1 Wednesday, 25 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 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. For the record, all the accused
10 are here. Representation, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Mitchell for the
12 Absent from the Defence teams, I notice Mr. Sarapa and
13 Mr. Ostojic.
14 Okay. Any preliminaries? None.
15 Mr. Haynes, we had promised to come back to you on the break that
16 you had asked for at the end of the -- your client's testimony. We've
17 put everything in the basket when making our considerations and we have
18 come to the conclusions that three days should suffice; however, in view
19 of that, we are also authorising you to have access to your client in the
20 meantime, provided that you restrict these approaches solely on the
21 matters relating to the rest of the witnesses that you may or may not
22 decide to bring forward.
23 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President. That's really very
24 helpful. I won't bring any witnesses next week because I think given the
25 technical problems yesterday, it's likely that Mr. Pandurevic's evidence
1 will occupy a day or two of next week and that will then leave probably
2 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday conveniently for us to regroup.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
4 MR. HAYNES: Thanks very much.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So we can continue with your cross-examination,
6 Mr. McCloskey.
7 Good morning to you, Mr. Pandurevic.
8 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President, good morning.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, everyone.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
15 Q. Good morning, General.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. I think you had mentioned, and I agree, that sometimes it's
18 easier for lawyers to stand here and talk about things after the fact,
19 like the Geneva Conventions. So I looked for something from a soldier
20 and I found the values and standards of the British Army by the chief of
21 the British General Staff Richard Dannatt, who you, I know, will have
22 recalled reading his testimony in the Krstic trial. I want to go over a
23 couple of those with you and get your views.
24 This is a document that is short, relatively short. We've just
25 got some excerpts from it. It is dated January 2008 and if we could go
1 to the forward by General Dannatt which is page 3 of the English, and we
2 did manage to get this part translated into B/C/S. It is 4307.
3 I think as it's coming up, I can begin but as I said, it's
4 entitled, "Values and standards of the British Army."
5 The forward begins:
6 "The British Army has a worldwide reputation for excellence, a
7 strong reflection of its soldiers and officers. This reputation derives
8 from and depends upon unequivocal commitment, self sacrifice and mutual
9 trust. Our values and standards are vital to operational effectiveness.
10 They are the life-blood that sustains the army. They have to be more
11 than just words. We must believe in them and live by them. Therefore,
12 it is the effective and coherent translation of these values and
13 standards into actions that must penetrate every command and organisation
14 until they are instinctive."
15 And as you will recall, these are words from a man with combat
16 experience in Northern Ireland where Catholics and Protestants were
17 killing each other, in the Middle East and other places.
18 He goes on to say:
19 "Commanders create their command ethos," now we've translated
20 that roughly to ethical environment.
21 "Commanders create their command ethos and must ensure that
22 values and standards are at the centre of it, through personal example
23 and by educating and training their subordinates."
24 Do you agree with that?
25 A. Yes, I agree with the way things are in the British Army and
1 there would be no one happier than me if things were the same way in the
2 Army of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Did you, as a brigade commander in the Army of Republika Srpska,
4 have responsibility for the command ethos of your unit?
5 A. Every officer, which includes me as well, bears a certain
6 responsibility as a human being and as a commander I -- an officer. And
7 when it comes to the standards and values, here I found a sentence which
8 says that the responsibility of a military officer, a professional, is
9 similar to the responsibility of every citizen and above and beyond that.
10 So the responsibility of a commander is important not only for its unit.
11 What matters is also his behaviour and his actions in relation to the
12 entire community in which he acts.
13 Q. And it goes on to say:
14 "The responsibility of commanders to be at the heart of this
15 process cannot be delegated, and I hold you all accountable for it."
16 Did you ever hear words like that from General Krstic or
17 General Mladic?
18 A. I didn't hear those words but I have to tell you this, as a
19 member of the JNA, I had the rules of service which indirectly rather
20 than directly regulated the standards and behaviour of the JNA. However,
21 there was no specific document similar to the one that you are showing to
22 us now that would explicitly display and show standards and values that
23 all the members of the army must adhere to.
24 I would also like to say that these are the standard values of
25 the British Royal Army whose tradition spans hundreds of years; whereas
1 the Army of Republika Srpska was created during the chaotic times of war
2 and its tradition is only four or five years long. Maybe this army will
3 be in a position to issue a document similar to this in 50 or 60 years,
4 maybe it will have different standards, very specifically explained. I
5 would be very happy, as a soldier, to be able to serve in an army like
7 Q. Well, I won't go over with you the guidelines that came out of
8 the military prosecutor's office of the VRS that sound actually very
9 similar to this and reflect the Geneva Conventions.
10 But let me go on:
11 "The values are about character and spirit: The standards define
12 our actions and behaviour."
13 Do you agree with that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It goes on:
16 "I expect everyone in the army to abide by these values and
18 A. Yes. This is expected, and as far as I can understand, this was
19 issued in January 2008 but I believe that something of that nature
20 existed even before. And I suppose that people did not adhere to the
21 previous standards and that's why new standards had to be issued.
22 You remember what the British soldiers did in Iraq, some
23 individuals who did not adhere to these standards and their behaviour was
24 even extreme although they were professionals. A commander can always
25 expect and demand and whether his expectations and demands will be met
1 depends largely on the overall functioning of an institution.
2 Q. So are you suggesting that the fault lies in the soldiers and not
3 in the commanders?
4 A. No, I'm not suggesting that. I'm not suggesting that the fault
5 lies in the soldiers. The fault lies in the organisation and functioning
6 of a system or an institution. It is questionable whether these
7 standards and values can be applied fully. We saw that the British Army
8 was not able to fully implement its own standards when it came to its
9 soldiers in Iraq.
10 Q. And you'll agree with me that all we can really do is try.
11 A. Yes, you're absolutely right.
12 Q. Okay. Let's see if the VRS tried. Let's go next to B/C/S
13 page 4, this is under the section entitled "Values and Standards" under
14 the operational imperative. And I want to read you paragraph 5 and ask
15 you about it.
16 "Soldiers are required to close with the enemy, possibly in the
17 midst of innocent bystanders, and fight and to continue operating in the
18 face of mortal danger. This is a group activity, at all scales of effort
19 and intensities. Soldiers are part of a team, and the effectiveness of
20 that team depends on each individual playing his or her part to the full.
21 Success" -- and this is the part I want to ask you about. "Success
22 depends above all else on good morale, which is the spirit that enables
23 soldiers to triumph other adversity, morale linked to and reinforced by
25 Do you agree that morale is extremely important?
1 A. I agree with you absolutely but I must add this, morale is not an
2 abstract category. What you have just listed, all these things have an
3 impact on morale. The first thing is professionalism and level of
4 education of every individual, his personal courage, the attitude of the
5 others towards him and vice versa and you can see here that it says that
6 people function as a team. It's very difficult to compose a team of
7 different people, different soldiers, in terms of their professionalism,
8 age, education level and so on and so forth. It's not an accident that
9 it takes at least four years of education for all who bear the same
10 helmet on their heads to be thinking the same way when it comes to all of
11 the issues that you've listed for us here.
12 Every commander would very much like to have a -- his unit
13 functioning as a team. This is theory. In practice, things are
14 different, but I do agree with the wording of this document. I would
15 word the document the same way myself. It is an entirely different issue
16 as to how I would achieve the effect described in this document.
17 Q. I'm sure General Washington would agree with you but his farmers
18 were able to beat General Dannatt's army, the same farmers you had; but I
19 don't think we need to get into that.
20 MR. HAYNES: I don't think General Washington and General Dannatt
21 were alive at the same time but --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We don't need to comment on this any
23 further. Let's proceed.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to a document, 65 ter 4237,
25 page 1 in the English, page 1 in the B/C/S.
1 Q. General, this is a document from the command of the
2 Zvornik Brigade on February 10th, 1993, in your name and it's a report --
3 it's a regular combat report to the command of the Drina Corps. And if
4 we could look at that first page, it's that first paragraph we see that:
5 "At 1210 hours, the enemy artillery fired two H-122 millimetre shells in
6 the immediate vicinity of the hospital in Simo Peric Street in
7 Srpska Varos sector. A five-year-old child was killed, two civilians
8 wounded and two houses damaged."
9 These are Serb children killed by Muslim artillery fired into a
10 city. How does this kind of conduct affect the morale of the troops on
11 the line, the Serb troops?
12 A. Since you've mentioned Washington, allow me to say just one
13 sentence. Washington's doctrine says that diletants cannot wage a war
14 and that soldiers to whom issues are -- orders are issued once a week or
15 once a month can never maintain the same discipline as those who are
16 issued orders every day.
17 And now as to the document that you've just shown. This was a
18 war which involved two warring parties but not two different states, but
19 two different ethnic groups. This was a civil war with additional
20 ingredients of a religious war. And if things like this happen on one
21 side, the other side reacts impossibly and emotionally, and all the
22 standards that exist are not taken rationally. Sometimes people react
23 irrationally. This has a negative impact on morale of one's own forces.
24 However, in my view, morale is not only the attitude towards
25 one's self and one's own forces, morale is a component that also implies
1 one's attitude towards their enemy.
2 Q. All right. Let's go to another document, 65 ter 4313, dated
3 11 February 1993. It's the next day and I just simply want to point out
4 what you say on paragraph 5, it's page 1 of the B/C/S, page 2 of the
5 English, number 5. You say:
6 "The situation in the area after yesterday's shelling of Zvornik
7 and the industrial zone of Karakaj, the population is afraid of the
8 attack being repeated with even more tragic consequences."
9 So this, too, again affects the morale badly for the troops in
10 the trenches, I take it?
11 A. Yes, this does affect the morale of the troops in the trenches
12 but also the mood of the entire society from which the soldiers hail and
13 which the soldiers return after having spent some time in the trenches.
14 This is very different from the situation of the troops who are
15 engaged in combat thousands of kilometres away from their own home.
16 Q. Okay. On this same subject, let's go to another document,
17 65 ter 4312. This one is from the Drina Corps command, dated
18 19 November 1992. It's from, you'll see, General Zivanovic and because
19 it's a couple of pages, let me hand this to you.
20 This is about an area we'll get into a little more deeper later
21 but it's talking about the situation Cerska, at Konjevic Polje,
22 Glodjansko Brdo, Kamenica, Snagovo. And the second paragraph says:
23 "In addition to armed soldiers, there are a certain number of
24 civilians (women, children, the elderly and the frail)," this is page 1
25 of the B/C/S, "in this area. We estimate this figure to be between
1 10.000 and 20.000 people."
2 Then it goes on and talks about what the enemy is armed with.
3 Then the next paragraph says:
4 "The morale of the civilians is dropping due to shortages of food
5 staples and other vital supplies. We deem that we will crash enemy
6 resistance in a powerful attack precisely because of their drop in morale
7 caused by joint attacks from all directions."
8 So this is a situation where the VRS is coordinating their attack
9 based on the falling morale or taking advantage of the falling morale of
10 the Muslims; correct?
11 A. Well, it is an estimate expressed here that the action will be
12 successful, thanks to that. Morale means somebody's readiness to wage
13 war and to engage in combat in war.
14 Q. So if you can crush the enemy's morale, you've got a better
15 chance to beat them.
16 A. Yes, in principle, yes.
17 Q. And there's different ways of crushing the morale of the other
18 side, isn't there? We'll get into some of those.
19 A. Well, there are different ways. I saw that you put on the list
20 of documents the skill of warfare where the author says the best
21 commander is the one who wins a battle without engaging in battle. That
22 could be an answer to your question.
23 Q. I think you mean -- well, translation that's the art of war,
24 which I was going to go over yesterday but we kind of got into it a
25 little quickly.
1 Okay. Now, I want to go back to the values of the British Army
2 again, back to 65 ter 4307. This comes under the chapter "Values."
3 It goes through some values. On page 9 is where they begin with
4 selfless commitment. Then on page 10, that's the English, and we have a
5 translation of part of that, page 4 in the B/C/S, it describes courage.
6 And I want to read this one to you:
7 "All soldiers must be prepared to use lethal force to fight: To
8 take the lives of others, and knowingly to risk their own. They may need
9 to show restraint, even when doing so involves personal danger. They may
10 witness the injury or death of their comrades but still continue with the
11 task at hand. This requires physical courage, and soldiers will depend
12 on each other for it."
13 I don't think anyone here is doubting your physical courage.
14 Then it goes on:
15 "Moral courage is equally important. That is the courage to do
16 what is right even when it may be unpopular, or risk ridicule or danger,
17 and to insist on maintaining the highest standards of decency and
18 behaviour at all times."
