1 Tuesday, 2 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning. Mr. Thayer, we're ready for you to
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning to you
9 and Your Honours. Good morning everyone.
10 WITNESS: DRAGISA MASAL [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpretation]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
13 Q. General, good morning.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I want to stay on this day, the 25th of May, 1995, we spoke a
16 little bit about yesterday. Following the NATO air strikes on VRS
17 facilities, we spoke a little bit about the shelling that occurred of
19 a lengthy Dutch investigation report, the NIAD report that everybody here
20 is familiar with?
21 MR. THAYER: This is 65 ter 3970. It's part 3, chapter 5,
22 section 2. We don't need to put it up on e-court. I'll just read it.
23 It's very short.
24 Q. "Much of the Bosnian Serb revenge following the NATO bombing of
25 Pale on 25 and 26 May concentrated on Sarajevo, but the eastern enclaves
1 were not spared. This also had repercussions on the situation around
3 "On 25 May, as immediate retaliation, a number of shells landed
4 close to a school in Srebrenica. There were one dead and three wounded.
5 The VRS also opened fire on the southwestern part of the enclave."
6 Now, General, we have the Bratunac Brigade daily combat report.
7 MR. THAYER: And if we could have P03359.
8 Q. I'll let you take a look at that. General, this is an interim
9 combat report from the 25th of May from Commander Blagojevic of the
10 Bratunac Brigade. Paragraph 1, as you can see says:
11 "In accordance with an oral order from Colonel Lazic, we fired
12 two shells from two 105 millimetre Howitzers (a total of four shells) on
13 the town of Srebrenica
14 reported that two shells fell near the Domavija feature. The other two
15 shells were not observed, but they fell on Srebrenica."
16 Now, I just want to put a couple of additional facts to you and
17 then ask you a question. One of those shells, General, killed
18 nine-year-old Jazna Gabelic who was in her home in Srebrenica when the
19 shell struck it; and her sister, Alma, who was seriously wounded, has
21 And I would like to show you one more document and then put my
22 question to you.
23 MR. THAYER: That's 5D1161.
24 Q. What we have here, General, is a report from the Main Staff, a
25 daily report to the president, Dr. Karadzic, for the 25th of May, 1995
1 MR. THAYER: And if we go to page 3 of the B/C/S, and that's
2 going to be page 4 of the English, please.
3 Q. And if you look at paragraph 6, in particular 6(b), the situation
4 in the corps, do you see that, General, that section?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It says: "Artillery fire was opened on the Srebrenica and
7 Gorazde enclaves as well as the Tuzla
8 Now, General, again I put it to you that these different
9 subordinate units, firing on Sarajevo
11 but were ordered to do so by the Main Staff. As chief of artillery of
12 the Main Staff, General, at the time, what is your response to that?
13 A. I've not seen a single document which says that the Main Staff
14 ordered fire to be open on the protected areas at the same time; i.e.,
15 I've not read in any document that the Main Staff ordered fire to be
16 opened at the time at all.
17 I explained to you yesterday that every unit has, under its
18 immediate command, artillery units, and that every command is autonomous,
19 and also that the commander of every unit has the right to decide when
20 and how, with what weapons, to open fire. Only if there is a cease-fire,
21 in that situation they will turn to the superior command to ask for their
22 approval. I don't see anywhere here that the Main Staff ordered fire to
23 be observed at the time in a synchronised manner targeting these
24 particular facilities.
25 Q. General, my question wasn't whether you saw it in any document or
1 report. My question was: You were chief of artillery of the Main Staff
2 at the time. Was this shelling on the 25th of May, which occurred after
3 the NATO air strikes that day, ordered by the Main Staff? That's my
4 question, whether you have any knowledge of that, whether it was ordered
5 by the Main Staff; not whether you just saw it in some report or not.
6 A. This was not an order by the Main Staff issued at the time.
7 Somebody may have ordered fire to be opened on certain targets; however,
8 when it comes to these particular activities, this was not proceeded by
9 an order from the Main Staff. In any case, the order - if there was
10 one - did not come from me.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, if you could give me the reference of
12 the testimony of Alma
13 MR. THAYER: It was her nine-year-old sister, Mr. President, and
14 that was admitted pursuant to 92 bis in this case by the Court's decision
15 back in, I believe, September of 2006.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. So, General, it's your testimony, then, before this Trial Chamber
19 that all of this firing which occurred on the 25th of May occurred
20 coincidentally on the part of individual decisions made by subordinate
22 A. In any case, the commanders did receive certain orders, I suppose
23 from the commander of the Main Staff, as to what activities should be
24 under taken. As for the order to open fire, that order did not come from
25 the Main Staff and nobody in the Main Staff specified any targets or any
1 particular times at which fire should be opened.
2 Q. Let me make sure I understand your testimony correctly, General.
3 Are you telling the Trial Chamber that it is your understanding that the
4 orders or the order to fire on the 25th of May came from General Mladic
5 and not from the Main Staff?
6 A. I cannot claim that General Mladic issued an order to that effect
7 or not. I was not there to hear General Mladic issuing any order of that
9 Q. But, if I understand you correctly, General, the reason why you
10 just told us that, and I'll quote you, "In any case, the commanders did
11 receive certain orders, I suppose from the commanders of the Main Staff,
12 as to which activities should be undertaken," is that surely you
13 recognise that the possibility that all of this fire at the same time on
14 the eastern enclaves could not have been coincidental.
15 That is why you are trying to identify somebody who must have
16 given the order to open that fire. Is that what you're telling the Trial
17 Chamber, General?
18 A. I could not see well, and I did not notice that there was
19 simultaneous fire opened on the enclaves. If there had been simultaneous
20 fire, as you claim, and if there is a document or a report that the fire
21 was opened simultaneously, then somebody had ordered for fire to be
22 opened at that same time. If the fire was not synchronised and
23 simultaneous, I am telling you again that it is within the exclusive
24 purview of the commander to issue such an order within their normal
25 competences to decide when to open fire and at what targets.
1 Q. Okay. But, General, we just saw the daily combat report from the
2 Bratunac Brigade which specifically stated that they have received their
3 orders to fire upon an oral order from Colonel Lazic, who was chief of
4 operation of training at the Drina Corps. Now, he's not an artillery
5 guy, so who's giving him the order? Who is in the position to give him
6 the order to pass on to the Bratunac Brigade on that occasion?
7 A. The commander of the chief or the Chief of Staff of the Drina
9 Q. And if we are talking about coordinated fire, who is going to be
10 giving the order to the commander of the Drina Corps?
11 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer, General Masal.
12 Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could one specify about coordinated
14 fire what unit one is talking about?
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, I think it's clear what we are
17 talking about here, and I think the General understands what I've been
18 talking about. We've been vague a conversation about this for the last
19 20 minutes, so if I may continue and just get an answer to my question,
20 which was --
21 JUDGE KWON: I understand the question to be asking you whether
22 it was a coordinated operation among the corps, because this refers to
23 the Drina
24 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President, and the thrust of my
25 questioning, as we have fired, as we heard from the section from the NIAD
1 report, that there was fire opened up on Sarajevo as well, which involves
2 the Sarajevo
3 a coordinated response in response to the NATO air strikes, my question
4 to the General is: Who is in the position to order these corps to open
5 that fire?
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. Your explanation clarified
7 your question. I think now the General is in the position to answer the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you want the true answer to your
10 question as to whether the Main Staff coordinated the artillery fire on
12 have the information that an order was issued at the same time to the
14 open artillery fire on the aforementioned sectors.
15 You have provided me with a document which speaks about the
16 shelling of Srebrenica which is within the area of responsibility of the
17 Bratunac Brigade which is on the strength of the Drina Corps. There is
18 no need for the commander of the Main Staff, and that would be -- not be
19 within the principle of command and control to issue order to the
20 Bratunac Brigade to open fire, for example, at 1500 hours.
21 In other words, I don't see any sort of the coordination in all
22 of this. I am not excludeing the possibility that somebody may have
23 ordered to the commander of the Drina Corps, Colonel Blagojevic, to open
24 fire, or maybe the commander of the Sarajevo Corps -- Sarajevo Drina
25 Corps opened his subordinate to open fire. But I don't see that General
1 Mladic or his deputy in the Main Staff saw it fit to assume such a role
2 in -- in this situation. I don't see it anywhere in any of your
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. General, my question to you was quite simple, and nobody is
6 suggesting that General Mladic picked up the phone and called the
7 Bratunac Brigade artillery chief. To the contrary, as we have been
8 talking about, the order, as we could see from that combat report, to
9 fire came from an oral order from Colonel Lazic out of the ops and
10 training administration of the Drina Corps.
11 So my question to you is simple: When we are talking about fire
12 being opened up by multiple corps, who is going to be giving that order
13 if multiple corps are meant to be engaged at or about the same time?
14 That's simple question to you. Is it you? Is it someone else?
15 A. If I was opening at the same time, the exclusive right to issue
16 order is to the -- lies with the corps commander or his deputy. I did
17 not have the right to issue orders for corps activities if those
18 activities were coordinated. If it was done over a period of time, then
19 this could have been a coincidence rather than a coordinated activity.
20 If this had been coordinated, then it would be to the minute if not to
21 the second when fire was opened.
22 Q. I'll try one more time, General. If it had been coordinated, who
23 would have given the order to the corps? Where would that order come
25 JUDGE KWON: Madam Fauveau.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness answered
2 this question, page 8, lines 11, 12, and 13.
3 MR. THAYER: Respectfully, Mr. President, he has not answered the
5 JUDGE KWON: I don't think he has answered the question, but
6 albeit speculative. Please answer the question.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If somebody had ordered this, then
8 it would be the commander of the Main Staff or his deputy who would have
9 the exclusive right to order such a thing to the corps.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Now, General, last Friday you testified, and let me just quote
12 you directly from the transcript, and this is at 29028. You said:
13 "What I am aware of, and I do know this, is that in all orders,
14 and especially in preparing combat activities, emphasis was always laid
15 on taking into account possible casualties among the civilian population
16 and reduce such casualties to a minimum especially in built up areas, or
17 to avoid them if at all possible."
