1 Monday, 1 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning everybody. Good morning, Registrar.
7 Can you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-05-88-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. For the record, all the accused are
12 present. Prosecution is represented by Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
13 Absent amongst the Defence teams I notice Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Lazarevic, and
14 Mr. Haynes. Is Mr. Nikolic here or not, because I can't see from here.
15 No. And Ms. Nikolic.
16 Okay. Good morning to you, and welcome back.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll continue with your testimony today. I don't
19 think we'll finish today with you, but we'll try.
20 Ms. Fauveau.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: DRAGISA MASAL [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpretation]
24 Examination by Ms. Fauveau: [Continued]
25 Q. [Interpretation] General, on Friday we were talking about
1 smuggling of forbidden goods in convoys. Have you ever asked your
2 subordinated units, including the intelligence organs, to analyse the
3 activities of UNPROFOR? I am talking about the intelligence organs of
4 Visegrad TG.
5 A. [Previous translation continues]... I asked the security organs
6 and the intelligence organs to conduct an analysis of the flow and
7 examination of convoys, the transport, and everything done when --
8 everything found when those convoys were examined.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
10 5D799. It's an intelligence and security report coming from the 1st
11 Podrinje Brigade, addressed to the Drina Corps and to the Visegrad
12 Tactical Group on the 4th of October, 1993.
13 Q. Would you please have a look at the first paragraph of this
15 At the first paragraph of this report, mention is made of
16 intelligence activities by humanitarian organisations. Do you recollect
17 such activities?
18 A. Yes, I do, not only on the basis of this particular report, but
19 also on the basis of many regular reports that were coming in to us. For
20 the most part, the contents of those reports relate to the increased
21 number of people in the convoys that were announced. And although these
22 convoys did have permission not to be mixed, but in every convoys there
23 were members of other organisations; that is to say, not those that had
24 been announced beforehand. And mostly there were cases in which we found
25 and seized technical resources which were not permitted. It was not
1 permitted to bring them in to protected areas and in the area that
2 UNPROFOR moved around.
3 Q. Last Friday you told us that there were checkpoints in the
4 Visegrad TG area of responsibility. Did you receive a specific
5 information about the organisation of these checkpoint?
6 A. [Previous translation continues]... issue specific orders for
7 commissions which were working at those checkpoints and specifically the
8 activities that they were engaged in at those checkpoints.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
10 5D1267. It's an order from the Visegrad TG from 1993, but we can't read
11 the date. It's illegible. Could we scroll down to the bottom of the
13 Q. Here you see your name.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] In English that's on the last page
15 of the document.
16 Q. The only thing I am interested here is to know whether this is an
17 order related to the organisation of checkpoints, an order coming from
19 A. Yes, that's right, this is one of those orders, and on the basis
20 of every order that I received from my superior command, I, in turn,
21 issued my own orders to my subordinates.
22 Q. Did incidents happen on the checkpoints?
23 A. Not often, but they did happen, there were serious incidents from
24 time to time when the inspections were being carried out of the convoys
25 that were entering our zone.
1 Q. I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D830. This is a report from the
2 Podrinje Brigade, dated 8th of May 1993. Before the exhibit is
3 displayed, I was wondering whether when there were incidents you were
4 informed or notified of the fact personally by people who were at the
6 A. After every inspection I would receive oral reports, and within
7 the frameworks of the regular daily combat reports, there was detailed
8 description or reporting on how these inspections were conducted and how
9 the control of the convoys was put in place.
10 Q. Please have a look at page 1 of this document.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] At the bottom of the page here, on
12 page 1 in English as well.
13 Q. Does this refresh your memory? Do you remember this particular
15 A. I remember it very well. I remember this report and the
16 incident. It was a checkpoint at Rogatica, and this particular convoy
17 was held back for three days; the reason being, that in the declaration
18 for the passage of the convoy on the basis of the documents and what was
19 found when the inspections were conducted, there were a series of
20 irregularities that were found and they led to the incident, rather this,
21 the fact that the convoy was blocked at the checkpoint, stopped from
23 Now, since the convoy was held at the checkpoint for three days,
24 from the Main Staff, the people there intervened, specifically General
25 Tolimir called me up personally and asked me to go to the spot and to see
1 what was going on.
2 That's what I did, I went to the site and found for myself that
3 the commission which had examined and inspected the convoys worked in the
4 proper manner, was consistent in its conduct without any ill-intent, and
5 purposely keeping the convoy back for any length of time.
6 Q. You stated that you remember this convoy because it was held back
7 for three days. Do you remember another convoy that ran into
8 difficulties as well in the same period of that particular year?
9 A. Yes, I do remember that other convoy.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
11 5D831. 5D831. A documented dated 9th of May 1994, the day after the
12 incident we mentioned earlier. I don't want to spend too much time
13 dealing with this incident.
14 Q. But I would likely to know the following: We are faced here with
15 a situation where two incidents occur over two days. At the time you
16 were the commander of the Visegrad TG. Did you ever receive any type of
17 explanation from UNPROFOR about these incidents?
18 A. No, never. Although, at that time, I was at the forward command
19 post in Gorazde, or, rather, Kopaci, and although I had meetings daily
20 with the commander of UNPROFOR -- or, rather, with the representatives of
21 the UNPROFOR command in Gorazde, there was never an explanation as to why
22 things like that were happening when the convoys were passing through.
23 Q. Did you ever receive any promise that this type of incident would
24 never happen again?
25 A. Mostly they would say it would not repeat itself, it would not
1 happen again, but nonetheless there were always problems when the
2 inspections were carried out.
3 Q. Do you remember the time when it was difficult for convoys to go
4 through because of some restrictions?
5 A. Yes, mostly they were periods when relations between the Main
6 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska and the command of UNPROFOR were
7 tense, then that's what happened.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D827.
9 This is a report from the Main Staff dated 11th of April, 1994. I'd like
10 to have page 5 in English and page 4 in B/C/S on the screen, please.
11 Page 5 in English. Could we zoom in on the last paragraph of page 4 in
12 B/C/S for the witness to be able to read the text properly.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have read it.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you remember this situation where the relations between the
16 Main Staff and UNPROFOR had been suspended and when there were no more
18 A. Yes, I do remember, because we did receive orders from the Main
20 Q. Do you remember that in April 1994 relations were difficult, do
21 you remember why it was so? Do you remember why in April 1994 relations
22 were tense?
23 A. Well, not, specifically, but I assume that they were tense
24 relations because of the threats of bombing and that they would open fire
25 on positions of the army of Republika Srpska.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could page 1 of the report be shown
2 to the witness, please. In English that's page 2. Paragraph 1 -- first
3 paragraph on page 2 in English and last paragraph on page 1 in B/C/S.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've saw that. Precisely
5 because of the bombing and NATO opening fire from the air.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Just so make sure that we understand each other, is there a
8 connection between this paragraph and the fact that relations with
9 UNPROFOR were suspended?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you remember how long it lasted, how long relations were
13 A. Not long, just a few days.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D828.
15 This is a report from the Main Staff dated 14th of April, 1994, four days
16 after the report we've just seen. Could the witness be shown page 3 both
17 in English ask in B/C/S.
18 Q. Witness, please have a look at the last paragraph. Apparently
19 four days later relations were still suspended, but there is one thing I
20 am interested here. In this paragraph we can read that this was a
21 decision of the Supreme Command. At the time when you were commander of
22 the Visegrad TG, or even later when you were working at the Main Staff,
23 did you know what was the influence of the Supreme Command and President
24 Karadzic on decisions taken by the army of Republika Srpska with respect
25 to convoys?
1 A. The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska was not able to
2 make decisions independently, to cut off contact with UNPROFOR. A
3 decision of that kind was exclusively within the purview of the president
4 of the republic, or, rather, the Supreme Command. He was the only person
5 who was able to take that decision.
6 Q. Last Friday I put questions to you about Directive Number 5, and
7 you stated that you had not seen the directive, but that you had received
8 the order -- or an order related to that directive from your higher
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit
12 Q. First of all, do you remember this order?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is this order connected to Directive Number 5?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This order was addressed to the Visegrad TG, we can see that
17 on -- at point or item 2, but I'm interested in item 3 where mention is
18 made of the prevention -- of preventing the junction of enemy forces, and
19 it's related to the Bihac and Bratunac Brigades. You received that
20 order, so were you aware of what this meant at the time?
21 A. At that time on the basis of this order, I knew that it was a
22 question of preventing communication between the protected areas of Zepa
23 and Srebrenica.
24 Q. Did you ever hear of the Zeleni Jadar checkpoint?
25 A. Yes, when I arrived at the Main Staff, I heard that there were
1 very big problems along the communication line of Zeleni
2 Jadar-Skelani-Podravci [phoen]. When the protection zones were set up,
3 that road, that communication line was under the command of the army of
4 Republika Srpska. However, the forces of UNPROFOR from Srebrenica, most
5 probably under pressure from the Muslim units, moved their checkpoints
6 from the north, Srebrenica, towards Zeleni Jadar, in -- so that in the
7 second half of 1994, that communication line was completely cut off. I
8 personally was present with the -- with vice-president Koljevic, the late
9 Koljevic, and a representative of the UNPROFOR command from Sarajevo, and
10 the commander of the UNPROFOR forces from Srebrenica, along that
11 communication line. And that was sometime in October 1994. When
12 Commander Koljevic launched a protest because of UNPROFOR's conduct, and
13 it was demanded that that checkpoint be returned to its initial position.
14 The representative of the UNPROFOR command, Colonel Lemje
15 [phoen], I remembered his name, he introduced himself, and said he was
16 standing in for Victor Andreev, he accepted what the Serb side put to
17 him. And he saw on the spot that the situation was as it was described,
18 and he said that nothing could be done on the ground at that point in
19 time but that he would refer back to the command and our requests and he
20 hoped that the situation would be resolved.
21 To the best of my knowledge that checkpoint was never moved, it
22 was never moved back to the initial position so that the communication
23 line between Zepa and Srebrenica remained open.
24 Q. I'd like to move on to a different topic now. When you were
25 serving as Visegrad TG commander, did you receive any reports from your
1 subordinate units?
2 A. Yes, regularly.
3 Q. Were there any difficulties in the way these reports were
4 transmitted and in the contents of these reports?
