1 Wednesday, 19 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar, and good morning,
7 everybody. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All the accused are present.
11 Prosecution, we have Mr. McCloskey today on his own. Amongst the Defence
12 teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Lazarevic, Mr. Bourgon,
13 and Mr. Haynes.
14 While I was making this statement, Mr. Mitchell for the
15 Prosecution entered the courtroom.
16 The witness is present. We are going to proceed and conclude
17 with his testimony.
18 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. President, Your
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, everyone.
23 WITNESS: LJUBOMIR OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpretation]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey [Continued]
1 Q. Good morning, General Obradovic. Almost finished.
2 Just a couple of -- two or three more intercepts that should be
3 pretty quick. You had -- in talking about an intercept that Mr. Petrusic
4 had showed you, there was a reference in it where General Miletic said he
5 was not authorised to do something, and he had to check with his
6 superior. I think we remember that.
7 And I want to show you another intercept. It's 65 ter number
8 1401 B, and I'm handing you a copy, and A is in the English. And this is
9 dated August 4th, and so I'm not so interested in the -- the overall
10 content. We can see from this that this, according to the BiH army, is
11 between General Miletic and a UN Colonel that they spell out as Quape.
12 Do you remember a UN Colonel with a name like that that may have been in
13 contact with the Main Staff at about this time-period? You can see
14 briefly what it's about.
15 General Miletic seems to be quite upset with this fellow over
16 some shenanigans he felt that the UN was pulling in their -- UN in their
17 convoys. Does that UN name bring back any memory?
18 A. Your Honours, I do not remember this name, Quape, that is
19 mentioned here.
20 Q. All right. Well, maybe as you look at that you'll remember
21 something about it, because I think you will agree with me that General
22 Miletic is not happy with this colonel, and I just simply want to recall
23 your attention to the -- I've marked with a pen on that paragraph, and
24 it's the bottom paragraph in the English. So I think we are going to
25 need to -- to go up. And it's -- it's about two-thirds of the way down
1 in the B/C/S, and it starts out with: "No, sir, no..." This is General
3 And maybe you can help us. In that second line. There's this
4 word that a helicopter had landed at, and then it's "inzjnjering" or
5 something. Do you know what that word is? Our translation people
6 didn't, where the helicopter was landing?
7 A. I do not know that name. The meaning of the word "inzjnjering,"
8 "engineering," I would have to know the context to be sure what it refers
10 Q. Okay. And anyway, we see from this that the UN were allegedly
11 shipping out some wounded, but General Miletic goes on and says: "And I
12 have information that you are not carrying just those two, your wounded,
13 and I have no desire whatsoever to take on any more responsibility
14 myself, because at that time I approved it on my own responsibility, not
15 with the agreement of my commander. I have no desire to take on that
16 responsibility myself because of your improper behaviour. You may I have
17 ground transport to Kiseljak, but you can set off whenever you like.
18 Just say when you're setting off, and then you won't fool me again."
19 Then they go on and talk a little bit more, mentioning Tolimir,
20 Mladic, Smith, Janvier. So my question is, do you think General Miletic
21 was telling truth to this colonel when he said that he authorised that
22 movement of the wounded himself, or was that something you think he might
23 have just been saying, you know, for the purpose of argument in
24 influencing this colonel?
25 A. Your Honours, knowing General Miletic, I do not believe that he
1 would engage in any kind of manipulation. I am not acquainted with this
2 particular event, but if he did something on his own, against the
3 regulations and then was reprimanded for it from his commander or the
4 Main Staff, then I can understand his position.
5 Q. So do you recall any time in August General Miletic being able to
6 make these decisions about a transport, a UN transport, on his own?
7 A. As far as I know, he was not authorised to take such decisions
8 himself. He always consulted the Chief of Staff or the commander to get
9 certain approvals, and if he did something on his own for the benefit of
10 the wounded and was fooled, then I understand his -- his mood.
11 Q. Fair enough. All right. Let's go to the next one. When General
12 Miletic was fooled or was angry, he was a force to be reckoned with,
13 wasn't he?
14 A. Well, he was seldom angry. These are extraordinary
15 circumstances. I, as his subordinate officer, in no contact with him saw
16 him angry. He was always very calm and collected.
17 Q. Sir, that didn't answer my question, but I think we can go on.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 3911. This is dated August
19 7th, and I think it's that top one I put a little star by. Take a little
20 time to read this one, because this has someone named Obradovic speaking,
21 and in this intercept Obradovic seems to be answering the phone, and a
22 Colonel Lazic asks for Miletic.
23 Now, do you know a Colonel Lazic from the Drina Corps?
24 A. Yes. Colonel Lazic, I think his first name is Milan. I know
1 Q. Have you talked to him at all this year?
2 A. I haven't seen him since the war.
3 Q. Did you hear that he testified in here?
4 A. I don't know that.
5 Q. Okay. Well, in this conversation it looks like Colonel Lazic is
6 calling the Main Staff, and he gets you, and he says: "Hi, Obradovic" --
7 or you say: Yes, please, Lazic. Obradovic here, or, Here Obradovic.
8 He says: "Hi, Obradovic."
9 You say: "Hi. How are you?"
10 He says: "Fine. Hey, is Miletic there?"
11 And you say: "Miletic went down to Radovan's. Ah ha."
12 Then you go on a little bit and talk about some things that I'm
13 not really that interested in. I'm not sure there is any real reason for
14 you to remember this conversation, but in looking at it, do you believe
15 that this is you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And when Colonel Lazic asks you where Miletic is, you said
18 Miletic went down to Radovan's. What did you mean by that?
19 A. Yes, to the corps commander; that is, to the zone of the
20 Herzegovina Corps. And I identified the corps by mentioning the name of
21 the corps commander, and that's Radovan Grubac.
22 Q. And you mention, actually, Grubac's -- or sorry, Colonel Lazic
23 actually mentions Grubac's name later on. Okay. Thank you. There is
24 this other person named Radovan that I just wanted to clear that one up.
1 A. I was misguided. He had said to me that he was in the west, and
2 I was inquiring whether the roads were jammed by the large number of
3 refugees. But he was, in fact, elsewhere, with the Sarajevo Romanija
5 Q. So do you remember this situation that you gentlemen are talking
7 A. There were many conversations. I can identify this. I am sure
8 this is me and Colonel Lazic, but I'm -- wouldn't know about the details.
9 There were many conversations. You can't remember everything.
10 Q. The Colonel from the Drina Corps that I am talking about is named
11 Milenko Lazic. Is that the one you're thinking of?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Then the -- I believe the last - I hope the last
15 - intercept is 65 ter 3917, and it's a bit of a long one. It's dated 3
16 September 1995, and it starts out at 1311.
17 Q. So if you look at the bottom of that first page, that's where the
18 conversation starts at 1311. And, again, I'm really not that concerned
19 about the content of this long conversation, but it again appears to be
20 involving you, and as we see from this, it looks like Karadzic calls and
21 announces himself over the open air waves as Karadzic speaking.
22 You say: "Good afternoon. Colonel Obradovic. Can I help you,
24 So I take it as you have called him "President," this is the
25 President Karadzic that's here in Scheveningen at the moment?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. And the first thing he asks you is: "Where is General
4 And you say: "He went down to the barracks. He told me that he's
5 on his way, but he's not in the building yet."
6 Do you know what you mean when you say this to the president,
7 which barracks, which building?
8 A. The facility at Crna Rijeka was at the foot of the Zepa mountain.
9 We stayed at the facilities there when there were no threats from NATO
10 that they would bomb us. When we thought that they could bomb us,
11 they -- we would do something else. We would go to an underground
12 facility at the foot of the Zepa mountain. We had lots of personal
13 things. General Miletic went to fetch some things there, and in the
14 meantime the -- the president called, and he excepted General Miletic to
15 answer the phone, and Miletic left me behind to answer the phones in case
16 there would -- in case someone would call, and he had left. The distance
17 between us was some 2, 2 and a half kilometres, but it is all the command
18 post at Crna Rijeka.
19 Q. So that's a pretty good example of why it's important for Miletic
20 to let people know where he is when he leaves the building.
21 A. That's the duty of a superior officer, a commanding officer [as
22 interpreted], but he doesn't -- he doesn't give this information to many
23 people. He just informs me so that I know what to do when someone wants
24 to contact him.
25 Q. Do you know where you --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. Mr. Petrusic.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in line 17 on page
3 7, up until "commanding officer." Well, "commanding officer" was not the
4 phrase the witness used. He said, in fact, a "superior officer." I
5 suggest that this be corrected.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: There is already "superior officer." What I think
7 you are suggesting is the deletion from the transcript of the words
8 "commanding officer" then, yes? I need to check with the witness and
9 also with the interpreters, what they heard, please. It seems to be
10 superior officer for sure, but did the witness also say "commanding
11 officer"? Can someone help me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said "superior
13 officer," and that applies to all levels. The superior officer informs
14 the person standing in for him, where he is going, for how long he will
15 be absent, and how he can be reached when the official need arises.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Let's proceed.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. All right. And then after -- well, let me ask you, do you
19 remember where you were when you picked up the phone? Were you in
20 Miletic's office, Milovanovic's office, the ops room?
21 A. Miletic's office door was open, and I heard the phone, and I was
22 in the ops room.
23 Q. All right. And then the president, his next person he wants to
24 talk -- he says: "Is Mladic somewhere close by?"
25 And you say: "No, he went on a trip this morning."
1 And then can the Karadzic says: "Uh-huh. He went far, right?"
2 -- going over to the next page in the English.
3 Was that true? Had General Mladic gone someplace far that day?
4 A. I don't know if he had left that day. I said that he had left.
5 I think that he went west.
6 Q. All right. Is it possible that Mladic is there and he had just
7 told you guys that if the president calls, tell him that I'm not around?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. When -- I'm sure you're familiar in August when President
10 Karadzic tried to fire General Mladic, right? It's public.
11 A. He didn't try to fire him. I believe that he appointed him as
12 his advisor.
13 Q. Even worse. Okay. Well, be it fire or his advisor, as you know,
14 many generals in the VRS signed or were against that. And can you tell
15 us, you must know where General Miletic stood on that. Did he -- was he
16 against President Karadzic's move towards Mladic on that regard? Or did
17 he support it or stay neutral?
18 A. General Miletic didn't discuss that with me.
19 Q. General, must know where he stood on that issue of all issues.
20 Even if he didn't discuss it with you, what's --
21 A. I know his position based on that list and his signature, but he
22 didn't speak to me about that, the list of persons supporting the
23 commander of the Main Staff.
24 Q. So you saw the list of people supporting a commander?
25 A. No, I didn't see the list.
1 Q. Well, you just referred to it. Do you know if Miletic was on
2 that list or not?
3 A. I learned it from the media. Nobody ever showed me the list
4 because I believe that the signatories didn't sign it all at once, but
5 the general public knew the positions of the generals with regard to that
6 initiative of the president of the republic.
