1 Friday, 16 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, good morning to you, could
7 you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All the accused are present.
11 Prosecution today is Mr. Thayer and Mr. Vanderpuye. And Defence teams I
12 only notice the absence of Mr. Nikolic. All right. I think we can
13 start. The witness is here.
14 Good morning to you, General.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome. Ms. Fauveau will be concluding her
17 examination-in-chief and then we see where we go from there.
18 WITNESS: SLOBODAN KOSOVAC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Ms. Fauveau: [Continued]
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5D954.
22 This is a report, a logistic report of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 about Srebrenica on the 25th of May, 1994, which indicates the coming of
24 food for the brigade of the GO Srebrenica. Could page 2 in B/C/S be
25 displayed, please, and for English it's at the end of page 1, at the
1 bottom of page 1. Could we see page 2 in B/C/S, please, at the bottom of
2 the page.
3 At the bottom of this chart where you can see the food stuffs
4 which the 8th group of Srebrenica obtained, one can see that all the
5 items, food stuffs, were coming from the humanitarian aid and supplied by
7 Q. What are the possible consequences when an army uses humanitarian
8 aid? What are the possible consequences when this aid goes to the
9 territory of the other party?
10 A. This is an operative document of the 28th Division. It shows the
11 situation regarding the food supplies, the quantities as shown, as well
12 as how many days they were expected to last. You can see that the only
13 source of supplies for the 28th Division was in fact humanitarian aid.
14 This is something that the Army Republika Srpska knew, they knew that the
15 28th Divisions only logistical assistance was coming through humanitarian
17 This fact also indicates that humanitarian aid quantities were
18 being closely monitored in terms of the population. The citizens who
19 were the real addressees of this humanitarian aid.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5D1351.
21 And more specifically, page 7 in the B/C/S text and page 13 and 14 for
22 the English text. Excuse me, the page just before.
23 Q. Can you see item 9.4. This item mentioned tasks for the
24 administration for logistics of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and under
25 9.4 we can see that the coordination and cooperation with international
1 humanitarian organisations in order to secure medicines and medical stuff
2 and food for the needs of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 The cooperation of international humanitarian organisations with
4 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did it have an effect on the relations of
5 the Army of the Republika Srpska towards humanitarian organisations?
6 A. It is certainly true that the cooperation of various humanitarian
7 organisations with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina looked very much like
8 actual logistical assistance being provided to the army. It was
9 significantly affecting the reservations expressed by Republika Srpska
10 and the Army Republika Srpska about the real humanitarian objectives of
11 these organisations.
12 If we look at item 9.4, that talks about international
13 humanitarian organisations and their coordination in terms of securing
14 logistical support for the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. What I would like
15 to say is that item or paragraph 9.1 also indicates this in a certain way
16 because 9.1 talks about the distribution of mines and explosives, and we
17 all know that at the time there was a blockade on and no weapons, mines,
18 or explosives were coming through to that particular sector of the front.
19 This is also about the various aspects of cooperation.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5D777.
21 It's a document from the Army of Republika Srpska of the 18th of June,
23 Q. In the middle of the page you can see a paragraph in which the
24 staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska informs its subordinate units
25 about the activities and intelligence, intelligence activities, in which
1 certain members of the UNHCR were acting. The fact of having such
2 information, did it have any influence on the authorisation of passage
3 granted to convoys, for convoys? Did this fact have an influence on the
4 authorisations? Did this fact -- could this fact have an influence on
5 the authorisations?
6 A. Certainly. The fact that humanitarian aid was being misused, or
7 rather, used to revitalise and resupply the enemy could have led to it
8 slowing down or stopping humanitarian aid all together until such time as
9 it could be checked. If we look at this document, we see that a
10 distribution of supplies was allowed but not ordered. There was an order
11 to step up control and this was necessary. Units of the Army of
12 Republika Srpska were warned about the fact that their behaviour towards
13 members of these international humanitarian organisations are to be
14 dignified instead of arrogant, which tell us about their general attitude
15 to humanitarian aid. And there was also a specific caution that was
16 issued to the effect that the reporting itself had to be more detailed
17 and more careful in terms of how humanitarian aid was being distributed.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5D1362.
19 This comes from the 28th Division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the army, of
20 the 26th of April, 1995.
21 Q. Please have a look at the last paragraph which shows that the
22 translator who was working for Medecins Sans Frontieres at Srebrenica
23 communicated to the intelligence office of the 28th Division in
24 Srebrenica certain informations.
25 Does the activity of the interpreter of Medecins Sans Frontieres
1 at Srebrenica confirm the activities of intelligence of certain members
2 of the humanitarian organisations, international humanitarian
4 A. The activities of this interpreter would seem to indicate that
5 the international humanitarian organisations were being misused or used
6 for the purposes of intelligence of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 These activities were carefully planned and they were aimed at specific
8 goals. It is by no means an error that this was recorded here. It
9 wasn't meant to lead to confusion. This was meant to obtain information.
10 This system was functioning and it was carefully laid out.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
12 be asked to not place his hand in front of his mouth when he gives his
13 answer. Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: General. General, when you are giving your answers
15 sometimes you put your hands in front of your mouth. This is
16 interrupting the flow of your words in the direction of the microphone
17 and the interpreters are having problems, so if you could kindly remove
18 your hands from in front of your mouth when you talk. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, I apologise.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] And finally I would like the
21 witness be shown two documents concerning the activities of members of
22 UNPROFOR. The first is 5D1367. This is a document from the security
23 service, State Security Service of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gorazde, dated 17
24 June, 1995.
25 Q. Please read this document, which is rather brief, and then I'll
1 show you the next document to ask you a question concerning both
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
4 document 5D1369.
5 THE WITNESS: It's fine.
6 Q. What is your conclusion concerning the activities of members of
7 UNPROFOR which are described in these two documents?
8 A. These two documents indicate that there was a system of
9 intelligence exchanged between UNPROFOR and the BH Army. The simplest
10 method of cooperation between intelligence bodies is forwarding
11 information. Forwarding unprocessed information, specifically. One can
12 see that this system of exchange or cooperation was perfected. This is
13 not just about forwarding or submitting information. This is also about
14 checking information and this is key when you are trying to verify a
15 piece of information. They are here checking information through the
16 contact with Colonel --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
18 THE WITNESS: -- on the other hand, there was the channel that
19 was designed from the most high ranking officers of the UNPROFOR, General
20 Sweet [phoen] in this case, having a reliable access to the other side in
21 disguise as it were. One can see that the UNPROFOR people knew very well
22 what the situation was in Srebrenica, and this confirms what I said in my
23 expert report that the situation was closely monitored and well known.
24 Q. What consequences and what activities of the members of the
25 UNPROFOR could have had on the members of the UNPROFOR and Republika
1 Srpska? Which consequences this behaviour could have had on the
2 relations between the UNPROFOR and the Army of Republika Srpska?
3 A. This kind of behaviour could easily have led to a total
4 communications breakdown or overall communications to be checked.
5 Nevertheless, when one looks at all these documents, the Army of
6 Republika Srpska was merely stepping up control. Sometimes they would
7 send protest notes just to make public the fact that they were perfectly
8 aware of what was being done and who was doing what.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm done, thank you very much.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Ms. Fauveau.
11 Now, let's go make the round. Mr. Zivanovic.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. My name is Zoran
15 Zivanovic, I represent Vujadin Popovic. I will ask you a couple of
16 questions about your evidence.
17 Among other things, on day one of your testimony you told us
18 about Directive number 4. You said that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 was using civilians as a shield or, rather, as a component of their armed
20 forces. I would like to kindly ask you to please elaborate on that.
21 What does it mean to use one's own civilian population as a component in
22 the armed forces?
23 A. Good morning to you too, first of all. I addressed this problem
24 on several occasions in varying situations throughout my evidence,
25 throughout the presentation of my expert reports before this Tribunal. I
1 will try to tackle this as a whole now since it wasn't tackled as a whole
2 necessarily by my expert report.
3 It is generally known and everybody in the BH Army knew well,
4 especially the leading officers who went way back to the JNA, about the
5 Geneva Conventions and the rules of war, they knew about how civilians
6 were to be treated. They also knew that on the other side, the members
7 of the Army Republika Srpska also knew about how civilians were to be
8 treated. They permanently and consistently misused the following
9 activities. Sometimes they would dress up as civilians and operate as
10 soldiers. They often dressed up as women civilians again but with a
11 peculiar status, a status that was a status apart, and they were using
12 this in order to preform operations. And they would keep their own
13 people, the population close by at all times, knowing that this was a
14 different kind of target and that they were not likely to be targeted in
15 the same way as soldiers.
16 They organised their commands in civilian homes as well as other
17 elements of their units combat structure. They used company premises to
18 house certain elements of their armed forces. Even outside Srebrenica,
19 especially in other areas, as was generally well known, they used
20 civilian facilities and facilities belonging to the health system to
21 install their fire-power or certain positions for which they were
22 monitoring the situation. The fact remains that when you use a civilian
23 facility in order to preform military operations to establish your
24 command or use it for any military purpose whatsoever, you are turning
25 the civilian facility into a military facility thereby violating these
1 very fundamental rules of war.
2 Q. Just in order to be perfectly clear about this, what you have
3 just been telling us about, does this apply throughout the existence of
4 the enclaves all the way up until July 1995?
5 A. It applies to the entire period from the beginning to the end of
6 the war.
7 Q. I would like to ask you another question. Given the fact that
8 Srebrenica was declared a protected area, what about its status itself as
9 a protected area, was this something that was used during the war by the
10 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. This, of all things, is one of the segments that came under
12 scrutiny in my expert report. I tried to be as specific and precise as I
13 could about this. There were a number of prerequisites for the area to
14 be declared a protected area but only the first prerequisite was ever met
15 and a decision was taken accordingly. There were a number of other
16 conditions that were to be put into place. For example, defining the
17 area in more specific terms. But this was constantly being obstructed by
18 the BH Army and they were receiving assistance from UNPROFOR in this.
