1 Wednesday, 28 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am.
10 Out of the accused, only the accused Beara is not present today.
11 I take it, Mr. Ostojic, that we will be receiving his waiver in due
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President. You will.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
15 Prosecution, I think the position is exactly the same as
16 yesterday as regards your presentation, so let's start.
17 Mr. Haynes, good morning to you.
18 MR. HAYNES: Good morning, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, yesterday afternoon when we finished off, we were
23 discussing or we had just begun to discuss the brigade rules of the JNA
24 of 1984. Before we get into a further discussion, as it were, as to
25 their legality, purpose, and application, I'd just like to cover a few,
1 rather, more basic facts about them.
2 Before you became commander of the Zvornik Brigade in December of
3 1992, had you ever had the opportunity to study the brigade rules of the
4 JNA of 1984?
5 A. Yes, I had such an opportunity, and I did start studying these
6 rules, but I didn't study all the rules.
7 Q. And I don't want to lead you. During which period of your
8 military career and education was that?
9 A. That was during the 20-day period when I was in the Staff school,
10 Command Staff School
11 did exist, but I didn't have a copy of them.
12 Q. Which leads me to my next question. When you arrived at the
13 Zvornik Brigade in December of 1992 and the Command at Orahovac, was
14 there a copy of the brigade rules there?
15 A. I can't say. The Command was based in Orahovac. As for the
16 library that used to be in the Territorial Defence Staff before, I don't
17 know whether there was such a library -- whether there was such a copy
18 there. I saw some of the rules, but I can't really tell you which rules
19 I saw, or I saw certain sets of rules, and there were probably the
20 brigade rules among them.
21 Q. Thank you. And just to complete the point: Other than you, was
22 there anybody else in the Command or Staff who at that time had any
23 familiarity with them at all?
24 A. I think that the Chief of Staff was familiar with those rules.
25 As far as I can remember, it's on the basis of those rules that he
1 compiled sort of a summary on the obligations of certain organs of the
2 Staff and of the Staff, summary on the duties they should perform. But I
3 can't be certain whether he had a copy of those rules.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to recap, as it were, towards the
5 end of yesterday's session. We just dealt briefly with the legal force
6 of those rules, and we looked at the instruction at the head of them.
7 What was your understanding of the legal force of the brigade rules in
9 A. Well, given that I was previously a lot more familiar with the
10 battalion rules, because those are the rules that I used, and given that
11 they are quite similar to this other set of rules, I had a general
12 position and approach with regard to rules of that kind, and I can say
13 that those rules - and that's the case for other rules too - were issued
14 on the basis of instructions or directives on professional military
15 textbooks or literature. So that's the kind of literature we're dealing
16 with. It wasn't issued on the basis of law, and adhering to the
17 provisions of those rules or not adhering to them didn't result in any
18 legal action. These rules also had certain ideological elements that
19 were the result of the idea of general People's Defence, and this is
20 based on the socialist self-management system. These were rules that
21 governed doctrine or related to doctrine, which would change over time,
22 and these rules related to an army that no longer existed at the time.
23 However, these rules did provide instructions and aided one in training
24 officers and command staff in order to make it possible for them to
25 perform their duties.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, can we move straight to the heart of the matter,
2 please, and have a look at Article 115.
3 So can we have in e-court, please, for the benefit of
4 Mr. Pandurevic P694, page 64 in the B/C/S and page 37 in the English.
5 Something very interesting has appeared in e-court in the English
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document seems to be only in English.
8 MR. HAYNES: We're looking for P694.
9 I just better check that. That wasn't a document that should
10 have been kept secret or anything? Okay.
11 I'll repeat that. It's page 64 in the B/C/S. You have 37 in the
13 Q. We can all see it, but:
14 "The brigade commander has the exclusive right to command all
15 brigade units and attached units. He bears full responsibility for the
16 work of the brigade command and subordinate commands, for the state of
17 morale, for security and combat readiness, for training, and for the
18 proper performance of tasks. The commander takes decisions, assigns
19 tasks to units, monitors their fulfillment, and demands their strict
20 execution regardless of difficulties that arise. Through his personal
21 conduct, work and involvement in the implementation of policies, ethical
22 standing, courage, ability, fairness, cool-headedness, consistency, and
23 respect for personality and opinions of subordinates, the commander
24 vitally influences the entire condition of the brigade, especially the
25 morale of the units in command."
1 Do you agree with that as a basic statement of principle?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. How does that paragraph help us to determine what happens if, for
4 example, the brigade commander is absent for any reason?
5 A. Well, first, I should say that you'll find such items in all the
6 rules that concern battalions, brigades, divisions, corps; and this item
7 is based on the idea of command and control and primarily on the
8 principle of singleness of control. This principle, this idea, means
9 that only one man can be in command of one unit, of a given unit. This
10 can be the commander of a brigade, for example, in this case, who was
11 designated to be the commander. Someone who represents the brigade
12 commander at any given point in time can also act under this item, or an
13 individual appointed or designated by the superior command. So this idea
14 of singleness of command is included in this item.
15 The second item -- or, rather, the second paragraph means that
16 the commander has to be a member of the League of Communists. If we
17 apply this to the VRS, then he would have to be a member of the leading
18 party or, rather, the party in power. That wasn't the case in the VRS.
19 This rule -- rather, this item doesn't take into consideration certain
20 possibilities that are set forth in certain other rules, and that has to
21 do with the absence of the commander or the fact that he is prevented
22 from performing his duties. If this item was applied in literal terms,
23 one could say that the brigade is dead and no one could command the
24 brigade, and that can never be the case. The unit must never remain
25 without a commander or an officer. This is a basic military rule. So
1 this item is applicable to each and every officer who, at a given point
2 in time, has command over a given unit.
3 Q. Thank you. In the English, the whole of the next article,
4 Article 116, is on the screen. I think it is in the B/C/S, as well, but
5 let's go to that, please, Article 116:
6 "The Staff is the main organ of the brigade command, and it
7 functionally links and integrates the operations of all the command
9 "The Chief of Staff directs the work of the Staff. He is also
10 the deputy commander of the brigade. The Chief of Staff, in accordance
11 with the commander's decisions, has the right to assign tasks to
13 "The Staff consists of an operations and training organ, an
14 intelligence organ, a recruitment and personnel organ, organs for combat
15 arms, and the office."
16 Firstly, the statement there that the Chief of Staff, in
17 accordance with the commander's decisions, has the right to assign tasks
18 to subordinates. What, practically, does that mean?
19 A. The Chief of Staff is in a brigade if the establishment provides
20 for this. There are certain brigades where there is no Chief of Staff.
21 In this case, we're talking about Chief of Staff. In Article 116, when
22 it says that the Chief of Staff, in accordance with the commander's
23 decision, has the right to assign tasks to subordinates, well, in this
24 case "assigns tasks to subordinates" is put in a very subtle manner.
25 This means that he doesn't have the original right to command brigade
2 What does this mean? It means that there has to be at least one
3 condition, and that is that the brigade commander is on site and in
4 command of the brigade, and he took a decision, and then the Chief of
5 Staff, in accordance with that decision, assigns tasks to units, and he
6 is then de facto playing the role of Chief of Staff and not the role of
7 deputy commander.
8 Here, it isn't said that the deputy commander issues tasks as a
9 commander. It says the Chief of Staff, so his role is a twofold one.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to move on from there because we're
11 going to come to deal explicitly with the question of the absence of the
13 Was the situation where the brigade commander was absent from the
14 brigade regulated by military law within the JNA?
15 A. Yes, it was regulated.
16 Q. I don't want to give you a memory test, but do you recall the
17 name of the rules or regulations that regulated it?
18 A. For every command level, from the level of brigades, regiments,
19 corps, and at higher levels, for each level there are special documents
20 that regulate the responsibilities of the commander, and these are the
21 rules on the responsibility of the command for regiments, brigades,
22 divisions, corps, and so on and so forth. So this is a document that is
23 legally binding, and it means that the commander has to abide by the
24 provisions of the document.
25 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Can we have, please, into e-court 7D717,
1 and we'll begin by looking at the first page of the document to underline
2 the point that Mr. Pandurevic has just made, and I'm grateful for it
3 being pointed out to me that there has been additional translation of
4 this document, so I have to ask for the complete version to be put into
5 e-court, please. Thank you. Just page 2 in the English; 3, maybe. Yes,
6 thank you.
7 Q. These are the rules on responsibility of the command in a brigade
8 or regiment, and at the top there we see the, as it were, legal authority
9 of these rules, and in English it reads:
10 "Pursuant to Article 7, item 8, on the Law of the Yugoslav
11 People's Army and the authorisation by the Supreme Commander of the
12 Armed Forces of the SFRY, I hereby issue rules on responsibility of the
13 commander of brigade and regiment."
14 You've probably already answered this, but what does that tell us
15 about the rules that we're looking at now?
16 A. This means that the rules are based on the laws or, rather, the
17 Law on the Yugoslav People's Army, and on the title page you can say that
18 this is a confidential document and it has a registration number.
19 Q. And just to repeat an exercise we carried out with the brigade
20 rules, were these rules on which you'd received any training or education
21 prior to becoming a brigade commander?
22 A. Unfortunately, no. I was familiar with certain general matters,
23 but I wasn't familiar with these rules then.
24 Q. And, again, do you know whether a set of these rules was present
25 at the brigade command of the Zvornik Brigade during 1992 to 1995?
1 A. I certainly didn't have a copy. As to whether there was such a
2 copy somewhere, I couldn't say.
3 MR. HAYNES: Now can we have a look at page 5, probably in both
4 of the documents. We're looking for Article 10. Thank you.
5 Q. "The commander is responsible for the overall situation of the
6 brigade or regiment, for the correct and lawful work of the command
7 organs, and for the successful and timely completion of all tasks within
8 the remit of the command organs.
9 "The commander has direct control over the brigade and regiment
10 units through the Chief of Staff, his assistants, and the organs for
11 combat arms."
12 Does that accord with your understanding of the brigade
13 commander's legal responsibility?
14 A. Yes, certainly. It does agree with my understanding of it.
15 MR. HAYNES: And can we now move forward one page to page 6 in
16 both documents and have a look at Article 17.
17 Q. "In the absence of the commander, the Chief of Staff or deputy
18 commander stand in for him with all the commander's rights and duties."
19 Is that your understanding of what the legal responsibility was
20 of the Chief of Staff or deputy commander in the absence of the
22 A. Yes, precisely.
23 Q. And perhaps you could explain to us how this provision interacts,
24 as it were, with the articles of the brigade rules we were just looking
25 at, Articles 115 and 116.
1 A. Well, Articles 115 and 116 from the brigade rules and Articles 10
2 and 17 on the powers of the commands of the regiment are somewhat
3 different. In Article 115, a principle has been applied without any
4 elaboration, and the power on the commander has been absolutised [as
5 interpreted]. As a human being and in professional terms, in these
6 articles what happens, the commander is defined as the one who commands
7 the units of the brigade immediately and through the Staff and his
8 assistants. If we were to apply Article 115 from the brigade rules, we
9 could understand that the commander needs only a typist and a courier,
10 nobody else in the Command. However, this book of rules elaborates that
11 somewhat further in a more precise way.
12 In Article 116 of the brigade rules, the only thing that is said
13 is that the Chief of Staff is also the commander's deputy. However,
14 Article 17 explains that, and it says that in his absence, the commander
15 may be replaced by the Chief of Staff or the deputy commander with all
16 the rights and responsibilities of the commander, which means that that
17 person acts on behalf of the commander and has to act pursuant to
18 Article 115 of the brigade rules.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier on you did say that the legal rights and
20 duties of the commander and the Chief of Staff were regulated at every
21 level, and just to illustrate that point I wonder if you could have a
22 quick look, please, at P410. We want to see Article 10. It's page 8 in
23 the English and page 10 in the B/C/S, and this is to show the position at
24 corps level.
