1 Friday, 4 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Pandurevic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
8 case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
10 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. Good morning, everybody. All
12 the accused are here except Accused Pandurevic who had given notice that
13 he would be absent today for personal reasons and who has in addition
14 waived his right to be present.
15 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Ms. Tapuskovic,
16 and that's it.
17 Prosecution is represented by Mr. McCloskey.
18 The witness is present. Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would just like to introduce our intern from
22 our team, Ms. Jana Burasova.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, good morning and welcome.
24 So Ms. Nikolic, first of all, let me just make sure that the
25 colonel is okay, is feeling fine.
1 Colonel Vuga, good morning to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. What
3 could be done was done and I am well. Thank you very much for your
4 understanding. I have recovered and I'm able to proceed.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good. Let's hope you survive the whole sitting.
6 So let's start with Ms. Nikolic.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
8 WITNESS: PETAR VUGA [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examination by Ms. Nikolic:
11 Q. Good morning, Colonel.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. I will start my examination-in-chief by the rules of the brigade
14 and the special part of your report. When you dealt with the provisions
15 on security and the functions of the security organ in the rules of the
16 brigade, can you please tell us, who is it that the security organ in the
17 brigade is immediately subordinated to?
18 A. The security organ of the brigade command is immediately
19 subordinated to the brigade commander.
20 Q. When it comes to the brigade rules, in the Republika Srpska, was
21 it the basis for the commander to control and command the military police
22 and the security organ?
23 A. According to the documents that I analysed, the brigade rules
24 were the basis for the control and command over the security organs in
25 the brigade.
1 Q. Could you please explain the significance of the command over the
2 security organ within the framework of a brigade?
3 A. The significance of command over the security organ within the
4 framework of a brigade reflects in the fact that the function of security
5 in the brigade is implemented through command within the framework of the
6 regulations, and this is within the purview of the brigade commander, and
7 when it comes to security, the brigade commander has to deal with that
8 through the security organ.
9 Q. Thank you. In your testimony so far, you have explained the
10 terms of commanding a military police company and you said that it is the
11 commander of the unit on which strength the military police company is is
12 in command of that military police company. Is the same true of the
14 A. Yes. This is also true of any brigade.
15 Q. In professional terms, who commands the military company unit?
16 A. In the brigade, it is the security organ of the brigade, i.e. the
17 chief of the security organ in the brigade.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 3, line 15, in
19 my question, in professional terms, who controls, the word "control" has
20 been erroneously interpreted as "commands."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Let's proceed.
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. In your testimony so far, Colonel, you have explained the
24 instruction on the command and control of the security and intelligence
25 organ of the Main Staff which was issued on the 26th of October, 1994.
1 At this point, we will not need the document, but I have a question
2 relative to item 2 of this instruction. If you can remember the document
3 that I'm talking about?
4 A. Yes, I can.
5 Q. When you were testifying about item 2, you mentioned the state
6 security as well, in light of the command. Was that a mistake in the
7 interpretation or does the security organ have a certain role in the
8 command of something that concerns state security?
9 A. The security organ in the command is stipulated as the
10 professional organ for the affairs of state security, i.e., those affairs
11 that the state security as a whole performs within the civilian bodies,
12 and in the military organs, it is the security organ who performs those
13 duties in keeping with the rules and regulations.
14 Q. Another question relative to item 2: Could you please just
15 shortly summarise what are the activities in which the security organ has
16 full independence as prescribed by item 2 of the instruction? Would you
17 like me to jog your memory by showing you the document?
18 A. No, I don't need to see the document. It is very clear and it
19 has been said so far but I repeat, a security organ has full independence
20 in applying methods and tools used by the security organ within the
21 framework as prescribed by the rules of service of the security organ,
22 and by the instructions on the method of work of the security organ.
23 Q. Is this the only segment of the activity in which this
24 independence reflects?
25 A. Yes. This is the only segment which differs from other
1 activities performed by the security organ and other organs of the
3 Q. What about Mr. Drago Nikolic? What were his duties within the
4 counter-intelligence jobs as a security organ with regard to the rules of
5 the brigade that were at the time applied in the Army of
6 Republika Srpska?
7 A. The work of the security organ in the Zvornik Brigade consisted
8 of two different parts or fields. The first field was in the command as
9 a command organ for three groups of jobs and tasks. Those were the staff
10 security tasks, the tasks of controlling military police in professional
11 terms, and jobs arising from the law on criminal procedure in the face of
12 pre-crime -- criminal procedure. The second field was the field of
13 counter-intelligence and Drago Nikolic performed those in keeping with
14 the rules of service and the instruction on the methods and tools of
16 Q. In your testimony yesterday, you explained the aspect of security
17 threat in the Drina Corps. Could you please tell us which circumstances
18 had an impact on the security threat in the area of responsibility of the
19 Zvornik Brigade?
20 A. Within the framework of the jobs that I've just spoken about,
21 within the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, there were
22 several security threats which existed throughout the whole period of the
23 implementation of the brigade's tasks. Those were sabotage and terrorist
24 groups that were infiltrated in the area of the brigade's responsibility
25 and that represented a major threat to the brigade. Those were also
1 problems that prevailed within the brigade itself and the only thing I
2 want to say about those is this: In 1994, there were searches launched
3 for 3.369 persons from the brigade and for 821 persons and so on and so
4 forth. In other words, there is information testifying to that kind of
6 Q. Just a moment, Colonel. We'll come to that document. I would
7 like to follow up on your words so far and show you a document that
8 contains all the information that you have just tackled.
9 Could I please call document 5D265 in e-court? This is under tab
10 37, if you want to look at that document in hard copy.
11 This is in your binder 1, tab 37.
12 Colonel, this is a document issued by the General Staff of the
13 Army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was issued in Kladanj on the
14 28th of May, 1996. It contains a report on the delivery of ammunition
15 and materiel and technical equipment into the enclaves of Zepa and
16 Srebrenica. Under item 1, you can see the territory where this was done.
17 Was that the zone of the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. Yes. This was the territory of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. Could you please explain the abbreviation UBS and MTS?
20 A. UBS are lethal combat means, and MTS are materiel and technical
22 Q. Thank you. We will no longer need this document.
23 Let me go back to your testimony that you provided yesterday.
24 The pages of the transcript are 23237 and 23278 for my learned friends.
25 You testified about the vetting of volunteers who joined the VRS units,
1 which was a long-term task of the security organ in the corps. In order
2 to avoid showing the same document again, let me ask you this: Did the
3 security organ of the Zvornik Brigade had any tasks to carry out pursuant
4 to this document in April of 1995?
5 A. Yes, it did.
6 Q. What were the obligations of the security organ in the brigade
7 when faced with the problem of the reception of volunteers?
8 A. When faced with the issue of the reception of volunteers in the
9 brigade, they had to look at the situation in counter-intelligence terms,
10 in order to establish their true intentions and motives for which they
11 had volunteered to join the VRS. There were ample reasons to act in that
13 Q. I would like to call Exhibit number P2468 in e-court.
14 For you, Colonel, if that is easier for you, in hard copy, binder
15 1, tab 43. This is a document issued by the General Staff of the VRS on
16 the 20th of April, 1995. Two volunteers trained in the Foreign Legion
17 are sent to the VRS. What were the obligations of the security organ of
18 the brigade in case of the arrival of volunteers from a foreign state?
19 Was that an additional task imposed on the security organs?
20 A. I've analysed this document. The obligations of the security
21 organ in such cases were very serious and called for their full
22 engagement. There was a lot of ambiguities with regard to foreigners or
23 people of this profile, and the risk of accepting them in any of the
24 units was very high. That's why the security organ, for as long as they
25 were in the unit, it had to have a complete insight into their behaviour
1 and actions.
2 Q. Was that another task that the security organ of the
3 Zvornik Brigade dealt with in spring 1995?
4 A. Yes. This was one of the tasks of the security organ during that
5 period of time.
6 Q. And now I would like to call Exhibit P5333 [as interpreted] in
7 e-court. You have already testified about this operation yesterday but
8 my question to you is this: When we look at this document --
9 The number is wrong, 3033 is the right number. Thank you.
10 My question is this: Was this document sent to the chief of
11 security of the Zvornik Brigade who was supposed to deal with this issue
12 and this operative action?
13 A. Yes, it was sent.
14 Q. What were the obligations of the security organ of the
15 Zvornik Brigade with regard to this action?
16 A. Within the explanation that was provided yesterday about the
17 operative action, the obligations of the security organ of the
18 Zvornik Brigade were to use their sources of information and to apply
19 various methods of work in order to discover and collect any information
20 and any activity that might point to the indicators that concerned the
21 operative action Judas.
22 Q. Thank you. And now I would like to call document 3D342. It is
23 tab 21 in binder 1 for you, sir. I have to explain that we have not
24 received an official translation for this document. The Defence team has
25 translated just the first page in order to show the origin of the
1 document and I would kindly ask for page 15 in B/C/S and page 2 in
2 English. This is the report of the Zvornik Brigade for the period of
3 1994. Can we now move to the part concerning the security, security
4 support? Do you have that document in front of you, Colonel?
5 A. Yes, I have it in electronic form.
6 Q. My question to you is this: Could you please provide comment on
7 this document? Can you tell the Trial Chamber what is it about?
8 A. This document contains information and data on the briefing about
9 combat security for the period between the 1st of January, 1994, and the
10 31st of December, 1994. This document deals with the tasks and duties of
11 the security organ, in terms of the security support for that period.
12 There is a list of issues that were relevant for the command and for the
13 engagement of the security organ within the command function. The issues
14 contained in this document were varied, there were all sorts of
15 activities that came to the fore. It is highlighted here that the
16 counter-intelligence work occupied a very important position and it was
17 given a lot of significance. Obviously, in addition to just stating
18 that, we couldn't go any further in this document for obvious reasons.
19 Another issue is leak of information and everything concerning that.
20 Q. Thank you. Please look at the bottom part of the text in the
21 B/C/S, the paragraph which starts with the words, "In the past year."
22 A. Yes, I've found the passage.
23 Q. Was this the task that Drago Nikolic was occupied with in the
24 course of 1994 and 1995?
25 A. This question begs for a brief explanation. When we look at the
1 extent of the engagement of the military police on the tasks related to
2 searches, which partly fell within the remit of counter-intelligence
3 activities, then one can grasp the enormous extent of that job. There
4 were more than 10 searches for different individuals on a daily basis,
5 and these were men who were members of the brigade and of the various
6 units within the AOR of the brigade.
7 Q. Can we call up document 3D340 in e-court? Colonel, for you,
8 that's tab 20. This is a document of the Zvornik Brigade dated the
9 18th of March, 1995, and it's in binder 2.
10 The order was signed by the Zvornik Brigade commander. The order
11 has to do with the prevention of desertion and unauthorised abandonment
12 of post on the part of soldiers. Do you have that document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you kindly tell me what sort of activity of the security
15 organ is this and to whom was the security organ responsible for
16 completing this task within the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. When I was answering an earlier question on briefing, this is in
18 fact something that followed that particular briefing, which was the
19 prevention of desertion and unauthorised departure of soldiers from
20 units. The security organ and the military police had a great deal of
21 work in that regard. I've already said what the extent -- the scope of
22 the job and the substance was. The security organ was responsible for
23 these tasks to the brigade commander.