19 In order to have mobilisation, false reports were being sent all
20 the time that there had been a demilitarisation throughout the area
21 although there was a well-armed operative group still inside. In order
22 to make sure there was appropriate control, there was a lot of
23 obstruction going on, even if we know that helicopters were used and also
24 across the grounds military equipment was being brought in as well as
25 various forms of military logistics by the 28th Division and previously
1 by the operations group. In order to inform all the parties in this
2 conflict about all the important aspects, there was obstruction going on.
3 For example, there is a protest note about firing from within the enclave
4 but you can't see the protest note when a unit was leaving. All of this
5 indicates that no demilitarisation had been carried out and that in
6 actual fact this was no protected area whatsoever.
7 Q. You talked about this protest note because there was firing
8 coming from within the enclave.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please just look at a
10 document that we already looked at yesterday. This is P1349.
11 Q. My understanding is, this document was sent by the DutchBat
12 commander to the president of the Srebrenica municipality complaining
13 because the Muslim forces from within the enclave had been firing, which
14 they were not allowed to do under the provisions of the agreement on the
15 establishment of a safe area.
16 However, there was something else that I wanted to ask you.
17 Among other things paragraph 2 of this document says that eight bullets
18 were fired from small arms from somewhere near the post office building.
19 We do know for a fact that the post office building was in the immediate
20 vicinity of the hospital. So I would like to ask you this: From your
21 perspective as an expert, what do you think about this situation? One of
22 the parties in conflict opens fire from a weapon that is mounted near a
23 building like this, a building that should be safe from all form of
24 combat operations, how does that strike you?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. The question both
2 calls for speculation and also mischaracterizes the evidence. There's no
3 statement in this document that says that the weapon was mounted where
4 Mr. Zivanovic has indicated. It says that it was fired from near that
5 location but there's no indication other than that. So I would
6 appreciate if my colleague could rephrase the question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, Mr. Zivanovic?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The document indicates that the fire was opened
9 from --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Near the post office.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: -- the building PTT building, and we know from
12 our visit to the Srebrenica that it is very near to the hospital.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: More or less we are fine with the question. So
15 General, if you can answer it, please go ahead. But one moment, because
16 my recollection also is that the PTT is on one side of the street and the
17 hospital is on the other side of the street.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, but very near.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But we need to make that clear. And between one
20 and the other, I reckon there is a distance of about 200 metres roughly
21 because the hospital, then you have to go up.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know the exact distance.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, it's a rough guess, it's a rough guess, and I
24 went there twice already, so ...
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document speaks
1 of several points, not only the one we have been discussing. First of
2 all, the protest is addressed to the president of Srebrenica municipality
3 in spite of the fact that it has been proved beyond doubt that the
4 battalion commander knew that in Srebrenica there was the command of the
5 28th Division. And this was a time when the 28th Division was reformed.
6 He knew that the 28th Division was not subordinated to the president of
7 the municipality, but to the command of the 2nd Corps. So this warning
8 creates the illusion that in the municipality there was the civilian
9 population and somebody was firing at them.
10 On the other hand, the very fact that information arrived that
11 firing was coming from the vicinity of the post office, this doesn't mean
12 that this could not have been used in any other way. For example, any
13 other hospital. The fact is that in the town when there were two
14 civilian facilities, the post office and the hospital, and fire was being
15 opened from there so that is the reason for the warning.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: In line 6, somebody
17 was firing, full stop.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Does the fact that in the post office building
20 there was part of the UN staff have anything to do with this?
21 A. That could be, but that is not crucial --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We are speculating here. Let's move to your next
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no further questions.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Ostojic.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Morning, no questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Mr. -- okay, you are
3 correct, Mr. Bourgon.
4 MR. BOURGON: Morning Mr. President, morning Judges.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
6 Q. Morning, General.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. My name is Stephane Bourgon and together with my colleagues
9 present with me here this morning, Ms. Jelena Nikolic and Ms. Marie
10 Claude Fournie, together we represent Dragan Nikolic in these
12 General, first if you can confirm that you and I unfortunately
13 did not have the opportunity to meet with a view to discussing your
14 report; is that correct.
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. But you can confirm that you did meet briefly with my colleague,
17 Mrs. Nikolic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, General, this morning I have two types of questions for you,
20 some of which relate directly to your testimony, and then at the end I
21 have a second part of questions where I'm going to try and take advantage
22 of your vast experience as a general and to ask you for your opinion with
23 some practical situations. If at any time there are questions you do not
24 understand, please do not hesitate to ask me to repeat my questions.
25 The first topic I would like to address is the presence of the
1 28th Division in Srebrenica. In your report at paragraph 17, you
2 mentioned the presence in Srebrenica and Potocari of a number of units
3 which together make up the 28th Division of the Army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I take it you are familiar with the units that make
5 up the 28th Division who were present there?
6 A. I'm familiar with their organisation and functioning.
7 Q. And, General, at paragraphs 164 to 182 of your report, you refer
8 to the breakout from encirclement by the 28th Division. And more
9 particularly, at paragraph 161, you mention two things. Firstly, that
10 the 28th Division which was not fully used in the Srebrenica enclave was
11 necessary or even essential for the BiH Army for future and final
12 operations. Do you still agree with that?
13 A. Absolutely.
14 Q. And the second thing you mentioned in the same paragraph is that
15 the breakout from encirclement was carried out on orders from the
16 Superior Command of the Bosnian army; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, my question is the following: Bearing in mind what you have
19 in your report and on the basis of your military expertise and all the
20 documents you've reviewed to prepare your expert report, in your opinion,
21 did the 28th Division leave the Srebrenica enclave voluntarily or was it
22 forced out by the VRS?
23 A. I fully understand your question, and I consider it necessary
24 before replying to draw attention to a point which I feel has been
25 misunderstood by many participants. If I'm wrong, I apologise, but
1 that's my impression. I think it has not been fully understood what
2 reforming of the 8th Operative Group and making it -- transforming it
3 into the 28th Division means. That's why I will state that very briefly.
4 The reforming of the 8th Operative Group, which was an operative unit,
5 and as such was a large and complicated unit for operations in that area,
6 and in some instances it behaved like an elephant in a china shop, this
7 all represented the preparation of the BH Army for fast and efficient
8 action; that is, breakout from encirclement.
9 The 28th Division prepared carefully for the breakout from
10 encirclement starting from February and March 1995 by stepping up
11 terrorist activities, and, in a measured way, stepping up these terrorist
12 activities so as to provoke the separation of the Srebrenica and Zepa
13 areas. And when they set out to separate them, they actually withdrew
14 and then set out to break out from encirclement, and thus surprised the
15 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina [as interpreted]. So my final answer is, they
16 did not leave -- the reason they left was to trick the Army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina [as interpreted] and to break out from the
18 encirclement successfully.
19 Q. Thank you, General. And that additional information is indeed
20 very useful.
21 Another issue you touch upon during your examination-in-chief
22 concerns the strategic objectives of the Republika Srpska in relation to
23 the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves. And my question is the following: On
24 the basis of your military knowledge and all the documents you reviewed,
25 did you perceive any indication of the existence of a plan or policy,
1 whether at the state level or the VRS level, to destroy the Muslim
2 population of Srebrenica and Zepa?
3 A. Throughout the war I have not found any indication of such a plan
4 in any document. No such plan existed either in Srebrenica or for
6 Q. Thank you, General.
7 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I'd just like to come back to page
8 15, line 12. Apparently there was a mistake. It should read "thus
9 surprised the VRS" and not surprised the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I'm looking at it. In my mind I was
11 letting you finish because it's obvious that there is a mistake here. It
12 occurs twice actually, it's on line 15 of page 15, and in lines 13, and I
13 thought I saw it. 13 and 15 anyway, where we see "Army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina," it should be the "VRS."
15 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
17 MR. BOURGON:
18 Q. General, let's continue with our questions. The next -- another
19 topic you discussed during your examination-in-chief is the difference
20 between superior officers and subordinate officers, as well as between
21 senior or junior officers. And that was at page 29980 and 29981 on 12th
22 of January. That was on Monday.
23 Now, more specifically, you provided a criteria which allows to
24 establish that if you have a number of officers present in the same
25 place, which one of them, if they are at the same level in the chain of
1 command, would be the most senior. You recall testifying to that effect,
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, on this basis, I would like to obtain your opinion as to
5 whom is the senior officer in the following scenario: In this scenario a
6 number of conscripts, non-commissioned officers, and officers, all
7 members of the same brigade are present at the same place. Amongst these
8 persons, you have the assistant commander for security who bears the rank
9 of 2nd lieutenant, and you have the assistant commander for logistics who
10 bears the rank of captain. Who, in your opinion, General, is the senior
11 officer present?
12 A. In this scenario, the most senior officer is the captain who is
13 the assistant for logistics.
14 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like now to turn to paragraphs 25 to 34
15 of your report where you discuss the organisation and the functioning of
16 the VRS. And more specifically, you address the difference between a
17 line staff type of organisation and a line functional type of
18 organisation. And my first question in this regard relates to paragraph
19 30 of your report, where you say the following:
20 "Analysis of the structure of commands in the VRS and their
21 competences shows that a line staff type of organisation was established
22 in the VRS."
23 General, is this still your opinion today?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I move on to a different topic, General, which is -- has to do
1 with a document which was shown to you during your examination-in-chief,
2 and that is 5D1207.
3 MR. BOURGON: If I can have this document in e-court, please.
4 Q. General, this document will appear on the screen before you, and
5 I would like to ask you a few questions.
6 MR. BOURGON: If I can have both the English and the B/C/S on the
7 screen, on page 1 for both.
8 Q. General, do you remember being asked some questions about this
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, if we look at the top part, you can confirm that this
12 document, the sending agency of this document, is the Main Staff of the
13 VRS; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And looking at the second block, you can confirm that this
16 document is being sent to four specific addressees who are mentioned
17 there, and that includes the assistant commander for logistics, the
18 commander of the command of the Drina Corps, the chief of security of the
19 Drina Corps, as well as the command of the 65th Motorised Protection
20 Regiment. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I would just like to note a
23 difference between the English version of this document, or the
24 translation in English, and the original in B/C/S, whereas there is no
25 "to." In the English version on the second line, you have "to commander
1 of the command," those words, "to," do not appear in the B/C/S version.