25 This is P410, the regulations on the responsibilities of the land
1 army corps command in peacetime, and it reads:
2 "Article 10. The Chief of Staff shall replace the commander when
3 the latter is absent and shall have all rights and duties. If the
4 commander and Chief of Staff are both absent at the same time, the
5 commander shall be replaced by the officer assigned on the order of the
7 Was that the provision you had in mind when you told us earlier
8 that these matters were regulated by law at every level of the army?
9 A. We can see that the provisions of this article as well as of the
10 previous articles are the same. If we were to look at a division book of
11 rules, we would find a similar provision, i.e., if we were to look at the
12 book of rules on the division commands.
13 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. And I apologise to the court manager for
14 this, but can we now go back to 7D717 and have a look at the second part
15 of Article 17 to see the position in relation to the brigade and regiment
16 if both the commander and the Chief of Staff are absent.
17 I think in the B/C/S, we'll need to go over one more page. Yes,
18 I knew this was coming. It reads in the English:
19 "If the commander and the Chief of Staff are absent, one of the
20 assistant commanders shall be ordered to stand in."
21 Q. Can you glean that from the, as it were, bad scanning of the
22 document in B/C/S, Mr. Pandurevic?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 Q. And does that describe the situation in law as you understood it
25 to be if both you and your Chief of Staff were absent from the brigade?
1 A. Yes. This describes a situation when both a commander and a
2 Chief of Staff are absent; it will be the corps commander who will
3 regulate that matter and order which officer will perform the duties of
4 the commander in such a case.
5 Q. Thank you. You anticipated the next question. I suppose it's
6 not beyond the bounds of possibility that a set of circumstances would
7 arise where the commander and the Chief of Staff were both absent and
8 there was no time or no possibility for the corps commander to order one
9 of the assistants to stand in. What would happen then?
10 A. It is very clear that life cannot be regulated in all of its
11 segments by rules and regulations and instructions. Situations arise in
12 life when one has to react promptly and spontaneously. If both the
13 commander and the Chief of Staff or his deputy are all absent for
14 whatever reason, at that moment the Command should be taken over by the
15 most senior officer who is in the Command, or, rather, the corps
16 commander should appoint somebody from the corps command, an officer,
17 that is, who would be in charge.
18 Q. Thank you. And I just want to come to a couple more provisions
19 to deal with that point.
20 Can we have a look, please, at P26, and we can move through this
21 document very briefly, Mr. Pandurevic, a document headed "The
22 organisational and establishment structure of the army Corps, the
23 Main Staff of the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 dated the 26th of May, 1992.
25 In brief, what did you understand this document to be?
1 A. We know that the Army of Republika Srpska was officially
2 established pursuant to a decision of the Assembly of Republika Srpska on
3 the 12th of May, 1992, and we can see that this order was drafted on the
4 26th of May, 1992, and it was created as a result of the process of
5 negotiations and counselling between the highest political and military
6 leaderships in the Republika Srpska, and the topic was how to organise
7 the Army of Republika Srpska. It doesn't say anywhere here that one
8 should start from the existing doctrine that had been in use by the
9 Yugoslav People's Army or that the establishment books should be used
10 that had already existed. It says here that one has to start from the
11 specific circumstances and that brigades should be established in keeping
12 with the abilities and conditions under which parts of the Territorial
13 Defence existed.
14 This is a creative approach to the organisation of the military
15 which was applied by the Main Staff and the Supreme Commander. In one
16 place here, it says that the army should be enabled for offensives and to
17 protect Serbian territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina rather than to be
18 able and capable of taking territories that belong to others. This is
19 about a new state being created and a new military being created in that
20 new state.
21 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. And now, can we have a look at P147, and
22 we need page 10 in both the B/C/S and the English.
23 Q. Now, I've not shown you the first page of this document, but
24 these are the provisional service regulations for the Army of Republika
25 Srpska, dated the 25th of August, 1992. Just remind us: What was your
1 position within that army on the 25th of August, 1992?
2 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, the document is P417.
3 MR. HAYNES: Yes, I'm sorry. I'm speaking too fast, I think,
4 when I give numbers. I will slow down. I promise you.
5 Q. So where were you on the 25th of August, 1992, Mr. Pandurevic?
6 A. At that time, I was in Visegrad. I was the commander of the
7 Light Infantry Brigade of Visegrad.
8 Q. Were a copy of these rules delivered to you at that stage?
9 A. No. These were temporary regulations that I did not see during
10 the war, but I was familiar with the rules of service of the armed forces
11 of the former Yugoslavia
12 practical terms, the new rules did not present anything new to me.
13 Q. And do you know whether a copy of these rules were kept -- or
14 these provisional rules were kept at the Command of the Zvornik Brigade
15 during the time of your command?
16 A. I'm not sure.
17 Q. Okay. Can we start by having a look at Article 17:
18 "Members of the army shall carry out the orders of their
19 superiors without demure in full, accurately and punctually. If by
20 chance the order was not given in good time, the person is required to
21 take measures and act in accordance with the specific situation.
22 "Members of the army shall carry out the orders of the most
23 senior officer present when the superior officer is absent."
24 I'll complete it:
25 "The execution of each order shall first be reported to the
1 superior officer or to the officer who has given the order."
2 What does that mean?
3 A. Allow me to say, first of all, something in general terms about
4 the relationships in the army. This will make Article 17 clearer.
5 The main relationship in the army is the relationship of command,
6 and this command relationship is based on issuing orders and execution of
7 the orders issued. Here, the subtitle reads "Giving orders." Giving
8 orders is one of the fine functions of command and control.
9 Every officer in the army who has his subordinates, either organs
10 or individuals or units, even, is entitled and is duty-bound to give
11 orders, i.e., to command. Every officer thus, with regard to their
12 subordinates and their superiors, is placed in the command relationship,
13 and this Article 17 regulates precisely these issues. If it had been
14 applied in practice fully, if it was fully applied, it would be much
15 easier to carry out command over the army, if the orders were carried out
16 without demure in full, accurately and punctually. This is what this
17 strives for.
18 In any case, you can see that there is no situation in which an
19 officer would not be found to give orders, and if the situation is such,
20 then any such given order has to be carried out.
21 Q. What about the obligations of a soldier under the VRS to carry
22 out the orders of the most senior officer present?
23 A. According to these rules, he's duty-bound to execute the order.
24 Q. Does a commanding officer always have to be a commander?
25 A. No. I tried to explain already. It is not a common expression
1 to say "a commanding officer." A commanding officer does not have to be
2 a commander. There's also the chief of an administration, the chief of
3 department. They also have their subordinates to whom they issue orders,
4 i.e., command them. Also, an officer who is not a commander by function
5 can be assigned temporarily to a task and perform the duties of a
6 commander. This is what my Chief of Staff did. The corps command issued
7 an order to go outside of the zone of responsibility of the corps and
8 carry out the duties of a commander there.
9 Q. What would be the situation were an officer, for example, of the
10 rank of colonel to have given orders to soldiers in one of your units,
11 say, a battalion?
12 A. In keeping with these rules, soldiers should act upon such an
14 MR. HAYNES: Now can we have a look at Article 16, "Joint Tasks."
15 "When several units are given a joint task, a commanding officer
16 shall be appointed in good time to direct the execution of the task. If
17 this is not regulated beforehand, the role of superior officer shall be
18 assumed by the most senior officer, who shall direct the execution of the
19 task. If a unit or an institution is suddenly left without a commanding
20 officer, command shall be assumed by his deputy or the highest-ranking
21 officer in that unit until a new officer is appointed."
22 I'm not too worried about the second paragraph. I think we've
23 covered that.
24 Q. Can you help us as to what your understanding of a joint task is?
25 A. A joint task, in itself, implies that several units have to be
1 involved in the execution of that task. This means that there are
2 several participants in the execution of a task. You can have a company
3 from one brigade, a battalion from another brigade, a group from another
4 corps, and they can all appear in the same territory, executing the same
5 task. If it is not regulated, who will be in charge of all these units,
6 who will be in command of all the individuals in the territory, then in
7 keeping with Article 16, para 1, the role of the commander is assumed by
8 the most senior officer among these people.
9 Q. What is the smallest army unit in the JNA?
10 A. The smallest organisational unit in the JNA was a department.
11 Q. How many soldiers did that comprise?
12 A. Detachment. That detachment comprised eight to ten soldiers, but
13 that changed. There is a role called a soldier in the infantry
14 detachment. From the lowest level, from the level of soldier and
15 detachment, the work is regulated. I'm not sure whether the translation
16 "detachment" or maybe "squad" would be better to describe what I've just
18 Q. Thank you. Now, let's just imagine that you have a unit of
19 military policemen from one brigade, a unit of military policemen from
20 the corps, some battalion soldiers from another brigade, and a unit from
21 a Main Staff regiment, and that they are working on the same task. Would
22 that, under these rules, qualify as a joint task?
23 A. Yes. In keeping with these rules, this may be considered a joint
24 task. In order to establish who should be in charge and responsibility
25 in terms of the command of all the units which are present in the
1 execution of such a task, it has to be established what the rank and the
2 size of each of the units are, and, also, it should be established by the
3 function and the rank of all the officers who are present there, and
4 based on that, it may be established which of the officers is the most
5 senior one and who should be in command of such a joint task.
6 Q. Yes. I suppose, equally, one could have been appointed, couldn't
8 A. In any case, that would be better. If the superior who sends
9 various units to perform this joint task, and they come from all the
10 different areas, the most appropriate situation would be to appoint an
11 officer in advance who would be in command of all these force.
12 In the war in Bosnia
13 very frequent situations when the so-called temporary compositions were
14 formed of various units from various areas.
15 Q. I want just to leave, as it were, the rules alone and go back to
16 something we were discussing yesterday.
17 As a matter of practical reality, you knew the sort of soldiers
18 who comprised your battalions. What do you think their reaction would
19 have been to the presence of an officer of the rank of colonel amongst
20 them apparently giving them orders?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: At this point, I think the hypothetical needs, if
22 it's reflecting the reality, why don't we just go there because otherwise
23 it's so massively broad. A colonel showing up at the Zvornik Brigade any
24 time between 1992 and 1995 could mean innumerable things, which don't
25 help us, but if we're going to the events we know of, just go there.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: I'll particularise. I mean in July 1995. That's
3 enough, isn't it? And you can cross-examine about it later.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think if we're dealing with hypotheticals, we
5 need to be specific to what we're talking about. Again, a colonel
6 showing up on July 3rd or July 2nd to help organise a unit to go to
7 Srebrenica is a much different thing than Colonel Beara coming to the
8 Zvornik Brigade under the context that we're all aware.
9 MR. HAYNES: I don't mind.
10 Q. If a colonel from the Main Staff had turned up in a village near
11 to Zvornik and had ordered some of your battalion soldiers to guard a
12 school, Mr. Pandurevic, how do you think they'd have reacted to that
14 A. Well, without doing the guess-work, those people would have
15 carried out the order. You have to be aware of how the military
16 functions. The soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade didn't have the -- didn't
17 frequently have the opportunity to see a colonel in Zvornik, and all
18 those who served in the JNA also knew that they would mostly see junior
19 officers, captains, but they would rarely meet majors and higher-ranking
20 officers. So that rank has a certain authority, but the person who has a
21 higher rank or position doesn't necessarily have more knowledge. But
22 that is, in fact, how things should work.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm going to leave that topic and these regulations.
