1 Monday, 7 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody, and good morning to you,
7 Madam Registrar. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-05-88-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. All the accused are here. I
12 think we are full -- no, we are not full house. I don't -- yes, we are
13 full house. Mr. Sarapa is behind the column. Prosecution, it's Mr.
14 McCloskey and Mr. Mitchell.
15 The witness is here as well. Good morning to you, Colonel.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Today we are going, hopefully, to finish with your
19 Mr. Haynes, you still had a few minutes to go.
20 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning.
21 WITNESS: PETAR VUGA [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Vuga, good morning to you. I've just got a few more
25 questions to finish off with, and I'm going to start by asking if you
1 could be shown P707 in e-court; English, page 9; and B/C/S, page 8.
2 Mr. Vuga, you've seen regulation 7 before, and you might recall
3 Judge Kwon asking you a few questions about who might be somebody of
4 equal or higher ranking military rank to the army commander, but let's
5 just look at that section together: Military police may not be used to
6 perform duties outside of their needs and tasks unless authorised by the
7 army commander or an equal or higher-ranking military officer.
8 The question I want to ask you is rather different, which is, in
9 your view would that authority have to have any formality? In other
10 words, would it have to be in writing, or would it be sufficient that,
11 for example, an acting commander were informed by his security officer
12 that these instructions came from the very top?
13 A. Mr. Haynes, the acting person who was given authorisation to be
14 able to decide about this matter, that is to say that the military police
15 can be used and deployed outside its regular functions, does not get that
16 authorisation from the security organs but the senior officer down the
17 chain of command starting with the army commander, and this authorisation
18 depending on the circumstances in which it is issued can be orally given
19 if the situation is of an urgent nature, but this kind of authorisation
20 is in principle granted in written form so that it can set up precisely
21 the terms and what it refers to and the duration of the authorisation.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vuga. That's very helpful.
23 Can we now, then, have a look at 1D1078 in e-court, please. And
24 I'd like you to look at the first page so that you can recall the
25 document, and then we will have a look at the end of it.
1 Is that clear enough for you, Mr. Vuga? Can you see that
2 document on your screen?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes. It is legible.
4 Q. And I think Mr. Zivanovic showed you this document sometime last
5 week. It's a report from the command of the 5th Military Police
6 Battalion of the Drina
7 A. Yes, sir, I do recall that.
8 Q. And have you seen many other such reports at Drina Corps level
9 from the command of the Military Police Battalion?
10 A. Well, "many" is a flexible term, so I can't really answer that.
11 What do you mean by "many"? How many?
12 Q. That's a fair comment. Can we go to the second page? I just
13 wanted to know whether from your observation it was standard practice in
14 the Drina Corps for reports of the Military Police Battalion to be
15 addressed only to the chief of security and the Chief of Staff, not the
17 A. Judging by the way in which the military police was under control
18 and command, it was through the security officer that they had to go to
19 the commander. I have no other information. The Chief of Staff was
20 informed of the activities because they -- this involves combat action
21 and of course that to the operative part of the staff, they had to take
22 note of it. Now, as to the Chief of Staff, this is not in contravention
23 to cooperation between the security organs and the Chief of Staff when it
24 comes to this type of report. However, the commander must necessarily
25 have had a report of this kind as well.
1 Q. Thank you. Can we now move on quickly, please --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. If the commander is not listed as one
3 of the addressees or one of the recipients, how would he come into
4 possession of such a report?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had to have received it from the
6 security organ.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Or directly from the
9 commander of the unit of the military police. So there are two
10 possibilities for that: One, that the commander of the military police
11 directly reported to him; or that the report was -- reached him through
12 the security organ.
13 MR. HAYNES:
14 Q. Are you just guessing as those possibilities, Mr. Vuga?
15 A. Those are the prescribed ways and duties in which this had to be
17 Q. Well, forgive me, prescribed where?
18 A. It was regulated and prescribed in the instructions for applying
19 the rules of service within the military police, where deployment is set
20 out, as well, and this also implied this kind of information system and
21 reporting system.
22 Q. Very well. I'll leave that there. I'm coming to my last small
23 topic, and I'd like to have a look, please, at 3D396; B/C/S, page 40; and
24 English, page 48.
25 This is a diagram or schematic that you drew as part of your
1 report in this case. I dare say you recall it, Mr. Vuga.
2 A. Yes, sir, I do recall it.
3 Q. And before we go any further, the Zvornik Brigade was an infantry
4 brigade, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes, an infantry brigade.
6 Q. Thank you. And the manner of drawing this diagram is quite
7 standard. The solid lines are intended to denote lines of command,
8 aren't they?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes. They are the lines of command.
10 Q. And the broken lines are intended to denote lines of functional
11 or specialist control?
12 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes. Those lines are called, according to the
13 regulations, the lines of control in the professional sense.
14 Q. Now, it's your opinion, isn't it, that the military police in an
15 infantry brigade are commanded indirectly by the commander of the brigade
16 through the chief of security?
17 A. This schematic or diagram shows otherwise. The commander
18 commands the military police directly. It is subordinated to him, as is
19 the security organ. The commander can choose via the security organ to
20 accomplish certain assignments in which there would be space and need for
21 professional management and guidance of the military police and
22 professional supervision over the execution of the tasks assigned to the
23 military police, and once again, based on choice he can directly issue
24 assignments to the commander of a unit of the military police.
25 Q. Well, this isn't the first time you've given evidence before this
1 Tribunal, is it?
2 A. No, it is not the first time, Mr. Haynes.
3 Q. And the schematic I've put up on the screen is not the first
4 report you've ever written for the purposes of giving evidence before
5 this Tribunal?
6 A. No, it is not the first report, Mr. Haynes.
7 Q. I wonder if we could have in e-court, please, 7D952; page 29 in
8 both English and B/C/S.
9 You can see the first page there. This is the previous report
10 you wrote for the Vukovar case, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, Mr. Haynes. That is that report.
12 Q. For those of us who are reading it in English, we will have to
13 read page 29 and then go over to page 30. So if the English page could
14 be moved forward a little bit now. And I chose the words from this
15 report to put to you that it was your opinion that in an infantry
16 brigade, the military police is subordinated to the brigade commander
17 indirectly, i.e. via the chief of the security organ. Do you not still
18 agree with that?
19 A. Mr. Haynes, what you've just shown us is not an infantry brigade.
20 It is a guards motorised brigade, motorised guards brigade, which is
21 different on all counts from a classical infantry brigade. So the
22 schematics cannot be compared because the functions were quite different.
23 Q. Well, let's have a look, then, please, at the same document
24 7D952; page 73 in the B/C/S; 90 in the English.
25 I think the page is wrong in B/C/S, but it doesn't matter. We'll
1 just look at it in English, please, if we can turn it the right way
3 It says in the bottom right-hand corner of this diagram, which
4 you drew for a report you wrote two years ago, that this is a schematic
5 of the composition of the infantry brigade. So it's not a guards
6 brigade. This is the composition of an infantry brigade. And can you
7 see that in this diagram there is no direct line of command from the
8 commander to the military police unit, and there is a solid line denoting
9 command from the security organ to the military police unit. Do you see
11 A. What we should see here, Mr. Haynes, is what infantry brigade it
12 is here because the solutions were different and decisions were different
13 because the composition of the cadres of the staff within the command of
14 the brigade and communications was defined by the size of the tasks in
15 hand. So all this corresponds to a specific brigade because the rules
16 governing brigades envisages several types of brigades and caters to
17 several types.
18 Q. Well, you've already agreed with me, Mr. Vuga, that the Zvornik
19 Brigade was an infantry brigade, and this is your schematic for the
20 structure of an infantry brigade. So that's answered that question,
21 hasn't it? I just want to know why you drew this diagram in 2006 and a
22 rather different diagram when you came to write your report for this
24 A. Well, fairly different. That isn't quite right. It's different
25 only with regard to the possibilities of command and control over the
1 military police, and this is in accordance with the regulations.
2 According to the regulations, you can command and control the military
3 police directly or through the security organs. So this "or" isn't
4 excluded in this version, either, this alternative. It only depicts a
5 given situation at a given point in time. There is an "or" here too, an
6 alternative. Without changing the definition, you can include this
7 possibility because this is a possibility for a commander, and it is also
8 a commander's right.
9 Q. Mr. Vuga, thank you for your time. I've got no further questions
10 of you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey?
12 Colonel, you're now going to be cross-examined by the
14 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I need the
15 assistance of the usher.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
19 Q. Good morning, Colonel.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Tapuskovic, is that the same
21 dossier the witness had when he was being examined in direct by you or by
22 your colleague?
23 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. These are the
24 same documents that the witness had in the course of his examination or
25 in the course of the examination-in-chief, but if necessary the
1 Prosecution can check the documents.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I just asked the question. I knew what the
3 answer would have been, but I just wanted to put it straight for the
5 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Good morning, everyone. I
7 had asked the Defence if they could make the colonel's report available
8 to him so -- if I asked him to look at it. Thank you very much.
9 Q. Colonel, good morning.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. McCloskey.
11 Q. And, yes, as you've heard quite a few times over the last week,
12 my name is Peter McCloskey. I represent the Prosecution.
13 I would like to just, before I get into sort of my more planned
14 cross-examination, ask you about a couple of things that just came out
15 with Mr. Haynes. You had said in response when Mr. Haynes had 1D1078 up
16 on the board that document that was not addressed to the commander, but
17 you had said that that had had to be received by the commander from the
18 security organ or the commander of the MPs. Can you explain that
19 concept, why the commander had to have received such information?
20 A. Mr. McCloskey, it's easy to explain this idea because the chief
21 of the security organ and the MP commander are directly subordinated to
22 the commander, and the Chief of Staff is also subordinated to him, who
23 also receives such a report, so there are three possibilities or, rather,
24 there are three individuals who must have received such a report.
25 Q. But what is it about the job of commander that means the
1 commander has to get this information? Why does the commander have to
2 get this information? Why are you so sure when you get up there and say
3 he had to receive this? What is it about the nature of command that
4 makes this --
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, there is the principle of unity of command. A
6 commander had to receive reports for all those directly subordinated to
7 him, reports on the work that they had to carry out in accordance with
8 the law and in accordance with their rights to command. So this is the
9 idea of singleness of command.
10 Q. I understand. What is it about a military commander? I don't
11 get all the information from all my subordinates. What is it about a
12 military commander in his particular responsibility that makes you so
13 sure he has to get this kind of information? Or why does he need to have
14 this information, if that's a --
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, a commander takes extremely important decisions,
16 and he quite simply has to have access to all the available information
17 without which it's impossible to assess the situation and without which
18 one cannot take valid decisions. In such a situation, it wouldn't be
19 possible to assume responsibility for such decisions. The singleness of
20 command and the idea of subordination were the basic principles upon
21 which the military organisation that I spent 36 years in was based.