18 Do you recall that testimony, General? I just want to refresh
19 your recollection about it.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you told us yesterday that your basic task was to see that
22 the artillery units were properly used in the units lower down; and to
23 take care and keep records of their technical equipment, the artillery,
24 ammunition; and to be in control of the artillery cadres, that is, the
25 men; and to make proposals for promotions, training, and moving people
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Okay. Now, finally, just one last thing. You also testified
4 that you toured the corps and, and I quote: "And I make proposals to the
5 corps commanders instructing them how they should deal with the situation
6 and also to report back to General Milovanovic about the situation."
7 Do you remember testifying to that effect yesterday at 29100 of
8 the transcript?
9 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I don't think it was a general
11 statement. I think it had to do with the Operation --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the word.
13 JUDGE KWON: Did you refer to Spreca?
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I don't think that's the case at all.
16 If you look at the answer that General Masal gave, it was in response
17 to --
18 JUDGE KWON: You could give a more detailed reference to the
19 witness --
20 MR. THAYER: A very general --
21 JUDGE KWON: -- so that he could taken question.
22 MR. THAYER:
23 Q. General, I asked you yesterday, at page 29.100, "Can you give us
24 an he idea, and let's start from the bottom up, when authorisation was
25 required or not for artillery assets to be employed ..." -- let me
1 withdraw that.
2 MR. THAYER: One second. Wrong question. I apologise.
3 Q. Let me read the correct question that I asked you.
4 I asked you: "Presumably on your part, General, that would
5 require a fair amount of knowledge about the activities at a particular
6 time within the corps so that you could make that assessment as to
7 whether the artillery was being properly deployed and so forth; is that
8 fair to say?"
9 And your response was: "I should just like to add that after
10 taking over these duties, some 15 to 20 days afterwards, I managed to
11 tour all the corps and to size up the situation on the spot to see the
12 state of the artillery and how it was grouped. And on the basis of that,
13 and later on during the operations where I was present, I was able to
14 have an overview of the situation and see whether the artillery was used
15 properly or not."
16 So, General, you are clearly talking about other operations where
17 you were doing your job, touring the corps, making sure that artillery
18 was being properly used; correct?
19 A. Yes, but I have to make a correction. I said that after I
20 received my duty, some 20 days later, I toured all the corps and I
21 analysed the situation in the artillery units, the grouping thereof, and
22 whether artillery is used in accordance with the rules for its use.
23 As far as I was concerned as the artillery chief, the important
24 thing was whether -- or how the artillery in the corps was grouped, the
25 artillery pieces that were directly subordinate to the corps commander.
1 I had the information about the -- all the artillery pieces, but the
2 grouping in the brigades and battalions was within the purview of the
3 artillery chief in the corps or in the brigade, respectively. So I can
4 say with full responsibility that I could only have influenced and I only
5 had time to have influence in the depth of the territory in the corps as
6 far as the use of the corps artillery was concerned; the corps artillery
7 group, if you are aware of the way in which artillery is groups are set
9 Q. And, General, I intend to stay on the topic of the corps
10 artillery, so that's no problem here. I am not going to ask you about
11 some mortar platoon in Bratunac or something like that, okay?
12 Now, one of the reasons why the corps artillery deployment is so
13 important is because it's corps-wide, it has potentially great influence
14 over the area of responsibility because artillery itself can be much more
15 than simply a tactical weapon; is that fair to say?
16 A. Artillery is of great importance, but only if groups are set up
17 properly. And in the corps, in light of the size of the area, the corps
18 artillery group, if it comprises one artillery battalion, can only
19 provide support to the main force, to the main body of troops, not to the
20 whole area of responsibility of the corps. And if it were to be deployed
21 in this manner, then the corps artillery could not be under anyone's
22 command. Nobody could exercise command properly over it.
23 Q. Understood, General. That's why it was so important for you to
24 be able to make sure that that corps artillery, be it the Drina Corps or
25 the Sarajevo
1 and being properly used?
2 A. That's correct. Not directly, because I could not have any
3 influence. I could suggest, I could recommend, but the corps commander
4 decided ultimately whether it would be done in this manner or not on the
5 basis of the proposal submitted to him by his artillery chief.
6 Q. Okay. Let's talk about that issue for a couple of moments. You
7 told us yesterday, General, how the air bombs, the avio bombe, were made;
8 and you were clear and quick to point out that you understood that they
9 were legal?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And, I think, in answer to a question from my friend from the
12 Miletic team, you, yourself, said that these bombs were primitively made,
13 they weren't precise, and very often there were very large deviations
14 from one projectile to the other. That was at page 29.062. But,
15 General, these bombs were used by General Dragomir Milosevic's Sarajevo
16 Romanija Corps during the same time you were chief of artillery of the
17 Main Staff; correct?
18 A. I don't know. No approval was sought from the Main Staff for its
19 use, but he could decide on his own independently whether to use it or
21 Q. General, is it your testimony that there was no Main Staff
22 control over the use of air bombs?
23 A. The use of air bombs is, again, subject to the same rules as the
24 use of other artillery pieces. So the Main Staff could not, in fact not
25 even the corps, could keep records at all times and know at all times
1 whether an air bomb was used in a sector. What it would be like for the
2 chief of the Main Staff or the artillery chief to monitor and to the
3 follow the use of all artillery pieces and air bombs are, in fact, just
4 another artillery piece.
5 Q. Okay, General. Well, I could show you an order from June of 1994
6 that specifically deals with the Main Staff's insistence on controlling
7 the use of air bombs, in particular in the Sarajevo Romanija Corps. I
8 can get that later and show it to you after the break, but let me just
9 move on on this topic.
10 Given the nature of these air bombs being imprecise, hard to
11 guide, General, weren't they used as a tool of terror on the civilian
12 population of Sarajevo
13 Corps during the time-period while you were chief of artillery?
14 A. I became the artillery chief on the 20th of August, 2004. Now,
15 whether air bombs were used in this manner that you just described, well,
16 I can't give you answer because I was not present. I did not have any
17 influence over whether they would be used or not; and I don't know, in
18 fact, who from the Main Staff could exert any influence on whether they
19 would be used in Sarajevo
20 You mentioned the 20th of June; it's much earlier than the 20th
21 of August.
22 Q. Now, sir, just so you know, the period of time for which General
23 Milosevic faced charges was August of 1994 through November of 1995. So
24 I think that coincides pretty closely with your tenure as chief of
25 artillery of the Main Staff. But, based on your answer, General,
1 concerning your knowledge or lack of knowledge regarding the use of the
2 air bombs, let me just share something with you. It's from the trial
3 judgment in the Galic -- sorry, in the Dragomir Milosevic case.
4 This judgment is dated 12 November 2007. I just want to read to
5 you one of the Trial Chamber's findings. This is at page 323,
6 paragraph --
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, can I ask the relevance.
8 MR. THAYER: The relevance, Mr. President, is credibility of this
9 witness, it goes directly to his credibility, it goes to his credibility
10 concerning his answers about what he knew was going on, his control --
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We heard his evidence relating to the bombing,
12 shelling, in Sarajevo
13 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 MR. THAYER: May we have P03785.
16 JUDGE KWON: Could you give the number again, please.
17 MR. THAYER: 3785. Bear with us, we're trying to get up the
18 right map.
19 Mr. President, if the we may go old school and use the ELMO with
20 the witness, please.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, by all means.
22 MR. THAYER:
23 Q. General --
24 MR. THAYER: For my colleagues, this is the excerpt from the
25 Susica artillery plan that we've seen before. For some reason, we can't
1 get it in e-court.
2 Q. General, have a look at -- at this map. If you want look at the
3 hard copy that's on the ELMO, if that's easier, please feel free to do
5 A. Could you please move it a little bit, because I can only see the
6 target list.
7 Q. If you want, you can just pick it up and actually look at it if
8 that will be easier to acquaint yourself with it. You can open the whole
9 thing up, General, it will just a moment.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. As you can see, that's an artillery plan or an excerpt from an
12 artillery plan for Operation Susica. This, I can tell you, was planned
13 in 1995. We can see that from a related map which talks about forces
14 that would be freed up once Operation Spreca was completed. So I think
15 that helps put a time-frame on this map.
16 My question to you, General, is: Do you see the firing table?
17 A. Yes, I can see it.
18 Q. And do you see the area of Zepa on the map?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And do you see on the firing table various UNPROFOR checkpoints
21 being listed as targets with specific fire signs or call signs to the
23 A. Yes, yes. Yes, I can see it in the firing table.
24 Q. Now, as chief of artillery of the Main Staff, can you tell us why
25 those UNPROFOR checkpoints themselves are listed as targets with firing
2 A. In two sentences. The excerpt from the artillery plan is a
3 document that contains the potential targets; and on the basis of that,
4 precise coordinates are provided, and they are used as known points that
5 will assist in determine the actual target. When fire is actually
6 opened, it will very seldom happen that the fire is opened in accordance
7 with the plan -- as envisaged in the plan. The plan is only used in
8 order to be able to quickly establish the coordinates for the target that
9 shows up.
10 To be quite specific, the trig reference points, the elevations,
11 the intersections, the dominant features, the UN checkpoints, are planned
12 as artillery targets, targets for artillery fire, but they are not
13 targets as such automatically. They are there to provide elements for
14 fire to be opened on any target that appears, and that is the -- that
15 lies in the very essence of planning in the artillery.
16 We cannot rule out that a target might appear in the sector where
17 fire was planned to be opened, but automatically they already have all
18 the elements in place in time. But in most cases, targets appear in the
19 immediate vicinity or at a short distance, enabling the artillery men to
20 fire on those targets on the basis of the elements that are prerecorded,
21 that already exist in the plan.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer. In order for us to follow the map, why
23 don't we try 65 ter 2884.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. That's very helpful.
25 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether it is there, but ...