7 Q. Okay. So to your knowledge, what you learned in the media was
8 General Miletic, had he signed off on that list supporting Mladic?
9 A. As far as I can remember, a majority or nearly all generals
10 signed that list.
11 Q. Well, that's right, and I'm sure you would remember whether or
12 not General Miletic was on the list that went out in the media.
13 A. I think so.
14 Q. And from learning that his name was on the list in the media when
15 this happened, did any information come to you after that indicating that
16 the media was wrong?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So as you sit here today, you believe -- do you believe that
19 General Mladic -- excuse me, General Miletic was on that list supporting
20 General Mladic?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. General, I'm sorry. I took us a diversion from our intercept,
23 but -- so let's get back to it. So you've told us that you believe
24 Mladic was probably at the western front. Then the next person he asks
25 for is -- or, actually, excuse me, President Karadzic says: "You don't
1 know when he's coming back, right?"
2 And you say: "No, I don't."
3 And then you offer General Tolimir, and that's going to be on
4 page 2 of the B/C/S, I'm told. So you may -- yeah, you've got it there.
5 Thank you. And then Karadzic tells you to put him on, and then we get
6 Tolimir on the line, and he apparently puts Mrs. Plavsic and
7 Mr. Krajisnik on the speaker phone. And they all have a big chat about
8 General Smith, and they say he's a bit cheeky, and I don't need to go
9 into the whole rest of the conversation, but did you stay on the line and
10 listen to this conversation?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Okay. That'll cut things short. You had mentioned this little
13 initials for archives, archiving things. When did you leave the Main
14 Staff? You were there after the war for a while, weren't you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So when did you actually leave or retire?
17 A. Towards the end of August 1996 is when I left.
18 Q. All right. When -- and at that time that you left, where were
19 the archives that these -- the materials we saw? I think they were the
20 convoy requests. Where were the general Main Staff archives for war?
21 Clearly the war was over by August 1996.
22 A. I wouldn't know that.
23 Q. Well, because, we've never -- you may know, we've never really
24 been able to find the archives. We have a few bits and pieces of
25 original documents. We found January through April of those UN reports,
1 but May, June, July, were not in the Banja Luka archives. Have you any
2 idea where the Main Staff archives went?
3 A. I don't. No, I don't have any idea.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: General, thank you very much for your time.
5 Nothing further.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Petrusic, do you
7 have a redirect? Can you give us an estimate of how long you expect to
8 question the witness, roughly?
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we have an idea of how long you --
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I was not receiving
12 a translation of your words earlier. That's why I did not reply. I'm
14 May I start, Mr. President?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but I'd like to know beforehand so - for
16 planning purposes - how long you think you will be putting questions to
17 your witness on redirect.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I am sure I will be finished
19 before our first break. I think I will.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Take your time, and please
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Petrusic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General, sir. Over the past three
25 days, you've said a lot; and in my re-examination, I would like to go
1 back to some of the issues that were touched upon in order to clarify
2 them. You have spoken a lot about the term "standing in" for somebody in
3 the command post, and you said that in the absence of the commander and
4 the Chief of Staff, the person who stands in for the commander of the
5 Main Staff is either one of his assistants, and you said it would be the
6 assistant for morale, religious matters, and legal matters. You also
7 mentioned the assistant commander for intelligence and security, the
8 assistant commander for logistics, the chief of the sector for
9 development and finance, the chief of the sector for airforce, and the
10 assistant commander for organisation and mobilization.
11 My question to you, sir, is this: When after the commander and
12 of the Chief of Staff there is none of the aforementioned officers, who
13 would be the person to stand in for the commander in the command post in
14 his absence?
15 A. If I understood your question properly, if there is no single
16 assistant, you are asking me about that situation. General Miletic.
17 Q. Further on, I would like to clarify one more thing. It seems to
18 me that in answering the Prosecutor's question, the Prosecutor said that
19 in that case he was the commander of the military. My question to you is
20 this: When he stands in for him in the command post, what powers does
21 any person standing in for the commander have?
22 A. The powers are relative to the organisational work in the command
23 post. The command of the army is still within the purview of the
24 commander if the commander is in the territory of the Republika Srpska.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
1 Exhibit number P3923.
2 Q. The document will appear on e-court on your screen, sir. In the
3 preamble of this document, it says that the unit in question is a company
4 of the 16th Krajina Motorised Brigade and that that unit was engaged in
5 the composition of the 1st Zvornik Brigade. We know that it was during
6 the period between the 16th of July and the 21st of July. Tell me,
7 please, this unit from the 1st Krajina Corps, was it resubordinated to
8 the Zvornik Brigade?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did, and how, the Zvornik Brigade report about the developments
11 in its zone of responsibility? Did it report to the Main Staff?
12 A. The Zvornik Brigade sent its reports to the command of the Drina
13 Corps, and the Drina Corps command in its turn sent its unified report
14 for the corps to the Main Staff.
15 Q. Could this unit in any shape or form independently send reports
16 from that part of the front line to the Main Staff, and to be more
17 specific, to General Miletic at the time?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would the Drina Corps, reported about in the daily reports from
20 the Zvornik Brigade, would that contain the information on -- that the
21 Main Staff and the -- and General Miletic knew about the developments in
22 the Zvornik Brigade?
23 A. No. Not separately for the Zvornik Brigade, but for the corps,
24 which implies all the brigades of the Drina Corps.
25 Q. I believe that we have not understood each other properly. I'm
1 absolutely clear that those were unified reports of all the brigades, but
2 what I am asking is this: What the Zvornik Brigade told the Drina Corps
3 about the developments in its zone, was that conveyed to the Main Staff
4 by the Drina Corps?
5 A. There should have been part of the report, but whether it was or
6 whether it wasn't, I really can't be sure of that.
7 Q. And to cut the long story short, let's say that the Drina Corps
8 was the one who informed the Main Staff about the developments in the
9 Zvornik Brigade.
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
12 5D1194. This is page 19 in the Serbian version and page 11 in the
13 English version. Could we please stay on the first page in the Serbian
14 version just for a moment, the first page in the Serbian version.
15 Q. General, sir, do you see that this is the rules of official
16 correspondence and office operations in the Army of Yugoslavia?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And now can we go to page 19 in
19 the Serbian version and page 11 in English. I apologise. Page 19 in
20 Serbian. Both pages are correct.
21 Q. General, sir, yesterday in answering the Prosecutor's questions,
22 you spoke about the abbreviation "SR," and you said that you did not
23 encounter that in your practice and that this does not exist in these
24 rules of office -- operations and official correspondence. Could you
25 please look at paragraph 21. It is actually Article 21; I apologise. In
1 the Serbian version, the text spills over to the following page, page 20.
2 Very well.
3 As you are reading this article on signing documents, do you see
4 this abbreviation "SR" anywhere?
5 A. I said yesterday that this did not exist in these rules, and as
6 we are looking at the rules we can actually see that -- or, rather, we
7 can't see it anywhere. It doesn't exist.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
9 document number P2517.
10 Q. Yesterday, on page 28393, line 5, there was some confusion. The
11 Prosecutor asked you, and I quote: "What opinion did the staff have about
12 the proposal put forth by General Tolimir to bomb the refugee columns" --
13 I apologise -- "to destroy the columns in order to force the Muslims to
14 surrender? Was that based on the opinion of the staff?" Last paragraph,
15 end of quote.
16 Your answer was this: "They did not have any comment to that."
17 My question to you is this: On the 21st of July, were you at the
18 Main Staff?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you familiar with this situation entitled "Situation in
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you in the Main Staff act upon the proposal that was put
24 forth by General Tolimir?
25 A. No, we did not, and there was no way for us to act upon that.
1 Only the person with effective command of a unit that was in a position
2 to act upon this proposal could do that.
3 Q. Would you have carried out a proposal of this sort, and I'm
4 talking about paragraph 4, the first paragraph below paragraph 4.
5 A. No. But it was not customary to act upon proposals. You acted
6 upon orders issued by your superiors. He could have proposed anything.
7 He could have proposed for us to use an atomic bomb for all we cared,
8 because we did not have it in the first place.
9 Q. Would you have acted in the same what when it came to the
10 destruction of the refugees?
11 A. That was never our goal, the civilian population --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, asked and answered. It's not the
13 operations people, as he said, to act on proposals like this. We know
14 what they do with proposals, and he's already said. So this is going
15 over ground that is not appropriate.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Shall we proceed with your next
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Were there any comments on this text at all, if you will allow me
20 that question.
21 A. We found it ridiculous, preposterous.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think -- I am loathe to ask you this, but
23 given when I asked the witness about this that he had no comment, I would
24 like to reserve the possibility at the end of the redirect to question
25 him on it. I hope I won't need to, but I think in this kind of a
1 context, when he won't answer me about it and will answer the other
2 person about it, I should be able to ask again.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll see to that if the need arises. Let's
4 continue, Mr. Petrusic. Perhaps you have heard -- Mr. Obradovic, you
5 have heard what Mr. McCloskey had to say. Do you have an explanation why
6 you answered Mr. Petrusic one way and Mr. McCloskey another for -- to the
7 same question?
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait, wait, wait. Have you received interpretation
10 or not? I am waiting for your answer, Mr. Obradovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I thought that you
12 were giving the floor to Mrs. Fauveau. That's why I did not answer.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I gave the floor to you. I couldn't have been
14 addressing Ms. Fauveau saying what you are supposed to have answered.
15 You answered the same question put to you both by Mr. McCloskey and by
16 Mr. Petrusic differently. Why is that so?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know whether the
18 question was the same. My comment to this is superfluous. It's not
19 necessary. And as to the intentions of General Tolimir, as part of his
20 report on the situation in Zepa, it all doesn't make sense. He was the
21 assistant commander, and he seems to be sending a proposal to his
22 subordinate. This is not a part of military doctrine, and this is really
23 a very confusing document. It's just not soldierly.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Obradovic, when you were asked by Mr. McCloskey
25 yesterday as to that -- in relation to that paragraph, the question was
1 like this: "Was that given due consideration by the staff, that last
3 And your answer was: "I see that. They had [Realtime transcript
4 read in error, "We have"] no comment."
5 But today you said: "We," "We found it ridiculous."
6 So whether there was any discussion at all or it was your
7 personal observation, but you said "we," so if you could expand on that.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this was my personal
9 comment, but I should not have used the pronoun "we." The question was:
10 "Did you comment?" So it came as an automatic answer, but this document
11 was not binding upon us in the staff. In the first three paragraphs, it
12 speaks about the situation; then in the fourth, it provides an opinion of
13 several people, because it says "we are of the opinion." I suppose it
14 conveys another person's -- or several persons' meaning, and then it
15 says: "The most convenient means would be..." this and that. And
16 finally, in the final paragraph, he again provides an opinion of a group.