24 During the period that you were commander of the Zvornik Brigade,
25 were you required to carry out combat activities in areas outside the
1 brigade's area of defence?
2 A. Well, at the very beginning, in December 1992 when I arrived in
3 Zvornik, this wasn't something I was asked to do. The brigade wasn't
4 even capable of doing that. In January, there was an urgent case to deal
5 with. It had to do with sending in a unit to assist the Bratunac
6 Brigade. They were defending the village of Kravica
7 the course of the war, this is something which because frequently done.
8 Q. And were you the only officer from the Command of the Zvornik
9 Brigade who was sent elsewhere with units by order of the corps or other
10 high command?
11 A. I wasn't the only one. I was sent out, as well, but my Chief of
12 Staff often went too.
13 Q. And was that something that endured throughout the whole of the
15 A. Yes, at various periods of time, and for a certain period of time
16 we'd be outside our zone of defence. That concerned myself and the Chief
17 of Staff. But this isn't good practice, and it's rarely done in
18 organised armies. You don't usually have a commander of the brigade
19 leaving the brigade and going off to carry out another task with other
21 MR. HAYNES: I want to have a look, please, at P3379. Thank you.
22 Q. And this is -- well, you can tell us. What is this document
23 dated the 27th of September, 1994?
24 A. This is a document I sent to the corps command, to the commander
25 personally, and in this document I requested an amendment to his order,
1 the order according to which Dragan Obrenovic was to be appointed as the
2 commander of a Drina Corps battalion which was to go to the zone of
3 operations of the 2nd Krajina Corps. And as an explanation, I referred
4 to certain situations in which either Obrenovic or myself were absent. I
5 said we were rarely in the command of the brigade together, and that
6 could cause serious problems for us when it came to commanding the
7 Zvornik Brigade.
8 Q. What sort of problems did that cause?
9 A. Well, since the brigade had very few professional officers and
10 since the commander and Chief of Staff were the men who were most
11 frequently in the field and had a direct influence on the life and work
12 of the brigade, well, if one was absent, and that amounts to 50 per cent
13 of the staff, then we have a serious problem. That's quite evident.
14 Q. Perhaps it's worth pushing that. What sort of serious problems
15 arise when one or other of you can't get out to the soldiers in the line?
16 A. Then the battalion commanders and the company commanders are
17 those who have to do their best to carry out the tasks they received from
18 the Brigade Command, but it was very difficult for them to do this, given
19 their professional qualities. If you wanted to single out 50 soldiers
20 from the brigade, from various battalions, in order to send them outside
21 the brigade's zone, well, then either the commander or the Chief of Staff
22 would personally have to go to the battalion concerned, and with the
23 assistance of the battalion commander they would have to separate or
24 single out such men.
25 Q. Just before we leave this document, I want to look at the -- as
1 it were the -- towards the bottom of it, where it says:
2 "We also proposed detailed analysis of the corps commanding
3 personnel so we can see who were the ones we can count on and get rid of
5 What did you mean by that?
6 A. Well, I've already said what you can see here. Perhaps I
7 wouldn't say that now, but at the time, as I was a young man,
8 inexperienced, I said that. I addressed the corps commander in quite
9 strident terms. I was forced to do so because there were officers, there
10 were lieutenant colonels and colonels in the corps command who were never
11 ready to lead a brigade or battalion outside the corps zone, or there
12 were officers from other brigades who rarely left their zones of defence.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were absent from the Brigade Command,
14 who was in command?
15 A. When I was absent, my deputy, Dragan Obrenovic, was in command of
16 the brigade.
17 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at 7D462, please.
18 Q. This is a document dated the 11th of April of 1993, the
19 appointment according to standard wartime formation, an order of the
21 A. This is an order on appointing someone to a certain position in
22 the army. The commander of the Drina Corps, General Zivanovic, issued
23 this order in which Dragan Obrenovic was appointed as the Chief of Staff
24 and also as the deputy commander of the 1st Zvornik Light Infantry
25 Brigade. It's a textbook example of such an order, and in this order he
1 was assigned permanent duties, a permanent position, and these were
2 duties that he was to perform throughout the course of the war.
3 Q. Whose deputy was he upon appointment in April 1993?
4 A. He was the deputy commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
5 Q. I only ask because we looked at a document yesterday that showed
6 that you, in fact, were not formally appointed until October. So
7 according to the documents we've looked at, in April of 1993 the Zvornik
8 Brigade had a deputy commander but no commander formally. Is that the
10 A. Yes. One could say that he was officially Petkovic's deputy, but
11 it doesn't say that he's being assigned as the deputy, and then the name
12 isn't mentioned. It just says that he is to be the deputy commander.
13 Q. Now, on each of the occasions you were absent - let's keep it
14 simple - after April 1993, was it necessary to write a special order
15 every time?
16 A. No, because this order on his appointment, giving the right or,
17 rather, the duty to act in this capacity when I was absent because
18 otherwise the term "deputy" wouldn't have any sense. So when the
19 commander was absent, he would automatically be the deputy commander, and
20 he would assume command of the brigade.
21 Q. When would such an order be written?
22 A. This order on being a deputy is drafted on the basis of the law
23 in the army. We saw that the other day. It says that if an officer
24 cannot be -- cannot carry out his duties, someone will stand in for him.
25 It doesn't say why he's prevented from carrying out his duties. It just
1 says that he may be prevented from doing so. So this is done
2 automatically if the establishment doesn't provide for a deputy. If the
3 establishment does provide for a deputy, and that's the case here, then
4 if it's necessary to replace or stand in for the commander for over a
5 month, then one would have to deal with the status of the person who is
6 standing in for the commander, and one would then have to draft an order
7 on standing in for the commander so that this could be part of that
8 person's personal file. This would then make it possible for one to
9 follow his career clearly and see what duties and responsibilities he had
10 to carry out. There would also be certain financial consequences of such
11 a decision.
12 Q. In relation to Dragan Obrenovic, in terms of his authority and
13 responsibility, did it make any difference on occasions when you were
14 absent if a special order for a more-than-month's absence was written or
16 A. In terms of his responsibilities and duties that arise from the
17 rules on the responsibilities of brigade commander, and we've seen those
18 rules, well, in terms of those responsibilities nothing would be
19 different. He has the same duties and responsibilities as brigade
21 Q. Thank you. Now, approximately how many times between December
22 1992 and the end of the war were you absent from the Command of the
23 Zvornik Brigade?
24 A. To the best of my recollection, it was on about ten occasions, no
1 Q. And how many of those occasions exceeded a duration of one month?
2 A. I think that was the case on two occasions.
3 Q. And can you tell us when those two occasions occurred?
4 A. The first time was at the beginning of January 1995 up until the
5 20th of March, 1995, and the second case was in August and September
7 Q. Now, we saw from a document we were just looking at, at the end
8 of December 1994, that you were complaining of health problems. What was
9 the reason for your absence between January and March of 1995?
10 A. Well, in January 1995, I was feeling the consequences of my
11 wounding in August 1992, and it was necessary to operate on my spine, and
12 I went to the military hospital for the operation, and after that, I had
13 to recover.
14 Q. I want to just briefly run through, as it were, the history of
15 that to see where you were and what was happening to you.
16 Can we start with 7D961, pages 3 and 4 in the English, page 3 in
17 the B/C/S.
18 This refers to your referral to a hospital. Where's Meljine, if
19 I've pronounced it correctly, Mr. Pandurevic?
20 A. Meljine is a military hospital which is in the vicinity of Herceg
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, I don't want to interrupt you unduly,
23 but it's the break time that you had asked for.
24 MR. HAYNES: Yes. I was happy to go on a bit longer because we
25 started quite late today, and I can get through these four or five
1 documents in very little time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
3 MR. HAYNES: It would be logical.
4 Q. And that appears to suggest -- this document appears to suggest
5 that you were there between the 13th and 16th of March?
6 A. I'm not sure whether that's the right document that shows what
7 you are referring to.
8 Q. Well, let's come on to 7D962, please, and we want the first page
9 in both English and B/C/S.
10 A. I would suggest the following: As there are a lot of documents
11 here, perhaps we could go through them during the break and put them in
12 chronological order because it will be difficult to proceed like this.
13 MR. HAYNES: I can see you're in control of these proceedings,
14 Mr. Pandurevic.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We've been over it, you and I, Mr. Haynes. Let's
16 have the break. It's perfectly understandable. Let's do it the way he
18 Let's have a 25-minute break, starting from now, which the time
19 now is 10.20, 10.21.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.21 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can check with your client whether he
25 has gone through the documents and arranged them in a presentable order.
1 MR. HAYNES: They were given to him during the break, and I have
2 a note of the pages that should be called up in e-court so that we have a
4 Can we start with page 5 of this document, both in the English
5 and the B/C/S.
6 Q. And does that show your presence in a neurosurgical clinic
7 between the 11th of January and the 6th of February, 1995?
8 A. Yes. This is a discharge note showing that between 11 January
9 and 6 February 1995, I was hospitalised. But before that, I underwent a
10 course of physical -- physiotherapy.
11 Q. Where did you undergo the physiotherapy, and where is this
12 hospital that we're looking at?
13 A. This is a discharge note from the Military Medical Academy
15 Q. Thanks. Now can we go back to page 4 in the record. Where is
17 A. Igalo is also close to Herceg Novi in Montenegro.
18 Q. And lastly, forward to page 7 in the documents. I should just
19 say, that document shows you were in Igalo from the 7th of February to
20 the 1st of March, 1995
21 A. Yes. I was at the Institute for Physiotherapy.
22 MR. HAYNES: And we should lastly have page 7 in e-court, please.
23 Q. And that covers a period from the 2nd to the 11th of March and
24 relates to some facility in Visegrad. What was that?
25 A. Yes. During that period of time, I continued physiotherapy in
1 the 2nd Banja in Visegrad upon my return from Igalo.
2 Q. And when did you, in fact, return to work at the Zvornik Brigade?
3 A. I believe that I returned on the 19th of March, or maybe one day
4 before or one day later; I'm not sure.
5 Q. And who was in command in your absence?
6 A. Dragan Obrenovic was in command.
7 Q. Now, are you aware whether any order was written to appoint him
8 deputy commander during that period of absence from January to March?
9 A. As deputy commander, he assumed duties automatically when I left.
10 No order was issued, which was a case of injustice on his behalf, and
11 that was the same case with me a year later when I was appointed
12 commander of the Zvornik Brigade. This means that he did not receive the
13 salary that he was supposed to receive, and in his personal file it
14 doesn't say, there is no document to that effect, that he was acting or
15 standing in for the commander, and this was an omission on the part of
16 the commander of the Drina Corps.
17 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Can we look now, please, at 5D 309, a
18 regular combat report from the 15th of March of 1995.
19 Q. Firstly, can we just have a look at the date and confirm that
20 that's a regular combat report of the 15th of March of 1995 and then
21 briefly go to page 2 to confirm the signature on it as that of Dragan
22 Obrenovic. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is correct.
24 MR. HAYNES: Can we go back to the first page.
25 Q. While we're doing that: Does that confirm for you your
1 recollection that you had not by then returned back working in the
2 Brigade Command?
3 A. Yes. I know that Dragan Obrenovic signed regular combat reports.
4 He signed his name as Chief of Staff, and he was supposed to sign as
5 deputy commander, but -- because that's what the order said.
6 In point 2 of this report, we see that the operations officer
7 states the Chief of Staff, who also represents the commander of the
8 brigade, visited the IKM. That's what the duty operations officer put in
9 this report.