2 Q. General, can you confirm that this document when you look at a
3 little lower down on the first page that it is being issued on the basis
4 of a previous order issued by the Main Staff on 23 January, 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What I would like to do at this time is to go to this document
7 which was not shown to you during your examination-in-chief, and that is
8 in e-court, please, 5D1206.
9 MR. BOURGON: If I can have both the English and the B/C/S
10 version on the screen, please.
11 Q. General, do you see this document, and my first question is can
12 you confirm that this is indeed the document which was referred to in the
13 first one that we looked at?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And once again, this document, as you can see, is sent by the
16 Main Staff, and can you also confirm that it is addressed personally to
17 the commander of all units mentioned at the top of the document?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I would also like to note a
20 difference between the English and -- translation and the original B/C/S
21 document, whereas the English version in the top part says "president of
22 the republic" which is not a correct translation. The original version
23 says simply "Republika Srpska" and does not have the word "president."
24 Q. General, you --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that observation.
1 MR. BOURGON:
2 Q. We heard during your testimony in chief that the object of these
3 two documents related to the preparation, organisation, and carrying out
4 of the briefing on combat readiness of the VRS in 1994; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, just to clarify the difference in
7 translation that you pointed out a minute ago. The English version says
8 four things. First mentions the Main Staff of the Army of Republika
9 Srpska. Then it mentions the president of the republic. Then it
10 mentions strictly confidential number, et cetera. And then it mentions
11 the date. According to my interpretation of what I see in the B/C/S
12 version there are three things only; namely, the entry "president of the
13 republic" should disappear completely. And what you should have is "the
14 Main Staff," "Glavni Stab, Vojska Republika Srpska," which is of the Army
15 of Republika Srpska; correct?
16 MR. BOURGON: That is correct, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, General, this briefing that was about to take place, of
20 course we know from the date January of 1995 that this was taking place
21 during the war, and I think you may have referred to this in your
22 testimony, but of course, can you confirm that this is of the very, very
23 important event where during the war all the senior members of the army
24 of the VRS and the political leadership will be at the same place at one
25 specific time, this can be very dangerous? Would you agree with that?
1 A. In my examination-in-chief I said that and I now confirm it.
2 This was the most important event at that time in that area and from the
3 security viewpoint for management of the state and military management,
4 it can be considered the most crucial activity taking place in the whole
5 course of the war.
6 Q. Thank you, General.
7 MR. BOURGON: I'd like to turn now in the same document in page 3
8 in the B/C/S version, and page 5 in English, please.
9 Q. And, General, I'd like you to look at paragraph 4 of the document
10 that will appear before you. Do you see paragraph 4, General?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, I take it you would agree that this paragraph 4 assigns a
13 specific task to the logistics sector of VRS Main Staff, and that is to
14 prepare basically the room for the briefing, and to provide the food
15 also; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And if we look at paragraph 5 of the document, this document
18 assigns specific taskings to the security and intelligence sector of the
19 Main Staff?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, my understanding of paragraph 5 is that by this paragraph,
22 General Tolimir is given the authority to take all necessary measures for
23 the briefings to be carried out without hindrance and also to ensure to
24 protect and secure the participants to this briefing. Would that be a
25 correct interpretation?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So in other words, the authority give be to General Tolimir by
3 this document covers all aspects related to the smooth running of the
4 meeting without being disturbed, but also the safety and protection of
5 all participants?
6 A. Yes, everything you said is correct. If one alludes to the item
7 in the previous order relating to guards, I think that is outside of that
8 aspect, but that is not a problem because it's up to the command to raise
9 the guard duty to a higher level [as interpreted], whereas the other
10 points are all within the purview of the security service.
11 Q. Now, this document that you have before you now, you agree that
12 this is the first one that was issued in respect to taskings given for
13 this briefing?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And at paragraph 6 of that document, you also have specific tasks
16 which are given to the -- I just want to use the exact term, to the
17 morale guidance and psychological preparation sector of the Main Staff;
18 is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, apparently there's a mistake in
21 interpretation on page 22, line 6. Where it says "the guard duty to a
22 higher level" the witness would have said "to the command level."
23 In the meantime if we can move to the last page of this document,
24 please, in both B/C/S and in English. It's the same page in B/C/S, but
25 the English page we have to go to page 6.
1 Q. Sir, if we look at the -- who was the signing authority or the
2 issuing authority for this document, we see that it's the commander
3 himself, Colonel-General Ratko Mladic; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So just to make it so that we understand that this is an order by
6 which the commander of the army, Ratko Mladic, gave some specific
7 taskings to some of the generals including General Tolimir at paragraph
8 5; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. BOURGON: If we can come back now to the -- this document
11 which was issued after, which is 5D1207. And if I can have page 2 in
12 B/C/S and page 3 in English.
13 Q. Now, sir, General, if we look at the signature block, we see two
14 things here. First, that whoever signed it appears to have done it for
15 General Tolimir; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And would I be right in saying that General Tolimir in issuing
18 this document, now that you have seen the order issued previously by
19 Mladic, that General Tolimir was merely issuing taskings on the basis of
20 the authority he had been given by Mladic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I now move, General, to a different series of questions. And as
23 I mentioned at the beginning, these questions relate really to your
24 expertise and vast experience as a general in the VRS. And one of the
25 things you mentioned --
1 A. I'm sorry, I was a general in the JNA.
2 Q. Absolutely.
3 A. The Army of Yugoslavia.
4 Q. Indeed, my mistake. Sorry, General.
5 This question also relates to paragraph 46 of your report where
6 you state that in the VRS, establishments duties are identified either as
7 being single or dual. Do you recall this part of your report?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you mentioned that one of the examples of a dual duty is that
10 of the Chief of Staff?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And would I be right in saying that the duty of the Chief of
13 Staff is dual because if the commander of the unit is absent, then the
14 Chief of Staff must replace them in his capacity as deputy commander?
15 A. Yes, you are right. But maybe this requires a small additional
16 explanation. Even if a Chief of Staff did not have to be also deputy
17 commander, whenever a commander was away he would still be standing in
18 for him according to all the other criteria being the most senior officer
19 of that particular command, and we discussed the criteria of seniority.
20 When you have this provision that someone is at the same time deputising,
21 what this means in a normal regular situation, when the Chief of Staff is
22 there, then he can stand in for him, even if there is someone who is
23 senior. It is precisely defined who can stand in for the commander and
24 that's why he's also the deputy. Whoever drew up the structure
25 determined ahead of time only this or that person can possibly stand in
1 for the commander when the commander is away.
2 Q. Thank you, General. That's very useful. I also would like to
3 address quickly paragraph 71 of your report in which you list the eight
4 principles which form the basis of command in the VRS. I take it,
5 General, you are familiar with these eight principles?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And if we look at the first of these principles which you
8 referred to as being singleness of command, you will agree with me that
9 according to this principle, the commander of a military unit has an
10 indivisible and exclusive right to command all subordinate units in that
11 it is the commander who bears responsibility for the condition, combat
12 readiness, and use of the units as well as for the proper execution of
13 all tasks assigned to the unit, and that is described in paragraphs also
14 of your report at 73.
15 Do you agree that this being singleness of command is what makes
16 the commander and gives to the commander all of this authority and
17 responsibility within a unit?
18 A. Yes, that's true. This is the supreme principle.
19 Q. And that in other words, a unit can only have, according to this
20 principle, one commander who is responsible for everything that takes
21 place in his unit?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. What I would like to do now is to ask you on the basis of what
24 was just mentioned about the Chief of Staff standing in for the
25 commander, I'd like to ask for your expert opinion concerning the
1 exercise of command by the Chief of Staff who is acting in his capacity
2 as deputy commander in the absence of the brigade commander. Do you
3 understand the situation I'm referring to?
4 A. I think so.
5 Q. Now, General, suppose the Chief of Staff who holds the rank of
6 major and who is present at the brigade command is facing a critical
7 situation, including a grave shortage of resources and especially of
8 experienced officers, and that this makes it almost impossible for him to
9 accomplish the tasks the brigade has been ordered to perform.
10 On this basis, General, my first question is the following: If
11 the Chief of Staff decides to replace the officer on duty at the brigade
12 forward command post because he needs him for some other purpose, would
13 you expect the Chief of Staff to personally select the officer he will
14 send to the forward command post to replace the officer who is there?
15 A. You have just provided a specific example. The Chief of Staff
16 personally stands in for the duty officer. If he takes that type of
17 action that you suggest, given the fact that his brigade is facing a
18 critical situation, his Chief of Staff literally and successfully stands
19 in for the commander in keeping with all the rules.
20 There is one thing that I would like to invoke though, when a
21 superior officer is not present, when it's necessary to take urgent steps
22 or take steps that cannot be postponed, especially emergency situations
23 involving combat and so on and so forth, the most senior commander will
24 take over command and deal with it right there and then. If we have any
25 other type of information, this man will have to first confer with his
1 own commander.
2 Q. Thank you, General, that's also very useful, but I'd like maybe
3 to clarify or confirm that you did understand the situation I was
4 referring to. Now we have the Chief of Staff who is standing in because
5 he is acting in the absence of his commander, and one of the things he
6 must do at a certain time is to replace the officer who is at the forward
7 command post of the brigade because he needs him for some purpose. And I
8 suggest to you that when the time comes to replace this officer, because
9 he is facing this critical situation and the shortage of experience
10 officer, that he will select himself who he will send to replace the
11 officer who is presently at the forward command post. Would you agree
12 with that?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, if I could just --
15 I'm, sorry, if I could just ask my colleague if he could clarify the
16 question a little bit because in the initial part of the question he uses
17 the phrase "Chief of Staff who is standing in because he must do at the
18 time is to replace the officer." My point of concern is, when you are
19 talking about the Chief of Staff standing in, whether or not that is the
20 operative term or whether or not the Chief of Staff is the deputy
21 commander and is acting in that capacity, just so it's clear for the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
24 MR. BOURGON: I agree with my colleague, I will just make that
25 scenario very clear.