22 Q. Okay. You also -- just a minute ago, Mr. Haynes was asking you
23 questions about the security officer using the military police and asking
24 you about the commander's role, and in that you said something about that
25 the authority starts with the army commander. Do you remember that?
1 A. Yes, yes, I do remember that, Mr. McCloskey.
2 Q. And what did you mean by that?
3 A. That means that the army commander would take decisions about
4 when and in which cases the military police could be engaged, to carry
5 out tasks that weren't part of its regular tasks and duties.
6 Q. Let's say the army commander we are talking about is General
7 Mladic, and he passes an order down regarding the use of military police
8 in some operation. What role of responsibility of any do the subordinate
9 commanders have, and I want you to consider this to be a brigade -- an
10 order that has to do -- starts with Mladic but ends up in the brigade, so
11 the military police are doing something for the brigade. Where does the
12 corps and the brigade commander fit into any responsibility for an order
13 that is generated by General Mladic?
14 A. Mr. McCloskey, we have to distinguish orders from authorisations.
15 An order is something that has to be carried out. When a commander
16 issues an order, the subordinate has the duty to carry out such an order.
17 Authorisation involves giving subordinate commanders the right to act in
18 certain situations in which it is necessary for the military police to
19 act and to carry out duties other than duties that it usually carries
21 Q. Let's talk about an order, then. Mladic gives an order that goes
22 down to the military police. What role, if any, would the commanders in
23 the corps and the brigade have in relation to that order?
24 A. In such a case, if an order was issued, such as you have
25 described, it's the duty of subordinates to carry out the orders of their
1 superiors, if we are talking about orders, not about authorisations.
2 Q. So would that apply to the Drina Corps commander and the brigade
3 commander whose orders this went through to get to the military police of
4 the brigade?
5 A. That would fully apply to the corps commander and commanders in
6 units subordinated to him if they also included military police units.
7 Q. All right. Now, let me go back --
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey, if I can interrupt here.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Please.
10 JUDGE KWON: Let's suppose if General Mladic had something to
11 order or a specific assignment to be performed by the military police of
12 Zvornik Brigade, would that order be passed through commanders or the
13 chief of security or intelligence at the Main Staff, through security
14 lines or command lines?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood your question,
16 Your Honour. An order, such an order issued by General Mladic to his
17 subordinate commanders, according to which they should use the military
18 police or any other kinds of orders, such an order would pass through the
19 line of command.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. On that same subject, let's say for some reason the commander is
23 not found. Would General Mladic or General Krstic normally be able to
24 trust their security officer to pass on their order to, say, the brigade
25 commander? If they couldn't speak -- if the commanders couldn't speak or
1 order each other directly, would a security officer be trusted enough to
2 pass on General Mladic's order?
3 A. Mr. McCloskey, in my experience, as far as I know and given what
4 the documents state, a commander is always present. There is always
5 someone who plays the role of commander, and he has the authority to
6 perform the duties of commander at all times.
7 Q. I agree with you, and I understand that. I just ask you to look
8 into a situation where the security officers are talking to each other.
9 Would there be anything inappropriate about a corps or Main Staff
10 security officer passing on to a brigade security officers the order of
11 General Mladic?
12 A. Passing down orders through such a line could only concern
13 professional issues in regard of the military police. Commanding
14 excludes the possibility of interfering with this line of command at any
15 level of the military organisation. This is particularly the case given
16 the idea of singleness of command.
17 Q. All right. Let's go back to where I had intended to start, and I
18 want to go into a little bit of the background, a little bit of your
19 background a little more. Before the war in Bosnia, did you have any
20 family connections to Bosnia
21 around the Gorazde area.
22 A. Mr. McCloskey, my mother was born in the village of Vrbaska
23 Banja Luka in 1912; and when she was four years old, her family moved
24 across the Sava
25 nothing else.
1 Q. Okay. And during the war in Bosnia, did you have any connections
2 with the army, either at the time -- we know you retired in September but
3 either before you retired or after you retired, did you go help out the
4 VRS, the RSK folks any time during the war with your expertise or
6 A. Mr. McCloskey, in the security department I was the assistant of
7 the chief of the security department for the security organs in National
8 Defence secretariats throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia
9 The connections I had in that field with Bosnia-Herzegovina were
10 identical to the connections I had to other parts of the former
12 Q. Okay. How about after you retired?
13 A. Having retired and after the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
14 after the signing of the Dayton Agreement in the year 2000, I became
15 involved in developing the idea of security for the Army of Republika
16 Srpska. I was asked to carry out this work, and to the best of my
17 abilities I did this. So all I did was within those limits.
18 Q. So from September 1992 to when the war ended near the end of
19 1995, you weren't involved with the VRS in any way?
20 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I had fulfilled my role before retiring.
21 Q. Now, right before you retired, you were the assistant chief of
22 security. Who was your boss? Who was the chief of security? What was
23 his name?
24 A. When I made a request to retire, on the 16th of March, 1992
25 chief of the security administration of the national Secretariat for
1 Defence was General Aleksandar Vasiljevic. And when I retired on the
2 30th of September, 1992, the chief was Major General Nedeljko Boskovic.
3 Q. And who was General Boskovic's boss when you retired?
4 A. General Boskovic's boss was the then-Federal Secretary for
5 National Defence. I can't remember who his superior was exactly at the
6 time, but it was the Federal Secretary for National Defence.
7 Q. And who was the Federal Secretary for National Defence's boss?
8 A. The Federal Secretary for National Defence was a member of the
9 parliament, and the Prime Minister was his boss.
10 Q. Okay. I don't think we need to go into that.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Was a member of the
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Error in transcript. It is page 15, line 8. It
14 was said "parliament." He said "government."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. It was corrected by the interpreter
16 himself already. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Now, before you retired in September of 1992, your position as
19 the assistant chief would have given you a very good look at what had
20 been going on from 1991 in Croatia
21 happen in Bosnia
22 into all that, but I just want to ask you whether or not you would have
23 had a pretty good look at all that.
24 A. Well, most of the events that took place -- well, I was
25 responsible for controlling the organs of security in the secretariats of
1 National Defence, as I have said. So it's difficult to obtain
2 information, broad kind of information, in such a position. As an
3 officer, what I can say is that I was informed, but as a member of the
4 organs of security and as a chief -- as assistant chief, I didn't have
5 sufficient information on other issues in order to be able to provide you
6 with a satisfactory answer to this question.
7 Q. You wouldn't have known the name of the Seselj's paramilitary
9 A. No, sir. In the Vukovar case when I started with the report or
10 work on the report, I obtained information that I had no previous
11 knowledge of.
12 Q. Okay. You've just told us you requested to be retired in March
13 of 1992. I think you were only 54 years old then. Is that about right?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Did what you had seen happen to the former Yugoslavia play a role
16 in your deciding to request retirement at such a young age?
17 A. Mr. McCloskey, I was born in Croatia
18 if I tell you a detail from my biography that has always been of key
19 importance. In 1943 and 1944, I was imprisoned in an Ustasha camp, and
20 all my subsequent cares and concerns in Croatia bore the trace of this
21 experience until the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was
22 established. In that country, I became a citizen equal to all other
23 citizens. This was my main concern in life, and this was my life-time
24 desire. It was my life-time desire to see such a country in existence,
25 to see the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. When this
1 country was broken up and the war in Croatia came to an end, it was my
2 conviction that my mission within the army had come to an end.
3 Q. Did you work with or get to know General Mladic during your time
4 in the JNA and VJ?
5 A. I only met him accidentally on one occasion. I greeted General
6 Mladic on one occasion. He returned the greetings, and that is all. I
7 had no other kind of contact with General Mladic.
8 Q. How about General Tolimir? He, as you've already told us, was
9 the Main Staff head of security and intelligence from very early on. You
10 gentlemen were coming from a similar background. What knowledge or
11 contact did you have with him?
12 A. Mr. McCloskey, as for General Tolimir, the situation is somewhat
13 different. General Tolimir is ten years my junior, and when I was an
14 officer in the security organs and when I held the positions that I held,
15 General Tolimir did not yet hold positions that would have involved me
16 having close or direct contact with him in the course of performing my
17 duties. But as a security officer and given all the duties I had to
18 perform within the army, I knew more or less all the officers in the JNA
19 who had security-related tasks to perform. And as a result, I also had
20 contact with General Tolimir or knew General Tolimir on that basis.
21 Q. How about Colonel Beara?
22 A. My recollections of my meeting with Colonel Beara is linked to
23 the period of 28 years ago. I and Colonel Beara met for the first time
24 in Split
25 position exactly, but it was a very brief encounter because I had come
1 within the composition of a team which was engaged in professional
2 supervision of the work of the security organs in the navy command of the
3 SFRY, the then-SFRY, of course, within the composition of the JNA as a
4 whole. And since then, well, that's when I first met Colonel Beara, and
5 I've known of him since then. I have known about how he developed
7 Q. Well, I don't want to get into the time period of 28, 30 years
8 ago. I think that was the height of the Cold War, 1960s, early 1970s.
9 Were you working in counter-intelligence with Colonel Beara? And I won't
10 ask you about that work. I know you're probably not even allowed to tell
11 me about it.
12 A. Well, I wouldn't have anything to tell you because I never worked
13 with him in counter-intelligence.
14 Q. What kind of security work, then, if it's not
15 counter-intelligence did you work with him?
16 A. Mr. McCloskey, I never worked on other security affairs within
17 the frameworks of the service except in counter-intelligence.
18 Q. You also mentioned in your report that - you were talking about
19 interrogations - that coercion could be used, but it had to be approved
20 by someone high up the line in the ministry; is that right?
21 A. That term in my testimony, the application of force, the approval
22 of force and application of force, to the best of my recollections, I
23 didn't say that. Now, I'd have to check that, look it up, but if it was
24 wrongly interpreted, that's another matter again. So "coercion" is not a
25 word I use, and that was absolutely not resorted to in my work or in my
1 testimony. That was not a method to be used. Not only was it
2 prohibited, it was absolutely not allowed to be used.
3 Q. Counter-intelligence work, interviewing opposing spies in the
4 Cold War, coercion was never used? Is that what you're saying? I won't
5 get into this, but I just want to make it clear that you're saying that.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is very ambiguous question about Cold War and
8 coercion was never used in Cold War. I don't know that the expert knows
9 everything about Cold War and coercion.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I would strike him off as an expert if he didn't
11 know about those subjects, to be honest.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Colonel, I was just responding to your comment. Let me try to
14 help you so you can see what I was referring to because, yeah, we do have
15 translation issues here. It's your report. It's -- I believe it's the
16 Popovic report. It's in section 2.13. It's -- do you have that in front
17 of you? I'm sorry, because we better get it out because all I have is
18 the English -- the English version. It's page 5 of the English, but it
19 is under section 2.13 in the B/C/S, and it's just the first two or three
20 pages of the B/C/S, if -- if that can be pulled up on the screen. Do you
21 see that section, 2.13, in your report? And I'll get a 65 ter number, if
22 -- 3D396, thank you. And I'm reading the part that starts out with
23 "regard to regulating relations in the security domain".