10 Q. And in the Serbian original, what's the word used for
12 A. It says "stand in for."
13 Q. Now, it follows from what you said earlier that if there were ten
14 occasions when you were away from the brigade and two which were more
15 than a month, there were about eight occasions when you were away for
16 less than a month; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And, again, I don't want to ask you to perform a memory test, but
19 doing your best, when was the first time you were away from the brigade
20 after you'd assumed command for a short period of time?
21 A. As far as I can remember, it was sometime in the second part of
22 February 1993. I asked from the corps command to grant me a leave
23 lasting seven days. I sent my request to the corps command to that
24 effect, and I also remember some other cases when I was absent for less
25 than a month.
1 Q. Well, we've heard a volume of evidence in this case that in May
2 and June of 1993, you took part in two combat operations, both called
3 "Sword" or "Match." How long were away from the brigade on each of those
4 occasions, and what function did you fulfill in those operations?
5 A. Towards the end of May 1993 and the beginning of June, I
6 participated in Sword 1 in the territory of Gornja Podrinje in the
7 triangle, Visegrad, Rogatica, Cajnice. I was the commander of a
8 temporary unit, of an ad hoc unit from the Zvornik Brigade, which also
9 comprised of some other units hailing from that area where the combat
10 operations were taking place, parts of the 2nd Romanija and parts of the
11 Rogatica Brigades. I commanded the forces that were deployed on the left
12 bank of the Drina River
13 participated in Sword 2, which took place from the direction of Cajnice
14 towards Gorazde, and I was the commander of a combat group under the
15 command of Colonel Masal.
16 Q. And the duration of those operations in the time you were away
17 from the Brigade Command in Zvornik?
18 A. At the time, I was the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, and
19 while I was in command of these units, it was the deputy commander,
20 Dragan Obrenovic, who was in command of the Zvornik Brigade.
21 Q. Thank you. I was just trying to establish how long you were away
22 for on each occasion.
23 A. As far as I can remember, Sword 1 started on the 25th or the 27th
24 of May and lasted up until the 5th or 6th of June. Sword 2 was planned
25 to continue immediately thereafter. However, the units from the Zvornik
1 Brigade were returned to Zvornik, and only a few days later an order
2 arrived for them to return to the area of Cajnice, and there I stayed for
3 some five or six days, as far as I can remember, in the area of Cajnice,
4 participating in the Sword 2 operation.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to be clear for the record, and not because I
7 have any doubts, we're talking of 1993, aren't we?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
9 MR. HAYNES: And we'll come back to that a little while later.
10 But I want you now to have a look at 7D1011 [Realtime transcript
11 read in error, "7D0111"] relating to another period that you were away
12 for a short period of time, a document dated the 14th of February, 1944
14 Q. I'm sure none of us want to know what private affairs you needed
15 to leave for, but it's a request to have six days leave beginning the
16 following day. Do you recall sending that request?
17 A. Yes, I recall sending in that request. A few months into working
18 without any breaks, both in Visegrad and Rudo and in Zvornik, I requested
19 a leave to visit my daughter in Belgrade
20 Q. Do you recall what, in fact, the response of the corps command
21 was to that request, and your comment that: "The Chief of Staff or a
22 person assigned by you shall stand in for me during my absence"?
23 A. The request did not receive a positive answer immediately. It
24 was granted only a few days later. Major Petkovic, who was the brigade
25 commander before me, was in Zvornik, and I knew that General Zivanovic
1 wanted him to assume the duties of the commander again. In order to be
2 granted the leave, I wanted to make sure that it was granted, I put the
3 sentence that I will be replaced by the Chief of Staff or a person
4 assigned by the corps commander, and if I remember it well, the corps
5 commander appointed Major Petkovic to stand in for me during my absence.
6 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look at 7D1012, please, a collection
7 of combat reports from the period the 17th to the 21st of February of
8 1994, and if we can have a look at page 2, please, then page 3, then
9 page 4. Just have a quick flip through them. The contents of the
10 document are not important.
11 Q. I'd just like your comment, Mr. Pandurevic, on the way
12 Major Petkovic signs himself in these documents.
13 A. Here on the screen, I have the English version of a report signed
14 by Petkovic, and in the B/C/S I can see an interim report also signed by
15 Petkovic, and he signed himself as commander, not as standing in for
16 somebody but as the commander.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, but for exactitude, could we say
18 "type-signed," because we see that these aren't actually signed, and I
19 don't think anyone's doing that on purpose, but just so it's clear for
20 the record.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that, Mr. McCloskey.
22 Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: Yes. I can't actually recall whether it's all of
24 them. I'll just take a moment to see that.
25 Q. Now, during the period the 17th to the 21st of February, had you
1 been formally relieved of the command of the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. No, not formally. I was still formally the brigade commander.
3 And here you can see the block signature of Major Petkovic, as it were,
4 and this is a standard procedure used for regular combat reports, just as
5 is the case with those which show either Dragan Obrenovic's name or my
7 Q. Now, I've noticed, of course, that Mr. McCloskey's last
8 interruption, in fact, came before you'd answered my question, and I want
9 you to please consider the block signatures we see on all of these
10 reports in the name of Major Petkovic. What's your comment on the fact
11 that they are type-signed as commander by him?
12 A. This is one of the copies of a regular combat report. Regular or
13 interim combat reports are usually drafted by the duty operations
14 officer. The procedure in the Zvornik Brigade was as follows: The
15 operations officer would draft a report in handwriting. Then he would
16 hand it over to the Staff office, and then it would be typed on a
17 computer. The report would then be signed by the authorised person at a
18 given moment, and then the signed report would be sent to the
19 Communications Centre where it would be encrypted and sent by teleprinter
20 to the designated addressee; hence, on the report you can see the name of
21 the signatory and a block signature but not the actual signature in that
22 person's own handwriting.
23 Q. What is the significance of the fact that he has type-signed this
24 document "Commander"?
25 A. Probably, he put his signature on the handwritten document, i.e.,
1 on the document typed on the typewriter, and thereafter he could not put
2 it on the encrypted version. The person who wrote the document wrote
3 "Commander" by inertia because Major Petkovic had been the commander
4 previously, and this was just an automatic action for people to put the
5 word "Commander," although they should have put "Standing in for the
6 commander." However, I'm sure that that phrase, "standing in for," was
7 something that the officers of the Zvornik Brigade were not that familiar
9 Q. But what does it tell us about the way in which all Zvornik
10 Brigade reports are type-signed?
11 A. If I understand your question well, there are reports which are
12 typed, but not signed, either in the original version, hence in the
13 version as we see it on the screen. No single report that was encrypted
14 and handed over in that form can bear a signature, especially not at the
15 receiver, because my signature cannot be encrypted and transferred to
16 Vlasenica in that way. The only thing that can be communicated in this
17 way are my name, my rank, my function; not my signature, as such.
18 Q. I'll approach this from a different direction.
19 Can we have a look at 7D944 in English [sic]. These are not
20 translated into English, but the point is the same as in the last
21 document. We only want to look at the signatures or type-signatures.
22 Can we go to page 2, please.
23 This relates to the period we were just talking about, when you
24 were in hospital at the beginning of 1995. We see that Dragan Obrenovic
25 has type-signed this document "Chief of Staff." How should it have been
2 A. It should have been "Deputy Commander, Major Dragan Obrenovic."
3 Q. And if we, just for the sake of argument, go forward, I don't
4 know, five pages. Let's go to page 6 and have a look at the report
5 there, and we only want to see the signature. And, again, how is that
6 signed, and how should it have been signed?
7 A. It's signed in the same way as the previous document. It should
8 have been signed as "Deputy Commander."
9 Q. And how should the reports sent by Major Petkovic have been
11 A. Well, since the corps commander designated him to stand in for
12 the commander, that he didn't have a position in the Zvornik Brigade, he
13 had to sign as deputy commander because in establishment terms, he was
14 not the deputy; he was not in that position.
15 Q. Did you say "deputy" or something else? "He should have signed
16 as deputy"; is that what you said?
17 A. No, as standing in for.
18 Q. Thanks. Now, I just want to finish this particular area of your
19 examination by seeing what your reactions to a couple of propositions
21 A year ago, you might remember hearing the evidence of
22 Mr. Richard Butler, and I'm going to read this slowly, and I hope it's
23 adequately translated to you, that this is what he said:
24 "The brigade commander is -- by law and regulation, he has the
25 exclusive right of command. Individuals from outside that formation,
1 even if they are higher-ranking individuals, do not have the authority to
2 interfere with that particular commander's right to command his own
4 Do you agree with his assessment of the situation in the Army of
5 Republika Srpska?
6 A. This position expressed by Mr. Butler is mainly based on
7 Article 115 of the rules on brigades. I can agree with what he said to
8 the extent that the brigade commander, who performs his duties on the
9 basis of the law and orders from his superior commander, well, his duties
10 can't be interfered with by another officer when the commander is, in
11 fact, in command and has control over his brigade. However, there can be
12 a high-ranking officer sent to the Brigade Command with a certain task in
13 order to carry out certain duties that will be carried out bypassing the
14 brigade commander. He can't take over the command of the entire brigade,
15 but he can carry out certain duties; that is correct.
16 Q. He was then asked by Mr. McCloskey:
17 "So what military process or procedure would have to take place
18 before a brigade commander no longer had command responsibility under
19 these regulations?"
20 And he answered:
21 "He'd have to formally be relieved or relinquish command to the
22 superior next in line that's authorised to either relieve him or accept
23 his relief of command."
24 Do you have any comment to make about that?
25 A. Yes. A while ago, we spoke about the law on the army and the
1 provisions that had to do with standing in. It says that an officer who
2 can't perform his duties shall be assigned an officer to stand in for
3 him. This individual doesn't have to be formally relieved of his duties
4 because so long as someone is serving in the army, this person has to
5 have certain duties. If I, as the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, was
6 prevented from performing my duties of command of the Zvornik Brigade
7 because I was in command of some other unit outside the brigade's zone, I
8 was in such a case not formally relieved of my duties. However, I was
9 not in command of the Zvornik Brigade at that point in time. My deputy,
10 pursuant to the establishment rules, did that. This means that there can
11 only be one person in command of a given unit at a given point of time,
12 and that is what the term "unity of command" actually means. I cannot be
13 in command of two units at the same time.
14 Q. Thank you. And just one last point on this. What about the
15 deputy commander when the commander is away? Does the commander have
16 command responsibility for his deputy commander?
17 A. When the brigade commander is prevented from performing his
18 duties and his deputy takes over those duties, he performs the duties of
19 brigade commander pursuant to the law and rules on brigades, and on the
20 basis of an order issued by the corps command, he is directly responsible
21 to the corps command and doesn't take any decisions in the spirit of the
22 command. He takes his own decisions on the basis of orders issued by the
23 corps command. In that sense, he is directly subordinated to the corps
24 command and not to the brigade commander who's prevented from performing
25 his duties for certain reasons.
1 Q. Thank you. We're finished now with that topic, but I want to
2 move on to another area of, as it were, the question of the organisation
3 of the brigade.
4 What sort of brigade was the Zvornik Brigade?
5 A. It's not easy to describe the Zvornik Brigade by using the rules
6 on brigades. Yesterday, we saw a report here from a Main Staff team.
7 They went into the field, and they assessed the level of combat readiness
8 of the Zvornik Brigade. It was said that it would be possible to form a
9 tactical group consisting of three brigades. The Zvornik Brigade was
10 also called the Light Infantry Brigade. That was part of its title, but
11 light infantry brigades can have no more than 2.000 men, whereas the
12 Zvornik Brigade at various points in time had about 6.000 men. In terms
13 of its equipment, in terms of the number of battalions it had, and in
14 terms of certain other elements, it could have been an infantry brigade
15 or even a motorised brigade because given its strength and the equipment
16 it had, this was made possible.