1 Q. General, all my questions relate to a situation where it happens
2 in a brigade, the brigade commander is absent, and in his absence the
3 Chief of Staff is exercising command over the brigade. So that's the
4 basis for all my questions. And the specific scenario I was asking you
5 is that in this situation, considering that a situation is very critical
6 and that there's a shortage of officers and especially of experienced
7 officers, the Chief of Staff decides to replace the officer who is
8 presently at the forward command post. And my proposition to you is that
9 when the Chief of Staff does something like that in this scenario, he
10 will of course select carefully who he will send there, especially
11 because he is short of experienced officers. Can you comment on this?
12 A. I understand your question fully. I can provide a comment
13 characterizing the situation. I believe that it will be readily
14 intelligible to all. If he needs the officer who happens to be the duty
15 officer, if he has to replace this officer because he needs to use him
16 for some other purpose or task, and this has nothing to go do with any of
17 the other officers, which means that he needs this officer individually
18 to deal with a certain task in situations such as these, normally one
19 says, Replace this man, send him back, and then assign someone else, the
20 next man in line, so to speak.
21 If there is a critical situation and he needs a large number of
22 officers, and that seems to be the situation that you are hypothesising
23 about. In such a situation this man will probably say: Give me this
24 man, have him replaced, and send this other man stand in for him and to
25 act as the duty officer. That is the only situation; if he needs a large
1 number of officer in order to perform a certain task.
2 Q. Thank you, General. One last question before the break which
3 relates directly to this situation. Having decided to replace the
4 officer at the forward command post, would you agree with me it would be
5 important for the Chief of Staff to at least warn the brigade duty
6 officer so that at least this change would be recorded in the brigade
7 duty officer notebook or log-book? How important would that be?
8 A. If this officer is at the command post and it's important for it
9 to be recorded that there was a replacement at the command post, and the
10 duty officer in the brigade would later be familiarised with this or
11 informed about this.
12 Q. And how important based on all of your military experience, how
13 important is it that the duty officer be informed that there was indeed a
14 change of the duty officer of the forward command post?
15 A. It is very important.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes one moment. Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: He's already answered the question,
18 Mr. President. I won't go further.
19 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I think it's time for the break. I
20 have about 15 to 20 minutes at the most which will be well within my hour
21 and a half I'd announced.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: This is an important witness, we are not
23 restricting anyone. So let's have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We have been told Mr. McCloskey would like to
2 address the Chamber. Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. And incidentally, my apologies to
5 you. I should have put on the record that soon after we started the
6 sitting this morning you showed up.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just an important scheduling
8 concern. I've been discussing with my team, with Mr. Vanderpuye, and
9 with the Defence, and it appears Mr. Vanderpuye will begin his
10 cross-examination today, and we are hoping he will be done by Monday, at
11 the end of the day. It's possible it could go into Tuesday. And that
12 leaves us with - on the schedule - a one Gvero witness who is scheduled
13 for, I believe, 8 hours, but --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think so. We had the filing this morning,
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: The filing was for no February witnesses, but
17 we've got two more weeks of January, I believe we have the Gvero expert
18 scheduled, is my understanding.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the Gvero expert -- it doesn't appear it's
21 going to take all next week and certainly the next week of January, so we
22 are just looking for some clarity so we know who to prepare for next
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I know the -- certainly the Pandurevic team
1 is looking for more clarity than I am, I think, since they are up. And I
2 know Mr. Josse is taking this information in as we are giving it to him,
3 and he's -- and he's, you know, working on it, as is Mr. Krgovic. And I
4 gave this information to them before right at the last break, but we
5 really need some clarity before the end of today --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- so we know who to prepare for.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. Yes, Mr. Josse, let's hear what you
9 have to say.
10 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour, it's fair to say that we are not
11 very anxious to discuss this particular topic at this particular
12 juncture. We felt obliged to send out that e-mail yesterday because we
13 were aware that everyone needed to know where they stood in relation to
14 February. We are actively considering our position in relation to
15 January really all the time.
16 We, beyond that, we are not very anxious to commit ourselves one
17 way or the other.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I understood that -- had you said it months ago,
19 but not on the eve at the 11th hour because basically let's put it like
20 this. Mr. Bourgon is almost finished, then there is the
21 cross-examination, your cross-examination of this witness --
22 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: -- for which you had asked three hours. I was
24 going to ask you whether you still need three hours three not.
25 MR. JOSSE: Well, Mr. Krgovic is going to cross-examine the
1 witness. He thinks he is going to be less time than that, about 2 hours.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And taking the rest, basically it means as
3 Mr. McCloskey put it, that Mr. Vanderpuye will probably be called upon to
4 start his cross-examination today.
5 MR. JOSSE: There's a chance of that.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. The Prosecution had asked for 12 hours,
7 which from what Mr. McCloskey said I understand is going to be reduced.
8 If that takes us to Tuesday, to Tuesday, we are literally on the eve. We
9 need to know what is going to happen as soon as Mr. Vanderpuye finishes
10 with -- I don't know if I'm saying something that my colleagues disagree
11 with, but I think at this point in time out of loyalty to the Trial
12 Chamber and also to the -- yourself and the Pandurevic Defence team, I
13 mean, we need to know.
14 MR. JOSSE: Could I say this, we have done our best over the last
15 few days to liaise closely with the Pandurevic Defence team. That being
16 said, any problems that are occurring are down, I'm certainly not passing
17 Mr. Haynes' direction, they should be directed to me rather than to him.
18 I want to make that clear. I'm not passing the buck in any way at all.
19 I can see and understand the concern of the Trial Chamber. What I would
20 ask for is the next break to have a further discussion with Mr. Krgovic
21 and General Gvero, and we will give a further report at 1.00.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, I think that's fair
23 enough. Thank you, Mr. Josse. And thank you, Mr. Krgovic, as well. And
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 So, let's bring the witness, the General back in.
1 What you need to understand is we can't allow ourselves the
2 situation to arise whereby, say on Tuesday we find ourselves in a
3 position where we don't know what is going to happen. Maybe we'll have
4 two days, three days when we cannot sit. I mean, that's a situation
5 which we expect you to help us avoid. Let us keep that in mind. And I'm
6 sure you will because I know very well the tradition, legal tradition you
7 come from.
8 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: General, we are going to proceed. Mr. Bourgon.
12 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Welcome back, General. I have about ten more questions to ask
14 you, and they all have to do with the same situation we were discussing
15 before the break, and let me just repeat that so that we know what the
16 basic facts are. This takes place in a brigade. The brigade commander
17 is absent. The Chief of Staff is exercising command over the brigade.
18 The situation is critical, including a grave shortage of resources. In
19 this situation, General, suppose the Chief of Staff is informed by one of
20 the brigade assistant commanders who bears the rank of 2nd lieutenant,
21 that he received information by telephone from an officer from the corps
22 that the brigade must accomplish an additional task which will require
23 the use of resources which will put in danger the safety of the brigade
24 and the ability of the brigade to accomplish it's ongoing activities.
25 Do I need to repeat this, General, or you understand the facts?
1 A. I think I understand.
2 Q. Thank you, General. So my question in this circumstance is,
3 would you expect that before taking any action to accomplish this
4 additional task, the Chief of Staff would first attempt to confirm what
5 the additional tasking really consists of and who is the real authority
6 behind it?
7 A. The specific situation that you are asking me about contains two
8 important elements. One, if this is a new situation, an unusual
9 situation or an activity that significantly disrupts the working plan of
10 the unit, or if this is an activity that is not in keeping with what is
11 considered regular activity, it is only to be expected that the Chief of
12 Staff should acquire additional information or he should run additional
13 checks, perform additional checks. If this activity is something that is
14 repeated over time with a certain frequency, then there is no need for
15 any additional checks. Quite simply, it is simply extended, and it is
16 dealt with as planned.
17 Q. Thank you, General. Now, to confirm that this would be something
18 unusual, as you described it in your last answer, in this situation if
19 the Chief of Staff has an opportunity to speak to his corps commander,
20 would you expect him to report and discuss the matters with his corps
21 commander and either to try to get the additional tasking modified or
22 cancelled or at least to get more resources to do it?
23 A. When I said that in such situations it is necessary for an
24 officer to obtain additional information, this didn't in itself mean that
25 this officer should talk to the corps commander or his deputy, since
1 additional information can be obtained from another relevant officer
2 within the corps depending on the unit in question, depending on the
3 requirements and depending on the activities or the type of activity
4 being required of that unit.
5 Q. Thank you, General. But just to add on, if he does have the
6 opportunity to speak to the corps commander, is that something you would
7 expect the Chief of Staff to discuss with him?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, I think he has already
10 answered the question at least a couple of different ways.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, we don't seem to be in agreement with you
12 in the first place. So let's proceed with the answer -- by majority, by
13 majority. I agree with Judge Kwon on this.
14 Yes, General, if you could answer the question, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Always
16 when a subordinate officer has an opportunity of talking to the
17 commander, it is quite normal for him to check everything with the
19 MR. BOURGON:
20 Q. Thank you, General. I'll move to my next question. Always again
21 in the same situation having been informed about this additional tasking,
22 the Chief of Staff must suddenly leave the brigade command to accomplish
23 other duties. Would you expect before leaving the brigade command that
24 the Chief of Staff would at least ensure that one member of the brigade
25 is fully informed of the ongoing situation concerning this additional
1 tasking imposed on the brigade?
2 A. I absolutely agree with you. When any officer is leaving and the
3 most senior officer who will stand in for him is there, he is duty-bound
4 to create such conditions in which the officer who will stand in for him
5 has all the information about the situation in the unit that will enable
6 him to reach an appropriate decision in view of the commander's wishes
7 and goals. Otherwise, the officer standing in will not be able to make
8 an appropriate decision in an emergency.
9 Q. Thank you, I move to my next question. Suppose that is in the
10 same situation the return of the brigade commander is announced two days
11 later at a time when the situation in the brigade has become even more
12 critical because the brigade is involved at the same time in combat
13 activities as well as in the additional tasking which was imposed on it.