19 Do you agree with that?
20 A. Yes, I agree. That's how it's written in the British Army and
21 they probably adhere to that for the most part but I'm not sure that they
22 adhere to it in full.
23 Q. Well, human beings don't adhere to anything in full, we can agree
24 on that. But let me ask you: Do you agree that moral courage is equally
25 important as physical courage in battle, and after battle?
1 A. It may be even more important than physical courage.
2 Q. It goes on and says:
3 "This earns respect and fosters trust. Courage, both physical
4 and moral, creates the strength upon which fighting spirit and success on
5 operations depend. It is a quality needed by every soldier, but it is
6 especially important for those placed in positions of authority, because
7 others will depend on their lead and respond to it."
8 When Dragan Obrenovic received the order relayed to him by
9 Drago Nikolic, and he decided to provide Drago Nikolic with the commander
10 of the MPs and some MPs, was he showing moral courage?
11 A. Well, as we are comparing values and standards of one army with
12 the behaviour of another army which two things are completely different,
13 but still we are talking about some general standards and I believe the
14 comparison possible. However, what Dragan Obrenovic told us
15 Drago Nikolic required from him did not indicate that a crime was
16 involved which would have required moral courage on the part of the
18 But if you allow me to say this, if you compare the British Army,
19 which is a member of the NATO alliance and very close to the American
20 Army, in the bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, General Short of the
21 NATO alliance said that everything needs to be done so that people do not
22 have electricity in their refrigerators, gas in their heating appliances,
23 that they cannot get to work. And the British pilots who bombed the
24 bridges knew this. They were aware of this, so I wonder how this
25 compares, how this fits in with the values and standards of that army and
1 how they acted in conformity with --
2 Q. General, we can talk about what the allies did to Dresden as well
3 but that's not my question.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to refer to
6 page 12, lines 5 to 7, which is the initial part of the question posed by
7 my colleague to the witness and it reads as follows:
8 "When Dragan Obrenovic received the order and relayed to him by
9 Drago Nikolic, and he decided to provide Drago Nikolic with the commander
10 of the MPs and some MPs, was he showing moral courage?"
11 Mr. President, this is a highly debated issue in this case. If
12 my colleague is going to put a proposition to the witness, he can say,
13 "If Dragan Obrenovic said something," or he can say, "It is my
14 proposition that Dragan Obrenovic said something," but to make it as a
15 statement that it happened like this is inappropriate. Thank you,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's not inappropriate when I say it like that.
19 It's what I mean my position is, that's clear.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's possible. The understanding is
21 actually that it is a proposition that he is making and not a statement.
22 I mean Mr. McCloskey is not testifying.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Sir, if you're not going to answer the question about
25 Dragan Obrenovic, let me put it to you another way. If General Mladic
1 ordered General Krstic to kill all the prisoners they could get from
2 Srebrenica, it would have taken quite a bit of moral courage for Krstic
3 to say no, wouldn't it?
4 A. I agree completely. Not only moral courage, but also common
6 Q. Okay. I want to talk a little bit about some documents you spoke
7 of in the context of command ethos. Could we go to 65 ter 2920. This is
8 a three-page document, so unless I can get leave of Court to just hand
9 you documents which may be easier --
10 MR. HAYNES: I was going to make that point. It's really far
11 simpler for the document to go directly from Mr. McCloskey to the witness
12 than cause Eva to ...
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that. Thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Now, General, let me give you the original.
16 A. Thank you.
17 Q. Now, this is this document, 25 April 1995, you went over briefly
18 with Mr. Haynes. And I'm curious, you testified that you had only
19 glanced at it before signing it; right?
20 A. Yes, if that's what I said, all right, maybe I just glanced
21 through it and signed it.
22 Q. Well, which was it? You testified about this.
23 A. Well, I've been testifying for 17 or 18 days. I believe I
24 glanced at it and signed it. It's very difficult to quote from myself
25 17 days later.
1 Q. I'm not asking you to do that. I want to know how you were able
2 to know all these years later that you just glanced at this before
4 A. Well, that was the practice more or less concerning some
5 documents that do not relate to combat activities themselves, but instead
6 relate to briefs and reports like this.
7 Q. Who is responsible for sending the message in this document to
8 the troops?
9 A. This document was drafted by the moral guidance organ; I signed
10 it. It was sent to the command of the Drina Corps, probably also to
11 other units of the Zvornik Brigade, and then the moral guidance organs
12 from the brigade, through assistance for moral guidance in companies
13 would pass the information on.
14 Q. Who bears principal responsibility for in the brigade for this
15 message sent to the troops?
16 A. The organ for moral guidance deals with these issues and I
17 believe within the command they did not inform anyone in particular
18 because the organs of the command were more or less involved in combat
19 activities and knew what was going on.
20 Q. Who bears principal responsibility for the message sent out by
21 this document in the brigade, you or Nenad, is it Nenad Simic?
22 A. I told you at the beginning of my examination-in-chief, the
23 commander of the brigade and the commander of the unit is responsible for
24 elements of combat readiness. That's why he has assistants and
25 associates through whom he can achieve that. Since my signature is here,
1 I am responsible. I would be responsible even without my signature, not
2 directly, but my responsibility for this document exists nevertheless.
3 Q. You are principally responsible for the message sent to the
4 troops; correct?
5 A. The commander is responsible in principle, as you said, and I was
6 responsible for the overall situation in the brigade.
7 Q. And this certainly wasn't the only document of this ilk that went
8 out to your troops, was it?
9 A. All sorts of documents are sent, reports, orders, pieces of
10 information coming from superior commands, et cetera.
11 Q. That's not my question. My question is: This is not the only
12 document of this ilk, talking about the Muslims as "poturices," that came
13 out of your brigade, is it?
14 A. This is a report and we see that it's the 88th report in line; so
15 it's not the only document, it's the 88th.
16 Q. Was this kind of message organised from the Main Staff through
17 the corps to the brigades?
18 A. There is such a thing as internal information exchange within the
19 army, it can go from the Main Staff through the corps to lower levels.
20 There are also information exchanges at every level of the command. From
21 time to time, we, as a brigade, received information from the corps that
22 had been received by the corps from the Main Staff. Sometimes they would
23 pass the information verbatim to lower units and sometimes we would use
24 their reports as a basis for drafting our own message and sending it to
25 lower units.
1 Q. General, I'm not asking you about the process. I think we should
2 be, if we're not, all experts in that process by this point. What I'm
3 asking you is this: Was this message of demeaning the Muslims, was that
4 a message that was organized by the morale folks of the Main Staff
5 through the corps down through the brigades and then initiated by the
6 commanders by their signatures? And I will remind you of General Gvero's
7 opus entitled, "A Silk Cord for Alija," which I don't want to see on the
9 A. There have been documents both from the Main Staff and the
10 Drina Corps using such language, the same language as in this document.
11 Almost none at the beginning of the war in 1992 and 1993, but in the
12 second half of the war, that terminology was used more frequently in
13 documents of the Main Staff, in the documents of the Drina Corps, and in
14 the documents of brigades. And I can even explain why.
15 Q. Well, I think you did and I'll ask you about that a little later.
16 But let's go to another document, 65 ter 4256, it's page -- it's actually
17 a one-page document and I have a -- again, I've got the original which
18 I'll hand to you.
19 This one, interestingly, is from the command of the
20 Zvornik Brigade IKM, dated 3 April 1995. I guess a bit before the last
21 one. I don't really want to get into the substance of it, but I see that
22 the word "poturice" is used about 14 times.
23 A. Well, I take your word for it.
24 Q. So do you bear responsibility for sending this to the troops?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what effect does this message demeaning the Muslim people
2 have on your troops?
3 A. No particular effect because that word has existed among the
4 Serbs in Bosnia for centuries. It's not a new word and it's not a word
5 they learned from me.
6 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 4282. This is a document from the Main Staff
7 of the Army of Republika Srpska, under the name of -- I believe it's
8 General Milovanovic, and I have a -- our best copy, not great.
9 I'm really mostly concerned about paragraph 2 where it says:
10 "The Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska has decided by
11 engaging the forces of the Drina Corps, 1st and 2nd Birac Brigades, and
12 the Zvornik Brigade, the eastern Bosnia Corps, Semberija Majevica
13 Brigades, at all costs needs areas to settle Islamic people with Islamic
14 roots. The Muslims who are now in this area do not have Islamic roots.
15 They are in fact poturice and were created from other peoples because
16 they displayed cowardice in the face of the Ottoman invasion after the
17 battle of Kosovo."
18 So is this the meaning of the word that you said had been around
19 for a long time as it is understood by the troops and yourself?
20 A. Well, you see every war that had been waged in the Balkans,
21 especially in Bosnia and Serbia was a continuation of some previous war,
22 even the wars from the times of the Ottoman Empire.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. I'm not asking about the history.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes, we object to this question, Your Honour. My
2 learned friend produces a new document which is purportedly authored by
3 someone the Prosecution called as a witness in this case. They did not
4 ask that witness about it, and now out of the blue, they choose to ask
5 one of the accused about it. That is improper prosecuting, in our
6 submission, and the Trial Chamber should not allow the Prosecution to use
7 this document in this way.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
9 Mr. Haynes.
10 MR. HAYNES: Well, also he's asked him what "poturice" means.
11 He's about to tell him. He can't cut him off in the answer. And so
12 either he can't tell him or he can tell him in his own words. He can't
13 tell him in the terms Mr. McCloskey wants to tell him.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes.
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, the "poturice" document was used at length
17 by Mr. Haynes. The meaning of the word became at issue. In fact, I seem
18 to recall you looking it up on the internet, and so we began looking at
19 the documents to see if we could find a meaning and we did, and so in
20 response to that, is what these questions are about. And I don't mind
21 hearing the General out but if we could abbreviate the history lesson, I
22 think it would be important except as it has the meaning to the word, I
23 guess we can hear the history but ...
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, our position is that we believe we take this
1 to be a follow-up on what was asked earlier on during the
2 examination-in-chief on the term "poturice" so please go ahead.
3 In other words, Mr. Pandurevic, you need to answer the question;
4 however, if possible, go straight to the point rather than giving a
5 historical expose.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I've lost
7 track of the question by now.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't blame you. Let me take you there.
9 You were told by Mr. McCloskey -- he read part of this document.
10 Basically, I'll repeat the last part:
11 "The Muslims who are now in this area do not have Islamic roots.
12 They are in fact poturice and were created from other peoples because
13 they displayed cowardice in the face of the Ottoman invasion after the
14 battle of Kosovo."
15 So is this the meaning of the word that you said had been around
16 a long time as it is understood by troops and yourself?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, that
18 word dates back to that historical context and historians could give us a
19 final judgement whether this is entirely true or not, but that word was
20 well-known among the Muslims as among the Serbs. Like the word "Chetnik"
21 has certain historical connotations for Muslims, the word "poturice" has
22 certain historical connotations for Serbs. I don't want to go into broad
23 historical explanations, although I am familiar with it, but I'm not the
24 kind of person who goes into anyone's ethnic origins and counts their red
25 blood cells.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Let's go to another document, 65 ter 333, it's from the command
3 of the Zvornik Brigade. It's dated 18 July 1995. It talks about
4 Muslims, as you'll see from the page 1, as "enraged criminal hoards of
5 Srebrenica Turks." Going down to the fourth paragraph:
6 "The brigade clashed with criminals arisen vampire-like with
7 enraged beasts."
8 So we've got the enraged criminal hoard, the vampire-like enraged
9 beast, we have poturice. You are responsible for the message being sent
10 to the troops demeaning the Muslims; correct? This document as well?
11 A. Yes, I am, but this document speaks not of the Muslim people but
12 the people I was fighting. You have to understand that in that war, we
13 killed each other and that mutual hatred existed. Even today, things
14 have not advanced much in Bosnia since 1992.
15 But allow me to give an explanation about this.
16 Q. About what?
17 A. Why these words started to be used more often in 1994 and 1995.
18 Q. We'll get to that very soon. But how is a soldier that receives
19 something like this going to distinguish "poturice"? "Poturice" are
20 cowards that couldn't withstand Islam, women and men, how is this soldier
21 going to determine that you're just talking about the enemy here?
22 A. They knew from experience, the experience they gained during the
23 war and that's why I wanted to provide a somewhat lengthy explanation and
24 I will kindly ask the Trial Chamber to allow me to do that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm getting to that topic right now,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, but let him explain. Let him explain and
4 then if you want to add or deal with other matters, you will be free to.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have the beginning of his explanation on direct
6 right here and perhaps it would save us some time if I could read that
7 back to him and then he could go on.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead and then we'll see but we don't intend to
9 restrict the General.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I understand.