24 JUDGE KWON: I think that Mr. Vuga has hard copy in front of him.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: He can't --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't managed to find it.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've got a copy.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is in first binder of Mr. Vuga.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's in the first binder, Colonel.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you could --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But the thing is -- okay.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Page 5, B/C/S. It's that paragraph, and it's 2.13. It's page 5
9 in the English. It's the same for the Nikolic report and the Popovic
10 report. It's under the section, "Security provisions and the law on the
11 defence of the RS." 2.13: "With regard to regulating relations in the
12 security domain, the Law on the Army of the RS does not contain any
13 provisions or paragraphs regulating the field of security concretely in
14 detail. In this domain, only the section covering the use of weapons by
15 authorised personnel in the military security service and military police
16 is concretely prescribed."
17 Article 26 of that law states, "Authorised military personnel and
18 the military security service and the military police may use, while
19 performing military security or military police duties, weapons and other
20 means of coercion under conditions prescribed by authorised officials of
21 the Interior."
22 The word -- I can't help you with the actual word, but I think
23 you got the gist of that. "Coercion under conditions" -- I don't think
24 anyone is saying coercion is necessarily a problem with dealing with
25 these issues, sir, so my question is, what did you mean by that?
1 A. Mr. McCloskey, what is missing here, when you were talking about
2 coercion, under conditions prescribed by law. That's the missing phrase,
3 which means that there are specific authorisations which are prescribed,
4 regulated, for individuals conducting security business, what those
5 conditions are, and under what conditions the security organs are able to
6 apply 5 authorisations and 14 authorisations that they have right to
7 apply, and that is prescribed by law. So there is no application of
8 force or coercion outside that, and that does not include interrogation
9 of spies and uncovering them. These are different conditions and are
10 beyond the context of this discussion and has nothing in common with
11 either the Cold War or the methods of work of the security organs, but it
12 has to do with authorisations.
13 Q. Well, Colonel, I just pulled this out of your report, so my
14 question is and is exactly that: What legal forms of coercion were
15 prescribed that you may have had to get authorisation from the minister?
16 A. Here, coercion is prescribed by the law governing internal
17 affairs, which was voted on and passed in parliament, and it wasn't the
18 ministry that provided such authorisation. The law or that law underwent
19 parliamentary procedure, and it provided for the fact that, as regards
20 those who do not -- those people who do not, at the request of the
21 security organs in performing their professional duties, that is to say
22 establishing identity or if they are -- they are protecting someone, they
23 have five authorisations at their disposal for them to be able to conduct
24 that, and among those is the use of weapons in strictly prescribed
25 situations, and among others if they are not able to repel an illegal act
1 against themselves or an individual under their protection and whose duty
2 it is, that is the security organ's duty is, to protect that individual,
3 then they can resort to et cetera. So this is a point in time when the
4 security organ is authorised to use weapons as the last resort at their
5 disposal, and they also have the right before that to use physical force
6 to overcome an attacker; that comes first, to caution him and warn him
7 beforehand, and to identify the person or establish his identity. So
8 these are the authorisations in the performance of their duty. Outside
9 those authorisations, there are no other conditions and situations in
10 which the security organs may avail themselves of the use of force, and I
11 stated this because it was one of the conditions for criteria to be
12 prescribed for admittance into the security organs and service because
13 this is a very important point, an important situation, and they must be
14 -- it must be assessed very well and evaluated. The situation must be
15 properly evaluated, and that is something not everyone can do. That also
16 refers to the policemen on the beat in the street when he has the right
17 to use his weapon in situations that prescribe this. So it's a general
18 provision, a general regulation, providing for authorisation to organs of
19 the Interior, not only the security organs.
20 Q. All right. I think we all fully understand a police officer or a
21 military police officers and his rights to use force and deadly force in
22 is various situations. What got me is the word "coercion." Can you give
23 me an example of coercion that a security officer would have to seek
24 authority for, coercion?
25 A. There is no special authorisation. He's on duty, engaged in an
1 assignment which provides for the use of force. So if he is providing
2 security, for example, for an individual, for a person, or security for
3 special importance buildings or premises, so in carrying out his duty he
4 comes across a problem in which he is forced to resort to these sorts of
5 authorisations, which are given in the order stipulated, and according to
6 the different levels and degrees, he in the performance of his duties is
7 authorised - he doesn't need permission - he is authorised to do that.
8 Now, outside those situations, in talking to people, interviews,
9 collecting information and in all other situations, which he does in the
10 course of his duty, there is no application of force.
11 Q. Would a security officer in an interrogation have to seek
12 approval in order to use the technique of keeping a light on 24 hours a
14 A. He cannot receive such authorisation unless it is provided for by
15 law or something that is applied, such as the Law on Internal Affairs.
16 So he cannot seek or be given such approval.
17 Q. Okay. Let me ask you -- go back a little bit. Did you come to
18 know General Gvero during your career?
19 A. Yes, I did, Mr. McCloskey. For a very brief period of time, I
20 worked in an organisational unit headed by General Gvero.
21 Q. What was that?
22 A. It was the organ for political affairs, for political work, and I
23 was there for a very short period of time, even less than two months, I
25 Q. What year?
1 A. 1991 -- 1990 or 1991. It was for just a short period, so I have
2 not got any specific recollections about it.
3 Q. Why were you there so short a period?
4 A. I was there for such a short period because it was a period when
5 I came from another structure where I had been working temporarily and
6 was going back to the security administration, which was being harmonised
7 and dovetailed at the time with the newly arisen situation and
9 Q. So the job of political affairs, 1991, did that have remnants of
10 the eastern bloc Soviet political affairs, commissar, political officer
11 in the unit situation? Do you understand what I'm asking about?
12 A. It didn't have that kind of character. It was a period of time
13 when two important reorganisations in the Yugoslav People's Army were
14 taking place. The first was that the Yugoslav People's Army should de--
15 become depoliticised, That is to say, to throw politics out of the JNA,
16 and for the JNA to become a non-political or be set on non-political
17 foundations, and that the JNA should be defined in the new situation as
18 non-ideological and extra-party organisation engaged in the defence of
19 the country. So it was during that periods of time that I for a brief
20 period was where I said I was a moment ago.
21 Q. And how about General -- now General Miletic? Did you get to
22 know him or work with him at all?
23 A. As for General Miletic, I never worked with him. I didn't know
24 him except for a chance meeting. I don't know when it took place. I
25 can't remember, but I do remember having met him briefly once.
1 Q. How about Vujadin Popovic?
2 A. I don't remember Vujadin Popovic. However, I was a lecturer in
3 the education centre for security, and many people passed through that
4 institution, over 2.000 over a given period of time. So from what I
5 heard from Popovic by talking to him, he remembers me as a lecturer from
6 those days. Nothing more than that. So I can't tell you anything more
7 about or have nothing else to say about that period.
8 Q. So you were able to talk to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic in
9 preparing your report?
10 A. I had an opportunity of talking to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic
11 before I began preparing my report because I had to establish what my
12 task was, what it was I had to do from the professional point of view,
13 the point of view of my profession.
14 Q. So did Colonel Popovic tell you what your task was?
15 A. I told him what my task could be if he accepted that.
16 Q. What did he tell you?
17 A. He told me that that task would be acceptable in as far as I
18 explained it to him, and that's how the task appears in my profession.
19 Q. Did you ever speak to him about the details of your report, the
20 rules, how they were applied in the RS at the time, some of these key
21 days that you've talked about, these key issues that you've talked about?
22 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I analysed the documents, the regulations,
23 and conducted a comparative analysis to see what was in the
24 documentations and regulations in order to identify points in common,
25 common substance and solutions, and to make my own assessment and
1 evaluation independently on the basis of the facts that I recognised.
2 Q. Why didn't you speak to Colonel Popovic on these issues?
3 A. I was of the opinion that the circumstances in which Lieutenant
4 Colonel Popovic found himself were not conducive to, from my point of
5 view and suited to from my point of view, the formation of a
6 comprehensive picture, the way I thought that this should be done as an
7 expert myself.
8 Q. Well, for example, you testified --
9 A. For example -- for example, because a lot of time had gone by,
10 one loses from sight some very important circumstances that took place at
11 a time when the events took place, and it was no longer possible to view
12 them realistically, from this passage of time and this vantage point, so
13 my picture about everything that I did would or could be incomplete in a
14 way or in certain sections even incorrect.
15 Q. One of the things you've talked about in your testimony, you said
16 that relating to the separation of military-age men, you said it would be
17 the duty of the security branch to work with the MPs to make sure that
18 that job was done right and done correctly. And did you speak to Colonel
19 Popovic about that, whether he in fact acted under what you said was his
20 duty? That would have been a perfect time to ask him what really
22 A. As to these matters, I did not ask Colonel Popovic about them
23 because that would have been a lesser portion or - let me put it this way
24 - conditionally speaking, a very small part of the work he did. So I
25 didn't attach that much importance to this, but I mentioned it as one of
1 the things -- one of the jobs that he could perform under certain
2 circumstances, of course, in the prescribed manner. As to the rest, I
3 thought it would be established on the basis of other sources because the
4 documents that I had did not contain such information, so other sources
5 could be used, but as far as my profession is concerned, and my
6 evaluation and assessment of work based on documents from the aspects of
7 establishing the correctness of work would not have done that. So that
8 is a question that is up to the Court to decide, up to the Trial Chamber
9 to assess, and that was the reason and substance of that position that I
10 took, my attitude and position.
11 Q. How about Drago Nikolic? Did you have a chance to talk with him?
12 A. My talk with Drago Nikolic was identical to the one conducted
13 with Lieutenant Colonel Popovic with the proviso that before meeting
14 Drago Nikolic and in talking to him -- well, I had no contact with him,
15 nor did I have any fuller information about him, from the aspects of
16 having an insight into his development and his work as a security organ.
17 Q. Now, your lack of contact with both these men, Drago Nikolic and
18 Vujadin Popovic, are you saying that was specifically your decision based
19 on you alone?
20 A. My decision was based on experience, experience from my previous
21 work in compiling an expert report, and I thought that the best way of
22 going about it given my position was to offer an expert professional view
23 and assessment and conclusions about the regulations and duties that in
24 conformity with those regulations were to be implemented, and I found
25 them to be most reliable in the documents and material which was not
1 subject to change, to alteration, which remained the same, remained the
2 way it was at the time when it was being realised.
3 Q. Did you talk with Momir Nikolic and help him in preparing his
5 A. I did talk to Momir Nikolic as well. I talked to him about --
6 well, I didn't know him, so I needed him to tell me something about
7 himself, what duty it was that he was performing, because it was the
8 principal duty in the brigade which I as an expert studied for purposes
9 of this case, these proceedings. The situation was the same when I
10 talked to Momir Nikolic, but that work for well-known reasons and based
11 on my testimony were not placed before the Trial Chamber.