14 My question is the following: Would you expect the Chief of
15 Staff, if he is present at the brigade command, when the commander
16 returns to prepare and give him a full briefing as soon as he arrives?
17 A. First, I must comment either on the question or the
18 interpretation. It says here, "if a brigade is involved in combat
19 activities," a brigade cannot be involved in combat activities, it
20 carries out combat activities. So we have to be precise.
21 The moment the senior or the commanding officer returns, the
22 officer who had been standing in for him and deputising for him is
23 duty-bound to brief the returning senior officer in great detail about
24 the situation in the unit and all the problems and issues that have
25 arisen. This is clearly defined but the commanding officer when he
1 returns can delay this if he has other urgent obligations, and only ask
2 to be informed of the most salient points, the crucial points.
3 Q. You went directly into my next question, General, and that is in
4 addition to the fact that the officer who was standing in as a duty to
5 prepare such a report, would the brigade commander returning expect to be
6 fully briefed about everything in the brigade when he returns?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I think in this circumstance he
9 has clearly answered the question. If you look at the previous answer,
10 he actually expands on the question and says that the brigade commander
11 can delay it or not delay it. So in terms of expectation, I think that
12 this question is inappropriate to put to this expert.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, or do you wish to move on
14 to your next question?
15 MR. BOURGON: I can move along, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's the case of moving to your next
18 MR. BOURGON:
19 Q. In terms, General, for the brigade commander to obtain that full
20 briefing, one way he could obtain the information about the brigade would
21 be to consult with the brigade duty officer. Would you agree with that?
22 A. The duty officer can only inform him about the current situation
23 and the ongoing activities of the brigade. For him to get a complete
24 overview, he has to be informed by the person who had stood in for him or
25 deputised for him in the presence of his other assistants and deputies.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, in exactly this scenario which you describe a
2 little earlier, and that is that because of time constraints, the
3 commander is not able to get the full briefing, would you expect him to
4 arrange a meeting with his Chief of Staff at the earliest opportunity in
5 order to get that briefing?
6 A. Yes, that's absolutely so. He would initially be asked to be
7 informed of the most important facts, and then he would say, You will
8 give me more detailed information at such and such a time or after such
9 and such a thing takes place. So he would tell him when he expected the
10 full briefing.
11 Q. In my next question, upon returning to his brigade, suppose the
12 commander was ordered for the brigade to carry out combat activities
13 immediately with the aim of blocking an armed enemy force which has
14 entered into his area of operations. Would you expect the commander to
15 request, as part of the full briefing, an update on the use and
16 availability of his engineering resources?
17 A. In the sort of situation you have described, if along with the
18 other forces that are necessary for the commander to carry out the task,
19 he also needed engineer units or forces, he would ask for information
20 about that. If they were not indispensable for the carrying out of the
21 task, his question would be to be told what were the forces available and
22 what was the situation there that he could use for the task ahead of him,
23 and he would not seek any other information at that point.
24 Q. And, General, based on your extensive military experience,
25 carrying out combat activities with the aim of blocking an enemy force,
1 is that likely to require the use of engineering resources?
2 A. There are two types of blocking, as you say, of an enemy force.
3 For one type of blocking engineering resources are not needed and for the
4 other type they are needed. Any blocking that makes it possible to take
5 up positions in time and put those positions in order would require
6 engineering resources, but the type of blocking that does not provide for
7 sufficient time for engineering works at the positions only combat units
8 are used which block units within part of their task.
9 Q. Thank you. I now move to my last question, General. And this
10 refers to your testimony during your examination-in-chief at page 30008
11 at lines 23 to 25 you said:
12 "The operative duty officer is subordinated to the commander."
13 And at page 30022, lines 8 to 13, you were talking about the
14 command post of a unit as being composed of several elements, and you
15 stated the following:
16 "There is a single command post which is composed of several
17 elements. One of the elements of a command post is the basic command
18 post. Another element is the forward command post. Therefore, a command
19 post is a system made of a number of other systems and subsystems, so
20 wherever you are, either in one of the systems or subsystems, you are
21 within the system itself."
22 Do you recall your testimony to that effect, General?
23 A. Yes, absolutely. And also the context in which I said this.
24 Q. Now, my question is the following: When a brigade commander is
25 exercising his command over his brigade at the brigade forward command
1 post, in your opinion is he still responsible for the ongoing activities
2 at the command post in the brigade command?
3 A. If the commander of the brigade is at the forward command post,
4 he is still the brigade commander and is responsible for his brigade.
5 Where he is has no effect on his responsibility for his unit.
6 Q. And just one quick follow-on question to that. Would the duty
7 operations -- the brigade duty operations officer at the brigade command,
8 is he operating under the authority of the brigade commander even though
9 his brigade commander is at the IKM?
10 A. Absolutely. I mentioned some important elements, that is that
11 the operations duty officer is immediately subordinate to the commander
12 and the most senior duty officer in the unit, and that in itself contains
13 my reply.
14 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, General. I have no further
15 questions, Mr. President, thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Lazarevic.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I would just like to inform the Trial
18 Chamber that we will not cross-examine this witness.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Krgovic.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Kosovac.
22 A. Good day.
23 Q. Mr. General, my name is Dragan Krgovic and on behalf of the
24 Defence of General Gvero I will put some questions to you connected to
25 your testimony here. I have to stoop down because of the position of
1 this microphone, I do apologise.
2 A. I can hear you very well.
3 Q. General, testifying on the 14th of January of this year, and
4 that's on transcript page 30088 for the sake of my colleagues, you spoke
5 about a meeting held in President Karadzic's office on the 16th of March,
6 1995, which was attended by some officers. Do you remember talking about
8 A. Yes, and I remember that I was interrupted by the Prosecutor.
9 Q. You then mentioned that apart from President Karadzic and
10 according to the visitors book maintained by Mr. Karadzic's secretary,
11 Generals Subotic, who at the time was the military advisor of the
12 president of the republic, was he not?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. General Manojlo Milovanovic, the Chief of Staff, VRS; General
15 Tolimir, the chief of security; and General Djukic, the assistant for
16 logistics. I do apologise, General Tolimir, the chief of -- or the
17 assistant for intelligence and security?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I just wanted to know if my
20 colleague could give us a reference. It was not on the 14th of January
21 and we don't have the correct page. I do not believe that General Djukic
22 was mentioned during that meeting.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't remember myself, but Mr. Krgovic.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] On 14th of January, page 30088 [as
25 interpreted] according to the copy of the transcript I have.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want time to check, Madam Fauveau?
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I am just not sure if General
3 Djukic was mentioned or not.
4 JUDGE KWON: 83, last two digit.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] That's the previous page. It
6 begins on the previous page, and the reply which was interrupted ends on
7 the next page.
8 JUDGE KWON: From line 9 on page 30083 and on.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: You are right, Judge Kwon. We can go from there.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Kwon. Let's proceed.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You said that these were the participants and that at that
13 meeting when referring to officers and their responsibilities, that the
14 persons attending that meeting were all persons who were necessary for a
15 document such as Directive number 7 of the Supreme Command being
16 prepared. Do you remember saying that?
17 A. I remember saying that the persons were essential, not all of
18 them perhaps, but that they were essential or important for this document
19 to be drawn up.
20 Q. Were they indispensable?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the participation of the assistants for morale, religious
23 affairs, and so on was not indispensable for this directive to be drawn
24 up; is that right?
25 A. If I were to confirm this, I would be disparaging a very
1 important sector. I can conclude the following: Bearing in mind the
2 events that took place and the details in the diary or log-book, at that
3 point conversations were held with every person who was essential for the
4 drawing up of such a document. And if there had been more people that
5 would not have been amiss, but these were the truly indispensable ones.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, please allow a short pause. Try to
7 avoid overlapping now that you are speaking the same language, both of
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The portion that could be provided by the assistant for morale
11 would not be essential for this directive of the Supreme Command; is that
13 A. Well, not just that portion. One could leave out from the
14 directive other elements too. You can see that there are many elements
15 there that are not contained in every directive. It's well known that a
16 directive can be issued on only one page with only one task. Whoever
17 issues the directive always evaluates what the scope of this directive
18 should be which he wishes to pass on to his subordinate.
19 Q. And he's the one who decides who to involve in the work regarding
20 the elaboration of the directive; is that right?
21 A. Yes. He decides who he will consult before he reaches a final
22 decision concerning the directive. It's up to him alone to decide that.
23 Q. Mr. Kosovac, you spoke in your testimony and you mentioned this
24 also in part in your report that Directive number 7 differs from the
25 other directives you have had occasion to see. Do you remember saying
2 A. Yes, I remember saying that.
3 Q. And this directive in the form in which it was finally signed is
4 a state document containing illogical and imprecise portions, do you
5 remember saying that?
6 A. Yes, I do remember saying that.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 Exhibit P5. Could the witness please be shown page 10 in the B/C/S
9 version and page 14 in English.
10 Q. Do you have page 10 before you?
11 A. I have an empty screen. Now I have it.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the lower part beginning
13 with number 6 be enlarged for the witness, please.
14 Q. Witness, the part numbered 6 is support for combat operations,
15 and in point 6.1 we have moral and psychological support. It would be
16 normal for this to be followed by 6.2 or 6.3, other kinds of support if
17 we have 6.1 here; isn't that right?
18 A. If it says here 6.1, from the aspect of methodology, it would be
19 normal to expect to have at least one other element of support. We know
20 that usually there are seven such elements, but here it would be normal
21 to expect for at least one other element to be included.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we move on to the next page,
23 please. That's page -- it's the same page in English but the last page
24 in B/C/S.
25 Q. If we look at this page we don't have 6.2 or 6.3, nothing left in
1 terms of security, right? Or support, right, you agree?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back to the
4 previous page, page number 10. Number 10.
5 Q. General, can you please read the last sentence which cites, "by
6 planning, organising, and coordinated information and propaganda action
7 by the state leaders," and then on to the next page of this directive,
8 please. The previous sentence does not continue here, isn't that true?