11 Q. In regard to the first "poturice" document, Mr. Haynes asked you
12 on page 30.835:
13 "Were such words always used in documents of the brigade during
14 the war?"
15 You say: "No, they were not used throughout the war or rather
16 from its beginning. At one point in the war, they creeped into our
17 documents. I don't know exactly what that happened. You can see in the
18 documents themselves. In any case, it was in 1992 and the forward as and
19 the most part of 1993 when the word 'enemy' was used. I even found some
20 reports dating back to November 1992 where it -- where in one of the
21 reports, it says "the blue," and that was the word that we used in the
22 staff military games and peacetime. The enemy was always represented as
23 blue and our own forces were red. And that was the colours that we used
24 on our combat maps.
25 "Six months into the war, some people were still not aware of the
1 reality of the situation. They were not aware that the war was really
2 going on. But as the war continued, as the casualties mounted, the anger
3 and hatred also mounted and those words assumed a different meaning and
4 gained prominence."
5 Further explanation, General.
6 A. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. We obviously understand each other
7 very well. We know what we want to say. As the war progressed, certain
8 circumstances among the warring parties changed, accordingly, every side
9 evaluates the morale of the enemy side. And within this process to
10 evaluate the morale of the enemy, and in this case it was the Army of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and its Supreme Command, we started from starting
12 their ideological and political fundaments on -- from which the war
13 campaign was launched. We started studying their war goals, their
14 traditions that they relied on during the war and we also studied their
15 behaviour and attitude towards the be enemy, i.e., us and the civilians.
16 What we concluded was this: The basic goal of the political leadership
17 of the Muslim element in Bosnia and Herzegovina was to achieve a
18 unitarian Bosnia and Herzegovina with the prevalent Muslim influence and
19 their ideological foundation was the Islamic declaration written by
20 Alija Izetbegovic containing of two things, the Islamic society and the
21 Islamic authority which excludes anything else.
22 We knew that their main traditions were contained in
23 Mehmet Fatih, the Osmanli conquerer who conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 We knew what crimes were committed against the civilian population,
25 particularly in the area of Podrinje, and that's why we started using
1 terms that did not apply to the entire Muslim population because the
2 entire population did not partake in the political view of
3 Alija Izetbegovic. I apologise for this lengthy explanation.
4 Q. When you say, "As casualties mounted, the anger and hatred also
5 mounted and those words assumed a different meaning and gained a
6 prominence," Dragan Obrenovic said very similar words to the
7 Trial Chamber at his sentencing hearing. And I want to read those words
8 back to you and ask you if you think they are similar.
9 Prior to being sentenced and facing a potential life sentence, he
10 got up and said these words at his sentencing hearing. 65 ter 4308.
11 Among other things he said:
12 "It was normal for every man, every male child to put on a
13 uniform, take up a weapon, and to go protect his homeland, his nation.
14 And ultimately his family. This was expected of him. This was his role,
15 a sacred role. There was no choice. You could be either a soldier or a
16 traitor. At the beginning of the war, it seemed as if the war and all it
17 brought with it was impossible, that this wasn't really happening to us,
18 and that everything would be resolved within a few days and that finally
19 our generation would have a chance. We didn't even notice how we were
20 drawn into the vortex of inter-ethnic hatred and how neighbours were no
21 longer able to live beside each other, how death moved into the vicinity,
22 and we didn't even notice that we had gotten used to it. Death became
23 our reality. Unfortunately, it became everyday reality."
24 It goes on:
25 "Who, before that, could have believed the horrors of war would
1 have become everyday reality? Who could have believed that they could
2 become a part of our lives? Surrounded with horrors, we got used to them
3 and went on living like that. Among those horrors, things happened that
4 were done by people who knew each other, people who, until yesterday, had
5 lived almost as family members together. In Bosnia, a neighbour means
6 more than a relative. In Bosnia, having coffee with your neighbour is a
7 ritual, and this is what we trampled on and forgot. We lost ourselves in
8 hatred and brutality. And in this vortex of terrible misfortune, the
9 horror, the horror of Srebrenica happened."
10 Is he talking, before he faces his judgement, to the Court when
11 he says about his hatred, is that the same hatred that you're talking
13 A. He is talking about the hatred that was created during the war
14 and he is talking about the hatred having mounted during the war. It
15 always takes two to tango in love and hate but I'm not sure that there's
16 always a causal effect between the hatred and intention for one to commit
17 a crime of such proportions as was committed after the fall of
18 Srebrenica. I know that when I was in Slovenia, my cadets whom I had
19 educated, shot at me. They tied an officer who was their commander and
20 they tortured him.
21 I didn't understand where that kind of hatred came from. I am
22 quite appreciative of where the hatred in Bosnia and Herzegovina came
23 from. Nobody who wasn't born there can understand that. It's just a sad
24 fact but it's a fact. Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, everyday life is
25 deeply embedded in its history.
1 Q. He goes on to say something else that I think responds to
2 something you were testifying about. Right after he says:
3 "We lost ourselves in hatred and brutality. And in this vortex
4 of terrible misfortune and horror, the horror of Srebrenica happened."
5 He says: "I am here before Your Honours because I wish to
6 express my remorse. I have thought for a long time and I'm always
7 followed by the same thought, guilt. I find it very hard to say this
8 truth. I am to blame for everything I did at that time. I am trying to
9 erase all this and to be what I was not at that time. I am also to blame
10 for what I did not do, for not trying to protect those prisoners,
11 regardless of my temporary nature of my then post. I asked myself again
12 and again, What could I have done that I didn't do? Thousands of
13 innocent victims perished. Graves remain behind, refugees, general
14 destruction and misfortune and misery. I bear part of the responsibility
15 for this."
16 Do you question his acknowledgment of guilt and responsibility
18 A. Well, before I say anything else, I would like to say this: I
19 did not lose my head the way Dragan Obrenovic did. I knew to separate to
20 the good from the bad and I don't agree with him that it is hard to tell
21 the truth. Telling the truth is the easiest thing to do; it's difficult
22 to say a lie.
23 Since he pleaded guilty and he was awaiting sentencing, I see
24 this as a repentance. It was just begging for mercy. If he is guilty,
25 he knows that he is guilty, but all that time he was telling me that he
1 wasn't guilty. I don't intend to take the role of a Trial Chamber. If
2 he says he's guilty then I suppose he is, but he may have been misled in
3 legal terms.
4 Q. You think it's his lawyer's fault?
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, I really cannot dwell upon the process that he had
6 to go through and I can't be the judge of his moves and say why he did
7 what he did, why he acted the way he did. But it is obvious that he had
8 his reasons to do what he did and I'm sure that he did it of his own
9 will, at least that's how the whole situation is represented in all of
10 the documents.
11 Q. If you accepted the orders to kill the prisoners at Rocevic and
12 Branjevo and allowed the Bratunac Brigade -- excuse me, the Zvornik
13 Brigade, working with some elements of the Bratunac Brigade and others,
14 to continue to kill people on the 15th and 16th, you would be just as
15 responsible and guilty as he would; correct?
16 A. If I had ordered, approved, supported or in any other way
17 contributed to the commission of a crime, I would be responsible and
18 guilty. Whether he did all these things, I don't know. I've just
19 learned based on what you have just read out to me, because one cannot
20 glean that from his statement about facts. If he did all of this, then,
21 yes, he is guilty.
22 Q. You have explained to us that you expected complete and truthful
23 information from him upon your return. Can you explain to this Court why
24 on earth, upon your return, Dragan Obrenovic would keep from you the fact
25 that thousands of men had been killed and buried very close to your
1 brigade, that thousands more remained in schools and had to be killed and
2 buried. When you were facing what you were facing, why on earth would a
3 military subordinate trusted and respected by you not tell you what you
4 needed to know?
5 A. I can't say why he didn't do that at that moment. It is even
6 less understandable to me why he did not explain that in his statement of
7 facts and in his interview in June 2003. When he was talking about these
8 events, he only said one sentence. Allegedly he had reported to me that
9 Jokic had said that people were being taken left, right and centre and
10 were being killed. He never mentioned the name of a school, the number
11 of prisoners, nothing concrete. He never explained that. Everything
12 remained up in the air.
13 What he told me on the 16th, in the evening and later on, he said
14 much more than he said and has been recorded in any of the documents that
15 originate from him.
16 Q. Well, General, it's easy to criticise Dragan Obrenovic but you
17 didn't answer my question. Do you want to?
18 A. I'm trying to answer, however, there are questions that cannot be
19 answered in any way that makes sense. You told me why he didn't tell me.
20 You spent hours and days talking to him. Maybe you were able to conclude
21 why he didn't. Maybe he was involved. Maybe his hands were covered and
22 that's why he didn't tell me but I can only speculate. I don't know.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. I want to continue briefly on this area of -- the general area of
5 command ethos and I want to talk to you briefly about the entry of the
6 23 July duty officers' notebook by Ljubo Bojanovic that referred to
7 Skelani having two injured Turks, that they cut themselves with glass and
8 there's a -- "I told them to kill them since Bratunac doesn't want to
9 take them." I'll bring that back up so we can see it but I just wanted
10 to go over a few of the documents that we believe are related to this so
11 we can determine if there's any substance to these comments.
12 If we could go to 65 ter 220, B/C/S page 25, should be page 1 in
13 the English. And this is a -- the log, you may remember, it's the
14 Bratunac MP log and it's dated 23-24 July. And it says --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the English could go to 23-24 July. Sorry,
16 page 21, in the English, should be 25 in the B/C/S.
17 Q. And in the Bratunac log it says:
18 "During the day, six Muslims were brought in and are now in
19 custody. Two other Muslims were brought later but they were sent back
20 since when they were in detention in Skelani they had cut their throats
21 with a bottle and were already bleeding heavily. They were sent back."
22 So like the entry in the notebook of the Zvornik Brigade, we have
23 the Bratunac MPs saying that they had sent back two Muslims that had cut
24 themselves with glass.
25 Now, if we could go to 65 ter 2096, and this is a document from
1 the Republic of Serbia Ministry of the Interior, the Bajina Basta area,
2 which I think we'll agree is in the area of Skelani. And it's basically
3 informing other MUP organisations that on 23 July, they handed over the
4 following persons to the Bratunac-Skelani branch of the MUP.
5 On page 2 of the B/C/S, you'll see - and it's page 2 of the
6 English as well - that at the bottom, the last two people, numbers 7 and
7 8, noted to be Salihovic and Delic, were handed over at Bajina Basta
8 border crossing because they'd injured themselves in order to avoid
9 extradition. So you would agree with me that it looks like from these
10 documents that Salihovic and Delic were in Serbia, they cut themselves
11 with glass in order to avoid being sent back to the RS. Isn't that what
12 it looks like from these documents?
13 A. It says here that they were handed over at the Bajina Basta
14 border crossing because they had injured themselves in order to avoid
15 being returned. Now, it doesn't say who they were handed over to. I
16 don't understand from this. They probably just injured themselves fully
17 expecting that they would be accommodated somewhere in Bajina Basta, in a
18 medical institution there.
19 Q. Okay let's go to 65 ter 3137. It should be page 1 in both, and
20 this is a Ministry of Interior Secretariat in Uzice, another Serbian MUP
21 organ. It starts with:
22 "Ethnic Muslims who fled Srebrenica and illegally crossed from
23 Republika Srpska into the FRY territory were handed over at Bajina Basta
24 OUP at 1800 hours on 23 July.
25 "The Bajina Basta OUP employees handed over the above persons to
1 the employees of the RS Skelani SJB for further processing."
2 So that speaks for itself. It names the two people we've seen
3 before, Salihovic and Delic.
4 Now, just to -- for the final picture, 65 ter 4386. When that
5 comes up, you'll see that it's a name and phone number listing that we
6 found from the Skelani MUP and that the commander of the MUP,
7 Milo Bogdanovic, commander of the SJB there, had a phone number of
8 854-389 which is the same number we see in the duty officer notebook
9 which I will go back to. And there's an additional document at
10 65 ter 4387 that lists other -- that same phone number for the Skelani
12 So I -- let's go back to the original document now, 65 ter 377.
13 That is the entry in the duty officers' notebook made by Mr. Bojanovic.
14 Now, it's the Prosecution's position that on the -- it's page
15 178, and this is just a short blurb so it's probably easier to look at it
16 on the screen, General.
17 That phone number that we see in English, and now it's coming up
18 on the screen, is the number from the Skelani MUP.
