1 Monday, 15 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin
10 Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
12 All the accused are here. The Prosecution, I notice
13 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Mitchell. Defence, I notice the absence of
14 Mr. Ostojic, Ms. Nikolic, and that's it.
15 Good morning to you, Mr. Jevdjevic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, I understand that you haven't finished
18 your cross-examination after all. You need another 15 minutes?
19 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President.
20 Indeed, 15 minutes. And that would be to finish this morning and
21 to clarify the issues I raised last Friday.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's fine.
23 Any remarks, Mr. McCloskey?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
1 And you, Mr. Petrusic?
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 Mr. Bourgon, good morning to you.
5 WITNESS: MILENKO JEVDJEVIC [Resumed]
6 [The witness answered through interpreter]
7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jevdjevic.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. Further to my cross-examination of last Friday, there are a few
12 questions which I would like to put to you to clarify one issue which was
13 raised concerning the appointment of General Krstic as commander of the
15 I would like to begin by showing you a document I referred to
16 last Friday.
17 MR. BOURGON: If I can have in e-court 4D124, please.
18 Sir, this document that will appear before you, you had the
19 opportunity to read it last Friday, and I suggested to you during my
20 cross-examination that you had seen this document when preparing for your
21 testimony in the Krstic case. Now, having verified the matter, further
22 to the objection that was raised by my colleagues, I know that this is
23 not the document that you saw, because I read the transcript over again
24 in the Krstic case.
25 A. I apologise, but I'm not receiving the interpretation, and I
1 haven't been since this session began.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You should have told us straight away. I'm not in
3 a position to know, because I'm not following in Serbo-Croat. Let me,
4 with your indulgence, go -- are you receiving interpretation now?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to read out what was stated,
7 Mr. Bourgon's question. He said following -- he showed you document
8 4D124, which you should have in front of you, and he told you:
9 "Sir, this document that will appear before you, you had the
10 opportunity to read it last Friday, and I suggested to you during my
11 cross-examination that you had seen this document when preparing for your
12 testimony in the Krstic case. Now, having verified the matter -- having
13 verified the matter further to the objection that was raised by my
14 colleagues, I know that this is not the document that you saw, because I
15 read the transcript over again in the Krstic case."
16 And then you told us that you were not receiving interpretation.
17 From now on, I will leave you again in the hands of Mr. Bourgon.
18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. So, sir, the only thing I would like to confirm with you this
20 morning is: Having read the transcript in the Krstic case over again,
21 where you stated, at page 7104, that in preparing for your testimony
22 then, you read the order of the president of the Republika Srpska, dated
23 13th of July, appointing General Krstic, so I would just like to confirm
24 that the document that you saw then was the actual order signed by
25 President Karadzic. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, having confirmed this, I would like to move to document
3 7DP1032. If I can have this document in e-court, please. If I can have
4 page 3 in English and page 2 in B/C/S.
5 Sir, this is the document that I referred to on Friday, and it's
6 a document, as you can see, which is signed by General Zivanovic in his
7 capacity as corps commander, and I take it you see that the timing of
8 this document or the signing of the document was 1600 hours on 13 July.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Could counsel please verify exhibit number?
10 MR. BOURGON: 7DP1032.
11 Q. So that's the document, sir, I referred to last Friday, and can
12 you tell me what you see in the signature block of this document, and if
13 you recognise the signature?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If we go back to the first page of the document, please, my first
16 question relates to the addressees of this order. Can you confirm, on
17 the basis of what is at the top of the document, that this document is,
18 in fact, an order which would have been sent to all subordinate units of
19 the Drina Corps, including, of course, the Bratunac Brigade and the
20 Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And also that this order, originating from the Drina Corps
23 Command, was also sent to the Drina Corps Forward Command Post?
24 A. Yes, that's what it says.
25 Q. And do you recall receiving this document at the Drina Corps
1 Forward Command Post in July of 1995?
2 A. I don't remember. Possibly, it did arrive, but I personally
3 don't remember this document.
4 Q. Now, if I look at this document, and you have most of the
5 document before you, and we can look also at the second page, can you
6 confirm that this order was drafted in accordance with the standing
7 operating procedures applicable within the VRS and the Drina Corps, that
8 the format of the order is standard?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And if I look at the second paragraph of this document, you will
11 agree with me that as a result of this order, all addressees are provided
12 with information concerning the Muslim forces heading for Tuzla, going
13 through Crni Vrh and Cerska; is that, General, what it says in this
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And if I go down to paragraph 1 of the order, which you have --
17 I think we need to go back one page back in the English document, but you
18 have it in B/C/S. Can you confirm that by this order, the brigade
19 commands are told to take all practical measures to discover, to block,
20 disarm, and capture Muslim groups who are attempting to join their
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you look at paragraph 3 of this order, would you agree
24 with me that the order issued to all brigades is to put captured and
25 disarmed Muslims into suitable buildings? So there is an order to secure
1 the prisoners, and I would like to know what your understanding is by
2 "buildings that can be secured by small forces."
3 A. I assume that the person issuing the order and drafting this
4 order bore in mind the fact that the bulk of the forces of the
5 Drina Corps was engaged in combat in different areas up at the front,
6 combat operations in the Krivaja Operation and Stupcanica 95 and that
7 there were very few available soldiers to deal with military security of
8 the prisoners.
9 Q. And that would be the reason why they are told to find suitable
10 buildings which will require little manpower to secure the prisoners?
11 A. Yes, yes. In my opinion, that would be it, exclusively.
12 Q. And if I move to paragraph 7 of the document - I need to go to
13 the next page, please - I'd like you to read paragraph 7, and tell me if
14 you agree that as a result of this paragraph, brigades would see it
15 necessary to increase or to improve the level of radio communications
17 A. Yes, that was an ongoing task.
18 Q. And following the reception of such an order, officers would make
19 an effort to increase radio discipline; would you agree with that?
20 A. Yes, that would be logical.
21 MR. BOURGON: I'd like to move to a further document, which will
22 be the last one, which is 4D81. I would like first to go to the last
23 page of this document.
24 Q. Sir, this is also a document I referred to during our
25 cross-examination on Friday. Can you tell me, according to the signature
1 block and the stamp, your understanding as to who sent this document and
2 to whom it was received by?
3 A. What I can see here, what I've been shown on my screen, shows
4 that the document was sent by the commander, Major General Radislav
5 Krstic, and I see his signature there.
6 Q. And in what capacity is General Krstic signing?
7 A. He signed this in the capacity of commander.
8 Q. And according to the stamp, when was this document sent and
9 received, if you can tell by the information that is provided to you?
10 A. Well, a document signed and typed out in this way was received in
11 the centre of communications at 1945 hours, the encryption station, and
12 the coder managed to process it, encode it, at 2010 hours, and then
13 handed over -- and then this was handed over to all the subordinate units
14 to whom it was intended, in fact.
15 Q. Thank you. If we can go to the first page of the document, I
16 would like you to confirm first that this a regular combat report, and of
17 course this is what it says on the document, but can you tell me who
18 would have prepared this document and to whom it was sent, according to
19 the information on the first page?
20 A. The document was compiled by the Drina Corps Command, and this
21 regular combat report was sent to the Main Staff of the VRS.
22 Q. So would I be right that this document includes, in some form, an
23 overview of the information which was obtained from the combat reports
24 submitted by all subordinate units of the Drina Corps?
25 A. It should contain information of all the Drina Corps units which
1 arrived at the Command of the Drina Corps on that particular day.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just have one slight translation issue.
4 At one point, this document, which as we've just heard, was sent
5 to the Main Staff, it got translated as "handed over," which sounds like
6 handed to somebody. If that could be cleared up.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's page 7, line 8.
9 MR. BOURGON: I thank my colleague for this observation.
10 Q. So page 7, line 8, sir, if I can draw your attention, the way
11 your answer was translated was that the document was handed over.
12 Was the document handed over or transmitted to all subordinate
13 units to which it was intended?
14 A. In military terminology, a telegraph is either received or
15 "predati," transmitted or -- I see no actual difference between "handed
16 over" or "sent out," but what it implies is through the communications
17 system, the telegram was sent out.
18 Q. Now, sir, if you look at this document and what you've seen of it
19 today, would you agree that this report could not have been sent without
20 General Krstic being informed of its content?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And if we look at paragraph 3 of the document, which you have on
23 your screen, if we can just raise the document a little bit, is it your
24 understanding of this paragraph that Muslim civilians -- that the fact
25 that Muslim civilians and soldiers were being detained in Konjevic Polje
1 and Nova Kasaba, that this is information that was in the possession of
2 the Drina
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. BOURGON: Thank you. I won't need this document anymore. I
5 only have two further questions.
6 Q. The first one relates to something that we discussed when I met
7 you last week, and I'd like you to confirm, and this is something also
8 that was discussed in your interview with the Prosecution, that you agree
9 there existed in 1995 in the VRS a culture of always covering your
10 actions by the production of a written document.
11 A. That was the rule.
12 Q. And a good example of this, to show what we mean by a culture of
13 always producing a written document, would be that when General Krstic
14 decided to send back the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Pandurevic,
15 back to Zvornik, along with his tactical group, that this was an
16 important decision, it was something that could have an impact on the
17 Zepa operations, and then we saw last week that General Krstic
18 immediately followed up with a written order. Would that be a good
19 example of a culture of always producing a written document?
20 A. Well, one can understand it that way. I think that the document
21 was compiled by someone in the Drina Corps Command in Vlasenica and
22 dispatched it to the Zvornik Brigade as timely information that in the
23 area of responsibility, because of the newly arisen problems,
24 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic was covering back with his unit from Zepa.
25 Q. Now, that was the reason of the document, but my question is:
1 The production of the document is to, in fact, make official and to cover
2 the decision of General Krstic to send back Colonel Pandurevic to the
3 Zvornik area?
4 A. Well, yes, you could consider it to be that.
5 Q. And my last question is the following: I'd just like to confirm,
6 this is something that came from your interview in the -- sorry, your
7 testimony in the Krstic case, that when you prepared for your testimony
8 in that case, you spoke with Major Obrenovic.
9 A. Yes, but I talked to him specifically more about the situation --
10 about situations which were informal, because the two of us were in
11 totally different areas of the Drina Corps, so the information that one
12 of us had with respect to the situation and his surroundings, the other
13 didn't, because we were in completely different areas and dealt with
14 completely different assignments.
15 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, sir. I have no further
16 questions. Thank you.
17 Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
19 Mr. Lazarevic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: We decided not to cross-examine this witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
22 Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: I will cross-examine this witness, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] -- and Mr. Jevdjevic, good morning. My name is
3 Dragan Krgovic. I appear for General Gvero, and on his behalf I will be
4 asking you questions connected with your testimony up to now.
5 Mr. Jevdjevic, in your testimony so far, you spoke about the time
6 you spent at Pribicevac, and my question is the following: At that
7 Forward Command Post, you were able to send combat reports directly
8 either to the Main Staff or to the Command of the Drina Corps; isn't that
10 A. We were able to send reports directly to the Command of the
12 through the mediation of the Command of the Drina Corps.
13 Q. My colleague, Mr. Petrusic, showed you a document which was one
14 of the reports sent to the Main Staff.
15 Could the witness be shown 6D22, please.
16 Mr. Jevdjevic, this is one of those reports. Answering a
17 question put to you by my learned friend Mr. Petrusic, who asked you
18 about paragraph 4 of this report, you confirmed that you were aware of
19 the event described in this combat report; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In item 2 of this report, it also says that on that day, the 9th
22 of July, as you testified before this Court, the operation concerning the
23 enclaves was practically concluded on that day?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And practically on that day, there was no combat, except for
1 fortifying the strengthening the positions reached by the brigade in the
3 A. Of the 9th of July, yes. On the 9th of July, there was combat.
4 The units of the Zvornik Brigade took Zivkovo Brdo on that day, and they
5 spent the night at the positions they had reached.
6 Q. But when answering my friend's question, you said that they
7 completed fortifying the positions at around 1800 hours and that another
8 unit arrived to take up those positions, and they withdrew to take a
10 A. Well, in the evening, usually --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jevdjevic and Mr. Krgovic, both of you, please,
12 slow down, because you are overlapping. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Usually, in the evening positions
14 would be fortified, and sometimes when the situation allowed, those units
15 that had been carrying out assault actions on that day would hand over
16 the lines they had reached to the reserve units accompanying them or
17 following them, and they would withdraw to a suitable area where they
18 could rest. Probably they would leave only some of their men behind to
19 guarantee that the points reached during the night would be protected,
20 and they would withdraw some of the units to suitable areas to take a
21 rest. That's what I said before.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And the combat report that was sent reflects correctly the
24 situation on the ground as you saw it; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
2 Exhibit 6D328, please.
3 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, this is a combat report also sent from the
4 Pribicevac Forward Command Post, and it was sent on the 10th of July. It
5 refers to the situation of UNPROFOR in the Srebrenica enclave. Please
6 read this document, and I'm interested in paragraph 1, in which it says:
7 "On the basis of surveillance and monitoring of the situation in
8 the Srebrenica enclave, as well as the statements of UNPROFOR soldiers
9 who surrendered to our forces and asked for our protection, we conclude
10 that the Muslim army has surrounded UNPROFOR and assumed control over it.
11 "The Muslims seized some of UNPROFOR's combat equipment (armoured
12 combat vehicles, heavy artillery pieces and ammunition) and are using it
13 in combat against our forces."
