operational possibilities to
16 provide information to the organs of the command and those implementing
17 this task on the whereabouts of those groups and how one can secure as
18 much information as possible on that groups. That was the task of the
19 security organ because it had to do with the territory controlled by the
20 VRS. In that territory, there was a security regimen in place ordered by
21 the relevant commanders who were supposed to deal with the issues of
22 security within their different areas of responsibility.
23 Q. Analysing these documents, did you come to learn what was
24 happening with the column on that very day, the 13th of July, 1995,
25 beginning with the evening hours or, rather, afternoon hours onwards?
1 I'm talking about the 28th Division column, which was pulling out of
3 Could we please have a look at 1D965. Let us have a look at the
4 front -- first page to be able to see what the document involved is.
5 Mr. Vuga, did you have occasion to analyse this document?
6 A. Yes. I analysed certain parts of this document.
7 Q. It seems that the translation has not arrived yet. Can you tell
8 us, what is this document?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Given that it's so short and it's dated 27 July,
11 the question was about 13 July. Perhaps Mr. Zivanovic could just read
12 this because I've just been in the dark on about 12 documents now.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Fair enough. Mr.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. We may move to page 4? [Interpretation] We
16 can go to the bottom of the page. There is a paragraph -- I've just been
17 informed that we do have a translation. It is 5D355.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 3D355.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Page 5 in English.
20 Q. I'm interested in the 13th of July, 1995, in particular the
21 second part of the document, which begins with 1930 hours. I believe
22 it's on the next page of the English translation.
23 A. I have that in B/C/S in front of me.
24 Q. However, in the English translation, it is page 6. It begins
25 with the paragraph beginning with, "At 7.30 p.m. " Could you please
1 clarify for us what this concerns and whether you analysed this part of
2 the document?
3 A. I did analyse it from the point of view of consequences and the
4 security situation. It was interesting because it pointed to a real
5 possibility of an attack on Zvornik with the aim of stretching out the
6 forces of the VRS and the Zvornik Brigade that were in control of the
7 terrain to make it easier for the column to more easily reach the
8 territory along the route they had envisaged. One -- among one of the
9 things that were carried out was to construct false communication
10 networks that were supposed to give an impression that there were other
11 units - in fact, non-existent - which posed a threat to Zvornik. It was
12 done in such a way that the various commands and intelligence organs of
13 the VRS should be given wrong information that would make them conclude
14 that the attack might be real.
15 Q. Could you just clarify this last bit in the passage, I quote,
16 "especially when the action of NORA was incorporated against Zvornik."
17 What is NORA?
18 A. It's an artillery weapon, and it was named when it was designed,
19 a new piece of rocket artillery. This confirms what I said earlier.
20 This was designed to create a convincing piece of disinformation so
21 convincing that nobody could ignore it, that they had to take measures of
22 defence depending on how great they evaluated the danger to be.
23 Q. Can you tell me how did the VRS react to this threat to Zvornik?
24 Were you able to see that from the documents?
25 A. Yes, I was. I was able to see how the VRS reacted, and that
1 confirmed that this piece of disinformation was convincing.
2 Q. Could we look at document P165.
3 Did you take this document into account? What does it refer to?
4 A. It's an interim report on electronic reconnaissance. It comes
5 from the command of the Drina Corps, the 4th radio reconnaissance
6 platoon, and you see in the heading that it was provided to the
7 intelligence administration of the Main Staff of the VRS, to the
8 intelligence section of the Drina Corps, to the forward command post,
9 that is to the commander personally, to the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and
10 to the Birac Infantry Brigade. The document speaks about forces coming
11 from Tuzla, forces of the BH Army coming from the Tuzla sector, headed by
12 Naser Oric. It says they came across our forces in the Planinci sector,
13 and it says that Naser Oric is boasting of all that he had achieved in
14 that area. Let me not go into detail. The document speaks for itself.