17 When it comes to acting upon this proposal, that is within the
18 purview of the person who has the power of commanding and
19 decision-making. That's why I am finding all this a bit unusual.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my intention was
21 precisely to clarify the ambiguity and the confusion that was caused by
22 the witness' answer yesterday, and primarily the question that was put to
23 the witness. And I --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you continue, Ms. Fauveau, do you wish to
25 add anything?
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Apart from the
2 fact that the last words uttered by my colleague have not been recorded,
3 and we feel that the answer provided yesterday was not translated very
4 clearly, and we would like this to be clarified.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that clarification. Mr. Petrusic,
6 please proceed.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, today the Prosecutor showed you an intercept and before
9 that reminded you of an intercept that you spoke about to me on the 17th
10 of November. And on page 28294, this was about Exhibit 1281D, and you
11 commented on a conversation between General Miletic and General Nicolai.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] This is page 28294 of the
13 transcript where you commented that conversation and said that General
14 Miletic was in no position to take decisions about such requests
15 submitted by UNPROFOR.
16 Q. Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see Exhibit P191,
20 Q. I believe that here, too, there was confusion. On page 28399,
21 the question was, in line 13: "Can you see the part where Morillon is
23 Your answer was: "Yes, but this says pass on to UNPROFOR the
24 request to deploy an officer of the rank of colonel from the Sarajevo
1 And in this next paragraph, it says: "Point out to them" -
2 UNPROFOR - "that we don't want them to send generals, as we have
3 information that they want to misuse" -- "misuse his presence, according
4 to the same scenario under which the presence of General Morillon in
5 Srebrenica was misused."
6 And then the answer continues: "So they are here, and it should
7 be" -- "it should be prevented that this person be a general, but,
8 rather, someone of the rank of colonel."
9 The next question of the Prosecutor was: "I agree. Did you do
10 that, or did you know anyone from the Main Staff who did that?"
11 Your answer was: "I didn't draft requests to UNPROFOR. It was
12 Colonel Milos Djurdjic who was responsible for contacts with UNPROFOR."
13 The Prosecutor's question was: "Well, then, General Miletic would
14 have been working with Djurdjic on that?"
15 Your answer was: "Yes."
16 Do you remember -- no, I withdraw the question. My question
17 after this quotation is: Which business did you mean when you said: "I
18 didn't draft requests to UNPROFOR. It was Colonel Milos Djurdjic"?
19 A. Your Honours --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, there is no business mentioned. The
22 context of that question was clear. It was related to the general or a
23 colonel coming. I don't know what business he's speaking about, but I
24 think he needs to stay within the context of the question.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it a question of translation, Mr. Petrusic? Is
1 it a question of interpretation, or do you have to say anything by way of
2 comment to what Mr. McCloskey has just raised?
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I have no comment, but I was
4 referring to the answer or, rather, the questions and answers that the
5 witness provided on page 28399, and I believe that he was mis-lead during
6 that interrogation. He was speaking about Colonel Djurdjic in a
7 completely different context and his business or his tasks, and the
8 Prosecutor is linking that with General Miletic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. There are certain limits. The moment you go
10 beyond those limits, you shouldn't be addressing the Chamber in the way
11 that the witness can hear or can follow.
12 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That's about the third time
14 there's been such a comment that there is confusion or that -- and now
15 that comes personally to me, so I would ask that to stop and so that it's
16 not, you know, going to affect this witness, who's, I think, you know,
17 doing his best.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed. Let's proceed.
19 Yes, what are we waiting for?
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. My question is, what business or tasks did you mean when you
22 mentioned Colonel Djurdjic?
23 A. I said that Colonel Djurdjic was working on the tasks of
24 receiving a fax to requests for the passage of convoys and that he writes
25 approvals or refusals based on the orders of the staff of General Mladic.
1 And those documents, as information notes, are signed by General Miletic,
2 as Colonel Djurdjic is not authorised to sign such documents.
3 Q. Please, look at this document. It is addressed to General Gvero
4 or General Miletic.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the military hierarchy and in the chain of command at the Main
7 Staff, in the absence of the commander and Chief of Staff, which one of
8 the two -- these two generals would have dealt with this document?
9 A. General Gvero.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see document
11 699 -- sorry, P699.
12 Q. General, are you familiar with this manual that you can see on
13 the screen?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you work in accordance with this manual at the Main Staff?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please page 58 of the
18 Serbian version, and in the English version, it is page 56.
19 Q. General, are you familiar with the decision-making process?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us which methods are applied? Are there any
23 A. The full method, the shortened method, and the method without the
24 consultation of organs.
25 Q. Can you please explain to us the full method?
1 A. The full method is applied when enough time is available and the
2 decision-making process is made in accordance with this manual and in
3 line with this method so that the commander with the inner circle of
4 command acquaints them with the situation, makes an assessment of the
5 situation; they formulate a basic idea, which is then passed on to the
6 organs of the command, which, based on this basic idea, says that the
7 factors of armed combat within their purview, and they prepare the
9 Q. Do you know under which of these methods Directive Number 7 was
11 MR. KRGOVIC: I object, Your Honour, because there's no base of
12 the question, because the witness wasn't present during the production of
13 Directive number 7; and the second, there is no evidence that Directive
14 Number 7 was produced in the Main Staff.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, being present, doesn't exclude, necessarily,
16 possible knowledge of what went on. So let's proceed, of course,
17 naturally, if he's in a position to answer, because if he's not in a
18 position to answer he will tell us.
19 Yes, Mr. Obradovic, can you answer the question, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was not present. I
21 didn't take part in the drafting of Directive 7 or Directive 7/1.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yesterday, you said that you had an opportunity to see Directive
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You also said yesterday that you know about the briefings about
2 combat readiness at the Main Staff that took place somewhere in January
4 A. Yes. The analysis of combat readiness was made on the 28th and
5 29th of January, 1995.
6 Q. From what you know about the analyses of combat readiness, do
7 these analyses include discussions of future tasks of the army of
8 Republika Srpska?
9 A. Conclusions are drawn from any analysis and guidelines for
10 further action.
11 Q. The tasks of the army of Republika Srpska, are they put forward
12 by the commander of the army of Republika Srpska based on these analyses?
13 A. The members of the Supreme Command, the political organs, and the
14 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska take part in these analyses.
15 Q. Are the corps commanders present at such analyses?
16 A. Yes, and the commander of airforce and anti-aircraft defence as
17 well as the commanders of military schools.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please produce document
19 5P1394. This is an untranslated document, so I ask for the apologies of
20 the Court. Let us stick to page 1 where there is an -- an illegible
21 stamp bearing the date 28 January 1995; and the title, written in
22 Cyrillic script, we see "The Command of the Drina Corps"; below that,
23 centred, "Analysis"; and below that, "of the combat readiness of the
24 Drina Corps about the elements of combat readiness for the year 1994."
25 Let us please turn to page 19 now. That's the last-but-one.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. Is that the combat readiness for 1994
3 or 1995? It's a little unclear.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] On page 1 of this analysis, it
5 says: "Analysis of combat readiness of the Drina Corps according to the
6 elements of combat readiness for the year 1994."
7 Below that, there is a date, January 1994 -- 1995, that is. On
8 the next page, in e-court, let us scroll down, please, so that we may see
9 the bottom part.
10 Q. General, can you see the first heading, "Basic tasks in the year
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Does that refer to the tasks of the Drina Corps?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Above that, you will see the heading: "Conclusion about combat
16 Readiness of DK for the year 1994." And below that, the tasks for 1995
17 are listed. Please read out to us task number 4.
18 A. "The corps command is to find solutions for the full sealing-off
19 of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, and the commands of the brigades
20 shall plan the improvement of their tactical positions and realise them
21 if there should be an interruption of the cease-fire."
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let us turn to the next page.
23 Q. Can you see this heading in larger type, which reads: "At the
24 level of the Main Staff and the Supreme Command, take care of the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Please read out item 1 to us.
3 A. "Solutions will be found for the elimination of enclaves. We see
4 two ways of going about this, either by militarily defeating enemy forces
5 in the enclaves or by political and diplomatic means."
6 Q. Do all corps commands make their analyses before the analysis of
7 the Main Staff?
8 A. In principle, the procedure is as follows: The brigade commands,
9 the regiment commands, the commands of independent battalions and
10 artillery battalions at the end of the current year make analyses of
11 combat readiness for that year, and this is a -- the foundation. These
12 reports are made in two copies, one of which is passed on to the corps
13 command, and at the corps command the analysis of combat readiness is
14 prepared at corps level.
15 After the analyses at corps level are done, the analysis of
16 combat readiness for the past year is made for the entire military in the
17 presence of the political and military leadership.
18 Q. You're saying "political." Do you mean by that the
19 commander-in-chief, Mr. Karadzic, too?
20 A. Yes, certainly.
21 Q. In that process of analysis, the corps commanders are present
23 A. Yes, so I said. All corps commanders, the commander of the
24 airforce and anti-aircraft defence, and the commanders of military
1 Q. Do these commanders report to the commander-in-chief and the
2 command of the Main Staff about the events in their zones and their --
3 and about their tasks?
4 A. The analysis is made on the plans that are made by the
5 administration for ops at the --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please make a break and start
7 over again. We cannot follow.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Obradovic, there is a problem with your
9 testimony and the interpreters. The interpreters would like you to go
10 all over again through your answer, please.
11 You had started: "The analysis is made on the plans ..."
12 Can you continue from there, please, and slowly, as slowly as you
13 can, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise to the
15 interpreters. The analysis of combat readiness for the past year at the
16 level of the military of the Republika Srpska is made in accordance with
17 the plan which is made by the administration for -- for ops and training.
18 That plan envisages a time-frame for the commander of the Main Staff for
19 his introductory address; and after that, in line with the sequence, as
20 appropriate, the corps commanders, the commander of the airforce and
21 anti-aircraft defence, and the commander of the military schools centre,
22 as well as the organs of the command of the Main Staff, put forward the
23 most important elements of the combat readiness of their respective units
24 and their conclusions.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Does the commander of the Drina Corps put forward tasks during
2 that analysis at the Supreme Command about the analysis of combat
3 readiness? Does the Drina command -- Drina Corps commander put forward
4 the tasks that he had received or that he had formulated in the framework
5 of the analysis of the combat readiness of his own corps?
6 A. Yes. Like any other commander, there is no reason for the
7 commander of the Drina Corps not to do what everybody else is also doing.
8 Q. So do the corps commanders know best how to assess their own
9 forces, and do they know their capabilities for the coming period?
10 A. Yes. The analysis is made based on the assessment of the enemy
11 forces, your own forces, the area, and time.
12 Q. Mr. President, I would like to go back to another document. It
13 will not take long, so I don't know if we should take the break now. I
14 would like to go back to the direct.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It depends on how long you will -- it's not a
16 question of what you would like to deal with. How long? If you're going
17 to finish within five minutes, we can have the break afterwards. If you
18 are not going to finish in five minutes, then I suggest we have the break
19 now and continue later. But take your time. I am not restricting you in
20 any way.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I prefer taking the
22 break now.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's what we will do. We will have a
24 25-minute break. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Take your time, sir.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Can the Court please produce Exhibit P5.
