1 Tuesday, 27 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
6 Madam Registrar, can you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is the case number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
11 Now, the Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey. Defence teams, I don't
12 know -- there is Mr. Ostojic missing. And is Ms. Nikolic here or not?
13 Yes, Ms. Nikolic is here, but I couldn't see you behind the column. And
14 that's about it. I think everyone else is present, Mr. Sarapa as well.
15 Okay. According to where we left things yesterday, apart from
16 the task that you undertook yourself, Mr. Haynes, in relation to your
17 client, which I hope was a successful one, the plan was for you to start
18 with your opening statement this morning, lasting approximately 20
19 minutes or thereabouts, and then proceed with the testimony of your
20 client. Is that correct?
21 MR. HAYNES: Mr. President, yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
23 So you have the floor, Mr. Haynes. Go ahead.
24 [Pandurevic Defence Opening Statement]
25 MR. HAYNES: Mr. President, Your Honours, my learned colleagues
1 and friends, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know precisely when I first
2 undertook the task of presenting a case in a court of law, but suffice it
3 to say for 20-odd years I've plied this trade, and yet today I find
4 myself entering uncharted waters, because I have never previously opened
5 a case for the Defence. The reasons for that, as you may know, are
6 principally because of the rules which govern the system to which I'm
7 most accustomed, and but also because of the culture in which I was
8 educated. I frankly confess, therefore, that I don't really know what
9 the task is that lies ahead of me.
10 I used to think I knew what a Prosecution opening speech should
11 sound like. That was at least until I arrived here and appreciated that
12 in this jurisdiction, the Prosecution gets to make two opening speeches.
13 It seems like an age ago now that we were first entertained to an address
14 by Mrs. Carla Del Ponte, followed by something rather more regular and
15 familiar to my ear from Mr. McCloskey. I recall at the time being mildly
16 irritated by the idea of two addresses by the Prosecution, but I was raw
17 and younger then, and I didn't then anticipate that I would say, about
18 Mrs. Del Ponte's speech what I will say about it this morning, which is
19 it was a fine piece of advocacy, and it was entirely appropriate that an
20 historic trial of this nature should be put in an historic context. In
21 truth, it was a privilege to have been there to hear it. And if you'll
22 forgive me for just a few minutes, I would like, in common with the
23 remarks made by a number of those who have gone before me, to develop
24 that particular theme.
25 It is truly a privilege and an honour to have this opportunity to
1 appear before this Tribunal, and it is a privilege and an honour at every
2 level. It is perhaps most apposite that of all the counsel in the case,
3 I should acknowledge that, since whatever the outcome in my client's
4 case, this experience has already rewarded me professionally and
5 personally in a very concrete way. My gratitude to the Trial Chamber and
6 my learned colleagues, who had a direct hand in the events of exactly a
7 year ago today, are indelible and beyond my powers of expression.
8 It's been a great learning curve. I do not recognise myself as
9 the same criminal court hack who first arrived here nearly three years
10 ago. I have had to learn about events of history, international justice,
11 new concepts of criminal liability, and the complexities of the hardware
12 and software of this, the most sophisticated court on the planet.
13 In the presentation of my case, I am grateful not only to my
14 co-counsel, but also to a team of energetic, intelligent, and resourceful
15 young people. I have been proud to know and know will achieve whatever
16 they want in life.
17 No lawyer could decline the invitation to test his skills in an
18 international tribunal, and it's been an honour thus far to work with the
19 array of global talent that sits around me in this room. There is no
20 doubt that you have to be on your game in this Trial Chamber, and some of
21 the work that I have seen done by those in this court has been good
22 enough to merit an entry fee. And whilst there has been the odd
23 candidate for those lists of the most stupid questions ever asked by a
24 lawyer, that was probably inevitable in a trial of this length, and I'll
25 put it down to fatigue.
1 Mr. President, it is no mean feat to manage a case of this
2 substance and size, and you very nearly achieved it. You, the Judges,
3 have set the tone for these proceedings, and you did so at the outset.
4 The bywords have been tolerance, common sense, and humanity, and you're
5 to be applauded for that.
6 To the various other agencies of the Tribunal, whose cooperation
7 and support has been constant and willing, I wish to convey my thanks
8 publicly, and I acknowledge, too, the great dignity with which the
9 victims and witnesses in this trial have recounted their difficult
10 ordeals, and the dignity with which the accused have faced their trial.
11 I had a series of goals at the outset of this case: to finish it
12 in good health, solvent, still married, and in silk. We haven't got to
13 the end yet, but I can check two out of four. I'll keep you posted as to
14 the rest.
15 The other ambition I had was to secure the best conceivable
16 result for my client, Vinko Pandurevic, and I suppose I better start
17 turning to that now, because no small part of the honour and the
18 privilege I have described thus far has been the honour and the privilege
19 to know and to represent him.
20 Now, given that as I understand it, the function of an opening
21 address is to set out the case that is about to be advanced in evidence,
22 I will start with the rather prosaic job of giving you the program of
23 events which we intend for the next few weeks. This may involve
24 Your Honours considering various housekeeping matters during the course
25 of the next day or so. As you know and have known, I submit, for some
1 considerable time, the case of the seventh accused on this indictment
2 will commence with the evidence of the accused, himself, in his own
3 defence. Given the estimates of time for his examination, it appears
4 inevitable that his evidence will consume not only the rest of this
5 month, but the whole of February and perhaps a good portion of March as
6 well. By that time, we will have been sitting for perhaps eight or nine
7 weeks in this year, although I observe from the court calendar a few
8 spare days next week, but I suspect, nonetheless, we would all probably
9 welcome a break.
10 We are going to invite the Trial Chamber to break for a week at
11 the end of General Pandurevic's evidence. That will not represent a
12 holiday for us, his Defence team, as we will be working on the
13 presentation of further evidence. Of course, once we have heard his
14 evidence, we will know more clearly where the issues are truly joined
15 between the parties, and we will be able to decide which witnesses
16 additional to the accused we still need and wish to call to give
17 evidence. It is highly likely that we will, at that stage, substantially
18 prune our witness list. Of course, we will keep our options open as long
19 as possible, but have no fear we have no intention of doing a Gvero. We
20 will make sure that everybody is informed in a timely fashion of what
21 they can expect so that resources are not needlessly expended. We hope,
22 moreover, that this matter can be agreed upon at an early stage so that
23 judicial resources and the courtroom itself can be put to profitable use,
24 if needed.
25 Now, a number of practical matters arise from the fact that
1 General Pandurevic will give evidence in his own defence, and I want to
2 go back only briefly to the debate we had which occupied the whole of
3 yesterday's proceedings.
4 As an accused giving evidence in his own defence,
5 General Pandurevic will have contact with his counsel to a greater or
6 lesser degree throughout the course of that process. When, in the spring
7 of last year, we placed his name upon his Rule 65 ter witness list, we
8 could not anticipate that. When we did, and we genuinely did from the
9 word "go," intend to call him to give evidence, we thought, that that
10 period would, for him and I, be a period of splendid isolation, and I can
11 tell you for one that I did regard an absence of visits from the
12 Detention Unit in Scheveningen as splendid. But then in September, the
13 Appeals Chamber in Prlic changed the law. Plain and simple, that's what
14 they did.
15 As counsel before this Tribunal, it is my minimal professional
16 duty to keep abreast of changes in the law in this jurisdiction and my
17 minimal professional duty to advise my client of changes in the law in
18 this jurisdiction. You might think that General Pandurevic would be
19 little short of insane if he didn't avail himself of what, after the 5th
20 of September last year, became his legal right.
21 Accused have many legal rights. Perhaps the most famous of them
22 all is the one which the other six accused are exercising; namely, the
23 right to sit in the dock and have the case proved against them. That
24 could not be, in my submission, the subject of any inference or adverse
25 comment. More still, we say, it would be utterly inappropriate were the
1 process of General Pandurevic having access to his lawyer, which is his
2 legal right, to attract inference or adverse comment in this case,
3 because all he's doing is exercising a proper legal right. And I thought
4 it appropriate to say that now because we are in new territory and
5 because I sensed a certain flavour in yesterday's debate.
6 I would also say this: I do hope that people will remember that
7 if any discourse does take place, the other participant is likely to be
8 me, and we've all enjoyed good relations during the course of this case,
9 and I would be dismayed were unfounded or wild allegations were to arise
10 during the course of anybody's examination of the General. I'll move on.
11 As an accused, of course, it's General Pandurevic's right to be
12 present at all times during his trial. That's why you, as the Judges in
13 this case, are so careful to ensure that his consent to absence is
14 properly recorded on occasions when he is, for example, sick. I only
15 mention this because whilst I will genuinely try not to offend anybody in
16 the questions I ask him, if there is any objection taken to the propriety
17 of any line of examination, any debate about that and any decision must
18 be conducted in his presence and to his full understanding. There will
19 be no question of his either leaving the room or taking off his
21 One last practical matter, and that is the question of the
22 duration of the two longer sessions in any court day. These have
23 routinely been of 90 minutes, but it has been my observation that
24 statistically the most mistakes, the most misunderstandings, and the
25 silliest squabbles between counsel have all occurred in the last ten
1 minutes of those longer sessions. This is to nobody's advantage, and in
2 my submission, has actually resulted in a loss of time. I invite you to
3 the view that during General Pandurevic's evidence, the longest session
4 should be of 80 minutes. The breaks would be of the same length. We
5 don't lose any court time, and it will reduce the risk of fatigue on
6 either his or our parts.
7 Lastly on that note, I will, of course, keep a careful eye on the
8 health and energy of my client and keep you fully appraised of any
9 difficulties which may arise. He is, of course, a robust man, but he is
10 past 50, and he is not without certain ancient health problems largely
11 arising from the multiple injuries he received during the war.
12 The remarks I will now make will not include a summary of the
13 evidence that I'm going to call. That would be an insult to your
14 intelligence. What I say does not have the force of evidence. What my
15 client says will do. More to the point, you don't need me to tell you
16 what my case is. I hope you know very well what my case is.
17 You see, I am an Englishman. I was brought up to believe that
18 the game of cricket was a design for life, that the music of the Beetles
19 showed the true possibilities of the human condition and that the taste
20 of single malt revealed the existence of God himself. I won't go as far
21 as to say that baseball, bourbon, and Bruce Springsteen leave me cold.
22 They're just not part of my makeup, that's all. As an English lawyer, I
23 was raised at the alter of putting your case, and I believe we have done
24 that explicitly throughout this trial wherever we could. I confess there
25 are examples where we did not because no witness was called who could
1 contradict the case we will now present. There were also occasions when
2 you made me cut short my cross-examination and thus did not permit me to
3 put certain things, but to the vast majority, we have been completely
4 up-front throughout this case as to the evidence we would present for our
6 The requirement to put your case is, in fact, incorporated in the
7 Rules of the Tribunal. However, it appears it is given, rather like
8 certain provisions of the brigade rules, a creative interpretation in
9 certain quarters. It will be interesting to see how explicit the parties
10 put their cases to General Pandurevic. Will the Prosecution, for
11 example, make plain which aspects of PW-168's evidence it positively
12 asserts to be true and which it abandons, or will they simply duck the
13 issue? No less interesting will be the position of others, whose lines
14 may be cut by the evidence of my client. Will they tell us what their
15 case is, or will they simply seek to throw mud from behind a
16 smoke-screen? Whether they should be permitted to do so is something
17 that I will come to later.
18 Now, you would be forgiven for asking, If he's not going to tell
19 us what his case is, why is he wasting our time now?"
20 Well, I suppose firstly because it would be a shame to go through
21 a whole professional career without making an opening speech for a
22 defendant, but secondly because there are a few things which I want to
23 address in advance of your hearing the evidence. Nobody would deny that
24 there has been, these last couple of days, a certain frisson in the
25 atmosphere of the Trial Chamber. This is a moment of true excitement,
1 the first and only accused in this trial to give evidence, the commander
2 of the Zvornik Brigade whose forces took part in the taking of
3 Srebrenica, and whose responsibility it was to defend the villages
4 closest to many of the execution sites in the indictment, the brigade who
5 fought with the 28th Division, the man who let thousands of men walk to
6 freedom, in contravention of his orders from his superiors, the author of
7 the Zvornik Brigade combat reports of the 15th, 16th, and 18th of July.
8 It is a compelling and important story he has to tell. And he has the
9 courage to tell it, and that's a lot of courage.