17 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, Mr. Haynes, to interrupt you. Can I draw
18 your attention to the previous question and answer. Your question was:
19 "When the commander is away, does the commander have command
20 responsibility for his deputy commander?"
21 And Mr. Pandurevic answered to the effect that:
22 "He," the deputy commander, "is directly subordinate to the corps
23 command and not to the brigade commander who is prevented from performing
24 his duties for certain reasons."
25 Whether that is fully responsive to your question. While the
1 deputy commander is directly subordinated to the corps commander, and it
2 may be a separate matter whether the commander who is away can command --
3 can exercise his command function over his deputy commander or not.
4 If you could clarify, please.
5 MR. HAYNES: Yes, I can.
6 Q. When you were engaged with Tactical Group 1 in Operation
7 Krivaja 95, who was in command of Dragan Obrenovic?
8 A. The corps commander, General Zivanovic, was in command of Dragan
10 MR. HAYNES: Is that clear enough?
11 JUDGE KWON: So, Mr. Pandurevic, you were not allowed to
12 interfere with the command of General Zivanovic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
14 General Zivanovic was the corps commander. He was superior to all the
15 brigade [Realtime transcript read in error, "corps"] commanders in the
16 Drina Corps, so I couldn't influence his decisions. I received his
17 orders, which I carried out.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I'll leave it there.
19 MR. HAYNES:
20 Q. You were just talking about the, as it were, the size and
21 organisation of the Zvornik Brigade.
22 Can we have a quick look, please, at P -- wait a minute. 7D324,
24 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, before he answers -- you put the
25 question at line 17 -- line 18 of the previous page:
1 "... so I couldn't influence his decisions."
2 I clearly recollect the witness saying: I received his orders
3 and I carried them out.
4 And that's for the purpose of correcting the transcript.
5 MR. HAYNES:
6 Q. This is a Drina Corps command order on appointment, dated the
7 20th of September, 1995, sent to the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, and it
9 "We cannot enter the orders for appointment that you send for
10 battalions in excess of four infantry battalions anywhere in our files.
11 Thus according to the establishment, you should have four infantry
12 battalions, whereas you have seven. Perhaps it's high time you did
13 something to form your brigade according to the existing establishment.
14 The number of men in the present seven infantry battalions, when combined
15 and divided by five, would give battalions numbering 750 men each, which
16 would be acceptable ..."
17 And then it carries on.
18 What was the purpose of this document that you received from the
20 A. Well, there were documents similar to this one before, throughout
21 the wartime period. We were unable to organise the Zvornik Brigade and
22 structure it so that it corresponded to what it was supposed to be
23 according to the establishment structure. This was literally impossible.
24 I had to have so many battalions, or I would have had to divide the
25 brigade into two parts. Given the mobilisation plan for the
2 1st Zvornik Brigade and a 2nd Zvornik Brigade. The second one was never
3 established, so there's an individual from the Drina Corps command here
4 who was responsible for organisational and mobilisation matters, and he
5 insisted that I should restructure the Zvornik Brigade so that it
6 corresponded to what it was supposed to be pursuant to the establishment
7 structure. I couldn't do this because this was a circle that couldn't be
9 Q. Now, I want to have a look now at the scheme of the
10 ideally-organised brigade, as proposed by the brigade rules.
11 So can we have P694, scheme 1, which is at B/C/S page 15, in
12 English, page 4.
13 Can I correct that? We've committed that usual sin of having a
14 page of this translated, and it's not translated in P694. So can we have
15 7D359, please, which is a translated version of it. 539.
16 A. Could we enlarge the Serbian version of this document, please.
17 Q. I'll give you a hard copy. This is the structure of an infantry
18 brigade according to figure 1 of the brigade rules of the JNA of 1984.
19 Were the units of the Zvornik Brigade organised according to a scheme
20 precisely similar to this?
21 A. In principle, one could say that it was similar. But in terms of
22 size and the number of its units, it wasn't identical to this scheme
24 Q. Were there functional relationships within that scheme between
25 the organs that we see within the figure there?
1 A. Yes, there were functional relationships in this scheme, the
2 relationships -- command relationships, on the whole. You can see that
3 all these units in the lower part of the scheme are under the commander.
4 The other units have relationships through the Staff or through the
5 deputy commander, and through the deputy commander they are linked to the
6 commander. This is similar to Article 10 on the responsibilities of the
7 brigade commander, where it says that the commander has direct command or
8 exercises direct command and also indirect command through his assistants
9 or deputies.
10 Q. And how in practical terms did that mean that, for example, the
11 Engineering Unit of the Zvornik Brigade was run?
12 A. Since the Zvornik Brigade didn't have a combat arms at the level
13 of battalions, it didn't have an engineering battalion, it didn't have a
14 mechanised battalion, it didn't have an ABHO battalion, and so on and so
15 forth, then these units that were equivalent to companies were linked to
16 the Staff, to the Chief of Staff, or to some of the deputy [as
17 interpreted] commanders. So with reference to the Engineering Company,
18 the chief of engineering, apart from the duties he had with regard to
19 that company, the duties he had to monitor the company, train them, well,
20 in addition to those duties he was authorised by me to issue direct tasks
21 to those units, to assign direct tasks to those units. I almost never
22 directly assigned a task to the commander of the Engineering Unit.
23 Q. Can you deal with the same question, please, in relation to the
24 Signals Unit?
25 A. The Signals Unit, and for a while the Reconnaissance Platoon that
1 we had, were units that were attached to the Staff. The Signals Unit was
2 directly linked to the signalling chief. He was in charge of the unit,
3 and the Chief of Staff was in command of it through him as well. I
4 received information on that unit through the Chief of Staff.
5 Q. And the Military Police Unit?
6 A. The Military Police Company, as you can see in the scheme, was
7 linked to the security organ, but in my order on the reorganisation of
8 the brigade, I said that the Police Company should be attached to the
9 Staff. It was linked to the chief of security, too, and he, together
10 with the Chief of Staff, would usually issue orders to this unit. Both
11 of them reported to me or provided me with information on the situation
12 in this unit.
13 Q. Since you've referred to it, let's look, please, at 7D806, the
14 reorganisation order of the 21st of March, 1994.
15 And, again, Mr. Pandurevic, because this is a document with a few
16 pages in it, it might be quicker for you to have a hard copy so that we
17 can -- you can read it ahead of us.
18 Is this the reforming order that you were talking about?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And to summarise it, what was it you sought to achieve by this
21 order in March 1994?
22 A. I was trying to achieve something similar to what the corps
23 commander warned me about in the order of September 1995. I was told
24 that I should reduce the brigade to the lowest possible number of
25 organisational units because the command brigade, given its size,
1 couldn't serve all the units that were linked to the brigade and given
2 its professional level. So I tried to reduce the number of battalions
3 and the number of direct links to myself because in such a case, the
4 communication channels and command channels are obstructed to a certain
5 extent. So I ordered -- I issued an order to have the brigade reformed
6 in the following way: There was to be a commander with units attached to
7 the Staff. These are units that are directly attached or linked to the
8 Staff or to some of the deputy commanders. You have the Reconnaissance
9 Platoon, the Signals Company, the Military Police Company and the
10 Engineers Company, so these are the units that were not under my direct
11 command. I was in command of them through the intermediary of the Chief
12 of Staff and my assistants.
13 Q. In practical terms, if your Chief of Staff or your chief of
14 security wanted to employee some military policemen, would you
15 necessarily be consulted about that?
16 A. Since all of these headquarters support units or units attached
17 to the Staff have clearly-defined tasks and duties, and these tasks
18 usually were a repetitive kind, they are carried out to the same extent
19 and same manner every day, so in such a situation it's not necessary to
20 consult me. The individuals who had been authorised by myself had the
21 possibility of directly putting those units to certain use.
22 In the case of the police and in the case of counter-intelligence
23 work and the need in the course of such work to involve the police or to
24 use some kind of equipment, well, in such a case I would not have been
25 informed of the matter. But if it was necessary to use the Police
1 Company to carry out a particular task or if it was necessary to use a
2 platoon from that company, I or someone standing in for me would have
3 been asked to authorise such a task.
4 Q. When you mentioned equipment, were you talking about equipment
5 within a military police unit or equipment in some other unit?
6 A. I was talking about the equipment of military police. I don't
7 mean major technical means, but mostly the things that the crime
8 prevention police had or what was necessary for counter-intelligence work
9 on the part of the police.
10 Q. Thank you. And the Engineering Unit?
11 A. The Engineering Unit had daily tasks which were always the same,
12 and this was to lay minefields [Realtime transcript read in error, "my
13 fields"], servicing minefields, constructing and maintaining roads,
14 bridges, felling trees, and similar tasks. Every battalion would use the
15 operations duty officer to express the need to engage somebody from the
16 Engineering Unit, and if it was for some ordinary tasks, then the chief
17 of engineers, together with the commander of the Engineering Unit, would
18 go and carry out such tasks.
19 Q. Would that be with or without seeking your authority or notifying
20 you or seeking your approval?
21 A. The chief of engineers and the Chief of Staff had my blanket
22 approval to use those units in such a way.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, just allied to that, we know the various organs
24 of the brigade had, as it were, corresponding organs within superior
25 command units; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I'd like to go to something that you've already referred to,
3 which is P699, at point 7. That's page 15 in the B/C/S and page 14 in
4 the English.
5 It may be necessary for us to just glance at Article 6,
6 "Functional relationships," as well, but principally I'm going to direct
7 your attention to the second paragraph of Article 7, which says:
8 "Staff relationships between command organs and staff at a higher
9 and lower organisational level are in fact functional relationships
10 governed by the principle of obligatory action in accordance with the
11 requests of the staff organ of the superior command for the purpose of
12 implementing the decision made by the superior commander."
13 In practical terms, how did the organs of the brigade function
14 together with their corresponding organs at a higher organisational
16 A. This is about staff relationships, as it were. This is what
17 every modern army is familiar with. The first to introduce the staff
18 relationships were the ones that had most success in combat. This means
19 that within a command or a staff, assessments were made, proposals were
20 drafted, and decisions taken. In considering problems and situations,
21 the person who was in charge of decision-taking, which is the commander
22 or the Chief of Staff, were able to take an appropriate decision. Those
23 who made proposals to the person who takes decision have an obligation
24 towards that person.
25 At every level of organisation, at the level of the brigade there
1 is a staff. At the division level, there is also a staff. At the corps
2 level, there is also a staff, and they are identical, basically. They
3 may differ in the number of people that they employ, but in
4 organisational terms they are almost identical.
5 Between these organisational parts of the Staff, the lower --
6 between the lower command and the organisational parts of the Staff of
7 the higher command, they are the so-called functional relationships which
8 are formed on the basis of the identical scope of work, so that the
9 assistant commander for logistics of a higher command, pursuant to his
10 commander's decision, has the right to communicate with the organ for
11 logistics of the lower command, or some other organ of a higher command,
12 artillery or communications, has a functional relationship with the organ
13 of the corresponding branch of a lower command. However, this functional
14 relationship becomes binding for the staff organs of a lower command,
15 which means that the organ for logistics of a lower command is duty-bound
16 to carry out the requests of the organ for logistics of a higher command
17 with a view to implementing the decisions of the commander of the higher
18 command. So these relationships have not to go through the commander of
19 the lower command or the lower-ranking unit.