5 Q. General, sir, you were talking about this document already. This
6 is Directive 7. You have spoken about the method of the work of the
7 commands. When this directive was passed, did this imply a team work?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let me just be very precise. We are talking about the full
10 method of team work, aren't we?
11 A. Yes, team work method is involved.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 2 in the
13 English version.
14 Q. General, sir, you had an occasion to see this directive already.
15 You have familiarised yourself with it, and according to the rules and
16 regulations on the working of the commands staff that you also acted
17 upon, could you tell us whether this directive comprises several
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who is it who draws up the elements that go into the directive?
21 You don't have to give us any names.
22 A. The command organs. Every command organ draws up elements
23 pertaining to their respective scope of work or sector.
24 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Petrusic. Earlier on when the
25 witness was -- when the witness was asked about the method, he answered
1 that he wasn't present at the time. So whether these answers are
2 speculation on the part of the witness, so could you clarify with the
3 witness, first of all.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, sir, you've heard the Judge's comment, Judge Kwon's
6 comment. Let's just clarify this issue. When you are talking about the
7 methodology or method, can you tell us what you are referring to?
8 A. The way I understood you was that you were asking me in general
9 terms about methodology. I did not think that you were asking me about
10 the specific methodology of the drafting of this directive. And then you
11 asked me about its contents, and I said that it contains several
13 Q. When we're talking about the method used in drafting a directive,
14 and we're talking about the full method here, would this be identical for
15 every single directive?
16 A. Since directives are the documents issued by the superior
17 commands or the highest of commands, they are written in situations that
18 allow for ample time for their drafting.
19 Q. I believe we can move on. You have also told us that the command
20 organs drew up parts of the orders, each of them pertaining to their own
21 respective sector bearing in mind the instruction on the work of the
22 commands and staffs. Could you tell us, who is it who formulates that
23 document that we call "directive"?
24 A. It is formulated based on the proposals put forth before the
25 commander and the proposals which were approved by the commander.
1 Q. In practical terms, would that be just the technical processing
2 of the elements of the directive that were already formulated?
3 A. Based on the elements provided by the command organs that were
4 approved by the commander, the operative organs draw up a whole, a whole
6 Q. According to what you know, and according to what you know was
7 happening in 1995, who was head of the operations organ that was drawing
8 up the final draft?
9 A. It was the chief of operations in training, General Miletic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down, both of you. You are overlapping.
11 Thank you.
12 Mr. Krgovic.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, just one qualification. This is
14 related in general or particular document, because in question posed by
15 learned colleague Petrusic, he says: "Who is drawing up the final
17 What does he mean, this Directive number 7 or in general? It's
18 not clear from the question.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Krgovic. Could you clarify
20 that with the witness, please, Mr. Petrusic.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The interpretation may have been,
22 because my question was about the organisation and technical processing
23 of a directive or the directive --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] -- in general terms.
1 Q. You've already answered that, but...
2 A. The administration for operations and training, i.e., the
3 operations organ, was the one that merged all the elements that had been
4 drafted by the other command organs and put them together in a single
5 document called a directive.
6 Q. You've also told us that the chief of the administration for
7 operations and training in 1995 was --
8 A. General Miletic.
9 Q. -- General Miletic. You had occasions in 1995 to see the
10 directive. What you saw, did it aberrate in any way from the method that
11 you have spoken about today?
12 A. It's impossible to see the method from the document. The
13 document was an integral piece of writing.
14 Q. Was General Miletic a member of the Supreme Command?
15 A. No.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. If you could bear
17 with me, Your Honours.
18 Mr. President, this brings the examination-in-chief of General
19 Obradovic to an end. General, sir, I would like to thank you for your
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Petrusic. Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
23 the Trial Chamber to allow me to put just one question to this witness
24 about something that was raised by Mr. Petrusic in his additional
25 questions and concerns the role of General Gvero in some activities
1 relative to the document drafted on the 25th of July, if I may I have the
2 Court's permission.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we hear the question so that we can decide.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I wanted to ask
5 the General whether he had any information that General Gvero had done
6 anything with regard to the document that was received and addressed to
7 him and General Miletic. That was all I wanted to ask the General.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection from the Prosecution?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And no objection from Mr. Petrusic. Yes, go ahead.
12 And we wish to make it clear, this should not be considered as a
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, I understand, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, we are not by this conceding that
16 anyone can stand up and put questions at this stage.
17 Yes, go ahead, Mr. Krgovic.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Obradovic, wait for my question, please.
20 With regard to the document that was sent to Generals Miletic and Gvero,
21 do you have any information that General Gvero acted upon that document
22 at all?
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The document number is P191.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I don't have it on the
25 screen, I hope that it is a document addressed to either General Gvero or
1 General Miletic.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Yes. The question was not about anybody acting upon this
5 document, and if they did, who was it who acted upon it?
6 Q. Your answer was hypothetical, wasn't it?
7 A. That was the nature of the question. I said I didn't know. I
8 never spoke about anybody acting upon this document at all.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's the end of it. Yes,
10 Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there's a handwriting in the right
12 corner that just says "recipe acknowledged." Perhaps the General can
13 tell us if he recognises the handwriting.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Obradovic, do you recognise the
15 handwriting in the corner up there of the document?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't. The time is
17 indicated here as 0530, and the inscription is in capital letters, so
18 it's very hard for me to tell whose handwriting this is. It's
19 impossible. And there is no initial; there is no signature. All it says
20 here is "receipt acknowledged."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. That brings your testimony
22 to the end, unless my colleagues have got questions.
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a quick question.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Kwon.
25 JUDGE KWON: I think it is somewhere in the record, but could you
1 tell me the exact title of General Miletic in 1995 again, please? Chief
3 A. Your Honours, General Miletic was the chief of administration for
4 operations and training at the staff of the Main Staff of the army of
5 Republika Srpska.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: General, we don't have any further questions for
8 you. Your testimony ends here. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, my
9 colleagues, I should like to thank you for having accepted to come over
10 and give testimony, which lasted a few days. And on behalf of everyone,
11 I also wish you a safe journey back home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I take
13 this opportunity, if you will allow me, to apologise to the interpreters
14 for making their life harder with my speed and inaccuracies in answering
15 the questions.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General. I am sure they appreciate your
18 Documents. Mr. Petrusic, a list has been circulated, of which I
19 think there is only one document that has not yet been translated.
20 That's the penultimate one, 5D1394. Any objections? Let's start with
21 the other Defence teams. No objection.
22 Mr. McCloskey?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So all these documents are admitted,
25 bar the one I just referred to a minute ago, which will remain marked for
1 identification purposes pending translation thereof.
2 Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there was a problem
4 with the interpreting in B/C/S, but I think it's been solved.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If there is still a problem, please let
6 me know.
7 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at the
8 moment when Ms. Fauveau stood up, our interpretation was resumed, so now
9 we are receiving interpretation. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
11 Prosecution. There are no other documents to be tendered by any
12 of the other Defence teams, correct? So that brings me to you,
13 Mr. McCloskey. You have circulated a revised list, which contains six
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, and in particular the last --
16 it is my understanding in discussing with Ms. Fauveau the last three
17 intercepts, she did not have an objection to; and therefore, I am
18 offering those into evidence because she's -- well, partly because
19 they're not objecting. And I'm also, as you can see, offering Directive
20 6 into evidence, and I just wanted to point out, as I had mentioned in my
21 questioning, there was a reference to Directive 6 in Directive 7 which I
22 failed to bring out through the witness.
23 And I just want -- and that Directive 6 is 65 ter 3919, but if we
24 go to Directive 7, which is 65 ter number 5, page 14 in the English,
25 paragraph 6.1, and under "Moral and Psychological Support," we go right
1 underneath the paragraph that you are familiar with about restricting or
2 reducing the logistics, support, and humanitarian aid. And the sentence
3 right below that is: "In the implementation of other forms of support for
4 combat operations, all measures are to be taken according to Directive
5 Operation number 6."
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Any objections? None. So
7 all are admitted. The last one, it's still not yet translated, 3924, 65
8 ter 3924, so that one will be MFI
9 All right. Is the next witness ready, Madam Fauveau?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I hope the witness is
11 available, Your Honour. Out of an abundance of caution, I think it would
12 perhaps be prudent to inform the witness of his rights according to
13 Rule 90(e).
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Simic.
17 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. Before you start
19 your testimony as a Defence witness for General Miletic, you are required
20 to make a solemn declaration to the effect that in the course of your
21 testimony you will be speaking the whole truth. Madam Usher is handing
22 you the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out aloud, and
23 that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: NOVICA SIMIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable. Take
4 a seat.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you understand English at all?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am going to be using the Serbian
8 language, please.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but how much English do you know?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Little.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But you do know something?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very superficially.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Before you start giving
14 evidence, I need to draw your attention to a special provision which we
15 have in our rules, and it is the following: There are going to be a lot
16 of questions put to you, both by the Defence team for General Miletic and
17 by others, including the Prosecution. There is a possibility - I am not
18 saying that this will happen - but there is a possibility that some
19 questions may be put to you, which, if you answer truthfully, could
20 possibly incriminate you and, therefore, expose you to possible criminal
21 proceedings against you.
22 As I said, I am not sure that this is going to happen, but if it
23 does, happen our rules provide some protection to you. You can, in such
24 instances, if you feel that by answering such questions you could
25 incriminate yourself, you could ask us to exempt you from answering such
1 questions. This is a limited right. It's a qualified right. It's not
2 absolute, in other words. We are at liberty, after considering
3 everything, to grant you such an exemption, and we are also entitled to
4 force you to answer the question. If we force you to answer the
5 question, there are some further -- there is some further protection
6 provided by our rules. The protection is as follows: If you answer
7 truthfully such questions when you are forced to answer them, then
8 whatever you say, which is incriminatory, cannot be used against you in
9 any proceedings - criminal proceedings - that could be taken against you
10 here or elsewhere. Have you understood what I have just told you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I have been clear enough, in other words.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Who will be leading? Yes, Ms. Fauveau, lead
15 counsel for General Miletic, will start first. Go ahead, Ms. Fauveau.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Examination by Ms. Fauveau:
18 Q. [Interpretation] General, can you give us your name and first
19 name, please?
20 A. Novica Simic.
21 Q. Could you tell us something about your education and the degrees
22 that you have earned?
23 A. Your Honours, I completed the elementary school and grammar
24 school in Sarajevo, and after that, the four-year academy in Belgrade in
25 Banja Luka, the two-year academy in Belgrade, and the National School of
1 Defence; that lasted for one year in Belgrade as well.
2 Q. Before continuing, I would ask you to please slow down a bit;
3 otherwise, the interpreters will have slight difficulties.