1 Is this the one, Mr. Thayer?
2 MR. THAYER: This is the original, Mr. President. The version
3 that General Masal is looking at actually has an English translation with
4 it, but this is the original that he was looking at.
5 JUDGE KWON: We seem to have a translation of this.
6 MR. THAYER: We do, Mr. President. We had looked at it before
7 and I thought I had the right 65 ter number, so I apologise that we are
8 not able to get that on e-court.
9 Q. But I just have one last question for you on this topic, General.
10 Isn't it also the case that by 1995 the VRS, in fact, regarded UNPROFOR
11 as a hostile force and that these targets of these checkpoints in Zepa
12 represented the VRS's recognition that they might have to fire directly
13 on UNPROFOR?
14 A. Two fires that were planned to be opened in sectors where there
15 were UNPROFOR checkpoints, in actual combat situation, could have been
16 positions of the enemy forces, not of UNPROFOR; or, for instance, if the
17 enemy forces appeared in the vicinity of this sector, this was planned
18 not because of UNPROFOR, because to make it faster for the fire to be
19 transferred from the point where elements already existed to the target
20 that had just appeared. I am now in the shoes of the artillery chief who
21 drafted this.
22 The UNPROFOR checkpoint was not an enemy target at all. It is
23 merely a sector where the enemy force might -- an enemy target may appear
24 in its immediate or close vicinity. And the claim that in the Main Staff
25 or in the VRS, UNPROFOR was the enemy is simply not valid, or at least to
1 my knowledge it's not valid, because the prevailing opinion in the VRS
2 was that UNPROFOR was not carrying out mission.
3 In many cases, it went against the mandate it had received. It
4 did not operate in accordance with this mandate. That was the position,
5 but I did not share with you this view that you just put to me that they
6 were considered the enemy.
7 Q. Okay, General. Let's move off the maps and go back to Visegrad.
8 You assumed your command of the Visegrad tactical group in early February
9 of 1993, I take it, you told us 4 February, and remained there until 20
10 August of 1994. I think you told us that your area included Rogatica,
11 Visegrad, Rudo, Cajnice, and Gorazde. Do I have that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when you assumed that command, you held the rank of full
14 colonel; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You recorded to General Zivanovic as Drina Corps commander?
17 A. I was subordinate to General Zivanovic.
18 Q. And which units were subordinated to you, General, when you
20 A. Five brigades: The 1st Podrinje Brigade in Rogatica, the 2nd
21 Podrinje Brigade in Visegrad, the 3rd Podrinje Brigade in Cajnice, the
22 4th Podrinje Brigade in Rudo, and the 5th Podrinje Brigade -- the
23 Gorazde brigade which was not, in fact, in Gorazde because Gorazde was
24 under the Muslim control.
25 Q. And if you could just clarify, for us, just one issue, as briefly
1 as you can, General: How did the command and control operate when you
2 were in command of this tactical group in terms of the reporting? Were
3 these brigades still reporting directly and subordinate to General
4 Zivanovic, or would they report to you and then you would report on to
5 General Zivanovic? How did that work? Can you just give us an idea,
6 because as you've told us, there were already established brigades with a
7 command structure, and then there is you over them.
8 A. The brigade commands were subordinate to me. To make this clear,
9 the tactical group was just a temporary force. It is not a permanent
10 unit like brigades or corps or companies or battalions. It is a
11 temporary command that unifies a combat operations in the area of
12 responsibility of some units. The brigade commands were subordinate to
13 me; and in some situations and when it came to some issues, they also
14 reported directly to the corps command.
15 For instance, if a report about UNPROFOR movements had to be sent
16 quickly and directly, then it was sent directly to the Drina Corps, too.
17 But combat reports were sent to me, to the command of the tactical group,
18 and I in turn reported to the Drina Corps command.
19 Q. General, do you know who Milan Lukic is?
20 A. Yes. I heard of Milan Lukic, and I even met him once.
21 Q. Okay. It's hard a to talk about Visegrad during this period of
22 time without talking about Milan Lukic; is that fair to say, General?
23 A. I wouldn't agree with you on that. Visegrad was not Milan Lukic.
24 MR. THAYER: Well, let's go into private session for a moment, if
25 we could, Mr. President, and I want to show you a couple of documents.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 29133-29134 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we are now in open session.
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. General, earlier on in your testimony, you mentioned an
8 individual named Luka Dragicevic. He served under you; correct?
9 A. Yes. He was the commander of the Visegrad brigade; the 2nd
10 Podrinje Brigade, that is.
11 Q. And did he ever tell you about his encounters or experiences with
13 A. Not in any great detail. On one occasion when I met Milan Lukic
14 on the street, I asked Luka Dragicevic about Milan Lukic, and he just
15 gave me a few sentences to explain who that was. This was not a topic of
16 discussion between allow Luka Dragicevic and myself.
17 Q. What did Mr. Dragicevic tell you about who Milan Lukic was?
18 A. Just briefly, he told me that he had his own group and that he
19 sometimes experienced problems with him when it came to military duties
20 and subordination to the brigade command as the official military
22 Q. And did Mr. Lukic eventually become absorbed, as it were,
23 subordinated to the army at some point?
24 A. Wherever I was informed about the activities of the Visegrad
25 Brigade, I never had the occasion to see either Milan Lukic or his
1 associates in any of the operations or actions.
2 Q. Well, my question was a little bit more simple: Did you ever
3 become aware that Mr. Lukic and his group ultimately subordinated
4 themselves to the VRS? Whether you saw them in any operation or report
5 or not, did you ever become aware that that was the case?
6 A. No, I don't know. Nobody ever told me anything like that.
7 Commander Dragicevic never reported to me about that.
8 Q. Okay, General. I want to move to a new area and try to pick up
9 the pace a little bit.
10 You just mentioned Operation Sword, Operation Mac.
11 MR. THAYER: May we see 5D1169, please.
12 Q. General, you were shown this combat order dated 22 May 1993
13 during your examination-in-chief. I just wanted to clarify a couple of
14 things about it, partly because I think part of this combat order was not
15 translated into English, and I wanted to ask you a couple of questions to
16 clarify the record.
17 I think my -- my learned friend from the Pandurevic team asked
18 you about Mac 1 or Mac 2, there being a couple of operations Mac. Do you
19 recall there being more than one Mac, or do you recall only one Operation
21 A. There were two. This was the first one which was ever carried
22 out, and the second was launched but was never completed. Some 15 days
23 into the operation -- actually, the combat operations went on for maybe
24 two or three days from the direction of Cajnice, but the operation was
25 then called off.
1 Q. And you're referring to Mac 1 or Mac 2, General?
2 A. Mac 2. Mac 2 was completed.
3 Q. Okay. So it's Sword 1 which went on for a few days, but then was
4 terminated. Do I have that correct?
5 A. No. Sword 1 is the one that was ordered, and we are looking at
6 the order. It was completed, it was carried through. Sword 2, Mac 2,
7 was launched 15 days subsequently. It went on for a few days, two or
8 three, but it was called off, it was never completed.
9 Q. Okay. Glad I've asked.
10 MR. THAYER: Now, can we go to page 2. That's page 2 of the
11 original and page 3 of the English.
12 Q. The English translation says:
13 "Carry out this operation in two stages of eight to ten days,"
14 And then it refers to the first stage taking five to six days.
15 But I think that you will agree, General, that when we look at
16 the B/C/S original that you're reading, that English translation is
17 incorrect. So I would just ask you to read for us what the actual order
18 entailed for Mac 1 with respect to these two stages. If you could just
19 read that.
20 A. Do you want me to read it aloud.
21 Q. Yes, please, General.
22 A. "In the first stage, which should take three to four days,
23 breakup enemy forces in a rigorous force in the Brodar area of Ustipraca
24 and Medjedja, on the right bank of the Drina and on the left banks of the
1 second stage, which should take between five and six days, regroup forces
2 and use the circular bases, introduce fresh forces, and continue a
3 vigorous attack towards Gorazde. Take the elevations that are around
4 Gorazde as soon as possible and encircle it; thus, creating conditions to
5 disarm the remaining Muslim formations and allow the civilian population
6 to move out to Central Bosnia or to remain in town on a condition that
7 they recognise the Serbian authority."
8 Q. Thank you, General.
9 JUDGE KWON: So that the first paragraph is omitted in English
10 translation. That's what you are suggesting.
11 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President, and then the second
12 paragraph where it says "In the first stage ..." in the English
13 translation is just wrong because it's obviously --
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we follow.
15 MR. THAYER: -- misunderstood something there.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Now, as we can see from the title of this combat order, it's for
19 the liberation of the general area of Gorazde. And that was the
20 objective of Mac 1, correct, General?
21 A. Yes, that was the objective of the operation; however, the
22 objective was not fully achieved.
23 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go to became 8 of the English
24 please, and this will be the last page of the B/C/S, page 5. And it's at
25 the top of both pages that I'm interested in.
1 Q. General, do you see there is a reference to the logistics sector
2 of the Main Staff securing the required quantities of fuel and means of
4 A. At a request by the command of the Drina Corps.
5 Q. Okay. Now, in paragraph 8, the order states: "In the
6 organisation of communications, rely on the exhumations system of the
7 Visegrad tactical group ..."
8 And then it says: "Organise a separate mobile ..." and then
9 there are the initials CV; I believe that stands for a communications
10 centre, "... to be deployed in the Borike section of Rogatica.
11 And I just note that that's been mistranslated. If we look at
12 the original, it is Borike and not Bork.
13 Do you see that section, General?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Now, have you been to Borike, General? Can you tell us what's
17 A. Yes. I was in Borike. It's a village. There is a motel there
18 in a forest. There is a villa type house; and maybe a kilometre away
19 from there, there is a very famous horse breeding farm known as the Farm
20 at Borike. And that is that.
21 Q. Now, what did this Main Staff communications centre at Borike
22 consist of? Can you tell us about that?
23 A. The mobile communications centre is actually the staff vehicle;
24 it's the establishment vehicle. It's a van that houses the
25 communications maze which allows for communication to be established for
1 any location where that vehicle may be. That's why it's called mobile
2 communications centre.