10 It may only be 15 metres to walk from where he sits now to where
11 he'll be sitting in a few minutes, but it's a short walk nobody else here
12 had the guts even to contemplate. Of course, I dare say they see it
13 rather differently, but Vinko Pandurevic has never been afraid to stand
14 up to that sort of attitude, never been afraid to question authority,
15 never been afraid to do what he thought was the right thing to do. He
16 will take that walk in the full knowledge that nothing will ever be the
17 same again. He does so publicly, not in closed or private session. He
18 does so without guarantees as to his maximum liability in terms of his
19 sentence. He does so as the first witness in his case, not holding back
20 to see how it goes and where the gaps might appear, but by strapping on
21 his protective clothing and going out to open the innings before he can
22 possibly know how the pitch will play. He does so in the certain
23 anticipation of all the attendant discomfort he will bring upon himself
24 here and his family abroad.
25 You will, of course, notice that the man who will take that walk
1 has a few more kilos and rather a lot less hair than the 1995 model. He
2 is also older, wiser, and of greater military rank than the 33-year-old
3 captain who took command of the Zvornik Brigade in December 1992. I have
4 known him for three years, and he is, if I may be forgiven for saying so,
5 every inch a general. He walks the walk, and he talks the talk.
6 Please do remember that a goodly portion of his knowledge, his
7 experience, and his aura are after-acquired. When you look at the rather
8 gauche individual who, on the trial video, attempted to stand up to
9 General Mladic in the streets of Srebrenica, and was pre-emptorily
10 dismissed, it is hard to imagine that it is the same Vinko Pandurevic
11 that will be talking to us in a few minutes' time. I ask you please to
12 retain that image, together with an impression of the rather childish and
13 evasive behaviour he indulged in on July the 16th when the superior
14 command wanted to know what he was up to, to counter-balance the
15 impression of gravitus he may now display.
16 Aspects of Vinko Pandurevic's character have surfaced in this
17 case really from the very beginning, when he was described in
18 complementary terms by Mr. McCloskey in his opening statement. Since
19 then, witnesses have periodically and often quite unexpectedly broke out
20 in praise of his personal qualities or his abilities as a soldier. I am
21 not going to present him today to you as a great man or even as a good
22 man. That is not because I don't think he is. I just don't think it
23 matters in a case like this, one way or the other. These are the most
24 serious criminal charges imaginable, and you are not going to acquit him
25 on the basis that he is or might be a good son to his mother, any more
1 than you are going to convict him because he was or might have been a bad
2 husband to his first wife.
3 We have been treated to a lot of cross-examination in this case,
4 justified on the basis that it goes to a witness's character or
5 credibility, and in my submission a good portion of it has been
6 ill-directed and even gratuitous. It has gone largely unchecked in the
7 past, but during the course of our case, we will be asking you to watch
8 it rather more closely. You see, to give a slightly ridiculous example:
9 If a witness comes to court merely to say General Mladic was drinking a
10 beer in the streets of Srebrenica, it is not open to the lawyer of any
11 party to assassinate his character, where the fact that General Mladic
12 was drinking a beer in Srebrenica is not the subject of any challenge.
13 That is not only irrelevant cross-examination, it is improper in the true
14 sense of the word, and certainly, in my book, unethical.
15 We are not afraid. My client and any witness called on his
16 behalf will face down any proper test of credibility. But we are also
17 not naive, and I don't necessarily address these remarks to the Bench's
18 opposite. When we hear, for example, of investigators looking into the
19 financial affairs of our client's wider family, and delving around in his
20 ancient personal life, it is not too difficult to work out what they are
21 up to and, ans indeed, who is up to it, and we're accordingly put on our
22 guard. Such attacks, if they are sought to be made, we will say will
23 have to be justified. We will ask, "What is the relevance of this?" And
24 if the justification is credibility, we will say, "Credibility as to
25 what? What is it you challenge? What do you say this man or this woman
1 is lying about, and are you going to present a positive case on that
3 The general and principal benefit to us all of General Pandurevic
4 giving evidence is that there will be evidence in his case. On critical
5 issues, you will not be struggling to draw inferences in a vacuum by
6 documents of differing grades of probity. You will have his word and his
7 explanation. Much of what he will say will simply confirm other evidence
8 in the case, but some of what he will tell you will be entirely new to
9 everybody. There are things that only he can tell you and things that
10 are not recorded anywhere except in his memory. For useful they were
11 told the officer's log-book was, not everything was recorded in it. Not
12 every conversation on a radio was intercepted, and you have not heard
13 evidence from all the people he met and spoke to in those critical days.
14 Almost uniquely in this case, he will be able to speak to
15 documents of which he was the author, and about recorded conversations in
16 which he participated. Where he speaks to documents he wrote, he will
17 tell you what he meant.
18 We submit that it is imperative that you bear in mind where the
19 burden of proof lies and remains throughout this case. He doesn't have
20 to persuade you that when he says he meant one thing or another in a
21 document, that that is correct. The effect of his evidence, however, in
22 our submission, is to present the Prosecution with a mountain to climb to
23 prove that he, the author, meant something else. And we submit that
24 Mr. Richard Butler's opinions as to the meaning of a translated document
25 he cannot even cite accurately in his report doesn't even get close.
1 In considering the meaning of documents with General Pandurevic,
2 you may find you are driven from time to time to question the adequacy of
3 the English translation. It is not easy. Not every word in every
4 language can find a direct translation into another. There are often
5 numerous possibilities, each of which would subtly or even significantly
6 affect the sense of a document. The Eskimos have 23 words for "snow." A
7 translator can only translate those 23 words into one thing in English,
8 and which one of the 23 do you pick when you are attempting the reverse
9 exercise? The odds are heavily in favour of your losing the sense of the
10 piece. And so we will see, when we come to certain documents in this
11 case, and important documents, many concepts have different modes of
12 expression. We will invite you to the view that it would be quite wrong
13 to cling to a dampness valiant, though perhaps clumsy translation of a
14 document, in the face of an explanation from its author as to its true
16 I must just say one thing about translation, while we're on the
17 subject, and it's something that has troubled me really since the outset
18 of this case and has continued to trouble me.
19 There is a phrase which appears in a large number of the
20 documents in the case. It routinely appears in italicised letters inside
21 oblique brackets, and the phrase is a derogatory term for Bosnian
22 Muslims. Now, this phrase was not inserted by a single translator.
23 Indeed, given the period of time spanning the various documents which
24 have been treated to this commentary, it must have been inserted by
25 successive generations of translators, and they did not all, over those
1 years, sit independently at their desks and decide that you, the Judges
2 of this Tribunal, and us, the practitioners, were so naive and
3 inexperienced that we needed an explanation of the translation of one of
4 two or three words. One is driven to the inescapable conclusion that
5 this phrase has been inserted as a matter of policy. That must be right.
6 Why you would, as a body of translators, have such a policy, we can
7 probably only guess at. The absence of the phrase -- derogatory term for
8 Serbs is stark where similar racial ethnic epithets are used. It's truly
9 unfortunate. The effect of it is to flavour the Tribunal's records. I
10 fear that in years to come, the practice may come to be seen by some as a
11 symbol of something sinister, and what is wrong about it is that whether
12 a word in any given context is derogatory, complementary, or somewhere in
13 between, is a judgement, and you're the Judges, not the
14 Translation Service, and somebody, Mr. President, sitting where you sit
15 now should along time ago have said, "Stop it."
16 Now, what's the point of all this? We live in a
17 politically-correct world. We can all agree that reference to anybody by
18 racial epithet is not good for society. It doesn't help us all get along
19 together. But nothing was further from the minds of the inhabitants of
20 Bosnia in the 1990s, and probably still now, than political correctness.
21 Survival was probably the first of their worries.
22 And as to the use of these terms, if your father has been
23 murdered, your sister has been raped, and your house has been burned
24 down, you're not going to refer to the people who did it as "friend," are
25 you? You're probably not even going to call them "enemy." And I
1 understand that part of the criticism made by the Prosecution is that at
2 higher political and military levels, you have a greater degree of
3 responsibility, but even in the most modern context, in times of war the
4 demonisation of the enemy is a standard military tactic. We see that in
5 the rhetoric of modern-day America on a daily basis.
6 I invite you to the view that the use of epithets based on racial
7 or ethnic origins during the course of this war tells you nothing about
8 anybody. It certainly is no basis to disbelieve their evidence, and is
9 certainly no basis for founding the requisite intent for the crimes
10 charged on the indictment.
11 Now, a veritable library has been written about the structure and
12 management of the Yugoslav National Army and, to a lesser extent, the
13 Army of Republika Srpska. They have been trawled before you in -- over
14 months and months and months, and I confess as part of my case, you will
15 see them again. But we would commend to you your own Statute,
16 jurisprudence, and your perception of the evidence in coming to your
17 decisions on culpability. Look rather to establish who it can be found
18 in fact took part in events and what unit or units that or those people
19 belonged to. Try and deduce whose orders they must have been following.
20 That, we say, will serve you better than an in-depth study of books of
21 rules, because to a great extent, stating the obvious, no rules could
22 have anticipated the events which are the subject of this indictment, and
23 you may conclude that the rules truly went out of the window.
24 In shaping this address and shaping General Pandurevic's
25 evidence, it would have been surprising if we hadn't taken a glance, at
1 least, at the indictment. It has been described by others in the past as
2 complex. Insofar as it describes myriad forms of criminal liability,
3 each overlaying upon the other, I suppose that is a description which
4 could be supplied to it. Our review of it has led us to a rather
5 different conclusion.
6 In our submission, when you come to the particulars of the
7 indictment and the allegations it makes, it's a cowardly document. It's
8 a cowardly document because it shies away from making the allegation that
9 it should make. It doesn't tell you who was truly in command of events
10 on the ground. It doesn't tell you who was telling the soldiers to shoot
11 the prisoners at the various execution sites, and that is critical to an
12 understanding of General Pandurevic's case, because he was not, we
13 submit, in command of the people who were killing prisoners at Rocevic or
14 Petkovski. They came from units all over the place. There was somebody
15 there, a senior officer, but the indictment neglects to allege that or
16 those men were in command. It shies away from it.
17 Now, there may be tactical or historical reasons for that. It
18 may be to cause the allegations in this case to fit more comfortably with
19 the positions of others.
20 I don't know why Dragan Obrenovic pleaded guilty. Men take
21 courses such as that for all sorts of reasons. It might have seemed to
22 him an expedient measure. It might have seemed to him the best thing to
23 do. He might have wanted certainty. But that should in no way be some
24 sort of impediment to your fair and proper consideration of his
25 commander, Vinko Pandurevic.
1 He will now take you on a journey inside the workings of the
2 Zvornik Brigade, a brigade like no other in an army like no other. He
3 will tell you what it was truly like to be the commander of that brigade,
4 what his soldiers were like, and the madness that greeted him on the 15th
5 of July, 1995. Then, again, I don't suppose you expected any less from
7 In opening his case, Mr. McCloskey praised Vinko Pandurevic's
8 bravery as a soldier. In concluding the opening of his Defence, I simply
9 say it is a far, far braver thing that he does now than he's ever done
11 Thank you.
12 I'll call General Pandurevic to give evidence, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
14 Do you prefer to have the break now, Mr. Haynes?
15 MR. HAYNES: No, we'll do 20, 25 minutes before the break.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay.
17 So Mr. Pandurevic to be moved to the witness box.
18 [The Accused Pandurevic takes the stand]
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Pandurevic, you are about to start giving
21 evidence. I take it this is a decision you made out of your own choice.
22 You still have a right to go back on your decision, if you so desire. No
23 one can force you to say anything in these proceedings. So if it is
24 still your intention to proceed and give evidence, please make the solemn
25 declaration that you're familiar with, and then we can start.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honours.
2 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
3 and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC
5 [The witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a seat.
7 Again, the understanding is we'll have the break at 10.30. We
8 can have it at 10.30, and then we will have a 25-minute break, as usual,
9 and then the next session will be over an hour and 30 minutes rather than
10 an hour and 45 minutes -- an hour and 20 minutes, sorry, an hour and 20
11 minutes, rather than the usual time.