24 Q. Thank you. In the past couple of days, you've testified a great
25 deal about the activities and duties of the security organs and their
1 cooperation with various associates. I will show you a document that we
2 received two days ago from the OTP. It will be a new document for you.
3 And can we call up 3D444, please? This is a document of the security
4 organ of the Zvornik Brigade dated the 12th of May, 1994, signed by
5 Drago Nikolic. This is a conversation with one of the collaborators.
6 Can we please zoom in as far as possible? The Colonel can -- so the
7 Colonel can see. Thank you.
8 This document reads, "From conversations with collaborator Dragan
9 in addition to the data collected earlier on, we came by the following
10 intelligence." And then the text continues.
11 Colonel, was the identity of a source or a collaborator a secret
12 for the security organ?
13 A. The identity of a source is definitely a secret for third
15 Q. Does a security officer have sources within his own unit? Was it
16 possible for the Zvornik Brigade to have sources who were in fact
17 individual members of the brigade?
18 A. The security organ of the Zvornik Brigade had sources primarily
19 among members of their own unit.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us turn to a different document now, the number
21 is 3D436. For your benefit, Colonel, that's tab 6 of binder 2. This is
22 document dated the 6th of July, 1995. These were instructions of the
23 Main Staff on the work of the military police check-points. The
24 instructions were issued by the Drina Corps command, that's to say its
25 security department, and sent to chiefs of organs for these particular
1 activities, among others those of the Zvornik Brigade. Colonel, can you
2 please comment on this document and tell us what sort of tasks the
3 security organ of the Zvornik Brigade was assigned with after the
4 6th of July, 1995 as per this document?
5 A. The instructions belonged to the documents which regulated the
6 security regime in the territory of Republika Srpska within the
7 competence of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. The
8 instructions had to do with the work of military police check-points
9 according to a single criterion whereby, for the professional management
10 of the military police, it was the security organs who had that
11 responsibility and the instruction alerts to the fact that the tasks
12 performed by the military police had to be strictly carried out in
13 keeping with the requirements that were issued in earlier instructions
14 and orders, and reaffirmed new requirements that were being put in place
15 with regard to the control of movement of individuals and anything else
16 that came within the purview of a military police check-point, which was
17 quite extensive.
18 Q. Was this one of the documents, one of the instructions, which
19 aimed at providing professional guidance to the security organ?
20 A. The Main Staff stipulated in the instructions the responsibility
21 of the professional chain -- of the chain of command of the professional
22 organs for the responsibilities held by these professional organs.
23 However, it was the corps commanders and commanders at lower levels who
24 were made responsible for their work, the corps commander and the
25 commanders immediately subordinate to him.
1 Q. Thank you. In July 1995, when you were drafting your report and
2 looking at the documents from that period, did you make any inferences
3 about the activities of the military police and was it engaged in tasks
4 other than strictly military police tasks?
5 A. The military police was engaged in other tasks, not only in
6 military policing.
7 Q. Do you know which tasks were those?
8 A. The military police was engaged in combat as a combat unit that
9 was part of other Zvornik Brigade units.
10 Q. When the military police was engaged in combat, did this disrupt
11 the work of the 6th of July, 1995, instructions pursuant to which the --
12 according to which the professional security organ had certain duties to
13 implement and did this disrupt the work of the security organ?
14 A. Any departure from the strictly stipulated activities causes
15 disruption. In this particular instance, the situation was more complex
16 because of the specificity of the nature of activities carried out at the
17 check-points. They sought additional guidance. They also asked for
18 personnel with senior experience because there were problems which could
19 only be solved if there were men experienced enough in solving these
20 problems. This would be the basic explanation of the disruption that it
21 might have caused.
22 Q. When we are talking about the organisation of the security organs
23 of the Zvornik Brigade, in addition to the security chief, who else was
24 involved in the establishment of the security organ of the
25 Zvornik Brigade, to your knowledge?
1 A. In the Zvornik Brigade, as part of the security organ, there was
2 also the desk officer, Milorad Trbic, a captain by rank, who had some
3 duties to carry out which were those of the security organ of the
4 Zvornik Brigade.
5 Q. In terms of the situations that arose, which you came to realise
6 when you were reviewing the documents, did you see ever Drago Nikolic
7 having to depart from the duties that were strictly security organ duties
8 in the course of 1995?
9 A. In the documents I reviewed, I found information to the effect
10 that Drago Nikolic was assigned to carry out stints of duty as an
11 operations duty officer.
12 Q. According to the rules of service of the security organ, was the
13 security organ ever to be assigned on duty to the organs -- the internal
14 organs of the brigade or its units?
15 A. Rule 93 of the rules states quite explicitly that the security
16 organ should not be assigned to perform the duties of operations duty
17 officers for the needs of internal organs of a unit.
18 Q. And why is that, Colonel?
19 A. There are two reasons for that. First, item 48 or Rule 48 of the
20 rules stipulates that the competent commanding officer of a security
21 organ may issue the security organ or the security officer with tasks
22 which fall within his purview and which are not otherwise carried out at
23 the establishment post to which he has been assigned but only within the
24 remit that has been determined. The duty of an operations duty officer
25 and of an internal service of a unit went beyond the purview of the
1 duties of the security organ. That's why the Rule 93 strictly prohibits
2 them from being assigned to those posts because their very
3 responsibilities and duties are being called into question or jeopardised
4 when or if they are assigned to perform such duties.
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Can I just intervene for the
6 transcript? Page 14, line 20, we have the words "competent commanding
7 officer" whereas the witness said, "Senior officer."
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The term "staresina" is
9 sometimes interpreted as senior officer, sometimes as commanding officer.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This -- the term used was the
11 competent senior officer.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. In your testimony, that's page 23261, lines 3 to 25, you referred
14 to document 3D355. Can we call up the document, please? This is tab 38
15 of binder 1, for your benefit, should you need the document. I'll put
16 the question to you, since we've already discussed it. I hope you'll be
17 able to answer without consulting it again.
18 There, it was said --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Can Madam Nikolic please read slowly when
20 reading? It is impossible to interpret at this pace.
21 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You described there that the forces of the BH Army, by setting up
25 false radio networks and shelling Zvornik created the situation where
1 there was a possibility of the town being attacked on the 13th of July,
2 1995. My question is: What was the role of the security organ of the
3 Zvornik Brigade in such a situation as soon as they came to know that the
4 town could possibly be attacked on the 13th of July, 1995?
5 A. One of the tasks of the counter-intelligence work of the security
6 organ is to detect any and all indications of, as the rules state,
7 possible aggression, whereas for the Zvornik Brigade, that meant the
8 indications of a possible attack. The indications fell within the usual
9 assessment of the counter-intelligence service on the basis of which
10 Drago Nikolic had to take urgent counter-intelligence measures, in
11 accordance with the brigade rules.
12 Q. Thank you. In your yesterday's testimony, you commented upon a
13 number of documents with colleague Zivanovic, 1D698 for instance, 3D317
14 and so on and so forth. It had to do with the order on mobilisation at
15 the corps level but it had to do with the Zvornik Brigade. Do you need
16 to look at the document? Or can I proceed with putting my question to
18 A. You can put the question.
19 Q. As the chief of the security organ of the brigade, did
20 Drago Nikolic have the duty to apply brigade rules? This was in
21 mid-July, I believe it was the 15th of July, when mobilisation had to be
22 carried out?
23 A. It was the 15th of July at 9.25 in Zvornik to be precise. The
24 document of the Drina Corps concerning mobilisation were issued -- was
25 issued later. What I meant to say by this is the following: The first
1 body or individual who should have acted upon that mobilisation order was
2 in Drago Nikolic's hands. That was the first move that was taken by him
3 in relation to the defence of Zvornik. The situation dictated for him to
4 do everything in his power in order for the defence to be organised
5 smoothly, in particular, from the point of view of security and
6 specifically within the field of activity of Drago Nikolic. There were
7 specific obligations determined in the rules of mobilisation and we
8 commented upon them already.
9 Q. Before we look at another document issued by the Zvornik Brigade
10 in July 1995, I would like to ask something. Is it customary that
11 brigades issue their monthly plans of work which describe amongst other
12 things the work of the security organ and its tasks?
13 A. This is an obligation upon all the commands. They have to have
14 their plans of work that will govern them in the work and in the
15 performance of their tasks and duties.
16 Q. Could I now call for 3D443 to be put in e-court? For your
17 benefit, sir, this is tab 9, binder 2, page 7 in B/C/S, page 11 in
18 English. This is the plan of work of the Zvornik Brigade for the month
19 of July 1995.
20 Do you have the document before you?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Under bullet point 70 in chapter 6, the title is, "Security organ
23 or the organ for OB tasks." And then look at 77, this is where the tasks
24 performed by Drago Nikolic in the course of July 1995 are described.
25 Would you please be so kind and tell us what were the tasks that were
1 carried out by the security organ according to this plan in July 1995?
2 A. I will tell you just briefly because these are groups of tasks.
3 Bullet point 70, security vetting of persons. 71, briefing in battalions
4 and divisions. 72, security -- briefing of security organs when it comes
5 to security and intelligence. 73, work pursuant to the request of the
6 sectors of the security intelligence of the Main Staff, the department of
7 security and intelligence of the Drina Corps and other organs of other
8 units for security intelligence. The security processing of persons in
9 the territory and some details are provided. Work on the planning,
10 organisation and performance of military and professional training of the
11 military police company. And meeting with the military police company.
12 Those are the tasks of the security organ of the command of the
13 Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
14 Q. You have studied the entire document and we will not look at it
15 page by page. My question to you is this: The plan of the work of the
16 Zvornik Brigade for July 1995, does it envisage a task pointing to the
17 fact that Krivaja 95 operation was being prepared, that the tactical
18 group would be formed and sent out of the area of the brigade and that
19 prisoners of war would arrive at the territory of the brigade?
20 A. There are no such tasks in this plan. There is not even a hint
21 of any such possibility in this plan of work.
22 Q. Thank you. Let's go back for a moment to document P106. If you
23 remember, this is the preparatory order of the Drina Corps dated the
24 2nd of July, 1995. And also document P107, another order issued by the
25 Drina Corps, this time for the active combat, dated 2nd July, 1995. Do
1 you need the documents, Colonel, before I put a couple of questions to
3 A. You can put your questions without the documents.
4 Q. Based on these orders, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, in
5 July 1995, did he issue his own orders basing his orders on the order of
6 the Drina Corps for active combat?
7 A. Yes, he did issue his own order.
8 Q. Can we now please look at document P318 in e-court? Tab 41,
9 binder 1, for your benefit, sir. Is this the order, Colonel, if you have
10 the document before you?
11 A. I have the document, and this is the order issued by the
12 commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
13 Q. The date is 2nd of July, 1995?
14 A. Precisely so. I have omitted that from my previous answer.
15 Q. You've read this document, haven't you? And my question is this:
16 Does this document contain a part referring to security, prisoners of
17 war, war booty, which was something that the order of the Drina Corps for
18 active combat dated 12 July 1995 points to?