14 Mr. Jevdjevic, my question is the following: Are you aware that
15 such things occurred during the Srebrenica operation?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I was not
18 careful enough during my preparation, but I really don't see where this
19 document could come from. I don't see an ERN number. It's the first
20 time I've seen it. I may have missed it, and if I did, I apologise to my
21 colleague, but I would like to know where this document comes from.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Are you in a position to enlighten us or at
23 least enlighten your colleague?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I showed some of
25 these documents to Mr. Simic. My investigator obtained them during his
1 investigation, and I have the original available. I can show the
2 original, if that would satisfy my colleague.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That is hardly acceptable information. I mean what
4 Mr. Petrusic is really interested in --
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I can tell you the source of the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just agree with Mr. Petrusic. We need the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, of course, and this is why I'm saying
11 what you said doesn't help much. What we need to know is where your
12 investigator got it from and if that -- it's a complete original.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when we wanted to
14 introduce the statement of the late General Djukic, I asked his heirs for
15 his notes and documents which might corroborate his statements, and that
16 was how I obtained a certain number of documents. Some of those
17 documents are on IDS
18 When the first document I used, which was the one I used with
19 Novica Simic, was shown in the courtroom, I sent a circular e-mail to all
20 my colleagues, explaining the source of the document.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with this, Mr. Petrusic.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honours.
23 That mail was also sent to Mr. Petrusic's team, and I informed the
24 Prosecutor orally a month ago that I would be using a number of documents
25 which I obtained from that same source.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] That first document was really
4 sent, but not this one. This is really the first time I've seen it. To
5 the best of my knowledge, the heir of General Djukic is supposed to come
6 and testify here, so I hope we learn something more about this from him.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
8 Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have been in recent contact with the Gvero
10 team and asking them about a document similar to this, and they refused
11 to tell us where it was from, standing on what they felt was their right,
12 so I'm not sure what counsel is referring to. If we can get the name of
13 the heir, and I'm sure we can talk about this with counsel and sort it
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. So let's proceed in the meantime
16 and avoid wasting more court time.
17 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, please look at this document, does it roughly
20 correspond or, rather, does it correspond to the information you had at
21 Pribicevac at the time about the situation of UNPROFOR in the Srebrenica
23 A. Yes, this report reflects the information we had about UNPROFOR
24 in that period.
25 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, to sum up some of the information you had
1 available at the time on the 9th of July, you spoke about this in your
2 testimony and it concerns the nature of the attack on the Muslim armed
3 forces in the Srebrenica enclave, the information you had on that day,
4 the 9th of July, was the following: That the attack by the army of
5 Republika Srpska on the Muslim forces was being launched exclusively
6 because the Muslims conducted incursions from the enclave and engaged in
7 terrorist activities against both civilian and military targets; is that
9 A. Yes. That area had to be limited by military positions to
10 prevent further circulation between the two enclaves, between Srebrenica,
11 Kladanj, and Tuzla
12 Q. You also had information that the civilian population was not the
13 target of the attack by Republika Srpska; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. You also had information that the UNPROFOR forces should not be
17 A. Yes, we had such orders.
18 Q. You also had information that the Muslim forces attacked the
19 UNPROFOR soldiers and that one of them had been killed?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You also had information that civilian targets should not be
22 shelled, and neither should the town of Srebrenica itself; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And such reports were sent to the superior command; is that
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And whoever was able to read those reports had no reason to
4 believe that the reports were untruthful; is that correct?
5 A. Well, that would be the only information that person would have,
6 the information in the reports.
7 Q. But to the best of your knowledge at the Forward Command Post of
8 Pribicevac, this information corresponded to information on the ground,
9 did it not?
10 A. Yes, it did.
11 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, when testifying in the Krstic case, and that was
12 on the 6th of November, 2000, on page 7068 you mentioned that at one
13 point General Gvero briefly visited Pribicevac. Do you remember saying
14 that when testifying in the Krstic case?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You didn't mention the day on which this happened, but here
17 before this Chamber you testified that this was on the 9th of July, 1995
18 at around noon
19 Command Post, stayed there for a brief period, and then left. Does this
20 information correspond to what you saw at Pribicevac on that occasion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And on that day when General Gvero turned up, this was the
23 information he was able to obtain at the Forward Command Post concerning
24 the events in Operation Srebrenica; is that correct? I'm referring to my
25 entire previous set of questions concerning combat reports and the
1 situation on the ground.
2 A. Well, General Gvero stayed at the Forward Command Post for a
3 short while, together with General Krstic. The information he received
4 in writing was in good order. I don't know whether General Krstic might
5 have told him about something else, but I was not with them while the two
6 of them were together.
7 Q. And you don't know what they talked about?
8 A. No, I don't.
9 Q. But this information that I asked you about was information
10 available to General Krstic?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, we'll move on to another topic now.
13 I do apologise, Mr. Jevdjevic, for the pause. I'm looking at the
14 transcript to avoid overlapping, as we speak the same language.
15 In the course of your testimony, you mentioned that at one point
16 in time, you went to Zepa, to the Forward Command Post of the Drina Corps
17 in Zepa. My colleagues asked you in detail about the date, so I won't go
18 into that again, but I'll just ask you this: In Zepa, did you have the
19 same equipment that you had at the Pribicevac Forward Command Post?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, as I was able to understand your CV, you went to
22 school in Rogatica. I assume that the Zepa-Rogatica area is familiar to
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In July 1995, especially towards the end of July 1995, would you
1 tell me, please, on the road from Rogatica to Boksanica, where there was
2 an UNPROFOR check-point, were there any check-points manned by the army
3 of Republika Srpska on the stretch of road from Rogatica to Boksanica, to
4 the best of your recollection?
5 A. All I know is that there was a check-point at Boksanica. As for
6 the rest of the road from Borike towards Rogatica, there was no reason
7 for there to be a check-point, because that was in the depth of our
9 Q. And at Boksanica, it was an UNPROFOR check-point where
10 negotiations were conducted with the Muslim side?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, can you tell me, how long does it take to go from
13 Rogatica to Zepa along that road, under those conditions prevailing
14 during the war, by car, by bus, or some other vehicle; how long does it
15 take to get from Rogatica to Zepa?
16 A. About an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on
17 which vehicle you used, but generally about an hour and a half, because
18 there's a macadam road -- or was a macadam road halfway with serpentines
19 and hairpin bends.
20 Q. You mentioned that at the end of July 1995, in that area of
21 responsibility, that General Mladic arrived at Zepa and he spent some
22 time there. Do you remember saying that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you also remember that during those days at the end of July,
25 General Gvero tried to establish contact with General Mladic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And General Mladic refused to speak to General Gvero; do you
3 remember that?
4 A. At that particular point, when General Gvero from the Main Staff
5 rang up the Forward Command Post in the village of Godjeva
6 asked to speak to General Mladic, General Mladic was not actually there
7 at the time when the call came through, he wasn't at the Forward Command
8 Post there, and I assume he was at Boksanica or elsewhere.
9 Q. Did General Gvero tell you why he wanted to speak to
10 General Mladic?
11 A. I remember the conversation. The soldier who called up -- or,
12 rather, answered the telephone gave the connection to me because
13 General Mladic was not at the Forward Command Post, and on the other side
14 there was General -- on the other side of the line there was
15 General Gvero, and he asked me where General Mladic was, because he said
16 he wanted to talk to him. And I told him that according to the
17 information received, he was probably in the Boksanica region. And
18 General Gvero then said that he needed to talk to him and to tell him of
19 the seriousness of the situation during those days on the western front
20 of Republika Srpska, to inform him of that. So I remember having that
21 conversation with General Gvero.
22 Q. And he said he was worried, did he, for the fate of the area, and
23 that time was being lost, whereas the western part was falling; right?
24 A. Yes, those were roughly his comments, and I'm paraphrasing. He
25 was very worried about the situation at the Krajina battle front, and the
1 situation at Zepa at that point in time he considered to be satisfactory,
2 militarily, with respect to the Republika Srpska forces. So he wanted to
3 convey that information to General Mladic himself.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
5 Exhibit P1311 now, please. And in B/C/S, we'd like to have the
6 page 1311C, and the English version, 1311A.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document is under seal, so there will be
8 no broadcast of it.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] In B/C/S, it's ERN 3205699 [as
10 interpreted], and the English version, 0080165. 03205699.
11 May I take a moment, Your Honour, because the witness can't
12 actually see that page yet.
13 Q. Can you see that portion, Mr. Jevdjevic, right up at the top? It
14 is a message for Panorama 1 to call Gvero urgently.
15 A. Yes, that's the frequency. I can't see the date. It was 0829
16 hours, as far as I can see here, a message for Panorama the 1st, call
17 Gvero as soon as possible.
18 Q. Panorama was the code name for the Main Staff, and Panorama the
19 1st was General Mladic; is that it?
20 A. Yes, that was the jargon at the time, I think.
21 Q. The date is the 23rd of July, 1995, Your Honours. The 23rd of
23 Mr. Jevdjevic, after this did General Gvero send a telegram of
24 any kind addressed to General Mladic and the Forward Command Post?
25 A. I remember him sending it out the same day after my telephone
1 conversation with General Gvero to the village of Godjenje
2 Forward Command Post there. I think a telegram arrived from the
3 Main Staff, and the encryptor, the soldier who did the encryption,
4 received the telegram. And since General Mladic still wasn't at the
5 Forward Command Post, he simply asked me what to do, because he had
6 received a telegram from General Mladic and General Mladic was nowhere
7 nearby. So he wasn't able to hand the telegram over to him. And as an
8 encryptor, he had to dispatch the telegram, hand it over. And then I
9 took the telegram myself purely to see what it was about, to see that it
10 wasn't anything urgent. And in that case, if it were, I would take
11 urgent measures to see that the telegram was handed over to
12 General Mladic. And I saw that the telegram was to General Mladic
13 personally, sent by General Gvero.
14 Q. And the contents were similar to what he had told you when you
15 talked to him over the phone, I mean General Gvero; right?
16 A. Yes, that was roughly it. The contents were similar.
17 Q. General Gvero asked that measures be taken to strengthen --
18 reinforce the front and to draw the commander's attention to that western
19 part of the front; right?
20 A. Well, all I remember is the telegram was written -- well, it was
21 a high-sounding telegram, very well-chosen words, in which General Gvero
22 personally addressed General Mladic and presented the full force of the
23 situation, the difficulties facing the western front in Krajina, and
24 quite simply, using a conciliatory tone, he was suggesting it would be a
25 good idea that in this difficult situation that they were faced with,
1 that the army of Republika Srpska was faced with, that it would be a good
2 idea if he heard the opinions of his assistants and advisers, to hear
3 their views on the situation, and that they should cooperate as they had
4 been doing thus far. That's a rough paraphrase of the contents of the
5 telegram. Because of the specific wording of the telegram, I happen to
6 have remembered it.
7 Q. So General Gvero said discreetly to General Mladic that he
8 shouldn't listen to his assistant and not to listen to the opinions of
9 his assistants; was that the substance of the telegram, in actual fact?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction on page 21. The
12 telegram was for Mladic, not to Mladic. That's an error in the
14 Q. Do you agree with me?
15 A. Yes, yes, certainly.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Also, the last sentence in English just doesn't
17 make much sense.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, there was an interpretation problem there. I
20 asked you the question: General Gvero discreetly let General Mladic
21 know, and he recommended that he listen to the suggestions of his
22 helpers, assistants, and he was discreetly saying that he hadn't been
23 doing that thus far, but he used a diplomatic tone?
24 A. Yes, that's how I understood those words. Well, they were nicely
25 wrapped up, intellectually speaking, and he was sort of telling
1 General Mladic, in a nice way, that faced with the situation as it was,
2 that he should listen to the opinion of his assistants and the people
3 around him. And what he wanted to say, that he wasn't paying due
4 attention to what his assistants are telling him. So he's suggesting
5 that because of the difficulties that he was facing at the front, the
6 gravity of the situation at the front, they should cooperate as they had
7 been doing before. That's how I understood the telegram.
8 Q. And it had to do with the situation on the western front or the
9 western part of the front?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Jevdjevic.
12 I have no further questions for this witness, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
14 That concludes the cross-examinations from the Defence teams.
15 Mr. McCloskey, roughly do you know how long you expect your cross
16 to last? I'm not asking this in order to curtail your time, just to be
17 able to organise ourselves better.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I will try to finish today, and it's hard to
19 tell, but I'll try.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't want to go tomorrow. I can tell you
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Don't feel pressurised.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
25 Q. Good morning, is it Colonel Jevdjevic?
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. My name is Peter McCloskey. I work for the Office of the
3 Prosecutor. I'll be asking you some questions now.
4 Just so I don't forget, let me kind of go back to where we left
5 off. That day that General Gvero met with General Krstic at Pribicevac,
6 where did they -- where did they meet; do you know? Was it at the
7 observation post, or somewhere around the coms van, or where?
8 A. It was the Forward Command Post. It was a premises made up of
9 earth. We didn't have any built facilities. But General Krstic at the
10 time was at a small observation post from which you could just see the
11 combat action going on from Zeleni Jadar towards Rina Bojna [phoen], so
12 along those lines, and at that particular day he was at the observation
13 post from which he could see those first combat actions undertaken by his
14 units. And when General Gvero arrived, we greeted each other at the
15 Forward Command Post there, and then he went some 50 metres further on,
16 which is where General Krstic was.