12 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 Examination by Mr. Haynes:
15 Q. Can you tell us, please, what your full name is.
16 A. My name is Vinko Pandurevic.
17 Q. And what is your date of birth?
18 A. The 25th of June, 1959.
19 Q. And where were you born?
20 A. I was born in the village of Jasik, in the Sokolac municipality,
21 in the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At present, it is
22 Republika Srpska.
23 Q. And your father, who we know died a year ago, what was his name?
24 A. His name was Jovan.
25 Q. Your mother?
1 A. Andja.
2 Q. Now, I think you have several brothers and sisters. Would you,
3 if you can, give us their names and ages in descending order, the oldest
5 A. My oldest sister, Koviljka, was born in 1950, then my brother
6 Mirko, born in 1956. I was born in 1959. Nenad, 1965, and Petar, 1969.
7 Q. Have you been married?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Once or more than once?
10 A. At the moment, well, only once, but I did get married twice.
11 Q. Do you have any children, General Pandurevic?
12 A. I have three.
13 Q. And what ages are they?
14 A. Natasa is 22, and I have two twin sons who are both 10.
15 Q. And where is Natasa now, and what is she doing?
16 A. Natasa resides in Belgrade, and she's a law student.
17 Q. And the two little boys?
18 A. They also reside in Belgrade, and they're elementary school
20 Q. Now, what did your father do for a living?
21 A. My father was a farmer. He was born in a village, and he spent
22 his whole life there. He was -- farming land, and he raised cattle in a
23 primitive way. We all were born in the same village, and we all worked
24 with the same father -- with our father. From the age of 10, we were all
25 engaged in hard physical labour.
1 Q. And where did you go to school?
2 A. I went to different schools. Since my village is very small,
3 there was no elementary school there. The elementary school was in the
4 neighbouring village. That's where I finished one grade, and I had to
5 travel 3 kilometres in each direction, and the next three grades I
6 finished in an even more distant village. It took me 6 kilometres to
7 travel there. And then the 5th and 6th and 7th grade, I also finished in
8 a new school. I had to travel 9 kilometres again, 10 kilometres to
9 finish my 8th grade, and finally I finished grammar school in Sokolac,
10 and to do that I had to travel 13 kilometres each direction.
11 Q. You're going a little quickly.
12 When you say you travelled to each of those schools, how did you
14 A. The interpreter did not interpret your question fully, but --
15 Q. How did you get to school?
16 A. On foot.
17 Q. Now, you told us the village was small. About how many people
18 lived in Jasik?
19 A. There were a total of four houses, ten to fifteen people living
20 in them. The neighbouring village also had three or four houses
21 altogether, and there was a small Muslim hamlet very close to my village.
22 There were some five or six houses there.
23 Q. What was the ethnic composition of the village you lived in?
24 A. The three villages that I've just mentioned share the common name
25 "Vjetrenik," but they were all different hamlets. Two were Serb hamlets,
1 and one was a Muslim hamlet.
2 Q. And what contact did you have with Muslims as a child?
3 A. Everyday contacts. We farmed the land, we ploughed the same
4 land. My father's land bordered on the land of our Muslim neighbour. We
5 went to school together, we played football together, we minded the
6 cattle together.
7 Q. What about religious celebrations?
8 A. Serbs celebrate their holidays, their family holidays which they
9 celebrate every year, and it was customary in our village that all of our
10 neighbours attended one person's celebration, and these people obviously
11 included all the Muslim neighbours.
12 Q. And did you regard them as your friends?
13 A. Yes, we regarded as our friends. According to our belief, a good
14 neighbour is even more important than a brother.
15 Q. How about school; what was the composition of the schools you
16 went to, in ethnic terms?
17 A. The first grade that I completed, the peoples were mostly Serbs;
18 only three Muslims. And the next three grades I completed in a Muslim
19 village. There were only three or four Serb students. The rest were
20 Muslims, and our teachers were Muslims also.
21 Q. How were you brought up at home to treat people from other ethnic
23 A. We cherished neighbourly relations. The only thing that
24 distinguished us was religion, and we knew, as children of six or seven,
25 that the Serbs referred to our Muslim neighbours as Turks, and they
1 referred to us as "vlasi," but this was not derogatory, this was more in
2 religious terms, because we knew that the Islam in Bosnia came from
3 Turkey, and that's why we used the term when we referred to them.
4 Q. And what about the sort of attitudes that were taught at school?
5 A. Well, you know that we lived in a communist system which had an
6 attitude towards religious feelings and beliefs and kept them under a
7 certain control, if not oppression. There was a concept of a brotherhood
8 and unity, which was the main postulate on which the Yugoslav society on
9 which the Yugoslav society rested. There were an attempt -- there were
10 attempts to switch from nations to -- from ethnic affiliations to
11 nations, so there was a melting pot and transfer of ethnic groups into
12 one nation as a whole, the Yugoslav nation.
13 Q. And how did that contrast with the atmosphere, for example, once
14 the war started?
15 A. Unfortunately, the concept of fraternity and unity and socialist
16 self-management did not survive the history test, and finally the concept
17 of the unity and fraternity was displaced by armed violence which
18 occurred in the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia. And within
19 that context, one could say that that -- the same former Yugoslavia was a
20 creation that came to be through force, and that's -- and that it was in
21 the same way that it broke apart.
22 Q. Now, can we come on, please, to your military history. At what
23 age did you enroll for military Academy?
24 A. Upon graduating from grammar school, I enrolled in the
25 Military Academy. While I was in the third grade of grammar school, I
1 applied, and I was admitted as the only student from Sokolac, and that's
2 why I received a scholarship. And that was the only opportunity for me
3 to receive higher education, and that's why I enrolled in the
4 Military Academy, because the education there, in that school, was free.
5 Q. What was your mother's view of that?
6 A. She did not approve. She told me, "Once in a uniform, you will
7 always be in a uniform," which meant that I will always be under a
8 certain degree of pressure.
9 Q. How long did you spend at the Military Academy?
10 A. Four years in total; three years in Belgrade and one year in
12 Q. And what did you do after that?
13 A. Upon graduating from the academy, I became the second lieutenant,
14 and I was sent to serve in Ljubljana in Slovenia.
15 Q. What was you position originally when you arrived in Ljubljana,
16 and what did you do there?
17 A. I was assigned to the duty of platoon commander in the School of
18 Reserve Officers. This was the School of Reserve Officers where officers
19 were trained for the Territorial Defence of Slovenia and the reserve
20 units of the Yugoslav People's Army.
21 Q. And did you study in Slovenia?
22 A. Yes. A year into my service in Slovenia, I enrolled in the
23 post-graduate studies at that School of Sociology, Political Sciences and
24 Journalism. Prior to that, I to pass some differential exams, all the
25 differences between the exams that I passed at the Military Academy and
1 all the ones that were required for my new school. I received my
2 Master's degree in 1989, and I became a -- I obtained a Master's degree
3 in Humanities.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, we'll just get this out of the way at this
6 I want briefly to put a document into e-court without looking at
7 it. It's P372.
8 We're not going to examine this document in any great detail,
9 General Pandurevic. Do you recognise the document that's on the screen
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What is it?
13 A. This is information about myself, as a professional soldier, and
14 this is one of the documents from my personal file.
15 Q. And that's a document that contains details of your, amongst
16 other things, promotions within the army, isn't it?
17 A. Every professional soldier, or officer, rather, has a personal
18 file which is opened on the day when they start serving, and when they
19 get a rank, and this file is updated throughout their career. This is a
20 picture of their professional career.
21 Q. Well, unless anybody objects, I'm going to lead you on the
22 details of your various professions in the army.
23 You told us that you began as a second lieutenant in July of
24 1982. Were you promoted in July of 1983 to the rank of lieutenant?
25 A. Yes, both is correct.
1 Q. And were you then promoted in 1987 to the rank of captain?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And in 1991 to the rank of captain first class?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I think on the 7th of January of 1993, you achieved the rank of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And on the 23rd of June of 1994, you achieved the rank of
9 lieutenant colonel?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On the 31st of December of 1995, you achieved the rank of
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And on the 28th of June of 1997, you were promoted to the rank of
15 major general in the Army of Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in March of 2001, you became a General in the Army of
18 Yugoslavia; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, the Army of Yugoslavia, correct.
20 Q. Can we now go back to Slovenia, please. At the time you were
21 living in Slovenia, were you active in politics?
22 A. Well, I became a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
23 relatively early, when I was still in grammar school, in the first grade
24 thereof. When I arrived in Ljubljana, I was elected as the president of
25 the youth organisation in my regiment. I was also the secretary of the
1 party organisation of the League of Communists in the Yugoslav People's
2 Army. These were posts that were not paid. However, professionally, I
3 was the president of the Youth Alliance in the Yugoslav People's Army in
4 the Ljubljana Corps, which covered most of Slovenia, excluding the Styria
5 region, from December 1988 to December 1990.
6 Q. Did you have a political function within the army in Slovenia?
7 A. It was a military and political duty. I was the assistant
8 commander for political work and also his assistant. That was the
9 assistant commander of the battalion.
10 Q. Have you at any time been a member of the SDS or any nationalist
11 political party?
12 A. At the beginning of the process of the dissolution of Yugoslavia
13 and the process of dissolution of the League of Communists in Yugoslavia,
14 there was a new party, the Movement for Yugoslavia, and most officers
15 were members of this party. This was an attempt to save and preserve
16 Yugoslavia as it was, and for a brief period of time I was a member of
17 that organisation. However, after that, I was no longer a member of any
18 of the two parties.
19 Q. Now, can you tell us something about the life you established in
20 Slovenia? How long did you live there?
21 A. Nine years, and I can say that these were the most beautiful
22 years of my life. I was completely integrated into the Slovenian
23 society. I learned the language, I studied. To cut a long story short,
24 I perceived Slovenia as my own country, as my homeland, as my home.
25 Q. And did you have family in Slovenia?
1 A. I was married in Slovenia. I had a wife and a daughter. I
2 currently don't have a family in Slovenia, but I have a lot of friends
3 and acquaintances. The current prime minister of Slovenia was a junior
4 at the Military Academy, Borut Pahor.
5 Q. And did you learn to speak Slovenian?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you tell us something about the composition of the units
8 that you were a member of whilst you were living in Slovenia? Where did
9 your colleagues and superiors and subordinates come from?
10 A. When I assumed the duty of the platoon commander of the School of
11 Reserve Officers, that platoon was composed 100 per cent of Slovenians.
12 It was a school that was intended primarily and exclusively for that
13 area. However, the other units within the brigade in which I served were
14 multiethnic of mixed composition. Both soldiers and officers were
15 composed that way. There were Muslims, Croats, Serbs, Slovenians. My
16 battalion commander was a Muslim, Vahid Karavelic, who was later on the
17 commander of the Sarajevo Corps. Tihomir Blaskic worked with me, who was
18 also tried here. I was his company commander, and he was also my best
19 man at my wedding.
20 Q. We know you wrote certain magazine articles at the time. What
21 were your views on the secession of Slovenia from Yugoslavia?
22 A. At the time when Slovenia was still in Yugoslavia, the process of
23 the disintegration of Yugoslavia society were taking place, and they were
24 most pronounced in Slovenia, and it was the Youth Organisation of
25 Slovenia that was at the forefront of this movement. I was actually
1 involved in all of their activities. I wrote articles for certain
2 journals and periodical magazines. I contributed to two of them, and it
3 was with the deepest regret that I looked at all these processes that
4 were taking place, and I was saddened by the imminent dissolution of
6 Q. What was your position when eventually war did break out in
8 A. I was the assistant for political work of the battalion
9 commander, and I was also his deputy at the time.
10 Q. And what happened when the war started?
11 A. The war in Slovenia broke out spontaneously. The units of the
12 JNA were blocked in the barracks. First it was the border crossings that
13 came under attack and also the barracks Boris Kidric in Ljubljana, where
14 I also served. It was blocked by the units of the Territorial Defence of
15 Slovenia. So I found myself as a target of those whom I trained only a
16 year before that. Fortunately enough, the armed conflict did not last
17 long and did not result in a great number of casualties.
18 Q. When did you leave Slovenia, and what did you do?
19 A. In mid-August, the last members of the brigade that I served in
20 left Ljubljana, and we arrived in Zenica. I spent several days in
21 Zenica, and then I returned to Ljubljana to fetch my car and to take my
22 wife with me, and we went to Belgrade. I travelled via Croatia, Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, and then I ended up in Serbia.
24 Q. It's a small thing, just one date I think we're missing. But
25 when did the war break out in Slovenia, what month?