3 Q. And who exactly is going to be manning that van or in that van or
4 accompanying that van?
5 A. Officers and soldiers who belong to the communications branch,
6 who were trained to establish and maintain communications.
7 Q. And for the Main Staff communications centre, what unit are they
8 going to be from? Let me put it concretely, in this operation, do you
9 recall where they are from?
10 A. I don't know. I've never asked them. I don't know whether they
11 were from the communications regiment of the Main Staff or the Drina
12 Corps, but, obviously, an order had been issued to prepare the
13 communications centre for the IKM of the Main Staff. I never had an
14 opportunity to inquire what unit that actually belonged to.
15 Q. General, just one last question on this document before the
17 The reason that Gorazde alone is the objective of this combat
18 order, and not Gorazde and Zepa together, is that Zepa had just been
19 declared a UN safe area; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, yes. Combat activities around Zepa finished 20 days or a
21 month before at the most.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I see we are approaching the break.
23 May I suggest we take it now, and I'll move on to a new document when we
24 get back.
25 JUDGE KWON: Can I ask how much longer do you have for the
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think I am going to require pretty
3 close to the full four hours that I had estimated.
4 JUDGE KWON: We'll see. 25 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Good morning again, General. Earlier this morning, when we were
10 talking about the air bombs, I mentioned an order that I was going to put
11 my hands on during the break. I've done so, I've handed out hard copies
12 for my friends, and we have Chamber for the Chamber at hard copy had. I
13 don't think we've managed to load it into e-court yet, but I just wanted
14 to -- and I have a copy for you, too, General.
15 MR. THAYER: For the record, we've given this 65 ter number 3981.
16 Q. Take a moment and read this, if you will, General.
17 A. Out loud or just to myself?
18 Q. Read it to yourself. Thank you.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. General, this 12 June 1994
21 that the VRS Main Staff decides on the use of air bombs exclusively?
22 A. Not exclusively. Possibly the corps subject to the approval.
23 Q. Correct, General, but it has to have Main Staff approval, the
24 corps does, correct?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. So the ultimate authority rests in the Main Staff according to
2 this document that we're looking at, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, you told us that this predated your duties as chief of
5 artillery for the Main Staff, but is it your testimony that you never
6 became aware, during your entire service in the Main Staff as chief of
7 artillery, that the Main Staff had the ultimate authority and the only
8 authority regarding the use of these air bombs?
9 A. This order, I see now; but as to whether the Main Staff decides
10 or approves the corps commands to use air bombs, there is a document that
11 I drafted to that effect, that the use of air bombs is approved for the
12 use of the Drina
13 obviously that order, too, shows that the Main Staff did decide when to
14 approve the use of air bombs to a particular corps.
15 Now, whether the corps commands or the brigades commands really
16 abided by this, I believe they did. But there may have been some
17 arbitrary actions taken on their own initiative, but I can't tell you
18 that for fact because I don't know.
19 Q. Okay, General. Let's go back to where we left off before the
20 break, May of 1993. You talked to us about Operation Sword 1. That
21 combat order was dated 22 May. I want to talk about another combat order
22 that was issued on the 1st of May, a nearly identical combat order to
23 that of Sword 1 that ordered the liberation of Gorazde and Zepa.
24 And that was Operation Spring 93. Do you remember that
25 operation, sir?
1 A. Yes. Before the break, I told you that 20 days or a month before
2 this operation, an operation was conducted to liberate Zepa. That
3 operation had ended, and then the order was drafted to liberate Gorazde.
4 Q. Yes. And you testified just before we broke that the fighting
5 around Zepa had stopped at a certain time. How long was Operation Spring
6 underway before it stopped, General?
7 A. I don't know specifically, but I think about ten days or so;
8 maybe even less.
9 MR. THAYER: Now, may we have 65 ter 2742 on the screen, please.
10 Q. And just quickly, looking at this front page of this combat order
11 for the liberation of Zepa and Gorazde, we can see that it's addressed to
12 various commands including the command of the Visegrad tactical group.
13 Do you see that, General?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. THAYER: Now, if we turn to page 15 of the English and 9 of
16 the B/C/S.
17 Q. I want to draw your attention to a couple of items on those
18 pages. If we look at paragraph 8 on your version, and it's what's
19 showing on the English version as well, do you see where it says:
20 "In the organisation of communications, take the example of
21 communications of the TG Visegrad ..."
22 And a little bit further down it says:
23 "Communication shall be provided with the Foca TG and the
24 Visegrad TG ..."
25 Do you see those entries, General?
1 A. Just a moment, please. Yes.
2 Q. Now, can you describe what your involvement with this operation
3 was, General?
4 A. One of my brigades took part in this operation, the 1st Podrinje
5 Brigade from Rogatica.
6 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go back to page 8 of the English,
7 and this will be the bottom of the page 5 of the B/C/S, please.
8 Q. At the bottom of your page, General, it says:
9 "The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska shall coordinate
10 the operation from the IKM in Rogatica. Colonel Dragutin Ilic shall be
11 responsible for merging, planning, linking, and command and control of
12 the forces engaged in the liberation of Gorazde, and Colonel Radivoje
13 Miletic of the forces engaged in the liberation of Zepa."
14 Now, General, given that then-Colonel Miletic was going to play a
15 significant command and control role in this operation, and, as you said
16 your forces were involved and your coms, what contacts did you have with
17 then-Colonel Miletic after receiving this order or, indeed, during the
18 course of this operation?
19 A. Since my tactical unit as a whole did not take part, it was just
20 the 1st Podrinje Brigade, all the tasks and all the orders that were
21 received from the Drina Corps command were received by the brigade
22 commander. I attended one meeting in the course of the preparations for
23 the operation. The mainstay of this operation was the Drina Corps
24 command. They were the main responsible agent. And the merging or the
25 unification, since some of the headquarters units from the Main Staff,
1 the TG Foca, and the Protection Regiment also used, then the Main Staff
2 from Rogatica command post unified and coordinated the activities around
4 Q. And can you tell us where then-Colonel Miletic's forward command
5 post was physically located? Where was he working out of during this
7 A. The operation was under the direct control of the Drina Corps
8 command -- or, rather ...
9 THE INTERPRETER. ... under direct command; interpreter's
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And as for control and direction,
12 it went for the Main Staff. I attended a meeting that was chaired by
13 General Milovanovic in the course of the preparations. That was at the
14 command post of the 1st Podrinje Brigade in Rogatica.
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. And, again, my question to you, General, was: Where was
17 then-Colonel Miletic physically located during this operation?
18 A. The only time that I saw Colonel Miletic and the others from the
19 Main Staff, it was at the command post of the 1st Brigade in Rogatica.
20 Q. And what was then-Colonel Miletic doing when you saw him there?
21 What was his role?
22 A. At that meeting that I attended, I don't recall that anyone
23 actually said anything apart from the Drina Corps commander and the chief
24 of the Main Staff. The commander of the Drina Corps briefly outlined the
25 concept of the operation, and General Milovanovic accepted that and also
1 issued some supplementary.
2 Q. And based on your experience during this operation, it was
3 carried out consistently with what we just saw in the combat order; that
4 is, in terms of then-Colonel Miletic's role, in actual practice in the
5 operation, the role that was ascribed to him in the combat order is
6 actually what he performed during the operation. Do I understand your
7 testimony correctly there, General?
8 A. The order stipulates that a team from the Main Staff headed by
9 Colonel Miletic at Zepa shall coordinate, plan, and harmonize activities.
10 This team did not command the operation. The person in charge of the
11 units that were actually carrying out the actions was in command, and
12 that was the Drina Corps commander and his subordinate commanders.
13 Q. And so then just, if you can tell us, what was then-Colonel
14 Miletic's role, just so we are clear?
15 A. I can say on the basis of my experience, of things that I did
16 when I was in a similar role, and that's coordination and organisation of
17 the cooperation and concerted action between units from different corps,
18 and perhaps providing some suggestions in the course of the operation
19 itself to subordinate commanders, all this on the basis of the order from
20 the Main Staff commander.
21 Q. Okay, General, let's go to a new topic. You testified on Friday,
22 and this was at page 0928 of the transcript, and I quote:
23 "In every territory which was being liberated, the Muslim
24 population was given the option of staying; but if they decided to leave
25 and move to territories under the control of their army, they could do
2 Do I have that correct, General, that that's what you said?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, we've seen in a couple of these documents from 1993 that if
5 the Muslims want to stay where they are, they have to recognise Serbian
6 authority. Can you tell us what that entailed? What does that mean
7 "recognizing Serbian authority," General?
8 A. I also said that in practice, I had not encountered a case where
9 I would liberate a territory with my unit and then encounter Muslim
10 population there; but it is quite clear that the decision of the Supreme
11 Command and of the Main Staff made it possible for the population to make
12 a choice, either to move to the territory controlled by their army or to
13 remain abiding by the Serb authority. So nothing more and nothing less
14 than the Serb population had as their rights and obligations.
15 And in this sense, this explains what I said that for over three
16 years in our area of responsibility, we had four Muslims villages.
17 Q. Now, let's talk about the Muslims men, for example, that chose to
18 stay in Serb-held territory. Were they required to serve in the VRS; did
19 they have, instead, a work obligation; or were they just free to live
20 their lives without any war-related obligations?
21 A. In the course of my command in Visegrad, I did not have any such
22 cases. But while I was the commander of the garrison and of the
23 artillery regiment in Bijeljina, which was part of East Bosnian Corps, I
24 know that a battalion was set up and troops were of Muslims ethnic
25 background. They took part in the fighting as did the Serb units, side
1 by side with them. No distinction was ever made. Those who were unable
2 to serve at the front line were made part of the work obligation, just as
3 Serb males who were not subject to the military obligation. Military
4 obligation or conscription was a general one.