17 Q. Okay. So General Gvero went out to the observation post with you
18 to meet General Krstic?
19 A. I stayed by the device, and he went further on with his escorts.
20 Whether there were two soldiers with him or a driver, they went on
21 towards General Krstic.
22 Q. Well, your memory's been pretty amazing. Can you help us with
23 how many people arrived with General Gvero?
24 A. Well, I think there were at least two people with him, whether
25 the driver and someone else, but whenever a general was moving around, on
1 his left and right there would be at least one of his escorts or
2 officers, depending on who was with him in his environment.
3 Q. What kind of vehicle did he arrive in?
4 A. I don't remember what kind of vehicle it was, but he parked the
5 vehicle at the entrance to the Forward Command Post, and I noticed him
6 coming to those premises on foot.
7 Q. I'm trying to ask as simple questions as possible, and if your
8 answer can -- you can always explain an answer, but I'm just asking you
9 the kind of vehicle and you added a whole lot extra, but -- which is
10 okay, but we're going to be here for a while.
11 Do you remember who else was out at that observation post with
12 Generals Krstic and Gvero?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And do you remember where Mladic was that day that Gvero and
15 Krstic were at the observation post?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did he come to Pribicevac that day; General Mladic, that is?
18 A. I think Mladic came the day after, was at Pribicevac the day
20 Q. And so your best recollection is that General Gvero came on what
22 A. According to my analysis and to the best of my recollections, he
23 arrived on the 9th.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. And could we see Prosecution Exhibit 33.
25 Q. Now, as we know, I think you'll agree with me that -- and I think
1 we can tell from your testimony that the 9th was a very significant day
2 for this operation, because as you have said, and I don't think it's
3 contested among us, that the Operation Krivaja 95 was not meant to take
4 the town of Srebrenica
5 A. Yes, that's how I understood it, and that's how it was at the
6 initial stages of that operation.
7 Q. Okay. So then if you'll take a look at this document, which I
8 know you've seen many, many times. This is the document addressed to
9 Generals Gvero and Krstic personally, who you say were together at
10 Pribicevac on the 9th, and you may recall this is the one that's from
11 Tolimir. And this is the point where it says, in the second paragraph:
12 "The president of the republic is satisfied with the results of
13 combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the continuation
14 of the operation for the takeover of Srebrenica ..."
15 So it's now -- this entire operation is now changed to actually
16 go into the town of Srebrenica
17 A. On the basis of what -- of the agreement given by the president
18 of the Republika Srpska, the situation had changed. That was in the
19 evening, at around midnight
20 Q. Well, we see that that's when this document was received at
21 the -- I'm not sure exactly. Can you tell where this document was
22 received at?
23 A. Well, there was -- has been a correction here. It's not entirely
24 clear, but I assume it was around 2350 hours or 2250 hours. I can't
25 quite see it, whether it's a "2" or "3," I can't be quite precise. But,
1 anyway, late at night of the 9th. Around midnight, a little before
3 Q. Well, we see that there is a stamp on this, and I will recall,
4 I think you said that -- can you make out this received stamp? You said
5 there wasn't a stamp at the Pribicevac Forward Command Post, and this is
6 addressed to the president as well as the Forward Command Post. So could
7 this be the Presidency document?
8 A. Very possibly. Well, I don't know if it's the Presidency
9 document, but it wasn't received at the Forward Command Post, because we
10 didn't have a stamp there, so it couldn't have been received there. And
11 quite possibly this is a Presidency document, but it certainly wasn't at
12 the Forward Command Post.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go to the bottom of that document so we
14 can show the witness and we can all see if there's anything down there.
16 Q. But you do remember seeing a copy of this document at the Forward
17 Command Post that night, don't you?
18 A. I assume a copy certainly got there, because it was an important
19 telegram, but personally I don't remember.
20 Q. Do you remember the evening of the 9th, that the plan had changed
21 and you're now going forward to Srebrenica?
22 A. When the telegram arrived, I assume we were all asleep, so I
23 further assume that until -- that what this telegram deals with was
24 realised on the 10th. It could have happened or arrived on the 10th.
25 Q. Well, it's also certainly possible that the copy of this document
1 was received an hour or so before the Presidency received their document,
2 just because sometimes it take a while to get the teleprinter going and
3 working; correct? It could have been received after this one, too?
4 A. I know what you mean, what you're referring to. I assume that
5 this document could have arrived at the Forward Command Post -- well, it
6 would be speculation. The Main Staff had direct communication with the
7 Presidency, and up at the Forward Command Post the Main Staff went
8 through the Drina
9 which communications were established are relative, so what you just said
10 is quite possible.
11 Q. Okay. And there's one particular part I want to draw your
12 attention to. It says:
13 "The president of the republic is satisfied with the results of
14 the combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the
15 continuation of the operation."
16 Now, when it says that the president has agreed, does that mean
17 that General Mladic has made a proposal to the president to go on towards
18 Srebrenica, and that the president agrees with that proposal? Under the
19 normal functioning of the system, is that what we can infer from this
21 A. Theoretically speaking, the subordinate person gives the proposal
22 to the superior, and the superior agrees or not. Now, whether this
23 principle is applied to this document, I don't know, because we're
24 dealing with the levels of Main Staff and Presidency, so it's a level far
25 higher than me and further away from me. But that would be the general
1 principle applied.
2 Q. Well, you told us that you were hearing a lot of the discussions,
3 and clearly information has travelled from the Forward Command Post to
4 the decision-makers, to General Mladic probably, to the Drina Corps, to
5 the Main Staff, and the decision-makers have made this decision clearly
6 well before 2350 hours that evening; isn't that true?
7 A. It's possible, but how much time beforehand, what information
8 they had when, well, it was on the 9th, before nightfall, that we took
9 those important features, Zivkovo Brdo and Alibegovac and arrived at the
10 edges of the demilitarised zone, so that in the evening hours, after 2000
11 hours, up to 2300 hours, in the space of those three hours, the superior
12 command could have been informed about the combat results of the Krivaja
13 95 operation. I absolutely allow for the possibility that within those
14 two or three hours, both the Main Staff and the Presidency were informed
15 of the course of the combat operations in the Krivaja 95 operation.
16 Q. Okay, Colonel. Anything's possible, but you were the hub of
17 information coming from Pribicevac. No one had more information probably
18 on this than General Krstic, who is, we know, a close colleague of yours.
19 You were working with him that day.
20 Do you recall any information going from the Forward Command Post
21 relating to this important subject, "We are succeeding, we may be able to
22 take advantage of the situation, we may be able to consider taking the
23 next step," anything like that? This has major repercussions for you, it
24 means the battle continues, it means a lot. So this is something you
25 will remember, if you can remember anything?
1 A. This may sound incredible, but first of all not all information
2 could go through me, because I was the officer in charge of establishing
3 communication lines. I watched over them so as to make sure they were
4 functioning without interruption. But this particular document certainly
5 arrived at the Forward Command Post. That's quite logical. But believe
6 me, I learned only recently that the president of the republic approved
7 the extension of the attack towards Srebrenica. I did not know that it
8 was the president of the republic who gave his approval.
9 As I saw it, the situation on the front changed on the 10th of
10 July, when I heard with my own ears the information that our units were
11 being ordered to speedily take feature after feature and proceed towards
12 Srebrenica. That I know very well.
13 Q. Sir, well, the foundation of most of your many, many hours of
14 testimony was that you were in a position to be able to hear most of what
15 was going on. But just to make it clear, you don't know anything about
16 information coming out of the Forward Command Post to higher echelons
17 regarding the decision to go forward?
18 A. My fundamental duty at the Corps Forward Command Post was to make
19 sure communications were not interrupted from General Krstic to the
20 commanders of the units participating in these two operations, and it was
21 those communications that I constantly watched over, towards Trivic,
22 Pandurevic, Blagojevic, and so on. This document arrived at the Forward
23 Command Post, and when the cryptographer received it, he didn't give it
24 to me because General Krstic is the addressee. He's not a colleague of
25 mine but my commander. If General Krstic wasn't around, it was Colonel
1 Vicic, his deputy, who would be handed the document.
2 It was not necessary for me to read everything contained in the
3 correspondence between the Forward Command Post and the Main Staff or the
4 Presidency, nor was this in the rules. I know many of these
5 communications because they refer directly to the situation, but there
6 were others that I was not aware of, personally, and that I don't know
8 Q. So you agree with me, when it comes to any information about the
9 strategic move to take Srebrenica and information going to the higher
10 echelons, you don't have any information about that?
11 A. What higher echelons are you referring to? I don't understand
12 your question.
13 Q. I can say it again. The Corps, the Main Staff, the Presidency.
14 A. As regards communication with the Presidency, I knew absolutely
15 nothing about it. Those were levels that were far above me, and it was
16 well known who was in charge of communications with the Presidency and
17 concerning what issues. The Main Staff was not carrying out those two
18 operations, so we had very little communication with the Main Staff. I'm
19 mostly aware of communications with the units participating in the
20 Srebrenica and Krivaja operations and the sum of the general plan and
21 general correspondence with the Corps Command. It was my duty to
22 establish communications with the units and with the corps.
23 Q. So you say it was well known who was in charge of establishing
24 communication with the Presidency, so who was that?
25 A. The Main Staff, that's the first link in the chain of command
1 that is connected to the Presidency. That's the logic.
2 Q. Of course, and you say it's well known, so who in the Main Staff?
3 A. The commander of the Main Staff was the number-one man
4 communicating with the Presidency.
5 Q. And he was doing that, as far as you know, in July 1995?
6 A. I don't know that, but I assume that it was he who was supposed
7 to communicate with the Main Staff, just as I communicated to
8 General Krstic.
9 Q. Okay. Let's go back in time from Pribicevac now, and we'll come
10 back to some of those issues a little bit later.
11 I'm going to delve just a little bit into the radio relay
12 communications that you spent so much time talking about. If we could go
13 to 65 ter -- well, I'm just going to refer to this. I'm not going to go
14 to it.
15 There is a big complicated diagram, 65 ter 1D00322. It's the
16 diagram used by Mr. Rodic. I think you talked about -- you saw the
17 diagram that showed all the different connections with the radio routes
18 and Veliki Zep and Vlasenica. It shows on this document that -- on
19 page 15, that there is a numbered line from Vlasenica to Veliki Zep, and
20 it's number 0674, according to what Mr. Rodic says. Do you remember any
21 of those numbers or are you just kind of going along with what Mr. Rodic
23 A. I have no reason to doubt what Mr. Rodic says or to doubt this
25 Q. Well, there it is. I tried to avoid it. In any event, if we
1 look carefully, we'll see the section 0674 from Vlasenica to Veliki Zep.
2 Do you know, could that be intercepted?
3 A. I assume that in this triangle, it says "200." I don't know if
4 you can help me, if you can see better than I can. Is it "200"?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could, I guess -- no avoiding it. Can we
6 bring it up? That square on the left side, if we could bring that up.
7 Okay, that's what I'm talking about, "Veliki Zep," 0674 to
9 A. We had two relay directions from Vlasenica to Veliki Zep. One
10 was encrypted and could not be intercepted. If it says "200" in that
11 triangle which would be marking that particular device, then it could not
12 be intercepted. If in the upper one it says "8," that's 0607, then
13 theoretically that could be intercepted because they did not have an
14 encryption device or a scrambling device.
15 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 2823. And the scrambling devices didn't
16 always work, did they?
17 A. On this radio relay direction, the devices protected, scrambled,
18 or encrypted both oral and written communications. That was the kind of
19 device it was.
20 Q. But it didn't always work; right? It broke down sometimes?
21 A. This protected line between the Drina Corps and the Main Staff, I
22 see in this telegram here 0674, had eight channels, and those were
23 protected. And I don't remember that during the war that device, which
24 protected both oral and written communications, broke down.
25 Q. Okay. Let's take a look at this document, and I want you to just
1 look at the -- this is this 1993 list of frequencies that was used for
2 the RRU-800, and it's got, for this number that we've been talking about,
3 0674, it's got "Frequency 859/762." And you've testified as far as you
4 know that that wasn't changed throughout the entire war; is that right?
5 A. Where do you see that, specifically?
6 Q. Number 1.
7 A. As regards changing the frequencies, there's a long story behind
8 that, which you probably --
9 Q. Sir, I don't want to hear the long stories. You talked about the
10 long story. My first question is: As far as you know, that wasn't
11 changed during the war; is that right?
12 A. From 1993 onwards, to the best of my knowledge, in the
13 Drina Corps we did not change the frequencies of those radio relay
14 devices, because we could have done that only if so ordered by the chief
15 of communications of the Main Staff.
16 Q. But you're not sure? It's possible they were changed?
17 A. If they had been changed, I would have known about it.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I see it's break time, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Twenty-five minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Colonel, do you know a man from the -- he was in the -- I think
25 it was the 67th Communications Unit from the Main Staff named Veljko
2 A. Velo Pajic, yes, I do know him.
3 Q. You know he was working on these railway routes during the war, a
4 pretty knowledgeable guy about them?
5 A. He wasn't at the Veliki Zep node, but he is extremely
6 knowledgeable concerning the routes in the -- the communications routes
7 in the Main Staff.