20 Q. Can you give us an example of that relationship in operation?
21 A. This would be the corps command. The corps command has a staff,
22 just like the brigade has a staff, and that staff of the corps command,
23 as the operations command, is almost identical to the brigade staff,
24 especially when we're talking about infantry and motorised brigades. The
25 organs of the Staff or the Command of the Drina Corps could communicate
1 directly and deal with certain tasks with the corresponding organs of the
2 Staff or the Command of the Zvornik Brigade.
3 Q. A concrete example?
4 A. Perhaps we could use the example of logistics. We did not have
5 reliable and constant sources of supply. We always made do as we could,
6 so the logistics organs of the Zvornik Brigade were often in
7 communication with the logistics organs of the Drina Corps and even of
8 the Main Staff, and they dealt with the issues and problems at hand, and
9 those communications or those lines of communication did not go through
11 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to just turn very briefly to one
12 particular organ within the brigade, and that's the security organ.
13 We've looked at the scheme. The chief of security of the brigade
14 was your direct subordinate; is that right?
15 A. Yes, certainly, that's correct.
16 MR. HAYNES: I want to have a look now, please, at 7D717 again,
17 Article 11. It's page 5 in both documents, and this is the authority of
18 the commander in the brigade regiment again:
19 "The commander heads the work of the command organs and the
20 officers of the subordinate units, guides the training and education of
21 the entire contingent, the execution of daily tasks, and the maintenance
22 of continuous and full combat readiness.
23 "He takes appropriate measures to continuously maintain and
24 strengthen combat readiness and ensures the brigade or regiment is ready
25 to carry out combat tasks."
1 Let's go directly to point 5:
2 "He is in charge of the security service and personnel affairs
3 within the remit granted to him under special regulations."
4 What are the special regulations referred to, and what are --
5 what was the extent of your remit to be in charge of the security
6 services under this law?
7 A. What is of significance for an organisation or a system such as
8 the army is that the internal documents which regulate its functioning
9 and work should be harmonised instead of contradicting each other, but
10 this is not always easy to achieve.
11 In the Communist system, this all originated from the unique
12 concept which was All People's Defence and social self-protection, which
13 was led by the League of Communists, so that some service within the
14 system had the so-called privileged position.
15 Here, in bullet point 5 of the rules on the powers of the
16 brigade, it says that a commander is in charge of the security service
17 and personnel affairs within the remit granted to him under special
18 regulations. This implies the regulations which regulate the work of the
19 organs of security on some issues pertaining to the scope of personnel
21 Q. Thank you. But what were the limits of the extent to which you
22 were in charge of the security organ or security services?
23 A. This was regulated by the rules of the security service and the
24 instruction on the management of the security services which was issued
25 by the Main Staff.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, we might as well -- we'll turn to that in a
2 little while. But those rules, like many we've looked at before, are
3 rules of the JNA. Was the role and function of the security service
4 under the Army of Republika Srpska precisely similar to the role it had
5 under the JNA?
6 A. In view of the fact that the security service in the Army of
7 Republika Srpska relied mostly on the rules of the security service that
8 were used by the JNA, i.e., the armed forces of the SFRY, they mostly
9 dealt with the same tasks, but they also had some additional aggravating
10 conditions and obligations, and I mean primarily the war situation, the
11 presence of a number of international organisations of a different nature
12 which could always be engaged in some intelligence work. There were also
13 some problems which appeared due to frequent communication via secret
14 channels between various persons on both sides of the front-line, and
15 that's why I'm saying that their scope of work was very complex.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, we will look at P2741 now, the instruction
17 you've referred to, and let's start with something that's nothing to do
18 with the detail of the document.
19 Did you have something to do personally with the reasons for the
20 issue of this instruction?
21 A. No. I did not draft it myself, no.
22 Q. That wasn't the question. Why was this instruction issued in the
23 first place?
24 A. Why it was issued, you should ask the author. He knows the best.
25 In my view, it was issued as an additional explanation for the
1 application of the rules of the security service in the Army of Republika
2 Srpska and as a result of the malfunctioning of the organs and their
3 relationship with all the other organs at all levels, as you can see
5 As far as I'm aware of the organisational and establishment
6 structure of the Intelligence and Security Sector of the Main Staff, I
7 believe that in the book of establishment, I believe that it's called
8 "The Intelligence and Security Sector," whereas here an instruction is
9 issued for the management and control of the intelligence -- security and
10 intelligence organs, which means that the security organs were given the
11 most prominent place here.
12 And one more thing I would like to say: The sector in the
13 Main Staff, the security and intelligence sector, was very specific with
14 regard to the organisation of the two similar services in the JNA. The
15 security -- the Intelligence Administration in the JNA was within the
16 General Staff, and it was subordinated to the chief of the General Staff,
17 which means that it was a completely separate service, and its rules were
18 issued by the Federal Secretary for National Defence, whereas the
19 security service was part of the Ministry of Defence, and the chief of
20 the Security Administration was the assistant minister of defence, and
21 its rules are the rules for the work of the security services were issued
22 by the Presidency of the SFRY. In the Army of Republika Srpska, these
23 two services were merged into one sector and were subordinated directly
24 to the commander of the Main Staff.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could I ask the general to slow down a little
2 bit. The reporter is having a very difficult time.
3 MR. HAYNES: That's a very sensible observation.
4 General, you really are speaking far too fast now, and the danger
5 is we're losing a lot in translation.
6 Q. Can we go to the first paragraph of this instruction, and,
7 firstly, can we establish, is this a document that you received in this
8 form, or was it communicated to you, as it were, differently?
9 A. First of all, I would like to apologise for going too fast. I'll
10 try to abide by your instruction.
11 This instruction on the management and command of the security
12 and intelligence organs was drafted in the Main Staff, and I'm sure that
13 it certainly arrived at the desk in the Drina Corps. I know that I
14 received an instruction with this content. I don't know whether I first
15 received the instruction from the Main Staff or from the Drina Corps.
16 However, the contents of -- were identical, save in a very little
17 segment, so that means that I was familiar with the contents, but I don't
18 know whether this came first from the Main Staff or the Drina Corps. I
19 can't be sure of that.
20 Q. Well, I'm -- just to clear that up, let's have a look, please, if
21 we can, at 7D890. This is a document from the Command of the Drina Corps
22 sent on the 26th of November of 1994. If we go to the last page of this
23 document, we can see that it's signed by somebody called Mile Tomic.
24 Who's he?
25 A. I believe that at the time, Mile Tomic was the chief of security
1 in the Drina Corps, and as far as I can tell by the signature in pencil,
2 this is not "Tomic," but "Petrovic," which means that somebody else
3 signed on his behalf.
4 Q. And if we go back now to the first page of this document, we can
5 see in the English version there is a different introduction to the
6 document. In particular, there's a second paragraph which says:
7 "Any explanations needed will be given by the chiefs of the
8 security and intelligence departments of the corps commands, who will
9 also clarify any matters concerning application of the instructions."
10 When you said that there was something slightly different about
11 what you received from the Corps command, is that what you had in mind?
12 A. This is what I had in mind: The organ of security of the
13 Drina Corps provided this remark and said that any explanations needed
14 will be given by the security organ of the Drina Corps as regards the
15 application of this instruction.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, whenever it's convenient.
17 MR. HAYNES: That is perfectly convenient.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 So we'll have a 25 -minute break, starting from now. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes. Apologies for the delay, but we
23 had a problem.
24 MR. HAYNES: There's really no need to apologise at all.
25 Before we resume the topic we were dealing with before the break,
1 there are a number of transcription or translation errors - I think
2 they're transcription rather than translation - which have been drawn to
3 my attention, and I thought it would be better to deal with them now
4 rather than rushing to deal with them at the end of the day.
5 The first is at page 13, line 17, and it's already had some
6 modification because it's the answer to Judge Kwon's question, and it
7 appears that in the transcription of Mr. Pandurevic's answer, he said
8 that General Zivanovic was superior to all the corps commanders, and the
9 universal view of everybody behind me is that he said he was superior to
10 all the brigade commanders. It's perhaps best that I deal with it by way
11 of a further question.
12 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, when you answered Judge Kwon's question about
13 your ability to interfere with decisions of General Zivanovic, did you
14 say that General Zivanovic was superior to all the corps commanders or
15 something else?
16 A. I said that General Zivanovic was the commander of the
17 Drina Corps and he was superior to the brigade commanders who were within
18 the Drina
19 MR. HAYNES: [Realtime transcript read in error, "MR. THAYER"]
20 Thank you. And the second which was drawn to my attention, I think, by
21 Ms. Fauveau, is at page 16, line 16, and again, I'll see if it can be
22 cleared up with a question rather than just an assertion by me. Yes.
23 It's the phrase "... Chief of Staff, or to some of the deputy commanders
24 ..." and I think the belief is that in answering a question about how
25 the Engineering Unit of the Zvornik Brigade was run, the general said the
1 Chief of Staff and some of the assistant commanders, because of course
2 there was only one deputy commander, but there were several assistant
4 Q. Did you at any stage today, General, refer to a number of deputy
5 commanders within the Zvornik Brigade or, in answering that question, did
6 you refer to the assistant commanders?
7 A. This question isn't really in the right context, but I didn't
8 talk about deputy commanders. He had assistants and one deputy. The
9 commander had assistants and one deputy.
10 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. And two minor errors. At page 5,
11 there's a reference to an exhibit as P0111 [sic]. It should be P1011
13 And lastly at page 19, line 12, the Engineering Unit,
14 Mr. Pandurevic often had tasks to lay minefields, didn't they, not to lay
15 your fields?
16 Q. Did the Engineering Unit lay minefields?
17 A. Minefields, not my own fields. I didn't have any fields.
18 Q. Okay. Well, let's move on.
19 Before the break, you were just looking with us at a document
20 which you received from corps command --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one further, since we are in the mood of
22 correcting the transcript, Mr. Haynes and Mr. McCloskey. Page 29, line
23 3, it's not Mr. Thayer but Mr. Haynes.
24 MR. HAYNES: I'm not sure who should be flattered.
25 Q. You were in the process of looking at this again, at an
1 instruction you received from corps command. So that we're clear, is it
2 your recollection that in late 1994 you received two such documents as
3 commander of the Zvornik Brigade or only one of these two?
4 A. As far as I can remember, I already said that I was certain about
5 the contents of the documents. I became familiar with it in November. I
6 remember that there was snow on the ground. As for which document was
7 the first one to arrive in the Zvornik Brigade, I'm not sure, but I'm
8 familiar with both documents. The Drina Corps document isn't from the
9 corps command but from the Department for Intelligence and Security.
10 It's been signed by Colonel Tomic.
11 Q. Well, I'm not going to take a long period of time on this topic
12 with you, Mr. Pandurevic. If we look at paragraph 1 of the report, it
13 decrees the way in which the security and intelligence organs will spend
14 their time, and the simple question I have for you as to this is: How
15 was it determined, and who by, what particular task fell under which
17 A. Well, I'm not sure that I fully understand the question because
18 the letters are very small in paragraph 1. Perhaps one could zoom in.
19 It will be easier for me then.
20 Q. In fairness, it's probably better to go back to P2741 because
21 it's a much clearer document altogether, and it doesn't involve us going
22 over the page quite so much. So if we can go back to P2741, which apart
23 from the little passage we've looked at is identical. It would make it
24 easier for everybody, I think.
25 A. May I?
1 Q. Yes, of course.
2 A. If we have a look at item 1 of the instructions, it has to do
3 with the field of work of the security and intelligence organs of the
4 VRS. It's a little confused, or it's quite confused and contradictory.
5 Under one organ, you have two completely different services, the security
6 organ and the intelligence organ, two different organs, and not a single
7 rule for the intelligence organ states how much work relates to a given
8 field. There are two rules that have been confounded in one paragraph.
9 This should have said only instructions for leading the security organs
10 because the instructions mostly concerned the security organ.