12 Q. Meaning you knew he pled guilty?
13 A. Yes, I do know that.
14 Q. And you've had a chance to review his statement of facts that he
15 made pursuant to that guilty plea?
16 A. I didn't have a chance to see that beforehand. I had it in my
17 hands when everything was over and when the judgement came into force at
18 the second instance.
19 Q. Right, but in preparing your reports for these gentlemen, you had
20 Momir Nikolic's statement of facts pursuant to that plea?
21 A. I had an insight into that. However, Momir Nikolic, on the 3rd
22 of April when we met told me that I should work in the way I have
23 explained to you, so that on the 27th or after the 27th of April, he
24 pleaded the way he pleaded. Now, between Momir Nikolic and myself, there
25 is a view of all this, a vision of all this, which does not provide me
1 with sufficiently reliable grounds for me to be able to conclude on a
2 reliable basis things that I can use for writing a proper and correct
3 report. So that was the reason why I did not take into consideration his
4 statement of facts.
5 Q. And just -- last question because I see it's break time. You're
6 also working for and set to testify in the state court for Milorad Trbic,
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, I did not work on that. There was a discussion
9 between me and his Defence counsel, which is still ongoing, this
10 exchange, and I did not wish to include that exchange until I completed
11 this particular testimony.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time, Colonel. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break of 25 minutes starting from
14 now. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Colonel, one last -- on this issue before we get into more
20 substantive material, have you been speaking at all to General Tolimir or
21 his people about working for him in his upcoming case?
22 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. Such things have never been discussed. The
23 subject was never broached.
24 Q. Have you spoken to General Tolimir since his arrest?
25 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. All I did was say that General Tolimir should
1 be informed of my presence here, and it was only at the end of my
2 testimony that he could meet me or I could meet him, if he was interested
3 in such a meeting.
4 Q. Any interest from him? Got any plans to see him?
5 A. I haven't received any feedback information for the moment.
6 That's the situation at present.
7 Q. What was the last information you received on this topic?
8 A. What I have just said. I haven't received any other information.
9 I'm waiting. Perhaps I'll receive information before I leave. If not,
10 I'll leave.
11 Q. Who did you pass the information on to to connect with General
13 A. Through -- I passed this information on through Mr. Erol who
14 welcomed me when I arrived here.
15 Q. Who is that?
16 A. He works for the Tribunal in the victim and witnesses unit. I
17 think that's the term. I don't know the exact term because I received it
18 in translation, but he works here in the Tribunal.
19 Q. Okay. Let me go now -- I want to ask you about one of the rules.
20 I don't want you to have to get into that too much depth because I think
21 you've talked quite a bit about it and explained yourself. But relating
22 to the rules of the security branch, I think you explained very well the
23 professional relationship that a security officer would have with the
24 military police unit and that it was part of the security officer's job
25 to propose to the commander, the security officer's commander, on the
1 best uses of the military police. So what I want to ask you about is
2 when the security officer makes a proposal about some use of the military
3 police, and the commander - let's say brigade commander - decides to act
4 on that proposal and turns it into an order, what then is the security
5 officer's duty in seeing to it that that order is carried out? And the
6 other day on page 23060, line 5 and 6, you said something -- you said
7 that the security officer can give professional guidance to the military
8 police on how best to execute what the commander ordered.
9 Is that -- is that right, in the context of the question?
10 A. Yes, I understand that. That is correct.
11 Q. And I did not see in your report where you explain how this
12 works, so could you explain in a little more detail, given this
13 situation, the -- what would the security officer do in providing
14 guidance to the MPs to get the job done according to the proposal and now
15 order of the commander?
16 A. I answered the question, but perhaps it wasn't really noted
17 because I went into detail in the course of my testimony. When
18 testifying in general, you can lose sight of certain important details,
19 so I'll go over it to the extent that this is necessary. I won't repeat
21 First of all, the security officer is the most qualified
22 individual to assess threatening activities, and on the basis of the
23 information he obtains he can identify tasks that should be assigned to
24 the military police given the duties that MPs have to perform. He has to
25 command and control and guide the military police together with the
1 company commander, and so he should be in a position to inform, one, of
2 what the military police can succeed in doing when carrying out a task.
3 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt, but there is I think a fairly significant
4 error in the transcript that I ought to clear up with you. It says that
5 the security officer has to command and control and guide the military
6 police. Did you mean to say that the security officer commands the
7 military police?
8 A. No, no, no, no, that's not the right word. Professional guidance
9 is what is involved. It's not command -- a matter of commanding.
10 Commanders command. It's the command of an MP unit. Well, you have the
11 organ of security and the commander of a military police units. They
12 have common information.
13 Q. We understand that. The term "rukovodjenje" is being translated
14 sometimes as "command," but it's now supposed to be "control."
15 A. Rukovodjenje.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. I'm sorry to interrupt. You can continue.
17 A. I have understood your intervention. The commander of an MP unit
18 -- what the commander of an MP unit knows is essential as well as what
19 the security organ knows, and on the basis of that information you have a
20 suggestion that is formulated and forwarded to a commander, and on the
21 basis of that suggestion the commander will then decide on what is
22 important at that point in time and will then assign tasks. I can
23 provide you with an example, if you like. For example --
24 Q. We understand that. What -- the examples I need you to provide
25 me with is what role, if any, the security officer has in facilitating
1 the commander's orders or making sure that it happens. What role does
2 the security officer play, if any, given that it may have been his
3 proposal in the first place?
4 A. Yes. I understand. Well, his role follows a different course in
5 this case. He has to monitor the way in which what has been suggested is
6 being implemented, and given the commander's order, in light of the
7 commander's order, he has to intervene as a professional, and he has to
8 ensure that the tasks are carried out in an effective manner, and then he
9 must inform the commander of the fact of the situation. He must inform
10 him of the role he played as far as the role he played when he suggested
11 that action be taken. So first you make the suggestion, and then you
12 have to monitor how the task is being carried out. You have to intervene
13 to ensure that the commander's order is being respected, that it's being
14 implemented, and then you have to inform about what has been
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. I see that a part of the answer of the
18 witness is not translated properly. It is at page 33, line 1 to 12. He
19 said that security organ just have to intervene in professional aspect of
20 the carrying out of order, commander's order, but not as professional.
21 It was translated as "professional."
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So he didn't use the word as a professional?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah. He used the words, in the professional
24 aspect or [Interpretation] "In the professional aspect."
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Do you confirm that, Colonel? Let me
1 read it to you as we have it here.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: His -- yeah, but I want to make sure how it fits in
4 now because it's still not clear to me. "He has to monitor the way in
5 which what has been suggested is being implemented, and given the
6 commander's orders, in light of the commander's order, he has to
7 intervene as a professional, and he has to ensure that the tasks are
8 carried out in an effective manner."
9 What's wrong in that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, "professional," that's not
11 very specific. We are talking about the act for which he is
12 professionally responsibility. Professional is a bit different, but
13 professional responsibility is a little more specific.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted you to clear that up for us, to make
15 sure that what Mr. Zivanovic raised was --
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We have again a wrong translation because the
17 word nadlezan, Serbian word nadlezan was translated, and
18 "responsibility." It is the proper Serbian word odgovoran.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What's nadlezan? How should it be translated,
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is in competence of security organ.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Let's move.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
24 Q. I don't think much is changed by any of that, Colonel, but I'd
25 like to ask you. Let's say the security officer sees the military police
1 doing something not the way it had been envisaged and he has to
2 intervene. When he intervenes, can he issue instructions to the military
3 police that were consistent with the commander's orders and his previous
5 A. Yes. And that was an important part of his role as an organ who
6 had to guide and monitor the situation. He could issue requests in this
7 respect. A request that one act and abide by the commander's order and
8 to act in the way prescribed so he can make such a request. He cannot
9 change a commander's order but within the limits of the order, he can
10 exert his influence to ensure that this task is professionally carried
12 Q. May be translation, but what is a better word for what he can do,
13 "request" or "instruct"?
14 A. Well, a request, demand, it's like instructions. Can't be
15 anything else, but it's a demand in the sense that you have to respect
16 the commander's order. That's the professional part of the task.
17 Q. So when a security officer comes to the commander of the MP and
18 gives a -- and intervenes and makes an instruction to that commander, the
19 MP, is that commander, the MP, required to follow that instruction?
20 A. The instructions issued within the limits of a commander's order
21 -- well, they have to be implemented in a professional way, and the
22 commander of a military police unit is obliged to act on these
24 Q. Okay. So whatever we call it, the MP commander is going to do
1 A. Yes. It's his duty to do it.
2 Q. All right. Go to another topic for a little while. In your
3 report, you spend a fair amount of time talking about the 28th Division
4 and some of the bad things they were doing from 1992 to 1995, and
5 sometimes you used the term "sabotage" and "terrorism" together. I want
6 to ask you about one -- one comment you made in your report. It's at
7 page 3, paragraph 1.17, and I can give you a -- it's 3D396 again. It's
8 page 5 in the English, page 4 in the B/C/S. It's probably easier --
9 since you haven't been able to find your report, I'll try to just give
10 you the page.
11 And take a look at paragraph 1.17. You state the following:
12 "Experience has confirmed that the organisers and perpetrators of
13 destructive activities [threats] do not have any moral, legal, or
14 methodological restrictions and that they are comprehensively perfecting
15 their destructive activity."
16 Now, we know that you went on to talk quite a bit about the BiH
17 army and the 28th Division specifically. Who if anyone are you referring
18 to when you say the organisers and perpetrators of destructive activities
19 have no moral, legal, methodological restrictions?
20 A. Mr. McCloskey, this part of the report is the general part that
21 focuses on problems that had been identified of a very long period of
22 time, that I spent working within my field, the field that I worked in,
23 and just so happens that I still work in this field. So this is a
24 position based on investigating and following events, global events and
25 local events as well. Each event, each specific event, does not have the
1 characteristics of this general experience. It's individual. It has --
2 or they are individual and they have their own characteristics, but when
3 you look at this within the context of one's general experience, it does
4 fall under such a description. That's why you have this paragraph here.
5 The entire view of the problem has been defined more specifically in
6 terms of risks and threats. The risks and threats that are referred to
7 here were subsequently analysed and become identifiable on an individual
8 basis. So that is the sense of this paragraph.
9 Q. Most of us would agree with you in that if you were describing
10 terrorists, but are you suggesting that all the activities of the 28th
11 Division in this time period were acts of terrorism or acts committed by
13 A. No. Later, one moves on to documents, and these documents were
14 analysed and relate to the 28th Division in particular. The 28th
15 Division isn't referred to here, but terrorism is and problems that are
16 related to terrorism and its appearance. The 28th Division is a
17 different matter. It was analysed individually and on the basis of the
18 documents that I had. There is nothing here that I did not find in
19 documents and that is not part of the assessment on what was in
20 accordance with the regulations on the application of war law and what
21 amounted to violation of such law. So it's in this respect that one can
22 analyse what the 28th Division is, but in this general part we can only
23 deal with the part that has something in common with this position.