9 A. Certainly one can see that this is not the continuation of the
10 previous portion of the sentence and the entire chapter in relation to
11 support for combat operations was produced in an entirely unsoldierly
13 Q. If you analyse the portion right here, you can see these elements
14 being introduced such as logistics, PVO support, things to do with
15 mobilisation. This entire paragraph does not contain anything, at least
16 in my view, that would corresponds with morale and psychological support.
17 Not something that would seem to be in keeping with the rules of the
18 military profession; right?
19 A. Not only does it not corresponds with this element of support for
20 combat operation, this entire paragraph is not in keeping with its
21 purpose. This entire paragraph that relates to support for combat
22 operations and then with a specific emphasis on 6.1.
23 Q. And this seems to confirm what you said in chief. This portion
24 was not produced by a qualified military person. In terms of style it
25 would seem to reflect more of a political background or a state
1 background rather than a military one; right?
2 A. Yes, anything but military. This directive is not a military
4 Q. And especially this particular portion; right?
5 A. There are others. I do not want to be -- seem to be introducing
6 some sort of hierarchy here.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
9 Q. General, this is your expert report. Let me pick up what you
10 said about non-military terminology. There are other portions of this
11 directive that are not military like or soldierly but would rather seem
12 to indicate some sort of political background.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have paragraph 139
14 shown on our screens. The page number is 53. I'm talking about your
15 expert report. The Serbian reference is 53. The English would be 65,
16 page 65.
17 Q. You say that this part of the task, the most problematic part of
18 the directive, if I can put it that way, is not a military task, it is an
19 illogical part of the task resembling combat support to which other
20 organs, rather than operations and training organs, are more inclined.
21 You mean, the political leaders and the state leadership meaning this is
22 the sort of terminology that they might be more prone to use than
23 soldiers; right?
24 A. Yes, if you look at paragraph 139, what answers your question in
25 the most specific terms is that this is not a military task. A military
1 task is a task performed by any element of the command responsible for
2 carrying out that task. Let me just remind you that at the time
3 Republika Srpska had something that I believe was termed the information
4 ministry. They had their own TV station, they had their own news agency.
5 They had a lot of other activities going on. Among other things, it was
6 the president who was meant to coordinate support for combat operations
7 in order for the army to be carry out or to perform combat operations. I
8 think paragraph 139 is very specific in that respect.
9 Q. Thank you, General. Further in your report, paragraph 109, page
10 41 of your report, the Serbian reference. The English would be page 51.
11 You talk about how the directive was produced. A general question which
12 perhaps I should have asked at the outset: Methodologically speaking,
13 when you provided certain conclusions or opinions, especially about how
14 this directive was produced, you used rules, if I can put it that way.
15 You also used your experience and your knowledge of how such a directive
16 should be produced according to the rules; right? You used the military
17 doctrine as well, did you not?
18 A. I can't just briefly agree. I analysed the substance, and this
19 is a method that I used in the production of my expert report. I used
20 such documents as were available to me. I also cross-referenced them to
21 other documents that were available to me as well as documents that
22 provided certain norms or enshrined certain norms. By way of an example,
23 I analysed the substance of the available documents. At the time I
24 produced my expert report, I also had this log that was later shown.
25 This would have provided even the further elements corroborating my
1 positions in the expert report, and I believe I've commented on that
2 already during my evidence here.
3 Q. Specifically General, is there a rule --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes one moment. Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] There's a mistake in the
6 transcript. The witness said, if he had had at the time of the preparing
7 of the expertise the agenda of Karadzic, it would have been a different
8 thing, but now it seems that he stated that he had the agenda. On line
9 14 page 47.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness can clarify it if there is need
11 for it, for such clarification. General, have you followed, have you
12 understood what Ms. Fauveau pointed out?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I agree.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we can carry on. Thank you.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, is there a rule or perhaps a regulation saying that a
17 directive is produced by using the so-called full method or is it within
18 the discretion of the supreme commander to determine the way in which a
19 directive will be produced?
20 A. There is no such rule nor will there ever be. Rules are meant to
21 provide modalities. It is up to the officer in question to decide which
22 modality he will use in a given situation. Modalities are to be used as
23 seen fit, and this is the -- the skill that any commander should have,
24 not simply copying the rules. He must be able to adapt.
25 Q. In this case it is President Karadzic that must determine what
1 methodology he will employ in creating this directive, who will be
2 involved, and how the whole thing will unfold; right?
3 A. Most certainly. He models a draft directive. He then consults
4 whoever he wishes to consult. He then signs the directive and is
5 therefore responsible for its substance and form.
6 Q. He also provides the theories that are enshrined in the directive
7 and all of its principle elements; right?
8 A. Yes. This is called -- quite simply the idea behind this
9 directive and this is exactly what we find here.
10 Q. May I now take you back to paragraph 109, where you refer to the
11 analysis of combat readiness in relation to 1994. There you say:
12 "The supreme commander orders the preparation of a directive, the
13 Supreme Command for the armed forces, to emphasise decisive defensive
14 positions held by the VRS. The order was issued to the Main Staff of the
15 VRS, which means that the Main Staff of the VRS functioned as a Supreme
16 Command Staff."
17 I looked at the part of the analysis. This sort of task, this
18 sort of order is something that I never came across in that document, nor
19 indeed did I find a document, I mean, this order with this substance. Do
20 you agree that this is actually your conclusion that stems from an
21 analysis? It is not the case that you are quoting a document here, are
23 A. Yes. This is a conclusion. This is not a quote from any
24 document at all.
25 Q. And then paragraph 110:
1 "It was thereby ordered to start with a drafting and production
2 of Directive 7."
3 This is another conclusion, this is not a quote from a specific
4 document or a specific order, is it not?
5 A. This is by all means a reliable conclusion, if you look at the
6 order in which things happened. But if you go back to the entire library
7 to all the files, there are not that many document that are relevant.
8 But it's about the chronology and that's how I drew my conclusions. It's
9 about who was involved, it's about what the responsibilities were. This
10 conclusion is highly probable and can be accepted as such.
11 Q. General, I'm not challenging the validity of your conclusions.
12 A. Yes, I understand.
13 Q. I just wish to clarify this, what you said in this conclusion,
14 and all the paragraphs leading up to paragraph 115. That is your
15 conclusion based on any previous steps that you took, the analysis and so
16 on and so forth, this is not something that is based on specific
17 individual documents, is it?
18 A. Most certainly. Whenever I had a specific document to work with,
19 the document was identified as such by a footnote.
20 Q. General, sir, is it possible that President Karadzic and his
21 military advisor General Subotic, even before the analysis of combat
22 readiness, sometime in 1994 started drafting or producing theories,
23 propositions, and started discussions about this document? Is it
24 possible that the best part was actually prepared before the document was
1 A. It's possible but if you want my professional opinion, it is not
2 very likely. The simple reason being that in order to produce or prepare
3 this document one must be exceptionally familiar with the situation that
4 prevails in the units. The only opportunity they would have had and the
5 best opportunities they would have had to familiarise themselves with the
6 situation in the units was the analysis of combat readiness in relation
7 to the previous year; therefore, everything points in one direction.
8 This would have been the right moment for a document like that to be
10 Q. What about elaborating on the ideas behind this document, what
11 about the propositions, do you think this could have been done
13 A. If we follow closely the chronological order, the cease-fire
14 negotiations, the cease-fire itself, the analysis of combat readiness, if
15 we take into account the fact that certain elements in that document were
16 allowed to be planned back in April, then one might conclude that certain
17 theories from this document or certain propositions that it espouses were
18 created before.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have 6D324.
20 Q. General, sir, I don't believe you've seen this document before.
21 This is one of the two documents -- or one of two documents referring to
22 the preparations and the creation of the directive that we spoke about.
23 This is document dated August 1994. It's a meeting that was held in
24 Celinac. There are official minutes from this meeting. General Subotic
25 was there in his capacity as military advisor to the president of the
1 republic. There was an agenda, directives by the state president, and
2 orders. Those were items on the agenda.
3 Do you agree that this was discussed back in 1994, and your
4 previous answer might as well be a confirmation of that at a more general
5 level, even including the municipal level. This is something that was
6 discussed at the time, or, rather, the president and his military advisor
7 elaborated on these theories at all of the levels involved, even earlier
8 on, wouldn't that seem to be the case?
9 A. I might confirm what you are suggesting. If we look at this, we
10 can easily see that General Subotic was heavily involved in relation to
11 this directive. He was probably talking to people on the ground in a bid
12 to collect the information on what the situation was. If you look at the
13 log, you can see that he was holding frequent meetings with the president
14 as well. All of that would seem to suggest what you are saying, but we
15 should put all of the pieces of this puzzle together and this certainly
16 wasn't something that I attempted in my expert report.
17 Q. The analysis of combat readiness in practical terms was something
18 that the president used in order to have a detailed insight into the
19 situation that prevailed in the army at the time and for that purpose
20 alone, and then he would use all the other elements in order to come up
21 with the appropriate theories that would then be enshrined in the
22 directive. Wouldn't that seem to be the case, sir?
23 A. What you are suggesting is highly likely. This might be
24 researched further, but I think the conclusion that you suggest is very
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have 6D311.
2 Q. General, this is a document from the command of the Eastern
3 Bosnian Corps. It was sent by the commander to the Major General
4 Subotic, the advisor of the president. It reads:
5 "Proposals for the directive to the RS president and special
6 measures in the IBK area of responsibility."
7 Can we please go to page 2 of this document so that the witness
8 could be shown the signature and the stamp.
9 Q. General, based on this document, I conclude that the president's
10 advisor went to each of the corps individually to request their proposals
11 so that he could then table these to the president for the directive to
12 be created. Do you agree with what I'm putting to you?
13 A. Can we please move back to the first page.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back to page 1.
15 And can we please zoom in.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No need, no need, I'm perfectly
17 able to read this.