5 Q. So with respect to these four villages that you told us about,
6 what was supposed to happen to the military aged men that were living
7 this in terms of their military service? I understand you've told us
8 about some Muslim fighters that were, I presume, united with their Serb
9 neighbours against whom, I presume, are Croatian forces, up in the
10 eastern Bosnia
11 But how about down in your four villages, General, what about the
12 males of military age in those villages? What was their obligation?
13 A. Just a very brief correction, it was not the Muslims who took
14 part in the fighting against Croats side by side with the Serbs; they
15 also served at the front lines facing the Muslim army. And as regards
16 the four villages, I know for a fact that two soldiers, the Golic
17 brothers, who served in the 1st Podrinje Brigade from the very beginning
18 of the war. I think that from those villages -- that the men from those
19 villages did not take part in combat operations, and they were not part
20 of the work obligation units that were engaged at the front line as far
21 as I know. There were some work duty obligations in town; and, there,
22 side by side with elderly Serb men, they worked on those duties.
23 Q. And were those Muslim men -- other than the Golic brothers that
24 you mentioned, were those Muslim men who stayed in those four villages
25 allowed to own weapons?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And why not, General?
3 A. I think that the distribution of weapons that would be held or
4 kept in the depth of the territory would have been inappropriate; and,
5 after all, the Serb population in the free territory did not have - I am
6 talking about civilians - did not have weapons.
7 Q. No hunting rifles, General?
8 A. Well, there probably were some hunting rifles. I don't know
9 whether there were any in the Muslims villages.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MR. THAYER: Well, let's look at 65 ter 3971, please.
12 Q. This is an analysis of combat readiness in the 1st Podrinje Light
13 Infantry Brigade, otherwise known as the Rogatica Brigade. This was
14 conducted by then-Major Kusic, and it's dated February 25th of 1993. I
15 just want to ask you one question about it.
16 MR. THAYER: It's on page 4 of the English; page 3 of the B/C/S.
17 Q. And I'll just read this to you quickly. He states that, during
18 this period of time, and I quote, "Further activities included disarming
19 of Muslims in the villages of Setorovici, Okruglo, and Osovo, and
20 separating them from Ustasha formations."
21 My question is: Is that consistent with what you saw when you
22 arrived in this area, that the army had disarmed the Muslims in those
24 A. No. As far as I can conclude, this is not about these villages.
25 We are talking about a period which started with the beginning of the war
1 and ended on the 31st of December, 1992. This is about the disarming of
2 Muslims formations in other villages, in all the villages of Rogatica
3 municipality. These four villages are not expressly mentioned. All the
4 other villages are mentioned, and those may include the four in here.
5 Whether there were weapons or not, I can't tell you with any degree of
6 reliability because I was not in the area at the time.
7 Q. Well, let's just look at the original document, sir. Do you see
8 where it specifically says, and it's just about a little more than
9 halfway down the document: "Further activities included disarming of
10 Muslims in the villages of Setorovici, Okruglo, and Osovo, and separating
11 them from Ustasha formations," and this is for the period of 1992.
12 Isn't that what this just plainly says, General?
13 A. No, I did not see this. I only saw where it says "in the
14 villages ..." Then further on, it says "Further activities ..."
15 I suppose that I implies that they will be disarmed and separated
16 from Ustasha formations, and the reason for that might be that these
17 villages decided to remain loyal to the Serb authorities and to remain
18 living in the villages; I am talking about the population.
19 Q. And, so, isn't it the case, then, General, that in order for
20 them, those four villages, to live in the villages, loyal to the Serb
21 authorities, they had to be disarmed? Just a simple question.
22 A. I believe that the answer is simple. No single commander would
23 allow people in his territory, in four villages, to be armed. The
24 civilian police was in charge of the safety of the population; the
25 civilian police of the municipality of Rogatica
1 Q. So, then, is it your testimony, General, that the Serb population
2 was also disarmed throughout this area that you were responsible for?
3 A. The answer for the civilian population is yes; and the answer for
4 the military, the soldiers, is no.
5 Q. So if Serb civilians in those areas had hunting rifles, would
6 they be subject to arrest and imprisonment?
7 A. No, not for the hunting rifles that they had a license to carry.
8 Q. Now, I want to just give the Trial Chamber an idea of how many
9 people we are talking about in these villages. I looked at the 1991
10 census information, and let me just share with you what I found and see
11 if this corresponds with your knowledge of those villages.
12 According to the census info that I have, Burati had 68 Muslims
13 and 16 Serbs; Okruglo had 95 Muslims and 36 Serbs; Oslovo had 149 Muslims
14 and 169 Serbs; and Setorovici had 112 Muslims and no Serbs; for a total
15 424 Muslims and 221 Serbs.
16 Do those numbers sound right to you in terms of the numbers we
17 are talking about in these four villages?
18 A. There weren't as many; there were between 200 and 250. I believe
19 that between 1991 and 1992, a number of them had moved out or were
20 working somewhere else and so on and so forth.
21 Q. And that would be not surprising, and, again, you are talking
22 about the Muslims in these villages; correct, General?
23 A. Correct, correct, yes.
24 Q. Now, you testified that these Muslims lived peacefully in these
25 villages and that they lived there until the second half of 1994
1 peacefully, and that they moved away probably in the direction of
2 Sarajevo or somewhere in Central Bosnia. You said that at page 29.030.
3 Is that correct, sir?
4 A. Correct, you're right.
5 Q. Sir, do you know a man from Setorovici named Ibro Konakovic?
6 Does that name ring a bell to you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. He says in a statement to the Sarajevo SDB --
9 MR. THAYER: And this is 65 ter 3979, if any of my friends want
10 to follow. But I am going to save a little bit of time and just move
11 through this.
12 Q. He says that on 21 November of 1993, Major Kusic went to
13 Setorovici and Osovo, and told the military aged men to report to the
14 school at Okruglo where the command post was based. Then he says that
15 the Muslims' houses were searched, and that they were told by Major Kusic
16 to hand over their guns or they would be shot on the spot.
17 Then, final, he says that about 20 guns and rifles were handed
18 over, their owners were beaten; and then when the men reported to the
19 school, as ordered, 73 men were trucked to the Rasadnik prison near
20 Rogatica, and that some were released, about 10 the next day, but the
21 rest remained in the prison until they were released in July 1994.
22 General, do you know anything about what Mr. Konakovic is talking
23 about, and why these men were put in prison, 73 men?
24 A. No, I really don't know anything about that.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. THAYER: May we see 65 ter 3977 please. Unfortunately, we
2 don't have an English translation, but it is a short combat report.
3 Q. And I'll just ask you, General, to take a look at that if you
4 would, and read it to yourself.
5 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, Mr. Thayer, just to let you know
6 that we are going to have a break at quarter past 12.00 for 20 minutes,
7 and we will adjourn for the day at half past 1.00. I would like you to
8 try to do your best to conclude before the break.
9 MR. THAYER: Before 12.15, Mr. President?
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've read this.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Now, if we look at the date of this, and this is a regular combat
14 report from yourself to the Drina Corps command - and there seems to be a
15 hole punched - but it look to he many like the date of this is
16 November 21. I think I can see the bottom of a 2 and the bottom of a 1
17 there. Can we agree on that, that that's the day of this report?
18 A. I suppose so. I can see number 11 standing for November 1993,
19 but I'm not sure about the actual date.
20 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what this daily combat report says?
21 A. This is a regular combat report. It says that in cooperation
22 with the SAJ
23 villages, two people were discovered hiding, and also quite a quantity of
24 automatic weapons was discovered. These two people were disarmed and the
25 weapons were ceased.
1 If I may explain, I can see that there is my signature at the
2 bottom, but I am sure that I don't know anything about this incident. I
3 suppose that the combat report was written, signed by the Chief of Staff,
4 because if this is either the 20 or the 21st of November, I was most
5 probably not in the area of the tactical group because that is around my
6 birthday. I suppose I was absent. There is no other reason for me to
7 deny any knowledge of the event.
8 But the fact that I was probably absent from the area of
9 responsibility, that's why I don't know anything about this.
10 Q. Okay, General. Well, I can save a little bit of time and I can
11 tell you that I've got a number of other statements from people from
12 Setorovici, from Osovo, all men, one of whom was over 60 at the time he
13 was arrested. That man's name was Muradif Hodzic.
14 Do you know Muradif Hodzic, General, born 11 September 1930?
15 A. Save for the retired General Asim Hodzic, I did not know anybody
16 in these villages.
17 Q. Okay. Well, he said that in about April 1992, he moved from
18 Rogatica to Setorovici because Rajko Kusic began mistreating the Muslims
19 then. I've got other statements from other individuals from these
20 villages who also talk about being arrested on 21 November, and on other
21 occasions, and taken to the Rasadnik prison; and then on to Kula prison
22 in Sarajevo
23 Do you know anything about that, General?
24 A. No, I don't. I've already told you that I was never informed
25 about any of the arrests that took place in these four villages.
1 Q. Were you aware, sir, that in the fall of 1994, Muslims were moved
2 out of Setorovici and Serb civilians were moved in? Were you aware of
4 A. Yes. I knew that they had been moved out, that they wanted to
5 move out, and that they moved out in an organised manner. I don't know
6 when that was. It may have been at the time when I had already left for
7 the General Staff -- rather, the Main Staff. I also know that when they
8 expressed their wish to move out, this met with some resistance. In
9 Sarajevo, they did not want to take them, there were certain problems,
10 some delays and procrastination when it came to their transfer.
11 Q. Now, you were shown the other day -- we've spoken about Rajko
12 Kusic a few times, and you were shown a document where he was requesting
13 that the local police provide some protection for these villages because
14 they were being harassed. That was in -- sometime in 1994.
15 Do you remember that document?
16 A. Yes. I saw this document, and I learned from Major Kusic that he
17 had intervened and he had requested from the civilian authorities to send
18 more frequent civilian police patrols to protect the population in the
19 four villages in question.