24 Q. All right. Well, I -- I didn't see in your report any real
25 problems or bad conduct carried out by the VRS in this time period.
1 Would you say you're objective in this review? But very simply; we don't
2 need a long answer.
3 A. The rules and regulations imposed limits on me, so I could not
4 deal with the problem of the VRS, and so if I had been assigned a task to
5 analyse something else, well, then I would have used other rules and
6 regulations, and I would have analysed something else. But this wasn't
7 the task assigned to me, and I can't assess the threats on the Muslim
8 side. You should have to analyse the documents from the Muslim side for
10 Q. Well, let's go over a few documents and see if we can get your
11 take on it, a few VRS documents. Let's start with 65 ter number 29.
12 It's page 5 in the English and page 11 in the B/C/S, and this is going to
13 come up on the screen, Colonel. This is a document by General Mladic
14 dated 19 November 1992
15 lays out several tasks for the various corps at that time, and I hope
16 they can help you -- I'm sorry that that's such a bad copy. But I want
17 -- I'll read you the key part of the Drina Corps section, is what we are
18 looking at. "From its present positions, its main forces shall
19 persistently defend Visegrad [the dam], Zvornik, and the corridor while
20 the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust the
21 enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to
22 leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas, together with the Muslim
23 population." Now, have you seen this document in the preparation of your
24 testimony or report?
25 A. I've seen this document, Mr. McCloskey.
1 Q. Thank you. What I wanted to ask you is we see here that Mladic
2 wants to force the enemy to leave, which I understand, but then it says,
3 "Together with the Muslim population." Based on your knowledge, did the
4 Muslim civilian population present some sort of security threat that
5 would justify an order like this?
6 A. This is the broad view of my expert report. It would open up a
7 new security dimension, the appearance of Muslim civilians that
8 accompanied the armed forces when attacking inhabited settlements in
9 order to loot and destroy property of the civilian population in the
10 territory where there was a conflict. And this created a security
11 problem, not only for the armed forces --
12 Q. Okay, Colonel, I can stop you there because I'm not talking about
13 looters and villains that are with the army in their -- in their raids.
14 What I'm talking about is villagers, people that lived in the villages of
15 Eastern Bosnia
16 talking villagers, farmers, kids, old ladies, men, all the people that
17 are going on their daily lives. That's what I'm asking you. Did they --
18 those people living there during the military operations to beat the
19 Muslim army, is there some sort of security reason to justify their
20 removal from the area, the civilians?
21 A. Mr. McCloskey, as for the security reasons, I have addressed
22 them. I spoke to you about them precisely, not military looting, if I
23 can put it that way, or unnecessary destruction of targets without any
24 military necessity. But of all the accompanying sometimes mass presence
25 on -- of non-military forces from among the civilian population who made
1 up what I said and to what I exclusively attached a security dimension
2 within the frameworks and in the extent to which they deserved that.
3 Now, as for this portion of the population that you're referring to here,
4 on that occasion I did not speak about that as a security problem.
5 Q. No, I understand it, but that's the problem with
6 cross-examination. Sometimes lawyers ask you new questions. So can you
7 -- in thinking about this, is there some sort of security issue in
8 relating to these old ladies and kids and farmers?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This question has been answered
11 twice. He spoke about the Muslim civilians on page 39, line 2.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object, Your Honour. This is
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes. It is pure obstruction, Ms.
15 Fauveau. Let him answer the question, please.
16 Colonel, could you answer the question? And please answer the
17 question. Don't try to beat around the bush or go around it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not understand
19 what you meant by beating about the bush or going around it. I would
20 like to know how you think that I sidestepped this because I'm always
21 ready to provide an answer to the best of my ability, of course.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You're specifically being asked about a particular
23 part of the population, women, old women, and that, if they ever
24 constituted a security problem. Please answer that question. That's
25 part of the question, and then the rest, Mr. McCloskey can deal with.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to that part of the question,
2 the answer given was that they weren't the object of security
3 considerations and were not a security problem. So up above is the
4 answer to the question. So I was a little taken aback when you said I
5 hadn't answered it. They weren't a security aspect. They weren't a
6 problem or the subject of my considerations. So they cannot be taken --
7 it cannot be taken as a security problem in my response and answer.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Back to you, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. What military justification can you think
11 of, then, if these aren't a security problem, to remove these people from
12 the area of Birac, Zepa, Gorazde?
13 A. I do not have an insight into the military situation in Republika
14 Srpska for me to be able to provide you with arguments, and I really have
15 no military justification for that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the expert, Mr. Vuga,
18 did not deal with the problem of Gorazde and Zepa and Birac, but he is a
19 military expert in the security field, and that is what he deals with.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Do you wish to answer that?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I absolutely disagree. His report is rife with
22 issues that happened in this area of Eastern Bosnia, and the activities
23 of Naser Oric are all over Birac, the Birac area, which is a broad area
24 of Eastern Bosnia precisely where we are talking about. However, he's
25 answered the question.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau?
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe that the
4 question is rather unfair towards the witness. Indeed, the text referred
5 to by the Prosecutor --
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, continuing with her and that kind of
7 comment, the witness and I, can we remove the witness if we are going to
8 go into this kind after dialogue?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's necessary, but if you insist on
11 Colonel, can you please remove your headphones for a short while?
12 And one moment -- can you put them back? I think we asked him before and
13 he said no. Do you understand English?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, sir.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Please remove your headphones.
16 I asked him because earlier on I think I heard him speak in
17 English to the usher. I'm just saying it. I don't know whether he's
18 understanding or not now, but earlier on I heard him from here speak in
19 English to the usher.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: My particular concern in this --
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Something like that. Yeah.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- conclusions that I'm being unfair to the
24 witness, these kinds of things that, you know, may mount up or -- you
25 know, we don't want to inflame the witness with such comments. I've got
1 to spend some time with this.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's hear what she has to say. So far to me she
3 hasn't said anything that is irregular or highly irregular. Let's hear
4 what she has to say. If she outsteps, then we'll stop her as we have
6 Yes, Madam Fauveau?
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, President. The
8 Prosecutor referred to a specific text that mentions the civilian
9 population. In that text, there is no farmer, no person, no women or
10 older people. It is the entire civilian population. Earlier on, the
11 witness said why the civilian population may be a security concern. Now,
12 if you pick a specific population out of that civilian population, the
13 elderly women, the elderly people, he said that that segment did not
14 cause a security concern, but he said that as such, the civilian
15 population could be a security concern.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I think I won't comment, of course, but -- and
17 I don't think we need, at least I don't need to hear your comment on
18 that. I don't know. Judge Kwon?
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So we are going to move on.
21 Colonel --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: He answered the question, so --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Colonel, all right, we are going to move on.
25 Let him take you back to the question. The question -- there was an
1 objection from Ms. Nikolic. There was an objection from Ms. Nikolic to
2 which he, Mr. McCloskey, had responded, and then Madam Fauveau
4 Yes, you had put a question which had been answered, so you can
5 put your next question, Mr. McCloskey. Your last question was, "Thank
6 you, Colonel. What military justification can you think of, then, if
7 these aren't a security problem to remove these people from the area of
8 Birac, Zepa and Gorazde?" And he had answered, "I do not have an insight
9 into the military situation in Republika Srpska for me to be able to
10 provide you with arguments, and I really have no military justification
11 for that."
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's the answer.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. One last question on this point, Colonel.
16 Along with that population I described of the women and children
17 and non-combatants living in these villages, there were many times
18 mosques. Did the mosques in these villages where the army and the
19 civilians were inhabiting, did those mosques after the combat was over,
20 the mosques that remained standing after the combat was over and the
21 Muslim military is gone and the civilians are gone, did those mosques
22 represent any kind of a security threat to the VRS or the RS?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that my
25 colleague has provided both -- has asked the question but provided the
1 answer, as well, to it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. Colonel, could you answer the
3 question, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Neither the mosques nor the
5 churches nor any religious sites in general are military targets nor a
6 security threat on either side or on any side.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Let's go on to another document. We are now
10 getting into the period of May 1993 where you talked about in your report
11 and testified about some of the things the 28th Division was doing
12 outside the enclave, and I just want to show you a document, 65 ter
13 number 3499. And it should come up. If you're having any trouble
14 reading it, I can also hand you a nice clear copy. And this is, as I
15 said, from 31 May 1993
16 Colonel Vukota Vukotic or Lieutenant Colonel Milan Urosevic, and it's
17 from the deputy commander of the Drina Corps at the time, Colonel Milutin
18 Skocajic, and it says, "Lieutenant Colonel Urosevic received a verbal
19 order from the commander, Colonel Milenko Zivanovic, to demolish the
20 water-tower and tank in the area of Zeleni Jadar [water supply system for
21 Srebrenica]. Since this has not been done so far, this task is to be
22 executed immediately, by June 1 1993
23 presented to the public as if the Muslim forces did it. During the
24 execution of the task, strictly take care of safety of personnel and our
25 forces in order to prevent any consequences. Upon the execution of the
1 task, inform this command in writing."
2 Was this a document you had a chance to review as you were
3 looking in this time period?
4 A. No, sir. I didn't have this document in my hands, nor did I
5 analyse it.
6 Q. Did this water tank, in your view, pose some sort of security
7 threat to the Muslim -- excuse me, to the VRS forces, and I'm sure you
8 know Zeleni Jadar at the time was within the enclave as the Muslims held.
9 A. According to what I analysed, this wasn't a document that I had,
10 so as such, alone, it could not have been the subject of my analysis. It
11 isn't part of that.
12 Q. We are going to have a lot that may not have been talked -- you
13 may not have talked about -- well, not a lot. We are going to have some
14 things that you haven't talked about, but that's what I say. You talked
15 a lot about the activities of the Muslim units. Now I'm going to ask you
16 to talk about the activities of some of the VRS units. That's fair game,
18 A. It seems that my task, the assignment I had, was taken out of
19 context and brought to a completely different set of assignments that I
20 did not have within my own task. It was my task to analyse the function
21 of the security organs within the Army of Republika Srpska, in the Drina
22 Corps and the Zvornik Brigade, and it was -- and my task was defined to
23 begin with. Its parameters were defined. So it was my task to show this
24 objectively, to show how it functioned objectively. Now, the documents
25 that I selected, which did not throw light on this question, were not
1 utilised for any conclusions I made or, indeed, for my analysis. They do
2 not deny the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and what happened in that war, but
3 from it this has been separated. So that's what I dealt with, and that
4 is why it is objective in that portion. Now, the fact that it was not
5 considered cannot be a part of the report. So that is my position, which
6 is now being altered.
7 Q. Colonel, don't worry about the part that you didn't see this. I
8 hadn't seen this for -- until very recently myself. But could you help
9 me out here and go over some of these VRS documents? It's --
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, as an expert, then, a security expert, I would
11 need a comprehensive analysis, and I cannot make conclusions based on
12 partial functions or how things were jeopardised because in the documents
13 itself from the military aspect it is easily recognisable, and security
14 has no better insight nor any better explanation than what command has.