5 A. There were occasional problems. There were situations in which
6 reports did not arrive on time, they would be sent late, and some events
7 or situations that had occurred in the zone would be first communicated
8 to the superior command. There were no -- there were not many such
9 situations, but they did occur.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd now like to move on to 5D1263.
11 I'd like to look at item 3. On the English version it starts on page 2
12 and runs into page 3.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am familiar with this case.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This report refers to two potential causes of difficulties.
16 Let's look at the technical difficulties. Did you have such problems,
17 did you experience such problems on a regular basis or was this just a
19 A. This was not an isolated case. It did not happen often, however,
20 it did happen from time to time.
21 Q. And did you have any instance of the reports being erroneous?
22 A. There were such cases as well.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show Exhibit 5D1013.
24 This is a document from the General Staff, dated 26th of October, 1993.
25 Q. Apparently the assessment produced by the Drina Corps was
1 erroneous. When you received similar reports or assessments, what could
2 you do to assess the situation on the ground, specifically?
3 A. If I received an erroneous report from my subordinate command, I
4 personally or my deputy would intervene. Since my area of responsibility
5 was not large, we could follow and monitor the situation regularly, and
6 we were familiar with the overall situation in our subordinate units. We
7 would warn the commanders of the brigades not to send such reports,
8 because we were familiar with the situation in the area of
10 Q. Were there any instances when the reports were intentionally
11 biased so as to improve the situation or give a different shine to the
13 A. This didn't happen often, but it did happen, however. The
14 commanders of subordinate units would touch up the situation at certain
15 points in time, or would try to find a scapegoat if they did not carry
16 out an order. They would not take the blame themselves.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit 5D1014. It
18 is a document stemming from the Drina Corps after --
19 Q. -- you had left Visegrad TG, dated 3 November, 1994.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we show item 11 to the
21 witness. It's on page 2 in the English version.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is a reflection of what I
23 have just spoken about.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You said your area of responsibility was not very large, but how
1 could the commander of the corps, whose territory of area of
2 responsibility was much larger, realise that these reports were
4 A. If you compared the reports of all the commands, you could
5 conclude -- or, rather, he could conclude that reports were relative to
6 the parts of the territories with the areas overlapped, and since the
7 units also cooperated, it was obvious that the reports were controversial
8 or did not reflect the same situation.
9 Q. When you were serving at the Main Staff, did you have any
10 opportunities to draft reports that were being sent back to the
12 A. Very often, yes.
13 Q. When you drafted these reports on the basis of the reports you
14 had received, what did you feel and how did you assess the reports that
15 the corps sent back to Main Staff?
16 A. We had to rely on their reports if we did not have anybody from
17 the Main Staff on the ground; however, we were experienced and our
18 experience was valuable, so we could make our own -- own judgment based
19 on every report whether it was just a formal report or whether it
20 reflected the real situation. Erroneous or -- reports or parts thereof,
21 would soon be discovered, they would be discovered already on the
22 following day. If there was a cover-up on the following day, the truth
23 would come to the fore. The report would be corrected by themselves in
24 the meantime.
25 Q. Where were you at the end of 1994, the beginning of 1995?
1 A. I was in Krajina in the western part of the front.
2 Q. And when did you go to Krajina?
3 A. Towards the end of October, 1994.
4 Q. Was there anyone else from the Main Staff who went to Krajina
5 with you?
6 A. Yes. The chief of the Main Staff, General Milovanovic; the chief
7 of the administration for airforce, General Jovo Maric; and after a
8 month, we were joined by Colonel Ljubo Obradovic.
9 Q. When did you stay in Krajina until?
10 A. I remained there up until the second half of March during that
11 stint. It was in 1995.
12 Q. When did General Milovanovic stay until?
13 A. As far as I can remember, General Milovanovic and the others
14 returned towards the end of January or during the first half of February.
15 Q. When you came back from Krajina in March 1995, what duties did
16 you perform at the Main Staff?
17 A. When I returned from the forward command post, from Krajina, for
18 a short period of time I remained at the Main Staff performing my regular
19 duties as the chief of artillery in the Main Staff.
20 Q. And then what mission did you receive, what brief did you
22 A. While I was at the Main Staff during that period of time, I
23 performed some analysis, the analysis of equipment and combat sets of
24 artillery ammunition, since I was the chief of artillery. And I also
25 performed some other tasks and duties relative to the tasks of the staff.
1 Since the staff was not up to its full capacity, there are a lot of
2 officers missing, there was a redistribution in place to allow for all
3 the tasks to be performed in a quality and timely manner.
4 Q. How long did you stay more in Crna Rijeka in March of 1995?
5 A. About a week.
6 Q. And then where did you go?
7 A. I received an order from General Milovanovic, and I went to the
8 forward command post in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps in
10 Q. Now, before we move on to that period of time, I wanted to ask
11 you the following question: Before you left for Zvornik, did you know of
12 Directive Number 7?
13 A. I did not have an occasion to read the entire directive, but I
14 learned about some provisions of that directive relative to some tasks
15 that the military was supposed to carry out in the course of 1995.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit P5.
17 It will be on page 2 of the English version, please.
18 Q. You can see here that the directive is dated 8 March 1995.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 1 on English and
20 page 3 in B/C/S. Could we maybe zoom in on the B/C/S version.
21 Q. This is the cover letter accompanying the directive when it was
22 sent to the Drina Corps. It is dated 17th of March, 1995. What -- how
23 were these documents and directives normally sent to subordinate organs
24 and units? My question was not how was it transmitted but how fast, in
25 what sort of timeline?
1 A. It was common practice for a directive or any other document of
2 major importance to be signed by a superior officer, and then somebody
3 from a subordinate command would be called immediately to take the
4 document over and sign for it. I am talking about documents which bear
5 the mark of secrecy or the mark of a state secret. If a document was
6 confidential or strictly confidential, it could be dispatched by courier
7 mail or by a courier. But, an accompanying letter would have to be
8 signed to confirm the date and the time of the receipt of such a
10 Q. Do you have anything to tell us about the fact that this letter
11 was sent ten days after the directive was signed?
12 A. I think, and I'm sure I'm right, that this was too big a delay
13 for a document which was strictly confidential and very important for
14 further combat activities of the army of Republika Srpska, to be kept
15 somewhere for seven days.
16 Q. You spoke about secret or state secrets. When a document bore
17 the mention "state secret," did those people who hadn't worked directly
18 on this document have any knowledge of the document?
19 A. The drafting of such documents involved their signing by all
20 those who drafted it. Obviously, they were bound by a confidentiality
21 clause, they had to keep the contents of such documents to themselves.
22 Nobody else could be informed about the contents of such documents.
23 Q. Final question on this document. Do you recognise the signature,
24 just underneath the mention Manojlo Milovanovic?
25 A. Yes, this is General Milovanovic's signature.
1 Q. You told us that you spent a few months in Krajina alongside
2 General Milovanovic. From your own experience and from what you know of
3 the way General Milovanovic worked, was it possible that he could sign a
4 document accompanying the directive without having read the directive?
5 A. This could not have happened.
6 Q. You said earlier that you then went to Zvornik. Could you tell
7 us more about what you were doing in Zvornik and what the operation was?
8 A. I went to Zvornik again with General Milovanovic, and I believe
9 that General Jovo Maric was with us on that first day. Our objective was
10 to go there and stay there for a month or so in the area of the Drina
11 Corps and in the area of the East Bosnian Corps. Upon the order of the
12 Main Staff, these two corps were preparing and carrying out an operation
13 to liberate one part of the territory south of the Drina river. To be
14 more specific, the area from Zvornik to -- towards Kalesija, Tuzla, Mount
15 Majevica, all the way up to Brcko. As far as I can remember, this was
16 Operation Spreca 95, an operation of operative significance.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] And now I'd like to move on to
19 Q. You spoke of an order from the Main Staff on the basis of which
20 the corps prepared Operation Spreca. Do you recognise this order?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is this the order on the basis of which the corps prepared
23 Operation Spreca?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, after this order, did Main Staff -- or, rather, did the
1 administration of operations and training within the Main Staff, have a
2 role in preparing and planning for Operation Spreca?
3 A. After this order? No, it did not have any other tasks during the
4 preparation and the carrying out of this operation.
5 Q. Did the administration for operations and training of the Main
6 Staff usually take part in the planning and preparing of operations at an
7 operational level?
8 A. Apart from an organisational order that was sent to the head and
9 participants in the operation, and possibly some other people if that was
10 necessary, if other orders were necessary, it did not take part in
11 immediate planning and preparing of the operations or in carrying the
12 operations out, either.
13 Q. And what about tactical combat? What was the role of the
14 administration for operations and training in the Main Staff in tactical
15 combat operations?
16 A. If I understood it correctly that you are talking about the
17 tactical level, that's the level of the brigade, then the Main Staff or
18 the administration for operations and training had no assignments because
19 it was a lower level, too low a level for the Main Staff to be included
20 into such combat operations.
21 Q. You said General Milovanovic went to Zvornik with you. Was it
22 usual for the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic, to go on the field?
23 A. Yes, he was in the field very often. And what I know from
24 practice is this: We were together in Krajina for a longer period of
25 time, then we were together again in Podrinje, or, rather, the area of
1 the eastern Bosnia and Drina Corps, and then in Krajina once again. So
2 my answer is very frequently. He was in the field often, sometimes for
3 longer spells, sometimes for just a day or two or just one day.
4 Q. And what was General Milovanovic's role during the spring of 1995
5 in Zvornik?
6 A. Probably, pursuant to orders from the commander of the Main
7 Staff, he had the role of setting up a forward command post. And from
8 that forward command post, to follow developments and influence the
9 course of operations. And before that, I know that General Milovanovic,
10 first of all in the command of the Eastern Bosnian Corps, heard the
11 decision and gave the okay and he would do the same in the command or at
12 the forward command post, rather, of the Drina Corps, with the commander
13 of the Drina Corps himself.
14 Q. Right. Well, I'll come back to the way decisions were approved
15 later on.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you 5D973. This
17 is a report, or, rather, a letter from General Zivanovic. It was sent to
18 the chief of the Main Staff of the VRS. This relates to Operation
20 Q. But I'd like to look at this. When a letter is sent to the Chief
21 of Staff of the Main Staff, who is it actually addressed to? Can you
22 tell us who the chief of the Main Staff is?