19 A. No. This is not contained, there is no such information, there
20 are no such tasks.
21 Q. Can you explain why?
22 A. The unit that was established from the strength of the
23 Zvornik Brigade performed its tasks out of the area of responsibility of
24 the Zvornik Brigade, outside of the area of defence of the
25 Zvornik Brigade. And by virtue of that fact, all the issues that you
1 just mentioned were dealt with outside of the area of responsibility of
2 the Zvornik Brigade and outside of the scope of authority of its security
4 Q. Thank you. When Tactical Group 1 left for Srebrenica which is
5 something this document points to, did something change in the security
6 and the tasks relative to the intelligence and security in the
7 Zvornik Brigade at the beginning of July 1995?
8 A. When a unit of such composition and strength left the area of
9 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, this required from the security
10 organ to carry out a new intelligence and security assessment because the
11 situation had changed to a great extent.
12 Q. What is the change reflected in?
13 A. It is reflected in two important issues. The first is the
14 departure of some of the troops that had performed tasks in the units,
15 some of which concerned the security regime that they controlled, and the
16 second would be the departure of some of the sources who provided
17 information to the security organ, some of them were collaborators of the
18 security organs. This left a gap in the area of responsibility of the
19 brigade in the part that they covered, and this had to be dealt in the
20 forthcoming period with reassigning the tasks of the security organ.
21 Q. Yesterday, you provided comment on document P3025. We can call
22 it up in e-court, if you wish. This is an order of the commander of the
23 Bratunac Brigade which was issued pursuant to the order of the corps for
24 active combat, P107. This order features item 10, concerning security,
25 war booty and prisoners of war, whereas in the order of the
1 Zvornik Brigade, this particular segment is lacking. Could you please
2 tell us why, why the orders of the subordinated commands were such as
3 they were?
4 A. The order of the commander of the 1st Bratunac Brigade dated
5 5 July 1995, and the order issued by the commander of the
6 Tactical Group 1, which was separated from the Zvornik Brigade, differ
7 because the Bratunac Brigade carried out combat activities in its own
8 area of responsibility and the issues concerning prisoners of war are
9 within the remit of the commander of the Bratunac Infantry Brigade. On
10 the other hand, leaving the area of responsibility for a territory
11 outside of the area of responsibility implies that these issues will be
12 dealt with in the territory where combat is taking place. This is the
13 first difference.
14 And the second difference is contained in the very order issued
15 by the commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. He deals with
16 the issues in the way stipulated herein, and if you need my comment, I
17 will gladly provide it as need be.
18 Q. We are talking about the 2nd and 3rd of July, 1995. What
19 happened with the rest of the Zvornik Brigade and the chief of security
20 of the Zvornik Brigade at the beginning of July 1995? Did he follow the
21 tactical group? Is he involved in Krivaja 1995 or did he have other
22 tasks and duties that he was involved in?
23 A. The security organ of the command of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade
24 remained in his area of responsibility, and worked according to the plan
25 that we have just seen, that had been issued by the command, and he dealt
1 with the problems that have been discussed and that would arise within
2 the ensuing period, in other words --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object. This is testifying as if he
5 is a fact witness on the ground. If he is testifying as to what he sees
6 in documents or what he has read as we have seen him thus far, I have no
7 objection, but there was no proceeding about that. He is now testifying
8 as if he is a fact witness on the ground telling us what Drago Nikolic is
9 doing. I think there needs to be a connection to something.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand you perfectly well. I think
11 Mr. McCloskey is right. Perhaps you can ask the colonel on what is he
12 basing the statements that he's just made in trying to answer your
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will
15 follow your guideline.
16 Q. Colonel, the description that you provided and the answers to my
17 questions, what are they based on?
18 A. I'm basing my answers on the analysis of the documents that was
19 provided to me and placed at my disposal containing, first of all, the
20 plan of work; second of all, the order of the commander of the
21 Zvornik Infantry Brigade in which Drago Nikolic did not leave the
22 territory of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. Thirdly, I'm basing my
23 answers on the fact that there is no single document testifying to the
24 fact that Drago Nikolic might have left the area of responsibility of the
25 Zvornik Brigade in that time. If that had been the case, this should
1 have been documented. These are the facts that I'm basing my conclusions
2 on. And they are the result of my analysis of the documents that were
3 made available to me while I was writing my report. Everything is based
4 on that and I don't have any other information testifying to the fact
5 that Drago Nikolic was not in the area of responsibility of the
6 Zvornik Brigade. The plan speaks about his work and what he did at the
8 Q. Thank you very much. Given the situation that prevailed in
9 Zvornik at the time, I would kindly ask the witness to be shown another
10 document which is P311. For you, sir, this is tab 10. This is the
11 record of the presence of the Zvornik Brigade for the month of July 1995.
12 Tab 10, binder 2, for you, sir.
13 Can we go to page 3 in B/C/S and page 2 in English in e-court?
14 Under 38, on page -- that you have before you, you can see the
15 name of Drago Nikolic. Can you see it actually?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. If we look at the 12th of July, could you please tell us what is
18 indicated there and what are -- is the meaning of the indications and
19 markings in these columns next to each of the names?
20 A. "Plus" denotes presence. "S" denotes off duty. And "T" denotes
21 field duty, which means that the person was on a field duty.
22 Q. If you look at the 12th of July, you will see the markings "S."
23 Would it be unusual for the chief of security to be off duty on the
24 12th of July, and for him not to be present in the brigade command?
25 A. There is no reason for this to be unusual, if that's how the work
1 on that day had been organised, and if the situation provided for that.
2 Q. According to the documents you studied, which events had any
3 impact on the security situation in the Zvornik Brigade after the 13th of
4 July, 1995?
5 A. Based on the documents I had at my disposal, I concluded, based
6 on several important situations which took place during the time you're
7 asking me about, the first one was the one we've discussed, which
8 continued, and that was the departure of the unit and the process that
9 the Tactical Group 1 was included in. The process of
10 counter-intelligence work had to develop in the direction that we have
11 already discussed. Therefore, I won't go into it again.
12 The breakthrough of the column from Srebrenica into the area of
13 the Zvornik Brigade was a new security-related event which created a new
14 security situation, in which Drago Nikolic had his tasks as the security
15 organ. The threat of an attack on Zvornik was an additional security
16 threat, and Drago Nikolic had his tasks pertaining to that as well.
17 There are also other regular tasks that Drago Nikolic was supposed to
18 carry out in keeping with the newly arisen situation and together with
19 the new tasks.
20 Q. Briefly said, based on everything you've said so far, what was
21 the degree of threat for the security of the command and facilities in
22 the territory of Zvornik on the 13th and 14th of July, 1995?
23 A. Based on the size and type of threat that could be ascertained,
24 one can talk about the presence of a total threat. In the document on
25 mobilisation and the request for commanders Pandurevic and Jolovic's
1 return there was a warning concerning a possible disaster.
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could I please ask
3 for a break at this moment before I move on to another topic? And I
4 believe my examination will be shorter than I announced.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break starting now. Thank
7 --- Break taken at 10.13 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
10 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. I would like to go back to the issue of POWs. In the past few
12 days during your testimony you mentioned the general mobilisation within
13 the framework of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could we please have
14 Exhibit 3D313 in e-court? It is your tab 47, page 2 in B/C/S and page 2
15 in English?
16 We have the document in front of us. Have you found it, Colonel?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. Can you tell us what this document is about?
19 A. On the 20th of June, 1992, a general mobilisation was declared in
20 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That meant that all military
21 conscripts were to report to their units under the conditions described.
22 We have discussed that so far. At the same time, in practice, as
23 illustrated by the example of Srebrenica, it meant that all military-aged
24 men, all conscripts, who were being escorted by an armed part of the
25 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were, to all intents and purposes,
2 Q. If I understood you well, that meant that they became members of
3 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well?
4 A. Once mobilised, they were deployed into various units, under the
5 control of the commands which had mobilised them.
6 Q. Could we next in e-court have document P196? I would now move on
7 to the topic of POWs. It is your tab 7 -- 70, binder 1. It is a
8 document by the security organ of the Drina Corps, the date is the
9 15th of April, 1995. The title is, "Escort of POWs." Are you familiar
10 with this document?
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 Q. Based on this document, who were those who were supposed to
13 implement this task that was issued by the Drina Corps to the security
14 organ? Who are those responsible?
15 A. There are two significant issues at hand. The first one is what
16 was the level that was responsible for the POWs. What they also need to
17 bear in mind was where these POWs were to be collected, held, and how
18 were they supposed to be treated as of the point of collection to or
19 through the process of escorting them to a higher command. That was the
20 scope of the work to be done. Professional security criteria was
21 provided, under which those locations were to be chosen and what criteria
22 had to be met. Those are the two issues.
23 Along the professional line of control, the security organs were
24 supposed to deal with the situation up to the level of battalion because
25 the battalions had security intelligence clerks, desk officers, who were
1 supposed to deal with these professional issues in the battalions to
2 which they had been assigned and in which they could have an insight into
3 how the task was being carried out.
4 Q. We will no longer need this document. Based on the documents you
5 studied when drafting your report, and exhibits, you are familiar with
6 the fact that at a certain moment a group of POWs was brought to the area
7 of Zvornik in July 1995. They were accommodated in various schools in
8 the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade. My question is this:
9 Did the security organ of the Zvornik Brigade, based on the rules of the
10 security organs have the right and duty to visit the facilities where the
11 POWs were housed. According to certain testimonies, Drago Nikolic was
12 seen in front of two schools in Petkovci, in Orahovac, where the POWs
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is leading.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to conclude
18 my question first.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What's your question? It still looks leading
20 to me, from what we have from lines 22 on the previous page until line 6,
21 page 27, but what is your question could help us decide.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: The answer is in the question, that's my problem,
23 on a sensitive spot.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't know what the question is so let's wait
25 to see what the question is.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to narrow it down to a
2 single question but I can go with open questions one by one.
3 Q. Colonel, when drafting your report and studying the documents,
4 did you learn that certain POWs were brought in the area of Zvornik?
5 A. Based on the documents I had at my disposal, there is information
6 that the POWs were brought in the environs of Zvornik, that is the area
7 of the Zvornik Brigade. There are several sources confirming that.
8 Q. Did you conclude from the sources what the facilities used to
9 accommodate the POWs were?
10 A. These were public facilities: Schools and the cultural hall or
11 the community hall in one or two cases.
12 Q. Do you know whether these facilities were in the settlements or
13 outside of the settlements?
14 A. Given their original purpose, such facilities were usually in the
15 centres of settlements, to be equally accessible to all of the residents
16 to the extent possible.
17 Q. If there was a number of POWs in the territory of a unit
18 encompassed by the Zvornik Brigade and its security organ, does the
19 security organ have an obligation to gain an insight into the situation?
20 A. Accommodating a number of POWs in the situation -- in the
21 security situation as it was in the area of the Zvornik Brigade,
22 represented a new security fact that the security organ had to bear in
23 mind when performing his tasks, since that could have posed a potential
24 threat for the command and the units of the brigade.