15 So nothing specific in security -- nothing more can be seen specifically
16 within the realm of security than can be established through command and
17 checked out through command. So my role is derived from the context of
18 the material I dealt with, so I'm not concerned. I just don't have any
19 qualified answers to provide.
20 Q. You can't tell me why they blew up the -- or what security
21 reasons there may have been for blowing up a water tank and blaming it on
22 the Muslims?
23 A. Especially not that. I can't say that. It is outside my
24 knowledge and the possibilities that I have of clarifying the issue.
25 Q. Okay. Well, this next document may bring the questions a little
1 bit more into focus for you. Let's go to 65 ter 3500, and let me give
2 you a good copy of that too. This is another document from the Drina
3 Corps roughly three weeks later, June 21st, 1993. This one is actually
4 from Milenko Zivanovic, the commander that gave the oral order to blow up
5 the water tank and blame it on the Muslims.
6 Now, having in mind that that particular order that General
7 Zivanovic wanted this act to be blamed on the Muslims, let's take a look
8 at what this says from Zivanovic to TG Pribicevac, to the command,
9 attention Colonel Vukota Vukotic. Submit the data on the Muslim TGD that
10 demolished the water supply system in Zeleni Jadar. What's TDG mean? Or
11 TDG? Those -- sorry, the initials.
12 A. Are you asking me, sir?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I didn't understand it that way. That's why I paused. Sabotage
15 terrorist group. You quoted that correctly. Sabotage terrorist schools
16 or diversionary terror -- tactical group.
17 Q. Okay. So we see this report and it starts, it says, Since we
18 need to inform highest UNPROFOR bodies about the barbaric act of the
19 Muslim DTG when they demolished the water supply system in Zeleni Jadar
20 and on this occasion directly confronted our forces, inform me about the
21 following. According to your estimate, how many terrorists took part in
22 this demolition action; briefly describe the sequence of events, in the
23 direct clash with our forces whether you killed, wounded heavily or
24 lightly, or captured any terrorists. Submit identification data for
25 these persons if you're in possession of any. Submit the data by June
1 21st, 1993, at the latest until 2 hours.
2 Now, three weeks earlier Zivanovic tells Urosevic to demolish
3 this thing, and it is to be presented to the public as if the Muslim
4 forces did it. Now he's asking for documents suggesting -- or asking for
5 how the Muslim forces did it. What's all this about in your view? Think
6 the Muslim forces got in there and blew it up before the Serbs had a
7 chance to do that?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic?
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness has
10 already answered that when discussing the first document, and now after
11 everything that has gone before, my colleague puts hypotheticals to the
12 witness and documents and material that Mr. Vuga didn't deal with at all,
13 so we are in a situation where we are dealing with hypothetical things
14 and speculation and guess work.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Assuming that these two documents are authentic,
16 and I hear nothing challenging that so far, what Mr. McCloskey is doing
17 is putting two apparently contradictory documents, and he's trying to
18 solicit from the expert an explanation. So, Colonel, have you understood
19 Mr. McCloskey's question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood the question, but
21 the whole idea of Colonel Milenko Zivanovic, I cannot find anything that
22 would provide an answer to the question I'm being asked. Colonel
23 Zivanovic knows about this, and that's it.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. Well, Colonel, I can tell you that has been established that the
1 water system got blown up in this case, so I think a lot more people than
2 Colonel Zivanovic know about it, but let me ask you a question. You have
3 relied on many --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment -- yes, okay. Go ahead, go ahead.
5 One moment because we have got --
6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'll hear the question out,
7 Your Honour, and then afterwards I'll get on my feet if I need to.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. You have relied in your report and in your testimony on many VRS
11 reports of Muslim terrorist actions. Is that not correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Now, had you seen this particular report, 65 ter 3500, by itself,
14 you would have assumed that -- as we would have all that read that, that
15 this water tank was blown up by the Muslim forces and that this document
16 was correct and genuine, right?
17 A. That the document is correct and truthful, I cannot verify that,
18 but I'm relying on what is written down there.
19 Q. Okay. My point is, if this is a completely fabricated document
20 based on the orders of General Zivanovic to fabricate who actually blew
21 up the water tank, doesn't that cause you a little concern about the rest
22 of the documents you saw about blaming things on Muslims?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic? I suggest, anticipating what Ms.
24 Nikolic probably would be saying, that, Colonel, you take off your
25 headphones again, please. Thank you. Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we don't know whether
2 this document has been fabricated or not by General Zivanovic, nor do we
3 know what actually happened for the witness to be able to evaluate the
4 document in the way in which my colleague put his question.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is very simple. I'm just putting an
7 inference together from the previous document, nothing complicated nor
8 unfair about it. Armies do this to each other all the time. That's my
9 point. I'm just -- you know, and this has to do with security,
10 counter-intelligence. It's right on point. Nothing mysterious about
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We have understood the question perfectly
14 well, and on the basis of that, we believe that the witness can proceed
15 to answer the question. That's unless he wants an explanation from Mr.
17 So Mr. -- Colonel, have you understood the question that Mr.
18 McCloskey put to you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood Mr.
20 McCloskey's question. However, it would seem that what was not
21 understood was what I dealt with, and I dealt with threats to the Army of
22 Republika Srpska and the functions of the Army of Republika Srpska, any
23 threat to that and jeopardy to that. So when my mission, my task, is
24 placed in another context, in a different context, then it no longer has
25 that same meaning. So that's the substance of the misunderstanding and
1 the problem we are now facing. So, please, I would like to ask that my
2 task and assignment, as I was given, should be assessed that way. As far
3 as I'm concerned, this would be a completely new assignment as an expert.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. McCloskey?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have the authority to provide him a new
6 assignment, but I will continue to ask questions.
7 Q. Colonel, part of testifying here is answering the questions. If
8 the command in this courtroom allows the question to be asked, it's
9 imperative for you to answer it whether it has to do with your report or
10 not. You understand that?
11 A. Yes, I do understand that. Go ahead, please.
12 Q. You don't have --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: If you rephrase the question the way you explained
14 it when he had his headphones off, I think he will be able to answer it
15 better, or he would choose to answer the question, rather.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Colonel, the reason I'm asking you about this is because you have
18 made reference to many VRS documents of this time period relating to what
19 was going on in the woods around and in Srebrenica. Now, if we look at
20 this document, it appears that this is a fake document designed to make
21 the public and even the VRS believe that the Muslims blew up their own
22 water tank, and so my concern is you've been reviewing a lot of
23 documents. How do you know the difference between a faked document like
24 this one, which as you can see created terrorists out of the blue sky,
25 how do you know your -- the documents you looked at weren't fakes
1 designed to mislead the public?
2 A. Mr. McCloskey, the word "fake" or "fabrication" is one that I did
3 not utter. I did not say that the document was not in order, was not
4 valid. All I said was that from the aspects of whether it was truthful
5 or not I couldn't check that out, but I was looking at the contents of
6 the document. So that was as far as the authenticity of the document is
7 concerned, and I said that that is something General Zivanovic could
8 know, but I am looking at the contents of the document.
9 Q. One more time, I'll try. What I'm fascinated with about this
10 document is that it's sent to the command of Vukota Vukotic and it's
11 talking about providing documents to your own army to provide support for
12 what you know is a fantasy. Why would you want to fantasise with your
13 own army?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this question goes
16 quite beyond cross-examination and enters a different sphere altogether.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't go beyond. I mean, the witness is being
18 asked, from your experience as a military expert, would there be a reason
19 or is there a reason why a Colonel like Milenko Zivanovic would draft
20 such a document and have it addressed to and sent, communicated to
21 colleague - I forgot his name now - Vukotic or Vukota Vukotic. That's --
22 and he can answer that.
23 Yes, Colonel, if you could answer the question. Why would have
24 Milenko Zivanovic drawn up and sent such a letter or communication to
25 Vukota Vukotic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The expert for security just like
2 myself who deals in this area from this document cannot uncover the
3 motives and reasons for which this, precisely at that time and in this
4 way, was ordered by Zivanovic. Obviously, he wanted to achieve something
5 through documents that were supposed to be given to him to his hand.
6 Now, his intentions and the goal behind it, that stands behind that, is
7 something I cannot uncover from this document, but the entire procedure
8 as it stands in itself speaks of the fact that this is linked up. There
9 was linkage between the document, the first document, and this second
10 document. Now, the security organ cannot uncover the real reasons and go
11 into what Milenko Zivanovic thought in doing so. So as far as I'm
12 concerned, this procedure is not customary. It's unusual with respect to
13 the way it was conducted, carried out, and I'm saying this because I
14 can't say what Milenko Zivanovic's motives were in proceeding along these
15 lines. I would have to have far greater insight into everything
16 surrounding this particular act because this is insufficient for a
17 conclusion to be made, but the procedure itself is unusual. I did not
18 come across acts of this kind frequently.
19 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Let's go to another document. It's one that
20 you've seen briefly by the Defence, 65 ter number 1D1076. I'm sorry. My
21 printing on this copy is really small, so maybe we can get a -- the one
22 blown up on the screen to be a bit better. This is a document from
23 February 11th, 1995
24 and intelligence, from Vujadin Popovic. And I'm not so much interested
25 in the information that was in it, and I think you've talked about that a
1 -- but I see twice that Vujadin Popovic has made reference to the term
2 "balija." It says, we have information that a man called Milorad Radocic
3 [phoen] from Belgrade
4 Then it goes on to say the balijas are trying to establish the
5 whereabouts of prisoners.
6 Now, this isn't a bar or the trenches or the back rooms or in
7 some jeep. This is a document that goes out to all the security units,
8 what looks like all the brigades of the Drina Corps.
9 First of all, what is this term "balija," in your view?
10 A. As far as I know, the term "balija" represents a word in the
11 vernacular that has a certain dose of -- it has a certain derogatory
12 aspect or making fun of, just as the other side used the term "Chetniks,"
13 and you'll find similar terminology that was used when the parties were
14 confronted, but it refers -- it's not too derogatory. It's mildly
15 derogatory and appears in the vernacular. It has derogatory elements for
16 referring to Muslims.
17 Q. Are you aware of a worse word to Muslims than "balija"?
18 A. I don't know a lot of terms, generally speaking. I nor my family
19 were ever in areas where these mocking terms or derogatory terms were
20 used throughout my upbringing and so on. So I'm not well-versed in the
21 subject, and I was born in Croatia
23 Q. You must have grown up in a different world than I did. What's
24 worse, poturice or balija in your experience?