4 A. Thank you.
5 Q. What were your functions before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. Before the war, I was the commander of a platoon of a company; I
7 was the deputy commander of a battalion; I was the battalion commander; I
8 was the desk officer in the operations organ of a brigade; the assistant
9 chief of staff for operations and training in a brigade; and, finally,
10 the chief of staff of a brigade.
11 Q. When did you join the army of Republika Srpska?
12 A. I joined the army of Republika Srpska on the 12th of May, 1992.
13 Q. And what were your functions at the time when you joined the
15 A. When I joined the army of Republika Srpska, I was still the chief
16 of staff in an anti-armour brigade.
17 Q. Can you now tell us what were your functions within the army of
18 the Republika Srpska from the 12th of May, 1992, all the way up until the
19 end of the war.
20 A. I have not received any translation. Besides being the Chief of
21 Staff of a brigade, I was also the commander of a brigade, the commander
22 of a tactical group that consisted of several brigades, and I was the
23 commander of the East Bosnia Corps. And after the war, I was the
24 commander of the East Bosnia Corps, which was then renamed as the 3rd
25 Corps. I was the deputy chief of the General Staff, and I was the chief
1 of the General Staff of the army of Republika Srpska. I was pensioned
2 off in 2002 with the rank of Colonel General.
3 Q. You said you were the commander of the East Bosnian Corps. Was
4 that your function in 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And who was your immediate superior when you were commander of
7 the East Bosnian Corps?
8 A. My superior was the commander of the Main Staff of the army of
9 Republika Srpska, General Mladic.
10 Q. And who at the time was the chief of the staff of the Main Staff
11 of the army of the Republika Srpska?
12 A. General Milovanovic was the Chief of Staff.
13 Q. And during what time-period did General Milovanovic exercise that
14 function as chief of the Main Staff?
15 A. Throughout the entire war.
16 Q. Do you know General Miletic?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And since when have you known General Miletic?
19 A. Since 1993, when he was appointed the chief of operations and
20 training organ.
21 Q. And do you know what was the function -- or the functions of
22 General Miletic in 1995?
23 A. He was the chief of the ops and training administration.
24 Q. Could you tell us when you were appointed commander of the East
25 Bosnian Corps?
1 A. I was ordered to take over that post on the 31st of August, 1992.
2 I believe that the order arrived on the 1st or the 2nd of September,
4 Q. Did the East Bosnian Corps have another commander before you?
5 A. Before me, yeah. The commander was Colonel Ilic.
6 Q. Do you know why you replaced Colonel Ilic in these functions?
7 A. No. Somebody from the Main Staff should answer that. Probably,
8 they were dissatisfied.
9 Q. And do you know to what position or what functions General Ilic
10 was appointed when you became commander of the corps?
11 A. He was in the same function that later was taken over by General
12 Miletic. He was the chief of the ops and training administration.
13 Q. You said that perhaps the Main Staff was not satisfied with
14 General Ilic and that he may have left to take up other duties as head of
15 the operations and training department. Did those new duties, were they
16 of a higher rank or a lower rank than those that he had beforehand?
17 A. In the army, that's called formational rank. The formational
18 rank of a corps commander was higher than that of the chief of the ops
19 and training administration so that Colonel Ilic was appointed to a
20 lower-ranking function.
21 Q. You said that in 1995 your direct superior was Commander Ratko
22 Mladic. Can you say which were the people who had the authority to give
23 you orders in 1995?
24 A. Throughout the war, General Mladic gave me orders, the commander
25 of the Main Staff, and in his absence it was his deputy, the Chief of
1 Staff, General Milovanovic.
2 Q. Did the civilian authorities also have this authority?
3 A. No.
4 Q. I would now like to show you document 5D1003. You said that the
5 civilian authorities did not have the authority to give you orders, but
6 were there situations in which that could happen, nonetheless?
7 A. This is a document pointing out disrespect of the hierarchical
8 structure of the military in which all orders or requests to the corps,
9 as subordinate to the Main Staff, should have gone through the Main
10 Staff. So that the commander-in-chief, if he so wanted, or the Ministry
11 of Defence should have directed their orders or requests through the Main
12 Staff. This is pointing out this fact and warning against the repetition
13 of such -- such a procedure. There were attempts by the civilian bodies
14 to exert influence on the commands of corps and of brigades, but we
15 resisted that.
16 Q. When you say that you "resisted that," are you speaking about
17 your particular corps, the East Bosnian corps, or more generally of the
18 entire army?
19 A. That was probably the case elsewhere, too, because I heard at
20 briefings that other peoples were facing similar problems as me. There
21 was a situation that since the state of war hadn't been declared, it was
22 impossible to abide by the rules governing law and humanitarian law. So
23 there were problems with the units that were composed of people from
24 different municipalities so that some would receive their salaries and
25 others wouldn't, and so huge problems arose in the military.
1 And those who paid out the salaries considered that that gave
2 them the automatic right to influence personnel matters - who should be
3 commander, et cetera - and they were also trying to turn the units into
4 local units, which would have been extremely detrimental because we
5 wouldn't have been able to use them elsewhere.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you slow down a little bit, please, in your
7 answer. In other words, speak slower, more slowly, okay? Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'm a soldier. I'm
9 not used to speaking slowly.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could you tell us whether you had direct contact with President
12 Karadzic as commander of the corps?
13 A. Rarely, I believe only once or twice. It was at meetings where
14 combat readiness was analysed and when there were other people present
16 Q. Do you have any knowledge of the fact that President Karadzic
17 tried occasionally to give orders directly to the corps?
18 A. There were such occurrences.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we please see document
21 Q. Here, you see an order of the staff -- or a document of the staff
22 conveying an order of President Karadzic, and what I'm interested in is
23 point 3. That is on the second page in English.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you look at this order, this document was addressed to your
1 corps, among others. How would you interpret what is written here? How
2 do you understand it?
3 A. That was a time of crisis. I believe that those in power feared
4 a military coup or something, and that's why the commander-in-chief
5 ordered -- issued such an order, which was passed on to us. But this is
6 a political thing.
7 Q. And if we look at point 4, it reads: "[In English] I forbid all
8 command levels to make any amendments to approve decisions and issue
9 orders without my approval."
10 [Interpretation] What I would like to ask you is, as a general
11 rule, when you would receive an order from your superior, was it possible
12 for you to amend such an order, to change it in any way?
13 A. Your Honours, a commander receives a general order with a general
14 task, and it is up to him to determine ways and means of implementing it.
15 Likewise, during combat, various surprises are possible which entail
16 amendments to a decision. This is not appropriate with regard to both
17 military terminology and the way the military acts. This is an
18 exclusively political document, the intention of which is probably to
19 preserve the situation in the battlefield as it was.
20 Q. Throughout the course of the war, were there other situations in
21 which documents or orders handed down by President Karadzic were passed
22 on to the corps?
23 A. Yes, but mostly they went through the Main Staff, and we received
24 documents informing us that these were conveyed. Among them, there were
25 decisions of the Assembly or the decisions of the Supreme Defence
1 Counsel, and the Main Staff would receive these from the Supreme Command.
2 Q. I would like to now focus a bit on the organisation of the corps
3 command, the command of the East Bosnian Corps. Can you tell us what
4 bodies made up the command structure of the East Bosnian Corps?
5 A. The East Bosnian Corps consisted of the command and the
6 subordinate units. The command included the commander; the first down
7 was the Chief of Staff who was also his deputy; and then there were the
8 commander's assistants, who together with the Chief of Staff made up this
9 command component; and below the Chief of Staff, there was his staff.
10 Q. And which entity made up the staff of the East Bosnian Corps,
11 which entities?
12 A. The staff of the East Bosnian Corps differed from the staff at
13 the Main Staff, because we were an operational unit [as interpreted], and
14 the Main Staff is a strategic command. The operational organ of the
15 corps included the intelligence organ, the personnel organ; whereas, at
16 the Main Staff those were immediately subordinate to the commander. They
17 were not subordinate to the staff. At the staff of the East Bosnian
18 Corps, there were -- there was also an ops organ and the chiefs of
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that on page
21 46, line 20, there is a mistake, because instead of having the
22 operational organs of the corps, I think one should be talking about the
23 staff of the corps. I can clarify this with the witness if you like.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead, Ms. Fauveau.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
1 Q. When you talked about the body in charge of security and internal
2 affairs, can you tell us where these bodies were as far as your corps is
3 concerned? I wasn't talking about security, but intelligence.
4 A. The intelligence organ was part of the staff, and when we're
5 talking about the Main Staff, it was different there. There was a
6 separate organ for intel and security, which was subordinate to the
7 commander of the Main Staff; whereas, at the corps command, the
8 intelligence organ was subordinate to the Chief of Staff of the corps.
9 Q. And in your corps, how did you interact with the body in charge
10 of internal affairs -- in charge of personal affairs?
11 A. It was through the Chief of Staff. I understood you. I
12 understood the question. They were subordinate to the Chief of Staff,
13 and through the Chief of Staff I can -- I communicated with them.
14 Exceptionally, there was direct communication. But in principle, the
15 Chief of Staff was in charge of them because they were organs of the
17 Q. Who inside the East Bosnian Corps gave the orders to the staff --
18 to the Chief of Staff?
19 A. The Chief of Staff was my deputy, and I issued him orders, and he
20 issued orders to his staff. That is normal procedure in a military
22 Q. How did you let the higher command, i.e., the Supreme Commander,
23 know about what you were doing on a daily basis inside your corps? I
24 didn't talk about the Supreme Command but the Main Staff.
25 A. You're right. I reported to the Main Staff; that is, I was
1 subordinate to it. I didn't report to the Supreme Command. It was the
2 Main Staff that reported to the Supreme Command; that is in accordance
3 with the rules of subordination that had to be respected. All orders
4 issued by the command of the East Bosnian Corps were signed by me,
5 anything that was passed on to the Main Staff, irrespective of the fact
6 from which where it originated. Exceptionally, in my stead, the Chief of
7 Staff could sign, or the operational duty officer in case both of us were
8 at the front line, and some telegram has to be dispatched immediately,
9 and we were familiar with its content.
10 Q. Can you talk to us a little bit about the way in which you
11 prepared your reports. What did you have at your disposal, and how did
12 you prepare these reports?
13 A. Your Honours, there is daily reporting and periodical reporting.
14 Daily reporting takes place on a daily basis. At 1900 hours, a report is
15 dispatched about the events in the past 24 hours, and it's sent to the
16 commander of the Main Staff. That report arrives at his staff.
17 And periodical reports are monthly reports, quarterly reports,
18 semi-annual reports, and annual reports. The annual report is called
19 "The analysis of combat readiness", and it is made for an entire year.