1 A. To the best of my recollection, it was on the 26th of June that
2 the Assembly of Slovenia proclaimed independence, and that was also when
3 the war broke out. It was in 1991.
4 Q. You told us then that you went to Belgrade. Why did you go to
6 A. I had already been admitted as a student at the Command Staff
7 Academy, and my education was supposed to start in September.
8 Q. Did you complete that course?
9 A. The education was for two years, and it was continuous education.
10 Unfortunately, I never completed. I had to drop out only a month after I
11 started because of the war that had broken out in Croatia.
12 Q. What happened to you then?
13 A. After the 20 days spent at the school, I was sent to the 19th
14 Mountain Brigade of the Uzice Corps in the territory of Western Serbia.
15 I was appointed as the battalion commander on a temporary basis there.
16 Q. And what was the situation like in that unit?
17 A. The situation was very confusing. The mobilisation that was
18 launched failed, and the army had literally broken up. The commanders
19 were all removed, and us new officers tried to consolidate the brigade
20 and to -- and to start working with it, but it was not easy at all.
21 Q. Where were you stationed at the time?
22 A. I spent about a month with the battalion in training on
23 Mount Zlata near Uzice, and then I was sent to the theatre of war in the
24 territory of Dubrovnik and Neretva and Trebinje.
25 MR. HAYNES: Can we take the break now, please?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Twenty-five minutes. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
5 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Just before the break, General Pandurevic, we left you at
7 Trebinje. During what period of time were you stationed at Trebinje?
8 A. I was stationed in the Trebinje area from the beginning of
9 October up until mid-November 1991, to the best of my recollection.
10 Q. And were you there involved in any combat activity?
11 A. The unit was sent there to engage in combat, but this was a
12 period of certain truces that were more or less respected, so there was
13 no serious fighting, in fact.
14 Q. And where did you go after Trebinje?
15 A. Upon returning from Trebinje, the unit was disbanded, and I spent
16 about seven days on leave. Then a mobilisation of other units was
17 carried out, and I was designated as battalion commander or, rather, the
18 Chief of Staff of a light infantry brigade that consisted of companies
19 that had been formed anew within the framework of the Uzice Corps.
20 Q. And how long did you hold the position of Chief of Staff within
21 that unit?
22 A. Well, luckily or unluckily, for five or six days.
23 Q. And after that?
24 A. After the brigade that consisted of companies, there were about
25 six companies in the brigade, six infantry companies, I was designated as
1 the commander of the 1st Infantry Company, because according to the plan
2 for the company, that company was supposed to engage along a separate
4 Q. And where did you go with that company?
5 A. In mid-December 1991, I was sent to the area of Western Slovenia,
6 to the north of Sava River, to the Pokucani [phoen] area.
7 Q. And how long did you remain there?
8 A. I remained there until around the beginning of March 1992.
9 Q. Now, where were you between March 1992 and June of 1992, and what
10 rank and position were you filling?
11 A. Upon returning from Western Slovenia, the very same battalion was
12 mobilised again, the one that I had been sent to the Herzegovina and
13 Dubrovnik battle-field with, and as the commander of that battalion, at
14 the beginning of April I was sent to the Visegrad area. At the time, I
15 had the rank of captain first class.
16 Q. And -- thank you. What was the demographic and military
17 situation that you needed to deal with in the Visegrad area at that time?
18 A. I have to admit that as far as political and demographic
19 conditions are concerned, I was more familiar with them in Croatian and
20 Slovenia than in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, on the basis of the
21 information that I obtained at the time, the situation in the territory
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was critical. The first armed clashes had
23 already commenced in the Visegrad area. Armed conflict had already
24 started, and most of the Serbian population had left the municipality,
25 whereas the Muslim forces had taken over the hydroelectric centre in
1 Visegrad, and they threatened to flood Visegrad and all other towns
2 downstream along the Drina River.
3 Q. Was that the situation when you arrived there with your unit?
4 A. When I arrived from the direction of the place called Rudo, which
5 is south-east of Visegrad, I arrived at the hydroelectric power-plant.
6 The Muslim forces were still present there. In the immediate vicinity of
7 the hydroelectric power-plant, there was a military warehouse that
8 belonged to the JNA, and there were about 1.000 Muslim refugees,
9 civilians, who were in that warehouse because they were afraid that the
10 town would be flooded. I went to the hydroelectric plant with my forces.
11 The Muslim forces left the plant and withdrew to Gorazde.
12 Q. And how did events develop in Visegrad while you were there?
13 A. Well, in just a few days, peace and order had been established in
14 the municipality of Visegrad. The Muslim and Serbian population returned
15 to the town, over 90 per cent of that population. The Muslims and Serbs
16 formed the government. The JNA was, in fact, the force that was supposed
17 to prevent any further conflicts from breaking out in that area, and they
18 managed to do that.
19 Q. How long did you remain there?
20 A. Well, it was a time when negotiations were ongoing as to whether
21 the JNA should remain in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina or as to
22 whether they should withdraw to Yugoslavia. Initially, it was said that
23 for the following four years, the JNA would remain in the territory of
24 Bosnia. However, suddenly a decision was taken according to which the
25 JNA should withdraw from Bosnia. So on the 18th of May, together with
1 other elements from the brigade, I withdrew to Serbia.
2 Q. Did you return to Visegrad?
3 A. Yes, I returned to Visegrad around mid-June or at the beginning
4 of June. I can't exactly remember the date. I relieved myself of the
5 duties of the commander of the battalion, and I arrived in Visegrad.
6 Q. And had the situation altered by the time you returned there in
8 A. Well, while our brigade was preparing to withdraw from Visegrad,
9 the population, both the Serbian and Muslim population, was somewhat
10 unsettled. There was a kind of polarization, a separation of the
11 population on the basis of their villages and settlements. So when I
12 returned to Visegrad, I came across a wartime situation, and demarcation
13 lines or, rather, conflict lines had already been established.
14 Q. And what sort of units were involved in this wartime situation by
15 the time you got back there?
16 A. Well, on the whole, there were two Visegrad brigades. One was
17 Serbian; the other was Muslim. In addition to them, there were some
18 paramilitary formations that had arrived from Serbia that had been
19 partially formed out of individuals from the local territory.
20 Q. What paramilitary groups did you first encounter when you arrived
21 back in Visegrad?
22 A. Well, there were various groups there. Some called themselves
23 the White Eagles. Others just called themselves volunteers. Some were
24 from Priboj, that's the South-Eastern part of Serbia, somewhere from
25 Uzice. Some called themselves Dejanovci, others White Eagles. I don't
1 really know the names of each of the groups.
2 Q. And when did you first encounter any such unit?
3 A. I came across such units while the JNA unit was still in the
4 area. And after I had returned, I came across those units or such units
5 in town. They were staying in some hotels. They were trying to live the
6 life of luxury and to engage in warfare in a manner that was particular
7 to them.
8 Q. And how did you deal with it?
9 A. Since at the beginning I didn't have any direct contact with
10 them, the leadership of the municipality complained to me and said they
11 had certain problems with such units.
12 One morning, I came across a group of such soldiers in the
13 vicinity of the restaurant where food for my soldiers would be prepared.
14 There was a clash between myself and them because I didn't allow them to
15 enter the restaurant to get food from that restaurant. It was a quite
16 intense clash, weapons were pointed, but we managed to calm the situation
17 down. And they requested certain forms of transport so that it would be
18 possible for them to leave Visegrad. I asked the president of the
19 municipality to provide them with such transport, and they then left the
21 Q. And after you returned to Visegrad in June, how long did you
22 remain there?
23 A. Well, as commander of the Visegrad Brigade, I was there until the
24 20th of -- 27th of September, 1992. While I acted as the commander of
25 the Visegrad Brigade, there was an oral order from the Main Staff,
1 ordering us to form a tactical group for Gornje Podrinje. It was to
2 consist of five brigades, a brigade from Rogatica, the Visegrad brigade,
3 the Rudo Brigade, the Cajnice Brigade, and the Gorazde Brigade. And such
4 a group was actually formed.
5 Q. What was your command structure in that time in June to December
6 of 1992?
7 A. From June to the end of December, I was the commander of the
8 Visegrad Brigade; at the same time, the Chief of Staff of the tactical
9 group from the time of its formation. And after the commander of the
10 Rudo Brigade was killed, he was killed by Serbian soldiers, I took over
11 the command of the Visegrad Tactical Group. And from the 27th of
12 September, my command post was in the town of Rudo. Sometime in
13 November, an order was issued according to which the Gorazde Brigade was
14 to be reorganised. It was also part of the tactical group, but it was
15 falling apart because the population had been expelled from the Gorazde
16 area, and I was ordered to form that brigade, to be the commander of the
17 Gorazde Brigade.
18 Q. Did you have a corps command?
19 A. The situation was particular. The Visegrad area was very
20 isolated, in geographical terms and in terms of command relationships.
21 We just had a telephone link to the Main Staff and telephone links
22 between the brigades. Up until November, until the time that the Drina
23 Corps was established, that area was not organised very well, in military
24 terms. It was only when the Drina Corps was formed in November that all
25 these units became part of it.
1 Q. And what, physically, did your command amount to in Rudo?
2 A. The command was located in the cultural centre or the centre of
3 the 1st Proletarian Brigades that was established 1941, the 22nd of
4 December; that was also the day of the JNA. In addition to myself, in
5 the brigade command, there was a reserve major, an operations officer.
6 There was a reserve lieutenant. There was a liaison officer, and there
7 was a -- or, rather, communications officer, and there was a typist, no
8 one else, a woman who was a typist.
9 Q. And how were you in contact with the brigade or brigades?
10 A. I established contact with the brigades by telephone, using
11 reserve post office telephones, ordinary telephones. I didn't have an
12 encrypted teleprinter, so I could only establish contact through the
13 Drina Corps once it had been established. I could only establish such
14 contact through the Drina Corps after it had been established, but not
16 Q. I just want you to analyse for us a document.
17 Can we have 7D728 into e-court, please.
18 Now, this document in English has the title "Combat Order," and
19 appears to be a document signed by you. And the 10th of November, 1992,
20 was that a date before or after the establishment of the Drina Corps?
21 A. This date is subsequent to the establishment of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. And can you help us as to what this order reflects in the history
23 of events in Visegrad?
24 A. This order concerns a warning to the units of tactical groups
25 about the possible enemy activity at the time planned for an exchange of
1 the dead between the Visegrad Brigade and the Muslim Visegrad Brigade.
2 Q. Thank you. And just very briefly, can we have a look at 7D742.
3 And I'm told I have to make sure that the complete version is called into
5 It's a two-page document, General Pandurevic. Please tell us if
6 you want to digest both pages before I move to my questions.
7 A. Could I see the other page, the second page, please?
8 Q. Yes. We've only just started to deal with documents,
9 General Pandurevic. We're going to deal with a lot during the course of
10 the next few days. We do have them all here in a hard copy, so if
11 there's any document you wish to look at in hard copy, we will provide it
12 to you.
13 A. Very well, thanks.
14 Q. That's a document dated the 21st of November of 1992. What event
15 or events does that reflect in Visegrad at that time?
16 A. This document doesn't concern Visegrad. It concerns the
17 Gorazde Brigade.
18 Q. I'm sorry, yes.
19 A. As I, as commander of the tactical group, was mainly engaged in
20 establishing or reorganising the Gorazde Brigade, I had moved closer to
21 Visegrad, to a place called Vardiste. And the command post for this
22 brigade had been -- was supposed to be located there because it had been
23 completely broken up. All the population had withdrawn from the area of
24 Gorazde and moved over to Serbia. It was necessary to bring those people
25 back to reorganise the brigade and to send it into action. This order
1 shows that the corps commander decided to appoint me as commander of this
3 Q. And how long were you engaged in that task?
4 A. I was very serious about the task. I started establishing the
5 brigade. I found buildings for their accommodation, buildings to keep
6 equipment in, and after a month an order was issued for me to report to
7 Zvornik, although I had barely taken over the duties I've been talking
9 Q. How did you first come to learn of your -- of the requirement
10 that you should go to Zvornik?
11 A. Well, one day Lieutenant-Colonel Ugljanin came to Vardiste. He
12 was the chief of security in the Drina Corps, and he relayed an order
13 from the corps commander to me, and I think it was Colonel Zivanovic at
14 the time, an order according to which I was to report to Zvornik, and I
15 was to be a brigade commander in Zvornik. I was completely taken aback
16 by this, as well as other people in the command of the Gorazde Brigade.