15 It says their aim is to create -- to wreak havoc.
16 Q. Can we have 1D698, please.
17 Did you analyse this document?
18 A. Yes, I did. It's a document from the command of the Drina Corps.
19 Q. What does it say, briefly?
20 A. First of all, it refers to an evaluation made regarding the level
21 of threat in the area covered by the Drina Corps and a demand to mobilise
22 non-assigned conscripts to prevent the infiltration of sabotage terrorist
23 forces and previously crushed Muslim forces from Srebrenica. It seems
24 from the document that the situation in the area of the Drina Corps had
25 become extremely complex since it was necessary to carry out a
1 mobilisation to restore security to the level necessary for the execution
2 of tasks.
3 Q. Can we look at 1D651.
4 Have you had occasion to see this document? What is it about?
5 A. Yes, I have seen it. This document is a report on Muslim units.
6 It says, "Intelligence has been collected through electronic surveillance
7 that Naser Oric had made a breakout." We have seen that from the
8 previous document, that he had reached the Krizevici sector, that he was
9 going to Planinci in order to link up with a group from Srebrenica in
10 order to wreak havoc in Zvornik. So it's very specific as to their
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The next paragraph reads, "I have
14 ordered complete mobilisation in Zvornik and that everyone be sent to
15 positions for defence."
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think this is for sure a one-page document, and
17 I recognise the name Vinko down there. Could we have him read this so we
18 can be in tune with what it says.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Who is going to read it?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm just informed that we have a translation of
21 the document.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, which is what?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 3D318.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: 3D318.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Don't want to be suspicious, but I would hope
1 that we could have English documents if they are up there. It seems they
2 come up whenever I object.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, from my position here, I can see that Mr.
4 Zivanovic was blissfully unaware of the existence of the translations and
5 that he is being fed the information from some of his colleagues, so I
6 don't have any -- I don't share any suspicions in his regard. But,
7 again, you've done a wonderful job, Mr. Zivanovic. You've been very
8 prepared. You have caused us very little problems, but this could have
9 been averted.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, we haven't got the information that
11 the document was translated under our exhibit number. This is the
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Also, I mean, I would assume that you submitted the
14 same document to the CLSS for translation, and one of the things that we
15 have been trying to avoid all along is duplicating the work of the CLSS
16 staff, which are already inundated with work. But anyway, let's move,
17 not waste more time.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
19 Q. I believe you came in your answer to this point about general
20 mobilisation in Zvornik?
21 A. Yes, that everyone should be mobilised and sent to positions. We
22 see how seriously this was taken on the basis of intelligence collected,
23 and it is suggested that Pandurevic and Legenda return to their zones to
24 take measures to redress the consequences, if any, and to prevent
1 Q. Let us look at two more documents on the subject, 1D1291.
2 Can you tell us, did you take this document into account as well?
3 A. Yes, I did. And very briefly, it's a response to the demand of
4 the Drina Corps command from the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska,
5 which is acting upon the request cited earlier concerning mobilisation.
6 Q. This situation in Zvornik that you described that began in the
7 evening of the 13th until this mobilisation, did it require the presence
8 of the security organ of the Drina Corps in that territory?
9 A. All the information that we have discussed so far and the
10 procedure that was ordered in relation to the defence of Zvornik, the
11 mobilisation that was to be carried out, and from these words, "to
12 prevent a catastrophe," we see that all this needed to be done with
13 maximum security measures; otherwise, it would indeed have caused a
14 catastrophe to the defence of Zvornik, and we see that from the response
15 of this organ that demanded the return of Pandurevic and Legenda. So in
16 view of the responsibility of the command of the Drina Corps for
17 mobilisation on its territory and in keeping with the rule on
18 mobilisation, security organ of the Drina Corps had the obligation to
19 take any measures within its jurisdiction to provide counter-intelligence
20 support for this mobilisation, which was extremely important at that
21 moment. He was alone, as we had occasion to note, and he could only do
22 that by going to Zvornik because it was in Zvornik, in fact, that the
23 whole situation had repercussions.