20 MR. THAYER: May we have 65 ter 3968, please.
21 Q. General, I know -- I know this is a little hard to read. What it
22 is, if you look in the upper right-hand corner, it's a letter to Avdo
23 Palic, March 1993, and this is a letter written by Rajko Kusic. I want
24 to draw your attention to page 2 of this letter and just ask you some
25 questions about it.
1 I want to draw your attention to the sentence that says, "The
2 Americans will not come to defend you ..."
3 If you could just orient yourself to that portion of the letter,
4 where it says, "The Americans will not come to defend you ..."
5 Its towards the top, I think, maybe the one, two, three, fourth
6 line down. Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. From there the letter continues, Kusic writes, and I
10 "Look what happened to Cerska, Konjevic Polje, and Srebrenica.
11 Diplomatic help is feeble. They perished. Trnopolje is surrounded, as
12 is Medjedja. Every day they are perishing, but every day they are
13 running towards Jahorina. Where will you go? You still have a little
14 time left to make the right decision. I am not an enemy of the Muslim
15 people, but of the criminals among this people and of those who want to
16 have slaves. The Serbs were the first to have a state, and we have it
17 again. There is no more living together. I suppose this is clear to
19 MR. THAYER: And if we can scroll down. A little bit more,
20 please. That's fine. Thank you.
21 Q. "Your people will honour you if you make the right decision, and
22 I suggest to you quit the fighting in a jungle. Take your people to
23 economic centres. You cannot stay on the border to Serbia to separate us
24 from our people. This must be clear to you. You chose the wrong place
25 to fight. The titles of authority in Zepa are small. Go with your
1 people to the place you belong to in Central Bosnia while there is still
2 time. Use the corridors which are opening. Leave the American food; it
3 won't do you any good. Do not accept charity, but try to give it away.
4 Europe does not allow Islam to go on, don't you see that? Big politics
5 is going deep. Leave the weapons, organise the people for salvation, and
6 leave Zepa or become loyal. This is your last chance."
7 General, Major Kusic was your subordinate during this period of
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does this letter reflect your understanding of the VRS policy
11 towards the Muslim population in your area?
12 A. If you're asking for me to dwell upon the letter that Major Kusic
13 wrote to Avdo Palic, it's pointless. Major Kusic was my subordinate. He
14 performed military tasks that I ordered him to perform. What he wrote to
15 somebody or what he kept in his head, what he thought of, I really
16 wouldn't be able to tell you. I don't know. In any case, this was not
17 part of the policies of the army of Republika Srpska in the -- in that
19 Q. Well, what part do you disagree with, sir? If what was just read
20 to you does not reflect your understanding of the VRS policy towards the
21 Muslim population in your area, what part of that do you disagree with or
22 did you disagree with at the time?
23 A. I don't agree with the letter. I really don't know why a
24 commander would exchange letters with the opposing side's commander. I
25 had an opportunity to legally talk to their commander, but we never
1 exchanged any letters, and that's why I don't agree with the letter. I
2 don't agree with the form, because a letter is not a military form. If
3 he had consulted me, asking whether to send this letter or not, or if he
4 had shown it to me, I am sure I would not have agreed to that.
5 This is just a piece of paper and a heap of sentences on that
6 paper that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the combat or
7 any military tasks for that matter.
8 Q. General, I am not talking about form or the propriety of
9 commanders exchanging letters. What I am asking you is, based on what is
10 written here by this VRS commander, to the commander of the Muslim
11 forces, what is it in that section, can you point out to the Trial
12 Chamber, that I read on you to the that you disagree with?
13 I am not talking about just the fact that a letter was written,
14 and you can't identify anything that you don't agree with, then just say
15 so and I'll move on.
16 JUDGE KWON: Without necessarily having to hear from Madam
17 Fauveau, have we not heard enough? Can we not move on?
18 MR. THAYER: If the Court wishes, I will move on, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Based on your testimony, General, were you in the western front
22 from late May 1995 continually through October of that year, or were you
23 going back and forth to various locations?
24 A. I was mostly in Krajina in the western front. I may have gone
25 home for a couple of days, but I wouldn't be sure of that, I don't
2 Q. But during that period of time, you weren't beside any IKMs or
3 any other specific assignments. You were, for all intents and purposes,
4 in the Krajina full time from late May through October of 1995; is that
5 fair to say?
6 A. Yes, you may put it that way.
7 Q. And just to be crystal clear, when did you leave the Krajina?
8 Was it in October, was it in November, do you recall?
9 A. I believe that this was in October, but again I don't know the
10 date. I can't even give you any specific longer period of time. I
11 believe that it was in October. It was about that time that we all
12 withdrew to the Main Staff headquarters.
13 Q. Okay. Maybe I can help you out a little bit with some dates.
14 MR. THAYER: Ma we see 5D999 please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. As you can see, we've got Directive 9 up. It's dated
18 28 September 1995.
19 MR. THAYER: And if we can scroll down a little bit.
20 Q. You talked about this directive relatively recently, General, and
21 I presume that you reviewed it in the course of your proofing; do I have
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. In this directive, General, there is no mention of MUP
25 forces being part of Operation Stit 95, Operation Shield; is that
2 A. MUP forces are not mentioned.
3 Q. And to your knowledge, did MUP forces participate in this
4 operation, specifically during the counter-attack that you spoke about
5 the other day?
6 A. Let's be clear on one thing. This operation never took place; it
7 was never carried out. The intention of the Main Staff was one thing,
8 i.e., the decision of the commander and his idea was one thing. The
9 situation on the territory throughout the next few days was something
10 completely different. Very soon, we encountered major problems on the
11 front line, so we were mainly engaged in defence. During my first
12 stage -- stay in Krajina from October -- the end of October 2004 to
13 mid-March, yes, there were also MUP forces there, the police forces.
14 Q. Just for clarification of the record, the transcript shows
15 October 2004 to mid-March, can you please just clarify General what dates
16 you are talking about. I presume it's not 2004.
17 A. I am talking about 2004. My first departure for the IKM in
18 Jasenica with General Milovanovic and General Jovo Maric was the end of
19 October 2004 and my stay there until the second half of March 1995.
20 During the combat at the time, we also had some MUP forces attached
21 to us.
22 Q. General, I will just go right to it. We are talking about 1994
23 and 1995 are we not, not 2004 and 2005?
24 A. I apologise. I misspoke, obviously. I apologise.
25 Q. That's right, General. My brain is on life support itself, so.
1 Do you recall, during your time on the front in October of 1995, MUP
2 forces and the Serbian volunteer guard participating in a counter-attack
3 that was nearing Kljuc at one point. Do you remember that happening?
4 JUDGE KWON: General Masal, before you answer.
5 Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I know where my friend is going.
7 Before I possit an objection, I would like the Prosecution to explain
8 what the relevance of this line of questioning is to the indictment, so I
9 can articulate a reasonable objection in response to the submissions of
10 the Prosecutor.
11 JUDGE KWON: General Masal, if you could take off your headphones
12 for a moment.
13 Mr. Thayer, would you like to respond?
14 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
15 The Prosecution's position clearly, from the evidence and
16 arguments we've put forward during the course of this trial, is that the
17 accused Ljubisa Borovcanin, in his role as deputy commander of the
18 special police brigade, operated frequently in coordination with other
19 units, be they PJP units, be they Serbian MUP units, be they VRS units.
20 That is the modus operandi, as it were, of how the special police brigade
21 worked during the course of the war, and that is how it worked during the
22 time-period of this indictment. Commander Borovcanin was not a stranger
23 to having ad hoc forces by his side or under his command.
24 We have heard, through the Defence case of Mr. Borovcanin,
25 reference to the situation he was placed in as being a typical or unusual
1 or that he was some how burdened by the troops that he was in charge of
2 as commander of the mixed units pursuant to the 10 July order.
3 What this evidence shows, again, is the special police brigade
4 engaged in combat activities in coordination with various units right up
5 until the end of the war. That is probative and relevant evidence that
6 goes directly to the accused's command ability, his intent, his presence,
7 and performance during the Srebrenica operation.
8 What we have is a very brief video, and I intend to ask the
9 witness a very brief question or two about the video, and that's it.
10 And, if I may, as well, there is also an additional issue with
11 respect to the directive and the involvement of MUP forces outside of the
12 directive and how those MUP forces were engaged. I have one additional
13 question with respect to that which is related to another document, and
14 then I'm going to have one other question on one other issue and then
15 I'll be concluded with my examination.
16 JUDGE KWON: Now, we'll hear the objection, Mr. Gosnell.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, if the purpose of this line of
18 questioning is to establish that the special police brigade units were
19 deployed on an ad hoc basis with other units in combat during the war, we
20 can stipulate to that right now. There is no need for questioning to
21 establish that. There is lots of evidence that already establishes that.
22 I can tell you that that is not where the Prosecution is going.
23 The Prosecution is not being entirely candid in explaining why they wish
24 to put this section of video to you. They essentially wish to besmirch
25 the character of my client by insinuating that he is associating with bad
2 I suggest to you that that is the real reason why they want to go
3 through this road, and I suggest to you that that is entirely improper.
4 It's far outside of the scope of this indictment. There has been nothing
5 during the Prosecution case that suggests that this Krajina case is
6 relevant. There is nothing in the material that's listed on the
7 Prosecution exhibit list which establishes any kind of command function
8 of my client whatsoever. And on that basis --
9 Moreover, to follow-up on an objection that was made yesterday,
10 but now you it's more serious, we had no notice whatsoever in the 65 ter
11 summary that any of this kind of material would be gone into. We have no
12 prior statement by this we understand, we have no idea where precisely
13 where he was during this period of time, we did not meet with this
15 So it's not only a question of it not being relevant to the
16 indictment, not only a question of it being outside of Rule 90(h)(1),
17 it's also a question of it not being fair to us in terms of not having an
18 ability to know that this going to be gone into and have an opportunity
19 to speak with this witness, find out what he knows or doesn't know and,
20 make decisions accordingly.
21 So on that basis, we object to this line of questioning entirely.
22 JUDGE KWON: You would be ready to stipulate as to the presence
23 or participation of Mr. Borovcanin at the time, also?