19 So it's the position of the Prosecution that the Skelani MUP, for
20 some reason, phoned the Zvornik Brigade and said that they had two
21 injured Turks that had cut themselves with glass and that Bratunac didn't
22 want to deal with them. Now, we can see from the Bratunac MPs that --
23 report that they did not want to deal with them and sent them back and
24 that Bojanovic said, "I told them to kill them."
25 Now, these two men are on the missing list and it's the
1 Prosecution's position that they were murdered and that we see this note
2 relaying what Bojanovic said, and I'll remind you briefly Bojanovic
3 testified about this and said that he'd admit that he was carried away by
4 emotion when he did it but that he didn't think it would have been
5 carried out.
6 Now, this is something that he felt confident enough to write in
7 the duty officers' notebook, communicating to any that looked into this.
8 Do you think, sir, you bear any responsibility for this kind of conduct
9 on the part of your subordinate officers?
10 A. Before I give you a specific answer, you've made several claims
11 here and showed a number of documents that were not easy to follow. From
12 those documents, we see that six persons were turned over at the
13 Ljubovija border crossing, 40 kilometres or so to the north of
14 Bajina Basta and these two were turned over at the Bajina Basta border
15 crossing. We see the same persons are concerned.
16 Ljubo Bojanovic explained a bit differently during his testimony
17 why he acted in this way, differently from what you said. These people
18 were not killed, they were alive and it was said before if Ljubo wrote
19 this, and I didn't know that he did, nobody from the Bratunac Brigade
20 could have implemented this order because the relationship between the
21 Zvornik and Bratunac Brigade is not one of subordination. I think this
22 was written out of indignation and protest, something like why did you
23 find me to deal with them? Ljubo is not that sort of person and I don't
24 feel responsible for this entry.
25 Q. You feel no responsibility whatsoever for Ljubo Bojanovic telling
1 the Skelani MUP to kill those two people?
2 MR. HAYNES: Asked and answered.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Do you wish to proceed to your
4 next question or do you wish --
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's not a proper -- in my view, that's not a
6 proper objection in cross-examination. Sometimes for emphasis, sometimes
7 for clarity that's appropriate. Of course it's your decision not mine.
8 MR. HAYNES: Well, the previous question ran to 60 lines and
9 ultimately, I was waiting to see what the question was going to be after
10 he'd reviewed five pieces of evidence and made a long speech, but the
11 speech was: Do you feel any responsibility for that entry? And that's
12 precisely the same question he's just asked. There's no different
13 emphasis in it at all and the question was answered.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to comment further?
15 Or will you leave it in our hands.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can go on.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Let's proceed then with your next
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. What do you think of that entry?
21 A. I think it's stupid. If somebody wants to commit a crime, why
22 would they write it down? There must be something wrong with them.
23 Q. All right. Let me go on to something you said in your testimony
24 on 27 January 2009. You said:
25 "Sometime in November, an order was issued according to which the
1 Gorazde Brigade was to be reorganised. It was also part of the tactical
2 group but it was falling apart because the population had been expelled
3 from Gorazde area and I was ordered to form that brigade to be commander
4 of the Gorazde Brigade."
5 So do you believe that the Serbian population was, in fact,
6 expelled from Gorazde by the Muslims?
7 A. It was not my opinion. They were expelled, it's a fact.
8 Q. Okay. And you believed it at the time, I take it.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also said on 28th January, 2009. 090212, day 371,
11 page 30.793:
12 "And what was the apparent intention of your enemy?
13 "A. The intention of the enemy was to link up the forces of the
14 2nd Corps on the north and north-west sides of Zvornik with the forces in
15 Kamenica, Cerska and Konjevic Polje. In the second stage, they would
16 have taken the area on the banks of the Drina River and they would --
17 they would have eliminated any form of the Serbian life in the eastern
18 part of that area."
19 Do you stand by that statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you believe at the time in -- I believe this was 1992 or
22 1993 -- 1993, that the Muslims would have eliminated any form of Serbian
23 life in that area?
24 A. Yes. I have also seen documents, Muslim orders from
25 September 1992 where it says, Burn down Kravica village with all the
1 hamlets, raze them to the ground. It's just one example.
2 Q. So in 1993, with the building hatred of your enemy that you have
3 clearly described and an enemy that you think is bent on expelling you
4 and your people and making life impossible, you have to control yourself
5 and your soldiers from responding in like kind; correct?
6 A. Yes, to the extent possible under the circumstances because their
7 families had suffered, been killed, or expelled. They weren't waging war
8 in some other country, they were doing it in their own village.
9 Q. Can you give me one example of you punishing or disciplining a
10 Serb soldier for abusing or destroying Muslim property or persons?
11 A. To the best of my knowledge, there was destruction of property
12 during combat, which is collateral damage in fighting, and as for
13 information that an individual had done something improper, I had no such
14 information, and during the war, I did not punish any soldiers for that.
15 Q. Okay. Not once? And I'm talking about not just structures, but
16 abuse of Muslim human beings.
17 A. You are talking about it, is that what you're saying? Who is
18 talking about it?
19 Q. Your answer appeared to only answer the part about abuse of
20 structures. My question is: Did you ever punish or discipline any VRS
21 soldier for abusing any Muslim person?
22 A. I'm saying I had no information to warrant something like that
23 and I did not punish anyone.
24 Q. Okay. On a lighter subject, in this answer, I want to try to
25 sort out, there was a point where you were the commander of the
1 Visegrad Brigade and then involved in the tactical group and then they
2 started -- you -- developing the Gorazde Brigade and you had some
3 involvement in that.
4 Can you explain, first of all, where was your headquarters for
5 the Visegrad Brigade?
6 A. In several locations, the location changed.
7 Q. Can you describe the locations and approximately when they
9 A. I think at the beginning, it was in Stara Banja in Vilina Vlas,
10 for a while it was in the secondary school building in town, and for a
11 while it was in the primary school in town.
12 Q. And were you appointed the commander of the Gorazde Brigade at
13 some point in 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did you change locations when that happened?
16 A. Yes. I was in Vardiste which is some 20 kilometres from
17 Visegrad, right next to the border with Serbia.
18 Q. When did you change locations and become the commander of the
19 Gorazde Brigade?
20 A. Well, before that, from end September I had been in a place
21 called Rudo, some 50 kilometres to the south of Visegrad; and after that,
22 in the beginning of November, I transferred to Vardiste.
23 Q. Now, in the beginning of November, when you transferred to
24 Vardiste, you took command of the formation -- or the forming of Gorazde
25 Brigade. Did your responsibilities with the Visegrad Brigade cease?
1 A. The commander of the Visegrad Brigade was a different man at that
3 Q. Okay. And how about your responsibilities towards the tactical
4 group? When you became commander of the Gorazde Brigade, did your
5 responsibilities with this tactical group you've described change at all?
6 A. In a way, yes, because I was no longer in Rudo and I no longer
7 had with me the men who had been in the command of the tactical group,
8 and I had no such influence on the tactical group as I had had before.
9 Formally, I was still the commander of the tactical group but the
10 focus of my activity was to establish the Gorazde Brigade.
11 Q. All right. And I'm not going to get into the events in Visegrad.
12 I'd like to go north now with you to Zvornik. Can you describe to us
13 what the Birac region is?
14 A. The Birac area is a territory in the eastern part of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina that gets its name after a chain of mountains and I believe
16 it comprises Vlasenica municipality and later Milici municipality which
17 had not existed before the war, plus Sekovici municipality.
18 Q. And that would include Cerska as well.
19 A. I think Cerska was in Vlasenica municipality.
20 Q. Cerska would be part of the Birac region?
21 A. Yes, logically, if Vlasenica is a part and this is a part of
22 Vlasenica, then that, too, is part of Birac.
23 Q. Okay. Well, I want to now go to directive 4, 65 ter 29. And if
24 we could get that up there and, General, we'll give you a copy of this.
25 I see it, I think we've highlighted -- I hope it's the right section.
1 MR. HAYNES: No difficulty with that. No problem with that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Now, I'm -- I hope I'm not going to spend much time on this but I
5 just -- as we know, this is a Main Staff document to the various corps
6 and you've said you never saw this and -- but I still wanted to ask you
7 some questions about it and as we flip through it, we get to -- on page 3
8 of the English and B/C/S, after the initial discussions about the Muslim
9 army, we get to the part where General Mladic says:
10 "I have decided the following ..."
11 And then paragraph 5 gets the tasks of the units under that big
12 section, and that's page 4 of the B/C/S, page 4 of the English. And then
13 he goes down through the various corps. And he gives very short, brief
14 synopses of what he expects from the corps and we get to the section that
15 I think we're all familiar with, section D, the Drina Corps. And it says
16 very simply on page, B/C/S, 11; page 5 of the English:
17 "The Drina Corps, from its present positions, its main forces
18 shall persistently defend Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik and the corridor
19 while the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust
20 the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to
21 leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas together with the Muslim
22 population. First, offer the able-bodied and armed men to surrender and
23 if they resist, destroy them. After that, unblock and repair the
24 Konjevic Polje-Zvornik road, make it fit for traffic, and stand by for
25 intensive combat against infiltrated sabotage, terrorist, surprise and
1 ambush attacks and paramilitary groups. Set up a command post in
2 Vlasenica and a forward command post as decided by the corps commander."
3 Now, we see that this is dated 19 November 1992, I think it was
4 sent out a bit later, if I recall. Can you tell us where you were, if
5 you remember the -- were you at Gorazde at that point or were you still
6 at Visegrad?
7 A. I was in Vardiste at that time.
8 Q. All right. And so this part about force -- attacking the enemy
9 and forcing him to leave the Birac, Zepa and Gorazde areas would have
10 some application to you?
11 A. This part concerning Gorazde in a way is right, although that
12 brigade had not yet been fully set up and ready for combat.
13 Q. Okay. But in the sense that it involves Gorazde and what it says
14 there, that would be of interest to you since it's coming from
15 General Mladic.
16 A. Yes, that he sent it to me -- if he had sent it to me in this
17 form, if I had seen it, I would have been interested. It certainly
18 concerned the Drina Corps, and I believe that based on this directive,
19 the Drina Corps issued their own order down the line to brigades.
20 Q. And did you get that one?
21 A. I don't recall that I ever received that order. I have seen here
22 that it had come to the Zvornik Brigade and I said it was probably in the
23 archive of the brigade, but I did not have it, to the best of my
24 recollection, although I later was involved in certain combat activities
25 that followed from that order.
1 Q. Okay. Now, going back to directive 4, this part that says:
2 "... Exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on
3 him, and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa, Gorazde areas, together with
4 the Muslim population." What do you think of this section that says,
5 "together with the Muslim population?" "Force the enemy to leave
6 together with the Muslim population"?
7 A. It's too late, whatever I think about it. The person who wrote
8 this wasn't thinking, it's obvious, because if he had been thinking, he
9 wouldn't have written this. This is something that should not feature in
10 a military order and the activities of units can target only enemy units,
11 not the civilian population.
12 Q. So are you saying that forcing the -- that this targets the
13 civilian population?
14 A. Well, the primary aim here is to defeat armed forces and to force
15 them to leave the area and then the civilian population is to go with
16 them. The first part is completely legitimate but forcing the civilians
17 to leave the area is not. They have to be given the option of leaving or
18 staying, if they wish.
19 Q. So your training of the Geneva Conventions tells you that forcing
20 the civilian populations of Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde is, in fact, a
21 crime, an international war crime of sorts?
22 A. If it's deliberate transfer of the population, then yes; but if
23 the civilians are driven out of the area of combat activities for their
24 own sake, then it's not contrary to the Geneva Conventions.
25 Q. If the civilians are driven out -- if the civilians are forced
1 out of their homes for their own sake. How do you make that decision,
2 General? Have you?
3 A. I did not make that decision. It's the person who wrote this
4 directive that wrote it. What they meant by it, I don't know. I suppose
5 they meant that the population also should be made to leave the area.
6 Q. So is this what - and I don't know who came up with this - is
7 this what has been referred to in your view as ethnic cleansing, forcing
8 the population from their homes?
9 A. Forcing the population to leave the area where they live is not
10 in conformity with Geneva Conventions, and whoever used the term "ethnic
11 cleansing," it's an even uglier term.
12 Q. Well, General Mladic used the terms used here and he is the one
13 that must bear responsibility for this document; isn't that true?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So that we can infer from this document that on this date it was
16 General Mladic's intention to drive the Muslims from their homes in this
17 region; correct?
18 A. That's what it says here but I know something different, that
19 there was a decision of the president of the republic from end 1992 that
20 refugees and abandoned property are temporary phenomena accompanying the
21 war which means that once normal life is restored, everyone can come back
22 and get hold again of their property.