25 Q. Based on the organisational composition of the security organ of
1 the brigade, based on the rules of the brigade and the rules of the
2 security organs, was Drago Nikolic as the security organ of the
3 Zvornik Brigade capable of doing anything to prevent the POWs being
4 accommodated in the various schools?
5 A. Having in mind everything you've mentioned and having in mind the
6 rules governing the work of security organs, the security organ had no
7 impact on the decision whether the POWs would be distributed across the
8 area of responsibility of the brigade and concerning which facilities
9 will be used.
10 Q. Did you come across a single document which would point to the
12 A. In the operational combat documents I used to arrive at my
13 conclusions, there was no information which would testify to the contrary
14 of what I've just said.
15 Q. Could we please show the colonel document 3D352 next? It is a
16 Zvornik Brigade document of the 25th of August, 1995 -- excuse me, the
17 24th of August. It is your tab 24 in binder 2. Do you have the
18 document, Colonel?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Did you study this document when drafting your report? If you
21 did, could you please tell us what it entails?
22 A. I did study it, from the point of view of security, it was not of
23 any particular interest for me when making my conclusions.
24 Q. If we look at line 4 of the document, it says, "The exchange was
25 supposed to take place in the region of the village and chief security
1 was appointed on behalf of the command for the control of the
2 above-mentioned activity." What was the activity concerned and why was
3 the chief of security appointed for that?
4 A. This was a humanitarian issue of family reunification. That part
5 of work by its nature does not fall under the remit of the security
6 organ. However, if there was an estimate that there were some
7 security-related issues involved in that, a commander could have ordered
8 the chief of security to be represented, to take part in the task.
9 Q. We will not be needing the document any longer. Thank you.
10 Can we now have another document, which is P3425? For you,
11 Colonel, that's tab 8 of binder 2, the one you have before you now.
12 This is a piece of intelligence, admittedly from 1993, signed by
13 Drago Nikolic. Colonel, please read the document through and if you're
14 familiar with it, please tell us what it's all about.
15 A. At the time of the drafting of the document, the
16 Zvornik Infantry Brigade had, as part of its -- the same establishment,
17 the security intelligence structure performing two sets of activities,
18 namely, security-related activities and intelligence-gathering
19 activities. This particular document relates to the intelligence branch
20 and that's why it's titled, "Intelligence," in fact. At the time, this
21 fell within the competence of the structure, the chief of which was
22 Drago Nikolic. The document points to the activities aimed at gathering
23 intelligence and developing measures to counter the activities involved.
24 I won't go through the document itself. I think it's quite self-evident.
25 Q. Colonel, does this have to do with the use of communications in
1 the brigade?
2 A. It has primarily to do with the use of communications, because
3 the intelligence gathering was primarily focused on the means of
4 communications and information that could be gathered through those
6 Q. Based on the documentation you studied, do you know when it was
7 that the security organ and the intelligence organ split to form two
8 separate, independent structures or organs?
9 A. The security organs of the VRS, or the security and intelligence
10 organs of the VRS, were separated pursuant to an order dated the 13th of
11 January, 1995, and these organs were separated down the chain of command.
12 The intelligence organ became part of the staff of the headquarters, and
13 the security organ was a separate structure that was immediately
14 subordinated to the brigade commander.
15 Q. Thank you. Can we call up document 3D319 in e-court? That's tab
16 78 of binder 1. This is a document of the Drina Corps dated the 23rd of
17 June, 1995. Do you have the document before you?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Can you tell us what the document is about, who sent the
20 document, and to whom?
21 A. This is a document of the Drina Corps command, specifically from
22 the department for intelligence and security tasks, dated the 23rd of
23 May, 1995. I conclude that it's -- the number there is 5, that's to say
24 May, but it may be 6, I'm not sure, but definitely the day is the 23rd,
25 and the year 1995. It was sent to the chiefs of intelligence and
1 security of subordinate units, and I'll not go into them but among them
2 is the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. The document relates to the discipline
3 in radio communication, and the top headline is, "Observation." By its
4 nature, the document is similar to the one we've looked at a moment ago.
5 Q. To what extent were the subordinate organs duty-bound to act upon
6 a document titled, "Observation"?
7 A. This is a document providing guidance, and any organ is
8 duty-bound to conduct a security assessment in one's own unit pursuant to
9 this particular observation, and to take measures that fall within one's
10 purview and propose them to the commander, in keeping with the rules
11 governing confidentiality and secrecy of documents and communications.
12 Q. Thank you. Based on the documents we've just looked at, and
13 specifically this one concerning observations about radio communications,
14 can you tell us, as an officer who has a specialty in communications,
15 would a chief act in contravention of such observations and orders and
16 disclose information that was secret, that's to say that 1.000 POWs would
17 be sent into the area from the VRS Main Staff?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Colonel. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That is calling for speculation. If
20 he wants to say according to the rules, but for him to go into whether he
21 would or would not as an expert witness is complete speculation and
22 not -- does not call for his expertise, whether someone would break the
23 rules. How does he know anything about that?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, do you wish to comment on that, Ms. Nikolic?
25 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] One point, Your Honours. I will
1 rephrase the question. However, in view of all the documents and the
2 witness's experience, I believe that the colonel would be able to answer
3 the question.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see how the rephrased question looks like.
5 Then we check with the colonel to what extent he can answer the question
6 without speculating.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel, would a security officer act in breach of his own
9 instructions and observations received from the superior command?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can say --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's exactly my point. Anybody can do
14 anything, and his expert opinion -- he could say what the results might
15 be of someone not following their own orders but this is just pure
16 speculation. Do people do things that are wrong? Do people do things
17 that are inconsistent? This is what the Court is here to decide. We
18 don't need him to tell us that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Let me consult with my colleagues,
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We agree with the position taken by Mr. McCloskey,
23 so please move to your next question. We feel we are -- we don't need
24 the witness to tell us what you are seeking to get from him, Ms. Nikolic.
25 So let's proceed with your next question, please.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one -- I do not -- just to clarify I do not
3 have an objection to this witness saying why it would be stupid or
4 counter-productive or something to not follow one's own orders. That I
5 don't have a problem with.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I also think that we don't need the -- I think it
7 stands to reason. It doesn't need an expert to draw some conclusions.
8 Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In view of my learned friend's position, I will put this one
11 question to you: How important is it to follow one's own orders and
12 instructions governing communication?
13 A. First of all, own orders are drafted on the basis of the
14 knowledge of the issues for the purpose of which the order is issued, and
15 with a view to resolving problems out in the field.
16 Secondly, in drafting one's own orders, the person involved must
17 be well-informed about the issue at hand in order to be able to inform
18 others. This was important in every branch of military activity but
19 particularly so in the field of security. One needs to be well-informed
20 on matters concerning which one provides assessments and further
21 guidance. That would be my answer to your question.
22 Q. Was part of the responsibility and obligation on the part of
23 Drago Nikolic the issue of ensuring security and safe communication?
24 A. The job description of Drago Nikolic stated that he had to
25 prevent leaks of secret military data. All the possible leaks of such
1 information fall within the competence of Drago Nikolic to prevent those,
2 as far as his security position and the command he worked at allowed him
4 Q. Thank you. Was this in a way a critical moment in the month of
5 July 1995?
6 A. As can be seen, this issue was important throughout the period.
7 However, there were situations which required special attention to be
8 paid to that particular issue, and when the requirement for confidential
9 military intelligence not to be leaked was particularly pronounced.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could Ms. Nikolic please speak into her
11 microphone? Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, if you could speak into your
13 microphone, because the interpreters are complaining.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
15 apologise to the interpreters once again.
16 Q. Yesterday, you testified, and this was at pages 23250, 23251 of
17 the transcript, in answer to my learned friend Zivanovic's questions,
18 about a document which I'd like to be shown again, and that's P131. This
19 is a document from General Tolimir dated the 13th of July, 1995. Do you
20 have the document, Colonel?
21 A. I know the document, Madam Nikolic.
22 Q. Let's read the last sentence. "It will be best if this were a
23 new group," and they are referring to prisoners, "which has not been in
24 contact with the other prisoners of war."
25 Can you tell us, in the context of the document as a whole, and
1 from a security perspective, what this particular sentence means?
2 A. This comes from the part of the instruction issued by the
3 ministry, namely, item 14 of that instruction, which stipulated that POWs
4 can be talked to in order to obtain intelligence useful for the purposes
5 of the VRS. General Tolimir is directing everyone's attention to that
6 point and states that it would be best, from that particular point of
7 view, to regard that group as possibly a new source of information which
8 could be arrived at by the security and intelligence organs, because if
9 they had already been in touch with the POWs, from whom they could have
10 learned what the security organs already came by, in terms of
11 intelligence, this would be a way of painting the whole picture and of
12 double-checking whether all the information gathered from the POWs was
13 accurate. The underlying purpose was to arrive at new intelligence
14 rather than arrive at intelligence that had already been gathered.
15 Q. I would like to go back to a few issues and a few questions that
16 I would like to ask you about the military police. Could you please tell
17 us who commands a military police company?
18 A. A military police company is commanded by the commander of the
19 military police company, and all the principles of command apply to his
20 command as they do in all the other units of the Army of
21 Republika Srpska.
22 Q. And who is the immediate commander of the commander of the
23 military police company?
24 A. The commander of the military police company in a brigade is
25 subordinated to the brigade commander, directly or via the security
1 organs, and this is something that will be decided upon by the brigade
3 Q. Colonel, why is it important for the brigade commander to be in
4 command of the security organ of the brigade?
5 A. This is important because the function of the security organ is
6 intended for the protection of the brigade, and the brigade commander is
7 responsible for the brigade, save for its -- for the part that refer to
8 the methods of work of the security organ. And this is something that we
9 have already discussed.
10 Q. Is there a principle of command in the JNA which is generally
11 known and this is exactly how it is entitled in the military terminology?
12 A. There are two key principles that need to be discussed. One is
13 the unity, singleness of command, and subordination.
14 Q. My question to you is this: Can the security organ use the
15 military police unit in accordance with the gravity of the task? In
16 other words, he can use the military police unit for minor tasks without
17 consulting either the commander or the person standing in for the
18 commander at any given moment?
19 A. When it comes to the function of command, there are no minor or
20 major tasks. The command function implies the assignment of tasks, their
21 execution and control. There are no minor or major tasks, therefore.
22 With this regard, the security organise did not have the right to use
23 military police for any task without seeking prior approval by the
25 Q. What is the nature of relationship between the security organ and
1 the military police with regard to POWs?
2 A. The overall nature of relationship between the security organ and
3 the military police is purely professional. The security organ is in
4 relation to prisoners of war when this task is given to the military
5 police, and the role of the security organ and its task was as a
6 professional organ for the control of the military police, which means
7 this: The military police is provided with professional guidance from
8 the point of view of its purview, its tasks, and the information gathered
9 with that regard and tell them how to carry out the tasks in a more
10 efficient way and those tasks are the ones for which the military police
11 is trained to perform them in a military professional sense.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I would like to put a question to
13 the witness that stems from the testimony of a protected witness.
14 Therefore, I would kindly ask the Court to move into private session to
15 avoid revealing the identity of that protected witness by accident.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. Let's go into private session for a
17 short while, please.