8 Q. Okay, let me read to you. He testified here not long ago,
9 I think November 26th, and was asked this question by my colleague and
10 given this answer. It was the Prosecutor that asked him this question,
11 Mr. Vanderpuye:
12 "The frequencies that were operating on the route that you
13 described, 0607-0674, and the other routes you looked at in the document
14 I showed you from 1993," by the way, that's the document on the
15 screen - do you have a present recollection of what frequencies were
16 operating in 1995?"
17 And he said:
18 "The frequency devices, RRU-800 and FM-200, we are talking about
19 these two relay routes, 0607 and 0674. The range was between 610 to 960.
20 Now, the transmission frequency, 783, on route 0674 in 1993, this applied
21 in 1995. The transmission was 783, and that the -- the gap had to be 50
22 megahertz between emission and the reception."
23 So in that question and answer, Mr. Pajic is saying that the
24 frequency for 0674 was the frequency of 783; correct?
25 A. I don't have precise information as to what the frequencies were,
1 because that would have been a vast amount of information for me. I
2 don't know where he got this information. I never even knew precisely
3 what frequencies we were working on. When we established communications,
4 certain frequencies were taken up and they remained until there was some
5 reason to change frequencies.
6 Q. Again, a simple question, sir. He said that on 0674, the
7 frequency was 783, and that was applicable for 1995. Do you have any
8 reason to doubt his viewpoint on that?
9 A. Well, he would have to give you both the receiving and sending
10 frequencies. There had to be two.
11 Q. Well, you saw him say, "783." You don't have any doubt that he's
12 correct about that, do you?
13 A. Well, believe me, I don't doubt that he's right, just as I don't
14 doubt this document that was sent by the chief of communications of the
15 Main Staff, but -- well, if it was he, himself, who drew up this document
16 or Velo Pajic, I don't know. All I know is that the frequencies never
17 changed on this equipment unless there was a major reason to change them,
18 because it was a lot of work. It was a huge procedure to change
20 Q. So if there was a major reason, the frequencies could be changed?
21 A. If there was a reason, yes, but that what would require many
22 actions to be undertaken, much work to be done on the entire territory,
23 because according to the technical rules, the range of these devices was
24 50 kilometres, and when there was optical visibility, the range was much
25 longer, and you would have to get the approval of all the participants on
1 the entire territory, even in other countries, using that frequency
2 range. So you cannot change a frequency without it immediately affecting
3 all the other participants and the entire network or grid, as it was
4 called, of radio relay nodes and other owners of communication, such as
5 television --
6 Q. We've heard all about that from Mr. Pajic, but this is a very
7 simple question. We can see from this document that this numbered route
8 does not include frequency 783, so it's fair to conclude that either this
9 document is wrong or they changed the frequency for 0674?
10 A. I know Mr. Pajic as a very hard-working, diligent and precise
11 officer, so I have no reason now -- there's no way I can say whether it's
12 he who is wrong or this document. Everything I say would be speculation.
13 Q. Well, if the VRS coms people suspected that the Muslims were able
14 to intercept on a particular frequency, that would be a major reason that
15 would be the cause to change frequencies, wouldn't it?
16 A. That would be a reason, yes, but it would be insignificant,
17 because the moment you escape from a certain frequency, whoever has
18 intercepting equipment will find you in a minute on the next frequency,
19 because his equipment scans the entire frequency range, just like when
20 you're searching for a radio station on a transistor radio, you discover
21 it in a moment. So we used other means to secure our lines. It was only
22 if the enemy blocked our communication on a certain frequency that we
23 would change frequencies, but he never did that, he never jammed our
24 communications, because he wanted to listen in.
25 Q. That's what he said. That's -- when the enemy testified, that's
1 exactly what they said. But I can also tell you that it wasn't quite as
2 easy as finding a radio station, according to the people that testified.
3 But we won't go into that.
4 Well, you've talked about some of the intercepts that -- where
5 you remember the conversations, and those, I think, you probably recall
6 from looking at the intercept yesterday, were captured from an RRU-1 set.
7 And so I take it you had no contest that the Muslims were able to
8 intercept the RRU-1 in certainly the conversations that you talked about
10 A. There's a huge difference between an RRU-1 device and the RRU-800
11 and FM-200 devices. The aerial of the RRU-1 device has an angle of 60
12 degrees, and it's electromagnetic waves --
13 Q. Believe me, we're -- if any of us were taking notes, we're
14 experts at that, or we should be. My question was simple. We know
15 there's a difference. Rodic didn't even challenge the RRU-1s. He just
16 looked at the RRU-800s. And you didn't appear yesterday, when you were
17 talking about the conversations you were involved in from certain
18 frequencies on the RRU-1, you didn't appear to challenge their ability to
19 intercept those conversations, did you?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. So we're okay on the RRU-1. RRU-800 is a little different
22 matter; fair enough?
23 A. Correct, yes.
24 Q. Okay. Would it surprise you -- when we go back and look at our
25 intercepts, roughly 148 of them from the RRU-800 frequency range, the
1 majority of those, I am told, come within the frequency 783. That was
2 given to us by Mr. Pajic. Would that surprise you?
3 A. It would not surprise me, because I know there is a theoretical
4 possibility for these conversations to be intercepted, because the spoken
5 communication was not scrambled.
6 Q. Right. Okay, and going on to another subject, putting to bed the
7 intercept subject, I hope, for now. Can you help, if you're in Zvornik
8 or Bratunac and you're talking about the right bank of the Drina
9 side -- what side of the Drina
10 what the "left bank" means in Paris, but how about the right bank of the
12 A. The Drina
13 south-north direction, and for most of its course it constitutes the
14 border between present-day Serbia
15 is to the east, and to the east of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that's where
17 is part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the left bank.
18 Q. Okay. So the right bank is Serbia
20 A. Yes, for most of the course of the river, not throughout the
21 whole course of the river.
22 Q. Now, I think we've got a translation problem, because I know
23 things were awfully messed up and confused, but I don't think the Drina
24 was travelling in a north-south direction. That would be meaning it's
25 going two different ways. What did you mean? Basically, northerly by
1 Zvornik, isn't it?
2 A. What I wanted to say was that for most of its course, if you
3 disregard its meandering, it flows from the south towards the north.
4 Q. That's what I thought. Thank you.
5 A. On the right bank of the River Drina, there is also Republika
6 Srpska, Rudo, Cajnice, Visegrad. Those municipalities have a significant
7 part of their territory on the right bank.
8 Q. Okay. And we've heard over the years of the Birac region. Can
9 you -- that's a large region, isn't it? Can you roughly describe this
10 large Birac region, just very roughly and shortly? It's not a big deal.
11 A. The Birac region implies a geographical area which stretches from
12 the Romanija Plateau towards the Drina River
13 area with small mountains, canyons and so on, and mostly the following
14 municipalities are included: Vlasenica, Sehovici, Milici, Bratunac,
15 Srebrenica, and I assume Zvornik in part. I'm not from that area,
16 specifically, but I suppose part of the Zvornik municipality. So those
17 are the municipalities which are purely geographically referred to as
18 "Birac" and will be found on the map under "Birac."
19 Q. Okay, thanks, thank you. And I want to go to your testimony of
20 yesterday [sic], and it's on page 29481, and it's when you were talking
21 about the various operations you and General Pandurevic were involved in.
22 You talk about one in particular, the spring of 1993, and you say:
23 "In the spring of 1993, the Drina Corps was engaged in offensive
24 activities on the area of Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Kasaba, and from the
25 south towards Srebrenica, Osmaci, Zeleni Jadar and Pribicevac."
1 Now, you were -- I believe you said you were in that operation
2 with General Pandurevic. Is that correct?
3 A. We weren't together. He took part from the Zvornik and Drinjaca
4 axis, and the Forward Command Post of the Corps and I were within the
5 framework of the combat units taking part from the Vlasenica direction.
6 It was only on the wavelengths that we were together.
7 Q. There's an exhibit, and it's -- I can't remember the name of it
8 or the number of it right now, but I just thought of it. It was a big
9 map that was on the Zvornik Brigade, and it outlined various operations
10 that Zvornik had been involved in during the war. And it mentions
11 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, in 1993. It also mentions, as part of Cerska,
12 Konjevic Polje, a couple of villages a little north of that, Kamenica and
13 Liplje. Do you remember Kamenica and Liplje being part of that, too, or
14 are those too small for you to remember?
15 A. I don't remember those specifically. What I do remember is
16 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Kasaba, and Kravica, so those locations, they're
17 the ones I remember and they're the ones I took part in; in the
18 liberation of those areas, thank you.
19 Q. Right. And can you tell us what General Pandurevic -- I guess he
20 was a colonel at the time, what his commander function for the overall
21 operation was? Was he just the Zvornik Brigade, or was he overseeing the
22 whole thing, or what?
23 A. His role was within the frameworks of the positions within his
25 Q. And who was in overall command of that operation?
1 A. General Milosevic, on behalf of the Corps Command.
2 Q. All right. And do you remember the name of the operation?
3 A. I don't remember. I think the operation went in stages and that
4 it didn't have a specific name. Well, I don't remember the name, anyway,
5 because it was done in stages.
6 Q. All right. Let's go to 65 ter number 29. I'll just -- this is
7 a -- I don't know if you've seen this before. Have you seen a document
8 called "Directive 4," dated 19 November 1992?
9 A. No, never. I never saw any documents having the status of
10 directives --
11 Q. You knew that there were directives out there, though, didn't
12 you? I mean, you would have received them over the teletype.
13 A. I learnt when the proceedings started, the trial, but directives
14 are documents which the Presidency of Republika Srpska sends to the
15 Main Staff and its address.
16 Q. Okay. Well, if we could go on page 11 in B/C/S, this talks about
17 various areas, and I want to go to the Drina Corps now. The Drina
18 on the 19th of November, I guess it had just formed. Hadn't it?
19 A. Yes, the Drina Corps was established on the 1st of November, but
20 I can't read anything here, it's such a poor copy.
21 Q. Okay. I can try to give you a hard copy, but -- it's a little
22 bit better. And it's English page 5.
23 And in this, the part I want you to take a look at starts with
24 the Drina
25 "From its present positions, its main forces shall persistently
1 defend Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik, and the quarter, while the rest of its
2 forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the
3 heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa,
4 and Gorazde areas, together with the Muslim population ...," and then it
5 goes on.
6 And if you look at the last page, well, I can tell you it's in
7 the name of General Mladic and it was drafted by Major General Manojlo
8 Milovanovic, the person you said was commanding the operation that you
9 talked about Konjevic Polje and Cerska.
10 Sir, do you know does this --
11 MR. HAYNES: Sorry, that's a misstatement of the evidence. He
12 said "General Milosevic."
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, I thought he said "Milovanovic." If I'm
15 MR. HAYNES: No, he didn't.
16 THE WITNESS: Milosevic.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, I'm sorry, I'm hearing "Milovanovic," thank
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. We are in agreement here.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. That's Dragomir Milosevic?
22 A. [In English] Yes, yeah.
23 Q. I apologise. Do you know if this had anything to do with the
24 operation you were on in the spring of 1993?
25 A. [Interpretation] I don't know that the operations we were
1 launching and that I took part in was the result of this directive, so
2 probably the Main Staff wrote an order to the corps. All I know is that
3 I was there and that Drina Corps conducted those operations, but I don't
4 know that they are the result and consequence of this particular
6 Q. Okay. And let's just note, before we leave, that on the top of
7 this, it's from the Main Staff, and its number is 02/5-210, dated 19
8 November [Realtime transcript read in error "1994"]. That's page 1.
9 Now, if we could go to 65 ter 3029. And similar to what you'd
10 mentioned, here we have a --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
12 Mr. Petrusic.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there's an error on
14 the page 44, line 8. Instead of the year 1994, it should read "1992."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic, that's correct.
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, this is -- we're all in 1992.
20 Q. Now, as you'd mentioned, here we have a Drina Corps document
21 dated a few days later, the 24th of November. This is to the Zvornik
22 Command, personally to the commander or Chief of Staff. Do you remember
23 who was commander of the Zvornik Brigade in November 24, 1992?
24 MR. HAYNES: I don't mind if you lead on that question. You're
25 cross-examining. You know who it was.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sometimes I want to hear what the witness says.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's continue. Let's not lose precious time.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Do you remember?
5 A. I don't know exactly when General Pandurevic arrived in Zvornik
6 from the Tactical Group Visegrad, but I do know that during that period,
7 Major Obrenovic was certainly down there, because he was there from the
8 start. But I don't know whether this period -- when the corps was being
9 formed, whether General Pandurevic was down there already.
10 Q. I don't think he was at that point, but Mr. Haynes gives me more
11 credit than -- I don't remember every detail, but I want to ask you about
13 We see that in the top of this, it says:
14 "Pursuant to directive of the Main Staff of the army of Republika
15 Srpska strictly confidential number ...," and I need -- I think you've
16 been alerted to this before, but this is an important mistake. It should
17 be "02/5" in the English, not "3," dated 19 November.