23 A. First of all, let me say that this kind of report was not
24 customary, it wasn't usual to send out this kind of report. And that was
25 because the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic, to whom this letter is
1 addressed, was present in the area of the Drina Corps and Eastern Bosnia
2 Corps. And I personally think that a report written om this way had, as
3 its objective, to leave a written trace for analysis or explanation after
4 the operation had been carried out. And specifically, this letter or
5 report was sent to General Milovanovic.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau. Just for your information, we
7 have a restructuring of the sitting schedule today. The first break will
8 not be at 10.30 but at 10.20, and the break will be of only 20 minutes
9 duration. Then we resume at 10.40, and we have a break at 12.00, which
10 will be of 30 minutes. Last session, I will not be present, so we will
11 be sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Last session will resume at 12.30.
12 Thank you.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. You mentioned earlier orders that the Main Staff may have sent to
15 corps relating to Operation Spreca.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you 5D975. This
17 relates to the 4th Serbian Brigade.
18 Q. Is this the sort of order you thought -- you were thinking about
19 when you said the Main Staff sent out orders?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you 5D976.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
25 MR. THAYER: Perhaps just to save some cross-examination time, if
1 we could just have some clarification, because it's frankly just not
2 clear to me from the witness' answer just now. When my friend refers to,
3 in her question, "Were you thinking about when you said the Main Staff
4 sent out orders," if we could just have some specificity as to exactly
5 what the witness is talking about when he says "this is an example."
6 Because we have been talking about a lot of Main Staff orders, and if we
7 could just have some specificity on that issue, I think that would be
8 more helpful for everybody.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think that's useful. Yes.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. I think we can
11 probably cover that question with the order I've just called up. They
12 are very similar orders, indeed.
13 Q. You said, sir, that when an operation was being planned at an
14 operational level, the planification was done by corps, and you said
15 relating to Operation Spreca, that the Main Staff only sent out some
16 specific individual orders.
17 Now, is the order relating on the establishment of the 4th
18 Brigade one such example of these specific orders that the Main Staff
19 sent out to corps during Operation Spreca?
20 A. Yes, that's what I said. For operations at an operational level,
21 it was the Main Staff who issues the basic order. In a specific case, it
22 issued an order to establish the 4th Serbian Brigade. And another order
23 that we see here linked to artillery support and rocket support to those
24 engaged in this in carrying out the operation.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness the
1 second page of this document. The order has been initialed DM.
2 Q. Do you know who -- or do you remember who drafted this order?
3 A. Colonel Dragisa Masal.
4 Q. Do you remember where you were when you drafted this order? Were
5 you still serving in Crna Rijeka or were you already in Zvornik?
6 A. In Crna Rijeka.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now come back to page 1 of
8 this document.
9 Q. At item 2, your name appears. Could you tell us what is being
10 referred to when planning tactical and technical preparation and the use
11 of the aforementioned equipment is being referred to?
12 A. Specifically, they were means and resources that not all the
13 units had, and what they lacked especially were the technical resources
14 used by -- well, for these bombs, air bombs. And for that reason, it was
15 necessary to group the equipment so -- and have technical personnel
16 inspect them, to see whether the crews were capable of carrying out their
17 tasks, and that the organs planning the operation -- or, rather, the
18 artillery plan of the operation, to check and see whether they were ready
19 on the basis of the tactical and technical characteristics of the
20 equipment and whether they could plan the targets and firing positions
21 and the way in which this equipment was to be used.
22 Q. You mentioned air bombs. Were these weapons forbidden?
23 A. No.
24 Q. But I thought we had heard here that these weapons were not
25 particularly accurate. Could you tell us anything about this and about
1 the accuracy of such weapons?
2 A. It was precisely for those reasons that it was necessary to plan
3 things in detail to avoid having casualties on your own side, because the
4 launchers, launchers which - how shall I say this? - were fairly
5 primitively manufactured, had not been tested technically. They hadn't
6 been tested ballistically. And so the way they were launched were not
7 followed by necessary calculations, so these devices and this equipment
8 was not precise. And very often there were very large deviations from
9 one projectile to another.
10 Q. Could I ask you to turn your attention to item 4, please. In
11 item 4 we discuss the logistics sector, which was meant to receive
12 instructions from the chief of operations and training administration.
13 What was the chief of operations and training administration meant to be
14 doing practically, according to this order?
15 A. Well, I knew what this is about, because when I wrote the order I
16 knew what I should focus on and what should be taken into account, that
17 the transport of this equipment must be separate on different vehicles,
18 motors on one vehicle, bombs on another vehicle. And since after I had
19 written this order, I went into the field myself, I told the chief of
20 operations about this order and gave him explanations and said that if
21 the rear sector wanted explanations as to why so many vehicles were
22 necessary and why that particular type of vehicle was necessary, that he
23 could explain to them on my behalf, because I was no longer on the spot
24 but I was in the field. So I explained to him the reasons.
25 Q. Did you say you gave explanations. Would it be -- would it have
1 been possible to send these orders individually without your
2 instructions, without your information?
3 A. I am not sure that he could.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there is a
5 mistake in English on 23, line 1. It wasn't "orders" but "information."
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Ms. Fauveau. It was your
7 own question.
8 Shall we have the break now.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. 20 minutes. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau. Next break at noon. Thank
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. General, do you know where General Miletic or, rather, Colonel
17 Miletic at the time, do you know where he was during Operation Spreca?
18 A. He was in the Main Staff at Crna Rijeka.
19 Q. I believe that you've already mentioned the participation of the
20 Drina Corps and of the Eastern Bosnia Corps in the Spreca operation. Do
21 you know if anyone coordinated the operations of these two corps?
22 A. Yes. The coordination was conducted from the forward command
23 post of the Main Staff in Zvornik. The coordination was conducted by
24 General Milovanovic himself, together with -- or, rather, he was the
25 commander of the forward command post, and I took part as well. General
1 Jovo Maric would take part from time to time as well, and a number of
2 other officers would spend a day or two at the forward command post
3 coming from the Main Staff.
4 Q. Was it possible to coordinate directly from Crna Rijeka?
5 A. No, that was not possible. Or, rather, it wouldn't have been
6 effective, and that's why the forward command post was set up in the
7 first place in the area.
8 Q. Until when did you stay in the combat area as part of Operation
10 A. I think until sometime in mid-May.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D985.
12 Q. And whilst the exhibit is being brought up, it's a report from
13 the Drina Corps, I'd like to know whether you know until when General
14 Milovanovic remained in that area.
15 A. General Milovanovic was not in the operation zone every day, but
16 until mid-May, or the end of May he was there from time to time. He
17 would go to the Eastern Bosnia Corps area and he would spend time at the
18 Main Staff headquarters as well.
19 Q. Please have a look at item 2 of this report. It's a regular
20 combat report from the Drina Corps dated 13th of May, 1995, and can you
21 have a look at the last sentence of item 2 referring to the Chief of
22 Staff of the Main Staff of the VRS?
23 A. Yes, it says that the chief of the Main Staff toured positions of
24 the armoured detachment and 5th Infantry Battalion in the 1st Zvornik
1 Q. When in a document of the VRS mention is made of the chief of the
2 Main Staff, who is that person meant to be?
3 A. General Milovanovic.
4 Q. Earlier on, you mentioned the fact that decisions needed to be
5 approved. You were referring to decisions made by the Drina Corps and
6 the Eastern Bosnia Corps and that were then approved by General
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D987.
9 It's very difficult to decipher, this exhibit.
10 Q. So to help you out, I am going to read out item 3 in English.
11 [In English] "Execute the task under the Spreca 95 plan with available
12 forces pursuant to the decision of the Drina Corps Commander which has
13 been approved by me."
14 [Interpretation] We can see the signature, typed signature, of
15 General Milovanovic at the bottom of the page. Were you aware of a
16 decision taken around the 20th of May 1995 and then approved by General
17 Milovanovic, were you aware of such a decision?
18 A. No, that decision was made earlier, before the start of the
19 operation. Both corps commanders reported the decision and General
20 Milovanovic approved it, and on the basis of those decisions the
21 operation went forward. So it wasn't made on the 20th of May. It was
22 the second half of March or the end of March, I am not quite sure which,
23 but thereabouts.
24 Q. At the Main Staff, who had the authority to approve decisions
25 made by corps commanders?
1 A. That exclusive right was vested in the commander of the Main
2 Staff, or his deputy, General Milovanovic.
3 Q. Did the head of administration for operations and training have
4 that right?
5 A. No, he didn't and nor did anybody else except the two men I've
6 just mentioned.
7 Q. We mentioned the Muslim forces and what they were trying to
8 achieve in 1994 and 1995 when you were at the Visegrad TG, they were
9 trying to connect the enclaves, and I'd like to know the following: When
10 you were in Zvornik, did you hear of movements by Muslim forces from the
12 A. Yes, there was mention of that during the evening analysis or
13 reporting sessions, that the Muslim forces were expected to attack from
14 the area of Srebrenica and Zepa with the aim of lifting the burden from
15 their forces at Talocuk [phoen], or, rather, the area in which the Spreca
16 operations were being conducted.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit
18 5D1213. This is an order coming from the Main Staff. It bears the
19 signature, or, rather, the name of General Milovanovic. It is dated 30th
20 of March, 1995.
21 Q. Please have a look at the preamble of this order.
22 A. Yes, I see that.
23 Q. If such a movement had taken place, could it have had an
24 influence on Operation Spreca, on the way Operation Spreca unfolded?
25 A. If those forces were transferred, then that would be a great
1 reinforcement to the forces at the front in the area in which Operation
2 Spreca was being conducted. Now, whether it was those forces or
3 reinforcements from the rear of the territory in-depth which was under
4 control of the Muslims forces, during the operation itself, on several
5 occasions there were strong counter-attacks launched by the Muslim units.
6 Q. When you came back from Zvornik, where did you go then? I mean,
7 when you left Zvornik, where did you go next?
8 A. I went to the Main Staff.
9 Q. Do you remember that at the time relations with UNPROFOR were
10 rather tense?
11 A. Yes. I think that the bombing had started; that is to say, the
12 shelling of the positions of Republika Srpska and the infrastructure.
13 Q. How long did you stay at the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka?
14 A. To the end of May 1995.
15 Q. Where did you go next?
16 A. After that, I went to Krajina again, together with General
17 Milovanovic and General Jovo Maric.
18 Q. When you mention the Krajina, what do you mean exactly? Where
19 exactly in Krajina did you go?