25 A. As to context -- the context of these words --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Madam Nikolic?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I would like my learned friend to
3 tell us what the object of that question is and what the grounds for
4 asking it are and where he's heading. What parts of the
5 examination-in-chief give rise to this type of question in the
6 cross-examination, whether we are dealing with credibility or what.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to answer that, Mr. McCloskey, in the
8 presence of the witness?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: He should probably --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, do you mind removing your headphones
11 again, please? And be patient with us. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: This was a document that was brought up in direct
13 examination. It was portrayed as a reasonable document involving
14 counter-intelligence, is my recollection. There is -- we are in a case
15 of genocide and persecutions where an ethnic element is part of it. As
16 you have seen, these documents are laced with these terms, official VRS
17 documents, and it's the position of the Prosecution that when you see
18 documents -- when you see terms like this outside of the bar, outside of
19 the trenches, when you see them in official documents, this has an effect
20 on the troops and the morale of people that hear them. And it gives an
21 indication of the professionalism and the quality and character of the
22 people that write them. We are not prosecuting anyone for using rotten
23 language, but I think the language gives us an insight into the ethnic
24 feelings of those that write them and help us understand this case
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me consult with my colleagues and
2 we'll -- yes, Ms. Nikolic?
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I have to speak in my own language
4 and answer the question. The witness has his headsets off, but [In
5 English] I'll try English, but it's not good enough.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the last thing we would do to you, Ms.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: I'll try to express myself in the best way. I
9 really don't think, Your Honour, that this witness is a real expert
10 witness for the question like my colleague indeed asked.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Yes, let me consult with my
12 colleagues, please.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Simple solution to the problem, if it's
15 a problem. This document was in the first place used by Mr. Zivanovic
16 during his direct, to start with. Secondly, we find absolutely nothing
17 extraordinary or out of the ordinary given the parameters of the
18 expertise of this witness for this question to be put and answered. So
19 I'm asking, Colonel -- page 55, line 4. One moment. Especially since
20 the witness himself said that it is mildly derogatory and appears in the
22 So I'm going to ask the Colonel to put on his headphones.
23 And yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. Colonel, I'm not quite sure where we are.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Neither am I but --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can get to the point.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: He had answered it from lines 8 to 12 -- to 11 of
4 that page, page 55. And then you commented, actually. Your next
5 question was, You must have grown up in a different world than I did.
6 What's worse, then ... or balija in your experience, but you were stopped
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. I asked you, Colonel, what was worse, poturice or balija, in
10 terms of a Muslim? How would -- what would be worse from a Muslim
11 perspective? You grew up in Yugoslavia
12 to this question.
13 A. To grow up in Yugoslavia
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, well, these are two different matters, two different
15 things. To answer your question precisely, I would have to have
16 communications experience and experience in living in the environments
17 where these terms are used, were these used in their original sense as
18 slang and to know what the emotional connotations are, to know how people
19 reacts to these terms. I didn't have such experience, so you can't put
20 such a question to me as a Yugoslav. So this is why there is such a gap
21 here. From books and other sources, there is much that I have learnt,
22 but this is something that has to do with one's life experience, and I
23 don't have that experience that relates to terms such as Chetniks and
24 balijas and so on and so forth.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go to one more document, 65 ter 3497, and let me
1 show you a copy of that. I won't spend much time with this one, Colonel.
2 It's much like the last one. This is 29 April 1995 document to the
3 chiefs of the organs for intelligence and security of -- looks like all
4 the brigades, including the mixed artillery regiment and the Engineering
5 Battalion, from Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. And just in looking at this,
6 I count his use of the term balijas, it's actually in reference to a
7 human being named Saban Omerovic [phoen], four times.
8 Is it appropriate for a JNA-trained professional security officer
9 to use these sorts of terms in their official correspondence with junior
10 security officers who are looking to him as an example?
11 A. As for how appropriate it is, if you're asking me this question,
12 if you're putting this question to me as a professional, well, I can say
13 that it's not appropriate.
14 Q. And why not?
15 A. Well, if I'm a security officer -- well, as I have already told
16 you what my experience is, I won't go into these offices, but if I were
17 such an officer I wouldn't understand all the dimensions and all the
18 meanings or the various meanings of this term.
19 Q. Okay. Let's go to another document, 65 ter 2517. This is really
20 the last one of this group of documents. And I'll give you a -- so you
21 can look at it. This is a document from 21 July 1995, personally to
22 General Miletic from assistant commander Major General Zdravko Tolimir.
23 It's entitled, "The Situation In Zepa." And what I'm mostly concerned
24 about is paragraph 5. You've already told us who Tolimir is, and I want
25 to get an idea from you why the -- what is it, if anything, about his
1 position as chief of intel and security that would involve him in the
2 activities we see suggested in paragraph 5. He's talking about the
3 Muslim army here, in the beginning, crashing the enemy's defence as we
4 see from paragraph 4, and he says, "The most convenient means for their
5 destruction would be the uses of chemical weapons or aerosol grenades and
6 bombs. Using these means would accelerate the surrender of Muslims and
7 the fall of Zepa." Now, he's making this proposal to General Miletic.
8 Is this the kind of getting around the -- how he's suggesting the
9 destruction of the forces, is -- where in the security branch do we find
10 rules supporting a -- you know, how to destroy the opposing forces? Is
11 that something that fits into the definitions you've been talking about?
12 A. I spoke about the definitions of special enemy groups and
13 infiltrated groups. These forces don't have such a character. As to the
14 means that were to be used, well, from the point of view of security, it
15 wasn't something that was examined. It didn't fall within the scope of
16 my work, and in itself this is not the task that falls within the field
17 of that profession. This is a military task. I can't imagine what sort
18 of chemical means are in question, but aerosol grenades and bombs, well,
19 these means have not been banned. So the answer to the question is that
20 I'm not familiar with the security aspect of this question. This is a
21 military question, destroying enemy forces, special enemy forces that
22 haven't been infiltrated. They are there.
23 Q. Can you tell us what aerosol grenades and bombs are, the ones
24 that have not been banned?
25 A. At this point in time, I can't provide you with a classification
1 of all the means, but on the basis of the literature I've consulted, I
2 came across explanations according to which some of these means can be
3 used, are not banned. So I can't provide you with a precise answer right
4 now. I would have to prepare myself somewhat for such an answer, but I'm
5 answering your question on the basis of what I have read so far.
6 Q. Did you read or hear about what Mr. Butler said about what these
7 things were?
8 A. I'm trying to remember what Mr. Butler said, but I'm not sure
9 that I have linked up the answer with the question and answer, but I
10 can't be very precise here.
11 Q. He was I think on the witness stand even longer than you were, so
12 don't worry about that.
13 What kind of chemical weapons were in the arsenal of the JNA or
14 VJ when you were chief assistant or you were the assistant chief of
16 A. I haven't got any experience or knowledge about chemical weapons.
17 I'd been educated for PNKPO, anti-nuclear chemical protection -- defence,
18 so from the point of view of defence. Not from the point of view of
19 possessing means, but from that point of view we had enough information
20 on protection on the way in which these means could be used to attack. I
21 never had the occasion of seeing chemical or biological weapons nor did I
22 study about how these weapons were used.
23 Q. Okay. Looking at the last part of paragraph 5, we believe that
24 we could force Muslims to surrender sooner if we would destroy groups of
25 Muslim refugees fleeing from the direction of Stublic, Radava, and
1 Brloska Planina: To your knowledge as a professional that's talked about
2 the laws of war, is this legitimate, to try to destroy fleeing groups of
3 refugees in order to get the army to surrender sooner?
4 A. In the order Stupcanica 95, it says that the Muslim population
5 and UNPROFOR are not the target, and this isn't in accordance with that
6 order or with any other.
7 Q. So this is a very illegal order, isn't it? But it's not an
8 order. Let's get that straight. This is a very illegal proposal.
9 A. The proposal, such as it is -- well, naturally it's not an order
10 because General Tolimir did not have the authority to exercise command.
11 Q. But it's very illegal, isn't it, this proposal, what he's asking
13 A. We said that that was the case from the point of view of the
14 order and from the point of view of the proposal itself, from the point
15 of view of the order Stupcanica 95. That's what I had in mind when I
16 referred to an order.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we'll have the break now. How much
18 longer do you have, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's taken quite a bit longer than I thought it
20 was going to, but I hope -- I'm still hoping I can finish today, but it's
21 going to be close.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. So 25 minutes -- do you want to
23 reduce it to 20 minutes? Yes, Ms. Fauveau?
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I could have waited to
25 the end of the cross-examination of the Prosecutor, but I thought that it
1 would be --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you need the witness in the courtroom or not?
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, no, no, pas du tout.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And Colonel, you can withdraw.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [In English] No, not at all.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would require 25
7 minutes if possible.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We will give you 25 minutes. Yes, Ms. Fauveau?
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe that it would be better
10 to inform the parties and to ask your leave for this. Following some of
11 the questions put by the Prosecutor, I would seek for your leave to allow
12 me a very short cross-examination, which stems from the document that
13 we've just seen a few moments ago, and also I have some questions with
14 regarding Srebrenica. If you give me that permission, I will not go over
15 -- I would need 10 to 15 minutes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will communicate our decision on
17 that later when we resume, okay? Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
22 Q. Colonel, you had -- I think you were shown some documents and you
23 talked a bit about the security officer's review of recruits or
24 volunteers, I guess, from places outside the former Yugoslavia, in
25 particular, Poland
2 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey, I do remember.
3 Q. And I think we all understood that vetting foreign volunteers is
4 a good idea for -- to make sure you're not -- try to make sure you're not
5 getting some kind of a spy or problematic person.
6 At that time, should or did -- well, let me put it this way:
7 Would it have been a good idea for a VRS security officer in looking at a
8 Polish volunteer to identify what religion he was from? Would religion
9 be a significant issue in looking at his security -- potential security
11 A. This problem could be viewed from the aspects of the
12 comprehensive conditions, not isolated, not religion and faith per se
13 because that in itself, unless there are any other factors and
14 influences, would not be an essential reason or vital reason from the
15 security aspect. I don't know if I've been clear enough. From the
16 security aspect, I'm saying.
17 Q. Shouldn't a -- well, would a VRS security officer be worried
18 about bringing on Polish Catholics?
19 A. A security officer would be worried, first and foremost, for the
20 fact that there is no answer to the question as to what the real motives
21 were of the arrival of volunteers because wars kill people; people are
22 killed in wars, and so if somebody comes who is from -- comes in who is
23 otherwise a very long way away from the war to take part in that war,
24 then one must find the answer to what the real reason for that person
25 doing that is. Now, if, along with that, there are some other factors,
1 some other indexes which do not -- which cannot be incorporated into the
2 entire context and character of the war, then this would require a
3 comprehensive overview of the situation. So that would be an answer.
4 Q. Okay. [Microphone not activated] ... documents now, and I want
5 to go to a document that you talked a bit about, and I want to give you a
6 -- another chance to answer a question on it. It's 65 ter 131, and for
7 your benefit, let me give you a typed version of it. I'm sure you'll
8 recognise it. It's that document that General Tolimir sent to General
9 Gvero on the 13th of July, and we see it's handwritten, that it was
10 submitted at 2230 hours on the 13th, so pretty late. You have given us
11 your analysis of this, and I'm not going to ask you why Tolimir would
12 suggest sending Muslims to take care of a pig farm, but I want you to
13 look at that last line especially. "It would be best if this is a new
14 group which has not been in contact with the other prisoners of war."