24 MR. GOSNELL: Well, Mr. President, I don't think it's incumbent
25 upon us to be making stipulations about events in October --
1 JUDGE KWON: No. You said --
2 MR. GOSNELL: -- 1995, in an area unrelated to the Srebrenica.
3 So we would not be willing to make any stipulations on material that's,
4 in our submission, far outside the scope of the indictment. But as I
5 said, if it's a question of stipulating that special police units were
6 engaged in other units on an ad hoc basis in combat, clearly we would be
7 willing to do that.
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if I may respond just briefly on this
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: If -- if my friend thinks that video with his client
12 and Arkan in October of 1995 is incriminatory or goes to his character
13 somehow, then that is a fair response to the character evidence that came
14 in during the Defence's case. Now, if he's willing to stipulate to the
15 presence of these forces there, then that's fine with us and we can
16 stipulate to that.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just briefly, Mr. Gosnell.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, that says it all. I mean, that was
19 truly outrageous. This is the purpose that they are trying to do this,
20 and it's not proper.
21 JUDGE KWON: We'll consider.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, having heard from the Defence that they
24 are ready to stipulate as to the participation on the general basis -- on
25 an ad hoc basis by the special brigade, the Chamber does not find that
1 part of your suggested evidence to be necessary or relevant to the case.
2 So could you move on to another topic, please.
3 MR. THAYER: I will, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I certainly don't by making this
6 observation suggest that my -- the words out of my learned friend's mouth
7 are worthy of being interpreted as evidence. Nonetheless, I would ask
8 that you strike from the record lines 21 through 25 of page 52.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President --
10 JUDGE KWON: It's not in evidence. Rest assured, we'll take that
11 into account.
12 Let's go on.
13 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. General, on Friday, my learned colleague asked you, and the
15 question was, I quote:
16 "What was the overall policy of the army of the Republika Srpska
17 when it entered a town in which the Muslims lived?"
18 And you answered, and I think we've recurred to this answer
19 already, but I want to be fair and give you the expire quote.
20 You answered: "It is evident that in every territory that is
21 being liberated, the Muslims population was given the option of staying;
22 but if they decided to leave and move to territories under the control of
23 their army, they could do so. In my own experience, I never found any
24 civilians in any of the territories we liberated. Evidently, even before
25 intensive fighting began, the civilian population was moved out of the
1 area where the fighting would take place."
2 My question to you, General, is: As Visegrad tactical group
3 commander, overseeing the areas of Visegrad, Rogatica, Zepa, and Rudo,
4 can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to the mosques in those
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Masal.
7 Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, how is this question
9 relevant? Why are we mentioning mosques in 1994 and 1995?
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
11 MR. HAYNES: Having seen a document upon which the question might
12 be based, I think it would also be fair to the witness if the question
13 had some sort of time-frame as to when a particular mosque or mosque was
14 said to have had something happened to it and who is alleged to have done
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm perfectly happy to do that. It
17 will take some time. I think in the meantime, the question that I am
18 asking this witness is commensurate with the generality of the question
19 that was put to him in his examination-in-chief about the policy, the
20 overall policy of the army of Republika Srpska when it entered a town in
21 which the Muslims lived. That was the question that was asked.
22 My question to the General is, and he can simply answer without
23 any reference to dates: What happened to the mosques in those
24 municipalities? That's all I'm asking.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was clear about the population.
2 JUDGE KWON: I'm not quite sure what he said.
3 But, General Masal, are you in the position to answer the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not really. I said about the
6 population, and I really don't have any information about the mosques,
7 none whatsoever.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Thayer, please proceed.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. General --
11 JUDGE KWON: How much longer do you have?
12 MR. THAYER: I have one more question, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. General, during your entire time of service as Visegrad tactical
16 group commander, did you see any mosques standing in those
18 A. I did not see, I did not pay attention, I did not see any
20 Q. Thank you, General.
21 MR. THAYER: I have no further questions.
22 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break of 20 minutes, after which Madam
23 Fauveau you will have redirect.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I will need 20
25 minutes maybe.
1 JUDGE KWON: Then I take it there will be none from Gvero
3 MR. JOSSE: We are not going to avail -- ask or avail of the
4 Trial Chamber indulgence on this occasion. Perhaps we will reserve it
5 for another time.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Re-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
12 Q. [Interpretation] General, you said that military administration
13 was introduced in Rudo. What was the situation in Visegrad?
14 A. Military administration or rule was introduced in Rudo. Visegrad
15 did not have military rule. It was a wartime situation and one could say
16 that it was normal given that it was wartime.
17 Q. Which organs were responsible of the safety of civilians and
18 public law and order in Visegrad?
19 A. The organs of the Ministry of the Interior.
20 Q. And which organs were responsible for the safety of citizens and
21 law and order in the villages of Setorovici, Burati, and Osovo?
22 A. Organs of the civilian authority in Rogatica municipality. And
23 to be quite specific when it came to the security and safety of the
24 people, that was the civilian police of the Interior Ministry in
1 Q. Were the international organisations able to come to these
2 villages, the UNHCR, for instance, and the Red Cross?
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE KWON: I don't think we get the translation, if you could
6 repeat it.
7 THE INTERPRETER: I do apologise, Your Honour. Apparently, there
8 was a technical failure.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I didn't get the
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I will put the question once again.
12 Q. Let me show you the item that is already on the screen. This
13 authorises a convoy to go through dated 30th of March 1994.
14 The item one indicates UNHCR. It is indicated that this convoy
15 is going to Rogatica to have authorities -- discussions with the local
16 authorities, and the UNHCR is also due to visit the following villages:
17 Smajlovici, Setorovici, Levetinci, Tmurni Do, Vrbarije, and Burati.
18 Did the UNHCR ever inform you of difficulties in the villages
19 where population -- Muslim populations were living?
20 A. No.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] A slight translation correction
22 from the transcript. We are not talking about a "convoy," but about
23 officials from the UNHCR, at line 15.
24 Q. Before you join your position at TG Visegrad, did you ever meet
25 paramilitary units?
1 A. Yes, in Bijeljina.
2 Q. And what was your position in Bijeljina, and how did you relate
3 to these military -- paramilitary units?
4 A. I was the commander of an artillery regiment in the East Bosnian
5 Corps, and, at the same time, I was the garrison commander in Bijeljina.
6 My experience with the paramilitary units was extremely bad. On several
7 occasions, there were quite serious conflicts, and, at my initiative, the
8 president of the republic and the commander of the Main Staff themselves
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to look another 5D1406.
11 Q. It is one of your reports dated 24th of August 1992. Please take
12 a look at the final sentence in item 8. It is indicated here that: "We
13 should not enable the establishment of an army under Arkan." What does
14 that mean?
15 A. Well, to be quite specific, this was a campaign in Bijeljina and
16 in Semberija as a whole, aimed at a young soldiers who had been trained
17 at the command, or, rather, the 3rd Artillery Regiment, to recruit them,
18 and not only them but the youth who had not been through the training, to
19 recruit them to the units of Arkan's Guard.
20 They were then taken to Erdut, where his training camp was, to
21 undergo a brief training course. And some 15 or 20 days later, after
22 this training, they became specials. And from the point of view of a
23 professional soldier, this couldn't have been done at all. It would have
24 been tantamount to a miracle, and this is why I intervened with this
25 superior command to put a stop to these kind of activities in that area.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Now I would like to look at 5D1169.
2 Q. You have seen this already when you discussed the communications
3 centre in Borike.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I will need the last page of both
6 Q. I would like to discuss with you what happened with the
7 communication centre after the end of the operation; we are talking about
8 Operation Mac.
9 A. You mean the mobile communications centre? Right after the end
10 of the operation, this centre ceased to exist. The equipment that was
11 provided for the mobile communications centre was brought back to the
12 original units.
13 Q. We've discussed the use of avio bombes, and you were shown a
14 document saying that these corps could use these avio bombes under
15 approval of the Main Staff. You discussed this yesterday already, but
16 can I maybe ask you who at the Main Staff could authorise these -- the
17 use of avio bombes by the corps?
18 A. The commander of the Chief of Staff.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness
21 I think there is a mistake. It should be kind -- it should be
22 "or" rather than "to."
23 [In English] "The Commander or the Chief of Staff."
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That will be clarified.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we now move on to page 8 in
1 English and 5 in B/C/S. Is this P2742? I do apologise. Well, maybe I
2 will have to move on to another exhibit then.
3 Could we please show the witness 5D1161.
4 Q. This is a report from the Main Staff that you have already seen.
5 It's a report dated the 25th of May relating to the bombings and
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to turn to page 4 in
8 English; page 3 in B/C/S.
9 Q. Look at what it says about the Drina Corps' area in the first
10 paragraph. At the last sentence, it says:
11 "[In English] At 1045 hours, the enemy fired four projectiles on
12 the village of Kiseljak
13 [Interpretation] If you look a little bit lower, where it
14 describes the situation on the ground, it says, in the second half of the
16 "[In English] An enemy DTG was infiltrated in the zone of
17 operation of the Skelani battalion with traces being found in the village
18 of Popovici; the message 'Serbs, I will slaughter you all' written on a
19 asbestos board and signed by Arif Zenda. This had created panic among
20 many locals."
21 [Interpretation] We know that there were NATO bombings that day;
22 but on the basis of the information I have just given you, could you tell
23 us why there were air raids around Srebrenica on that day? If you know,
24 of course.
25 A. Well, I can only assume what was going on around Srebrenica, but
1 I don't know why it was around Srebrenica. I don't know that for a fact.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No further questions.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. General Masal, just a second.
5 Mr. Gosnell.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, could I ask the witness to remove
7 his headphones, or ask --
8 JUDGE KWON: If you could do so, General Masal. Thank you.
9 MR. GOSNELL: There was a reference in the course of the
10 redirect, and the word "specials" was used. Now, I don't believe there
11 would be any dispute between the Prosecution and the Defence, the
12 Borovcanin Defence, that this is not a reference to the special police
14 If we can stipulate to that, then I won't have to engage in any
15 further questioning; otherwise, I will request leave to do so.