18 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He dealt with the subject matter quite extensively
10 when he was being examined by Mr. Zivanovic, so if you can avoid -- if
11 you have of course new questions and areas on the same subject matter
12 that you would like to explore, please, by all means go ahead.
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Colonel, according to the instruction on the application of the
15 rules of service, what is the role of the MP commander with regard to the
16 function in the brigade, if there is anything that differs with the role
17 from the corps?
18 A. A company commander commands the military police unit. It is
19 responsible for its overall condition, combat readiness and the
20 performance of its tasks and either to his superior directly or through
21 the security organ, he proposes the use of the military police unit.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to call
24 up Exhibit 3D435 in e-court.
25 Q. This is tab 28, binder 2. This is the plan of the security
1 measures of the command of the Zvornik Brigade, and its title is,
2 "Stit 95."
3 Did you ever see this document, sir?
4 A. Yes. I have analysed it.
5 Q. This plan contains measures and activities segregated into three
6 segments, in the brigade command, in the units, and in the territory of
7 the brigade, i.e., in the zone of responsibility, if I'm not mistaken.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I would kindly ask you to look at the measures and activities
10 under A, pages 2 and 3 in B/C/S, as well as in English.
11 There are columns with titles, measures and activities, person
12 responsible, time lines, deadlines and so on and so forth. According to
13 this document, could you tell us, when it comes to the measures of the
14 brigade command, which measures and activities is independently
15 controlled by the chief of security in cooperation with the commander of
16 the Drina Corps?
17 A. Those are measures and activities under items 6 and 7 of the
18 plan. Furthermore, items 8 and 9, where the chief of OB defines his own
19 tasks. These are the security organs and the others pertain to the chief
20 of the security organ. I've already spoken about the difference between
21 the two.
22 Q. Just a moment, please. We have a mistake in the transcript.
23 Page 40, line 7, [In English] In cooperation with the commander.
24 [Interpretation] He said in cooperation with the superior security organ.
25 A. The issue of coordination -- of cooperation with the superior
1 security organ has to be corrected. The guidance is provided by the
2 guidelines of the cooperation with superior organs of security.
3 Cooperation is -- develops with neighbours.
4 Q. Sir, what is this document?
5 A. This document represents the foundation for the engagement of the
6 security organ of the command of the Zvornik Brigade and the chief of the
7 security organ of the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
8 Q. Judging by the title page, it is in effect in 1995, or it was in
9 effect in 1995, if I'm not mistaken.
10 A. Yes. This document refers to the security measures so-called
11 Stit 95. The specific activities of the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
12 Q. Can we now go to page 4 of the same document? Bullet points from
13 5 through 7, I believe. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, your microphone, please.
16 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. My mistake. Can we
17 please see page 6?
18 Q. Colonel, could you please explain for us, looking at page 6, what
19 is this document about?
20 A. Page 6 defines and determines the activities, i.e., the
21 obligations, that stem from the territory of certain participants in
22 providing the security regime that is prescribed for that territory.
23 Q. Thank you. And now can we please go back to page 5, measures and
24 activities in the units. Under bullet point 12, Colonel, can you explain
25 the meaning of bullet point 12?
1 A. Bullet point 12 describes the situation when the military police
2 performs the tasks -- the task of escorting and securing prisoners of
3 war. The security organ is involved with professional cooperation.
4 That's how it was defined because there was no other column, but the
5 meaning and the sense of the professional role of the security organ is
6 defined in no uncertain terms and it is quite obvious who is the one who
7 commands and controls is the commander and the military police is the
8 executor when this is specially provided for by a special order.
9 Q. Bearing in mind -- and we will no longer need this document, I
10 thank you. Bearing in mind the importance of the security tasks, as
11 you've described them in your testimony, would it be expected from the
12 brigade commander to consult his security organ upon his return from Zepa
13 in order to prepare himself for the major threat that the Zvornik Brigade
14 was facing?
15 A. The chief of the security organ is subordinated to the commander
16 and the commander could, at any point in time, request from him to submit
17 his security assessment and to propose measures that would bear upon the
18 command and to issue him with a task within his authorities in the area
19 of security.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
22 questions for this witness. This has brought my examination-in-chief to
23 an end. Colonel, thank you very much.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic. It seems like you're going
25 to have an extra day, Mr. Ostojic. You are going next?
1 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
3 MR. NIKOLIC: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic?
5 MR. NIKOLIC: By your leave, the colleagues from the Defence team
6 for Mr. Gvero kindly asked us that they proceed before us and we agree.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I was coming actually to you first, but
8 I understood that to be the case when I saw Mr. Krgovic standing. Yes,
9 Mr. Krgovic?
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
11 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Colonel.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic and on behalf of the Defence for
14 General Gvero I will put several questions to you in relation to your
15 testimony here so far. I will do my best to formulate my questions so
16 that your answer can be as short as possible, this to save you from
17 having to spend too much time testifying here, and to save time, of
19 The interpreters alerted me to the fact that I need to come
20 closer to the microphone.
21 Colonel, in your testimony so far, you referred to numerous rules
22 and regulations of the Yugoslav People's Army, which were used in the
23 VRS. I will show you one of the documents now, namely, 6D305.
24 Can I have the usher's assistance? I have a hard copy for you.
25 This is a methodical manual for military and police training.
1 Can you turn to page 121 of the B/C/S and 209 -- or, rather, that's page
2 2 of the English translation.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I kindly ask my
5 colleague to provide me with a list of documents he's going to use?
6 Because I've received nothing of the kind.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Has the Prosecution received a list?
8 Yes. Are you discriminating against the Miletic Defence team?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I think that a list was sent to the
10 case managers of all teams.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but usually Madam Fauveau is pretty much
12 correct in her statements. So do we have a copy that we could hand to
13 her straight away without --
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You're going to get one. Thank you. Let's
16 proceed, please. Have you got it, Ms. Fauveau?
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Not yet, but we may proceed.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Let's proceed then.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Colonel, the document indicates that when transporting POWs, one
21 has to take extra care to separate officers and common soldiers who had
22 not been interrogated from the ones who have, and to have them
23 transported in segregated groups, is that something that you were able to
24 glean from the document?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I will show you another document, 6D304. [In English] Mr. Usher,
3 [Interpretation] This is the methodology of the combat training
4 of the military police. Please, I direct to you page 176, and page 2 --
5 or rather, sorry, 346, that's page 2 of the English translation.
6 These were the regulations used also by the VRS in the period of
7 time you testified to, do you agree?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now look at document P131, please.
10 A. Which document?
11 Q. It will appear on your screen. That's the document providing
12 information from General Tolimir. My colleague, Jelena Nikolic, read out
13 the last sentence of the document to you. The rules that I've shown you,
14 do they fit into that last sentence? Is that the meaning of that
16 A. I stated the reasons earlier, and they are in fact contained in
17 the document, which means that they are consistent, both from the point
18 of view of the rules and of the action taken by General Tolimir.
19 Q. The latter part which refers to the use of the POWs for farming,
20 do you know was there in force a regulation in the Republika Srpska at
21 the time which stipulated that the POWs may be used for certain farm work
22 or farm work in general?
23 A. There were the instructions for the treatment of POW, of the
24 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska, and item 10 specifically
25 speaks of their use of the POWs for farm work. Now, the international
1 conventions governing the treatment of POWs also provide for the
2 possibility to use them for farm work unless this is related with any
3 combat activities of the detaining party.
4 Q. Colonel, do you see anything in that document that would be
5 contrary to the rules and regulations in force in the territory of
6 Republika Srpska at the time the document was made?
7 A. Sir, there is nothing in this document that is contrary to the
8 regulations that should have been adhered to.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Colonel and Mr. Krgovic, please don't
11 overlap. That's number 1. And secondly, both you, please, if you could
12 slow down a bit. Thank you.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Colonel, can you please look at document -- or, rather,
15 Exhibit P36? My learned friend Zivanovic had questions for you
16 concerning this document, and you commented upon the first part
17 especially, which refers to the movement and composition of the armed
18 groups on their way to Tuzla and Kladanj. What is your understanding of
19 this section of the document? The way I understood you, and let me
20 summarise it, this is some sort of a caution for the units out in the
21 field to be aware of the dangers and threats lurking from them, if my
22 understanding of your testimony and the document here is correct.
23 A. All the documents which relate to tasks that are being issued to
24 subordinated units contain information about the enemy, specifically when
25 it comes to the implementation of combat assignments. What we have here
1 is very specific information about the enemy, which points to the
2 problems and the tasks that the individuals responsible have to carry out
3 and they were specified in this document as we can see.
4 Q. From the point of view of the regulations you referred to, is
5 there anything in this order that would run counter to the norms and
6 regulations in force in Republika Srpska at the time?
7 A. This was an obligation that was in accordance with all the
8 regulations stipulating how the enemy is to be assessed and analysed.
9 Q. What about this particular part of the document, wherein it is
10 stated that, among the armed groups, criminals and villains can be found?
11 A. It is quite clear on the basis of the document that specific
12 caution is given to them in the situations requiring the disarming of
13 these individuals.
14 Q. And this is just a caution and not an invitation to engage in
15 lynching or retaliation?
16 A. As I said, this is part of the task issued. The words "combat
17 activity" is used and weapons. We know what this is all about, in
18 combat. We know what happens to those who lay their arms down and what
19 happens to those who continue engaging in combat.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's listed as a question when it was
25 really an answer. "And this is just a caution and not an invitation to
1 engage in lynching or retaliation." I'm pretty sure that was an answer.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, definitely.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It was a question.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] That was a question. That was my
5 question. That wasn't the answer.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I thought I heard the witness say
7 that. Maybe I've been listening too long.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's been cleared. Now, thank you,
9 Mr. Krgovic. Who is going next? I'm calling on the Beara team.
10 Mr. Nikolic?
11 MR. NIKOLIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Nikolic:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vuga.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. My name is Predrag Nikolic and I'm a lawyer for the Defence team
16 of Mr. Ljubisa Beara. Let me put several questions to you concerning the
17 security administration, in view of the fact that Mr. Beara himself
18 discharged certain duties in that sector. In the system of the
19 organisation of the VRS, the security administration was an organ of the
20 Main Staff, was it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. By virtue of its position it was the highest professional organ
23 of the VRS in terms of the professional management of security organs?
24 A. That was its role and task.
25 Q. Can this role be summarised down to the main functions:
1 Counter-intelligence activities, professional management of security
2 organs and of the military police?
3 A. Yes. These are its basic functions.
4 Q. As an organ of the Main Staff, the commander of the Main Staff is
5 the one who directly commands over the security organ?
6 A. The commander of the Main Staff commands directly over the chief
7 of the security administration.
8 Q. So he is under the command of the Main Staff commander; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We said that the security administration was the highest
12 professional organ managing subordinate security organs. Am I right in
13 saying that in -- the security administration performs this role of its,
14 through instructions and directions?
15 A. Item 93 of the rules of service stipulates that the
16 administration or, rather, the administration chief is the one who shall
17 interpret the rules of service and provide more detailed instructions,
18 which means that that is its function.