20 A. We went to the forward command post of the Main Staff in Drvar.
21 Q. What were the links between the Drvar forward command post and
22 the main command post at Crna Rijeka?
23 A. We had a direct protected link.
24 Q. Do you know if General Milovanovic, whilst he was in Krajina, got
25 in touch with General Mladic?
1 A. Yes, every evening the two of them spoke. General Milovanovic
2 spoke to General Mladic every evening.
3 Q. Do you know if General Milovanovic had contacts with General
5 A. Yes, he did have communication with General Miletic, who was
6 still colonel at the time.
7 Q. Did you have the opportunity to draft a directive?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell us what directive it was?
10 A. Directive Number 9.
11 Q. Where were you when you drafted it?
12 A. This directive was drafted at the forward command post of the
13 Main Staff in Banja Luka.
14 Q. Why was this directive drafted at the forward command post?
15 A. Because most of the Main Staff, or the inner Main Staff headed by
16 commander General Mladic, was in Banja Luka at the time; i.e., they were
17 at the forward command post in Banja Luka and in the western part of the
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D999.
20 Q. Do you recognise this document?
21 A. Yes, this is Directive Number 9.
22 Q. Could you briefly explain how this directive was drafted.
23 A. This directive was drafted by the so-called short -- or shortened
24 procedure, and the most appropriate explanation for this method is as
25 follows: At a meeting that the commander of the Main Staff had with his
1 assistant -- assistants, the Chief of Staff, and others whom he
2 considered important and who he thought should be present at the meeting,
3 a short analysis of a situation in a given area was carried out. In this
4 specific case, a short analysis referred to the situation in the areas of
5 the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps.
6 All organs, i.e., all assistants, put forth their positions and
7 opinions, since during their working days they all were on the ground in
8 one of the relevant units. Based on that analysis, a conclusion was
9 reached that it was impossible to defend the territory in question of
10 Republika Srpska by mounting defence only. It was necessary to launch a
11 counter-offensive. General Mladic put forth the main idea. He issued
12 his orders in a very short outline, and he ordered others to draft a
14 After the meeting ended, General Milovanovic called me into his
15 office. He gave me very specific tasks, he gave me instructions as to
16 how to draft the directive, and he ordered me to draft it. When the
17 directive was drafted, I took it to General Milovanovic, he read it, and
18 then he took it to the commander of the Main Staff for signing.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you page 4 in
20 English and 3 in B/C/S. And could we scroll down the page in B/C/S,
22 Q. You can see that this relates to the Sarajevo Corps, to the
23 Eastern Bosnia Corps.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we move to the following page
25 B/C/S, please.
1 Q. The Herzegovina Corps and the Drina Corps. Do you remember who
2 told you what you were supposed to include in these sections of the
4 A. In just the shortest outlines, the main tasks were distributed by
5 General Mladic, and then General Milovanovic provided further details.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown the very
7 last page of this directive, page 5 in English and it's at the bottom of
8 the page in B/C/S.
9 Q. Under item 7, mention is made of Directive Number 7. Who --
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, it's the previous page
11 in English.
12 Q. Who told you that you should mention Directive Number 7?
13 A. Since I did not participate in the drafting of Directive Number 7
14 and since there were no other professional organs who could provide
15 detailed elements for this particular point, he just -- General
16 Milovanovic said that we should follow the spirit of Directive Number 7
17 when we wrote about the support to combat activities.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now move to the very last
19 page of the document in English, please.
20 Q. We can see here at the bottom of the page that this directive was
21 compiled by Colonel Dragisa Masal.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] For the record, I would like to
23 state that the -- the word "izrodio" is the word used in both texts in
24 B/C/S, but in English a different translation has been used.
25 Q. When you attended the meeting prior to the drafting of the
1 directive, what was your task during that particular meeting?
2 A. I made notes during the analysis of the situation. I did not
3 participate in the analysis myself. I did not intervene, I did not
4 provide any contributions, I just made notes.
5 Q. Could you -- or were you able to exert any type of influence on
6 the content of the directive? You compiled this directive. As such, was
7 your role the same as someone drafting the directive?
8 A. Yes, I drafted the directive based on the elements that I
9 received at the meeting and later on from General Milovanovic as well.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, before we move along too far, I tried
12 to locate the word "izrodio" and just so the record is clear, can we have
13 some clarification as to what's that's referring to. My friend made a --
14 a reference it was being used in both texts in the B/C/S, but there is a
15 different translation. Can we just be told what that is so we
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Thayer. Ms. Fauveau.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This is the word that comes just
19 before Colonel Dragisa Masal, in English it's translated by "compiled,"
20 but in Directive Number 7 the exact same word is used in B/C/S but it was
21 translated by "drafted" in English.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that's -- I think that's clear
23 enough. Thank you. Let's proceed.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] One point of clarification from me
25 as well. I believe I am guilty. Here I spoke too fast --
1 Q. Because your answer to one of my questions is not recorded on the
2 transcript. So I am going to repeat that question to you. Do you
3 have -- or were you able to exert an influence on the contents of a
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 Q. You stated that the directive was drafted following the shortened
7 procedure. What would your role have been if the usual and full
8 procedure had been applied?
9 A. In principle the role of a person who drafts a directive does not
10 differ that much. The only difference lies in the fact that when it
11 comes to the complete method, all the organs of the Main Staff draft
12 their own contributions for the directive, and they submit their
13 contributions to the person who compiles or drafts the final version of
14 the directive.
15 So the only difference between the full or complete method and
16 shortened method lies in the fact that the drafter has to write
17 everything, and when it comes to the complete method he actually receives
18 already written parts of the directive that he then merges. To put it
19 simply, the drafter of a directive has a much easier time if the method
20 is complete or full rather than shortened.
21 Q. When Directive Number 9 was compiled and brought to General
22 Mladic, do you remember whether he signed it as it was or whether he
23 corrected part -- or modified part of the directive?
24 A. He did not sign the directive immediately. He had some
25 corrections to make. After that, General Milovanovic returned the
1 directive to me, I changed it accordingly, and then the directive was
3 Q. Did you include General Mladic's amendments in the final text of
4 the directive?
5 A. Yes. I had to. I didn't have a choice, did I?
6 Q. Did General Miletic take any part in the drafting of Directive 9?
7 A. No.
8 Q. You said that in those days almost all of the commanders of the
9 Main Staff were located in Eastern Bosnia -- in Western Bosnia. Did you
10 have -- did you know if the commanders had any meetings with his
11 assistants in those days?
12 A. Yes, almost every day. Not every day but whenever the situation
13 so allowed, when the assistants returned from the ground in a normal
14 time, then in the evening they would analyse the situation of the
15 previous day.
16 Q. And when the commanders -- the commander and his assistants were
17 in Western Bosnia, where were the Main Staff's decisions taken?
18 A. In Banja Luka. The commander and his assistants were there,
19 i.e., most of the Main Staff.
20 Q. Did General Mladic consult General Miletic in making his
22 A. No. General Miletic was not in Banja Luka.
23 Q. Do you know where General Miletic was?
24 A. General Miletic was in Crna Rijeka at the Main Staff there.
25 Q. Do you know what he did in Crna Rijeka in those days?
1 A. Since some of the officers were at the Main Staff, others were in
2 the areas of other corps. General Miletic was there to receive reports,
3 reports coming from the areas of all subordinate commands. He was
4 supposed to merge these reports and send them to the Supreme Command.
5 His task was also to organise the work with the remainder of the Main
6 Staff that was in Crna Rijeka to look after the communications, and the
7 work of the signals unit that was in charge of the communication with the
8 Main Staff, that unit was in Crna Rijeka; and his task was also to
9 possibly convey orders that he received from the commander to the other
10 units of the army of Republika Srpska; for example, to the Herzegovina
11 Drina, and Sarajevo Romania corps. This would be the task that Colonel
12 Miletic performed at the time.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we show page 1 of this
14 directive to the witness, please.
15 Q. The directive is dated 28th of September, 1995. Do you know when
16 the directive was sent out to the subordinate units?
17 A. The same evening when it was drafted, or, rather, when it was
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd now like to show you 5D1347.
20 It is Directive Number 8.
21 Q. Do you know who drafted this directive?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Do you know from what you can read where the directive was
25 A. The directive was drafted at the forward command post in Drvar.
1 Q. Who was your superior officer in 1995?
2 A. The chief of the Main Staff, General Milovanovic.
3 Q. Now, we have seen that General Milovanovic spent most of his time
4 that year outside Crna Rijeka, some time in Zvornik, and a lot in
5 Krajina. Who was the head of the Main Staff while General Milovanovic
6 was in Krajina?
7 A. General Milovanovic.
8 Q. When you were in Crna Rijeka and General Milovanovic was not, who
9 was in a position to give you orders?
10 A. If General Milovanovic was not in a position to get in touch with
11 me, I received my direct orders from the commander of the Main Staff,
12 General Mladic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just a clarification. On page 35,
15 line 4 of my transcript, the question was put:
16 "Who was the head of the Main Staff while General Milovanovic was
17 in Krajina?"
18 The terminology sometimes in extremely important. I don't know
19 whether that's translation issue or that was the question that was asked,
20 but I don't know if it was supposed to be who was chief of the Main Staff
21 or head, but I think that needs some clarification either way just to be
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you get the gist of his problem -- of his
24 concern? Okay. Then you can address it perhaps, Ms. Fauveau.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I understand
1 what my learned colleague is saying.
2 Q. To avoid any confusion, I would like to put that question in
4 [In English] Who was the chief of the Main Staff when General
5 Milovanovic was in Krajina?
6 A. General Milovanovic.
7 Q. [Interpretation] We've spoken about orders you got. Did General
8 Miletic ever serve as your superior officer?
9 A. No, never. There was a period, though, when we considered
10 informally a possibility for the chiefs of branches to be integrated into
11 the operations for training and operations. We opposed that, i.e., the
12 chiefs of all branches opposed that. So the chiefs of all the branches
13 were still directly subordinate to the Chief of Staff, General
14 Milovanovic, even after that.
15 Q. Was General Miletic an advisor to General Mladic?
16 A. No, he was not his advisor. Nobody in the Main Staff was General
17 Mladic's advisor. Nobody was an advisor to the commander of the Main
18 Staff. He only had his assistants by establishment, he did not have any
19 advisors at all.
20 Q. Was General Miletic's position within the Main Staff such that he
21 could advise General Mladic?