18 So we have a clear reference to directive 4 in this order to the
19 Zvornik Brigade; isn't that correct?
20 A. The year is 1992 here.
21 Q. I'm sorry if I said "1994."
22 A. Yes, what you said, well, the directive is mentioned, and it was
23 on the basis of this directive that an order was sent to the Zvornik
24 Brigade, to the attention of the commander, personally, or the Chief of
1 Q. Okay. And we see in number 1 that there's some similar language
2 to what I just read to you. It says:
3 "Launch an attack using the main body of troops and major
4 equipment to inflict on the enemy the highest possible losses, exhaust
5 them, break them up, or force them to surrender, and force the Muslim
6 local population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica and
8 So, sir, was this order to the Zvornik Brigade part of the order
9 that you were operating under when you were involved in the Cerska and
10 Konjevic Polje part of the operation you've discussed?
11 A. All of us who took part in that operation, I mean the
12 officers' cadre and the military section and the units taking part, had
13 before us only a single task, and that was to route of the enemy. What
14 it says here, the Muslim local population forced to abandon the area,
15 et cetera, let me repeat: The Muslim population was never our goal or
16 our decision, those of us who took part in that combat and those
17 operations, and I remember on several occasions the conduct of
18 General Pandurevic specifically towards the civilian population. So
19 nobody gave us that kind of order. Our order was trenches, bunkers, the
20 enemy. And the civilian population on both sides, that is to say, both
21 on the Serb side and on the Muslim side, automatically left the area
22 without any force or military force used against them, but our -- so our
23 goal was just trenches, bunkers, the enemy.
24 Q. So then you would agree with me that as a trained former JNA
25 officer and someone that learned about the Geneva Conventions, this is an
1 illegal order suggesting that the local population be forced to leave?
2 A. I would use a stronger term, linked to the population, but please
3 believe me, we soldiers, those of us who took part in those combat
4 operations, the population was never our goal, and we always preferred to
5 fight in areas where there was no Muslim population or where there were
6 no civilians at all.
7 Q. Okay. So you're telling me that you and Vinko Pandurevic
8 disregarded this order, which we now know originated from General Mladic,
9 President Karadzic, General Zivanovic? You guys disregarded these orders
10 from your superiors for this particular operation?
11 A. In the part of the order that was conveyed to me, or the part of
12 the order conveyed to me with respect to combat, battles, we carried out
13 that order. We didn't disregard it. But nobody conveyed to me ever, nor
14 did I ever hear of what it says here, because I didn't receive these
15 orders myself. The Communications Battalion never received orders of
16 this type, to the effect that the Muslim population was the goal. And I
17 know from experience in all the battle fronts throughout Republika Srpska
18 that the population on both sides even -- well, would abandon the area
19 before the battle started. Before we actually reached the area, they
20 tended to leave.
21 Q. Did the Muslims blow up all the mosques in these areas before
22 they left?
23 A. Those were done -- that was done by some idiots when they had
25 Q. Okay. Let's go on to another subject.
1 You have testified that you had some kind of a role in the late
2 May/early June operation regarding Zeleni Jadar. Can you just briefly
3 describe what your role was again?
4 MR. HAYNES: What year are we talking about?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: The one he was talking about, 1995.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Drina Corps at that time formed
9 a forward command post at Pribicevac. It wasn't an operation; it was
10 just a military activity which the commander of the corps,
11 General Zivanovic, commanded personally, and he formed the Forward
12 Command Post from the Command of his Corps, and I think that at that
13 Forward Command Post there was Colonel Vicic as an operative, Colonel
14 Veletic, Colonel Vukota, who was there, and that was the composition of
15 the Forward Command Post of the Command. And as an officer from the
16 Communications Battalion, I, on the ground, executed the communications
17 plan for that military activity.
18 Q. That's it, you were just the coms guy?
19 A. Yes, in that particular operation I was the coms guy, just like
20 in any of the other operations that we've been discussing.
21 Q. Now, I know -- I didn't mean to suggest only the coms guys, I
22 shouldn't have said that, but you weren't involved in any leadership
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. Let's take a look at 65 ter 4097. This is a document by
1 General Zivanovic, dated 29 May 1995
2 you can see that okay. If you need a hard copy, let me know.
3 This is a document entitled "Taking Control of the Area of
4 Zeleni Jadar," and it says:
5 "After the UNPROFOR leaves their outpost at Zeleni Jadar, Muslim
6 forces will probably try to place Zeleni Jadar under their control."
7 And then it says:
8 "With the goal of preventing the enemy forces from entering
9 Zeleni Jadar and taking control of the factory compound in Zeleni Jadar
10 and Skelani-Podravanje road, I here by order ..."
11 And so this is assuming, I guess, as we see in this order,
12 assuming UNPROFOR is leaving. So it's not talking about any operation to
13 do with UNPROFOR, but this is the operation to fight the Muslims when
14 they come try to fill the gap. And if we go to page 2 in the English, I
15 mean, you can -- I won't read all the various units, and gathering for
16 the attack, and it's supposed to start on 30 May, and it says:
17 "Engage the following officers from the Drina Corps Command to
18 lead the attack in the area of Zeleni Jadar."
19 And there's "Vicic," and that should be a "Veletic," like you
20 said, and "Major Milenko Jevdjevic."
21 And then, like you said:
22 "I shall personally command the engaged forces from the IKM of
23 the Drina
24 to be in Skelani by 1400 hours ..."
25 So you're supposed to be in Skelani to lead the attack, and we
1 know from your career that you were a commander in the war and went on to
2 be an even higher commander, so I'm sure you were more than able, in
3 1995, to lead this. So is this just wrong or does this help you remember
4 you had a bit more of a leadership role than you're telling us now?
5 A. I think in writing this order, there is a slight imprecision in
6 point 3. It says "for leading the forces in the attack," and then the
7 following officers are named, amongst them myself. And then in the next
8 sentence, the person issuing the order turns this around and said: "I
9 shall personally command the engaged forces from the forward command post
10 of Pribicevac." So that means that the only person who could command
11 those forces and who was in command of the forces at that time at
12 Zeleni Jadar was Corps Commander General Zivanovic, whereas these three
13 persons were his specials from the different fields, the different
14 branches, who should be on hand. And I was on hand to provide secure
15 communication. And later in my career I became a commander, but
16 certainly not then.
17 Q. So he's just flat-out wrong when he says you're to lead the
18 attack? Nobody's suggesting you're in command of the operation?
19 A. Well, I think that it's clear to everyone here that in addition
20 to the corps commander and the general and his three assistants, that I,
21 as the fifth person, I'm fifth in row and the youngest in terms of rank,
22 and the duty of Communications Battalion commander, everybody -- it's
23 clear to everybody that I could have had no command role there.
24 Q. Well, what's clear to me is the -- General Zivanovic is up in the
25 hills in Pribicevac, a safe distance from that, kind of looking down, and
1 he sent you and two other guys to Skelani. And we know where Skelani is.
2 It's a lot closer to the Muslims forces than where he is, and that -- he
3 didn't send you down there just to do coms work, did he?
4 A. No. As far as Skelani is concerned, we just met -- we just had a
5 meeting to report to Skelani. Now, Skelani are quite a long distance,
6 much further than Pribicevac and the Muslim forces. Pribicevac was just
7 a few hundred metres away, whereas Skelani was almost 15 or even more
8 kilometres away.
9 So General Zivanovic always liked me to be on hand with him, so
10 at the time I had, well, in quotation marks, the luck of being with him
11 at Pribicevac, and I didn't move away from him during that entire
12 military operation.
13 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 2894. This is a document you spoke
14 about in your testimony recently. It's dated June 2. It's under the
15 name of General Zivanovic, and I think of this document as the "how to
16 take down a UN OP document," because it gives a very interesting and
17 precise direction to the people on the ground on how to do it.
18 And the first thing I want to ask you about this, and if I can
19 show you the original so you can actually see this, because I seem to
20 recall you had made some comments about this, this was picked out of what
21 is known as the Drina Corps collection, Colonel, a huge collection of
22 documents that we didn't have during the Krstic trial, so you'll be
23 seeing a lot more documents that you didn't see in that trial. So, first
24 of all, it's:
25 "The commander of the Bratunac Brigade shall inform in detail the
1 deputy battalion commander Petrovic ..."
2 Now, that's Sretan Petrovic of the Bratunac Brigade; right?
3 A. Yes, he was the battalion commander in that area.
4 Q. And then as we go down farther, it says:
5 "He shall establish coded communication with Legenda ..."
6 And that is -- Legenda is Milan Jolovic from the Drina Wolves
7 from the Zvornik Brigade; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And so did he - as far as you remember - did Legenda's units take
10 part in this?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was then Colonel Pandurevic down there with him or no?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So Legenda would have been under the command of who during the
16 A. I think under the direct command of General Zivanovic. I don't
17 know if there was any senior officer in between the two.
18 Q. So now that you've seen the original, do you have any reason to
19 doubt the authenticity of this order?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. And if we go on page 2 of -- I think it's of both
22 languages. After giving a very particular description how to deal with
23 the UNPROFOR, it says" ... disable the APC," excuse me, let me read the
24 whole sentence:
25 "If UNPROFOR soldiers continue to reach out to their weapons in
1 order to use it against Legenda, disable the APC with a hand-held
3 And he keeps talking about "this is the moment that UNPROFOR
4 should surrender." And it talks about "call Nikolic." And that, I take
5 it, is Momir Nikolic of the Bratunac Brigade. Right?
6 A. Yes, it could be him.
7 Q. So we can conclude that this order was followed, can't we?
8 A. Well, the person who issued the order would probably know that
9 best if he were to carry out an analysis. Last week, I spoke in detail
10 about the events I remember from that period of time.
11 Q. Well, was it carried out or not?
12 A. It was, but later on some people were dissatisfied with this
13 because was it enough to secure those factories, because the Muslim side
14 could control the Zeleni Jadar area with firepower. But I remember that
15 the Zeleni Jadar-Jasenova road could be used after this, and that was
16 very important for our units on the ground there.
17 Q. And I understand how important that was. And, basically, this is
18 an order to scare the daylights out of UNPROFOR and get them to leave
19 that OP; correct?
20 A. Well, more or less, yes.
21 Q. And you would have had the same problem -- I should say the VRS
22 would have had the same problem with all those OPs ringing Srebrenica a
23 month or so later when it was time to attack the enclave?
24 A. This observation post in Zeleni Jadar was special, it was
25 specific. I know that in other places, the army did not have any similar
1 intentions or activities. This observation post was specific, in that it
2 was on no-man's land, and for us to move our positions forward and make
3 it possible to use the road without hindrance and put these industrial
4 plants under our control, we had to move our positions probably to the
5 area of that observation post. The assumption of the person carrying out
6 this activity was probably that UNPROFOR, when they observed the
7 movements of our forces to take up our positions, would probably try to
8 prevent this, and the only way for us to take those points was to put up
9 a show of force by our forces. And from all this, you can see great fear
10 and precise instructions to avoid a conflict at any cost, and that is the
11 main gist of this order.
12 Q. Doesn't it say if they don't surrender, if they go for their
13 weapons, you're supposed to shoot a "zolja" at an APC?
14 A. Yes, it does say that here, but I saw this document a few days
15 ago for the first time, so that was the first time I'd seen it. And when
16 I read it, I laughed. Perhaps I shouldn't say that, but I think you
17 laughed too, because it is written in language which is not military, as
18 I understand it. It's written as if it had been written by someone who
19 didn't know much about the war, in fact.
20 Q. Well, you do recall "zoljas" being fired in this operation, don't
22 A. No.
23 Q. This very effectively ran off the OP from Echo, didn't it, from
24 this OP that we're talking about? They ran off? It's a simple question.
25 Yes or no?
1 A. What I learned was that in that activity, not a single bullet was
2 fired. It was very quiet. I remember that operation by this, because it
3 was the only operation I'd ever participated in where I knew that not a
4 single bullet had been fired. And it's quite logical that the UNPROFOR
5 OP was scared and they moved their position 200 metres back. That
6 appears quite logical to me.
7 Q. It was. I agree with you, this was all very logical, and they
8 had the same problem a month later. And perhaps you'll agree with me
9 that many of the OPs in this area during the attack on Srebrenica, the UN
10 forces fled as well. Some actually came to the Serb side.
11 A. You should have seen the enthusiasm of those UNPROFOR soldiers
12 when they came to our side and their frightened faces when a colleague of
13 theirs, a soldier, was killed by Muslim fire an hour before I encountered
14 them, and that fire was intentional. It was not accidental. That's what
15 I know. Had they seen us as a threat, they would have withdrawn to their
16 bases in Potocari and Srebrenica, because they didn't have to cross
17 anyone's trenches there. They would simply have to withdraw, go back.
18 But they came to our rear, that is, seeking our protection, crossing
19 trenches and passing by gun barrels in the process.
20 Q. Sir, I won't go over with you the evidence this Court has heard
21 about the attack on the OPs during the assault on Srebrenica. I won't go
22 over the evidence with you about the fact that many of those UN forces
23 were held against their will at the Hotel Fontana and used as hostages
24 and were threatened with death, so I don't think there's a point in that.
25 But let's go over -- unless you'd like to comment on it.
1 A. No, I believe you.
2 Q. Okay. Now, let's go to 5D1083. This is a document you saw
3 yesterday, and let me give you the original of this, because you seem to
4 have some kind of problem with this document as well.
5 According to this document, it's -- as you recall, it's in your
6 name. It's a teletype, so there's no signature on it, so that's a
7 mistake in translation. And the English translation is also wrong.
8 There's no mention of the Main Staff. It's the Drina Corps. And it
9 begins -- I won't go through everything, but it says:
10 "After a successful operation and the forceful expulsion of
11 UNPROFOR from the Zeleni Jadar post, the enemy was observed
12 systematically building up large forces and moving them from Srebrenica
13 sector towards the general sector of Zeleni Jadar. Their formation
14 included two OT and one tank."