19 Q. In view of the nature of the instructions and explanations, can
20 these enactments coming from the security administration be regarded as
21 administrative enactments?
22 A. These are not command enactments, they do not fall within the
23 field of commands, but they are binding instructions to those who fall
24 within that professional category.
25 Q. So they are not commanding enactments, but they are binding in
1 terms of professional management?
2 A. They are binding so far as they relate to the issues with which
3 an individual has to deal with.
4 Q. Professional management also encompasses the professional
5 management of the military police, does it not?
6 A. The professional management mentioned herein also encompasses the
7 professional management of the military police of the Main Staff of the
9 Q. In what way is the professional management of the military police
10 of the Main Staff exercised?
11 A. The professional management of the military police of the
12 Main Staff is exercised through a certain organ of the security
13 administration who deals with the military police affairs. He, in turn,
14 is under the command of the chief of the security administration.
15 Q. When we are talking about this professional control, am I correct
16 if I were to say that the security administration achieves this by
17 planning and through authorised bearers, performs the supply of the
18 military police by -- with weaponry, equipment, drafting the training
19 plan, and the programme of combat training?
20 A. The security administration is the tactical bearer of equipping
21 military police and the professional cadre, in terms of training. It
22 organises and resolves other questions except deciding on the use.
23 Q. This is the moment to return to a question which was put by my
24 colleague, Ms. Nikolic, regarding the use of military police, and I
25 conclude from your testimony that the security organ never can order the
1 use of military police but can only suggest or propose certain measures
2 to the commander.
3 A. The security organs, in relation to the military police, does not
4 have the right to order and issue assignments. They don't have the right
5 of command.
6 Q. When we are talking about the military police unit that is
7 attached to the Main Staff, then we have in mind the unit that was part
8 of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment?
9 A. Yes. That was a military police unit of the Main Staff of the
10 Army of Republika Srpska which was part of the regiment.
11 Q. Was one of the assignments and the subject of the work of the
12 security organs also cooperation with the civilian authority organs,
13 specifically the Ministry of the Interior?
14 A. These questions are regulated by regulations, and particularly in
15 Republika Srpska this sphere has been specified in more detail through
16 special documents and instructions of the President of Republika Srpska,
17 between the Main Staff and the Ministry of Interior.
18 Q. In other words, this cooperation cannot proceed directly between
19 the subordinate organs of the MUP and the security administration, but
20 only through the Main Staff and the appropriate staff within the
21 Ministry of the Interior?
22 A. There are certain questions that can be dealt with directly in
23 cooperation with certain structures of the Ministry of the Interior, but
24 these things are resolved pursuant to regulations on mutual cooperation.
25 Q. I would like to ask you now to clarify the meaning of two terms,
1 the terms of "prisoners" and the term "detainees." Please, can you,
2 based on your long years of work in that area, can you define these two
4 A. The term "prisoners" is defined by regulations on the application
5 of rules of international laws of war and the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
6 These are members of enemy forces who have the status of prisoners of war
7 and who are under the authority of the force that captured them. They
8 have been disarmed and have stopped putting up resistance. As for
9 detainees, these are persons who have the status under the law on
10 criminal procedure and in relation to them, they are treated in the
11 manner prescribed by the law on criminal procedure.
12 If we are talking about prior criminal proceedings, these persons
13 could be detained, they could be taken into custody, and be treated
14 pursuant to the appropriate regulations of the organs.
15 Q. When we are talking about prisoners, in your practice of many
16 years, have you ever heard of the term "live tongue"? And if you have
17 heard this term, "zivi jezik," can you explain its meaning?
18 A. The term "zivi jezik" has been used for a long time as -- well,
19 in terms of its meaning or as a concept, implying that it's a bearer of
20 certain information who is in the position of being able to speak of
21 them, to tell them. That would indicate that. But it's used more in
22 jargon. It's not something that is an official term that would define a
23 prisoner of war.
24 Q. Yes. It is a colloquial expression and as you said yourself, it
25 refers to a person belonging to the prisoners of war category or group.
1 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to define it as precisely as that
2 because "zivi jezik," live tongue, is not a completely defined term so I
3 could not take that to mean a member of the prisoner of war group.
4 Q. Can we define that as a person from whom the security organ
5 receives useful or necessary information from the aspect of
6 counter-intelligence or intelligence services?
7 A. In replying to this question of yours, I would rule out the term
8 "zivi jezik," live source of information, because it's not a clear
9 definition in that sense.
10 Q. Let us come back then, to the area of responsibilities of the
11 security organ within the Main Staff.
12 We talked about instructions, directives. Does the security
13 administration, through its organs, and in immediate contacts out in the
14 field, perform its function?
15 A. The security administration is the one that assesses the form and
16 the manner of implementation it would apply in a given situation for the
17 purposes of professional control and so that the expert instructions and
18 requirements are implemented. Therefore, going out into the field,
19 direct influence and everything else would be a method of the operation
20 of the security administration.
21 Q. So this calls for the security administration to be in constant
22 contact throughout the whole territory?
23 A. The security administration has jurisdiction over the entire
24 territory of the Army of Republika Srpska and where this army is carrying
25 out its tasks.
1 Q. As part of the implementation of these assignments, the security
2 organs are using certain methods and means. Please, would I be correct
3 if I were to say that when using methods, the commander of the unit is
4 the one who makes a decision on this? He's the sole person making this
5 decision? But if means are used, this gives the possibility that the
6 security organ decides for itself about the means?
7 A. No. There is a crucial difference here. By applying methods of
8 work, in the work of security organs, this is done pursuant to the rules
9 on methods of work. There are four methods of work that the security
10 organ applies independently and without any special authorisation. As
11 for the rest, they only are applied once they are proposed and on the
12 basis of received authorisation from the authorised senior officer who
13 was in the Army of Republika Srpska -- actually, in the Army of
14 Republika Srpska, he would be the commander of the Main Staff of the Army
15 of Republika Srpska. As for the means, operative technical means, of the
16 security organs, their application is authorised as part of the methods
17 of work that those means are planned for. So I apologise, there is a
18 difference there between applying the methods, which methods, and the
19 application of operative and technical means within those given methods.
20 Q. And finally, Mr. Vuga, based on your long years of experience and
21 the analysis which you made in reference to the functioning of the
22 security organs in Republika Srpska, would I be correct if I were to say
23 that based on all that was said, it can be concluded that there isn't and
24 there does not exist a parallel system of control in the Army of
25 Republika Srpska?
1 A. As for this question, I'm going to answer in accordance with the
2 explanations that I provided earlier, and that is professional control is
3 set up along the vertical line, such as -- the same as command. It's a
4 vertical line. However, command was a single thing executed along the
5 line of command, and command is based on singleness of command. There
6 cannot be parallel command. This would then interfere and disrupt the
7 system of command, if such a case were to exist. Professional control is
8 set up along the vertical line whereby the security organ of the superior
9 command in the professional sense would control the security organ in the
10 subordinate command. It's not a question of a parallel chain of
11 authority, power and command, but about professional linkage into a
12 functional whole in order for information to flow, the information is
13 specific, and in order to issue directives that are not commands or
14 orders but they are to a sufficient degree requests for the army to be
15 protected, in terms of counter-intelligence matters.
16 MR. NIKOLIC: Mr. Vuga, thank you. Your Honours, I have no
17 further questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
19 Mr. Lazarevic?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. After reconsideration,
21 we decided not to cross-examine the witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau is not cross-examining.
23 Mr. Haynes?
24 MR. HAYNES: Yes, I think it's been an hour and a half since the
25 last break. Should we take a break now?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. By all means. We'll have a 25-minute
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just one thing. My guess is
4 Mr. Haynes will take the rest of the time but perhaps if he doesn't,
5 could I ask that the cross-examination start on Monday, just -- this is
6 radically, my cross-examination, radically faster than we had expected
7 and my guess is there won't be much time anyway.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not going to commit myself first and my
9 colleagues either before hearing Mr. Haynes.
10 MR. HAYNES: I can't promise that I'll fill the day. I'll take a
11 little while. I think we were all a little taken aback by the speed of
12 Ms. Nikolic's cross-examination this morning.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will come back to you later on,
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 --- Break taken at 12.16 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Haynes.
18 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
20 Q. Well, good afternoon, Mr. Vuga.
21 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Haynes.
22 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions on behalf of
23 Vinko Pandurevic, and after that, I think you'll be free to enjoy your
24 weekend. I don't think I'm going to be very long but bear with me and it
25 will be over for today, I think. I'd like to start by going back to the
1 beginning of your evidence. You retired from military service in 1992;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes.
4 Q. And I couldn't discern this from your curriculum vitae, do you
5 remember precisely what month it was?
6 A. My active service in the army of Yugoslavia stopped on the 30th
7 of September, 1992.
8 Q. Thank you very much. And for the last period of your active
9 service, you were engaged in the education of security officers; that's
10 correct, isn't it?
11 A. In the last period of my service, I was the assistant chief of
12 the security administration of the army of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Thank you. The security service within the army of Yugoslavia
14 was comprised of specially trained and qualified operatives; is that
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And that's quite literally at all levels, not just the security
18 organs themselves, but members of the security organs and the military
19 police received special training to work in those particular areas?
20 A. That's correct, Mr. Haynes.
21 Q. And in order to achieve advancement within the security service,
22 you had to, as it were, put in the time and pass the exams?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were involved in training, yourself, were you not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And was that training of military policemen and security
2 operatives at every level?
3 A. There was a separate education for the military policemen and it
4 was separate from the military operatives, but not at all levels.
5 Q. Thank you. And part of the training and the qualification
6 process, did that involve an understanding and a knowledge of the rules
7 of service and the rules that related to the security organs?
8 A. Yes. That was part of the compulsory curriculum.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, you've read an awful lot of material in
10 preparing your report, but has your research led you to discover how many
11 professional or trained security officers there were in the
12 Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. My research was based on the analysis of combat preparedness in
14 1995 -- 4, that we have discussed during my testimony. It says in those
15 documents that 50 per cent of the security organ members in the
16 Zvornik Brigade were fully trained in equipment and that the remaining 50
17 per cent were being trained on the job in the Zvornik Brigade itself.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of the appropriate level of seniority
19 and qualification for the position of chief of security within a brigade,
20 did you ever, within the JNA, come across a second lieutenant holding
21 that office?
22 A. The issue of the JNA and appointment in the JNA is much too broad
23 an issue for me to be able to give you a precise answer. In principle,
24 there were no such cases, unless those were something that went beyond
25 the prescribed principles.
1 Q. Thank you. And have you discovered what training and
2 qualification of security officers was taking place within the Army of
3 Republika Srpska generally, between 1992 and 1995?
4 A. I did not have any documents that would help me drive at a
5 conclusion, and I did not dwell upon that issue because that issue was
6 not a specific part of my research.
7 Q. Well, that's very fair of you to say so and I'll take that no
9 At the conclusion of your cross-examination by Mr. Peter Nikolic
10 just now, you were asked about the existence of parallel chains of
11 command. You gave a very long answer and I'm going to put this to you:
12 Isn't it the case that the question of what authority unit commanders had
13 to give orders to security organs was a very difficult problem even
14 within the JNA?