22 A. It was not his duty to provide advice. In the staff, everybody
23 had his own tasks, and within the purview of their competences, they may
24 have issued proposals. And whether the commander of the Main Staff would
25 accept those or not, it was his discretionary right. So he could not
1 give him any advice.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you. No further questions.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Fauveau. Mr. Zivanovic.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No questions for this witness, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Mr. Nikolic.
6 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, no questions for
7 this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Mr. Bourgon.
9 MR. BOURGON: We have no questions for this witness. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. One moment, Mr. Krgovic.
11 Mr. Gosnell?
12 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. It's your turn now, Mr. Krgovic.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I have a few question, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please go ahead. Break will be at 12.00 noon.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic. I represent General Gvero and I'll
20 have some questions for you. In answering questions today, General, you
21 said that you returned to the western part of Republika Srpska sometime
22 towards the end of May 1995; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was the reason, why did you return? Were there any changes
25 in the situation in that part?
1 A. The decision was passed by the commander of the Main Staff upon
2 the proposal of the chief, General Milovanovic, and the main reason was
3 the fact that the operative and tactical situation in the western front
4 had become more complicated. Part of the territory that was in the hands
5 of the army of Republika Srpska had been lost. We expected a major
6 offensive to be launched by the Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian
7 army in the western part of the front, and that is why the team from the
8 Main Staff was sent to the western part of the front.
9 Q. And that offensive followed soon afterwards, right?
10 A. Yes, that is right.
11 Q. In that offensive, the Croatian and Muslim forces took control of
12 the elevations in the surrounding parts so that our forces were under
13 siege, right?
14 A. Yes, the Croatian army sometime until the end of June and
15 beginning of July, took control of Dinara and came within the vicinity of
16 Grahovo and was in the rear of Knin. On the other side, most of Golija
17 mountain was taken control of by the Croatian army, and Glamoc was
19 Q. As far as I understood your testimony so far, General, the
20 forward command post of the Main Staff was in Jasenica, and after that a
21 command post was established in Drvar, right? Did I understand that
23 A. Yes, that is right. The forward command post in Jasenica was
24 formed at the end of October 1994 and I stayed there until the second
25 half of March, myself. And the forward command post in Drvar was set up
1 immediately after the new year; that is to say, the beginning of January
2 1995, in Drvar. And it was operational until the end of January or
3 beginning of February. And then afterwards it was reactivated at the end
4 of May 1995.
5 Q. At the end of July 1995, you, yourself, were at Jasenica, right?
6 A. For the most part I spent every day at the forward command post,
7 or, rather, in a part of the front that we called Gruposko Bihacko [as
8 interpreted] front. The others were at the Grahovo-Glamoc area at the
9 forward command post at Drvar.
10 Q. At one point in time, when Grahovo and Glamoc fell, did you go to
11 that part of the battlefront?
12 A. Yes, when Grahovo fell, General Milovanovic called me to come to
13 Drvar straight away. So that very same day I arrived in Drvar pursuant
14 to an order from General Milovanovic.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
16 exhibit P3905.
17 Q. General, may I just take a moment, please. It's a combat report
18 describing the situation on the front. The date is the 27th of July,
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown page 4
22 of this document, please. May we have that put up on e-court, and on
23 English it is on page 5. May we scroll down, please, and see the bottom
24 of the document.
25 Q. General, look at that last paragraph there, please, which begins
1 with "In the area of responsibility of the 30th infantry division ..." In
2 the second half of that it says: "In the southeastern part of the area
3 of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps, the broader region of Grahovo
4 and Grahovo itself, the population left the area heading towards Drvar
5 and then further on to Petrovac and Sanski Most due to the fierce
6 shelling of Glamoc, from which people continued to move out." People
7 continued to move out of the town.
8 So is that the day that you arrived to see General Milovanovic?
9 A. If we are talking about the 27th, then that is the day when, to
10 all intents and purposes, Grahovo fell.
11 Q. Did General Milovanovic issue an assignment of any kind to you?
12 A. As we were moving, he informed me that Grahovo had fallen and
13 that there were no links with the Glamoc anymore, that he didn't know
14 what was going on, and he ordered me to get into a car and to use the
15 Drvar-Glamoc road, Glamocko Polje road, at the village of Rore, to go to
16 Glamoc that way, and to see what the situation was like and then to come
17 back and report to him about what I had found.
18 Q. And did you carry out the assignment General Milovanovic gave
20 A. Along the road to Glamoc, when passing through the Serbian
21 villages along the way, I didn't see a soul. The population had already
22 moved out, and before entering Glamoc itself, I heard explosions. I
23 stopped in the airport area. It's the airport belonging to the former
24 JNA, with a grass takeoff and landing strip. And on -- in one facility
25 there were two or three persons in uniform there. They said that there
1 was nobody left in Glamoc and that it wasn't a good idea for me to go
2 further on. In view of the situation, and as I saw that there were no
3 soldiers along the way or any civilians, I returned.
4 Q. General, when you arrived at the command post where you met
5 General Milovanovic, did you happen to see any of the officers from the
6 Main Staff there on that same day, the 27th of July, 1995?
7 A. On the 27th of July, I know full well that when I arrived that in
8 the office of General Milovanovic, General Jovo Maric was there. And you
9 could see that he had been crying, and when I asked what had happened
10 before I reported myself, he just said very briefly, I had to evacuate my
11 old folk from Grahovo. Then I went on to report briefly and went to the
12 operations room, so except for the officers that were there that evening,
13 I don't remember seeing anybody else.
14 Q. Did you see General Gvero at the time?
15 A. As for General Gvero, I did see him at the forward command post.
16 As far as I remember -- as far as I remember that was on the following
17 day or that evening, I can't be quite sure of that, but I think it was
18 the next day that General Gvero was present at the forward command post.
19 Q. Thank you, I have no further questions for you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa -- Mr. Haynes, sorry.
21 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
23 Q. Well, so that we can continue with that theme, on the 27th of
24 July of 1995, as you've told us, Grahovo fell with the result that the
25 Serbian population was moved out of the town. That's correct, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you haven't dealt with this. You're aware, aren't you, of
3 the Croatian forces that were involved in the taking of Grahovo. Can you
4 tell us a little bit about them and the calibre of those forces?
5 A. What we had, the information we had through our intelligence and
6 by intercepting conversations along the air waves, we concluded that
7 Grahovo had been taken control of by elite Croatian units; specifically,
8 Grahovo itself had been taken control of by the Guards Brigade from
9 Split. I don't know what the number was of that brigade, but I know that
10 it was the Guards Brigade from Split.
11 Q. And the next objective of the Guards Brigade from Split was Drvar
12 itself; isn't that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Now, were you aware that after the 27th of July a brigade known
15 as the Drinski Brigade was ordered to be put together under the command
16 of my client general -- now General Vinko Pandurevic?
17 A. Yes. This axis, Grahovo-Drvar, was closed off by the Drina
18 Brigade. I don't know what day it was brought in, but I do know that it
19 stopped a further breakthrough from Grahovo towards Drvar. Somewhere
20 around the village of Resanovci, that level, to the best of my
22 Q. And you were aware, weren't you, that that brigade had to be put
23 together at very short notice?
24 A. As far as I knew, it was put together in a brief period of time
25 and was brought to the combat zone.
1 Q. And if you would, what were your impressions of the military
2 action carried out by that brigade under the command of then
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic?
4 A. Since I was in the area of combat operations, I know personally
5 that the Drina Brigade managed to stop the further advance of the
6 Croatian army. It was given the assignment of launching a
7 counter-attack, and all the preparations were underway, and it was a
8 classical example of artillery preparation which lasted 20 minutes to
9 half an hour. And a fierce attack, they inflicted great casualties on
10 the enemy.
11 Now, in the Croatian information media, or, rather, they
12 published three days a morning in Split, three days a morning in Split
13 were proclaimed by the media, and I think that that day about 60
14 combatants from the Guards Brigade from Split were killed.
15 Unfortunately, because the other units failed to function effectively,
16 the ultimate goal was not achieved; that is to say, to take control of
17 Grahovo again. So if you don't use the opportunity afforded you, then
18 many problems ensue and indeed this brigade had many problems later on.
20 Q. In summary then, would you say it was a classically executed
21 military operation by a commander with a force he had put together at
22 very short notice?
23 A. I would say that it was a school example, a classic example of
24 rapid planning and rapid deployment, rapid putting an operation into
25 effect by a brigade.
1 Q. And was your observation of that consistent with your impression
2 throughout your knowledge of him -- of Vinko Pandurevic as a military
4 A. Yes, precisely. He had the skill to size up the situation, carry
5 out preparations, and go into action, in keeping with the situation on
6 the ground. So he acted energetically, which was this unit's general
8 Q. Thank you. Now it may seem a little illogical but I'm going to
9 go back in time, please to 1993. You told us that on the 4th of February
10 of 1993, you became the commander of the tactical group at Visegrad. Do
11 you recall that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Your immediate predecessor in that role was Vinko Pandurevic;
14 that's correct, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the military situation that you found yourself in when you
17 first arrived in Visegrad was very difficult. Do you agree with that?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Muslims forces were on the surrounding hills above the town, they
20 were able to shell it at will, and they had military ambition to take
21 further territory in the area; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, during 1993 - and you've already spoken about this - there
24 were two military operations, both called Mac, Mac 1 and Mac 2 in May and
25 June of 1993. You've told us about them. I imagine you recall them.
1 A. I don't know what operation you meant. You said "sibice." It
2 was Mac.
3 Q. Yes, thank you. I perhaps should have said -- used the English
4 word so it was translated to you, the word in English is "sword",
5 translated into Serbian, that's Mac. So there was Sword 1 and Sword 2,
6 to you Mac 1 and Mac 2. Sorry for the confusion.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the tactical group employed to carry out those operations was
9 comprised of a number of battle groups, and battle groups 1 and 2 were
10 commanded by Vinko Pandurevic; that's correct, isn't it?
11 A. Yes, combat groups 1 and 2 were under the command of Vinko
12 Pandurevic, that's true.
13 Q. And you're aware that at that time he had been taken from his
14 position as commander of the Zvornik Brigade to command those battle
16 A. A brief explanation. He was not transferred from his own duties
17 to take over these combat groups. He was there -- he brought in part of
18 his unit as reinforcement to the zone of operations. And from part of
19 the Visegrad tactical group and his unit, went to form two combat groups
20 of which Vinko Pandurevic was directly in command and I think he was a
21 major at the time.