20 To make such a report -- or to build such a report, let me just
21 explain for the daily report. The daily report is made based on the
22 reports from subordinate units, which are sent an hour earlier to the ops
23 centre of the corps. That report is then made. The entire situation in
24 the area of the corps is summarised, and that report is signed by either
25 the Chief of Staff or myself. Depending on who was present at the
1 moment. In principle it was me, because with our signature we assume
2 responsibility for the accuracy of that report, and it is passed on to
3 the Main Staff encrypted. Apart from that, we were in phone contact with
4 the commander daily.
5 Q. Can we clarify, a -- the daily reports which you sent off. How
6 accurate was information you received from your subordinate units?
7 A. We carried out inspections. I cannot say for any instance that
8 it was a hundred per cent accurate, but every day there was a team from
9 the corps command inspecting a unit to check the situation, and it was in
10 the position to verify the information received one day earlier, so that
11 we reduced the likelihood of false reports because that can be very
12 dangerous sometimes.
13 Q. You said that you cut down on false reports. What would have
14 happened if you had not sent off those teams of men to the subordinate
15 units every day?
16 A. They would otherwise have depicted the situation as much more
17 favourable, and I might have been in the position to go to enemy
18 territory, because I would have believed them to be somewhere where they
19 were not.
20 Q. You said that these false reports do have fairly adverse effects.
21 Could you explain this a little bit? What happens when a false report
22 comes in from a brigade or elsewhere? To be quite clear, I would like to
23 submit this to you: In a situation where you are not aware of the fact
24 that the report is false.
25 A. I am not receiving interpretation.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] May I repeat?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, because there was a fault in the
3 interpretation, or interruption. Thank you.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You said that these false reports may have adverse effects. What
6 I would like to know when false information comes in and it reaches your
7 corps and you don't know that this information is false, what happens
9 A. I depends on the effects that can be produced. If we are talking
10 about small lies, it is not as series, but the consequences can be
11 disastrous, and you don't know until you find out. In every army there
12 must be inspection; likewise, every report is checked in order to prevent
13 such situations. A minute ago I made a jocular remark, but there were
14 situations when some commanders, due to false reports that their forces
15 had reached, say, a hill, upon going -- or after going to that hill, the
16 commander would be caught prisoner by the enemy. Hence, the inaccuracy
17 and timeliness of reporting is extremely important in the military. That
18 is why there is the staff organ that does that, and everybody from the
19 command carries out these inspections along all lines, because it does
21 Q. We'll get there. A while ago, when I interrupted you, I believe
22 you were talking about the contacts you had with your commander. Could
23 you tell us what this is about?
24 A. Your Honours, apart from written reports, every evening, from
25 roughly 2000 to 2100 hours, we were in phone contact with the commander
1 of the Main Staff or the Main Staff. Then, he would sometimes demand
2 explanations, and sometimes he commended us, but sometimes he would also
3 reprimand us.
4 Q. You said that you were in contact on a daily basis with the
5 commander. Can you tell us who contacted whom? Was it he who contacted
6 you or vice versa?
7 A. About that report, he contacted us. We were waiting for him to
8 call us. It was our duty. We also had the right to call him whenever
9 there was an extraordinary situation and when we wanted to inform him of
10 something, not -- without waiting for the daily report because it was too
11 important and to ask for approval for some of our decisions.
12 Q. Do you know where he was calling you from?
13 A. Most times, he would call from the room where they held their
14 regular meetings where they discussed the reports received from the
15 corps -- corps, but if he was absent, we would be in contact with him
16 for -- from wherever he was. If he was in our zone of responsibility, it
17 would go through our communication lines. Anyway, the occasions when we
18 did not communicate with the commander daily were very rare.
19 Q. To clarify something, when he was not at the Main Staff and when
20 he was not in your area but with the 1st Krajina Corps, how did he reach
21 you, then, in that case?
22 A. I have to say that it sometimes happened that General Milovanovic
23 would call up, and he would talk, and then the commander would call
24 again, and he would also talk. He would most often communicate by direct
25 line with the command of that corps with the Main Staff, and the Main
1 Staff would then include us, because they had the possibility of putting
2 us through individually or several of us together.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to show you document
4 5D1004. We are still talking about reports.
5 Q. Could just anybody come to the corps and ask what is happening
6 inside the corps?
7 A. Of course not. It's not a railway station. It's a staff.
8 Q. In this document, those people entitled to receive the reports
9 are named. Why was such a report necessary according to you?
10 A. Your Honours, I don't know whether they were paying attention,
11 but I said that even municipalities were trying to exert an influence and
12 demanded that brigade commanders report to them concerning the problems
13 and the situation bypassing the corps command, but they were not
14 authorised to do so. So this was a document aimed as preventing any
15 attempts to impinge on the unity of the army and the chain of command,
16 and this all happened because no state of war was declared. Had a state
17 of war been declared, the presidents of the municipalities would have
18 been subordinate to the commander, but as it was, the civilian
19 authorities acted independently of the army.
20 Q. In this first paragraph, we can see the names of those people who
21 are entitled to receive these reports. Is General Miletic mentioned here
22 together with the names of other people entitled to do so? In your view,
23 what does the word "subordination" mean?
24 A. To be subordinate is the opposite of to be superior to. The
25 senior person is superior, and the lower-down one is subordinate, which
1 doesn't mean that he's being humiliated in any way.
2 Q. A while ago, I put the question to you about the document that is
3 still in front of you, and I asked you whether General Miletic's name is
4 among the names of those peoples entitled to receive the reports. You
5 answered, but your answer was not recorded in the transcript. Could you
6 tell us, please, what your answer was.
7 A. I was quite clear. No, he was not among those persons, and he
8 did not have the right to command or to receive orders.
9 Q. You are talking about receiving orders or about receiving
10 reports. Which do you mean?
11 A. The one receiving the reports here has the right to command, and
12 General Miletic was neither one nor the other. He was the professional
13 organ in the staff of the Main Staff.
14 Q. We were talking about subordination. Was this principle abided
15 by in the army of Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes, it was abided by.
17 Q. You have already talked about the way in which the reports were
18 sent. I would just like to clarify this. Could the brigade send reports
19 directly to the Main Staff or not?
20 A. No, it couldn't. In the army, they say only exceptionally if the
21 Main Staff set it apart from the corps and commanded it directly, then it
22 would, but otherwise, no. The corps -- the corps command could not be
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to show you
25 document 5D1008. In the meantime, I'd like to say that this is a
1 document that stems from the Main Staff of the army of the Republika
2 Srpska and sent to the Drina Corps.
3 Q. What I would like you to do is have a quick look at paragraph 2,
4 which is a very short paragraph. Was this principle applied throughout
5 the army of the Republika Srpska?
6 A. This was an exception. This is not the military way of
7 subordination or contacts. Evidently, a commander had gone beyond what
8 was excepted and overstepped his authority.
9 Q. You mentioned a while ago those analyses conducted relating to
10 combat readiness. At what levels of the command were these analyses
12 A. The analyses were conducted at the tactical, operational, and
13 strategic levels, at the level of brigades, at corps level, and at the
14 level of the Main Staff for the whole army.
15 Q. In 1995 in your corps, were such analyses conducted?
16 A. Yes, they were. I have to clarify here, Your Honours, that the
17 analysis is first conducted at the lower level. Those analysis are then
18 submitted to the corps. The corps conducts its own analysis and draws up
19 a report, and then that is sent to the Main Staff for an analysis of
20 combat readiness. And then, when it comes to directives, it goes the
21 other way around. The Main Staff delivers this to the corps, and the
22 corps sends it to the brigades.
23 Q. Could you repeat the last part of your answer, please, when the
24 orders of the directive arrive and are sent -- by the Main Staff and sent
25 to the corps. What happens to the corps and the brigade after that?
1 I'll repeat --
2 A. I'll [microphone not activated] happy.
3 Q. When the Main Staff sends out orders and directives to the corps,
4 what happens after that between the corps and the brigade?
5 A. I'm sorry if I was not clear enough. I was clear. Reports are
6 sent from the brigade through the corps to the Main Staff, and when the
7 Main Staff sends a directive, it comes to the corps; it is dealt with by
8 the corps; the corps then issues its own orders, which it sends to the
9 brigades. On the basis of this, the brigade has to do the same towards
10 its battalion commands, so the level is lower and lower. And this is the
11 opposite sequence of what happens when we're dealing with analysis and
12 reports. So directives, conclusions, assessments, and orders for further
13 action, those are what is comprised in the directive.
14 Q. When we talk about combat readiness, analysis at the level of the
15 Main Staff, during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, between 1992 and
16 1995, were such analyses conducted at that level?
17 A. Yes. Yes, they were.
18 Q. Do you know whether such analyses were conducted in 1995?
19 A. I know. I was there.
20 Q. Who else was there to conduct this analysis?
21 A. President Karadzic, as the Supreme Commander; the prime minister;
22 the Minister of Defence; and I don't remember who else. From this
23 Supreme Defence Council, there was General Mladic with his associates,
24 and the corps commanders, and the commanders of those units that had
25 direct links to the Main Staff. This happened in Hans Pijesak, to the
1 best of my recollection, in January or February 1995. I know there was
2 still snow on the ground.
3 Q. You said that General Mladic was there with his associates. Was
4 General Milovanovic there?
5 A. I think he was. I think he was, yes.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to show you
7 document 5D1206. This is an order from the Main Staff dated the 23rd of
8 January, 1995.
9 Q. General, do you recognise this order?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Can you tell us what this document means?
12 A. It's a regular document where the commander is planning an
13 analysis of combat readiness; he's telling us where it will be held, who
14 is to attend, and what we are to prepare, because we bring with us
15 written documents, our own analyses of combat readiness. But the
16 commander is also requesting that we also report orally on certain points
17 according to his selection, and he's giving us time to prepare, because
18 we can't come to that meeting unprepared.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] And can we have page 2 of this
20 document, please. You can see the date, which is the 30th of January,
21 1995, and then: In presence -- in the presence of the highest political
22 organs of the Republika Srpska, continue with the analyses of combat
23 readiness as follows.
24 Here, under paragraph (a): [In English] Briefing by the
25 commanders up to ten minutes by following issues.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Did you prepare something like this for these
3 A. Of course. Of course, I did. How could I come unprepared? I
4 can explain. Shall I?
5 Q. Can you explain paragraph (e), which is to be found on page 3 in
6 English -- page 4, I'm sorry. [In English] "... war-waging strategies
7 and peace negotiations and the task of the army and VRS units in carrying
8 out these assignments."
9 A. Every analysis has to analyse what happened over the past years -
10 what were the successes, what were the failures, what can be learned from
11 both - and then the Main Staff and the Supreme Command then define the
12 strategic tasks to be implemented in the forthcoming period. We, the
13 corps commanders, implemented the strategic goals through our operative
14 activities, and the brigade commands did the same at their level at the
15 tactical level.
16 Here, we are asked to give some proposals concerning our own
17 engagement so as to enable this plan of what to do next to be drawn up in
18 the best possible way.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes. When you conducted this analysis, was the plan for the
23 upcoming year mentioned?