24 Q. We have looked at all the rules governing the work of security
25 organs, and in your report you mention the rule on mobilisation, which is
1 1D5693. Tell us, does this rule prescribe such obligations and duties
2 for the security organ, and if it does, what are these obligations
4 A. In my report, I stated precisely what the responsibilities of the
5 security organ are pursuant to the rule on mobilisation.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1D693.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Drop the 5?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] This document has not been
11 translated yet.
12 Q. But still, could you tell us very briefly, does this document
13 envisage any obligations for the security organ in relation to
15 A. It does, but it's in another passage. The heading says, "Support
16 of mobilisation." There are various sorts of support to mobilisation,
17 various types. There are several.
18 Q. Can we move on to the following page, please? The same document.
19 Can you now tell us, which part of this document prescribes the
20 duties of the security organ?
21 A. Paragraph 2, the security support. This is where the security
22 support issues are regulated, and on the right-hand side, in this area
23 here, and I can't see the page number, under 321, it says -- bullet point
24 3, where it says, "Measures for the timely discovery and prevention of
25 intelligence, reconnaissance, sabotage, and other subversive activities
1 of the internal and external enemy targeted and aimed at jeopardising
2 preparations and execution of mobilisation." In this particular case, it
3 is all about the execution of mobilisation because mobilisation had been
4 ordered with an immediate effect.
5 Further on, under 322 a reference is made to the
6 counter-intelligence evaluation, and we've already spoken about the
7 measures contained therein. In this particular case, it should have
8 applied to the immediate situation in Zvornik.
9 Q. Mr. Vuga, was it possible during this period of time that we are
10 talking about for these duties and tasks in -- not to be performed by
11 anybody in the corps if Vujadin Popovic was not available to perform
12 them? Is it possible that during this period of time there was nobody to
13 attend to these duties, so they would not be carried out?
14 A. The importance of the duties of the security organ and the
15 importance of mobilisation as an action, of importance for combat,
16 provide for those actions to be carried out in very secure conditions.
17 The mobilisation activity is of critical importance under the conditions
18 that prevailed at the time, and putting mobilisation in jeopardy would
19 jeopardise the whole of the defence given the conditions. In other
20 words, it should not have been allowed for mobilisation to fail for one
21 reason or another and especially for the reasons of security.
22 Q. I'm going to have just a few more questions for you, but tell me,
23 please, if you're in any way indisposed, tired, or --
24 A. Let's continue. Put your questions.
25 Q. You said that the security tasks cannot be transferred to anyone
1 else when we are talking about the rules governing the work of the
2 security organ, the regulations, and all the other instructions. What
3 about the tasks relative to mobilisation? Could those duties of the
4 security organ be transferred to somebody else or, to put it in more
5 simple terms, could Vujadin Popovic have charged somebody else with
6 mobilisation issues?
7 A. As far as I can remember, I said that no authorities could be
8 transferred to other people because those were personal, and there was a
9 document proving that that was the case, and I'm talking about the
10 official ID of the security organ. What stands behind all this is the
11 following: The part concerning the counter-intelligence evaluation, the
12 collection of information by applying the methods of work of the security
13 organ, is absolutely non-transferrable, and it is within the exclusive
14 purview of the persons vested with the relevant authorities. This would
15 be my answer or part of my answer, and the answer is that what Colonel
16 Vujadin Popovic was supposed to do in Zvornik could not have been done by
17 anybody else in view of the prevalent situation at that moment.
18 Q. And the last thing I wanted to ask you about is this: When
19 analysing all the documents, did you come by any documents showing how it
20 all ended with the column? How did the whole column situation end? Can
21 you tell us about that?
22 A. When it comes to the end of the situation with the column, there
23 are documents reaching up to the month of September that speak of the
24 instances of groups of people appearing or individuals who had been in
25 the column and who were still trying to reach the territory under the
1 control of the Muslim side. They appeared in the area where the column
2 had been broken up. I'm not able to precisely define when the whole
3 thing ended because in my view a threat to security by its intensity and
4 by everything that happened ended earlier in terms of my conclusions.