22 Q. Thank you. In those circumstances according to your
23 understanding of the rules of the army of Republika Srpska, who would
24 have been in command of the Zvornik Brigade while he was away?
25 A. In view of the fact that he was outside his own area, the area of
1 his brigade, he was supposed to be replaced by his Chief of Staff when he
2 was absent, if he had one, I assume he did have a Chief of Staff, so if
3 he was absent that would be the person. So if the brigade was away in
4 its original area, then it's the Chief of Staff that's in command.
5 Q. And is there, in your view, any need for any order from corps
6 command to appoint the Chief of Staff as commander of the brigade in
7 those circumstances, or does it follow automatically from the rules?
8 A. In principle, command and control principles, if the brigade
9 commander had a Chief of Staff who was at the same time the deputy
10 commander, then there was no need to write out a separate order.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to move on to a particular aspect of the
12 operations we were talking about, Sword 1 and Sword 2. One of the towns
13 or villages you've mentioned as being relevant to those actions was the
14 town of Ustipraca. Do you remember that place?
15 A. Yes, it's a settlement, a suburb of Gorazde in fact. I'd call it
16 a village.
17 Q. And was the commander of the Muslim units in Ustipraca somebody
18 called Ammo Sejdic?
19 A. I think you mean Ammet Sejdic. He was the commander of the
20 Muslim Visegrad brigade. And during the operation, he spent time in the
21 village of Mejedja.
22 Q. Now, during the course of the operation, did a civilian
23 population at Ustipraca become, as it were, trapped and isolated?
24 A. As our forces, specifically the 1st and 2nd combat group, had cut
25 off the communication line in Ustipraca, then the entire civilian
1 population from Visegrad to Ustipraca - and this was a stretch of some 15
2 kilometres - they were cut off in the canyon, and both the Muslim army
3 and the civilian population. And I would say there were between 2 and
4 3.000 people.
5 Q. What happened to the civilian population?
6 A. During the evening, I received a report from my interception
7 service that they had intercepted an attempt at contact between Ammet
8 Sejdic, the commander of the Muslim forces, who was persistently calling
9 Vinko Pandurevic up. And I was told by the people manning the
10 interception devices, was that he was asking Pandurevic to enable the
11 civilian population to pull out. Pandurevic answered and said that he
12 guaranteed that the civilian population would not be targeted and that
13 they had the night at their disposal to evacuate towards Gorazde.
14 During the following day when we entered the territory which was
15 under the control of the Muslims forces, we did not come across a single
16 civilian. Not dead, not alive, nobody. We came across no soldiers,
17 either. Now, whether the soldiers had fled before the civilians or after
18 the civilians had left, I don't know.
19 Q. Was that sort of behaviour negotiating with the enemy over the
20 safety of civilians consistent with your impression of Vinko Pandurevic
21 and his attitudes particularly to civilians during the course of this
23 A. His conduct did not surprise me. He was a professional, and I
24 personally think that the vast majority of army professionals would have
25 acted in similar fashion.
1 Q. I am going to finish before the break with you, General Masal,
2 but what were your impressions of him in terms of his moral standards in
3 the way he behaved as an army officer?
4 A. At the time, I had ample opportunity to cooperate and work
5 together with Pandurevic in battle and then and later on I had a very
6 high opinion of Pandurevic as a professional soldier. And I think he was
7 a young officer, to be brief, who in the most effective way possible put
8 the knowledge he had gained in his military schools into practice very
9 well during the war. He had very high capabilities in the field of
10 control and command of units.
11 Q. Thank you, General Masal.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. You'll start your
13 cross-examination, Mr. Thayer, after the break. The break now will be of
14 30 minutes. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.
17 JUDGE KWON: As you were informed, Judge Agius will not be with
18 us due to official business until Wednesday, so, therefore, we will be
19 sitting pursuant to 15 bis.
20 Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer:
23 Q. Sir, good afternoon. My name is Nelson Thayer, I will be asking
24 you some questions on behalf of the Prosecution.
25 A. Good afternoon, sir.
1 Q. A couple of odds and ends first, General, based on some of the
2 things you testified about this morning. You were shown an exhibit and
3 there was a code name that was referred to in the exhibit. I can show it
4 to you if you -- if you need to look at it to refresh your recollection,
5 but you were asked some questions about, I think on that occasion, you
6 said that it was a little difficult to get in contact with the party that
7 you wanted to be in touch with. And the document referred to the code
8 name "Diploma." Do you recall what that code name referred to?
9 A. Yes, that code name was for the Main Staff of the army of
10 Republika Srpska.
11 Q. And do you recall approximately what period of time the Main
12 Staff used that code name?
13 A. I don't know exactly. I think that it was used up to sometime in
15 MR. THAYER: May we have 5D1026, please.
16 Q. I want to show you, General, a document you were shown two copies
17 of yesterday, it was the same thing only one of them, I think, actually
18 bore General Mladic's signature. You identified both. I just want to
19 ask you about one paragraph in it.
20 Do you see paragraph 3 in your language, General?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And can you confirm for the Trial Chamber that at the time you
23 received this order, you were familiar with the Geneva Conventions, their
24 protocols 1 and 2, the 1907 Hague convention on the laws and customs of
1 A. Yes, I was familiar with the Geneva Conventions. I learned about
2 them during my education and also from the beginning of the war in the
3 former Yugoslavia. We had to be aware of certain provisions of the
4 Geneva Conventions, maybe, not of the entire document but of certain
5 provisions, certain ...
6 Q. And I understand from what you're telling us that some of your
7 training occurred during your professional JNA training, and then there
8 was additional training during the period where you were serving in the
9 VRS as well; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you just briefly describe what kind of training was
12 undertaken throughout the VRS during the war?
13 A. That was not classical training. All the commands and all the
14 units at all levels had to be informed and knew about certain provisions
15 of the Geneva Conventions that dealt with prisoners of war, treatment of
16 civilians, treatment of various types of infrastructure in the territory
17 that is used for the survival or, rather, life of the civilian population
18 on the territory.
19 Q. Okay. And, General, just so you know, if I'm looking away from
20 time to time or not engaging with you, it's simply I'm trying to either
21 look at the transcript that I have here running based on our question and
22 answer, and I'm also waiting for the translation to complete.
23 I want to ask you a couple of questions about the Spreca
25 MR. THAYER: And if we could 5D982, please.
1 Q. General, you testified about Operation Spreca, as we all know. I
2 don't know if you had had an opportunity to look at this particular
3 document during your proofing. It I don't believe was used by my learned
4 friend for the Miletic team during her examination, but it was on the
5 exhibit list. So if you need some time to take a look at the document,
6 please do so. If you recognise it and you are familiar with its
7 contents, please say so and I will get right to my questions.
8 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this document. And I know that this
9 analysis was carried out at the command of the Drina Corps.
10 Q. Now, this analysis was carried out after this operation had been
11 underway for approximately a month; is that correct, General?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Without going into the specifics, it's fair to say that the
14 operation was encountering some difficulties which required this analysis
15 to be conducted and which further required the presence and involvement
16 of some Main Staff officers to provide their insight and guidance during
17 this process; is that correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Getting right to the point, General, the situation was a serious
20 one at this time and there was a lot at stake; do you recall that?
21 A. The situation was serious. I don't know what you mean when you
22 say that there was a lot at stake. I know what the situation was on the
24 Q. The colonels -- the Main Staff colonels Pandzic and Djurdjevic
25 were there and made an assessment and provided briefings on behalf of the
1 Main Staff after which certain conclusions were made. Do you recall
2 that, General?
3 A. Colonel Pandzic and Colonel Djordjevic were present when the
4 analysis was taking place, and their objective was to look at all of the
5 data and information or, rather, what the command of the Drina Corps was
6 doing in order that Spreca 95 should be carried out as was planned.
7 MR. THAYER: May we see 5D2891, please. Actually, that's
8 5DP02891. I think that will work.
9 Q. Again, General, just take a look the document. If you need some
10 time to scan through it, please do so. It's just two pages, so take your
11 time, please.
12 A. Yes, I've read it.
13 MR. THAYER: And may we see page 2 in B/C/S and English as well.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. General, you've already testified about being present at this
17 Main Staff forward command post. I think you identified General
18 Milovanovic, General Maric, yourself and other Main Staff officers who
19 would come and go during this period of time.
20 A. Correction, General Maric, not Mladic.
21 Q. Sorry, that was my pronunciation, General. Now, on the first
22 page of this document we saw that yourself was identified as well as
23 Colonel Trkulja, do you remember whether Colonel Trkulja was present at
24 that IKM, that Main Staff IKM during this period of time as well?
25 A. Yes, he was. Colonel Trkulja was there.
1 Q. And you'll agree with me that this is a very serious senior group
2 of Main Staff officers who are assigned to this IKM?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And if we look at the second page of this order - and I want to
5 direct your attention, General, to paragraph 7 - it says that:
6 "The commands of the Eastern Bosnia Corps and the Drina Corps
7 will allocate one operative each and one assistant commander for morale,
8 religious and psychological preparation if the corps who will be a part
9 of the force of the IKM of the Main Staff in Zvornik..."
10 Do you see that, General, paragraph 7?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. You were at this IKM. Can you tell the Trial Chamber why General
13 Mladic deemed it important in this order to have a corps level assistant
14 commander for morale actually present in the Main Staff forward command
16 A. On the basis of an analysis conducted by the command of the Drina
17 Corps, they arrived at the conclusion that the rate of the operations,
18 Operation Spreca, rather, was on the decline, that the tempo was on the
19 decline, and the main problem was coordinating the units, the action of
20 the units taking part in the operation. And after the operation had been
21 in force for one month, there was a lag, a lull, due to casualties
22 suffered and the fact that the set goals had not been reached. So in
23 part morale was low among the fighters. And that certainly prompted the
24 commander of the Main Staff to issue the order that, at the forward
25 command post, organs for operative affairs be included and organs for
1 morale and other legal issues be included.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to be fair to the
4 witness, when my colleague stated who was identified to go to the forward
5 command post, he should give the opportunity to the witness to tell us
6 who was the leader of that team, because another person is mentioned, not
7 by name but by his function. So if this could be clarified, maybe. I am
8 talking about item 1 on page 1.
9 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any comment, Mr. Thayer?