23 Q. Well, perhaps if there's a document referring to the Muslim
24 refugees as temporary phenomena, we can find it. But you have heard the
25 evidence in this case and I -- perhaps you remember, I think it was from
1 one of those sessions of the Assembly where President Karadzic gets up
2 and says, I stood by or I was part of all the first directives, 1 through
3 7. And then he says, But 8 and 9, involving Krajina, when we lost
4 Krajina, I had nothing to do with that. You remember that evidence?
5 A. I don't know who made that statement and where.
6 Q. Okay. Well, we'll dig it up, I know it's a lot to remember.
7 Now let's go to 65 ter 4221. Sir, this is a document -- I
8 know -- well, I hope, especially with our electrical break yesterday,
9 you've had a chance to see some of these documents and sort them out.
10 But we can see here on the 20th of November, we've got a document from
11 the Main Staff by Mladic that is ordering all Drina Corps brigade
12 commanders to come to some sort of a political seminar in Zvornik on
13 23 November.
14 Now, to put this in date sequence, we see directive 4, dated
15 19 November, we see this order to come to this seminar, the 20th of
16 November, and there's some documents about that seminar which I'm sure
17 you looked at with interest.
18 Can you tell us, did you go to that seminar?
19 A. Yeah, I will tell you. It seems that yesterday was to my
20 benefit, the electricity was on my side. I was at that seminar.
21 Q. Well, then it benefited all of us in that case, General, because
22 it's the position of the Prosecution that the seminar of 23 November,
23 three days after directive 4, to deal with the topics as we see here,
24 could have certainly discussed directive 4. And what I'm referring to is
25 this document we have:
1 "Pursuant to the request of the Supreme Command of the Army of
2 Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic and with a view to carrying out timely
3 preparation and holding a military and political seminar at the level of
4 the Drina Corps, I hereby order: Prepare, organise and hold a military
5 and political seminar at the level of the Drina Corps on 23 November
6 1992, starting at 1000 hours in Zvornik."
7 It will be attended by the following: Karadzic, members of the
8 government of Republika Srpska, representatives of the Main Staff, the
9 core corps command, commanders of the brigades of the Drina Corps and
10 presidents of the municipalities.
11 Then number 3: "For the seminar, the corps commander shall
12 prepare an introductory report on the situation in the corps, combat
13 operations being carried out and the tasks for the corps in the days
14 ahead, as well as the possibilities of implementing the tasks received.
15 The speech shall take no more than 20 minutes."
16 I want to ask you if that happened or not, the speech, that is.
17 So did this seminar occur and did they discuss what they talk about here
18 in 3, the tasks to be carried out by the corps and the brigades?
19 A. To the best of my recollection, that seminar was indeed held and
20 it was indeed to be expected that a seminar of that sort would be held.
21 It was only 20 days after the establishment of the Drina Corps; you know
22 that it was established on the 1st of November. You know that Mr. Butler
23 in his report, in paragraph 1 in chapter 1 thereof, said why the
24 Drina Corps had been established and what was the threat of the Muslim
25 forces on mountain of Cerska, Konjevic Polje and other parts of the
1 Srebrenica and Bratunac municipalities. And it was only logical for the
2 supreme commander to talk to his subordinate, the corps commander to
3 learn what the corps was, how it was established, and what was it capable
4 of doing. That was the purpose of the seminar, and since the brigade
5 commanders had five minutes each, five minutes is not a lot of time and
6 we could say very little.
7 I don't remember the directive number 4 was mentioned at that
8 seminar; however, what was mentioned was the role of the corps in the
9 Podrinje area.
10 Q. So I'm sure after looking at this material, you thought good and
11 hard whether or not directive 4 was mentioned. Are you sure it wasn't
12 mentioned, as you sit back today and think about it?
13 A. As a member of the Army of Republika Srpska, this was my first
14 participation in a seminar or a meeting in the presence of other people
15 than those from Gornja Podrinje, from the tactical group that I was a
16 member of, and I really don't remember that the word "directive" was
17 mentioned. It may have been mentioned but I don't remember. To my best
18 recollection, General Mladic wasn't at that meeting but General
19 Milovanovic was. I may be mistaken but that's how I remember things.
20 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 4222. It's one page but it ...
21 Now, this is a document that we came upon which basically looks
22 like it sets out a timetable for the military and political seminar and
23 it's a little synopsis of what -- who is going to speak and what they're
24 going to speak about it and it's approved and according to the
25 translation we have a "za," approved for Ratko Mladic; is that the way
1 you see it?
2 A. Yes, I can see General Milovanovic's signature.
3 Q. All right. And we see the first person scheduled to speak at
4 this is Dr. Karadzic. Do you remember him speaking?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And he should have been fully aware of directive 4 at the time,
7 shouldn't he have?
8 A. That directive was signed by General Mladic. Whether he informed
9 President Karadzic about it, I don't know. The directive should have
10 been signed by Karadzic, not by Mladic.
11 Q. My question was: President Karadzic should have been informed of
12 this directive; correct?
13 A. I agree. I would say it's so, yes.
14 Q. Okay. And then we see they only gave Karadzic ten minutes.
15 There's no way he spoke for ten minutes, is there? How long did he speak
16 for, any idea?
17 A. I really can't tell you. You know how politicians are, they go
18 on forever sometimes, you know.
19 Q. Then we see the commander of the Drina Corps, Colonel at that
20 time Zivanovic gets second billing and he is to talk about the situation,
21 results, further task and capability of the Drina Corps. Now, I'm sure
22 you will agree with me -- and I am sorry, Ms. Stewart has pointed out to
23 me our translation has left out Milovanovic who had second billing.
24 No, sorry, we've misread that again. It's M. Zivanovic, we did
25 have that right. Sorry, General. Now -- you've got to correct me when I
1 make mistakes like that, if you can. Now --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We need Mr. Haynes' permission.
3 MR. HAYNES: I'm not sure that's true.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. So you recall, General, Colonel Zivanovic would clearly have been
6 informed of directive 4 at that time; correct?
7 A. He received the directive. I believe he read it as well. But
8 that corps existed for only 20 days and he did not have many results.
9 However, General Zivanovic has the tendency to speak a lot without saying
10 much. He makes promises without delivering and then finding excuses.
11 Now, if he ever hears me saying this, I apologise, but that's how things
13 Q. Well, we have a brand new corps and we've just seen from
14 directive 4, a very simple directive, defeat the enemy in the Birac area
15 and Gorazde and Zepa and force them and the civilian population out of
16 the area. Very simple. Very straightforward. Very easy to understand.
17 Clearly, in this seminar, he would have outlined something about
18 those two objectives; correct?
19 A. I admire your understanding of a military situation and I will be
20 very glad if you think that I understand legal matters as much as you do
21 military matters. This is logical what you're saying, however, my
22 understanding is that the Drina Corps was not established to expel the
23 Muslim population from the area. That corps had a strategic importance
24 and value.
25 If you look at the geo and strategic deployment of forces in
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time, the characteristics of the territory,
2 when the eastern part of Republika Srpska fell or if it had fallen, the
3 Serbian people would be on the verge of extinction in the entire
4 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's why it was important to
5 establish the Drina Corps and to preserve the Serb population in the
6 area. It was not its goal to expel the Muslim population from the area;
7 that's not why the Drina Corps was ever established in the first place.
8 Q. So if you had your druthers, you would take that wording out of
9 directive 4 and we'd forget about it?
10 A. I was not in a position to do that. If I had been in a position,
11 I would not have written it this way. I would not have done things had
12 that way. However, the order that was sent to the -- by the -- the
13 Drina Corps based on this directive, I saw the goals, the sentence in
14 the -- in the introduction is indeed there but the Drina Corps set out
15 goals that do not mention any expulsion of the population. You've seen
16 the document. You have it and I'm sure you can understand that.
17 Q. We'll get there, General, because as you've just said that the
18 language did not disappear, it carried on and we'll get to it. But I do
19 want to get to an interesting document, 65 ter 4402.
20 This is something that we -- this is a document NATO picked up in
21 a search in 2005 from a Karadzic residence in Pale which investigators
22 from the Karadzic team believe is Karadzic's notes of that seminar.
23 You can see that it's dated 23/11/1992. It's entitled
25 Does that look like his handwriting to you, President Karadzic?
1 A. I saw this document among the documents that you sent to me. I
2 could not recognise the handwriting and I was wondering whose handwriting
3 it was. It is possible that it is his. I'm not sure. I only saw his
4 signature. I did not see his handwriting in a written text that often.
5 Q. Do you recall his aides that were there as well? It's page 41 in
6 the B/C/S.
7 A. There were some people around him. I can see my name. That's
8 what he put down, nothing else.
9 Q. We'll go through this. It says:
10 "Drina Corps commander of the corps, chief of the Main Staff,
11 Defence Minister Subotic, and General Gvero."
12 Do you remember General Zivanovic being there?
13 A. Yes, I said so.
14 Q. And you remember the chief of the Main Staff, Milovanovic;
16 A. I remember him. I don't remember anybody else from the
17 Main Staff but I may be wrong.
18 Q. How about Minister Subotic?
19 A. I didn't know the man at the time. He may have been there but
20 then, at that time, I didn't know him. I didn't know his face.
21 Q. And then we see General Gvero. You remember General Gvero being
23 A. I may have mistaken him for General Milovanovic. If the
24 president noted the presence of all those who were there, then I suppose
25 that that must have been so. You have to understand that this was quite
1 a long time ago.
2 Q. I understand. So we see as we saw in the little outline of the
3 conference, General Zivanovic is first up and it says:
4 "Assignments: 1, Vitinica, Sapna, Teocak. 2, Cerska. 3, Zepa.
5 4, Srebrenica. 5, Gorazde."
6 That sounds a lot like directive 4, doesn't it? Cerska, Zepa,
7 Srebrenica, and Gorazde.
8 A. Well, you see these are the places that were covered by the
9 Drina Corps and it was logical to point to some places from which one
10 could expect the biggest threat of the Muslim forces. Vitinica, Teocak,
11 Sapna is north-west of Zvornik and that's where the forces of the
12 2nd Corps were. There were also strong forces in Cerska and also in Zepa
13 and Srebrenica. There was a division in Gorazde as well. Whether
14 General Zivanovic mentioned these as major strongholds or the places of
15 threat for the corps or whether he thought that those were the places
16 that need to be liberated, both options are possible.
17 Q. Okay. If we go down this, we see the other brigade commander,
18 sometimes he says something, sometimes he doesn't.
19 We get to you. You speak after Kornjaca, apparently. That's
20 page 2 in the English. And then we have Captain First Class Pandurevic.
21 He's got Gorazde, 5th Plpbr, he's got that right but he doesn't say
22 anything about what you say. Did you in fact speak?
23 A. I suppose that I didn't say anything much during the five minutes
24 that would have left an impact. Maybe the president wasn't impressed
25 with what I said and that's why he left that space blank.
1 Q. But you did speak?
2 A. I suppose I did say something about the establishment of the
3 Gorazde Brigade and the stage it's in. I didn't have much more to say.
4 All the other brigade commanders were there from the -- and they all
5 spoke about the situation in their respective brigades.
6 Q. Do you recall if you responded to General Zivanovic's talk?
7 A. What do you mean "respond"? How would I have been able to
8 respond to his speech? He provided an introduction about the situation
9 in the corps and as far as I can remember, I didn't say anything. There
10 was not much to say in response to what he had said.
11 Q. Let me give you a hypothetical. Let's say Karadzic or Zivanovic
12 before you outlined the objectives of the Drina Corps and from the only
13 document laying that out that we know about, directive 4, let's say they
14 said, The objective will be defeat the enemies in these areas and drive
15 out the population. What would have happened to you if you had gotten up
16 and said, Gentlemen, I will defeat the enemy all day long but I will not
17 participate in driving out the population as you state.
18 What would have happened to your career, had you said that?
19 A. I don't think it would have had a major impact on my career.
20 Maybe somebody would have reacted and said, You don't understand the
21 situation. However, since it took me over two and a half hours to get
22 from Zvornik -- Visegrad to Zvornik across Serbia and that the only road
23 was Zvornik-Caparde-Sekovic-Han Pijesak-Sokolac, and that road was not
24 safe, and since I did not know the terrain in the areas of Birac and
25 Podrinje but I knew that the situation was critical in military terms, I
1 really don't know that anybody spoke about the expulsion of the
2 population but I know that a reference was made about securing roads and
3 defending Podrinje. I'm absolutely sure of that.