15 A. Within the JNA, this was a much lesser problem, if this is what
16 we are talking about. I did my research within that area and my
17 conclusion would be somewhat different.
18 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you to look at a document now I don't
19 think you have seen before. And I don't have a hard copy binder for you
20 so you're going to have to look at the screen, Mr. Vuga, I'm sorry. It's
21 7D483, please.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: If counsel has any more documents that he intends
23 to use, I don't believe we received any notice.
24 MR. HAYNES: I believe you have.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart I think --
1 MR. HAYNES: Ms. Stewart is normally right but ...
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have a spare copy that can be handed over?
3 MR. HAYNES: I don't believe it's ever been printed but I think
4 it can be transmitted very shortly.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't need to delay, thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
8 MR. HAYNES:
9 Q. Can you see that document, Mr. Vuga?
10 A. Yes, I can, Mr. Haynes.
11 Q. And have you had the opportunity to read it through in your own
13 A. Not yet, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to look at the
14 entirety of the document.
15 Q. Yes, of course. Well, let me know when you've done that.
16 A. I've read the document, Mr. Haynes.
17 Q. And can you tell us what the document is?
18 A. This document is an order sent to the unit commanders, but it
19 refers to the command of the 17th Corps.
20 Q. In which army?
21 A. There is no signature but I believe it is clear that the
22 17th Corps was part of the JNA. Now I have the signature. The commander
23 of the 17th Corps is what is indicated on the stamp, and this is indeed
24 the JNA in 1992.
25 Q. Yes. And would you agree that, as it were, that the basis of
1 that document is very similar to the instruction of October 1995 that we
2 saw relating to the Army of Republika Srpska, namely, that unit
3 commanders are being reminded of their authority in relation to security
5 A. There is a similarity, but I have to go back in providing my
6 answer so as to make you understand what I'm talking about. This is
7 1999, ^ the month of February, and it says here, as of lately. And I was
8 with the JNA between 1956 and 1992, for 36 years in total. My answer
9 cannot be based on the document dating back to the month of February, to
10 the moment when I left the army. The period is far too short for me to
11 arrive at a -- at any conclusions about such a long period during which
12 these occurrences had taken place.
13 Q. I see. But you will have seen many such orders, and I want your
14 assistance, really, with the second paragraph and the first sentence of
15 it. It reads, in English, "Unit commanders are not authorised for the KO
16 tasks of the security organs." How do you understand that?
17 A. Mr. Haynes, I've already tackled that in my previous answers and
18 provided sufficient explanation. This means that by applying methods of
19 work, in keeping with the guidelines, this is what the commander of the
20 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska is -- approves, and in this
21 case this was the Federal Secretary for National Defence or a person
22 authorised by them. Nobody else has the right to decide upon his
24 Q. Thank you. So is that another way of saying that there was a
25 large area of the work of the security organs in which they were
2 A. There was room strictly provided for by the rules, and in that
3 area, there was absolute control. Independence was only in the part
4 where you were supposed to find the most adequate source of information
5 and to apply the adequate methods. Everything else was under the strict
6 control of the professional organs.
7 Q. Thank you very much. And you would agree with that document,
8 would you, that in that area, the unit commanders had no authority?
9 That's what it said.
10 A. I don't have to agree with the document. The document is what it
11 is and it is self-explanatory.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, when you retired, your boss in the JNA would
13 have been the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, wouldn't it?
14 A. My boss, at the moment when I retired, was the chief of the
15 security administration of the army of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Who answered to the Minister of Defence?
17 A. Yes. He answered to the Minister of Defence.
18 Q. And that was quite unlike the chiefs of all the other organs in
19 the Yugoslav National Army, wasn't it?
20 A. I did not dwell upon the issue of other organs answering and to
21 whom, but I know how I answered to and to whom. I answered to my chief
22 within his area of responsibility.
23 Q. No, but you've come here to give evidence as an expert about, as
24 it were, the structure of the security service within the JNA and the
25 VRS. What I'm putting to you is that the security service in the JNA had
1 a different boss to answer to to the rest of the Yugoslav National Army,
2 didn't it?
3 A. Sir, could you please repeat your question? Because I'm not able
4 to draw any conclusions as to what my answer may be.
5 Q. Yes. Within the Main Staff of the JNA, there was a department
6 for security and a department for intelligence; do you agree with that?
7 A. In the Main Staff of the JNA, there was a department for
8 security, which was, in professional terms, subordinated to the security
9 administration. That existed in the General Staff rather than in the
10 Main Staff. The name was the General Staff of the JNA, while I was a
11 member of the JNA. And the security administration was an organ of the
12 Federal Secretariat for National Defence. It was an independent
13 administration, and its chief was answerable for his work to the
14 Federal Secretary for National Defence.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Doesn't seem to have covered the aspect of
17 intelligence, however.
18 MR. HAYNES: No.
19 Q. Can we come on to intelligence? Who did the intelligence
20 department answer to?
21 A. The intelligence administration was part of the General Staff.
22 Q. So -- and that's, as it were, true of all the other organs of the
23 army that we've seen, isn't it? The security department had ultimately a
24 different head to the rest of the army; do you agree with that?
25 A. Sir, the correct answer would lead us to the structure of the
1 armed forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. What is
2 missing is a very important concept of the armed forces of the Yugoslav
3 army and what they consisted of. This is just one part thereof.
4 Q. Well, I'll move on. I may come back to that.
5 Of course, in the VRS, the security and intelligence services
6 were united in the Main Staff for functional reasons; do you agree with
8 A. The Army of Republika Srpska functioned in accordance with the
9 conditions under which it was formed and the tasks that it was supposed
10 to perform. So the intelligence and security functions followed that
11 until the 13th of January, 1995.
12 Q. And that meant, for example, in all units of the army, save for
13 certain brigades and the Main Staff, there were separate sections for
14 intelligence and security?
15 A. From the 13th of January, 1995, onwards, and this is the relevant
16 period for our considerations, the intelligence function as one of the
17 very important operations functions was affiliated with the command
18 staffs of those units where it was an integral part of the staff, whereas
19 security was in the hands of the commander as the immediate superior
20 officer to the security organ.
21 Q. Now, can we move on, please, to a document I know you've probably
22 seen many times, but there are some questions you haven't been asked
23 about it, and that's P2741, the instruction of October of 1994.
24 Do you need to read it again, Mr. Vuga, or is it a document
25 you're very familiar with?
1 A. I am familiar with this document, but it will largely depend on
2 your question whether I have to go in any depth because of the
3 terminology and other issues.
4 Q. Firstly, the preamble, the very first paragraph, "Lately,
5 frequent problems, failures and irregularities have been registered in
6 command and control over the security and intelligence organs at all
7 levels." Did your researches lead to you discover what problems,
8 failures and irregularities this document was referring to?
9 A. I have spoken about that in answering Mrs. Nikolic's questions.
10 The problems that are stated herein are sufficiently big enough to prompt
11 the issuance of this document. I did not research any other problems
12 because they were within the Army of Republika Srpska in other units and
13 at other levels different to those that I took into consideration.
14 Q. It's probably my fault, Mr. Vuga. What I meant to ask you was
15 whether you had identified any specific problems that had caused this
16 instruction to be written.
17 A. The period preceding this instruction, and the causes for its
18 issuance, were not a subject of my research.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, can we go to the first paragraph? And it's a
20 small issue but the paragraph there describes how the security and
21 intelligence organs are to divide their tasks, and it talks about 80 per
22 cent of their total engagement and 20 per cent of their total engagement.
23 In your experience, how was the engagement to be quantified?
24 What was it referring to?
25 A. I've already spoken about my experiences and I will repeat just
1 one part that is of some significance here. I was a member of the
2 research team which was supposed to establish the status of the security
3 system in the JNA, which preceded the drafting of the rules and the
4 underlying idea was to find the best solutions for engagement, command
5 and control. It was established at that time, with scientific methods,
6 that this relationship was optimal when the security organs are engaged
7 at about 75 per cent level in counter-intelligence. In this instruction,
8 this percentage has been increased to 80 per cent. I understood that.
9 We researched the tasks and problems that occur in peacetime, whereas the
10 problems that this instruction refers to arose from the state of war.
11 That's why the ratio had to be changed, in order to provide for the level
12 of efficiency that was mandated by the assessment at the time.
13 Q. Again, probably my fault, but 80 per cent of what? Manpower?
14 A. 80 per cent of the capacities that could be employed, and I'm
15 speaking about those who had the authority to work.
16 Q. Thank you. Can we look, please, at paragraph 2 briefly? And I
17 want to look at the second half of that paragraph. So the -- there you
19 And you'll see that it says, "Furthermore, all members of these
20 organs and services are authorised by law to act and work on tasks from
21 their field of work analogous to the authority of the members of the
22 Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior state security department."
23 What does that mean?
24 A. In my report, there is one part which expressly says that the
25 security organs have five authorities that they can exercise in their
1 line of duty. This was regulated for in the law on the Interior of
2 Republika Srpska, and the rules on counter-intelligence activities
3 pursuant to an approval of the security organs and their application in
4 accordance with the criminal law procedure. I explained that this was
5 individual authority proven upon the presentation of an ID that is issued
6 to individual security officers and is non-transferrable. I mentioned
7 these authorities expressly in my report in order to specifically state
8 the authorities of security organs.
9 Q. Was this an authority which extended the authority of those
10 people who worked within the security organs of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska? In other words, what could members of the
12 Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior state security department do
13 that a security officer within the Army of Republika Srpska couldn't?
14 A. If the authorities are identical, then there could have been no
15 difference. It reads that they hold the authorities of the organs of the
16 interior affairs of the state security department. So those were the
18 Q. Do you know whether they were different or not?
19 A. My answer indicates that there was no difference.
20 Q. You'll forgive me this comment, there doesn't, therefore, seem to
21 be much point in putting it in the instruction, does there?
22 A. Mr. Haynes, I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
23 Q. Anyway, can we now go on to paragraph 4, which relates to
24 telegrams and mail? Is that paragraph in front of you, Mr. Vuga?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes.
1 Q. The second paragraph of paragraph 4. Is the position thus that
2 the chief of security and possibly the Chief of Staff within a brigade or
3 other unit would be privy to security or intelligence information which
4 was deliberately denied to the commander?
5 A. Mr. Haynes, let us make a distinction between intelligence data
6 and security-related data. The difference is significant and emerged on
7 the 13th of January when these structures were separated. This means
8 that intelligence was sent to the brigade headquarters, and
9 security-related information was sent to the security organ. They were
10 treated differently, apart from being separate. When it comes to
11 information falling within the field of counter-intelligence activities
12 of the security organ, according to the rules that I've already
13 explained, they did not fall within the jurisdiction of the brigade
14 command, either from the point of view of how the activities were carried
15 out, nor in terms of the information that was conveyed and that dealt
16 with precisely these tasks.
17 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Vuga, but can you indicate to me where in that
18 paragraph the sort of information that's being conveyed is divided? It
19 says, "All telegrams and mails of the members of the security and
20 intelligence organs shall be delivered exclusively to them personally and
21 no other organs of the command, including the commander, have the right
22 to inspect their contents." So where is the subject matter of the
23 communication divided in that paragraph?