24 A. Your Honours, I'd like to assist in clarifying this point. It
25 says here what the commanders are supposed to report on, and then the
1 sector for intelligence and security assesses the situation, and see, it
2 says that the logistics sector provides for the material needs and so on
3 and so forth. But as for defining further goals, it doesn't say who does
4 that. That, however -- well, first of all, there is the Supreme
5 Commander, the Supreme Defence Counsel. They are the most responsible
6 people, and that definition follows from everything that has been heard
7 beforehand, everything that's mentioned here. And then the plan is drawn
8 up for the forthcoming period. That's what I've been trying to explain.
9 This is military terminology. I do apologise. I apologise if you don't
10 understand me, but you can ask me. Quite simply, there are special
11 schools of the military and special schools for judges. So that's how it
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, General Miletic?
14 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
15 I see you don't have page 3 on your monitors, and that's what the General
16 is referring to. We are following this in the Serbian version, but you
17 have a different page on your screen. I just wanted to draw attention to
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We can also see it on a different
20 monitor, so don't bother -- don't worry. But thank you for pointing that
21 out. Yes, let's continue, Ms. Fauveau, please.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When you set forth what was to apply to your corps, what was the
24 most salient item of your presentation, I mean, the presentation you made
25 to your commander?
1 A. Your Honours, every commander puts forward what is peculiar to
2 his area of responsibility, and I did the same. At that period there was
3 a cease-fire on, but in my area, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina did
4 not respect the cease-fire, and that is what I focussed on. As regards
5 my proposals, I don't know whether you want me to tell you what they
6 were. They were mostly minor corrections of what had to be done in
7 cooperation with the Drina Corps because we had problems with constant
8 enemy attacks on the radio relay intelligence transmitter at the top of
9 Majevica at Stolice, which was crucial for all communications, both
10 military and civilian, between the eastern and western parts of Republika
12 Q. Your answer, you used the word "proposal." Were you entitled to
13 make proposals on what should be done in the area of responsibility of
14 your corps, in other words, of those actions that were to be undertaken?
15 A. Of course. That was how it was done. I had the possibility of
16 making this proposal, but certain things were not approved. Usually 60
17 per cent of your proposals would be approved and 40 not, and they would
18 add another 60 per cent of their own. But, well, that's military life
19 for you. You understand, sometimes we weren't very eager to take certain
20 action, but the command would force us to.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to show you
22 document 5D967.
23 Q. First of all, I'd like to ask you whether you are aware of this
24 document. Have you ever seen it before?
25 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this document. I've seen it. This is the
1 schedule. It refers to time when certain people would report, but the
2 questions are the same as the ones in the order.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] May we now turn to page 3 in B/C/S
4 and page 4 in English.
5 Q. Can you see in column 4, on the second line, there are a few
6 abbreviations. Could you explain this to us, please? This is on the
7 last line in English.
8 A. This is Sunday, from 2200 to 2230 hours, proposals, conclusions,
9 and tasks of the army of VRS, and those who are responsible are chief of
10 the operations and training administration and chief of operations and
11 training in the corps, because I took my operative officer -- my
12 operations officer with me, Colonel Gengo.
13 Q. Could you explain to us what the proposal, conclusion, and task
14 for the army of VRS, your unit, in 1995 mean exactly? In other words,
15 can you explain to us the meaning of this particular sentence? What were
16 the tasks of the organ in charge of operations and training as regards
17 this particular task?
18 A. In this case, they were the professional organ who, based on the
19 discussions from the Supreme Commander to the lowest-ranking officers,
20 they would extract the most important points from these discussions and
21 draw a conclusion, and either the Supreme Commander or the chief of the
22 Main Staff, if they accepted what they had drawn up because they would
23 read it in the break, this would be built into the directive, and the
24 directive would be a written document based on this. This is their job.
25 They are the professional organs, but it's more of a secretarial job to
1 draw up a document, because this is not their wisdom. It's the wisdom of
2 those who participated in the discussion. Their task is to put it in
3 military terminology, to streamline it, and to put it in the right shape
4 to be drawn up as a document. So they were doing this secretarial work,
5 so to speak.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Just before the break, I would like
7 to show you another document. This is 5D1208. This is, once again, an
8 order, a document stemming from the Main Staff dated the 16th of
9 February, 1995, which was also sent out to your corps.
10 Q. Do you remember this document?
11 A. Yes, I do. This is, again, a request where the superior command
12 is asking for the most recent information for the purposes of planning
13 further actions. They asked for a report on the assessment, certain axes
14 and so on. This is purely military terminology, but it boils down to
15 they are asking for fresh information, the most recent information, more
16 recent than the information provided at the analysis meeting, the
17 analysis of combat readiness meeting.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time when it's convenient to you, Madam
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I still have one question about
21 this document.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Oui.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Was it customary -- this document was sent out to all the corps.
25 Was it customary that such a request was sent to all the corps at the
1 same time?
2 A. I don't know what you are aiming at, but this was sent out to all
3 corps because a general document is made for the entire military, but
4 they could have demanded things from just one corps. It always depends
5 on what you want to achieve, and it depends on the situation. It is
6 usual to send it out to all, even to those who are not concerned, but in
7 order for them to be informed that certain things are being done, et
8 cetera, that's one of the ways of informing others what their neighbours
9 are doing, et cetera.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] May we have the break now?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Merci, madam. Yes, 25 minutes. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, have you ever heard of Directive 7?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we show the witness Exhibit
19 P5. Could we go to page 10 in English and 13 in B/C/S, please. Could we
20 look at the very bottom of the page in B/C/S, please.
21 Q. I'd like you to clarify some of the tasks entrusted to the East
22 Bosnian Corps in this directive. Would you please look at the last
23 sentence on the page, and then pass on to page 15 in B/C/S. It's all on
24 page 10 in English.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we see page 15, please.
1 Q. We see in this directive an operation called Sadjestvo, and we
2 can see that it's a strategic operation. Could you please explain to us
3 what it means when they say that an operation is a strategic-level
5 A. I hope that you noticed my saying at the beginning that there is
6 the tactical level, and a brigade acting is at the tactical level; when
7 several brigades are acting together, then it's at the operational level;
8 and then there is cooperation at the level of the whole state or the
10 For an operation to be strategic, it must be conducted by at
11 least two operational units. Exceptionally, it can be only one
12 operational unit if it's of the uppermost importance for the whole
13 country. When two corps are engaged, then the superior command must be
14 included to make -- to facilitate cooperation.
15 THE INTERPRETER: If the witness could be asked to slow down a
16 little. This is not our daily bread.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, the interpreters are having problems. If
18 you could kindly start again and speak more slowly, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I am acting as a
20 soldier. I will try to improve.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Forget about that, as a soldier. You are
22 testifying here. Thank you.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Well, perhaps to make things more concise, in order to be
25 strategic, an operation must be conducted by at least two operational
1 units. Exceptionally, it could also be carried out by one single
2 operational unit if it relates to something that is really paramount for
3 the country. Then you began to talk about the fact that when two corps
4 are engaged, then the higher command must be involved. Could you then
5 carry on with your answer, please.
6 A. Thank you. You interpreted it nicely. Your Honours, a strategic
7 operation is conducted with strategic forces and with a strategic
8 objective, and it is lead by a strategic command, in this case, the Main
9 Staff or the Supreme Command. This particular operation was planned at
10 the strategic level, but due to the events in the western Krajina front
11 and the attack of the forces of the regular units of the Croatian army
12 and the army of BiH against the western Krajina municipalities, this
13 operation was never actually carried out.
14 Q. You said that the operation was planned at the strategic level.
15 Who, then, in fact, planned this operation Sadjestvo?
16 A. The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. If you look further down, we can see that another operation is
18 mentioned, Spreca, and according to this directive it is described as an
19 operational-level operation. Could you explain to us what those terms
21 A. This is an operation carried out by two corps, the Eastern
22 Bosnian Corps and the Drina Corps, and its objective was to neutralize
23 the forces that were attacking daily the relay station and the top of
24 Majevica. So the objective was to disable those forces.
25 Q. Earlier you said that when two corps are involved, that would be
1 a strategic operation. And why, in this case, was it an
2 operational-level operation?
3 A. In this case, not all forces -- not the entire forces of both
4 corps were engaged, only part of the forces. Not even the entire Zvornik
5 Brigade took part on the left wing, only part of its forces, and from my
6 side, only one brigade, the 1st Majevica Brigade took part. And
7 irrespective of the fact the two corps were engaged, there was little
8 depth and small forces, and that's why this was not a strategic operation
9 and it had no strategic significance.
10 Q. And who planned operational-level operations?
11 A. In this particular case, I was tasked to do it. The command of
12 the Eastern Bosnian Corps planned this operation, so it is assigned to
13 one of the corps because the forces employed were not great.
14 Q. And what was the role of the administration responsible for
15 operations and training within the Main Staff of the army of the
16 Republika Srpska in planning operational-level operations?
17 A. They had no role in it whatsoever. It was our job.
18 Q. If you look at the last paragraph regarding the East Bosnian
19 Corps, just above the paragraph concerning the Drina Corps, we can read
20 that it has to do with improving the operative tactical position, and it
21 also mentions camouflage measures, combat activities. Can you tell us
22 what exactly this paragraph is describing? What does it relate to?
23 A. Your Honours, I will have to use military terminology in my
25 Q. Please speak slowly.
1 A. Demonstrational activities means fake attacks. By doing so, we
2 will keep busy some forces, and the enemy will not know where we will
3 really attack, and so we spread out their forces.
4 The next thing is operational and tactical camouflaging. The
5 first level of this camouflaging is the name of the operation. The
6 operation was called Spreca 95, and the Spreca river has nothing to do
7 with the area where the operation was actually carried out. So if the
8 enemy should hear about the operation and its name and it has a code
9 name, the enemy will not be able to suppose what the real objective of
10 the operation is.
11 The next step is -- to bring units in the preparation area is
12 done according to plan at night, hiding movements, et cetera, in order
13 to -- to have the enemy get a wrong image of what the purpose of our
14 regrouping is. And then there are also false telegrams that are sent out
15 in order to hide our true intentions.
16 Q. And at what tactical strategic or operational level were these
17 actions planned?
18 A. Again, I must go into these levels. There is tactical
19 camouflaging, and it starts from camouflaging the soldiers, the vehicles,
20 the positions, the intentions, et cetera, at the tactical level. Then
21 there is operational camouflaging at the higher level of divisions and
22 corps, which is much more complex. And then there is strategic
23 camouflaging to disguise our intentions at the strategical level. It can
24 be done through the media and in various other ways.
25 Q. Generally speaking, relating to tactical combat activities, who
1 was responsible for planning those combat activities?
2 A. Tactical combat activities are planned and implemented by the
3 commands at tactical levels, that is, the commands of brigades,
4 battalions, companies, down to the platoon level so that everybody has
5 their responsibilities.