4 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 3029. This is the document you have spoken
5 of, the Drina Corps version of directive 4, dated 24 November, the day
6 after this conference. This particular version is to the Zvornik Brigade
7 and as we see, it cites the Main Staff number 02/3, 19 November 1992,
8 which we'll all agree is directive 4. And it says number one:
9 "Launch an attack using the main body of troops and major
10 equipment to inflict on the enemy the highest possible losses, exhaust
11 them, break them up or force them to surrender, and force the Muslim
12 local population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and
14 So we see right after this conference, and we know this is
15 General Zivanovic or Colonel Zivanovic, he's adding to directive 4.
16 Directive 4 just said defeat the army and force them both out.
17 He has a whole sentence just for the Muslim local populations,
18 "force the Muslim population to abandon," he says "abandon," and then he
19 lists specifically places in the Birac region, Cerska, and then goes on
20 to list Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde.
21 This was not by accident that he wrote this down, was it?
22 A. I suppose this was not by accident. However, he referred to
23 directive 4. He invoked it. And then he wrote what he did. And he
24 determined the goals of the operation and the goals should have arisen
25 from the tasks that were given at the beginning.
1 The first task should have been the expulsion of the population
2 from that area but that goal is not there, hence there is no tasks. So
3 the goal is simply not there.
4 Q. Well, I won't argue with you about what's there and what's not
5 there. We see this statement. We can read that for ourselves and we'll
6 continue to look at the documents and what happened on the ground to see
7 if we can answer that question.
8 Now, let's go to 65 ter 30. This is a Main Staff document dated
9 7 December 1992, entitled "Order to amend directive 4." To the commander
11 If we look at the end of this, we'll kind of cheat, we can see
12 that he's basically sending it to all the corps commands including the
13 Drina Corps.
14 I think historically we know that December 7th, 1992, was at the
15 peak of the Muslim army's attack in the area of Birac, Srebrenica,
16 particularly Kravica was around this time as I'm sure you will agree, the
17 VRS is suffering under that attack. And so with that background we can
18 read the paragraph:
19 "There is an organised campaign to provoke a confrontation
20 between the military and civilian authorities in Republika Srpska.
21 Meanwhile UNPROFOR forces are trying to incite conflicts between the
22 Army of Republika Srpska and the Serbian people by bringing in
23 humanitarian aid to Muslim settlements through the Serbian territories,
24 demanding from the Army of Republika Srpska to ensure this, abusing the
25 signed agreements on the obligation of warring parties to ensure the
1 passage of humanitarian convoys."
2 It goes on and talks about other things. And then it gets to the
4 "That all targeted objectives of the Army of Republika Srpska
5 must be achieved (reached) by 13 December 1992 at the latest." Then it
6 goes on to describe that a little more.
7 Then if we get to the next page in English, it starts with --
8 page 3 in the B/C/S, excuse me.
9 "For this purpose, the goals and tasks set out in directive 4 of
10 November 1992 are to be completed by that date."
11 And then it says: "Despite the stages formerly set out in
12 directive 4, the corps commands must carry out the following assignments
13 in their zones of responsibility by 13 December 1992: Keep the lines
14 achieved so far." Then number 2, liberate Orasje, Trnovo, and for us we
15 see Konjevic Polje, Cerska and then Teocak.
16 So will you agree with me that directive 4, as we read it, is
17 alive and well on the 7th of December and the corps has been given a
18 deadline by which to meet those objectives set out in directive 4?
19 A. Directive 4 never took off the ground that easily. It was
20 drafted on the 19th of November and it was only sometime towards the end
21 of January and the beginning of February that something more concrete was
22 done pursuant to that directive.
23 In my view, this was on the eve of some negotiations or maybe the
24 end of the war was expected. Every side wants to take the best positions
25 before the negotiations and this is where the corps were ordered what to
1 do before the 13 December. This was impossible, it says liberate areas
2 or places, not expel the population. War is a dynamic phenomena and the
3 whole sense of a military is to fight, to occupy and keep certain
4 territories, that's the whole point.
5 Q. My question is, sir, according to this document which is telling
6 the Drina Corps to follow directive 4 and meet its objectives,
7 directive 4 is still alive, well, and active and -- and active.
8 A. Yes, directive in itself is a document covering a longer period
9 of time within which certain tasks have to be implemented, but some tasks
10 from the directive were never implemented. Some were implemented in part
11 and some in full.
12 Q. All right. Now this dated 7 December, let's go to the next
13 document, 65 ter 4279, which is December 8th, the next day. And this is
14 from the Drina Corps and it's to the Birac, Zvornik, and the Bratunac and
15 the Milici Brigades.
16 Now, this is roughly what -- December 8th, is that about a week
17 before you get to Zvornik?
18 A. Ten days.
19 Q. And we can see at the top, that this is -- it says, "Decision on
20 the liberation of Pobudje, Konjevic Polje, and Cerska." And as we saw on
21 the previous document, it talked about the liberation of Konjevic Polje
22 and Cerska. So based on the date, the topic, the headings, we can infer,
23 can't we, that this document sent to the brigades is a result of the
24 Main Staff order of 7 July that we just saw?
25 A. 7th December. Yes, you're right. It's the military logic and
1 that's what the documents say. You are right so far.
2 Q. And if we go to page 3 in the B/C/S and page 3 in the English, we
3 see that there is a job for the Zvornik Brigade. It's under section B, I
4 think -- auxiliary forces.
5 So do you agree with me that that -- I'm sorry, do you agree with
6 me that that document of the 8th is based on the December 7th document
7 previous to it?
8 A. Yes, but let me tell you this as well, namely what all these
9 previous documents are based on. They're all based on some decisions and
10 intentions of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were two sides
11 for the -- to the conflict. This is not just random making of moves,
12 this is a conflict. This is warfare.
13 Q. I agree with you and it's in fact true these documents are based
14 on the original intentions of the supreme commander Radovan Karadzic and
15 his commander of the Main Staff Ratko Mladic as set forth in the
16 directive; correct?
17 A. Yes, but why did they write it like that?
18 Q. I can't answer that one.
19 All right. Let's go to 65 ter 4225. We're getting closer to
20 your arrival. This is a document from the Drina Corps to the
21 Zvornik Brigade and the 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade and let
22 me ...
23 It's entitled, "Measures to be undertaken for the defence from
24 the military intervention of foreign countries against Republika Srpska."
25 Aside from -- and I believe this is General Zivanovic and some
1 derogatory remarks about the Muslims and their sick imagination, he gets
2 to the business of the order, finally, on page 2 of the English, page 2
3 of the B/C/S and says:
4 "In order to mitigate potential attack of the aggressor against
5 our forces and to break the power of the aggressor and of Muslim-Croatian
6 forces I hereby order ..."
7 The first point is: "Perform energetic actions to complete all
8 the tasks referred to in order strictly confidential number 2-126 of
9 24 November 1992," and that is the number of directive 4. And "Decision
10 for liberation of Pobudje, Konjevic Polje and Cerska strictly
11 confidential number 2-198 of 8 December 1992."
12 Did you receive this order, sir?
13 A. Well, it did come to the brigade but I probably didn't see it
14 later. I knew, however, the mission of the Zvornik Brigade. You see
15 this is the fifth order after directive 4 requiring that some of these
16 tasks be realised and it enumerates the places that have to be liberated.
17 This is a chess-board on which Muslim forces make moves as well. Their
18 mission was to get to the Drina as soon as possible and liberate certain
20 Our task, our job, was to defend ourselves from it and liberate
21 other areas, but at this point, no one had done anything yet.
22 Q. My simple point is again we see the citation of directive 4 so
23 directive 4 is still in operation, still being cited by 11 December 1992;
25 A. Yes, I agree. But it also shows something else, to what extent
1 the Army of Republika Srpska was disorganised, too disorganised to do it.
2 Q. It wasn't too disorganised for you to be able to find out what
3 directive 4 was so that you could understand this order, was it? This
4 order was sent to you, it makes reference to directive 4, you could have
5 or should have looked at directive 4; correct?
6 A. I could not look at directive 4 because everything that came from
7 the corps level or brigade level I saw and knew. Whether I was able to
8 organise it is something different. This looks more like war games, that
9 they could have ordered anything but it doesn't necessarily mean it was
10 possible to do.
11 Q. Okay. Let's --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we have the break now, Mr. McCloskey?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That would be great.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. 25 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, Mr. Ostojic is now with us.
18 Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed. Thank you.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Just to clarify for the record, 65 ter 4225, the 11 December 1992
21 document from the Drina Corps that made reference on page 2 of strictly
22 confidential 2-126, I think I had said that was directive 4, that is the
23 Drina Corps version of directive 4 so just to clear that up.
24 And if we could now go to 65 ter 4226.
25 Q. We are now, General, into a time-frame where you were clearly at
1 the Zvornik Brigade. This document goes to the Zvornik Brigade and it is
2 from the Drina Corps command and you can see that the Zvornik Brigade is
3 one of the first addresses but it -- with the rest of the -- some other
4 brigades and then number one is -- just to double-check that it's
5 Colonel Zivanovic writing this, number one says:
6 "Due to the unfavourable balance of forces, corps units did not
7 accomplish all tasks under decisions for further operations (strictly
8 confidential number 2-126 of 23 November 1992) which the enemy took
9 advantage of for a counter-attack in the eastern and southern sections of
10 the corps zone of responsibility." Now, strictly confidential 2-126 23
11 is the Drina Corps version of directive 4 with that language we have
12 spoken about.
13 You would have received this, I'm sure, February 1st, this is
14 after Naser Oric has done his work, and do you recall reading this?
15 A. I'm sure that I received this order and I suppose I did read it
16 at the time because I received such tasks and I'm aware of this task of
17 the Zvornik Brigade but let me just say one thing. There are no
18 variations of directive 4. Directive 4 is one and only and it gives rise
19 to the tasks which are then elaborated by the various corps commanders.
20 Q. All right. Well, I'll try not to refer to it as the Drina Corps
21 version of directive 4 again but you know what I mean; right?
22 A. Yes, I know. I don't know what you think about General Zivanovic
23 who signed this.
24 Q. And you agree with me that the language in the Drina Corps order
25 that echos directive 4 order is just as criminal as the directive 4
2 A. No, no, not at all. I would not entirely agree with you.
3 Q. Well, as we've gone over it, it's even more specific about
4 forcing the population out -- I'm not talking about the one in front of
5 us, I'll go back to the one that we were -- that you were scolding me
6 about earlier, if you'd like.
7 A. I have the one that is before us and it was also signed by the
8 Drina Corps.
9 Q. Well, let's go back to 3029 just to clarify this important point.
10 Now, the document that I was talking about is the Drina Corps
11 version of directive 4, which I won't do again, but what I was talking
12 about is this document that we have on the screen, the 24 November
13 document. It mentions, "force them to surrender," referring to the
14 enemy, and then, "force the Muslim local population to abandon the area
15 of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde."
16 That language that we see on the screen, you would agree, is just
17 as criminal as the language from directive 4.
18 A. We have already agreed on that, Mr. McCloskey, but I added to
19 that that the goals and the operations in themselves are not criminal.
20 Q. Okay. Let's go back to the one that we started with,
21 65 ter 4226, and we see that, as I'd said, it cites this document, the
22 Drina Corps document of 24 November. You would have received this
23 document, as you said, so did you go and find confidential 2-126 of
24 23 November so you could understand what this February 1 order is talking
1 A. I don't remember whether I saw this document or not, but I know
2 that the corps command did issue me with a task to take the axis from
3 Zvornik across the broader area of Kamenica and push the enemy further
4 towards Glodjansko Brdo.
5 Q. Well, General, I asked that because, as we both agreed, the
6 comments by General Zivanovic are obviously criminal, and had you gone
7 back and looked at this I would have thought you would have remembered or
8 perhaps not?
9 A. I've told you what I've told you. It really doesn't matter
10 whether I saw them then or whether I see them now. I told you what I
11 think. The positions are criminal. You spoke to General Zivanovic and
12 it -- I believe that he would be better suited to talk to you about this
13 than I am.
14 Q. Okay. Let's go to page 2 of the current document; it's page 2 in
15 both versions. It talks about the situation and on the 4th paragraph
16 down it says:
17 "The civilian Muslim population is being evacuated via Kamenica,"
18 probably from Kamenica, Cerska and Konjevic Polje, "along the following
19 route: Glodi village," then a bunch of other villages. And they say
20 there's -- "According to the statement of a prisoner on 30 January 1993,
21 around 2.000 civilians were prepared for evacuation."