5 This happened subsequently, after the critical events that we are talking
6 about, after the execution of prisoners of war, where it was carried out,
7 and the rest was dealt with successively as could be done by the forces
8 controlling the territory. When they came in contact with the remains of
9 that column, they would take them prisoners. That's my end to your
10 question as to how this ended.
11 Q. I would say that my question was not very precise. Let me
12 rephrase the question and ask you, do you know what happened when the
13 main body of the column that was trying to break through from Srebrenica
14 to the territory under the control of the BH army?
15 A. Very well. Now I have been redirected in more precise terms, and
16 I can tell you this. A corridor was opened to let through the unarmed
17 persons from the column into the Muslim territory, and this happened on
18 the 16th of July. This corridor functioned up to the 17th. There is
19 information to that effect on the Muslim side about the passage and
20 reception of these persons among whom there were also unarmed members of
21 the 28th Division. Later on, they were registered in the list that we
22 saw just a little while ago, and we saw how they were treated
23 subsequently. That is as far as the column is concerned or at least that
24 part of the column that was in the corridor and that was let through
25 during that period of time.
1 Q. We have information according to which Vujadin Popovic received a
2 number of tasks, among which to go and report on the events that happened
3 on the day when the corridor was opened. My question to you is this:
4 Can you tell us whether such a task would be in keeping with the function
5 that he discharged and the other tasks that he had?
6 A. In view of the purview of the security organ's duties and in view
7 of the situation that prevailed at the time when these events were taking
8 place, there is a very important fact that I would like to convey and
9 share with you so that you may be able to understand what I'm talking
10 about, and I'll try and be brief. Based on experience, the territory of
11 the Zvornik Brigade had been used to move arms into Srebrenica. The
12 length of that line at the moment was about 80 kilometres. That's where
13 the group infiltrated with the arms for Srebrenica being --
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Colonel. Mr. McCloskey?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: This was a very specific question. If we could
17 get the answer and then the explanation just because that's the
18 appropriate procedure, and this is going to be a continuing issue,
19 obviously, as we have additional questioning by additional counsel.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, we appreciate the big efforts that you are
23 making in trying to answer the questions and trying to give as much
24 information as you can. On the other hand, the practice here is to stick
25 to the question as much as possible and resort to explanations and
1 further details only if necessary, considered necessary by you, and
2 normally you would ask us to go beyond what you're being asked or to
3 explain your answer. In this case, I suggest that you answer the
4 question and you continue to explain precisely why your answer is what it
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was just reaching
7 the end of my explanation, but it doesn't really matter. I'll answer the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, then. Go ahead.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is how things stand. There
11 was a great deal of risk in the corridor where it was opened because the
12 corridor also functioned during the night. If any -- there was a --
13 quite a likelihood for a group to pass through in an opposite direction
14 and bring arms to those who were not able to break through. And that
15 would have created a huge problem in depth, and I provided my explanation
16 to show what the basis was for that evaluation that had to be taken into
17 account and that had to be acted upon urgently and without any delays.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In view of the rules and tasks of the security organ, what degree
20 of presence and what length of presence on the part of Vujadin Popovic
21 was requested in the area?
22 A. What I'm talking about does not have any temporal limitations.
23 This is the issue of a situation that cannot be put in any specific
24 terms. A lot of time lapsed, and a lot of the circumstances that
25 prevailed at the time and that had to be taken into account can no longer
1 be assessed at this moment.
2 Q. From the point of view of his tasks, was it indispensable for
3 Popovic to be there until the moment the corridor was finally closed?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Colonel. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is vague. Where? And what time period?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The time period I think --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've seen this witness go off and try to answer
9 his own questions based on imprecise questions, and that's what's going
10 to happen again.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The question is not imprecise because if Mr.