15 An OT is thought to be an armoured personnel carrier. It goes
16 on, says some other things, and then it says:
17 "The Inhabitants of Zeleni Jadar moved out in panic following
18 UNPROFOR's withdrawal ..."
19 And then when you get to paragraph 2, it starts out with:
20 "In a very precise and professional operation, our firm and
21 daring approach forced the UNPROFOR check-point in Zeleni Jadar to
22 withdraw in panic to Srebrenica."
23 And then it says:
24 "Force was used, but there were no injuries to the UN personnel."
25 And then in number 3, it says:
1 "We have expended small amounts of ammunition and three zoljas."
2 So -- and this is under your name. You've seen the original now.
3 Do you, sir, doubt the authenticity of this document?
4 A. It says here, where the signature is, that this regular combat
5 report was sent to the Command of the Drina Corps from the Pribicevac
6 Forward Command Post on that date, the 3rd of June, and that it was
7 received there at 1900 hours. It was sent to the Chief of Staff,
9 Last week, I said, when the Defence was putting questions to me
10 about this, that I have nothing special to add to all this.
11 Q. So you don't doubt the authenticity of the document?
12 A. Well, I have to repeat what I said last week. In my view --
13 well, when I read this document, and knowing what the situation was like
14 to the best of my recollection, I saw that the document does not reflect
15 the actual situation. It's been embellished for whoever was reading it.
16 I certainly did not compile the document. I was the communications man.
17 It was very unusual that in a small operation in which not a single
18 bullet was fired and in which only two companies advanced for a few
19 hundred metres, and which was commanded by the corps commander personally
20 and three colonels, it would be highly unusual for a communications man,
21 who had not moved anywhere from the Pribicevac Forward Command Post, and
22 who had not personally seen what was going on in Zeleni Jadar, to write
23 all this.
24 What I can assume is the following: When I saw this document a
25 few days ago, I was very surprised to see my name down there. I wish I
1 could see the original telegram. If I saw my own signature, that might
2 be clearer. But when this telegram was received at 9.30 in the evening
3 at the -- at Vlasenica, Vesna Bajnic [phoen], my cryptographer, signed
4 her name here. I was already in the corps at that time. I assume this
5 might have been written by Colonel Vukota who was up there then.
6 Zivanovic would be back at the Corps Command, I assume, because I was
7 always went with him when that operation was ongoing, so there's no logic
8 to my having compiled and signed this document and sent it to the Chief
9 of Staff personally, of all people.
10 Well, that's all I can say about it.
11 Q. Sir, are you doubting the authenticity of the document?
12 A. This document was compiled by someone who put my name to it.
13 That personal probably had a reason, but I don't want to speculate about
14 it. I don't doubt the authenticity of the document, because it did
15 arrive in the Corps Command.
16 Q. This Court and everyone knows that many of the daily combat
17 reports from operations don't get drafted or written by the commander.
18 The commander or the person designated to sending out the report, be they
19 a leader, be they a coms man, be they a senior officer, we know many
20 times will be relying on people that provides information, so isn't that
21 what happened? Someone gave you this information. It went out under
22 your name. You're responsible for that information; right?
23 A. Yes, but I neither saw this information, nor did I compile it,
24 nor did I take any part in its drafting. It doesn't reflect the actual
25 situation that happened there. You certainly know from the statements by
1 UNPROFOR that three "zoljas" were not fired at them then.
2 Q. We'll get into that in a minute, but I am going to agree with you
3 that there's some embellishment going on here, because we've never seen a
4 tank or two APCs in the hands of the Muslims, either, at that point. But
5 we know that soldiers sometime embellish these things.
6 Okay, let's -- you've invited me to the record of UNPROFOR, and
7 an officer in charge at the time, Major Franken, has testified, and let
8 me go over what he said to you in this courtroom, page 2452, on October
9 16th, 2006:
10 "We got a report through Bravo Company, the company that was
11 responsible for the area, that there was some movement in front of OP
12 Echo. The movement proved to be Serb infantry. Then the Serb infantry
13 yelled, used a loudspeaker, to tell the OP that they had to go. They had
14 to withdraw, because the Serbs wanted to come in. B Company asked me
15 permission to do that. I denied that. And then they came under attack,
16 and in the end the Serbs took Echo over and the crew withdrew in the very
17 last moment with my authorisation."
18 And then the question was asked:
19 "And when you mention an attack, what did the attack on the OP
20 consist of, sir?"
21 Answer: "There was about 40 infantry supported by a tank and
22 Tango 5 fighters, the main battle tank and a gun on the edge, the ridge
23 at Zeleni Jadar."
24 "And were there shots actually fired during the attack, sir?"
25 "Yes, absolutely. Yes, yes."
1 "And, what, was there damage to the OP?"
2 "Well, the tower was hit, the observation tower was hit by
3 firing -- the firing main battle tank, and the area was fired at by the
4 gun. It was an anti-aircraft gun standing up there but was used to
5 support the Serb attack."
6 Now, from Mr. Franken's account and from the accounts we've
7 heard, perhaps the cloud of war gets mixed up between a "zolja," a tank,
8 some kind of a Praga, but clearly, sir, does this help refresh your
9 recollection? There were shots fired at this OP, wasn't there?
10 A. A "zolja" and a tank are two very different weapons. When a tank
11 fires, there's thunder on all sides. So this person would probably have
12 written that a tank was used and that tank ammunition was fired, but he
13 only said three "zoljas." To use a "zolja," you have to shoot it from a
14 distance of about 100 metres in order to hit an APC precisely, so that
15 you can see that the testimony of that major and this statement are very
17 In any case, he, as a soldier, would have to give some arguments
18 as to why he withdrew from a position he was supposed to keep, so I
19 understand him. I know why he had to embellish his report, too. But the
20 two reports are different.
21 Q. Yes, I think we can agree that both you and Major Franken are
22 receiving information from those that are being fired at, and I think we
23 can leave it at that, unless you want to make any further comment.
24 Okay, something you said in your direct I've got to ask you
25 about. Page 29490, you were asked by counsel, I believe it was -- well,
1 I don't remember who it was. It was one of the Defence counsel:
2 "Do you know whether the Drina Corps forces had sniper weapons in
3 its armoury?"
4 And you answered:
5 "I often toured the front-lines in the Drina Corps area of
6 responsibility, and believe me when I say that I never saw a single
7 soldier who was issued with a sniper rifle. I like weapons, and that's
8 why I know. Semi-automatic sniper rifles have only ten bullets. You can
9 only fire single shots. And you can talk to any soldier and ask them,
10 and they will tell you that they preferred to have automatic weapons
11 issued to them, and we didn't have such rifles at all in our stocks.
12 Well, there were situations where shots were fired from light
13 machine-guns or semi-automatic rifles, and then when it buzzes past
14 somebody's head, the person assumes he was targeted by a sniper. I know
15 that such assumptions were made on our side, and probably it was done on
16 the other side too."
17 The sniper rifles used by the VRS had a very particular calibre
18 shell, didn't it? Can you tell us what it was?
19 A. The weapons I learned about in the army include a 7.9-millimetre
20 sniper rifle. I'm not sure what year that model came out, and that
21 sniper weapon was issued only to some special units or sabotage platoons,
22 and then only when they were on a special task. The units holding the
23 front around both enclaves, and our units participating in combat where I
24 was, never, in all the four years of the war, had, as far as I was able
25 to see, a soldier issued with a sniper rifle.
1 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4108. I'll try not to spend too much
2 time here. But, sir, as that's coming up, you'll see that it's a 27
3 April 1994 report from the 8th Srebrenica Operations Group Command, and
4 it's an intelligence report. And it says on this second sentence on 26th
5 of April, 1994:
6 "An aggressor sniper aiming from the area of Pajici at the
7 demilitarised zone severely wounded a 17-year-old boy."
8 You didn't get reports like that?
9 A. This is a report which is part of the correspondence between the
10 BH army or, rather, its units. We did not get these reports. It's a
11 report from the then 8th Operations Group of Srebrenica, which they were
12 sending to the Command of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla; that is, the army in
13 Srebrenica was informing its corps in Tuzla about something that happened
14 on that day and about a boy who was hit by a bullet and who was severely
16 Q. I apologise. My question was imprecise. I didn't think, unless
17 you intercepted this, that you would have received it, but would you
18 have -- wouldn't you have known that forces were, you know, sniping at
19 civilians in Srebrenica on this period?
20 A. No, and we couldn't have intercepted this conversation
21 either - you asked me that - because at that time the 28th Division in
22 Srebrenica already had devices for compressed and secret transmission.
23 This was transported by UNPROFOR or some other civilian organisation
24 bringing in supplies to Srebrenica, and in that period it was already
25 very difficult for us to intercept their communications because they had
1 devices for compressed transmission and we were unable to goniometer that
2 and listen in.
3 Q. Okay. I've got two more similar documents to show you. 4D00134,
4 this is the same kind of a thing. It's a Muslim report from the 28th
5 Division to their Command in 2nd Corps, and there's just another report
6 here, that on June 10th, 1995
7 down, but I don't think it really important to actually read it. But
8 it's on 10 June 1995
9 in D. Polje, the area of responsibility of the 280th Brigade."
10 And then if we go to 65 ter 4109, another report 3 July 1995,
11 this is another intelligence report getting closer to our time, we see on
12 the topic: "The Aggressor."
13 "Chetniks are still carrying out reconnaissance in force of our
14 forward defence lines and shooting fiercely with infantry and
15 anti-aircraft weapons at all defence lines of the 28th Ground Army
16 Division and civilian facilities. Particularly fierce sniper fire is
17 coming from the direction of Buljim, trig point 820, Zeleni Jadar and
18 Zaledje area, where a woman was killed by sniper fire yesterday."
19 So the 3rd of July, I guess that's right before you got to
20 Pribicevac, so perhaps you didn't hear about this, that you were -- that
21 the VRS is allegedly engaged in serious sniper fire as a prelude to the
22 major attack. So did you know, right before you got there, that there
23 was sniper fire going on into the enclave, early July 1995?
24 A. No, and I've already told you about that. A good sniper with an
25 ordinary rifle can hit a target at 700 to 800 metres; a marksman, I'm
1 sorry. Now, I don't contest the facts of this report, but what I'm
2 saying is that this did not happen with a sniper weapon, because we
3 didn't have any, or very few of them, and I've talked about that, just as
4 I claim that our side, in some of our reports, would say that the enemy
5 used sniper fire to attack us, although we officers knew that the enemy
6 didn't have sniper rifles either. But as soon as it was an individual
7 shot, then everybody automatically concluded that it was sniper fire, and
8 if there was a burst of gunfire, then it would be assumed that this was
9 from a rifle. But there are rifles that can shoot single bullets, too,
10 without it being called "sniper fire." I discussed this and talked about
11 it, and I stand by what I said.
12 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4094. I'm going to go over a few more
13 documents, and maybe you might agree with me that you made a mistake on
14 this point. But let's see what I can show you.
15 What we found is a programme for a sniper course for the VRS for
16 1995, and it came out of the -- the first page, you can see, is entitled
17 "The Republika Srpska Army, Main Staff." I'm not going to go through all
18 of it. It's basically an outline for the -- I think for the corps, on
19 how to set up a good sniper training course. And were you aware that
20 they had plans for sniper training in 1995 from the Main Staff?
21 A. Sometime towards the end of the war in the Drinjaca Training
22 Centre or Kozluk, it says "Drinjaca" here, but anyway that was -- well,
23 could I look at the whole document, please? Maybe I would be able to
24 comment on it better then.
25 Q. Just -- you can flip through it and ignore -- there is some
1 highlighted stuff. I don't remember why I did that, but ...
2 And perhaps you can flip through it slowly so people can see what
3 the witness is seeing; just the rough outline of a course, basically
4 instructions on how to run such a course. I really don't have any other
5 questions about this, just about your general knowledge of whether there
6 was such a course.
7 A. Do you happen to have here what period of time this was in 1995,
8 because this is just a programme for a sniper course of the VRS which
9 somebody compiled as a document, set it down on paper. It doesn't
10 actually deal with the execution of it, how many participants, where and
11 when. This is just a theoretical programme compiled at some time in
12 1995. It's not clear when. The war was over in 1995. But, anyway, it
13 was derived from the Main Staff. Now, by the time it went down to the
14 corps and the corps devised their own plan, that would make it 1996.
15 So do you have anything more precise, because there's no date on
17 Q. Well, that's why I asked you the question. Do you remember a
18 sniper course?
19 A. According to what you gave me here, this does not deal at all
20 with any sniper courses. Had they been put into practice, had they been
21 held in some relevant time of 1995, it doesn't say that. This is just a
22 programme which the Main Staff devised --
23 Q. I understand that. That's why I'm asking you. You were into
24 weapons and sniper stuff. Do you remember did the Drina Corps develop a
25 sniper course? It's a simple question, because I agree with you, it's
1 just the Main Staff layout on how to conduct -- you know, we had how to
2 conduct the takedown of the UN, and now we have how to conduct a sniper
4 A. No. At the beginning of 1996, I was already the brigade
5 commander in Sehovici, which is possibly when this plan/programme should
6 have been elaborated further down at the level of the Drina Corps, and I
7 don't remember I sent any of my soldiers for sniper training, and
8 certainly it didn't come into effect in 1995, which means it didn't
9 earlier on either. So my answer to that question is "no."