17 They had developed good relationships with me, we were on very good
18 terms, and they expected me to remain there, where I was.
19 Q. Had you ever been to Zvornik before?
20 A. I had passed through Zvornik before on my way from Sokolac to
21 Belgrade. However, I never stayed in Zvornik, and I wasn't very familiar
22 with the situation in Zvornik, or I knew nothing about it.
23 Q. So did you go to Zvornik?
24 A. Yes, I went to Zvornik. I was driven there by an escort. I
25 arrived at the command post of the Zvornik Brigade. At the time in
1 December 1992, the post was located in Orahovac.
2 Q. Did you formally resign your position in Visegrad?
3 A. Unfortunately, this was contrary to all the military rules and
4 regulations. I quite simply bid farewell to those people from the
5 brigade and left, on the basis of the oral order from the Drina Corps
6 command. I didn't transfer my duties to anyone.
7 Q. Who was the first person you met when you got to the Command of
8 the Zvornik Brigade in Orahovac?
9 A. Well, together with Lieutenant-Colonel Puljanin [phoen] to the
10 building where the command was located, I met Captain First Class
11 Mijo Dragutinovic. That's how he introduced himself. I had never seen
12 him before. Lieutenant-Colonel Ugljanin said, "This is your new
13 commander," and then he turned around and left.
14 Q. Could we have a quick look, please, at P417. It's point 60 at
15 which is page 18 in the English and page 21 in the B/C/S.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat for the transcript the exhibit
17 number, please?
18 MR. HAYNES: I'm very sorry. P417.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 MR. HAYNES:
21 Q. Now, these are the provisional service regulations of the Army of
22 Republika Srpska of August 1992, and point 60 describes the procedure for
23 the hand-over of duties by a commanding officer. You've already told us
24 what happened when you left your previous position. Did anything such as
25 is described in point 60 happen when you arrived in Zvornik?
1 A. Bullet point 60 of the regulations speaks about the hand-over of
2 duties from the level of the squad commander to the brigade commanders.
3 Nothing of the sort as described in bullet point 60 happened when it
4 comes to my arrival in Zvornik. Truth be told, there was a war going on,
5 and one could not expect that everything mentioned in the bullet point
6 could be carried out or honoured. In any case, a minimum should have
7 been done. The brigade command should have been all in one place. The
8 corps commander should have been present there, and also the person who
9 had been acting as brigade commander should have been there, and there
10 should have been a meeting, a briefing and debriefing, and I should have
11 been put abreast of the overall situation in the Zvornik Brigade.
12 However, none of this took place.
13 Q. Probably my fault, General Pandurevic, but the one thing I don't
14 think you've told us yet is what the precise date was that you arrived in
16 A. I arrived in Zvornik on the 18th of December, 1992. I remember,
17 because the following day is St. Nicholas day, the patron saint. That I
18 remember. And I also remember one more thing. When I heard initial
19 information about the situation in the Zvornik Brigade, I told the driver
20 who brought me from Visegrad not to leave, to stay put just for a little
21 while longer, because I might be inclined to join him on his journey
23 Q. Who was the acting commander of the Zvornik Brigade on the 18th
24 of December, 1992?
25 A. At that moment, I wasn't clear, to be honest. The former brigade
1 commander who had been appointed on an order was Dragan Petkovic. He was
2 seriously wounded in October, and he was undergoing treatment at the
3 Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. My impression was that the duties
4 of the brigade commander were discharged by Dragan Obrenovic. However,
5 there was a lieutenant-colonel there, Bosancic, who according to some
6 information that I received from the command, acted on behalf of the
7 commander, and it was his own decision to say to Obrenovic, "Obrenovic,
8 you are now going to be carrying out the duties." There was no paper to
9 show clearly who was in command of the Zvornik Brigade at the time.
10 Q. Did you meet Dragan Obrenovic on the day of your arrival?
11 A. Yes. Sometime late in the afternoon, Dragan Obrenovic returned
12 to the command of the brigade from the field. I introduced myself to
13 him, we met. I'd never seen him before. I didn't even know that that
14 man existed. In the brief outlines, he briefed me on the situation in
15 the brigade. And as of that moment on, pursuant to an oral order of the
16 corps commander, I de facto assumed the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
17 MR. HAYNES: Now, I just want very briefly to look at some combat
18 reports from that particular period of time. And can we start, please,
19 by, in e-court, having 7D731. This is the regular report of the 18th of
20 December of 1992. It appears to have been signed by Dragan Obrenovic.
21 Q. Do you recall whether you were shown a report for the day or
22 offered the opportunity to sign a combat report on the day you arrived
24 A. As far as I can understand this document, this is a report which
25 was drafted pursuant to an order of the Drina Corps command and sent to
1 the Drina Corps command as well, and it speaks of the current deployment
2 of the units of the Zvornik Brigade. I did not see the document at the
3 time, and I didn't sign it either. I was not even aware of it, its
4 existence at the time.
5 MR. HAYNES: Can we come on to 7D740.
6 Q. This is the regular combat report for the following day, the day
7 after you arrived in Zvornik, the 19th of December.
8 A. Yes, this is a regular combat report dated 19 December. I was in
9 the Command, and that was the first day -- or if you take that I was
10 there on the 18th as well, then it would have been the second day of my
11 command of the Zvornik Brigade. I can see that the person who was
12 supposed to sign it was Chief of Staff Captain Dragan Obrenovic. It may
13 be that the duty officer didn't know that I was there, or maybe he did it
14 by sheer automatism. He just continued putting Dragan Obrenovic's name
15 in lieu of the signature.
16 Q. Thank you. And lastly in this succession of documents, 7D741.
17 And I think the document in Serbian needs to be moved up just a
18 little bit. Thank you.
19 This is the regular combat report for the 20th of December, and
20 was that the first report signed by you as commander of the Zvornik
22 A. In light of the fact that during that period of time there were
23 two combat reports drafted during the day, one around 12.00 noon or --
24 and the other in the course of the afternoon, around 1700 or 1800 hours,
25 one of them was signed by me, and that's the report that you see in front
1 of you. Whether I signed the first one as well, I don't know. It may
2 well be the case, or maybe not. In any case, this was done on the 20th
3 of December, the day when I actually started signing my combat reports.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, I just wonder whether we can take a moment to
5 recap at this stage. On the 18th of December, 1992, how old were you?
6 A. In June 1992, I was 33, which means that I was 33 and a half
7 years old in December.
8 Q. And what rank did you hold within the army?
9 A. Captain first class.
10 Q. You've told us you previously commanded a brigade. For how long
11 had you done that?
12 A. For around six months.
13 Q. And apart from the five or six days you told us about, had you
14 ever been a Chief of Staff?
15 A. No, not really, no.
16 Q. And had you ever attended command staff school?
17 A. I started attending command staff school. I spent there 20 days,
18 never completed it. And this is the school without which you would not
19 qualify for the rank of colonel, and you could not be brigade commander.
20 However, after I completed my Master's degree, my establishment specialty
21 was altered, so that subsequently I no longer needed the completed school
22 as a requirement, although I was sent again in September 1993 to the
23 school. However, this referral was not approved by the Command of the
24 Drina Corps because of the war operations, and I never went back to that
25 school, whereas my -- the rest of my generation that also dropped out of
1 the school at the same time as I did continued that education after the
2 year 1993.
3 Q. So that we complete the full picture, what experience had you had
4 by that stage as the commander of the battalion?
5 A. My experience was rather modest, both as battalion commander in
6 peacetime -- I did not have any, to be honest, because all I had as
7 battalion commander was spent in wartime. I had some experience, but
8 only six months, which was not enough for me to assume the duties of
9 brigade commander and act as an experienced officer in that position.
10 Q. According to the rules of the JNA, what rank and experience ought
11 you to have had to command a brigade?
12 A. The procedure in the JNA required for somebody to become brigade
13 commander to have been battalion commander for at least two or three
14 years, and then the operations officer in the brigade, but not
15 necessarily, but the Chief of Staff in the brigade, and he should have
16 had the rank of lieutenant-colonel or colonel and should have been about
17 45 years of age.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, I recall seeing a document about maybe
19 five minutes ago or so, in which there was a description of how the
20 recommendation that your client be appointed as brigade commander was
21 being endorsed, but it was not approved or no approval had yet been
22 forthcoming. What I would like to know is: How come the recommendation
23 itself was endorsed if your client is now explaining to us that the
24 criteria would have been somewhat different and whether he has knowledge
25 that the decision to approve his appointment as brigade commander was
1 withheld at the time because of what he's just described to us now;
2 namely, that certain requirements had to have been met? I don't know if
3 I've made myself clear.
4 MR. HAYNES: I know the document and I know to what it refers,
5 and I'm absolutely confident General Pandurevic will as well and will
6 give you the explanation you want.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think if I haven't been clear enough, then
8 we can perhaps --
9 MR. HAYNES: I'm sure you have.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
11 MR. HAYNES:
12 Q. General Pandurevic, you heard the President's inquiry. Can you
13 deal with that, please.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, there is a document. I don't know
15 whether it is on the list or not, and in this document
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Cerevic, who at the time was a member of the commander
17 of the Drina Corps, sent a proposal to the commander of the Drina Corps
18 for me to be the commander of the Gorazde Brigade. Immediately after
19 that, an order was issued by General Mladic about my appointment to that
20 position. That letter document also exists; I don't whether it is in
21 e-court, whether it can be seen now or not. However, that was the
22 procedure, and that's how things went.
23 MR. HAYNES:
24 Q. So in terms of the document that suggests that there was a period
25 of time when authority was withheld, was that for a very long period of
1 time or not?
2 A. I don't know exactly what time-period you're referring to.
3 However, at that time the appointments and the -- were not accompanied by
4 adequate documents and orders. People would first be referred to --
5 referred to certain duties and positions, and written documents would
6 follow that. In order for somebody to be appointed as the brigade
7 commander, the person in charge of that appointment was the minister of
8 defence, nobody else, and only the corps commander or the commander of
9 the Main Staff could move for that position or propose that person for
10 that position and appoint them temporarily. There were periods of
11 interruptions in the formal drafting of such documents.
12 Q. Well, if we need to return to that, what we can do, but I hope
13 that deals with your inquiry. If it doesn't --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, let's move ahead, let's move ahead. My
15 question was more related to whether, in spite of requirements and
16 regulations, in reality, appointments as to brigade commanders were being
17 made when there was reason to believe that the requirements weren't
19 Yes, I see Ms. Fauveau standing.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that there's a
21 mistake; not a very significant one. But before I let my colleague
22 continue, on page 45, line 18 and 19 and 20 of the transcript, one reads
23 "Lieutenant-Colonel Cerevic ..." [In English] "...of the Drina Corps
24 sent a proposal to the commander of the Drina Corps."
25 [Interpretation] I think there was a mistake in the translation,
1 so if the witness could please confirm the position of Colonel Cerevic,
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Good point, Ms. Fauveau.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It must be a transcript issue.
5 There may be a mistake.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: What did you actually say? You understand English
7 from what we saw from another document. So page 45, lines 18, 19, and
8 20, 21. What would you correct there?
9 MR. HAYNES:
10 Q. Was Lieutenant-Colonel Cerevic the command of the Drina Corps?
11 A. No, Lieutenant-Colonel Cerevic was the assistant for morale in
12 the Drina Corps, and the corps commander at the time was
13 Colonel Zivanovic, as far as I know.
14 MR. HAYNES: I think we're all happy.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And while we are at this, on line 23 on the
16 same page, was it General Panic or General Mladic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about General Mladic,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I'm raising it, because I heard you say
20 "General Mladic," but we have "Panic" here.
21 Okay, let's continue, Mr. Haynes.
22 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
23 Q. I'd like you just to briefly look, if you would, at the manual
24 for the work of command and staff, point 27. That's P699 in e-court,
25 page 20 in the English and pages 21 and 22 in B/C/S. And, in particular,
1 the aspect of that point, which says:
2 "It is necessary for the officers in commands and staffs to have
3 previous experience in exercising control in those activities and units
4 whose interests they represent in performing their particular function in
5 the command."