16 JUDGE KWON: Could you give me the reference.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Page 59, line 1.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer --
19 MR. GOSNELL: And, furthermore -- I'm sorry, Mr. President, for
20 interrupting. If I could just make one further remark.
21 I don't believe that the full terminology in Serbian was used,
22 but none -- in fact, I am assured of that. But I simply wanted to ensure
23 that there will be no confusion or submissions at a later time that would
24 rely on this.
25 JUDGE KWON: I don't think there is any anyway dispute on this.
1 Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President. My understanding is that at that
3 point in time, Arkan's forces were referred to in certain areas as
5 It was later that they were referred to as the Serbian Volunteer
6 Guard, which my friends all know refer to his forces.
7 MR. GOSNELL: We are content with that. Thank you,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. General, could you put on your
10 headphones again, yes. Yes.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE KWON: That concludes your evidence, General Masal; and on
13 behalf of the Tribunal, I thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give
14 it, and now you are free to go.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE KWON: Shall we deal with the documents. Have we received
18 the lists? Yes. Have we received the list from Miletic? It's coming.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I have just sent it, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KWON: What a marvelous technology.
21 I wonder whether the parties are in a position to deal with it
22 right now?
23 Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we are in the process. We just got
25 the list, so we are double checking it.
1 JUDGE KWON: So we will deal with it for the first thing
3 MR. THAYER: Very well. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: And in addition, there is a motion from the Miletic
5 Defence team in relation to the witness after this one to add some two
6 documents. I would like to hear the response from you on an expedited
8 MR. THAYER: No objection, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: No objection. Thank you. I take it there will be
10 no objection from the other Defence teams; therefore, it is so granted.
11 So shall we bring in the next witness.
12 Ms. Fauveau Ivanovic, next one is Vojislav Babic.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Indeed, it is, Your Honour, and my
14 colleague will examine him.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, Mr. Babic.
17 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE KWON: If you could take the solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE KWON: If you could make yourself comfortable.
22 Mr. Petrusic from the Miletic Defence team will ask you some questions.
23 Please go ahead, Mr. Petrusic.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, and good afternoon,
25 Your Honours.
1 WITNESS: VOJISLAV BABIC
2 [Witness answered through interpretation]
3 Examination by Mr. Petrusic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Babic?
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. As the President of the Trial Chamber has just indicated, I will
7 be asking you some questions on behalf of General Miletic's Defence today
8 and also tomorrow.
9 First of all, for the record, could you please state your full
11 A. I am Vojislav Babic.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, could you please tell us when and where you were born?
13 A. Your Honours, I was born on the 7th of July, 1950, in the village
14 of Bijekovac [phoen], Bosanska Dubica municipality as it was known at the
15 time, and now it's Kosarvska [phoen] Dubica.
16 Q. Now I would like you to tell us what school you graduated from?
17 A. After I completed elementary education, I we want secondary
18 military school. That was between 1967 and 1970. And after I graduated,
19 I was promoted to a non-commissioned officer, and I was assigned to
20 367th Communications Regiment or signals regiment in Samobor.
21 Q. It was the republic of Croatia
22 A. At the time, it was the republic of Croatia
23 Socialist Federal Republic
24 Q. Over a certain period of time, did you continue getting further
25 training or further indication?
1 A. I wanted to pursue a higher education, and with the approval of
2 my command, I enrolled in the military academy. I was a part time
3 student; and so between 1979, 1980, until 1984 or 1985, I studied there,
4 and that is when I promoted to an officer. I was -- I received my
5 commission as a lieutenant, and I continued in my job. In fact,
6 throughout my studies, I worked in the same unit and I continued after I
7 completed my studies.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, could you tell us, what was your course of studies in
9 the academy?
10 A. It was the ground forces academy. In addition to general
11 studies, I specialised in communication or signals, so I became a signals
13 Q. Mr. Babic, now I would like to ask you to pause after I ask you
14 my question for the interpreters to be able to interpret my question.
15 The best guidance should be to look at the screen, and once the cursor
16 has stopped, you can start giving your answer.
17 After you graduated from the military academy and after you
18 received your commission as a lieutenant, where did you continue with
19 your career? Where did you serve then?
20 A. I continued my service in the 367th Signals Regiment in Samobor.
21 Q. Could you please tell us where were you when the war broke out,
22 in what part of the former Yugoslavia
23 A. It was in the Republic of Croatia
24 at that time, in accordance with the plans of the command, the regiment
25 set up communications in the areas where combat operations were going on
1 or where there was a possibility that combat operations might take place,
2 and I was setting up communications for the operational group in Plitvice
3 from the 1st of April 1991.
4 I was not in that area at all times. I went there from time to
5 time as stipulated in the plan that was put in place by the regiment
6 command. It was not always the same group, but groups were rotated so
7 that other duties could be taken care of, too.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, how long did you remain in Croatia?
9 A. I remained in Croatia
10 was exchanged, because I had been taken prisoner, and that's when I left
11 the Republic of Croatia
12 Q. Could you tell us, where did you go from there?
13 A. Together with a group of people who were exchanged, I went to
15 Visoko where my original unit had been relocated. I am talking about the
16 367th Regiment.
17 Q. And how long did you remain in the 367th Regiment in Visoko?
18 A. The signals regiment - now we are talking about 1991, the end of
19 the year, the month is December - was transferred to Sarajevo to
20 Lukavica, and the regiment remained there until the war broke out in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina sometime in early April 1992.
22 Q. Did there come a time in 1992 when you found yourself in the
23 territory of Han Pijesak or Crna Rijeka?
24 A. In 1992, in the month of May, since not the entire regiment was
25 transferred from Lukavica at the time, one part of the regiment was
1 transferred in the beginning of April. I was among those who were
2 transferred later. So with the rest of the unit, we were transferred to
3 Han Pijesak -- or, rather, Crna Rijeka, on the 12th of May 1992.
4 Q. What was the unit to which you were assigned when you arrived in
5 Crna Rijeka on the 12th of May?
6 A. I was still a member of my own original unit, the 367th Signals
7 Regiment. At that time, I was the deputy battalion commander.
8 Q. What was your rank at the time when you arrived in Crna Rijeka?
9 A. When I arrived in Crna Rijeka, I was captain first class.
10 Q. Did there come a time when the 367th Signals Regiment changed its
12 A. The 367th Regiment did change its name as some of the officers
13 and foot soldiers who hailed from the territory of the then-Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia Serbia left, and the regiment became the 67th
15 Signals Regiment. That was on the 19th of May, and, as of that time, the
16 regiment bore the other name.
17 Q. Mr. Babic, what was your position in 1995? Were you still a
18 member of the 67th Regiment and what was your position there? What were
19 your duties there?
20 A. I remained with the 67th Signals Regiment until the end of war,
21 and even further on; and in 1995, I was the Chief of Staff. That was my
22 position. I was the Chief of Staff of the 67th Signals Regiment.
23 Q. Could you tell us who the commander of that was at the time in
25 A. The commander of the 367th Signals Regiment was Colonel Nedeljko
2 Q. You said the commander of 367th Signals Regiment Nedeljko Gredo?
3 A. I apologise. It was the 67th Signal Regiment.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, how was the signals regiment organised at that time?
5 A. The signals regiment had an unchanged establishment. As of
6 May 1992, it had its command; it had a signals battalion for the
7 communications centre at the command post or the 1st Battalion; the
8 signals battalion for the rear command post or the 2nd Communications
9 Battalion; and it also had a signals company for the signals garrisons.
10 Further on --
11 Q. I apologise. Go on.
12 A. -- it also had a rear company or a logistics company.
13 Q. Could you please tell us something about the principle task of
14 the 67th Signals Regiment in the course of 1992 and from there -- from
15 that time on until 1995; or, better still, what was the purpose of that
17 A. The signals regiment was tasked with establishing and providing
18 communications for the command functions, i.e., for the Main Staff of the
19 Army Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Are you talking about the communication within the Main Staff
21 only, or are you talking about communication lines towards some other
23 A. The signals regiment provided and secured communication lines
24 also for the commands of the airforce and the anti-aircraft defence, also
25 for the centres for communication and information.
1 Q. What about this communication information centre, what was that?
2 A. We provided -- we were provided channels of communication between
3 different positions in the municipalities from which signals information
4 were conveyed about various threats. This served to inform about the
5 situation on the territory.
6 Q. When you spoke about the tasks of the 67th Signals Regiment, you
7 mentioned one. Was that the only task within the purview of this
9 A. The signals regiment also provided communication channels for the
10 government of Republika Srpska and the presidency. In addition to the
11 communications issues, the signals regiment also performed other tasks
12 and duties; for example, providing immediate security for the regiment
13 itself, as well as some parts of the Main Staff in the territory assigned
14 to the regiment. Furthermore, the regiment organised and implemented all
15 other current tasks, primarily education and training.
16 Q. Are you finished, sir?
17 A. No. I was talking about education and training, but they also
18 monitored and maintained the combat technique, mainly communications
19 means, and all other current issues that pertain to everyday duties of
20 any unit.
21 Q. You said that the commander of the unit was Colonel -- or,
22 rather, Lieutenant-Colonel Nedeljko Gredo?
23 A. Yes, he was. Actually, he was Colonel, Colonel Nedeljko Gredo.
24 Q. Did General Mladic have the command authorities over this unit;
25 if the answer is yes, what kind of authorities did he have, or powers,
1 command powers?
2 A. General Mladic was the commander of the Main Staff. He was the
3 one who directly commanded all units including the 67th Signals Regiment.
4 Q. If I understand you properly, did you say that General Mladic was
5 the only one who could issue combat orders to this unit?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Objection leading.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Shall we adjourn for today, Mr. Petrusic?
8 Mr. Babic, we will resume your evidence tomorrow morning, during
9 which time you are not to discuss with anybody about your evidence you
10 are going to give. Do you understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. 9.00 tomorrow morning.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.29 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
15 December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.