12 McCloskey followed the answer of the witness, he told us that the
13 corridor was opened on 16th July and closed on 17 July. It was the
14 answer of the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Time-wise, I think you are right. Yes, Mr.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've just left, I believe, Colonel Popovic at
18 the IKM. Is that where we are, or are we somewhere else?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: He spoke about IKM. I don't know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Where did he have to be according to you?
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: My question was should he be -- if he had to be
22 at the Baljkovica when the corridor was closed? It was my question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then answer -- that's more simple, and
24 the witness can answer it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My simplest answer would be yes,
1 and I've already provided ample elements to show why.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. My last question for you, Mr. Vuga: In the overall
4 analysis of the documents that you analysed, did you come across any sort
5 of participation of Vujadin Popovic in the execution of the prisoners of
7 A. In my report, I was very concrete. In terms of my attitude
8 towards documents, in operative and combat documents that I analysed, I
9 did not come across the role of -- or participation of Vujadin Popovic in
10 the execution of the prisoners of war. There are witness statements that
11 I analysed and provided my opinion about, but no witness statements could
12 help me to arrive at a reliable conclusion or help me to form an opinion
13 that would be unambiguous as to the role of Vujadin Popovic in this act
14 of execution, and this would be my answer based on what I put in my
15 report, and I adhere by that statement.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vuga. I have no further questions.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have finished my examination.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Ms. Nikolic, do you
19 wish to start now, or do you wish to break now? It's up to you.
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe this would
21 be a very good moment for a break. It would allow me to organise my
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break starting from now.
24 Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Colonel, I understand you wish to address the
3 Trial Chamber. Do I have the right information?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say, Your Honour, that
5 the work so far and everything that has happened so far has made an
6 impact on my situation that you're aware of, and a break until tomorrow
7 would allow me to recover and be better suited to continue working.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. By all means, Colonel. We fully understand,
9 and you will find us cooperative.
10 So you can withdraw, and if you're feeling all right, then we
11 continue, we resume, tomorrow morning at 9.00, and take it up from there.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your understanding,
13 Your Honour, and I shall do my best certainly.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, it's not over yet.
17 Now, yesterday, we had a short discussion, us and Mr. Ostojic and
18 Mr. McCloskey, on pending matters arising in the wake of the various
19 Beara motions. And we left it off with the following understanding, that
20 you would continue discussing amongst yourselves and if there is any
21 information you would like to communicate to the Trial Chamber, to come
22 forward. We've heard nothing from you. So we have continued discussing
23 and deliberating on the various issues involved, and we have given
24 instructions to our Senior Legal Officer to approach you on two issues,
25 one which needs a feedback from the Prosecution and another one which
1 needs a feedback from you. Those relate, then, to a written decision
2 that we need to hand down very shortly.
3 However, there are some matters that we are in a position to
4 decide today, and they are logistical ones mostly. One of them relates
5 to the Beara Defence request for a further opening statement, which has
6 not met with any opposition from Mr. McCloskey or from the Prosecution.
7 We have discussed it amongst ourselves, and we are deciding it here and
8 now orally. You are being -- your motion is being granted, Mr. Ostojic.
9 You will have the opportunity to address the Trial Chamber again with a
10 further opening statement on your part. However, we don't agree with the
11 amount of time that you have asked for. You've asked for 90 minutes. We
12 have agreed that 60 minutes will be abundant and should be enough for you
13 to be able to address the Trial Chamber.
14 In acceding to your motion, however, we also want to make it
15 clear that you have the responsibility of trying to avoid unnecessary
16 repetition of what you have already stated in your previous opening
18 Then there is the other issue from which the Prosecution has
19 steered away, namely when you should start with your Defence case. We
20 have put everything in the basket and we have considered everything,
21 including previous exchange of consultations on this and submissions and,
22 of course, also to the instances when we made it clear that you are to
23 anticipate more or less that the Zivanovic Defence case would practically
24 -- or come to an end at the end of this week or thereabouts.