22 It then says:
23 "According to information gathered, the enemy's morale has been
24 rather shaken for the following reasons: Heavy losses; the loss of
25 captured or previously held territory; a lack of ammunition and food; the
1 impossibility of prompt delivery of humanitarian aid; and the
2 impossibility of normal living conditions due to the constant firing of
3 our artillery, especially in the current winter conditions."
4 Is that how you remember it?
5 A. Well, that combat was going on and at some points they were more
6 successful; at other times, we were. I can't remember the exact language
7 but I received this paper at the time and I certainly read it.
8 Q. And it goes on to say that:
9 "I have decided" -- this is the bottom of page 2 in the English.
10 "A group main forces for the liberation of Cerska and Konjevic Polje and
11 all auxiliary forces for the liberation of Kamenica."
12 Then it gives the tasks of the specific units, I don't want to go
13 into detail about that but you are given specific tasks and it appears
14 you have two or three tanks from the first paragraph. That's page 3 in
15 the B/C/S and it's paragraph 4.1, page 3 in the English.
16 Do you also have artillery at your disposal?
17 A. Yes, we did.
18 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next document 65 ter 4227. This is a
19 Drina Corps document to the Zvornik Brigade, and I just wanted you to
20 take a look at -- it should be B/C/S page 1. Let me give you a --
21 English page 3. And it says:
22 "In accordance with the assignments specified in directive 4 with
23 addenda to the main forces of the Drina Corps are to continue conducting
24 combat operations in the TG Visegrad and the operation aimed at
25 liberating Srebrenica and Zepa ..." and it goes on to talk about that, in
2 And near the end of the document, it talks briefly about the
3 Zvornik Brigade. So from this document, we see that directive 4 is still
4 in action, so to speak; correct?
5 A. Yes, I agree, it's still in force. It was in force for a long
6 time and stage by stage, the tasks from that directive were implemented,
7 but allow me to add this. The establishment of the Drina Corps would
8 have been completely out of place if General Zivanovic had been sitting
9 in Vlasenica and I in Zvornik. One morning we would have woken up to
10 find the BH army in Zvornik and Vlasenica, respectively. This is quite
11 logical that the corps should be doing what it was supposed to do when it
12 was established.
13 Q. All right. Now, let's go to another document, 65 ter 5D01323 and
14 this is a big document but I don't want to spend much time with it. It's
15 dated September 15, 1993, from the Drina Corps by Zivanovic, and it's
16 entitled, "The realisation of planned tasks from directives number 4 and
17 5." And I just want to ask you if you agree with the section that's in
18 B/C/S page 9, English page 12.
19 This, from my understanding, is just a kind of an after-action
20 report kind of document, and paragraph 16, it says:
21 "After regrouping the forces, the 1st Zvornik Brigade supported
22 by the KAG ..." KAG, that's an artillery group or something else?
23 A. It's the corps artillery group.
24 Q. "Carried out an attack on the given axes and liberated the sector
25 of Kamenica village, Glodi, Rasevo, and Konjevic Polje and then continued
1 the attack towards Kravica."
2 Is that right, roughly?
3 A. Yes, it's true, completely true.
4 Q. And then just that map that's behind you, I don't want to go into
5 detail about it. That is a map that was -- and I'll get a 65 ter number
6 for it -- that was entitled, I believe it was "Operation Proboj." Is
7 that the area where these actions occurred, roughly?
8 A. That's the area more or less. But you could have looked at point
9 2 in this document, the objective and tasks of the operations and the
10 time allocated. In contrast, it lasted for almost two and a half months
11 and that tells us a lot about the operation. The operation is something
12 that involves two or three or four brigades; that's a lot of soldiers.
13 This is, in contrast, a string of unconnected operations and what you
14 showed on the map corresponds to the Proboj operation.
15 Q. And that map is 4399.
16 All right. Let's go to a document you referred briefly to in
17 your direct, 7D1006, which is a one-page document but I'm sure you'll
18 remember it. It's the one where you talk about a prisoner you've
19 captured and you send them back with a message.
20 A. Yes, I remember.
21 Q. This is 1 February 1993. And so to help put that in context, I
22 would like to go to a document before that, 31st of January, 1993,
23 65 ter 4229, from the command of the Zvornik Brigade and you can hang on
24 to both documents.
25 This is a regular combat report in your name and it says in
1 number one:
2 "The enemy did not carry out any significant operations apart
3 from occasional fire in individual parts of the front. However, large
4 movements were observed overnight and today from the direction of
5 Crni Vrh via Tisova Kosa and Pandurica where a column of about 200 women
6 and children pulled out during the night and some of them went astray and
8 And then on the next page, in English page 2, it says that:
9 "The situation in the territory, Radio Zvornik broadcasted a
10 proclamation to the Muslim people, women and children, from the Cerska
11 and Kamenica areas that they could leave the territory without hindrance.
12 The brigade command is securing a corridor for movement and no repressive
13 measures will be taken against people leaving the area of combat
14 operations. The corridor will be opened on 2 February 1993 from 0700 to
15 1700 hours."
16 It goes on to say that the increased rate of women, children, and
17 elderly crossing from Kamenica sector through Snagovo and Crni Vrh
18 towards Pandurica may be expected to continue.
19 So is this what happened? You got together with the radio
20 station and this got broadcast to the Muslims to facilitate their
21 movement out of the area, some of them freezing to death in the process?
22 A. You see this report is dated 31st January and it makes a
23 reference to the people who went astray and got frozen, so they did not
24 get astray and got frozen after the proclamation. The proclamation
25 followed this event.
1 Also, the area between Milici and Baljkovica was not held by the
2 VRS until April 1993. It's an area that was subject to constant
3 infiltration into Kamenica and Konjevic Polje areas and there was
4 constant movement of the population from Kamenica, Konjevic Polje and
5 Cerska. Muslims often organised the movements of this population
6 themselves and provided escorts. When we received reliable information
7 about these movements, these developments, I thought it would be only
8 human to enable these people to go out of the area of combat without
9 wandering around and getting lost and getting hurt. That's why this was
11 Q. And who decided to open this corridor?
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Hold it because we --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apologies.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Could I kindly ask you to repeat from the
16 beginning, please. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 I can't remember exactly whether I came up with this proposal to
19 open the corridor and then informed the corps and then all this was done
20 with their consent or perhaps all this was done and then the corps was
22 If you have reports to the corps, maybe you can find it there.
23 I'm not sure about the sequence of moves.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. I seem to recall your direct testimony that you said that you did
2 A. Probably, if I said that, then it must be so.
3 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 4232. I see we've done some highlighting
4 but -- thank you.
5 This is a Drina Corps document, February 1st, where if we just
6 look at page 1 in the English under paragraph 3, we're now calling the
8 "The Ustasha leaders have felt that their inhabitants shall move
9 out of Cerska-Srebrenica area and stop being their hostages. I decided
10 to allow the inhabitants to move as they did still tomorrow on the 2nd of
11 February, 1993, I am going to warn them through the media that the
12 corridor is closing on 2 February 1993 at 5.00 p.m. It shall be possible
13 to leave the territory for all people without exception and only with my
15 So is Zivanovic in control of this or are you?
16 A. Well, you see my report went to General Zivanovic and he signed
17 almost verbatim what I said in my report because my report says that I
18 decided to send this prisoner in Kamenica and pass the information about
19 the opening of the corridor. Zivanovic put that in his report and he
20 wrote it in the first person as if that's something he had decided even
21 before getting my report.
22 Q. All right. Let's look at 62 ter 4233. This appears to be dated
23 31 January, although there's some strange dates in the English version.
24 It says from you --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- to the command of the Drina Corps, report on unusual incident.
2 "On 30 January 1993, at around 2400 hours, a mixed column made up
3 of women, children and armed men from the direction of Udrc via Glodi,"
4 and other places, "and in the direction of Kalesija and Tuzla, fell into
5 the ambush in Crni Vrh sector. The column, which numbered about 100
6 persons, was fired on and dispersed and disappeared from the sector of
7 the fire and the ambush. All our units were at full combat readiness and
8 no one was killed or wounded on our side."
9 So what kind of weapons did you fire at these women and children
10 and soldiers with, any artillery or just small arms?
11 A. Well, you see I said a moment ago what corridor that was and how
12 both civilians and armed men passed through it. This was obviously a
13 mixed column where the armed men protected the column of civilians going
14 with them. The people who were setting up ambushes were probably unable
15 to know whether all of them were armed or not. They opened fire. I
16 cannot tell you whether they opened fire on armed men or on everybody;
17 however, you do know that it's impossible to set an ambush with
19 I found out about this, informed the corps, and then the next
20 day, the order to open the corridor came.
21 Q. So, General, are you suggesting that it's the men that conducted
22 these -- this ambush that are the most responsible for this, firing on
23 the women and children?
24 A. Well, you're talking about opening fire on women and children.
25 What the document says is that fire was opened on the column. If we
1 interpret the regulations on international humanitarian law literally as
2 written into the laws of the SFRY, then we see that this column contained
3 armed men, and nobody can be held responsible.
4 Q. So in your view, if there's 100 people and some armed men in
5 there, you can fire on them no problem, even if there's women and
6 children? Children, General?
7 A. Mr. McCloskey, a document has to be read from beginning to end.
8 It doesn't say, "a few armed men among women and children." It says
9 "women, children, and armed men." And of course it's not the women and
10 children who went to the head of the column; it's the armed men who
11 headed the column. Women and children were never targets of my
12 activities or fire.
13 Q. Did this ambush on the women and children and the soldiers
14 increase the morale of your units?
15 A. The ambush was not set for the women and children. Ambushes were
16 set up to prevent break-throughs, infiltration of forces from Tuzla and
17 the pull-out of forces from -- to Cerska. This day, this mixed column
18 turned up. The ambush had not been set to boost morale because that
19 section of the road where the ambushes were set was frequently where the
20 Muslims set their ambushes. A lot of vehicles and a lot of civilians
21 were killed by ambushes from Crni Vrh; that's why we set up
22 counter-ambushes on our side.
23 Q. General, my question was: Did this attack on women, children and
24 soldiers, as described here, improve the morale of your unit?
25 A. No, it did not. These civilians were collateral damage. It's a
1 modern term that arose, we all know when. They were not a deliberate
2 target. This could only have weakened combat morale.
3 Q. So you know there were some collateral damage. How much? How
4 many people? How many children?
5 A. I did not say how many there were or that there were any. I'm
6 just saying that if somebody is with the military column, they are a
7 target. And it's not me who invented the term "collateral damage" for
8 any injuries or killing that result from such situations. You know who
9 came up with that term.
10 Q. You said there was collateral damage. You were there. That's
11 why I ask you who and how many?
12 A. I wasn't there. Maybe it's a misinterpretation. What I meant
13 and what I said was that people can be considered collateral damage if
14 they find themselves within a military column and if they are a
15 legitimate target according to the regulations valid in the SFRY and the
16 regulations that arise from international humanitarian law.
17 Q. Let's take a look at 65 ter 4234, another document dated
18 31 January. I'm sure you've seen this. It's a regular combat report
19 under your name. It says, number one:
20 "There was occasional enemy fire overnight during the passage of
21 a column from Cerska through Udrc, Snagovo and Crni Vrh. During the
22 afternoon, mixed columns made up of women, children and armed men were
23 again seen moving from Cerska via Udrc, Glodi, Redzici, Snagovo, and
24 Crni Vrh towards Kalesija and Tuzla."
25 Then if we go over to page 2 in the English, paragraph 5:
1 "The situation in the territory is somewhat more favourable
2 following yesterday's scattering of enemy groups who were attempting to
3 link up with the forces from ..." somewhere. Is that a reference to the
4 ambush on the women and children and soldiers, or something else?
5 A. You probably understand it's something completely different.
6 Look at the date of the report, 31st January. It's about a column
7 noticed on the axis indicated here. And then on the 31st of January, it
8 says the column broken up yesterday, not the one that was noticed but the
9 enemy group that had attempted to link up with forces from Medjedja which
10 means a military target.
11 Q. All right. Let's look at 65 ter 4253. This is dated
12 2 February 1993. This is, again, one of your reports and I'm mostly
13 interested in the second page of the English, the first page of the
14 B/C/S. It's number 8.
15 "Given that a large number of civilians, women, children, and
16 elderly people have pulled out of the Kamenica sector, it can be assumed
17 that those who have stayed and are able-bodied, and at the same time hold
18 extremist views, will continue intensified operations in order to link
20 So do you think that the able-bodied men that stayed behind hold
21 extremist views? Where does that come from? Because they want to guard
22 their villages?