10 Q. Okay. And this came out of the Main Staff. This is a training
11 document, isn't it? This would have come out under the Administration
12 for Operations and Training?
13 A. Yes, they would deal with training.
14 Q. And who was the man in charge of the --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 Mr. Petrusic.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Prosecutor tell us the
18 time period for this document?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: The front page, 1995.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think the witness, himself, looks at this
22 document on the basis that it was formulated possibly in 1995, and then
23 he did mention its possible implementation in 1996, because it couldn't
24 have been earlier. That's how I understood the witness earlier on. I
25 mean, if the witness wishes to correct me or correct even Mr. McCloskey,
1 he's free to do so, but I see him nodding.
2 Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] If we're dealing with 1996, then
4 how is it relevant?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You can perhaps -- either you deal with this, if
6 you wish, or else, Mr. Petrusic, on re-examination you can cover this.
7 But the witness, I think, explained where 1996 would fit in, because
8 according to him there was no way it could have been implemented in 1995,
9 although it could have been drawn up in 1995.
10 But, anyway, I mean, I don't want to waste time on this. Please,
11 Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. So, sir, who was the man in charge of the Main Staff
14 Administration for Operations and Training, the chief of the Operations
15 and Training Administration of the Main Staff in 1995?
16 A. I don't know exactly, because the formation of the Main Staff
17 differed from the formation and establishment of the corps and brigades.
18 All I know is that some people who worked -- I know some people who
19 worked there. Now, whether they were sectors or departments or what,
20 anyway, corps establishment differs from staff establishment, so I don't
21 have that information to hand just now.
22 Q. Could it have been General Miletic?
23 A. With respect to those operative matters, I know that in that
24 administration, or department, or sector, whatever it was called - I
25 don't know the exact title - there was General Obradovic,
1 General Miletic, Trkulja, and perhaps some five or six other officers who
2 dealt with that area of activity.
3 Q. Sir, in the corps and in the brigade, the branch is called
4 "Operations and Training." It's always under the Chief of Staff. It has
5 a boss. In this case, it was General Miletic. You know that; right?
6 A. No. There was sectors up there at the Main Staff. We say "up
7 there" because it was Han Pijesak. There were sectors up there. Now,
8 who occupied what duties and posts within the sectors, I really can't
9 say, I don't know, because I went to the Main Staff on rare occasions.
10 Q. Okay. Let's go on. Let's look at 65 ter number 230. This is a
11 document that the Court has seen. It's been around for a while. Let me
12 give you the whole thing, and hand me back that other stuff so we don't
13 get all mixed up.
14 Now, this is a report that all the brigades had to send up to the
15 corps. This is particularly from the Bratunac Brigade, and it's for the
16 first half of 1995, basically 1 January through June 30, 1995. And it
17 talks about a lot of things, but let me go through it chronologically and
18 get your comments.
19 Page 9 of the English, it should be page 27 in your issue, and
20 this is entitled "Inventory of Ammunition and Ordnance on 30 June 1995
21 Have you got to page 27? There's a --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. So in this inventory, we go down to number 8, and it says:
24 "Bullet, 7.9 millimetre for sniper." And the Serbian uses basically the
25 same word. It just spells it properly, S-N-A-J-P-E-R. So if they don't
1 have any sniper rifles, what are they doing with 1.350 sniper bullets in
2 their inventory?
3 A. Well, they have it in the inventory in the depot, the warehouse.
4 You see that this is the warehouse, the depot. They're not up at their
5 combat position.
6 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next page. This is entitled: "Inventory
7 of Ammunition and Ordnance Received in the Warehouse." It's page 25 on
9 A. Yes, that's what I'm saying. That's what I've just been saying.
10 Q. So here's -- number 6 is 1.905 pieces in the warehouse. Then we
11 go down: "Issued from the warehouse." Now, "Issued from the warehouse,"
12 sort of speaks for itself. Who's the warehouse issuing this ammunition
14 A. It doesn't say who it was issued to and when it was issued, for
15 what requirements, to what unit and so on. This is some internal record,
16 and I assume that the assistant commander for the rear of the Bratunac
17 Brigade compiled this, because this was an opportunity for him, in a
18 six-month period, to make his own records and to have a review and
19 inventory. And probably for the people in the warehouse, they provided
20 him with the information of what the stock was.
21 Q. Well, can a 7.9 millimetre sniper bullet be used in another
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Which one?
25 A. The M-48 rifle. It's the same calibre, 7.9.
1 Q. Do you know what happens to the gun when you shoot a sniper
2 bullet in it?
3 A. Well, we used that -- the people in charge of warehouses used
4 rifles like that, for example, the security for warehouses, and we tried
5 to have the automatic weapons up at the combat positions.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: One more question --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The security guards used that kind
8 of rifle.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: [Previous translation continues]... and we'll be
10 done, Your Honour.
11 Q. Now, same thing, but let's go to, let's see page 13 in the B/C/S,
12 19 in the English, and this is the section on training. And it's annex
13 number 1, and it says: "Realisation of training and participation in
14 courses during the first half of 1995." Number 7: "Sniper training.
15 Place, Bratunac and Bjelovar. Number of candidates, 13. Number of days,
16 seven. Remarks, accomplished."
17 So in the first half of 1995, Blagojevic is reporting to the
18 Drina Corps that 13 of his guys have taken a seven-day course in sniper
19 training and have accomplished that course; correct?
20 A. Possibly, if he wrote that there, although, quite sincerely, I
21 have experience with this -- these analyses of combat readiness. I wrote
22 things like that myself. And during the war they were a big problem,
23 because you had to find the time to write all this down, have all these
24 papers and documents, whereas you were facing a difficult situation, so
25 you gave an operative the task of doing this and seeing that everything
1 was in order and to satisfy the form. So possibly he might have
2 conducted some sort of course, but this does not mean he had any weapons
3 or anything like that, semi-automatic rifles, and that they were
4 distributed up at the positions around the enclaves, and that they fired
5 from those positions.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe we better take the break.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll have a 25-minute break. That means
8 that we'll resume at 1.00. Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay, thank you, Mr. President.
13 Could we go to 65 ter number 4091.
14 Q. Okay. Colonel, we've -- you've been explaining about the
15 bullets. You're explaining about the courses. Now let me show you a
16 1994 document from the Bratunac Brigade, dated 10 July, and it's entitled
17 "Status of Sniper Rifles, Silencers, Reconnaissance, Radars, and Infrared
18 Binoculars." And you'll see, as you look at it under Roman numeral II:
19 "Sniper rifle, 7.9-millimetre, PAP." And it lists a bunch of people; 17,
20 as a matter of fact. And this is a listing of the people who have been
21 assigned sniper rifles, isn't it, some with scopes, some without scopes?
22 A. Yes, that is a review. I read through it.
23 Q. So now we have some 17 men who have been issued these sniper
24 rifles, and we've seen all the bullets, we've seen the training. Are you
25 ready to agree with me now that Bratunac Brigade had sniper rifles,
1 bullets to fire them, and received training by July 1995 on how to use
3 A. There are slight imprecisions. For example, 6, it says in the
4 warehouse, two pieces. Now -- of the 1st Infantry Battalion warehouse,
5 that is. So these aren't all the names of the people individually. And
6 number 18, for example, says "Warehouse," too. So I stand by what I
7 said; that in those areas, and we're talking about the Srebrenica
8 enclave, I never saw soldiers being issued sniper rifles or having
9 snipers among their weapons. And specifically here you can see that you
10 have snipers in warehouses according to battalions. Had the goal been to
11 effect sniper fire, they would have issued the soldiers with the snipers
12 from the warehouse.
13 Now, if we talk about the Sarajevo battle front, where the lines
14 were less than 100 metres apart, I would agree with your thesis. But,
15 however, in Srebrenica, where the trenches were several hundred metres
16 apart and where the population lived behind those trenches on both sides,
17 then that weaponry would not have had any sense or effect, because they
18 were large distances that would have to have been targeted. So I never
19 saw anybody hold a sniper over there, and that's what I said before.
20 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4093. This is an 18 June 1995 report
21 from the Command of the Bratunac Brigade, in the name of its commander,
22 Blagojevic. It's a regular combat report. Under "Logistical Supply,"
23 you'll see in 5 that under "Expenditure," 150 bullets had been expended,
24 sniper bullets. So despite everything you've seen in the records, you're
25 still suggesting they're not firing sniper shells?
1 A. Perhaps it would be a good idea to take a look at the course
2 organised by the Bratunac Brigade, if it was indeed organised and
3 implemented, and then to see whether, for their purposes, these 150
4 bullets might have been used, because I really wouldn't like to
5 speculate. It does, indeed, say here that expenditure was 150 pieces.
6 Now, whether that was expenditure on that particular day, that seems to
7 me to be unbelievable, because if you find two more reports like that
8 over four years, that sniper bullets to this number were used, I
9 personally don't believe that. And if 150 bullets could have been fired
10 on that day, then there must have been shooting every day. So I don't
11 want to speculate whether the expenditure was for that, or for the
12 course, or whatever.
13 Q. Well, let's not speculate what those 17 guys -- how many shots
14 they were firing. Let's hope that was training.
15 But let's go to 65 ter 4098, an 8 July report from the
16 Drina Corps, Lazar Ocamovic [phoen]. It's to the Main Staff and the rear
17 command post and the technical department:
18 "We're sending you the report on the consumption of ammunition
19 and explosives for 1 June through 30 June." So we've got one month for
20 the Drina Corps, 7.9 millimetre for sniper, 1.825. That's consumed,
21 that's fired, that's shot.
22 Are you telling us right now that you still don't believe any
23 Drina Corps units fired any shots at the enclaves?
24 A. I claimed from the very beginning that I never saw any of the
25 units who held the front towards the enclaves, that their soldiers at
1 those positions had any snipers, any sniper rifles. That's what I said,
2 and I explained that and said that from the tactics of using that kind of
3 weaponry, it was a very great distance to the target and a sniper would
4 not be effective as it would have been in the Sarajevo area.
5 Now, in this same report under "1," you have that 25 pieces are
6 pistol ammunition, 7.65 millimetres, the small pistols were used, and
7 7.62 millimetres, also a pistol bullet, 3.830 pieces. Now, I can place a
8 bet that on that day never -- nobody ever shot from either that pistol or
9 that other weapon, but that that person in the rear wanted to tell the
10 person in logistics in the Main Staff to draw their attention to what
11 ammunitions they needed in the warehouse that they lacked. So this
12 largely refers to all the rest of the ammunition that was needed, the
13 supplies of which were needed, and so on.
14 So my knowledge is this: To say that I didn't see any snipers
15 over there, I didn't see any soldiers being issued snipers, and I
16 explained that as far as I was concerned, it was logical that that should
17 be the case or should not be the case, because weapons of that kind would
18 not have proved effective, given the distance of the target.
19 Q. Sir, I'm sure you recall testifying that you said that the
20 Drina Corps didn't even have such weapons in their stocks, so I don't
21 want to argue with you about it, but let's go to the last document on
22 this one, 65 ter 4099.
23 Do you wish to withdraw your statement under oath that the
24 Drina Corps did not have any sniper rifles in their stocks?
25 A. Can you quote this to me from the transcript?
1 Q. I could, but I'm not going to, because I don't know where it is.
2 I'm sorry. But you, I'm sure, remember it.
3 A. I certainly didn't say they did not have this. I said I did not
4 see the units around the enclave that the soldiers who were there had
5 sniper weapons. I simply did not see that any of the soldiers there were
6 issued with such weapons, whether the Drina Corps had such weapons in the
7 depots and whether it actually issued those weapons to someone, I don't
8 know. I didn't see. I was concentrating only on the units around the
9 enclave, focusing on what I, myself, saw during my frequent visits there,
10 my frequent sojourns there.
11 Q. Page 29491, "Semi-automatic sniper rifles have only ten bullets.
12 You can only fire single shots, and you can talk to any soldier and ask
13 them, and they will tell you that they prefer to have automatic weapons
14 issued to them, and we didn't have such rifles at all in our stocks."
15 My question is: Do you wish to withdraw that statement now that
16 I've shown you these documents and we've seen these sniper rifles?
17 A. I abide by that, because the units manning the positions did not
18 have such weapons, such rifles. That I saw with my own eyes.
19 Q. Well, we can look at 65 ter 4099. This is the Milici Brigade.
20 According to this, on November 12 they had 17 sniper rifles. They were
21 also around the enclave. Do you want to go to the Skelani Battalion as
22 well? We don't have time and I'm not going to go there, but do you want
23 to change what you've said?
24 A. No, I don't want to change what I've said, but I ask you for a
25 little patience. I have to see the document in its entirety to see what
1 it is, actually. I don't see the end of this document. This is simply a
2 list of all the weapons of the Milici Brigade, but where each particular
3 weapon was, that's a different question. This is an inventory of all the
4 weapons they had.
5 Q. Okay. I think we can go on to another topic.
6 You talked a bit about the Krivaja 95 attack plan and its
7 objectives, and will you agree with me that one of the objectives of the
8 attack of Krivaja 95 was to create conditions for the elimination of the
9 enclaves, Srebrenica in particular?