10 MR. THAYER: I can -- I think I can clarify, but I think my first
11 "general" out of my mouth was the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic,
12 and I believe that's to whom my friend is referring. But for the sake of
13 the record --
14 JUDGE KWON: I think that's it. I think we can proceed.
15 MR. THAYER: Okay.
16 Q. And do you recall, General, what the corps level assistant
17 commander for morale was doing during this period of time to help, I
18 presume, and correct me if I'm wrong, make sure that the combat morale
19 was at the appropriate level and correcting whatever the insufficiencies
20 were in the level of morale that you spoke about?
21 JUDGE KWON: Okay. Just a second. I see Mr. Josse is on his
22 feet. Yes, Mr. Josse.
23 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, it might be worth the witness taking off
24 his earphones, assuming he doesn't speak English.
25 JUDGE KWON: General Masal, do you understand English? I haven't
1 heard your answer, whether you speak and understand English.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Would you take off your headphones,
5 Yes, Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, the position here is that these
7 questions are being asked frankly rather out of the blue to this
8 particular witness, by my learned friend. They were certainly not issues
9 that we touched upon in the course of our cross-examination at all. So
10 far as morale is concerned, they weren't issues that my learned friend
11 for General Miletic touched upon during her examination in chief of the
12 witness. Of course, the rules do allow a party to ask questions that are
13 relevant to their case, and that is presumably what Mr. Thayer is doing
14 here, but we just want to flag up that we are completely defenceless in
15 this situation, totally and utterly. Witnesses are called, beyond our
16 control, by another party to the case, we don't know whether to ask some
17 questions, any questions, no questions. We have no idea what the
18 Prosecutor is going to ask, we don't know in advance what their list
19 of -- what their list of documents are, and even if we did, it wouldn't
20 help very much. And frankly, we are completely helpless in this
22 We have discussed this amongst ourselves over the last few days
23 and have decided that if it happened again to flag it up to the Trial
24 Chamber. We allowed my learned friend to ask one question, he asked that
25 question, he's now being persistent in asking another question.
1 Realistically, as I've already said, the rules allow him to do this. And
2 I just want to emphasize that this is grossly unfair, not on his part but
3 in relation to the general procedure that's being adopted and that
4 General Gvero is really helpless in the present given situation.
5 JUDGE KWON: Will you be -- will your concerns be resolved if the
6 Chamber is minded to consider whether to allow you a further
8 MR. JOSSE: Well, certainly, that would allay our fears to some
9 extent and would allow us to address these particular issues, but that
10 would -- I mean, it's a matter I want to discuss specifically with
11 Mr. Krgovic, but that would be an offer that we would accept, I suspect.
12 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if I may respond briefly.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: I -- with all due respect to my friend, I think he's
15 overstating his and his client's helplessness in this circumstance and
16 all the other circumstances where we've had witnesses called by one party
17 and then cross-examined by other Defence teams. What we have seen
18 throughout the Defence case are witnesses from one Defence team being
19 proofed by one or more other Defence teams. We can see from the
20 questions that are being asked on what are purportedly
21 cross-examinations, are clearly questions that have been prepared in
22 advance with the aid of proofing sessions of these witnesses. There is
23 nothing to prevent my friend, as he has done with other witnesses,
24 clearly, based on the questions that were asked, meeting with any of
25 these witnesses ahead of time - and I believe they have done so on
1 numerous occasions - so I think this idea that they are helpless is
2 absolutely unfounded.
3 They see the documents that --
4 JUDGE KWON: Let's stop here. We have heard enough. And then we
5 proceed. Just a second.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will consider in due course whether to
8 allow further cross-examination by the Gvero Defence, if necessary. That
9 said, let's continue.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. General, sorry for the little intermission. My question was:
12 You were at this IKM. What did this corps level assistant commander for
13 morale do during this period of time to rectify the deficiencies in
14 morale that you told the Trial Chamber about a little while ago? What
15 kind of measures were undertaken, what kind of actions did this assistant
16 commander undertake?
17 A. I don't know exactly what they did individually, because I spent
18 most of the time in the field myself, but I assume that it would follow
19 from this kind of order or from this order that they were -- what was
20 necessary was to talk to the commanders, the commanders commanding the
21 operation, and that most probably, according to their plan or pursuant to
22 orders from their commanders, they would go into the units, the units
23 that took part in carrying out this operation.
24 I was not with them myself because I had my own assignments which
25 I had to carry through, but from the order I assume that those were the
1 tasks they were given.
2 Q. Okay. Let's move on to different topic --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Counsel.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. Let me move on to a new topic. You've told us about the
6 considerable amount of time you've spent at various IKMs on various
7 fronts during 1995. I just want to ask you some questions about your
8 duties and responsibilities as chief of artillery for the Main Staff.
9 Can you just briefly describe what those were? And I'm talking separate
10 and apart from whatever your duties were when you were forward during
11 those periods of time you talked about.
12 A. Upon taking over the duties of chief of artillery in the Main
13 Staff, the main thing was for me to see and later to take into account
14 and take care of artillery units who were in the army of Republika
15 Srpska, to see to them.
16 Now, according to the formations and the tactical units, the
17 operative composition of the corps, and the strategy of the army as a
18 whole, the artillery was grouped in such a way as to ensure that each
19 unit had its own artillery which it was in command of directly. Now, the
20 specific feature in the army of Republika Srpska was as follows: All the
21 units at all levels, except for the Main Staff, had their own artillery
22 units. We had a rocket brigade as well, which establishment-wise, should
23 have been immediately subordinated to the commander; that is to say, that
24 it would come under me as an establish unit.
25 However, because of its location, the location of that unit, at
1 the very beginning of the war it was attached to the 1st Krajina Corps so
2 that as I did not have -- or, rather, the Main Staff did not have under
3 its immediate command a single artillery unit, my basic task was to see
4 that the artillery units were properly used in the units lower down and
5 to take care and see and keep records of their technical equipment, the
6 ammunition, artillery ammunition for those units, and to be in control of
7 the artillery caters, the men, and to make proposals for promotions,
8 training, and moving people around, that kind of thing.
9 Since the scope of the duties of the chief of artillery had been
10 made more narrow, because we didn't have these units immediately under
11 our direct command, that is why I had to perform the other tasks at the
12 forward command post as well and all over the front, in actual fact,
13 where combat was taking place.
14 Q. And General, when you that your "... basic task was to see that
15 the artillery units were properly used in the units lower down," what are
16 you were talking about there practically speaking? Can you tell the
17 Trial Chamber what that actually means?
18 A. In practical terms it would mean the following: When I toured
19 the subordinate units and when I went into the field, I would look to see
20 whether the artillery was grouped according to their purpose for
21 deployment, or, which was often the case, the artillery was split and
22 then assigned all over the front, which, in principle, is not how the
23 artillery should be deployed during combat. So I would make a note of
24 such cases and make proposals to the corps commanders instructing them
25 how they should deal with the situation and also to report back to
1 General Milovanovic, my superior officer, about the situation.
2 Q. Presumably, on your part, General, that would require a fair
3 amount of knowledge about the activities at a particular point in time
4 within the corps so that you could make that assessment as to whether the
5 artillery was being properly deployed and so forth; is that fair to say?
6 A. I should just like to add that after taking over these duties,
7 some 15 to 20 days afterwards, I managed to tour all the corps and to
8 size up the situation on the spot to see the state of the artillery and
9 how it was grouped, and on the basis of that and later on during the
10 operations where I was present, I was able to have an overview of the
11 situation and see whether the artillery was used properly or not.
12 Q. Just a couple of more questions on this topic, General. Can you
13 give us an idea - and let's start from the bottom up - when authorisation
14 was required or not for artillery assets to be employed?
15 A. In the process of preparation for all combat activities at all
16 levels, whether it be combat or fighting, at the level of a battalion, a
17 brigade or an operation at the level of a corps, or the army as a whole
18 for that matter, in the planning process, each and every commander has to
19 plan how the artillery is to be deployed and its effects. If there is a
20 professional under his command, then it is this professional officer who
21 would be in charge of compiling such a plan which he signs when he
22 completes the plan, but it is authorised by the commander just as the
23 commander authorises the -- and makes the overall decision, the ultimate
25 So the deployment of the artillery -- in the deployment of the
1 artillery each command is autonomous, every commander, it is the
2 exclusive right of the commander to have right over the deployment of the
3 artillery based on proposals from the chief as the professional organ.
4 Q. And even with that autonomy that you just told us about, were
5 there any circumstances under which a commander would require
6 authorisation from his superior command in order to actually utilise his
8 A. There are situations when the commander, or, rather, the lower
9 level commanders, can issue orders to use the artillery itself. And that
10 is in the case of a surprise attack, for instance, when you have to
11 refute such an enemy attack by all means available, and the command of
12 the artillery unit, if he -- his positions have been directly attacked,
13 then he, too, can do that.
14 MR. THAYER: May we see 5D976, please.
15 Q. General, this is going to be a document that you were shown just,
16 I think, this morning. And I just had a couple of questions based on the
17 questions that you were asked just this morning on it.
18 Do you see the document and do you recognise it from your
19 discussion this morning?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. These air bombs that you told us about, can you briefly describe
22 how they actually were fired? I think you described a launching system
23 and trailers and so forth, but can you just describe how they worked?
24 A. In the briefest possible terms, you have a motor vehicle and the
25 body of the vehicle in which you have incorporated part of a classical
1 artillery piece known as the cradle. So all you have is the cradle
2 without the barrels, and welded on to that is a rail similar to a tram
3 rail or railway lines for trains. And that is the device used for
4 launching. It has targeting devices from artillery pieces which was used
5 for this cradle.
6 Now, the aerial bomb itself, as a whole, remains as it is. In
7 order to launch it or to expel it from this device, at the back it had a
8 metal adapter built into it, a metal plate or adapter, with an incised
9 device for the rocket motor, 1, 2, 3, or 4 of those. And these rocket
10 motors were used with a multiple barrel rocket launcher; specifically, in
11 this case, it was a multiple barrel of 122 millimetres of Russian
12 manufacture called Grad, and on the underside there were two slips which
13 led the bomb along the tracks or rails. And the third element was a
14 device for electric activation, the activation of the motor itself, and
15 this activation was done on the side, on the flank, from a distance of
16 about 10 metres. Since the rocket motors, once they are activated, expel
17 the flair or flame, the substance of the -- that is how those aerial
18 bombs were launched using this particular device.