23 A. Mr. McCloskey, from all that has been said so far, it turns out
24 that I was an extremist and something like that can be ascribed to me.
25 If we know what had happened by that time with Kravica and the
1 140 villages and hamlets in the area of Bratunac municipality, and if we
2 are aware of all the other sacrifices and victims on the side of the
3 Serbian population, then this is something quite understandable then in
4 this report of the 2nd, we know that the civilians had passed through
5 based on the proposal we had made to them. I don't see why this word is
6 so controversial. Why is it bad to call someone who had committed such a
7 heinous crime something like that?
8 Q. Well, I won't argue with you, General, but we all know that
9 peoples don't liked being lumped together like that, that these are
10 crimes of individuals we're talking about. You can't possibly suggest
11 that the farmers that are part of the 28th Division that are guarding
12 their homes in these areas, and their mosques, are some sort of
13 extremists because they want to guard their homes and mosques, are you?
14 Or are they all Naser Oric in your mind?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4238.
17 A. I'm sorry, I haven't answered yet. I started and only "no" was
18 recorded, I'm sorry. Certainly not all of them were considered to be
19 extremists; some of them were. A book was published sometime last year
20 written by a man who had lived in Srebrenica at the time of Naser Oric
21 and with whom he had been in conflict all the time. And he said at one
22 point it was easier to survive Chetnik attacks than our own local
23 balijas, "balijas," meaning the Muslims who terrorised their own people.
24 Q. So how many terrorists -- how many horrible balija terrorists
25 were there, in your view, in Srebrenica in July of 1995?
1 A. I don't know. The author of the book, Ibran Mustafic, who wrote
2 that book called, "A Planned Chaos," probably knows.
3 Q. The hatred you talked about, General, is it still with you?
4 Sounds like it.
5 A. No, you're not hearing very well or maybe your ears are too
7 Q. Bringing up that kind of book and that kind of talk in this trial
8 seems to me that you're doing it to vilify the Muslims, sir. Why else
9 would you have said that? I'm talking about the farmers that are
10 guarding their villages in 1993.
11 MR. HAYNES: Can we try and keep a professional tone to this?
12 This is very really very emotional from Mr. McCloskey.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I want to
15 make a distinction between, those extremists and simple farmers who were
16 defending their villages, and I understand this in the same way as you
18 Q. Okay. General. Let's go to 65 ter 4238. It's an intercept
19 between one person named Zivanovic and a person named Gaborovic, and it's
20 page 2 in B/C/S. Let me give you the printout. We found a Gaborovic
21 from the 5th Communications Battalion. Could this be General Zivanovic
22 and Gaborovic from the 5th Communications Battalion or can't you tell?
23 A. I suppose this is a conversation between General Zivanovic and
24 Mr. Gaborovic who was in the 5th Communications Battalion.
25 Q. Yeah, we do see references to Captain Jevdjevic. And of course,
1 as we go down through this intercept, we see that after some discussion,
2 that Gaborovic says: "The valley below Mandici, down towards Rogosija,
3 they used that space between and killed a man and wounded his wife, and
4 then they took his cattle. The police should check that. I spoke to
5 Captain Jevdjevic and there is a possibility that they continued towards
6 Kladanj, that they are retreating so they use the cattle for demining and
7 for food."
8 Then Zivanovic says: "Catch up with them and fuck their mothers
10 And then he says: "Understood?"
11 Then Zivanovic says: "Hold tightly the positions ... are the
12 Turks' houses burning?"
13 He says: "They are burning, they are burning."
14 "Way to go, as many as possible."
15 Were Drina Corps forces burning Muslim houses around the period
16 of February 8th, 1993?
17 A. In this conversation they are talking about a Muslim group that
18 had been infiltrated and carried out sabotage acts. This one is asking
19 the other about this. The first one is asking whether the Muslim houses
20 are burning and he says yes, yes. Some houses were burning.
21 I know at Glodjansko Brdo, houses were not burned down and when
22 the brigade passed through, the houses were not torched.
23 Q. So you don't know anything about what Zivanovic and Gaborovic
24 were talking about here?
25 A. Well, all I can see is that they are talking about the subject of
1 their conversation and they are mentioning some houses that are on fire.
2 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4235, it's dated 13 February. This is
3 a report from your brigade in your name.
4 To the command of the Drina Corps.
5 Number one: "Apart from the usual enemy fire in the general area
6 of the line of contact, in the Nezuk sector two groups of civilians and
7 soldiers were sighted and fired on with artillery weapons."
8 A. I can see that.
9 Q. So did you fire on the civilians with artillery weapons like it
10 says here?
11 A. It could have been this: At the front end of strengthening
12 defence lines, some civilians were working and then fire was opened,
13 whether it was opened only at civilians or at soldiers and civilians or
14 alternatively only at soldiers, we can only speculate.
15 Q. We don't have to speculate because it says fire was opened on --
16 "two groups of civilians and soldiers were sighted and fired on with
17 artillery weapons."
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What millimetre artillery would have been used in that context?
20 A. I really don't know. Artillery had different calibres, whether
21 those were --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow down, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you please slow down because the interpreters
24 are finding difficulties. And repeat, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know, Your Honour. It's the
1 18th day. Even if I had won the Oscar, everybody would have been tired
2 by now.
3 I said we had different types of artillery weapons, mortars, 82,
4 120- and 76-millimetres, 105-millimetres, 122, et cetera.
5 Q. Do you take responsibility for the firing of artillery in this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let's go to 65 ter 4254, another report from you, General,
9 15 February 1993. Paragraph 3, in your name:
10 "The success we achieved in the southern part of the front has
11 been a morale booster for further combat operations to expel the enemy
12 from centuries-old Serbian homes."
13 A. I can see that.
14 Q. So the Muslims were living in century-old Serbian homes?
15 A. Well, in the area shown on the map, you see a large number of
16 Serb villages from which the Serbs had expelled been at the time and they
17 had lived there for centuries.
18 Q. You're talking about the Muslims from the Muslim villages, aren't
20 A. It says here "expelled from Serb century-old houses." They were
21 mixed Muslim and Serb.
22 Q. Let me show you a document, it's 65 ter 1499. It's something we
23 found in the Drina Corps collection by General Krstic. It's a map that
24 shows the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa -- I'm sorry. As you know it
25 takes a while for maps to come up on this thing.
1 And over the enclaves it has the symbol of the four Serbian Ss
2 and it says next to Srebrenica with a date:
3 "Srebrenica has been Serbian and remains Serbian."
4 Can you read to us what it says about Zepa?
5 A. "And Zepa is Serbian too, 27 July 1995, Major-General
6 Radoslav Krstic".
7 Q. And Srebrenica is dated 12 July 1995. How is it that
8 General Krstic considers Srebrenica to have been Serbian and remain
9 Serbian? You know about this concept of centuries-old Serbian homes.
10 A. I know you don't like history but people in Bosnia are really
11 hung up on history. I have to tell you very briefly, talking about
12 Srebrenica. It was named Srebrenica after silver mines, silver being
13 "srebro," and the first money minted by the Serbian king Milutin was made
14 in Srebrenica, and the Dubrovnik merchants traded precisely with those
15 coins minted at Srebrenica. I don't know what Krstic meant but what I'm
16 talking about was in the 13th century. And all the way until the Ottoman
17 invasion into the Balkans, Bosnia was Christian, and this sign drawn
18 here, you characterised it earlier as a Serbian nationalistic sign.
19 Now, on the coat of arms of Serbia from 1835, there is a
20 two-headed eagle taken over from the times of the division of the Roman
21 empire into the western and the eastern, and this is a symbol from
22 ancient Serbian history. And even in communist times, this symbol with
23 the four Ss and the cross existed.
24 What Krstic wanted to show, I really don't know. I know that
25 Srebrenica and Zepa are in Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
1 Muslims still live there today.
2 Q. I've heard the version that everyone in Bosnia is Serbian and
3 that the Muslims are Serbian, they were just cowards that were taken over
4 by Islam and that is what this reference has to do with. Am I wrong?
5 A. It's partly true, I mean there is some truth in that. It was the
6 period of Islamisation, forcible conversion of Christians to Islam. I
7 said that one brother in a family converted to Islam; another brother
8 remained a Christian. All the way until the 1963 Constitution, the
9 Muslims declared themselves as Serbs or Croats of Muslim faith. It was
10 only after the '74 constitution that they started declaring themselves in
11 censuses as of Muslim ethnicity, and today they call themselves Bosniaks.
12 Q. And you in your report talked about expelling the enemy from
13 centuries-old Serbian homes. In the context where your superior orders
14 said to force the Muslim local population to leave, what did you mean
15 when you said "expel the enemy from their homes," the Serbian homes?
16 A. Well, the person who wrote that report on my behalf, I don't know
17 what they meant. Did the moral guidance organ tell him to write that or
18 did he write it on his own initiative? I don't know. But he is
19 responsible to me for what he wrote and I am responsible to others.
20 If I had written that report myself, I certainly wouldn't have
21 written that.
22 Q. You're not suggesting that General Gvero, Colonel Saravic and
23 Nenad Simic came down to your brigade and in some kind of conspiracy sent
24 out of this kind of message without the commander having any
25 responsibility for it, are you? Sounds familiar to me.
1 A. I never said that. I said the moral guidance organ is
2 responsible to me as well as all the other assistants and I am
3 responsible to my superiors for both what I do myself and for what they
4 do. So I'm not trying to insinuate that somebody else is responsible. I
5 am responsible.
6 Q. Let's look at 65 ter 4236. March 2nd, 1993, another of your
7 reports to the corps.
8 Number one says:
9 "In the course of the night and the morning, the enemy did not
10 display fiercer activities apart from occasional breach of silence at
11 some parts of the front-line. At around 8.30 hours, columns of civilians
12 and soldiers with pack animals were noticed from Udrc and Rasevo towards
13 Konjevic Polje. The columns were hit with every available means."
14 So this column of civilians and soldiers and pack animals, when
15 you say "every available means," you must mean artillery.
16 A. Already in the end of February, and early in March and
17 throughout -- sorry, early in February and almost all the way through
18 March, a large number of armed people dressed as civilians were trying to
19 break through towards Tuzla and there was no great difference by that
20 time between those in civilian clothes and those in uniform. That column
21 was observable from a great distance, over 2 kilometres because there was
22 a canyon in between of the Drinjaca River so the battalion in Drinjaca
23 could see them.
24 They had infantry weapons and they had mortars of 60- and
25 82-millimetres. Whether they fired mortars at them or not, I don't know,
1 but a mixed column of this composition, under the regulations and the
2 international humanitarian law, I repeat, is a legitimate military
4 Q. Well, if they were soldiers dressed as civilians, you're right.
5 But this doesn't say that. This says "civilians and soldiers." You want
6 to just edit it to throw in civilians -- soldiers dressed as civilians?
7 A. That also is a possibility, able-bodied men. If the man next to
8 one of them is killed, he will take his rifle and continue fighting.
9 We can look up international humanitarian law and see what
10 military target is defined as and we'll see all of what I'm talking
12 Q. One more document. 65 ter 4258, March 2nd, 1993. So it's the
13 same day.
14 This is the -- you can keep that one if it may be helpful,
15 General. This is the Drina Corps report to the Main Staff. We see in
16 the B/C/S page 1 and English page 1, basically the repetition of what you
17 had reported.
18 "At about 8.30 hours in the zone of responsibility of the
19 Zvornik Brigade, a column of soldiers and pack animals was seen moving
20 from Mount Urdc and Rasevo village in the direction of Konjevic Polje
21 village. Fire was opened on the column." There's been an editing job by
22 the corps, hasn't there?
23 A. Yes, that's what we read here. But at that time when people went
24 with pack animals, they went to fetch equipment and weapons from Kalesija
25 and another place and brought them to Cerska.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we better stop there, General, and --
2 it's time.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
5 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I would like to make a comment, I
6 waited until the end of the day to make this comment from the questions
7 that have been put to the witness by the Prosecution, showing him
8 documents and asking questions as to whether civilians were fired upon.
9 What is missing in all of these questions, Mr. President, is that
10 is the Prosecution saying that these documents are evidence of crimes and
11 does he have any evidence that these were criminal actions; and if he
12 doesn't have any such evidence or if he has such evidence, they should be
13 shown to the witness so at least the witness can say. But right now,
14 he's simply making suggestions of crimes without putting any evidence
15 whatsoever to the witness, and it's wholly inappropriate, Mr. President.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll deal with this tomorrow if you wish to
18 respond, Mr. McCloskey. We stand adjourned until tomorrow, 9.00 in the
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
22 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.