10 A. What I knew personally, without looking at any documents, because
11 I didn't receive any such documents, I only received communications
12 documents, those were the only documents available to me in the relevant
13 period, is that the units of the Drina Corps had the task of sealing off
14 the enclave and prevent communication between the two enclaves of
15 Srebrenica and Zepa, and also prevent incursions from those enclaves into
16 the depth of our territory, as well as communications between their small
17 armed groups with Tuzla
18 Q. Was one of the objectives to create the conditions for the
19 elimination of the enclaves, Srebrenica in particular?
20 A. I didn't know that then.
21 Q. Do you know it now?
22 A. The actual situation developed in such a way that the Muslim
23 units in those two enclaves suffered the military defeat, after which
24 there was deportation of the population and the other things that were
1 Q. I understand that, but that doesn't come close to answering my
2 question. Do you know now, from any source, that one of the objectives
3 of the Krivaja 95 plan was to create conditions for the elimination of
4 the Srebrenica enclave?
5 A. I have had occasion here to read some documents which contain
6 that phrase or sentence, "to create the conditions for the elimination of
7 the enclave," but in the relevant period, until I saw those documents, I
8 did not know of the existence of that sentence there.
9 Q. Okay. And we can all agree that this was on the Krivaja 95 plan
10 65 ter 107, page 3 in the English, under "Objective," page 2 in B/C/S,
11 and so I think we can save a little time on that.
12 Now, you've testified that you packed up the coms van at the
13 Forward Command Post in the early evening hours of 11 July. I think you
14 made that very clear. It's the position of the Prosecutor now, as it was
15 when Mr. Harmon cross-examined you, as I'm sure you remember many years
16 ago, that that's wrong; that the coms van and people left on the
17 afternoon of 12 July. And you've also testified that you had a
18 meeting -- or that you were at the meeting where Mladic said that you
19 would go to Zepa with Vinko Pandurevic, Krstic and others. It's the
20 position of the Prosecution that you are wrong on that point; that that
21 meeting did, in fact, occur, and it happened on the 12th of July, that
22 you were in Bratunac on the 12th of July.
23 Now, you've also testified previously that when you testified for
24 General Krstic, that you felt General Krstic became commander after he
25 came back from the party at the Jela Restaurant. Now, it's the position
1 of the Prosecution, and I don't think it's contested at this trial, that
2 General Krstic became commander of the Drina Corps in a small ceremony
3 informally held in Vlasenica at the Command, with several people, where
4 General Mladic announced to the Drina Corps that Zivanovic was leaving
5 and General Krstic was to become the commander. This was a significant
6 issue at the Krstic trial, and it's our position that he became commander
7 on the 13th of July at that meeting.
8 Now, sir, let's go over some of the documents. I'm sure you'll
9 recall some of the documents that Mr. Harmon --
10 A. Mr. President, may I have a little time to respond to these three
11 accusations by the Prosecutor?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: As much as you like, Mr. Jevdjevic.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to deal with three
14 statements put forward by the Prosecutor, analysing what I stated in
15 relation to what the Prosecutor is staying.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
17 Q. And so you know, Colonel, many of the documents that you've
18 discussed when you testified previously, I will have for you to see, so
19 you'll be able to talk about them, as well as your initial comments to
20 me. I meant that to you to let you know where I was going with the
21 documents and what our position was. But you're of course always able to
22 respond to my statements that I'm required to give to you.
23 A. I will avail myself of His Honour's leave to respond.
24 First, it is not clear to me by any means that in the statement
25 that I gave in April 2000 to your investigator in Banja Luka, under some
1 highly irregular circumstances, up to my testimony in 2001 before this
2 Tribunal, as well as my testimony last week, how anyone can say that I,
3 with my soldiers and equipment, did not leave Pribicevac on the 11th,
4 that I didn't go along the way I said I had gone along, and that I did
5 not see what I saw, and that I did not attend the meeting in the evening
6 in the Command of the Bratunac Brigade on that day, the 11th. Some
7 things I said before this Court that I remember or that I assume, but the
8 things I have just mentioned are things I know and remember very well.
9 I remember my departure from the Forward Command Post on the
10 11th, when it ceased to exist because the communications centre there
11 ceased to exist, and the meeting held by General Mladic on the evening of
12 the 11th in the barracks of the Bratunac Brigade, exactly as I testified,
13 and I fail to comprehend how, after so many years of dealing with this
14 topic, someone can still maintain that this was not the case.
15 As regards the hand-over of duty between General Krstic and
16 General Zivanovic. On the 12th, I went to the Zepa Forward Command Post.
17 There was a meeting there in the evening of the 13th, when General Mladic
18 lined up a few men, as you said, and conveyed to them information that
19 General Krstic would be the new corps commander and Colonel Andric the
20 new Chief of Staff.
21 I was already at the Zepa Forward Command Post at that time, and
22 I did not have this information. I received this information secondhand.
23 Someone simply told me about this, as a soldier -- and also I did not
24 have occasion to see the documents I have seen here over the past few
25 days, informing the units of this hand-over.
1 As a soldier, I failed to comprehend how, on the 13th of July,
2 when the Drina Corps was probably carrying out the most unusual combat
3 activities in the course of its entire existence, someone could replace
4 the corps commander not as punishment and not as a promotion, because it
5 was quite logical that while the Stupcanica operation was ongoing and
6 there was major fighting with an enemy column breaking through from
7 Srebrenica, it would be quite logical for the corps commander to sit in
8 Vlasenica and coordinate these two extremely difficult operations. It is
9 highly illogical that General Krstic, the corps commander, and his Chief
10 of Staff, Colonel Andric, should in this period be at Zepa, that Andric
11 should be leading his hundred men as Chief of Staff, and respond out of
12 breath on the communications line when Colonel Trivic was wounded, and so
13 on and so forth.
14 During this trial, I have had occasion to see certain documents
15 which show beyond doubt that there actually was a hand-over of duty at
16 that time. But as it is a rule in the army that when a decree from the
17 president of the republic arrives about the hand-over of duties in the
18 corps, the Main Staff writes an order and sets a seven day time period
19 for the hand-over to be carried out. After that, a record has to be made
20 of that hand-over of duty, and based on that record and that date, all
21 the legal matters and all the powers and entitlements and benefits of the
22 corps commander start running.
23 So this is how I'm interpreting that situation. Thank you very
24 much, Mr. President.
25 Q. Colonel, there's one more point that I should give you a chance.
1 You'll probably want to explain as well. It's the Prosecution position
2 that you could not have travelled through Potocari from Srebrenica on the
3 evening of 11th of July freely, because you would have had to pass
4 through a Dutch barricade, through thousands of Muslims who would have
5 been quite upset at that point, as they were the next day when the Serbs
6 arrived. So that's another point that is part of the Prosecution's case
7 that we differ with you on.
8 A. Every UNPROFOR barricade and all their duties in that connection
9 ceased on the 10th and the 11th. I passed through Potocari along the
10 only road leading from Srebrenica towards Bratunac, and that was my
11 assessment of the situation.
12 Last Sunday -- last week, that is, I won't repeat myself, I said
13 I saw several thousand civilians, that UNPROFOR was concentrated in small
14 groups among the civilians, but for the most part in their base. And to
15 avoid repeating what I've already said, I abide by every word I said in
16 this connection.
17 Q. All right. Well, let's go through some of the documents on these
18 topics, and you can hear my questions and you'll be able to give your
19 responses. And I'll try to be brief, and if you can try to be brief and
20 to the point, I think it will be clearer for everyone.
21 Can you tell me, because I think you changed slightly in your
22 testimony, what time do you think you actually left Pribicevac with the
23 van, the coms van?
24 A. I don't know what you mean by saying that I slightly changed my
25 testimony. I think you should explain to me, because I don't want to
1 prejudge anything you may have in mind.
2 As regards the communications centre at Pribicevac, I packed up
3 before nightfall, at around 1900 hours, and set out towards Bratunac.
4 And I stated that to your investigator eight years ago in Banja Luka
5 tried to persuade me for an hour that that had not been the case.
6 Q. So just so it's clear, what time did you actually start driving
7 out of Pribicevac? I understood you packed up at 1900 hours, but what
8 time did you actually start leaving, roughly, as close as you can get?
9 A. Around that time. I can't be precise, but I know that I passed
10 through Potocari just as it was getting dark, at dusk, twilight. That's
11 sometime between 8.30 to 8.45 or 9.00 p.m. So I needed about an hour
12 from Pribicevac to Potocari. Calculating back, it would have been a
13 quarter past 8.00 or 8.30, something like that.
14 Q. And how many vehicles went with you?
15 A. It was just my vehicle.
16 Q. Can you describe that vehicle?
17 A. The vehicle we used is a TAM
19 to establishment, and in that container we had the equipment
20 indispensable for communications. And two or three of my men were in
21 that cabin in the back, and I was in front, sitting next to the driver.
22 Next to me was in a place where there is no seat, but only the hood of
23 the motor, my sergeant was sitting there. He was sitting between the
24 driver and me. And I know the names of the drivers and the sergeant, and
25 we used that vehicle to go from Pribicevac when we had packed up all the
1 equipment and all the aerials into that vehicle.
2 Q. And how many men from your unit did you have with you at
3 Pribicevac that last day?
4 A. It was a small communications unit, between four and six men.
5 Q. Can you tell me the names of the men you remember?
6 A. Momir Bakmas [phoen]; he was my sergeant. He's still in the
7 armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Veljko Vukosaljevic [phoen], the
8 driver; Selso Kolovic [phoen] or Sokolac; Mirko Pakalovic [phoen], from
9 the village of Sekotin [phoen], Vlasenica; Oliver Sekulic from Sokolac,
10 he was the cryptographer. And along with those four, I think that squad
11 included two other soldiers from my Communications Battalion, but I don't
12 remember their names. But those four almost always went with me
13 everywhere, and that's why I remember them very well.
14 Q. Did all those people that you just named leave with you the
15 evening of the 11th or did some remain behind?
16 A. No one stayed behind at Pribicevac.
17 Q. So they all fit in this big vehicle and the container or did they
18 have another vehicle?
19 A. We didn't have any other vehicles. We all used that vehicle.
20 The only thing I don't remember well, I think one or two of them were
21 natives of Bratunac, and I don't know whether they stayed behind that
22 evening to visit their parents. But we all used that vehicle. That was
23 the only vehicle with which we participated in the Srebrenica operation.
24 Q. Did you leave a teletype machine back there or any radio
25 equipment to receive messages?
1 A. No, no. At Pribicevac, there had been, since 1994, at the
2 disposal of Colonel Vukota, a teleprinter and an encryption device, but
3 we who arrived from Vlasenica packed up what we had brought with us, and
4 we left the Forward Command Post on the 11th.
5 Q. And did Mr. Sekulic go with you; you're sure?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. And about what time did you get to the Bratunac Brigade?
8 A. I arrived at the Bratunac Brigade, and it was already completely
9 dark. I think it was probably after 9.00 p.m. It was sometime between
10 9.00 and 9.30. Perhaps a quarter past 9.00.
11 Q. And what time was it when you first saw General Krstic or
12 General Mladic?
13 A. I saw General Krstic before the meeting started. I first saw my
14 communications man who was in a jeep, constantly accompanying
15 General Krstic, and he was carrying General Krstic's mobile
16 communications device towards -- used to communicate with the units
17 participating in the Krivaja operation. I asked him whether he had had
18 any problems, whether General Krstic had asked about me and so on. And
19 as there hadn't been any problems, I probably met General Krstic between
20 9.30 and 10.00, according to my rough estimation, simply to tell him that
21 I had packed up the communications equipment and that I and my signalsmen
22 were now in the compound of the Bratunac barracks.
23 Q. And when did you first see Mladic when you got back -- or when
24 you got, excuse me, to Bratunac?
25 A. I saw General Mladic for the first time when the meeting started
1 in the brigade command.
2 Q. About what time was that?
3 A. In my estimation, that meeting had to begin at around 2200 hours,
4 around 2200 hours.
5 Q. Sir, it's the position of the Prosecutor that on the evening of
6 the 11th of July, the VRS was not really sure where the Muslim 28th
7 Division was. They could have been heading en masse towards Zepa. They
8 could have been going towards Tuzla
9 hills. Can you tell us, sir - just one last question - how was it that
10 with that being the situation and the backdrop, you were able to pick up
11 the coms people and van and leave without any orders to do so, as you've
13 A. We had information that already on the 10th of July, after our
14 counter-attack and retaking of the Zivkovo Brdo elevation, every
15 organised resistance of the enemy had ceased. And on the 11th, after the
16 bombing, we had precise information that the 28th Division was grouping
17 in the northwestern part of the enclave; that is, the area between
18 Srebrenica and Konjevic Polje and Kasaba, and that there were indications
19 that a smaller part had the intention of breaking through towards Zepa.
20 This was information we had from intelligence listening in to the
21 communications of the 28th Division, because at the Pribicevac Forward
22 Command Post we had a squad from the 4th Radio Reconnaissance Platoon of
23 the Drina Corps listening in to the communications of the 28th Division.
24 When you are dealing with communications, at any point you can
25 evaluate up to where the units have reached and how the combat
1 disposition is moving forward, how it's advancing. Command posts move
2 forward in leaps and bounds.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have to quit now, because if we don't leave
4 now, the next trial will be delayed. So you'll be able to finish that
5 question and add anything you need to it, so we'll start again.
6 Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Thank you,
8 Mr. Jevdjevic.
9 We'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day of
12 December, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.