6 We'll come on to the numbers of professional officers in the
7 Zvornik Brigade in due course, but you had an opportunity to assess the
8 experience of your officers in command and staff. What sort of previous
9 experience had they had?
10 A. In any case, they did not have the experience -- the experience
11 envisaged by bullet point 27 of this instruction for the work of commands
12 and staffs. And particularly in combat campaigns, one requires a lot of
13 experience and knowledge. The officers who were members of the Zvornik
14 Brigade Command were mostly reserve officers who had previously been
15 members of the staffs of Territorial Defence, at much higher -- lower
16 positions than the ones that they were appointed to in the Zvornik
17 Brigade. And I'm also including here Dragan Obrenovic as the Chief of
18 Staff and myself as the brigade commander.
19 I feel the need to explain to the Trial Chamber, and especially
20 the President of the Trial Chamber, in regard to the previous question
21 and answer, it is true that there were criteria that somebody had to meet
22 in order to be appointed to a certain position. What happened in the war
23 was that one commander of the Zvornik Brigade was a lieutenant-colonel,
24 another one as well, and the third one was also lieutenant-colonel. They
25 offered several colonels to us in the duty. However, they were
1 experienced enough to know what this meant. And finally, it was I who
2 was put in that position, not even suspected -- suspecting what lies
3 ahead of me. I assumed the position without meeting the necessary
4 requirements for the post.
5 Q. Now, moving on from there, you've told us that the previous
6 commander of the Zvornik Brigade was a man called Dragan Petkovic; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And at the time you arrived in Zvornik, you were aware that he
10 had been injured in 1992, in October of 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Following on from what you've just said, were you familiar with
13 what rank he held?
14 A. I knew that he was a major.
15 Q. Now, I'd like us, please, to look at a document we first put into
16 e-court, your service record. That's P372, and we need to look at page 4
17 in the English, page 8 in the B/C/S, please.
18 And very briefly, General Pandurevic, what is that? What does
19 that page in your service record record?
20 A. What I see in front of me on the screen is an order issued by the
21 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska on the appointment of
22 Vinko Pandurevic as the commander of the 1st Zvornik Light
23 Infantry Brigade. The date is 8 October 1993.
24 Q. Thank you. And can we go to another page in that document.
25 That's page 8 in English, and page 16 in the B/C/S.
1 And what does that page of your service record indicate?
2 A. This document originates or is in reference to the previous
3 document. This is a report on the take-over of duty pursuant to the
4 order of the minister of defence. I was appointed as the commander of
5 the Zvornik Brigade, and I assumed the duty officially on the 26th of
6 October, 1993. This was done formally. Everything was done on that day,
7 although it says here that I reported to the unit on the 13th of
8 December. This is not correct because I reported to the unit on the 18th
9 of December, 1992.
10 Q. General Pandurevic, between the 18th of December, 1992, and the
11 26th of October, 1993, did you regard yourself as being in command of the
12 Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. Yes, I did. I was in command of the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Q. So what was the effect of an order formally appointing you?
15 A. This order regulated my status in the service. As of this order
16 onwards, I started receiving salary. My files were updated based on this
18 Q. Thank you very much, indeed. Now, what was the state of the
19 brigade when you arrived there in December of 1992?
20 A. I'll try and be very brief when describing the situation as it
21 was. Based on the reports that I received on the 18th and the briefing
22 that I received on the 18th when I arrived in Zvornik, it was said to
23 this Trial Chamber previously that on the 6th or 7th November, a lot of
24 civilians and soldiers were killed in the territory of Glodjansko Brdo
25 and that one battalion of the Zvornik Brigade was completely dissolved,
1 and that battalion withdrew to the outskirts of the town of Zvornik.
2 Another battalion was in the area of Drinjaca, south of Zvornik, some 12
3 kilometres further away, and it was completely encircled. The territory
4 between Crni Vrh and Nemici [phoen], which is north-west of the city of
5 Zvornik, was not covered by the Serb forces, which means that territory
6 was completely empty. The other battalions were in very dire straits.
7 The commander of these battalions were next to impossible. When I heard
8 all that, I wanted to return to Visegrad. I did not want to resume the
9 duty of the commander of the Zvornik Brigade. However, as a person who
10 sincerely and militarily understood any order, I took the job, and I
11 embarked on a very difficult mission.
12 Q. Did you know how many soldiers there were in the brigade?
13 A. I was first asked about the strength. None was able to provide
14 me with an exact figure. They said between 5.600 up until 6.000 odd.
15 It's necessary to make a distinction between the number of people in the
16 brigade and the number of soldiers. When I say that, what I have in mind
17 is how many of those people are prepared to carry out combat tasks as
19 The brigade was organised, as far as I can remember, into about
20 11 infantry battalions. Their strength was more than the strength of the
21 battalions in July, or the strength was different with respect to the
22 battalions in July, so I wouldn't want to mention any figures in order to
23 avoid creating confusion.
24 Q. You've told us that at the time you arrived, the command of the
25 brigade was in Orahovac. In strategic terms, where was that in relation
1 to combat?
2 A. Well, the brigade command was practically at the first
3 front-line. That's contrary to tactical rules. However, the corps
4 command took such a decision because they knew that this territory was
5 under threat, and if they placed the brigade command there, then some of
6 the units that secured the command of the brigade would be in the area,
7 present in the area, and would thus be able to provide a minimum form of
8 protection there.
9 Q. Thank you. I just want us to look at a few contemporaneous
10 reports to get a flavour of the situation, and we'll look, please, at
11 7D946, a regular combat report for the 19th of December. And we need to
12 look at page 6 in the B/C/S, please.
13 When you've had the chance to refresh your memory of the
14 document, I wonder if you could let us know, insofar as you already
15 haven't, what state of affairs that is describing.
16 A. Here we have the partial description of the overall situation in
17 the territory of the Zvornik Brigade in December 1992. We can see that
18 all the Serbian villages weren't protected or they were poorly protected.
19 Enemy forces succeeded in entering the village of Grujici, they succeeded
20 in looting and killing some older women, and Serbian forces were not very
21 strong and put up minimum resistance.
22 Q. Thank you. And can we go to P280, please.
23 This is an order about a month after you arrived in January of
24 1993. Does this reflect the combat situation and the state of the
25 brigade there?
1 A. Could we scroll up a bit, please.
2 Q. Certainly.
3 A. This document was drafted on the basis of the way events
4 developed in the area at the time and on the basis of the intelligence
5 and information that we had, and this information concerns the purposes
6 of the enemy. I issued an order to units of the Zvornik Brigade, saying
7 that they should defend all inhabited places and the town of Zvornik at
8 all costs.
9 Q. And I think you might like to look at the second page, and
10 paragraph 2 in particular, and give us some comments on how that reflects
11 the capabilities and alertness of the troops at your disposal.
12 A. Item 2 mentions how the Zvornik Brigade units should act, how
13 they had been acting, and it states that they had acted in an inadequate
14 and inefficient manner.
15 Q. Thank you. Can we now move on another month to 7D470, please,
16 470. And perhaps you can tell us what event this described.
17 A. This is a regular combat report dated the 18th of February, 1993.
18 It's similar to standard combat reports. Item 1 mentions enemy activity,
19 and it's mortar fire on the Kiseljak inhabited area. The second part
20 mentions the exhumation of soldiers who were killed in Glodjansko Brdo,
21 and the mentions Kamenica. The date was the 6th of November, 1992.
22 Q. Thank you. And following on from the reference to
23 Glodjansko Brdo, can we have a look, please, at 7D1007, and in particular
24 paragraph 2 here.
25 A. This item is about the exhumation and identification, burial, of
1 a certain number of soldiers who were killed at Kamenica. The figure is
2 mentioned 35, and two were unidentified. Rather, the figure of 22
3 soldiers relates to identified soldiers. I apologise. I remember that
4 funeral. I attended it.
5 Q. During your association with the Zvornik Brigade, was there ever
6 a larger massacre of your men than the events at Glodjansko Brdo?
7 A. Well, what we have been discussing is, in fact, the massacre
8 Glodjansko Brdo. As far as I can remember, we have already seen
9 photographs that -- photographs of the event. And on the 7th of January,
10 1993, there was a massacre in the village of Kravica. I, with some
11 forces from the Zvornik Brigade, was involved in preventing the Muslim
12 forces from advancing any further.
13 Q. And I was simply interested in the number of members of the
14 brigade that were lost at Glodjansko Brdo. You've read a document now
15 showing there was 35. Was there ever any single incident of combat where
16 you lost more than 35 men?
17 A. This is the number of men found. According to other information
18 from the time, there were other men who were listed as missing. There
19 were other men from the Sekovici Brigade, but this is the largest number
20 of soldiers killed in one day from the Zvornik Brigade. That was the
21 case for the entire wartime period.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, in seeking to improve standards in the brigade,
23 did the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska embark upon a survey
24 of the brigades in 1993?
25 A. The Main Staff, from the time it was established, was in a very
1 difficult situation when it comes to controlling or establishing control
2 over the territory of Republika Srpska and when it comes to organising
3 the army. Since the Main Staff didn't have many professional officers,
4 it wasn't very numerous, it had a difficult task. However, the
5 Main Staff did send special teams of officers into the field. They
6 visited the brigades, the corps, and examined the combat readiness or
7 tried to assess their combat readiness. They also visited the
8 Zvornik Brigade.
9 Q. And did you ever see an assessment of the Zvornik Brigade by the
10 Main Staff at about that time?
11 A. Yes, I did see an assessment of its combat readiness. It was the
12 Main Staff that made such an assessment, I think, in March 1993.
13 Q. In general terms, what was that assessment?
14 A. Well, the assessment of combat readiness is carried out in a
15 standard manner, and there were positive and negative experiences, but
16 there were more negative experiences and decisions. The general
17 assessment was that the Zvornik Brigade was cumbersome, that the
18 commander wasn't in a position to successfully command such a brigade, it
19 would be necessary to divide the brigade into two parts. And I think its
20 assessment was not as good as the assessment given to the Bratunac and
21 Sekovici Brigades.
22 Q. The document's still, unfortunately, in translation, so we may
23 need your help a little bit, General Pandurevic, but the document is
24 7D1001. And I wonder if you could, a good deal less quickly than you
25 have been speaking so far, just read, as it were, the contents of that
1 cover sheet for us.
2 A. "The Main Staff of the VRS, strictly confidential number, the 5th
3 of March, 1993.
4 "Assessment of combat ready of units in the Drina Corps," being
5 forwarded to the commander of the Drina Corps:
6 "We hereby attach to this an assessment of combat readiness in
7 some of your units. Examine this assessment, draw up a plan to deal with
8 any shortcomings, and include these objectives in your working plans.
9 "General Ratko Mladic."
10 Q. And can we now go to page 5, please. We can see there the
11 Zvornik Brigade has a number. Is that the score it achieved?
12 A. The Zvornik Brigade was given the score 3.20, in brackets "fair."
13 Q. And going down to paragraph (b), to the bottom of that page, I
14 wonder if you could read for us the conclusions there, please.
15 A. "Weaknesses and shortcomings.
16 "The brigade is composed of ten infantry battalions. If we add
17 support units and other elements to this, then it is quite clear that its
18 composition is too cumbersome, and even a far stronger command would not
19 be able to ensure adequate command and control. Documentation at the
20 level of the battalion command isn't provided by daily command and
21 control. The firing system at the level of the battalion hasn't been
22 professionally organised. The firing possibilities -- the firing
23 equipment possibilities haven't been made adequate use of. There is a
24 noticeable lack of professional and qualified officers at all levels of
1 Q. Thank you. Going back to the score, did any brigade score lower
2 than the Zvornik Brigade in this assessment of combat readiness?
3 A. I think that this document also mentions the Bratunac and 1st
4 Bircani or, rather, Sekovici Brigades. As far as I can remember, their
5 assessments were more favourable than the assessments of the
6 Zvornik Brigade. If we could have a look at the entire document, I would
7 then be able to state something with certainty.
8 MR. HAYNES: Well, that may mean that this is an appropriate
9 moment to take a break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly, I was just going to suggest that.
11 Twenty-five minutes from now, please. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
15 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
16 Q. Now, the question I asked you just before the break was probably
17 a little ahead of myself.
18 I wonder if we could go, in the document that is on the screen in
19 e-court, to page 6, please.