15 Now, I'm going to ask you this question in the context of a
16 hypothetical, which, as I mentioned, is -- should be fair game and part
17 of your job here, and the hypothetical reflects the facts as the
18 Prosecution sees them, and they are this: The late evening hours of 13
19 July, in the areas around Srebrenica and Bratunac, the morning of 13
20 July, about 16 people were taken by an execution squad in a bus when,
21 buses were in great need, and executed. At about 1.00 p.m. the same day,
22 on the 13 July, in the area near Konjevic Polje, three buses were taken
23 from this massive transport of civilians and filled with Muslim men of
24 military age and were joined by an APC and an excavator, and these three
25 buses, the APC, and the excavator trundled off down the road to the
1 Cerska Valley
2 executed in the afternoon hours of 13 July, and later on a little bit
3 later, roughly a thousand men in the warehouse at Kravica were mowed down
4 by automatic weapon fire as they were huddled inside the warehouse.
5 So that's what's happened on the 13 July, and at 2230 hours there
6 is roughly somewhere in the amount of 5.000 to 6.000 Muslims all detained
7 in schools and vehicles around Bratunac, some are actually in Zvornik, in
8 the Orahovac school, that night. They are being beaten, they are being
9 killed individually at times.
10 So take that into account, that background. When you look at
11 this document, and you've told us about Tolimir, that he's the man that
12 should be in the know. And if Tolimir knows that there are hundreds and
13 hundreds of prisoners being detained in separate areas, and he's talking
14 about bringing 800 prisoners of war to this area at the Podrinje Light
15 Infantry Brigade, "It would be best if this new group, which has not been
16 in contact with the other prisoners of war."
17 Now, given this factual scenario I've given you, what is the most
18 reasonable interpretation of what that line means? Why would Tolimir
19 want his group of 800 separate and apart from the other group?
20 A. Mr. McCloskey, there are several things here. The description
21 lasted a long time, so we must clarify them very well, properly. First
22 of all, where was General Tolimir with respect to the events that we are
23 discussing? That's the first serious question, for us to be able to see
24 how far he actually was aware and informed of the events which were
25 described or whether anything at all about those events reached General
1 Tolimir at the place where he was located at the time. Now --
2 Q. Let me add something to make this clear, sorry. Let's say
3 General Tolimir knew that those 6.000 men that were being held that were
4 still alive were marked for death, were going to be summarily executed.
5 If you throw that into the equation, let's say he knows, doesn't that
6 give meaning to this last statement?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to your next question, and let us draw
8 the conclusion if there is evidence to what you're saying, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. All right. Let's go to an easier area, Colonel, something I want
11 to try to clear up. 65 ter number 107, and this is the Krivaja 95 attack
12 plan that you saw. I think you said that you were nonplussed with a
13 section in it that made reference to the security branch and the MPs
14 finding locations for prisoners of war, and you talked at length about
15 security branch and prisoners of war and MPs, and I don't want to go
16 through that with you again, but I do want to give you a chance to see
17 the original documents because I think that may help in your evaluation.
18 Okay. The first one I want to give to you is -- just so it's
19 clear it's ERN 04303386. It's got an original inked signature from
20 General Zivanovic, and it was found in a -- what we call the Drina Corps
21 archives. And in it at page 7 is that section that you talked about:
22 "Security organs and military police will indicate the areas for
23 gathering and securing prisoners of war and war booty."
24 Now, to try to save some time, that one doesn't have any markings
25 on it. It's got an original signature. I believe there was a suggestion
1 that perhaps someone had corrected that mistaken view of the security
2 branch's responsibilities in a later document. You remember that?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If this is
5 about P107, the ERN number that we have in e-court does not coincide with
6 the ERN that Mr. McCloskey quoted on page 67, line 5. So could he please
7 identify the document for us to be able to follow what it's about, if
8 it's 507?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I've got it right.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] 107.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's just the original inked copy of the Krivaja
13 95 plan. There are several of them. This is just one.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Do you -- yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, may we know how many such documents the
16 Prosecution has at its disposal. What does it mean, several of them?
17 May we see that?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have the same number that you have. This is
20 no big mystery. I can clear this up with you later, but it's -- this is
21 all been disclosed. There is a Drina Corps version, and that's what
22 we'll get into.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Nikolic?
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, according to the list
25 that I have, which the Prosecution provided for the cross-examination,
1 P107 has a different ERN number from the one mentioned by Mr. McCloskey.
2 So could we see it -- see whether it's the same document and then move
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: The one in e-court is -- was picked up at the
6 Zvornik Brigade. The one the Colonel has came from the Drina Corps
7 collection. Somebody want to see it? They're welcome to see it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we proceed? I don't understand why we should
9 have this problem, to be honest with you.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: There is really nothing very mysterious about
11 this, so --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So you will show the document or you
13 give the information later to the parties. In the meantime, please,
14 let's proceed.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. All right, Colonel. So that's the one that's got that --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm aware of two versions of these documents.
19 One of them was corrected, and it was subject of my examination of the
20 witness and the cross-examination of many other witnesses. And I'd like
21 to know if the Prosecution has the third or fourth or any other version
22 of these documents as well. I'd like to see that. And this ERN number
23 is not the same as the ERN number indicated to us through document 107.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm into ERN knots all day long, but it's -- I'm
1 going to get to the document that he's concerned about, and these
2 documents have all been provided for -- to the Defence in various ways.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed and then you clarify this later with
4 the parties. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. So, Colonel, we have got that original, inked version now, and
7 that should have gone out via teletype or in some other way to various --
8 the various brigade units, correct?
9 A. There is something that doesn't quite tally. You said it was
10 page 7. I have page 4 here. It refers to security. So we are talking
11 about the same thing?
12 Q. Yes. It's that section you testified about. Thanks for the
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, the witness has this document shown to him
16 in a binder, our binder, and it is not necessary to look at this document
17 given right now by the Prosecution. It is P107, and I do not see any --
18 any problem to see that in the binder.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to see the document that he has been
20 given, of course you have every right to have a look at it and confront
21 it with what you may have given him, but please, let's proceed. Do you
22 wish to see the document that he's just been given?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, I would.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you please show the document to Mr.
25 Zivanovic? And in the meantime, you can proceed on the basis of what you
1 have on the screen in e-court.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. Okay. All right, Colonel. So let's say we see this original,
4 inked signature of that document. That should be valid, though you've
5 pointed out to a document that Mr. Zivanovic went over with you that had
6 what you said I think dark line-outs. So let me show you the original of
7 that document, and that was 65 ter 1D382. And here is the original, and
8 Mr. Zivanovic, if you'd like to see it, you can see the pencil marks on
9 it. It's just the original of the photocopy that everybody's had. Let
10 me give that to you so you can see it. It's -- as an expert, as you
11 probably agree, it's always good to be able to have original documents
12 when making some kind of analysis. Just take a look at that, and you'll
13 see those pencil marks that you've seen -- oh, sorry, that's not the
14 pencil-marked one. It's getting late. We are -- that's -- sorry, that's
15 the original that you were looking at or that's the inked copy. This one
16 that has the pencil marks, I'm sure you'll recognise it as the -- an
17 original version of the copy that you were talking about, but there is no
18 inked signature at the bottom. And the important part of all this time
19 is, I want you to be able to look at, which may not have been clear in
20 the copied version, the last page of the marked-up version that says --
21 stamped, it was a command of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
22 Isn't that a receipt stamp, showing that that was received by the
23 Bratunac Brigade on 5 July 1995
24 A. Could you please repeat that question? I was reading the
25 document, so I wasn't quite following. I apologise.
1 Q. So do you see that receipt stamp at the bottom that shows that
2 this document came it to the Bratunac Brigade on 5 July 1995?
3 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I can see the stamp.
4 Q. Okay. So now, if we take into account that this document was
5 received by the Bratunac Brigade on the 5th of July, and now we look at
6 these pencil marks on it, isn't it a fair conclusion that somebody at the
7 Bratunac Brigade went through the security section and added a few things
8 and crossed out a few things?
9 A. Given the designation of the document, one could come to the
10 conclusion that this was done in the Bratunac Brigade, given the marking.
11 Q. And we can see, as you've testified to, I think, that in the
12 marked-up version of that document somebody wrote in that Pribicevac as
13 the location where POWs would go?
14 A. Yes. This is obvious in the document. You can see that.
15 Q. Okay. And then if we go to P3025, we may not need to get it all
16 up on the board, but if it comes up, fine. This is what you were shown
17 earlier, and it's the Bratunac Brigade's version of the Krivaja attack
18 plan dated 5 July where they adopted much of the information in the corps
19 plan and made it applicable to their specific needs as a brigade, which I
20 think you've testified about. And we should see on that that they've
21 actually put in prisoners of war and war booty to be collected in
22 Pribicevac. So the point of that would be that if we see the original
23 inked signature of Milenko Zivanovic, would that reflect the final work
24 product of the Drina Corps as it went out to the brigades?
25 A. The question mentions a request for fighting. It's from -- it's
1 forwarded to the subordinate units, and that includes the Bratunac
2 Brigade. So it's a basis for the commander. The commander will take a
3 decision on that basis.
4 Q. Right. And the part that you were nonplussed with or you thought
5 was inappropriate in terms of the use of security was that portion that
6 said "security organs and the military police will indicate the areas for
7 gathering and securing prisoners of war and war booty". So my question
8 is now that you understand how that carved-up document came into
9 existence and that you can see that the original words of General
10 Zivanovic or the people that drafted it for him are not changed, do you
11 still disagree or are you still nonplussed by this comment, "Security
12 organs and military police will indicate the areas for gathering and
13 securing prisoners of war"?
14 A. I have two documents. Which one are you referring to right now?
15 I have the original document from General Zivanovic, and I have a
16 document that has been amended, so could you be precise, please?
17 Q. The original document from General Zivanovic.
18 A. Very well. I understand. The original document, which was
19 drafted and signed by General Zivanovic, well, I examined it in the light
20 of the norms in force at the time, and this has to do with engaging
21 security organs, and in the light of those norms and regulations, well,
22 I'll tell you what it involves if you like, but in the light of those
23 norms and regulations, this document or this part of the document wasn't
24 in accordance with the regulations in force at the time in the Army of
25 Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Thank you, Colonel. And I apologise.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, could we adjourn early now? I
3 need to adjourn.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. By all means. Colonel, we haven't
5 finished today contrary to our expectations. We'll continue tomorrow
6 morning at 9.00.
7 You can withdraw now with the assistance of our usher. In the
8 meantime, before we adjourn, Mr. McCloskey, on something completely
9 different --
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thanks. We stand adjourned
13 until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of July,
16 2008, at 9.00 a.m.