11 Q. Can we look at the paragraph numbered 1, please, rather than the
12 first paragraph in the document, which determines that 80 per cent of the
13 total engagement of the field of work of security and intelligence organs
14 should be taken up with intelligence and counter-intelligence tasks. Was
15 that any change to the position as it had been before the issue of the
17 A. As far as I can remember, in the early rules two-thirds of the
18 work of the organ of security was counter-intelligence. Perhaps I'm
19 mistaken, but here it explicitly says that it concerned 80 per cent of
20 their total workload, which means that 20 per cent of their work related
21 to security issues, to military police issues, and command staff issues.
22 Q. Coming out of the question I started with: Whether on a
23 day-to-day basis those -- any given work was determined to be
24 intelligence and counter-intelligence or some other form of work, was
25 that determined by you?
1 A. I knew what the difference was between counter-intelligence and
2 other matters that the security organ dealt with. I wasn't familiar with
3 the working methods in the field of counter-intelligence, I wasn't
4 familiar with the contents of that work, and I didn't know when my
5 assistant for security was involved in counter-intelligence. What I
6 requested from the corps command, but I never succeeded in obtaining
7 this, was to have the corps commander inform me that my assistant for
8 security would be engaged in particular tasks on the basis of the chief
9 of security of the corps, and I wasn't to be interested in the contents
10 of the work. But I didn't manage to obtain this from the corps
11 commander, so I don't know what sort of counter-intelligence work was
13 Q. Do you recall when you made that request from corps command?
14 A. It took up quite a lot of time because as the brigade commander,
15 I was responsible for the overall level of combat readiness, and that
16 means I was responsible for the situation in the field of command and
17 control; I was responsible for the brigade's training, for their morale;
18 I was responsible for security and for logistics. So I had to be quite
19 free to use the relevant mechanisms to carry out this work. However, I
20 couldn't have full insight into security tasks, so the problems that
21 appeared between the commander of the Zvornik Brigade and the assistant
22 for security -- I won't say between myself and Drago Nikolic on purpose
23 because it wasn't a matter of a personal relationship. I would have
24 acted in the same way if anyone else had been in Drago Nikolic's place.
25 However, I understood that I couldn't be persistent in efforts that I was
2 Q. Did you or, indeed, could you ask him what work he was engaged in
3 on a day-to-day basis?
4 A. I have to say that Drago Nikolic is a disciplined officer. He
5 conducted himself in a civilised manner and in accordance with the rules.
6 His relationship to the commander was correct. He attended the Command
7 meetings and briefings, and I didn't ask him about the nature of his
8 counter-intelligence tasks. If he told me he was involved in such a
9 task, I had to believe him, take him at his word. That is -- was not
10 something I could check.
11 Q. Thank you. We'll just briefly go through a couple of other
12 aspects of the instruction and how you understood it.
13 I should just clarify this: Did you ever seek from the chiefs of
14 security of the corps any explanation or clarification or interpretation
15 of the provisions of this instruction?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify that, the "chiefs" somehow got
18 MR. HAYNES: It got pluralised because I misspoke.
19 Q. Did you ever seek clarification of the instruction in line with
20 the copy of it we've seen from the corps?
21 A. I never asked this gentleman, Colonel Tomic, to clarify the
22 instructions. I think he dwelled very -- or he remained in that position
23 very briefly. I could have only made such a request from the corps
24 commander, and he, through his assistant for security, would be provided
25 with the relevant interpretation. I only had information on when this --
1 I only had information according to which the person who drafted the
2 instructions had the commander of the Zvornik Brigade and the commander
3 of the Rogatica Brigade from the Drina Corps in mind, as well as
4 commanders who were preventing the security organs from working
5 efficiently, And the situation remained such as it was. I didn't try to
6 penetrate further into the matter.
7 Q. Very well. Just quickly going to paragraph 2, it reads:
8 "The security and intelligence organs are directly commanded by
9 the commander of the unit or institution of which they form part, but
10 with regard to professional activities they are controlled centrally by
11 the security and intelligence organs of the superior command."
12 In practical terms, what did that mean?
13 A. Well, the security and intelligence organs, or, rather, that
14 sector in the Main Staff, was completely subordinate to the commander of
15 the Main Staff, and everything had been totally centralised. Both
16 services had been centralised within the framework of one section, and
17 the commander of the Main Staff, through General Tolimir, his assistant,
18 could successfully control the work of these services, these organs, and
19 assigned tasks to them at lower levels in infantry brigades. These
20 functions were distinct. The assistant for intelligence was in the
21 Staff, and he was subordinate to the Chief of Staff, so the first
22 sentence, that the security and intelligence organs are directly
23 commanded by the commander, is true only with regard to the security
24 organs, not with regard to the intelligence organs in the brigade.
25 I have already said that Drago Nikolic, as the assistant for
1 security, was my subordinate. That's correct. But to what extent? If
2 80 per cent of his work was counter-intelligence work and the commander
3 didn't have to have any knowledge of this work, I accepted that, and I
4 was only -- I only had -- my assistant for security was only under me to
5 a certain extent. I had 20 per cent control over him, and that's how I
7 Q. Thank you. The paragraph that's caused us a degree of debate
8 during the course of this case, the second paragraph, paragraph 2:
9 "Furthermore, all members of these organs and services are
10 authorised by law to act and work on tasks from their field of work
11 analogous to the authority of members of the Republika Srpska Ministry of
12 the Interior State Security Department."
13 What does that mean?
14 A. I wasn't very familiar with the field of work of the MUP, of the
15 State Security, but on the basis of my experience from the JNA, I knew
16 that the security organs had such tasks, but not the intelligence organs.
17 The intelligence organs were in the Command or in the Staff, and they
18 can't have any authorisation from -- the authorisation of state security
19 organs or these responsibilities.
20 Q. So far as you were aware, did that involve any additional powers,
21 or was it really merely a confirmation of their powers and authorities
22 that had existed before?
23 A. I know that according to the rules on security organ, it says
24 that they have the responsibilities of the state organs, but what comes
25 under that field, what these responsibilities involved exactly, I
1 couldn't say precisely.
2 Q. Very well. Can we look at page 4, which will involve us going
3 to -- sorry, paragraph 4, page 2, and it's really just the second half of
4 that paragraph:
5 "All telegrams and mail of the members of the security and
6 intelligence organ shall be delivered exclusively to them personally, and
7 no other organs of the Command, including the commander, have the right
8 to inspect their contents."
9 Had that been the case before?
10 A. Probably. I didn't receive such mail. The method was probably
11 the same earlier on too. However, as far as the reports are concerned,
12 given my responsibilities as brigade commander, I requested that in
13 regular combat reports, under the security situation, one should say what
14 the security organ had to do, and in such regular combat reports you can
15 see that these items aren't very extensive. The operations officer would
16 draft these items. So I wanted all command organs to place everything
17 that they had with regard to corps in regular combat reports that I would
18 sign. I would then be responsible for the contents of such reports.
19 I think that this led to a conclusion between the security organ and
20 myself -- this led to a clash between the security organ and myself.
21 Q. And can we then go to the third page and have a look at
22 paragraph 7:
23 "The monitoring of the professionalism, legality, and correctness
24 of the work of the security and intelligence organ shall be carried out
25 exclusively by the first superior organs for security and intelligence
1 affairs, except in that part of their engagement relating to command and
2 staff affairs."
3 What would be a command and staff task?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise for the interruption, but the
5 previous answer doesn't make sense in English, so if we're going to
6 correct these things, perhaps we should do it now. Something led to a
7 conclusion between "myself and security"?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The witness said
9 something led to a clash, not a conclusion.
10 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. That's how it appears in
11 the transcript, anyway, I think.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it's a correction without the removal of the
13 previous wrong statement, so let's continue, and thank you, Mr. McCloskey
14 and Mr. Haynes.
15 MR. HAYNES:
16 Q. What is a command and staff task or a command and staff affair?
17 A. Well, as in the case of all organs of the Staff and Command, the
18 assistant for security or, rather, the chief of the security section has
19 to be involved in the work of the Command or Staff when taking decisions,
20 and he, in a professional sense, has to draft an order that will be
21 signed by the commander, and that involves -- that concerns the contents
22 of Staff and Command duties. Military police work and tasks could also
23 come under this title. The classical -- or textbook examples of security
24 tasks also come under this field. But these Command and Staff tasks
25 involve using the security staff, the Security Sector.
1 Q. And the paragraph as a whole, what does it mean, the monitoring
2 of the professionalism, et cetera, shall be carried out exclusively by
3 the first superior organs for security and intelligence affairs?
4 A. Well, it means that this concerns the field of work that
5 consists -- that represents 80 per cent of the security organ's work. It
6 has to do with the control of their professionalism, their legality, and
7 with their work. The security organ from the superior command has to
8 assess this work, and as a result, when a professional assessment is made
9 for the security organ, there is a field that concerns whether the
10 assessment is agreed with.
11 Q. Thank you. Well, let's leave that behind us now, and we've
12 really finished with that section of your examination which involved you,
13 your deputy commander, the subordination of your units, their
14 relationship with superior command, and the security organ, and we're
15 going to go back to, as it were, the historical narrative that we'd
16 stopped when we got to the point where you arrived at Zvornik, but we're
17 actually going to go back a little further than that, please, and start
18 by having a look at P29, Directive 4.
19 When was the first time that you ever saw Directive 4?
20 A. The first time I saw it was in the Detention Unit, when I
21 received it as part of the DS material.
22 MR. HAYNES: And if we can move on very quickly from there and
23 look at P3029, the Drina Corps order of the 24th of November of 1992.
24 Q. You've already told us that you became the commander of the
25 Zvornik Brigade on the 18th of November [sic] of 1992. This document was
1 delivered personally to the commander of the Zvornik Brigade. Did you
2 receive it?
3 A. I apologise. In the transcript, it says "November," whereas it
4 should be December that I became the commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
5 Q. You're quite right. I don't know whether I said the wrong thing
6 or whether somebody else made a mistake, but this document, dated the
7 24th of November, was it delivered to you?
8 A. No, this document was not delivered to me.
9 Q. And when you arrived at the Command of the Zvornik Brigade, did
10 anybody draw it to your attention?
11 A. I believe that this document was filed at the Zvornik Brigade,
12 but nobody actually drew my attention to it.
13 Q. Now, I want you to -- I want to take you back in your narrative
14 to your period in Visegrad, which you told us was between June and
15 December of 1992. Can you tell us a little bit about the general
16 situation on the ground in the Drina Valley
17 A. I will gladly do that. However, I can't be brief in explaining
18 that, and I apologise in advance.
19 I did have an occasion to gain an insight into the tactical and
20 operative position of the units of the Army of Republika Srpska almost
21 across the entire valley of the Drina
22 position of the Serbian population and the Serbian settlements in the
23 area. When I say "the valley of the Drina River," I mean the area of
24 Upper Drina
25 Rudo, Visegrad, and Rogatica. I also mean the Central Drina Valley
1 area from Skelani to Bratunac, as well as the Lower Drina Valley
2 area from Zvornik to Bijeljina. The situation in that area, particularly
3 in the upper and central Podrinje, in the first and second half of 1992
4 was very difficult and not in favour of the Serbian forces. The Serbian
5 population, in the areas of the municipality of Gorazde
6 expelled from the left bank of the Drina River
7 to keep the settlements on the right bank of the Drina in the direction
8 of Cajnice. Visegrad was completely cut off and completely encircled
9 without any means of communication towards the Romanija Plateau and
11 In Central Podrinje, the Serbian settlements had mostly been
12 destroyed and reduced to the territory of the town of Bratunac and partly
13 the village of Skelani
14 came from the Muslim forces deployed across Konjevic Polje, Cerska, and
15 Kamenica. The only communication between the Sarajevo-Romanija Plateau
16 and the Drina River
17 Sekovici, which was a detour, and then Crni Vrh and Zvornik. In that
18 area which I have just described, there were approximately 80.000 and
19 90.000 inhabitants whose position was not enviable. They were either to
20 defend themselves in the area or cross the Drina River
22 situation in the area at the time.