18 I look at this document that's being presented here, you can see
19 that it was produced on the 24th of March, 1995. But I can't see what it
20 is based on. I can see who it was sent to. I can see that it was signed
21 by the commander, but it wasn't signed by the commander of the IBK corps,
22 but there are a number of issues that are raised here, 100 per cent
23 questions for the ministry, 99 per cent or 100 per cent. You can see
24 that the president's advisor is here consulting a soldier on what the
25 Defence Ministry should do, what its responsibilities should be. This
1 looks like another thing all together but certainly not a directive
2 because all the obligations and responsibilities here, the government
3 should use the ministry's assistant and its inspectorate to make sure
4 that everything was regular as far as scheduling was concerned. This is
5 something that the Defence Ministry should be doing. He is here asking a
6 soldier to define for him the responsibilities of the ministry. I must
7 say I find this document exceptionally confusing.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. The president of the republic can issue orders in his capacity as
10 the supreme commander to the Defence Ministry to take steps within their
11 own purview. I find it illogical that a corps commander should propose
12 measures for the Defence Ministry to take, and then he would go directly
13 to the president for these measures to be incorporated and made part of
14 the directive; right?
15 A. No. A corps commander can only address the Defence Ministry in
16 very exceptional situations or in emergency situations, and only the
17 commander of the Army of Republika Srpska is committing a crime so he is
18 now seeking some sort of protection or something like that. But even
19 then one must comply with the hierarchy. When General Milosevic, for
20 example, sent that document each document that was requested on behalf of
21 the president or for the president must then be sent through his
22 commander or, in other words, the commander must be informed about that.
23 And this is the only normal way to do this, this is the only normal line
24 of communication for something like this to take place in the army.
25 Q. We have Novica Simic, the commander of the East Bosnian Corps,
1 testify here, and he confirms that he had received from the military
2 advisor a letter to the affect that he should propose certain measures to
3 do with this. Is it normal for the president of the republic as the
4 supreme commander to go to his advisor and to seek proposals that would
5 then be used in a directive, and this is exactly what happened at the
6 previous meeting, the one that we talked about, the one that we looked
8 A. If the supreme commander goes to his advisor, Major General
9 Subotic, and requests something like that, then probably in the preamble
10 of this document that is then included, In relation to the request made
11 by the supreme commander number such and such, we give you this or we
12 give you that in return. I'm not challenging any of what General Simovic
13 [as interpreted] said. I have a exceptionally high regard for General
14 Simovic [as interpreted], but I'm trying to track this down in the
15 report. This is a very specific bit about a command about this
16 procedure, for the president to go to the corps commander. This is not
17 in itself illegal, however, for the president to be informed by the corps
18 commander about something, there is a procedure in place for that. He
19 must first inform his own commander about any orders that he receives.
20 Anything other than that would be a violation of the principle of
21 singleness of command.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a correction for the
23 transcript, that's General Simic not General Simovic.
24 THE WITNESS: I said Simic.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And the commander of the East Bosnian Corps, that's page 54, line
3 A. Your Honours, in my expert report, I explained this in B/C/S on
4 page 36, figure 8 and it can be shown.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] That's page 49 in English.
6 MR. JOSSE: 45.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, in the Army of Republika Srpska, the Commander-in-Chief
9 or the supreme commander has the final right of command, the right of
10 command of the commander of the Main Staff is derived from the authority
11 which the supreme commander transfers to the commander of the Main Staff;
12 is that correct?
13 A. I don't want you lawyers to lead me on to slippery ground, but as
14 a soldier, I will tell you that the right of the commander in the Army of
15 Republika Srpska to command the VRS as follows from the decision of the
16 Assembly where he was appointed commander, and then the supreme commander
17 operationalises this but he cannot deny him that right by any kind of
18 document. This is a military interpretation, Your Honours, I'm not going
19 into the realm of the law.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5D753.
21 Article 175, page -- of the Official Gazette, 26, but it's page 64 in the
22 English translation. It's very tiny print but it's chapter 11 which
23 refers to command. The Article is 175. ERN number is 01139037. Yes,
24 that's the page.
25 Q. General, look at this article here. What I have just suggested
1 to you is what's written here, that the commander of the Main Staff
2 realises command of the army in accordance with powers transferred to him
3 by the president of the republic and in accordance with the law so
4 that -- my interpretation it might be unusual but it's based on the law.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think the witness has already indicated that
7 he doesn't want to stray into the area of the law, and secondly, I don't
8 think that Mr. Krgovic's interpretation as he put it to the witness of
9 the powers of the president vis-a-vis the commander of the Main Staff is
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You wish to comment to that, Mr. Krgovic?
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I simply have read
13 the article from the law which says just what I said, and my only
14 question was bearing in mind this article of the Law on the Army which is
15 in force, I am suggesting to the expert that the command of the East
16 Bosnian Corps ascends directly to the president, may be unusual but it's
17 not illegal.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But I don't think it's going to change
19 anything because the witness has already indicated that he doesn't wish
20 you to lead him on to slippery grounds.
21 Incidentally, General, lawyers never lead anyone to slippery
23 Yes, Mr. Krgovic, your next question.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, my next question is as follows: When you spoke about
1 the method in which the directive was drawn up, if you look at the
2 directive itself on its own without any other materials, any directive,
3 you cannot draw any conclusions based solely on the contents of the
4 directive what method was used to compile it; is that right?
5 A. Absolutely, yes, you are right, but I would like to say that not
6 for a moment did I deny the right of the supreme commander to ascend an
7 or to the corps commander, we both agree on this, but I was referring to
8 something else. According to military rules, the corps commander, when
9 he is carrying out the task, is duty-bound to inform him superior officer
10 of this. He cannot report back along the same line. He has to do so
11 through his commander, so in essence we agree, but let me repeat, there
12 is nothing to indicate what method was used, no.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we have a brief
14 break now because it's time for my client to take his medicine and as far
15 as I can judge, he isn't feeling well, so could we have the break now,
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Just before the break, I just
19 wanted to say that on page 17 and on page 18 of page 57, line 17 and 18
20 of page 57. This should be corrected. There is nothing in the directive
21 itself to indicate what method was used.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Do you agree to that,
23 Mr. Krgovic?
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I wasn't following the
25 interpretation, but what I said was if you look at the directive in
1 itself as a document, you cannot conclude what method was used to compile
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. All right. And in any case, the
4 transcript of what -- of your intervention, Madam Fauveau, lines 24 and
5 25 is unsatisfactory, perhaps you may wish to have a look at that as
6 well. When you said a short break, we are on the point of having the
7 normal break --
8 MR. KRGOVIC: 25 minutes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. 25 minutes from now. Thank you.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
13 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, there are a number of problems. First
14 and foremost of these is the fact that General Gvero is not feeling very
15 well. He hasn't felt very well for a number of days. Today it's been
16 exacerbated by the fact that as the Court may have observed, normally at
18 reason that medication has not been brought to the Court today, an
19 inquiry is being conducted into why that has happened. I understand that
20 arrangements are in place for him to taken back to the UNDU immediately
21 and that would be our application. Could I say, whilst he is still here,
22 he consents to continue procedural discussions in his absence but not the
23 cross-examination of this witness by his counsel.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough. I don't think there is one
25 moment of hesitation on our part to accede to your request, so
1 Mr. General Gvero will be transported immediately.
2 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Immediately. And I hope that whoever is
4 responsible from the Registry will attend to this without delay. That's
5 number 1. And secondly, that a proper investigation be conducted and why
6 this has happened. It should never happen. It should never happen. I
7 hope we won't have to hear this kind of remark again in the future. We
8 are not talking of someone who is ...
9 The second thing is -- yes, General, please, you can leave the
10 courtroom immediately.
11 [The accused Milan Gvero withdrew]
12 That's number one. Yes, number 2.
13 MR. JOSSE: I'm happy to go on and deal with the next procedural
14 matter. The Court may find this rather hard to believe bearing in mind
15 what I've just said, but our expert, General Kovacevic, is presently in
16 hospital in Belgrade
17 fair, he did relay that to me in the -- prior to the last break at which
18 point in fact I didn't know that Mr. McCloskey was going to make the
19 submission or the application that he did make and that was one of the
20 things I wanted to discuss with Mr. Krgovic further. We don't know how
21 long he is going to be in that hospital for. But, Your Honour, could I
22 go on and make a few other observations.
23 The first is this: That we had thought perhaps erroneously that
24 the present witness would take all or at least most of next week. That
25 was based on the existing estimates. And we had made our position plain
1 in that regard during the recess to a legal officer of the Trial Chamber.
2 I'm not in any way being critical in relation to that. It's also been
3 pointed out to me that we thought there was one other witness who was
4 going to be evidence giving evidence on behalf of General Miletic, and of
5 course he has been withdrawn from the list.
6 Now, Your Honour, we are not anxious to mislead the Court in any
7 way at all. General Kovacevic remains on our witness list. Frankly, we
8 are anxious to leave our options open in regard to him until the
9 conclusion of this witness. The reason is perhaps obvious. The present
10 witness is the military expert for the 5th accused, that is the accused
11 whose case is most closely related to our client, and his evidence is of
12 import to our case and impacts on how we view the expertise required on
13 behalf of our client.
14 I appreciate that this leaves the Trial Chamber and the parties
15 in something of a dilemma. One observation I would make based on our
16 team discussion, is realistically Mr. Haynes, his team, and in
17 particular -- Mr. Haynes and his team, perhaps I should say, really need
18 to be in a position to consider starting earlier rather than later
19 subject, of course, to anything the Trial Chamber says, my learned
20 friends say, which we are obviously completely neutral about because we
21 are hardly in a position to lecture on that particular subject. But I
22 think it's useful if I say that for planning purposes, but I'm sorry I
23 can't be more specific so far as that is concerned. I see Mr. McCloskey.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have anything else to add on this particular
25 point before I give the floor to Mr. McCloskey or ...
1 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour. I don't.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And do you have anything else to submit apart from
3 what you have already?
4 MR. JOSSE: No, I hope I've made the position --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No-no, I just wanted to know.
6 MR. JOSSE: -- as clear as I can. I appreciate it's a long way
7 from being crystal clear.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Josse. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I now understand that the they have not
10 made their decision whether to call their expert. I would like to know
11 whether or not General Gvero is going to testify, whether they are going
12 to make an opening statement, whether they are going to call any of the
13 other witnesses on their witness list. They have told us they are not
14 going to call anybody for February, do they stand by that. There are
15 several questions that we need and deserve answers to before we go into
16 the weekend.