20 And you've now got a hard copy of the document, and there are
21 some further comments there. About halfway down the first paragraph,
22 I can see the Serbian word "Prisutan." I wonder if you could read it.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry to interrupt you like this, but during
24 the break we were informed that Mr. Ostojic's client, that's Mr. Beara,
25 wasn't feeling well, and I authorised his return to the detention centre.
1 I apologise to my colleagues for not informing them before we came into
2 the courtroom.
3 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. I hope it's nothing to do with
4 Mr. Ostojic's return.
5 Q. General Pandurevic, would you read the comment slowly for us that
6 begin with the word "Prisutan." It's on page 6, and I know you now have
7 a hard copy.
8 A. That's correct. Let me just find the word, "Prisutan." Yes, I
9 found it now.
10 "Something is present," in inverted commas, "someone else will do
11 that." I don't know if it's necessary to explain what this means.
12 Q. Do you know what it means?
13 A. Well, it's the usual phrase used in the territory of Yugoslavia.
14 One could say my concerns can be transferred to someone else. That means
15 if I don't do it, someone else will, so it's just a matter of letting
16 someone else carry out one's duties.
17 Q. Thank you. And what was the Main Staff reporting? How did that
18 phrase relate to the Zvornik Brigade at the time they assessed it?
19 A. Well, this has to do with the lack of motivation of soldiers and
20 officers when it came to carrying out their tasks.
21 Q. Thank you. And I want to look briefly, please, at page 14, at
22 the very bottom.
23 A. Yes, I found that.
24 Q. And I wonder if you could just read us slowly the last paragraph
25 of that page.
1 A. "In the brigade, military subordination from detachments to
2 brigade commands is not yet fully functional. Soldiers and officers have
3 demonstrated a considerable amount of willfulness and also the desire to
4 lead on the basis of their own decisions. This creates a certain amount
5 of confusion when it comes to organising the daily life and work of the
6 units and when it comes to establishing relationships with third parties.
7 Everyone addresses or turns to the brigade command for the slightest
9 Q. Thank you. Now, given that we're talking, obviously, about March
10 of 1993, the comments that were made about the Zvornik Brigade, were they
11 comments that you would agree with?
12 A. After the Zvornik Brigade had been controlled and visited in
13 March, the team had a meeting with me in the brigade command, and they
14 told us, in rough terms, about the assessment of the situation, and then
15 this report followed. I was familiar with the situation at the time, and
16 I agreed with the assessment. Perhaps with regard to page 17, I would
17 add a general conclusion. It says:
18 "Establish a tactical group consisting of three brigades and
19 appoint a more experienced officer as commander of the tactical group."
20 So the Zvornik Brigade was equivalent to three light infantry
22 Q. Thank you. Now, during the course of our last break, you had the
23 opportunity to go through a hard copy of the document. Did any brigade
24 score a lower mark than the Zvornik Brigade in this Main Staff
1 A. No. Apart from the Zvornik Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade was
2 assessed, as well as the Bircani and the Sekovici Brigades. The Bircani
3 and Sekovici Brigade was given a score, 3.35. And the Bratunac Brigade
4 -- just a minute, I think it was 3.35, yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 Before we move off that Brigade, I do apologise for the fact it's
7 untranslated, but I have to say in our defence, it was submitted for
8 translation five months ago, but as yet it hasn't come back translated.
9 I'll let you know when it has.
10 Now, General Pandurevic, we've looked at, as it were, your
11 position, the position of your officers, the general position in the
12 brigade. Let's move on to your own personal perception a bit.
13 What were the problems with commanding and controlling the
14 soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade?
15 A. There were quite a few problems. There's no doubt about that.
16 Every brigade has a way in which it's organised and established. This is
17 the idea one has about the brigade. It has to do with what is set forth
18 in the rules, but its dynamic structure represents another element, and
19 this has to do with how it functions in concrete situations. So when we
20 tried to apply the idea as to how it should function in practice, we had
22 In order to establish control over all the units in the Zvornik
23 Brigade, it was essential for me to have the aid of all my subordinate
24 officers and of all my associates. I tried to find the best way of
25 organising the brigade, given the strength of the brigade. I tried to
1 establish the best possible links between myself and subordinate units,
2 but to verify the actual situation and to assess the actual situation, I
3 would have had to be present in the field; I would have had to be present
4 at the front-line; I would have had to mingle with the soldiers because
5 this is the only way you can gain a real insight into the situation, and
6 it's the best way.
7 Q. How many of the battalion commanders were professional soldiers?
8 A. The battalion commanders were usually foot soldiers with some
9 more courage than others, or reserve officers. The commander of the 3rd
10 Battalion, for example, in July 1995, was a professional officer,
11 Branko Studen, and the commander of the Mixed Artillery Division, Captain
12 Milos Maksimovic. They were the only two professional officers. The
13 others were either foot soldiers or reserve officers.
14 Q. And what about the brigade, generally; how many professional
15 officers were there in the whole of the brigade?
16 A. The number changed in the course of the war. However, it was a
17 very small percentage at all times. I believe that it was anything
18 between 10 and 15 per cent [as interpreted], when it comes to the
19 professional officers in the brigade, in comparison with the total figure
20 of 270 officers that one professional brigade is supposed to have.
21 Q. I'm sorry. Did you say 10 and 15 per cent or something else?
22 A. No, I said 10 to 15 men, officers.
23 Q. Thank you. Where did the battalion soldiers come from?
24 A. The battalion soldiers came from the villages and settlements
25 where these battalions were deployed. At the very beginning of the war,
1 the front-lines were established in the vicinity of the settlements and
2 villages. However, in the Zvornik Brigade there was also one battalion
3 composed of the soldiers whose families had fled from Central Bosnia, and
4 there were also several companies within the other battalions composed of
5 the soldiers who had fled from some other territories of Bosnia and
7 Q. And how were they equipped?
8 A. Since I joined from the Yugoslav People's Army, which had
9 complete armament and equipment and all the necessary materiel and
10 equipment for its soldiers, I was taken by surprise to see the situation
11 as it was in Zvornik. The soldiers had uniforms which did not match.
12 Nobody had a hat or a helmet. They had their personal weapons, but the
13 soldiers were not autonomous. If you, for example, bear in mind the NATO
14 soldier who carries over 30 kilos of equipment to be autonomous, our
15 soldier did not have anything, was very much tied to his own home. He
16 was not well equipped, and he was really badly disposed to carry out any
17 combat tasks.
18 Q. What percentage of the battalion soldiers were reservists?
19 A. Save for that one battalion commander who was a professional, all
20 the others were reservists.
21 Q. I wasn't merely asking about the commanders. I was asking about,
22 as it were, the whole force. How many soldiers in the battalions were
24 A. All the foot soldiers in the Zvornik Brigade were reservists.
25 There were no conscripts, there were no professional soldiers, as such;
1 maybe one or two who happened to be there. However, 99 per cent of the
2 force were reservists.
3 Q. And how were the positions kept manned? Was there a system of
4 rotation or what?
5 A. Throughout the war, there was a system in the Army of Republika
6 Srpska that was called "rotation warring," which originated in the
7 concept of a weekend warrior or weekend soldier. 50 per cent of the
8 soldiers were on positions, and 50 per cent were on furlough, on leave.
9 This was necessary because the soldiers and their families would not have
10 been able to survive otherwise, if any other system was in place. Only
11 in exceptional cases, when the territory was at a particular risk, there
12 would be 70 per cent of the soldiers on the front-line, and only really
13 they, exceptionally a full force, 100 per cent, were on the front-lines.
14 Q. And what authority did you have over those reserve soldiers who
15 were not on duty?
16 A. In compliance with the law on the military, officers,
17 commissioned officers, officers on contract, conscripts, and reserve
18 soldiers on duty are taken as soldiers. In that sense, all those who
19 were on duty were under my jurisdiction. Reserve soldiers who were on
20 leave or were working from home or in their companies were not under my
22 Q. Well, since you mention that provision, we'll just have a look at
24 Can we have a look at P703, please, Article 3. That's B/C/S
25 page 187, and English page 1.
1 Is Article 3 the provision you had in mind?
2 A. Yes, this is the article that I had in mind.
3 Q. Thank you. What was their attitude to fighting?
4 A. Well, you know, nobody wants to fight. In a fight, you can lose
5 your life. All these people appeared to be very emotional because they
6 were defending their families, their homes, and themselves. They still
7 were forced to be engaged. They did not do it really willingly. They
8 had to fight, but not willingly.
9 Q. You mentioned earlier that it was necessary for you to be with
10 them in the battalions on the front-line. Was that possible, for you to
11 do that?
12 A. The basic principle or, rather, the basic relationship in the
13 army is the command relationship. At the level of the brigade, these
14 relationships are not personal, which means that the brigade commander
15 communicates with his subordinates via written orders, which means I
16 would issue written orders to the battalion commanders, and they would
17 then implement such orders. However, when my written order arrived in
18 the battalion command, it was implemented to the extent to which it was
19 acceptable to those to which it referred. The battalion commanders would
20 report back to me that they did whatever they could, and in order for
21 such an order to be implemented fully, it was necessary for me to appear
22 on the spot, in person, and this is what I very often did.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you ever suffer any particular instances of
24 rebellion or mutiny?
25 A. There were all sorts of situations. Before the war, the Army of
1 Republika Srpska did not exist. There was no mobilisation plan. Nobody
2 knew if they would be mobilised into military units or if they would have
3 work obligation. And then the soldiers believed that those who were not
4 in the army did not have a justified reason not to be in the army, and
5 they would often discuss, if John was with them, why Peter wasn't with
6 them as well. So in order to have my orders carried out, I would often
7 conflict with my subordinates. All this should not have happened. A
8 commander should never conflict with his subordinates, but it did happen
9 on several occasions.
10 Q. Did you ever find yourself in danger?
11 A. Well, yes, although I did not consider that as a danger that
12 would put my life at risk; at least I did not show it. On one occasion
13 sometime in mid-January 1993, I hit a barricade on the road when entering
14 a village. There was a tractor on the road with a machine-gun mounted on
15 it. They prevented me from getting into the village because I had
16 demanded for the men from that village to go to the positions. After a
17 lot of discussion, they dispersed, but they still did not go to the
19 There was a similar situation in 1994 as well, when a company
20 from the village of Skocic, not wanting to alter their defence sector,
21 encircled me, demanding for me to grant them the approval to stay put in
22 the place where they were. I had to give in momentarily, but later on I
23 moved that company gradually.
24 There were cases when whole battalions had to be moved from one
25 defence sector to a different defence sector. It was a painstaking job,
1 and I often had to negotiate for hours with the soldiers of those
2 battalions. However, due to my good negotiation skills, I would succeed.
3 I would not employ my military skills. I'd would rather employ my
4 people-management and psychological skills in order to do such things.
5 Q. Thank you. There's just one little discreet error I want to deal
7 Can we have a look at 7D1046, please. And forgive me, it's
8 page 3 in the English, pages 2 and 3 in the Serbian text.
9 What power or authority did you have to mobilise men to fight?
10 A. I did not have any powers to mobilise people or to engage
11 materiel and equipment for a fight. There was a law in place, a law --
12 the law on defence, which regulated those matters.
13 Q. And, sir, if you did need, what procedure would you have to adopt
14 through your staff?
15 A. I was duty bound to contact organs for organisation,
16 mobilisation, and personnel affairs within the staff and send my request
17 to the corps command, and they, in their turn, would contact the minister
18 of defence, asking them to mobilise men or requisition material or
19 technical equipment.
20 Q. Thank you. Moving away from that, could we please have P2509
21 placed into e-court.
22 General Pandurevic, are you familiar with this document, which
23 describes the Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility for combat
25 A. To be very honest, when I was in Zvornik, I did not see this
1 document in this form. I only saw it here. However, I still had to
2 comply with the provisions contained in this document, because they were
3 already in effect when I arrived in Zvornik, and I know what the document
4 is about.
5 Q. Thank you. Well, I don't want to take too long with this,
6 because I took rather a long time with another witness a long time ago
7 doing this, but I want to see if we can graphically appreciate what this
8 document means.
9 And behind you there's a map. I think you've been provided with
10 a light pen. 7D1056 is the synopsis sheet of the map, and the title in
11 English is: "Responsibility of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade
12 according to the Drina Corps command order of 1992." I wonder if you
13 could, first of all, show us on the map with the light pen where, as it
14 were, what is described in paragraph 1(a) of that order is drawn on this
16 A. I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to allow me to say something
17 before I proceed, if I may. I'd like to go from the more general things
18 to the more specialised things.