6 Q. And when tactical combat activities were carried out in the zone
7 within the responsibility of your corps or planned by the your corps,
8 would the body responsible for operations and training have a role to
9 play in such planning? Speaking of the body in charge of operations and
10 training within the corps.
11 A. The ops organ of the General Staff acts in the framework of the
12 General Staff. That doesn't have any remit to plan at the operational
13 level. We can, if necessary, be called upon to conduct an inspection on
14 the ground to see whether everything is done in accordance with the
15 rules, but everybody has their own responsibility.
16 Q. General, once again, I would ask you to please speak slowly
17 because, once again, part of your answer has not been recorded, just one
18 part of your answer, but that I'm interested in: The obligations or
19 powers of the organ in charge of operations and training within your
20 corps in the context of combat activities that were planned in one of
21 your brigades.
22 A. The ops and training organ of the corps plans operations at
23 operational level that is within the corps, and the brigade command plans
24 at the tactical level, and those are completely separate levels. And the
25 interfering of one with the other cannot be allowed because, thus,
1 responsibility would be reduced also. So that the ops organ of the Main
2 Staff, by sending out a directive has met its obligations regarding the
3 planning of the operation of the Eastern Bosnia Corps. It gets feedback
4 through daily reports or through a final report about the operation after
5 the analysis has been carried out. It's a professional organ. It does
6 not -- it does not monitor the operation, nor does it take part in it at
7 the lower level.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now see page 15 in English
9 and page 21 in B/C/S.
10 Q. Do you recognise this signature on this document?
11 A. This is the signature of President Radovan Karadzic.
12 Q. This directive is signed by the Supreme Commander, Radovan
13 Karadzic, but we can also read on the document that it was drafted by
14 Colonel Miletic. Can you explain to us, in the procedure of drafting
15 such a military document, what does the term "drafted by" mean, this term
16 that we see at the bottom of the document?
17 A. In civilian terms, you would say "finalised." So he compiled it
18 from elements that he received from the other parts of the Main Staff,
19 the decision taken by the commander, and it was for him to draw up this
20 document, to edit it, technically, with his typists. And if -- if it was
21 necessary to work on a map, then he would have to do that, also, and hand
22 it to the Chief of Staff for inspection, who is then supposed to take it
23 to the commander of the Main Staff; and he was then supposed to go to the
24 Supreme Command with the document, have the president read it, and if he
25 agrees with it, sign it and stamp it with the stamp of the Supreme
1 Command. I can see that this is, indeed, the case here.
2 Q. Did the Supreme Command of the Republika Srpska have organs that
3 could draft this type of document, such a directive?
4 A. Unfortunately, the Supreme Command never established such an
5 organ. They didn't have a military cabinet, and so this professional
6 part was left to the professional body, and that is the ops and training
7 department of the General Staff.
8 I must explain. At the strategic level, if the state of war had
9 been declared, the Main Staff would have become the staff of the Supreme
10 Command, but that was never done. And they were even at two different
11 places, which created great problems in communication. Likewise, if the
12 state of war had been declared and all units of the -- then all the units
13 of the Ministry of the Interior would have been placed under a single
14 command. The way things were, they were under the command of the
15 Ministry of the Interior.
16 Q. What was the influence of the person who drafted this act on the
17 content of the act?
18 A. If you mean in the creative sense, then only in linguistic terms
19 and the use of military terminology; otherwise, there was no influence.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now see the first page of
21 the -- in B/C/S. I think it's the second page in English.
22 Q. What I am interested in is this. Could you look at the date on
23 this document. It's 8th of March, 1995. I would now like to show you
24 the first page in English --
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] -- and I believe it's page 23 in
1 B/C/S. This is a document by which this was sent to the 1st Krajina
2 Corps. We see the date of the 17th of March, 1995; in other words,
3 approximately ten days later.
4 Q. Can you tell us why a document of a military nature was sent ten
5 days after the date mentioned on the document in question?
6 A. Your Honours, I do not know the reason. It is somewhat
7 surprising. Possibly, there was a dissatisfaction at some level with the
8 way it was drafted, so it was rephrased, or there was nobody to forward
9 it. I can't see any other reason, but these are -- this is all
10 speculation. I was their subordinate. I was not at the Main Staff, so I
11 cannot say why there was such a delay. For the military way of life and
12 the efficiency in commanding, this is too great a delay.
13 Q. How much time elapses between the completion of a deed and its
14 forwarding to the subordinate units?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if we could just rephrase the
17 question. It's awfully general. It might be more helpful to have some
18 more specificity as to what we're talking about.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau. Can you do that?
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
23 Q. In an army, when such documents are dealt with, how urgent is it?
24 A. This document should be taken to the recipient within 24 hours by
25 an officer, since this is top secret. So it must be handed personally to
1 a commander. So an officer from the Main Staff has to bring it
2 personally and bring back a receipt. But with regard to the problems
3 with transportation, it was realistic to expect that to happen within
4 three or four days and the condition that one man does it all. But it
5 can also be done faster if you organise differently. This is a huge
6 delay, but I cannot venture to explain it because I want to stick to what
7 I know.
8 Q. I would now like to talk a little bit more extensively about the
9 Sadjestvo operation. You said that this operation was never conducted.
10 You mentioned that it had been planned.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to show you document
12 5D1209, please.
13 Q. General, could you tell us what this document is about? What is
14 it all about?
15 A. This is a list of the documents pertaining to a single plan. The
16 number of pages is mentioned here, each of which has to be verified; the
17 number of pages of a map, which is the -- the map source; and then this
18 document is treated as top secret. So it undergoes special treatment as
19 regards its safekeeping; therefore, all these signatures appear at the
21 Q. Before item 7 of this document, we can see that the plan, support
22 plan, intelligence plan, is mentioned, intelligence support plan. Who is
23 usually in charge of the drafting of such a plan?
24 A. That's a professional document, and it's drawn up by the
25 intelligence organ; in this particular case, the sector for intelligence,
1 their -- and security, their intelligence part.
2 Q. In this case, this document shows us a list, which comes from the
3 Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska. Which party would have been
4 in charge of compiling such a list?
5 A. The list is compiled by whoever is drawing up the document, the
6 operations organ, that is. As a rule, he also distributes it. This was
7 a rare occasion for General Miletic to leave the Main Staff and visit
8 other corps.
9 Q. I would now like to show you document 5D1211. As you can see,
10 this is the intelligence support plan. In the left-hand corner, we can
11 see approved by the commander, and there is a signature there. What does
12 this mean, "approved commander"?
13 A. All documents drawn up in the command are approved by the
14 commander. They are drawn up by professionals who are his subordinates
15 in the Main Staff. This is done by the intelligence administration, and
16 he approved it with his signature. That's his signature, General
17 Mladic's signature.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to show you
19 5D1210. This is the security support plan. What I am interested in is
20 this, the signature, once again, which is below "approved commander,"
21 Colonel Ratko Mladic. We can see a signature here.
22 Q. Do you recognise this signature?
23 A. This is the signature of General Milovanovic, but up there it
24 says "for the commander." He's the second-ranking person in the Main
25 Staff, and he stands in for the commander or deputises for him and has
1 the right to sign a document in his name.
2 Q. Who in the command has the authority to approve this kind of
4 A. This document and all the kinds of documents are approved by the
5 commander, and in his absence, the Chief of Staff.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown the middle
7 of the page -- or, rather, the title. We can see that Sadjestvo 95
8 operation is mentioned in this document. This is a name we saw mentioned
9 in Directive 7.
10 Q. You are an experienced man in the military. You commanded a
11 corps. You were head of staff in the army. According to you, could
12 somebody approve a document without knowing the basis for which this
13 document was drafted?
14 A. Well, this question goes beyond the military terminology. Anyone
15 who signs a document familiarises himself with it, examines the validity
16 of the document. When he determines the that the document is in good
17 order, he approves it. I don't know how someone could sign something
18 that is not in good order. In that case, he wouldn't approve it, if that
19 was your question.
20 Q. I will put my question more directly to you. You remember that
21 the operation Sadjestvo 95 was mentioned in Directive 7. Could General
22 Milovanovic have approved the plan for Sadjestvo without knowing the
23 contents of Directive 7?
24 A. In my view, no.
25 Q. I would just like you to repeat the answer please, the answer you
1 had just provided.
2 A. In my view, in my opinion, that was not possible. He would have
3 to know about this because how else could he approve the plan? There
4 would be no logic in that.
5 Q. We have already discussed the Spreca operation a little. I would
6 now like to address this in greater detail. Do you remember when your
7 corps started to plan this operation?
8 A. My corps started planning this operation when it received the
9 directive. However, Operation Spreca, I had to start carrying out before
10 the directive arrived. The forces of the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina had one-sidedly violated the cease-fire, suddenly
12 attacked the forces at Majevica, and encircled the repeater at the top of
13 the mountain at Stolice. And I immediately had to engage reserve forces
14 in coordinated action with the forces of the Ministry of the Interior to
15 block their further advance and then to retake the lost positions, and
16 this lasted for about 15 days.
17 In the meantime, the directive and the order for Spreca arrived,
18 and this was but a continuation of what had happened previously. No
19 action would have been planned or implemented had the cease-fire not been
20 violated. At the meeting, it was said if the enemy one-sidedly violates
21 the cease-fire, then an operation has to be planned. We respected the
22 cease-fire. The soldiers relaxed a little bit, and our enemies, the
23 other side, took advantage of this.
24 Q. Do you remember whether the Main Staff received a specific order
25 relating to Spreca? [In English] Whether the main staff sent a specific
2 A. Along with a directive, we also received a specific order for
3 that operation.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] May we see document 5D972.
5 Q. General, as you can see, this is an order entitled "Combat Order
6 to Carry Out Operation Spreca 95." And then, in the first paragraph, in
7 the preamble, Directive 7 is mentioned.
8 First of all, I would like to know whether you recognise this
10 A. Yes. This is the order for Operation Spreca. We could not wait
11 for the regular procedure, but something had to be done urgently in order
12 to prevent the action at Majevica.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we see the last page of this
14 document, please.
15 Q. General, do you recognise the signature on this document?
16 A. Yes, it's General Milovanovic's signature. I recognise it.
17 Q. On the basis of your military experience, again, this document,
18 this order which refers to Directive 7, do you think this could have been
19 drafted without any knowledge of Directive 7?
20 A. This operation was an integral part of the directive, and this
21 order was caused by the speeding-up of the preparations for the
22 implementation because of events at the front. How could he have written
23 an order for this operation had he not consulted the directive? It would
24 not have been possible to draw it up without consulting the general
25 document that preceded it.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know that there is
2 still one minute to go, but could we stop now?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means. So we are going to stop here,
4 General, and we will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. In the
5 meantime, between now and tomorrow you are not to communicate with anyone
6 on the subject matter of your testimony. Is that clear? Okay. Thank
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 20th day of
11 November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.