17 MR. JOSSE: I can deal with pretty well all of those points, and
18 actually I'm grateful to my learned friend because there is something
19 that I left out on my note and that is the opening statement. We are
20 anxious to make an opening statement. We made our position plain, I hope
21 in the e-mail that we sent last night; namely, beyond the expert we are
22 not proposing to call any other witness. So far as the expert is
23 concerned, my learned friend has correctly stated the position. We wish
24 to reserve our position until this witness has been completed.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Which brings us to this: There's no
1 point in continuing the sitting any further today because Mr. Gvero --
2 but first let's deal with this.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I made the mistake of not looking at
5 you, Mr. McCloskey, after Mr. Josse had finished his statement. And I am
6 told that you didn't look that satisfied or clear in your mind as to what
7 had been stated, is that the position?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I believe on the record we
9 have General Gvero's indication he will testify. I need to know whether
10 I'm preparing to cross-examine General Gvero or General Pandurevic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but General Pandurevic, that's a different
12 matter. I don't expect Mr. Josse to answer that question.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: If General Gvero doesn't testify and no one else
14 does, we are left with General Pandurevic.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but I was going to come to Mr. Haynes after we
16 clarified this for sure because the purpose of my intervention when I was
17 stopped rightly by Judge Prost was precisely to make sure that we were
18 understanding well. The way I have understood you, Mr. Josse, is the
19 following: As regards to your expert, Mr. Kovacevic, things being what
20 they are and maybe other circumstances, you are not quite a hundred per
21 cent sure as to your position for the time being and you would like to
22 reserve it.
23 MR. JOSSE: Correct.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct. In respect of whether Mr. Kovacevic will
25 come here to testify or not, it is not your intention to bring forward
1 any other witness and to me that means including your own client.
2 MR. JOSSE: Correct.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct. So in other words, I understood you well.
4 In other words, as things are at the moment, I wouldn't expect to have --
5 to be receiving the testimony of General Gvero but there will be an
6 opening statement.
7 MR. JOSSE: That's correct. The time estimate for that is 45
8 minutes to an hour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay. So that's the position.
10 Now, having established that, Mr. Haynes, I think I need to call
11 on you, and perhaps you can tell us what the position is. As I see it,
12 this witness will take us up to Wednesday now.
13 MR. HAYNES: Yes. And we are not sitting next Friday as I
14 understand it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not sitting on the 23rd and we are not
16 sitting -- on the 23rd we are not sitting in order to make it possible
17 for the Mrksic Appeals Chamber to sit. On the 4th we are making place
18 for another case, on the 5th and on the 6th, I am myself engaged morning
19 and afternoon in a contempt case. So that's the position.
20 MR. HAYNES: Well, as to the presentation of the case of the
21 seventh accused, we are in your hands. We will start when you want us
22 to. There is in the course of preparation a witness and exhibit list for
23 the month of February. I see no reason to dissemble. The reason it was
24 not served in time yesterday was because I was prevailed upon not to
25 serve it, but I will endeavour to circulate it at least in a courtesy
1 copy form by close of business today.
2 It's a fairly substantial list of exhibits, as you can probably
3 imagine. I have made no secret about the form which General Pandurevic's
4 case will take. I think I've announced it publicly previously at least
5 once and it continues to be the same. So there you are. We will start
6 when we are told to. I appreciate that technically the notice of
7 materials to be used is likely to be insufficient by a day or two, and if
8 anybody wants to take a point about that, I'll listen to it with sympathy
9 as doubtless you will, but other than that we are in your hands.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't have any problem, we'll get the material
12 today. There's no problem with that. And we agree with Mr. Haynes, we
13 are ready to go when you are.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So I suggest as a matter of
15 courtesy we bring in the general so that I explain to him the situation.
16 And Mr. Josse, I would suggest to you that you continue following, and
17 when I say Mr. Josse, it's also Mr. Krgovic --
18 MR. JOSSE: Taken for granted Your Honour, of course.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- that you follow up on your client's health and
20 investigation and to what happened today, and if there are things which
21 should be of concern to the Trial Chamber that you report back to us even
22 before Monday if necessary.
23 MR. JOSSE: Thank you for that. We will join the Registry in
24 trying to pursue what had happened and try and get as much information A,
25 about that and B, about his general state of health.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm more concerned for two reason: First of all
2 what happened today which should never have happened; and secondly, your
3 statement that in your assessment, your client hasn't been feeling well
4 for a few days.
5 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And that is of concern to us.
7 MR. JOSSE: I'm slightly loathe to go into that in his absence.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Of course not. I'm not asking you to.
9 I'm just asking you to follow the matter up in a way which is in the best
10 interest of your client and to report back to us if there is any short
11 coming or any matter that we should -- that should come to our notice and
12 that we should act upon.
13 MR. JOSSE: Thank you very much for that.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: General, we have encountered a problem. General
16 Gvero is not feeling well, medication which should have been here was not
17 brought over, and he has been transported back to the Detention Unit, and
18 there is no consent for the cross-examination of his -- by his team to
19 continue in his absence. So we have to adjourn until Monday. Monday we
20 are resuming at 9.00 in the morning. I'm sorry that this had to happen,
21 but it shouldn't prolong your stay here in The Hague by much. I would
22 imagine that latest Wednesday we should be finishing with you and you can
23 return back home. I thank you and I wish you a nice weekend. And same
24 advisory as before, please refrain from discussing with anyone the
25 subject matter of your evidence.
1 Mr. Gosnell.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Well, Mr. President, good afternoon. If I may
3 just --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness can withdraw. Thank you. Unless you
5 require his presence here.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Not at all, Mr. President, but since we have the
7 time I thought I would deal --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
9 MR. GOSNELL: -- with a procedural housekeeping matter.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 MR. GOSNELL: It concerns our witness, Ljubisav Simic, who
12 testified back in October 2008, and we at that time mentioned that there
13 was a request to CLSS to correct certain passages in the transcript of
14 his testimony that was entered as a 92 ter statement. We have now
15 received that correction. I've spoken to my learned colleagues opposite,
16 and they have no objection to us tendering the correction. And in fact,
17 we have uploaded the corrections as 4D606 A. So there are available and
18 if there is no objection we would ask that they be admitted.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Who did you discuss this with from the Prosecution
21 MR. GOSNELL: It was Mr. McCloskey, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, you confirm all this?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, that's correct.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Also that there is no objection on your part?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: None.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from any of the other Defence teams?
2 None. So the document that you mentioned, 4D606 A, will be admitted. Or
3 is being admitted.
4 Do you wish to discuss anything else? Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I'm told by Ms. Stewart that
6 there were three documents that we inadvertently didn't get in on our
7 list for Mr. Jevdjevic, and I've got those: 65 ter 4099, Milici Brigade
8 report on sniper rifles; 4109, it's 28th Division intel report; and 4110,
9 an intercept on 23 July.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me repeat the numbers. 65 ter
11 4099 - please correct me if I'm wrong - 4109, and 4110.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. There's also one document, 6D328
13 that was tendered by the Gvero team, I believe that's the one they said
14 they got from a relative of General Djurdzic [phoen] that we wanted to
15 look into. We have not yet been able to look into that, but bearing in
16 mind what they have said, I will not have an objection if that gets in
17 the record and not gets forgotten, but I think we should bear in mind
18 that it's coming from a different source.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. And incidentally, there is this
20 recent motion from the Borovcanin Defence team for the admission of
21 documents from the bar table.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have talked about that, I believe.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What I want to know is whether you are in a --
24 yes, Mr. Gosnell.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I'm not in a position to say what the
1 Prosecution position is --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. That's why I --
3 MR. GOSNELL: I do know that they are looking into it, but just
4 to advise the Chamber, those documents most -- almost all of them, were
5 included in our third expert report which was who we did not call. And
6 so that's the reason for the motion, that's the primary basis for the
7 motion. I do understand that it's being looked into and that a response
8 is being formulated.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. If you are not in a position to give us your
10 position on that. The purpose of my intervention was to invite you to
11 give it your earliest attention possible.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: We will do that and if -- perhaps if the SDS
13 documents are on it, it will be easier for us to decide. But one last
14 thing, Mr. President, can we, I know a lot has been thrown out regarding
15 the beginning of the Pandurevic case, but I think based on what we've
16 heard can we all assume that General Pandurevic will not be testifying
17 next week.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I am assuming the contrary. As I understood
19 Mr. Haynes, he is in a position that if we, say we finished with the
20 Gvero Defence case, now we start with the Pandurevic Defence case
21 immediately, he will comply and start with his Defence case immediately.
22 Now, I also said that I anticipate this General Kosovac to
23 finish, I think Wednesday. It's true that Friday we are not sitting,
24 Friday of next week, but for the time being, I see no reason why if we
25 finish with General Kosovac on Wednesday we shouldn't start immediately
1 after. That's my position. I mean, if there are other circumstances
2 militating against that, of course we will hear what you have to say.
3 That's the way I understood it.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Fair enough. I just wanted to have that
5 clarified and I appreciate it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case it's not going to prejudice you in any
7 way because my impression is that General Pandurevic will be testifying
8 for about two weeks.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, no, just for clarity sake, thank you,
10 Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
12 Yes, Mr. Josse.
13 MR. JOSSE: I'm confused about something that Mr. McCloskey said
14 a few minutes ago. Is he applying to have exhibited P4110? If he is,
15 that's opposed but we are not in a position to deal with it at this
16 precise moment.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But I understood him to be precisely proposing
18 to -- but of course if you want to reserve your position on that, we'll
19 give you a chance.
20 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: As regards the other two document, 4009 and -- I
22 lost track, 4009, where is it, and 4109, is there any objection from
23 anyone? We hear none so those two are admitted. We'll -- will you be
24 able to give us a feedback on 4110 on Monday?
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes, definitely, assuming our client is here.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you. Anything else?
2 Thank you. And we will resume on Monday assuming General Gvero is
3 feeling well. Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.26 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 19th day of January
6 2009 at 9.00 a.m.