24 A. This paragraph was in force as such until the 13th of January,
25 1995, whence it ceased to apply. This period was very important for me
1 to see how the security organs worked. The rest was in terms of the
2 establishment quite self-explanatory.
3 Q. Can we move on to paragraph 5, please? Again, the second
4 paragraph of that, about personnel policy. And firstly, can you explain
5 to me what you understand to mean by the phrase, "Members of these
7 A. Members of these organs meant that these were senior officers and
8 individuals who were admitted into the organs mentioned herein under
9 special criteria and posted to the establishment posts at which they were
10 supposed to carry out their duties in accordance with the regulations.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Can we go down two paragraphs, please, to
12 the fourth paragraph of that section, "Unit and institution commanders
13 may pronounce stimulative measures, punishment and other measures for
14 members of these organs only with obligatory consultation of the first
15 superiors in the service."
16 Who is the first superior in the service, in your opinion?
17 A. The first superior in the service is establishment-wise,
18 designated upon his appointment into the service. In the
19 Zvornik Brigade, that was Drago Nikolic for Milorad Trbic; and for
20 Drago Nikolic, that was the professional organ, Vujadin Popovic, chief of
21 the security department of the command of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. So according to your understanding of this provision, in this
23 instruction, what could a brigade commander do to a member of the
24 security service of his own initiative by way of stimulative measures or
1 A. To answer your question, the brigade commander could look at the
2 entire work of the security organs and, having assessed that, he could
3 pronounce an incentive. In that process, he was assisted by the
4 professional organ, and he provided Drago Nikolic with the sufficient
5 information that would enable him to decide whether to issue incentives
6 or other measures.
7 Q. Again, probably my fault, but a brigade commander could not
8 directly punish his chief of security without obligatory consultation of
9 the corps chief of security, could he?
10 A. In my view, the brigade commander is the individual who assesses
11 the entirety of the work of his organs. According to that ratio of
12 engagement, the 20 per cent should be quite familiar to him, whereas the
13 80 per cent, as prescribed, meant that he had to follow-up on the line of
14 engagement. It's in that area that I see the answer to the question as
15 to what he could have done.
16 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you the same question. Look at that
17 paragraph again, Mr. Vuga. Where is the type of work that it refers to
18 divided? This relates to the entire performance of his task, doesn't it,
19 if you read that instruction properly?
20 A. I'm a bit puzzled now. I'd like -- I should like to understand
21 this fully.
22 Q. Yes. Well, please take the time to read paragraph 5, and in
23 particular, tell me if you can see in that paragraph which relates to the
24 unit commander's power to pronounce stimulative measures or punishment,
25 any distinction between counter-intelligence and other work.
1 A. No other type of activity or task can be compared to
2 counter-intelligence activities. I spoke about that when I dealt with
3 secret covert activities and methodology. This is something that is not
4 done by others, and that's why the specific nature of this work compared
5 to others is manifested also in the way these tasks and the personnel
6 involved are managed.
7 Q. Let's go to paragraph 7, please. Again, in relation to the chief
8 of security within a brigade, who is the first superior organ for
9 security and intelligence affairs?
10 A. The commander is the superior officer to the security organ. So
11 the brigade commander is the superior officer to Drago Nikolic.
12 Q. You are saying, are you, that your construction of this document
13 is that the brigade commander is the first superior organ for security
14 and intelligence affairs to the chief of security? I want to be clear
15 that we are not confused here.
16 A. There is some confusion here, sir. I spoke of the superior
17 senior officer, whereas you're referring to professional management, or
18 professional control, and these are two separate categories that must be
19 kept separate.
20 Q. I'm only taking the words from the document, Mr. Vuga. In
21 paragraph 7, there is a reference to the first superior organ for
22 security and intelligence affairs. In relation to the chief of security
23 of a brigade, who is that?
24 A. Sir, there is this one word that hasn't been followed through.
25 It's the control of professionalism, so control of professionalism. It
1 mustn't be left out. So the superior officer to Drago Nikolic was
2 Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic, in terms of that control of
4 Q. Thank you. And what do you understand by the phrase, "Monitoring
5 the legality of work"?
6 A. This was mentioned. What the term means is that Drago Nikolic
7 had to consistently and, strictly speaking, adhere to the regulations and
8 laws governing his counter-intelligence activity, in particular in terms
9 of covert information. In exercising that, there was no arbitrariness.
10 He had to move within the limits prescribed by the law, and never go
11 beyond that. He could not exercise his independence or creativity
12 Q. Again, and I've asked you this question twice before Mr. Vuga,
13 where in paragraph 7 do you see any distinction between
14 counter-intelligence work and any other sort of work that a member of a
15 security organ might have carried out?
16 A. Sir, the term of specialty or professionalism has to do strictly
17 with the duties of the security organ in particular counter-intelligence
18 activities. That was the job. The rest was the activities where other
19 persons were the ones who were responsible for the activities and the
20 security officers were participants in those activities.
21 Q. Now you've referred earlier in your evidence today to the
22 principle of unity of command. Would you agree that within that
23 principle, the only person who could warn a brigade commander about his
24 conduct was his immediate superior, the corps commander?
25 A. The notion of warning, as you use it, is unclear to me. Warning
1 as a disciplinary measure is one thing, and alerting somebody to a
2 problem in order to overcome it is quite a different matter.
3 Q. That's a fair point, Mr. Vuga. I mean warning as a disciplinary
4 measure. The only person who could warn a brigade commander as a
5 disciplinary measure, if there was truly unity of command, was the corps
6 commander; is that right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Could we have P176 into e-court, please? Have you seen this
9 document before?
10 A. No. No, sir [as interpreted].
11 Q. Take your time and have a look at it then, would you?
12 A. I'm familiar with the document.
13 Q. It's a document addressed to the commander of the
14 503rd Motorised Brigade?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, yes, Ms. Nikolic?
16 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 72, line 17, the
17 answer from Mr. Vuga was not correctly entered. He answered in the
18 affirmative as having seen the document.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
20 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Madam Nikolic.
21 Q. It's a warning of a disciplinary type to the commander of the
22 503rd Motorised Brigade, from whom?
23 A. First of all, in order for the warning to be of a disciplinary
24 nature, we would have to find in the dossier of this commander the same
25 warning as a disciplinary measure. This is merely a document which
1 alerts to the fact that a violation of the regulations was committed and
2 it's a reprimand stating that this should not happen again. The
3 disciplinary measures are entered into the personnel file so that they
4 can be tracked down and so that a record can be kept of the individual
5 against whom the disciplinary measures were applied.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: If you go on like this, Colonel, you're going to be
7 here forever. The question was a very simple one. Basically, who is
8 issuing this warning or warning? Who is the person issuing this warning?
9 That was the question. And if you look at the document, there is
10 Major -- maybe Momcilo Pajic. Who is he? Who is that person?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have the obligation
12 to distinguish between the warning and a proper disciplinary measure
13 because this is now being lumped together with disciplinary measures and
14 it is not a disciplinary measure. That's number 1.
15 Number 2, the warning is in accordance with item 25 of the rules
16 of service of the security organs and relates to the violation of the
17 confidentiality of protected documents. The powers were overstepped by
18 the officer involved, and the officer is being warned about this fact and
19 the fact that it should not be done again. So it's not a disciplinary
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You've still not answered the question. The
22 question was: Who is this person who is signing and sending out this
23 document? Who is he? Major Pajic, who is he?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies. Major Pajic is the
25 representative of the security organ of the superior command, of the
1 command superior to the individual to whom the warning is addressed. He
2 acts on behalf of the chief of the security organ of the superior
4 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
5 Q. And could you look at paragraph 1? And in particular the last
6 sentence, and explain to me how it is consistent with a system of unity
7 of command that a brigade commander provides a declaration on keeping
8 secrets to his own assistant?
9 A. The command is based on the application of regulations and laws
10 which the commander is authorised to apply. There has been a violation
11 of regulations here in the part stated herein, and as a result of the
12 violation of powers that were vested with the commander, item 25 of the
13 rules of service provides for an intervention to be made in such a
14 situation. The commander's powers were overstepped in this particular
16 Q. I want to move on to another document now, which is P3033,
17 please. You've seen this before. This is the order relating to the plot
18 called Judas, concerning the apparent plan to assassinate General Mladic
19 or General Tolimir. Do you remember that?
20 A. It's not "or," it's "and" General Tolimir.
21 Q. And do you agree that this is one of those communications that is
22 sent in such a way that the brigade commander would not see that
24 A. This document could not have been seen by anyone other than the
25 security organs.
1 Q. Thank you. And it's obviously a very important order; do you
2 agree with that?
3 A. This is not an order. It has the nature of a professional action
4 led by the security administration and approved by the commander of the
5 Main Staff of the VRS.
6 Q. I'm not going to split hairs but we will go to the body of the
7 order. "In this respect, take the following measures during visits by
8 these persons," et cetera, "take measures for physical security and
9 counter-intelligence security." Taking measures for physical security of
10 a visiting general would have been pretty much routine security work,
11 wouldn't it?
12 A. This refers to the application of measures in order to provide
13 immediate security and the broader security, or the so-called security in
14 the depth. How complex that job would be would be dictated by the
15 location where it is done.
16 Q. And paragraph 2, "Inform all security orders in your unit of the
17 ordered assassination on a need-to-know basis in order to collect
18 information related to this case."
19 I'd like to ask you your expert opinion on this. Let us just
20 suppose for one minute that General Mladic or General Tolimir or both of
21 them had gone to the area of a brigade and had actually been assassinated
22 through a lack of proper security. Given that the brigade commander
23 never saw this instruction or order, what responsibility would he have
24 borne for that?
25 A. Although your question is very hypothetical, the brigade
1 commander would not have dealt with issues like this. These issues are
2 beyond the scope of his methodology of work, of his powers, and
3 everything was done to prevent the hypothetical situation that you
4 portrayed. Everything was done in order to prevent such a murder.
5 Q. But do you agree that he had no responsibility for what the
6 recipients of this document were supposed to do?
7 A. This arises from the document. The document is limited to the
8 security organs. Those who were not privy, who did not act upon it,
9 could not bear any responsibility for anything that is contained in it.
10 Q. And this is typical of many of the orders or instructions or
11 professional commands which a security organ in a brigade would have
12 received without the knowledge of the brigade commander, isn't it?
13 A. You have to omit that term "command." There is no way you can
14 fit the term in here in any way. Those are professional instructions, to
15 provide people with information, to carry out their tasks to the best of
16 their abilities and knowledge, within the instructions provided to them.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do you have much more, Mr. Haynes?
18 MR. HAYNES: Very, very little. But probably too much to ask you
19 to sit on because Mr. McCloskey has got to go anyway. I don't mean to
20 leave, he's got to cross-examine the witness yet. So I'll probably have
21 five or ten minutes on Monday morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, we will give you a rest,
23 Colonel Vuga. We will continue on Monday at 9.00 in the morning. Thank
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of July,
2 2008, at 9.00 a.m.