25 We understand that you also may encounter some problems, also,
1 because some of the issues remaining have not yet been decided but only
2 marginally so. So we have decided that irrespective of when the
3 Zivanovic case actually comes to an end - whether that would be Monday or
4 Tuesday, we don't know - you will start your Defence case on Thursday,
5 the 10th of July. And naturally, we expect you to start with your
6 opening statement and then proceed with your first witness.
7 So you have one week within which to organise yourself, and then
8 you take it up from there.
9 There is a final matter that we were discussing and that we have
10 been discussing, namely your most recent motion for the testimony of one
11 guy to be heard by video conference, by videolink. We are trying to
12 avoid deciding that, if necessary -- if possible, sorry, if possible, and
13 for that purpose, we are suggesting that you engage into an open
14 discussion with the Prosecution and see if you are prepared to convert
15 that witness from a viva voce one to a 92 bis one, and in that case
16 whether the Prosecution would be inclined or ready not to cross-examine,
17 not to want to cross-examine that particular witness, whom they have in
18 any case already stated to be an irrelevant witness.
19 Anyway, we expect to you come back to us latest first thing
20 tomorrow morning on this with an agreement or a notice of absence of
21 agreement, after which then we will proceed with -- in that case we will
22 proceed with our decision.
23 All right?
24 Is there anything else you wish to discuss? And then you will
25 receive a written decision on all the witnesses that the Prosecution has
1 objected to under Rule 92 bis, and that will be written. Maybe some
2 other issues maybe decided, maybe decided orally, particularly on one of
3 the issues that we have asked John Cubbon to discuss with you, all right?
4 Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was just thinking of one issue. If I could ask
6 the Defence, well, with your knowledge, that if they are going to be
7 using B/C/S documents that they know that they haven't had translations
8 for, could they identify those for us as soon as possible? Because
9 naturally, we get very big lists from them because we understand that you
10 can't always pick exactly which ones you're going to do, but if we could
11 get the ten or four or hopefully none. I know there's -- with mostly
12 English speaking people leading that may not be a problem, but if we are
13 aware of that we can go to the document on the list and try to help
14 ourselves to it because right now I don't -- it's hard to do it when
15 there are so many documents and we're not sure which ones meet that
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Fair comment. Mr. Ostojic, this concerns you
18 more than anyone else at the given -- given the moment, the time. Yes?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: I understand. I don't foresee a problem on that
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So we'll resume tomorrow
23 And in the meantime, Mr. Ostojic, I know that you will need to
24 prepare for next Thursday, obviously. If you encounter problems, could
25 you please come back to us at the earliest?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, the only problem I would foresee is
2 that the victim and witness protection unit, when we spoke to them on
3 numerous occasions, most recently yesterday, they have to have travel
4 plans, arrangements, so I just don't know, and I'll check with them
5 immediately after this session, and some of them, they needed more than
6 seven days in order to procure visas and passports in some instances, as
7 well, so my only concern is with respect to that. That's why I was
8 requesting a firm date so that we could coordinate with them as well.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but that would have meant giving up
10 practically seven days of hearing, and that's not possible. We've come
11 down to two because we realise that at least a week is required in most
12 instances if there has been no preparations, but we would assume with our
13 advisory, previous advisory, you would have started the ball rolling in
14 any case.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: And we have, Your Honour, and it's just a matter of
16 they want a firm date as to when I should bring the witnesses here, and
17 if it was my preference I'd have them here now, but they said that that
18 was unreasonable because they don't know when they are going to testify.
19 I'm just informing the Court of that. That's all.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. But if there are real substantial
21 problems where we could help, do let us know, and if there are then
22 impossible problems, problems that are impossible to solve, we'll see
23 what we can do, all right?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's it.
1 So Ms. Nikolic, tomorrow morning you will need to be ready to go.
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.45 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of July,
6 2008, at 9.00 a.m.