23 Q. Thank you very much. And just to try and reflect that position a
24 little bit, we're going to take a look at three or four documents.
25 Can we have 7D968 placed into e-court, please. This is a
1 document from the 23rd of June of 1992, and, again, this is a document of
2 some length, so it might be easier if the accused had a hard copy to flip
4 We'll give him a hard copy, yes. 968.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: When this is done, now and later, if any one of you
6 would like to have a look at the document that is being given to the
7 witness, please tell me so, tell us so.
8 While we are waiting, Mr. Ostojic, we received the waiver of your
9 client relative to today's sitting, but I don't recall having seen one
10 covering yesterday's absence for the last session or so. So I would like
11 confirmation from you that he actually told you that he was waiving his
13 MR. OSTOJIC: He did indeed, Mr. President, and we'll look into
14 that and get you one.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you.
16 MR. HAYNES:
17 Q. The document from the 23rd of June of 1992 describes the
18 situation in a number of villages and the activity of the enemy. Is that
19 one that was familiar to you at that time?
20 A. This document is a detailed description of the situation that I
21 attempted to describe, and it mentions some very concrete settlements and
22 areas, and it points to the necessity of preserving certain towns and
23 settlements inhabited by a majority-Serb population, and also, a
24 reference is made to an easier communication that has to be established
25 between Zvornik and the Sarajevo-Romanija area.
1 MR. HAYNES: And another Main Staff order, 7D965, please.
2 Q. Again, not in great detail, just remind yourself of the document.
3 It's a Main Staff order of the 29th of October. Is it a document that
4 you saw contemporaneously, either in -- that is, in October of 1992?
5 A. I did not see the document in October 1992. However, I can see
6 that it was drafted four months after the previous document and that it
7 deals with the -- with similar problems which had not been resolved,
8 although the previous document set out some tasks. This document
9 continues to show that the situation is still very hard in the area and
10 that the entire population needs to be mobilised in the areas of
11 Visegrad, Rogatica, Rudo, Cajnice, Foca, and so on and so forth with an
12 intention to defend the entire area.
13 Q. And then are you aware of any attempts to realise any of the
14 objectives under the order?
15 A. Well, from June to December, the combat achievements of the Army
16 of Republika Srpska in the area were very modest or even none. The
17 successes were mostly expressed in documents and reports, and they did
18 not reflect the situation as it was on the ground, unfortunately.
19 MR. HAYNES: Okay. Just one last document, which is a Muslim
20 document, 7D985.
21 Q. Does this appear to relate to the geographical area and the
22 problems you've been talking about?
23 A. This is an article from the journal of the 2nd Corps of the Army
24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was written on the occasion of the
25 jubilee of the brigade in Hajrudin, a message from Tercuk [phoen] and
1 206th Vitez Brigade of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it mostly
2 concerns the territory of Zvornik
3 of the aforementioned units and the losses suffered by the Chetnik
4 forces, both in manpower and equipment. The rough estimate that is
5 mentioned here is 5.000 Chetniks, 50 tanks that were either destroyed or
6 damaged, and so on and so forth. In my view, this is an exaggeration to
7 a certain extent.
8 Q. Of course. But during the period we're talking about, the second
9 half of 1992, did you have opportunity yourself to see the effect of
10 Muslim offensives on the ground in the Drina Valley?
11 A. I could see the effects mostly in the territory of Gorazde
12 partly in the northern parts of Visegrad Municipality
13 military reports, and from the media I was aware of the hardship of the
14 Serbian civilians and soldiers in the territories of the municipalities
15 of Srebrenica and Bratunac.
16 Q. Did you ever see burnt villages?
17 A. Unfortunately, I did see burned villages, quite a lot of them,
18 during the war.
19 Q. In that period, the period we're talking about, do you know how
20 many Serbian villages were burnt to the ground?
21 A. I did not see all of those villages, but I know that in the
22 Command of the Drina Corps, General Zivanovic had a map of all the
23 Serbian villages that were either destroyed or burnt in the territories
24 of the municipalities of Bratunac and Srebrenica. That's where his
25 native village was, and he was very familiar with the region, and I
1 suppose that he had his own personal and emotional reasons to deal with
2 the situation there.
3 Q. Well, we have General Zivanovic's map. Its surrogate sheet is
4 7D940, and for those of us who don't read Cyrillic, that will show us
5 that the title of the map is "Burned Serbian Villages
6 May 1992 to January 1993." We could sit here and count them,
7 Mr. Pandurevic, but we already have, and there are 146 villages on that
8 map marked as being destroyed. Does that sound about right to you?
9 A. The map behind my back is the map that I saw in the Command of
10 the Drina
11 the names of the villages and the times when they were destroyed. The
12 last number is 146. I would say that this is the total number of
13 villages and hamlets that were destroyed in that area.
14 Q. You say "that area." It's not the greatest map in the world.
15 What is the area we're talking about there?
16 A. This is the area covered by the municipalities of Srebrenica and
18 Q. Now, we're going to come on, probably tomorrow morning, to some
19 of the combat activities you took part in in 1993. You've told us you
20 didn't know about Directive 4 until you got here to The Hague. When you
21 took part in those combat activities in early 1993, were you aware of any
22 strategic plan that you were taking part in?
23 A. When I first came to Zvornik and took over the command of the
24 Zvornik Brigade, the only picture that I had before me was the very
25 difficult tactical position and lack of organisation in the Zvornik
1 Brigade, and my main task was to improve its organisation and to make the
2 brigade as efficient as possible and include it in combat. I did not
3 have before me the order of the Drina Corps or Directive number 4.
4 However, as a soldier, I was aware that even without an order or without
5 a command, life itself imposed tasks on me and ordered me to do
7 In that sense, at the beginning of January, I launched certain
8 combat activities - very limited, however - just to show some activity,
9 just to show everybody that the Zvornik Brigade was still alive.
10 Q. What was the necessity of those activities you began with the
11 Zvornik Brigade?
12 A. On the map that you showed me yesterday, and we couldn't use it,
13 you could see the position of the Zvornik brigade as it was at the time.
14 We had a battalion in Drinjaca, south of Zvornik, 12 kilometres south of
15 Zvornik. It was completely encircled at the time. We also had Muslim
16 forces at -- within the shooting range from the city. Children and women
17 from Zvornik had already moved out to Serbia. The combat readiness of
18 the brigade was very low. The territory of Crni Vrh
19 there was a constant communication line between the BiH Army forces in
20 Zenica and Srebrenica, and the road leading from Zvornik towards Crni Vrh
21 and Sekovici was very often blocked, and traffic was interrupted by the
22 activities of the Muslim forces.
23 Q. In January of 1993, did you first take part in combat activities
24 pursuant to a Drina Corps order; namely, Operation Proboj?
25 A. This name, Operation Proboj, would have to mean a lot
1 symbolically. It would be the whole corps or at least two or three
2 brigades that would have to be engaged in that operation. It would last
3 over four to six days, in two stages. However, what we did at that time,
4 under the name of Proboj or "Breakthrough," which was painstaking
5 maneuvering of forces left and right with minimum movements in depth, and
6 the first actions in January were actions at the entrance to Kravica when
7 we tried to stop the breakthrough of the Muslim forces to the Drina
8 River, and after that actions started in the general area of Kamenica.
9 Q. At the tactical level, what did it seem to you was the purpose of
10 the action, the operation?
11 A. The main task was to repel the Muslim forces from the town of
12 Zvornik, to prevent the forces to communicate between the 2nd Corps and
13 the 28th Division, which was then 8th Operations Group, and later on, if
14 possible, the aim was to push all those forces even further away from the
16 Q. And what was the apparent intention of your enemy?
17 A. The intention of the enemy was to link up the forces of the
18 2nd Corps on the north and north-west sides of Zvornik with the forces in
19 Kamenica, Cerska, and Konjevic Polje. In the second stage, they would
20 have taken the area on the banks of the Drina River and would -- they
21 would have eliminated any form of the Serbian life in the eastern part of
22 that area.
23 Q. Your orders under Operation Proboj, did they seem to you to be
24 justifiable military orders?
25 A. Those orders, from the military point of view, were absolutely
1 justified and logical. I issued those orders and I received those orders
2 both orally and in a written form, and from time to time I even had a
3 personal communication with the corps commander and the Chief of Staff
4 with this regard.
5 Q. We'll move on to Kamenica. We've had a look at this document
6 before. It's 7D1006, the regular combat report for the 1st of February,
8 Thank you, it's on the screen. Just remind yourself of what this
9 report says.
10 At the time you wrote the report on the 1st of February, 1993
11 what was the military situation, what were you engaged in, and what point
12 had you reached?
13 A. As far as I can remember, during this period the tactical
14 situation of the Zvornik Brigade was much more favourable than it was in
15 December 1992. We had managed to take the area of Kamenica, and on the
16 1st of February or somewhat later we took Glodjansko Brdo. In November,
17 our forces had been defeated there and we had suffered great losses
18 there. We were also planning on continuing combat operations in the
19 direction of Konjevic Polje.
20 Judging from this report, as we look at it, I -- you can see that
21 I sent an imprisoned enemy soldier to the Muslim forces -- Muslim
22 villages where we expected conflict and offered protection to the
23 civilian population, which was in compliance with the application of the
24 International Laws of War, which was in force in the armed forces of
25 Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Let's address that head-on. During the Bosnian conflict, what
2 generally caused population movement, Mr. Pandurevic?
3 A. The armies which were engaged in the civil war in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the one side, the Army of Republika Srpska, and
5 the other side, the Army of Bosnia
6 the Croatian Defence Council; basically, we are talking about armed
7 populations, civilians that called themselves armies. This was a
8 conflict between people who had lived together and knew each other very
9 well there because they had been neighbours, and in that conflict, if the
10 one side prevailed over the other side, their respective villages and
11 territories would become completely deserted, and they would be taken by
12 the prevailing force.
13 At that time, we could not speak of any trust. Nobody waited for
14 the enemy side to come to the village. Even to this day, we have Annex 7
15 of the Dayton
16 about the return of the refugees.
17 Q. Just one more question, and answer it as quickly as you can.
18 Why did you take this step of opening a corridor and apparently
19 ceasing fire in the circumstances you'd reached by the 1st of February,
21 A. The provisions of the International Rules of War say that the
22 commanders of the warring parties in a certain area may establish the
23 so-called safety areas where civilians could be sheltered because
24 civilians could not be objects of military actions. At that time, I
25 could not get in touch with the Muslim commander in order to agree on
1 that. However, I did have a choice to send my prisoner of war there.
2 On the other hand, the International Law of War and the
3 regulations that I was aware of say that the commander can ban the
4 civilians from leaving the encircled area. I did not opt for that. I
5 justified a fire opened on enemy lines by what we call the military
7 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. I think we'll leave that there. I would
8 just like to check that answer.
9 Q. Did you say you justified fire on the enemy lines there?
10 A. Any action was justified by military necessity.
11 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Well, we'll leave it there for today.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Thank you, Mr. Pandurevic.
13 MR. HAYNES: Nobody is very happy with that. Is that
14 translation --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll clarify it tomorrow because there is another
16 sitting -- another court sitting this afternoon.
17 We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00. Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 29th day of
20 January, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.