19 Q. You described the flame from the rocket. Is it correct then that
20 there is some type of fuel that is powering these rockets? How did they
21 actually get their power? Was it through some type of fuel source?
22 A. I've already said, and I don't think you understood me, that we
23 used original rocket engines. This was taken from the multiple rocket
24 launcher, and it is separate, and it contains fuel -- rocket fuel. This
25 means that it was part of another device that we used, and that's what we
1 used to fuel our VBR.
2 Q. The --
3 JUDGE KWON: We'll move on, yes?
4 MR. THAYER: I just have a couple more questions, Mr. President,
5 and I will tie this into something --
6 JUDGE KWON: On this artillery?
7 MR. THAYER: Yes, I will tie this in to a specific document that
8 is relevant to this case. Absolutely, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has heard testimony about aerosol bombs,
12 General. What are aerosol bombs?
13 A. No, this is not an aerosol bomb. It says here it's FAB, food [as
14 interpreted], gas, air bomb which is a classical bomb filled by material
15 of a certain weight, 100 kilos, or 275 kilos.
16 Q. Understood, General. My question is what is an aerosol bomb,
17 what is the difference between the avio-bombe that you've just told us
18 about and an aerosol bomb?
19 A. I'm a professional, but I only heard of aerosol projectiles.
20 I've never had an occasion to meet with aerosol projectiles in my
21 practice. An FAB
22 power, which is inflicted by iron particles, and this is the kind of
23 shells that I know. I've only heard of aerosol bombs, but I've never had
24 an occasion to see them in practice or attend such projectiles being
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. THAYER: May we have P03025.
3 Q. General, what you have on your screen before you is the combat
4 order issued by Commander Blagojevic for the Krivaja 95 operation, the
5 operation against the Srebrenica enclave. What I want to show you is
6 page 4 of the B/C/S and that's also page 4 of the English, and it's at
7 paragraph 6.2.
8 And do you see where it says:
9 "At 0300 hours on 6 July it will fire four projectiles," it's
10 referring to the rocket launcher platoon "... it will fire four
11 projectiles, 50 kilogram avio-bombe on the Potocari sector.
12 My question for you, General, is what's listed here, these 50
13 kilogram avio-bombes, these were what you were talking about a few
14 moments ago, not aerosol bombs but the air bombs; is that correct?
15 A. Absolutely correct.
16 Q. Now, General, you testified about being at the Main Staff in Crna
17 Rijeka until some time around the end of May. I think your recollection
18 was that the NATO air strikes had already happened before you left. Do I
19 have that correct?
20 A. I believe a few days before we left for Krajina was when the
21 first NATO air strike -- air strikes happened.
22 Q. And just to make sure we are talking about the same events, these
23 were the air strikes in 1995 when directly preceded the taking of the
24 UNPROFOR hostages and the television images we all recall about some of
25 the peacekeepers being placed at various installations. Are we on the
1 same page?
2 A. I can't give you the exact period of time. I can't pinpoint it.
3 But as far as I know, before I left for Krajina, the air strikes started
4 from their air space, but I would not be able to give you the immediate
5 cause, whether it was taking UNPROFOR members as hostages or something
6 else. I really don't know.
7 Q. Okay. Let me just see if I can orient you just a little bit on
8 this, General. And I'm going to just save some time and read from 65 ter
9 528. We don't need to put it up on e-court, and this is at page 46,
10 paragraph 189:
11 "The United Nations special representative authorised air strikes
12 at 1620 hours local time on 25 May. At 1633 hours, a NATO liaison
13 officer informed the special representative that six NATO aircraft had
14 attacked two ammunition bunkers in the vicinity of Pale."
15 Let me just stop there, General. Do you remember the ammunition
16 bunkers in Pale being hit? Does that refresh your recollection at all?
17 A. I'm not sure that the ammunition bunkers were ever targeted;
18 however, I seem to remember that some facilities in Pale were targeted as
19 well as on some signals and communication facilities on Mount Jahorina.
20 That's as much as I can remember. I don't know whether these facilities
21 were targeted during that particular attack.
22 Q. Okay. This passage continues for just a couple of sentences:
23 "The Serbs again failed to comply, continuing to bombard
24 Sarajevo. They also began retaliating against the safe areas and, in
25 particular, against vulnerable civilian targets in other parts of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina. In Tuzla, an air burst weapon exploded in a crowded
2 downtown area killing 71 people, most of them young men and women and
3 injuring almost 200 others."
4 Do you remember this occasion when the safe areas were shelled by
5 the VRS and in particular this incident where over 70 people in Tuzla
6 were killed on May 25, 1995? Do you remember that, General?
7 A. No, I don't remember. I only heard about this later. I learned
8 about this from the media. And then, by the end of the war, I heard that
9 some officers had been taken to task or indictments were issued for this
10 particular case. However, at the time in the Main Staff we did not
11 receive any reports about these particular actions.
12 Q. Well, General, the Trial Chamber has heard or seen the order from
13 General Milovanovic to take the peacekeepers hostage and deploy them to
14 these various military facilities basic as human targets and we've also
15 heard some testimony about that. So I put it to you that this, the
16 hostage taking was obviously coordinated by the Main Staff, so my
17 question to you is -- and the Trial Chamber has also heard testimony
18 about shelling of Srebrenica, the town of Srebrenica, on the same day
19 that the other safe areas were shelled. My question to you is: How was
20 that shelling that day coordinated? I take it that these subordinate
21 commands didn't coincidentally begin shelling all at the same time and
22 that there must have been some coordination involved. Can you tell the
23 Trial Chamber what you know about the coordination of that shelling on
24 that day?
25 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer, General Masal. Mr. Josse.
1 MR. JOSSE: Compound, in our submission, in particular, "I put it
2 to you that this hostage taking was obviously coordinated by the Main
3 Staff ..." He should have asked that, putting it, it requires an answer.
4 And then he goes on and asks another question.
5 JUDGE KWON: I can break down the --
6 MR. THAYER: I can split it up Mr. President.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 MR. THAYER: That's not a problem.
9 Q. My first question, General, is it's the Prosecution's position,
10 based on, for example, the order from General Milovanovic structuring the
11 various corps to take UNPROFOR hostages and deploy them to military
12 facilities, that that was coordinated by the Main Staff. What do you
13 have to say to that proposition, General?
14 A. The word "coordination" assumes an operation on a large scale.
15 Obviously if the order came from General Milovanovic, and I wasn't there
16 and I don't know who was there, but it is obvious that he must have
17 called the commander and told him what to do. There was no other
18 coordination from one place. There wasn't any from the ops room, or
19 maybe I wasn't there, I don't know. It seems that this was individual
20 order issuing.
21 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that General
23 Milovanovic served as a witness here, at no point in time did any
24 questions of these -- of this type been put to him, and if the
25 Prosecution had any interest in raising these questions, he should have
1 done so then.
2 MR. JOSSE: We support that submission wholeheartedly.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber doesn't see any reason not to allow this
5 question as long as it's relevant, but we'll see how the witness can deal
6 with it.
7 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, let me see if I can help by
8 showing the witness a couple of documents, and we'll move through this
9 line of questioning.
10 May we see P2669 A, please. That's going to be the English.
11 Let's make it easier, 2669 B, please. My apologies.
12 Q. General, take a moment and read this order. I don't know if
13 you've been shown this during your proofing or not. Just let us know
14 when it's okay to scroll up so you can read the rest of the first page.
15 A. Please do.
16 JUDGE KWON: I take it there is no English translation.
17 MR. THAYER: There should be, Mr. President, with this version.
18 JUDGE KWON: Apparently not.
19 MR. JOSSE: I've got it, Your Honour. I think it's B. That's
20 what it requires.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay. So 2669 A is the translation -- or has the
22 translation, I should add.
23 MR. JOSSE: Sorry, I very unhelpfully said B. It's A, as
24 Mr. Thayer has just said.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Are you ready to go down to the bottom of the page, General?
2 Just let us know if you're ready for the --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- second page.
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. THAYER: And if we could have the second page in English as
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've read it.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Okay, General, what you've just read indicates that we have four
11 corps that are being involved here pursuant to this order from General
12 Milovanovic to distribute these hostages and put them at warehouses,
13 firing positions, and other potential targets. And the Trial Chamber is
14 seeing a follow-on order from the Drina Corps with respect to this order
15 from General Milovanovic and has heard testimony about the hostages
16 themselves when they were released finally in June.
17 So my question again to you, General, is based on, for example,
18 just seeing this document itself, which indicates the dispersal of these
19 hostages across four corps and the need to keep track of them, make sure
20 that they are secured to these potential targets, again I put it to you
21 that clearly the Main Staff was coordinating this hostage taking and
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, General. Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness has
25 already answered that question. Mentioning also the Main Staff in this
1 context is unacceptable insofar as it would refer to a collective
2 responsibility and this is not admissible.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: We think that the witness can answer the question.
5 Let's see whether he can answer the question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've never seen this order before,
7 but I repeat what I've already said. This was not coordination. This
8 was an individual act, an order by the deputy corps commander. To what
9 extent this was implemented, I don't know, I wouldn't be able to tell you
10 because I simply don't know. I believe that very few persons -- or maybe
11 just the commander and the Chief of Staff actually were aware of this
12 order and the fact that this order was sent to the corps.
13 It says, after all, that the president of the republic and the
14 entire general public were informed about this, because excerpts from
15 this order were given to the media.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. So let me just make sure I understand your testimony correctly,
18 General, it's your testimony that based on your knowledge and your
19 experience, there was no Main Staff involvement whatsoever during this
20 hostage taking and deployment to various military installations other
21 than the Chief of Staff and the commander of the Main Staff; is that your
22 testimony? That all this was done with no involvement in the Main Staff
23 other than those two individuals.
24 A. Precisely so. The commander was informed. Otherwise /General
25 Milovanovic would not have sent it. However, I am sure that while I was
1 there the staff was not gathered to either be informed about this order
2 or to be conveyed this order.
3 MR. THAYER: One moment, Mr. President, please.
4 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I see we still have a couple of
6 minutes, but I have another series of questions and I think it would be
7 more fruitful if we broke for the day.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We will adjourn for today. And General
10 Masal, we'll resume tomorrow morning at 9.00. So as you were told
11 yesterday -- last week, you are not supposed to talk about your evidence
12 with anybody. Tomorrow 9.00.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 1.43 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the
15 2nd day of December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.