19 In the theory of the war doctrine which we learned in the School
20 of National Defence, there is a term "theatre of war," and this is the
21 entire territory of the state which is engaged in war, and this theatre
22 of war is divided into small rooms, as it were, which are called
23 "front-lines." And below the front-lines for the tactic-group-level
24 units, we have zones.
25 The Army of Republika Srpska was responsible for the theatre of
1 war which was the entire territory of Republika Srpska. The corps, as
2 operative levels, were responsible for the parts of the territory of the
3 Republika Srpska which would be called "front-lines," and within the
4 corps every brigade had its part of the area of responsibility of the
5 corps, and they were called "zones."
6 So the Zvornik Brigade was also given its zone of responsibility
7 for combat operations. This would be its full name, its full identifier,
8 as it were. What does it mean? In practice, this means that the unit
9 which is in charge of a certain area or zone of responsibility for combat
10 operations, since its purpose is to be engaged in combat operations, this
11 unit is responsible for engaging with all the enemy units that appear in
12 that zone or which are in that zone already.
13 And now I'm going to proceed and show you the borders of the zone
14 of responsibility for combat operations of the Zvornik Brigade. We can
15 see this red line, thick line, which I'm showing with not very well
16 visible pen. These are the borders of the zone of responsibility for
17 combat operations of the Zvornik Brigade. As one can see, this zone of
18 responsibility [indicates] extends far beyond the front-line of the enemy
19 side, and it is not only the territory which is under the control of the
20 VRS, but also a territory which is outside that zone. Hence, the Zvornik
21 Brigade was duty-bound, in case of any enemy forces appearing in this
22 zone, to engage in combat with them.
23 Since the Zvornik Brigade was intended for combat operations
24 rather than for training, transport or commercial purposes, it was only
25 responsible for combat operations and nothing else in that zone of combat
2 I apologise for my lengthy answer.
3 Q. No, don't apologise. The area to the west of the front-line, but
4 within the dotted red and yellow line, that was ever within, as it were,
5 the control of the Zvornik Brigade during the period of your command?
6 A. Yes, and what I'm showing now [indicates], this was all my zone
7 of responsibility for combat operations.
8 Q. But did you ever occupy any of that territory, the brigade? Did
9 it ever occupy any of that land to the west of the front-line?
10 A. The north-west part of the zone of defence of the Zvornik Brigade
11 never suffered any changes from its very establishment in June 1992.
12 Those were the defence lines along the Serbian settlements, for the most
13 part. There were some minor corrections of movements extending
14 400 metres. In the southern part, there were some changes to the
15 front-line, and the positions of the Zvornik Brigade were indeed moved.
16 Within this zone of responsibility for combat operations, the Zvornik
17 Brigade had its zone of defence where the soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade
18 were deployed.
19 Q. Thank you. The positions of the battalions are marked on the
20 map. Probably we will need you to indicate where they are, very briefly.
21 Where was the command post of the 1st Battalion?
22 A. I just said that the numbers of the battalions, dating back to
23 1992 and 1993, differed to the numbers that they had in July 1995. The
24 1st Battalion was in this territory here [indicates] that was between
25 Malecici [phoen] and Vitinica. And we know that in 1995 --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. With my naked eye, I could see the
2 witness pointing to a particular location on the map, but the
3 transmission -- the video transmission was not focussing on that location
4 at the time. If you could kindly point again to the same place,
5 Mr. Pandurevic, please, and the technical troupe please focus on where he
6 is pointing. Thank you.
7 If we have the same map or parts -- relevant parts of it in
8 e-court that he can mark on, then it would perhaps be better.
9 MR. HAYNES: Mr. Pandurevic has actually drawn my attention to
10 something that's rather more significant, which is that this map shows
11 the positions of the battalions in 1992, and, frankly, I don't think
12 that's going to be of much interest to you, so I'm going to move away
13 from this map, and perhaps we'll deal with the positions of the
14 battalions in 1995.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
16 MR. HAYNES:
17 Q. Now, we've dealt with, as it were, general forces of the
18 Zvornik Brigade. I want to move on to one specific battalion, which is
19 the Manoeuvres Battalion. Did the Manoeuvres Battalion exist as such in
20 December of 1992 when you arrived at the brigade?
21 A. No, it did not.
22 Q. Was there anything like it there when you got there?
23 A. There was a unit of some 30 men, approximately, which was known
24 as the Scouts -- Scouting and Reconnoitering Detachment.
25 MR. HAYNES: I want to have a look very quickly at two documents.
1 7D1089, please.
2 I'm told that the English version of this document is,
3 unfortunately, not in e-court. We'll see if we can correct that
5 Q. And you'll need to look at paragraph 4, Commander --
6 General Pandurevic. This is a Main Staff order of the 20th of September
7 of 1993, and paragraph 4 reads:
8 "The Motorised Battalion of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade
9 shall remain in the organisation establishment of this unit, but continue
10 to break it as a manoeuvre unit of the Drina Corps command under the
11 direct command of the Drina Corps. Battalion must manned at 100 per cent
12 of the personnel and material establishment, and shall be considered a
13 completed battalion that may be strengthened with platoons or companies
14 from the Armoured Mechanised Unit."
15 What did that order effectively create?
16 A. Allow me to correct you. This is an order from the command of
17 the Drina Corps. It's based on an order from the Main Staff. The
18 purpose of this order is to raise the level of combat readiness within
19 the Drina Corps, and this was to be done by forming manoeuvre units that
20 would be capable of engaging in combat outside of their territory, in the
21 place where they had been established.
22 Since the Zvornik Brigade was fairly strong, and since initially
23 it had this Sabotage and Reconnaissance Detachment manned by young
24 soldiers, the corps command decided that that unit or, rather, the
25 strength of the unit, should be increased. It should be formed as a
1 battalion which would be part of the Zvornik Brigade, and it would be
2 under the immediate command or, rather, direct command of the corps.
3 This sounds a little contradictory. It was part of the Zvornik Brigade
4 when it was necessary to provide it with food, clothing and footwear, but
5 when it was necessary to engage in combat, it did so on the basis of
6 orders from the corps. When it came to combat, I could only use it in
7 the zone of responsibility of my brigade. Outside that defence zone of
8 responsibility, I didn't have the right to use them for such purposes.
9 Q. And were you allowed to use them of right, or did you have to
10 seek permission to use them?
11 A. As I have said, in my brigade's zone of responsibility,
12 especially when urgent action was required, I could act on my own
13 initiative, but if I were to send it outside the zone of responsibility
14 of the Zvornik Brigade, it was necessary to have an order issued from the
15 Drina Corps.
16 Q. I just want to look at a couple of examples of how that worked.
17 Can we look at 7D705, please. This is a Drina Corps order of the
18 29th of May of 1995, signed by General Zivanovic, which indicates that he
19 will command the forces from the forward command post.
20 What can we see happening by this order?
21 A. This order is a tactical example of what I was referring to a
22 minute ago. The Drina Corps command has issued an order stating that
23 some of the Podrinje Detachment forces -- it was in fact a manoeuvres
24 battalion, but these forces were to be used in a combat situation, and
25 they were to be under the personal command of the corps commander.
1 MR. HAYNES: And can we now look at 7D766.
2 Q. The document in B/C/S looks like a telegram. Is that what it is?
3 A. Yes. This document followed on the other document, the order we
4 saw a minute ago. This is a telegram that the commander of the
5 Podrinje Detachment, Milan Jolovic, sent to the corps -- commander,
6 rather, to the Pribicevac tactical group. He requested for certain
7 reasons that one of his soldiers should be returned to Zvornik. He
8 didn't ask for the soldier to be returned through the command of the
9 Zvornik Brigade. He asked this to be done through the corps command.
10 Q. Thank you. Well, we can leave that alone, then.
11 Now, we're moving on to a very large topic, but we've got
12 ten minutes left, so we'll begin it today.
13 There's been an enormous amount of discussion in this case about
14 the JNA brigade rules. Can I take it you are very familiar with them?
15 A. There really are very many rules that regulated the way that the
16 JNA was to function. I'm familiar with most of them, but I wouldn't want
17 to claim that I'm familiar with all of them.
18 Q. Well, it was probably either my fault or a translation
19 difficulty. I'm really only concerned at this stage with the brigade
20 rules of 1984. Are you familiar with them?
21 A. Yes, I'm familiar with the brigade rules. That represents one
22 set of rules that regulate the way in which various brigades are to
24 MR. HAYNES: And just to break into the topic today, I wonder if
25 we could have in e-court P408 at page 1 in the B/C/S and page 2 in the
1 English. And the portion of -- thank you very much, thank you very much
3 Q. Who made these rules, General Pandurevic?
4 A. These rules are part of the professional military literature
5 that's available, and professionals made these rules. These brigade
6 rules, well, they concern infantry brigades, motorised mountain brigades,
7 marines, light brigades. These rules were created by the Infantry
9 Q. And who or what is that?
10 A. The General Staff of the JNA was organised in such a way that it
11 insisted on several administrations. Occasionally, it would change the
12 way it was organised, but as far as I can remember each arm of the army
13 had its own administration that was responsible for it, in terms of
14 technique and doctrine, and thus the Infantry Administration was
15 responsible for matters relating to the infantry.
16 Q. Thank you. I wonder now if we can go down to, as it were, the
17 legal force, if any, of these rules. We can see that they are made
18 pursuant to item 34(c) of the instructions on the preparation and use of
19 professional military literature. What are the instructions on the
20 preparation and use of professional military literature?
21 A. I wouldn't now like to comment on the contents of these
22 instructions, because it's not fresh in my mind, but these instructions,
23 that state how and who should issue professional military textbooks that
24 would be used in military academies, in military schools.
25 Q. What is an instruction, as you understand it?
1 A. Well, the word "instruction" speaks for itself. It says that one
2 instructs someone to do something, or it tells someone how to do
4 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Can we now look at P694, please, at
5 page 12 in the B/C/S and page 3 in the English. And this is a different
6 version of the same document. It's just that in this version, the pages
7 we have been looking at are mistranslated, so we prefer the accurate
8 translation of those first two pages.
9 A. You saw on the title page that these brigade rules concern five
10 or six types of brigades, but there's one set of rules, and that's why in
11 this introductory part it says that given the differences in terms of
12 organisation and establishment and given the purposes of various groups
13 within the infantry, the provisions of these rules must be applied in a
14 creative way, and so on and so forth.
15 I have to point out that the brigades of the VRS were even more
16 different, in terms of organisation and establishment and in terms of
17 their purpose, even more different than these five or six brigades that
18 these rules refer to, and that is why it was essential to have a creative
19 approach to the application of these rules.
20 With your permission, in legal terms I'm a layman, but I know
21 there is such a thing as criminal law, and I know that there are
22 textbooks on criminal law. But punishment is meted out on the basis of
23 the law, not on the basis of these textbooks. And so this textbook
24 functions in a similar manner, like a textbook on criminal law.
25 Q. Well, I think we'll leave that there. There are just two or
1 three things I'd like to deal with before we finish.
2 At page 41, line 4 of the transcript, it's recorded that you
3 describe Dragan Petkovic as the former commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
4 We can give you the text of the answer, if you like. Did you describe
5 him as the former commander or the formal commander?
6 A. Up until a written order was drafted on my appointment and up
7 until the report on the transfer of duties, Petkovic was officially the
8 commander of the Zvornik Brigade. That was his status there, but he
9 didn't have any actual control over the brigade. I was the person who
10 had such control.
11 Q. Thank you. At page 32, line 24, it's recorded that you said in
12 Visegrad you went to the hydroelectric plant with your forces. The
13 Muslim forces left the plant and withdrew to Gorazde. Is that what you
14 said, "the Muslim forces," or something else?
15 A. The Muslim forces were holding the hydroelectric power-plant, and
16 they had opened up a gap, and a lot of water got through the gap and
17 flooded a Muslim village. The person who opened up that gap, well, his
18 house was destroyed by the water. The people in Bosnia are familiar with
19 this affair. The name of the man involved is Murad Sabanovic.
20 MR. HAYNES: Very well, thank you very much, General Pandurevic.
21 We'll resume again tomorrow morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Thank you,
23 General Pandurevic.
24 As has just been stated, we'll resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
25 Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
3 January, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.