1 Thursday, 2 July 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon.
6 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-05-88-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
11 For the record, all the accused are present. Prosecution, it's
12 Mr. McCloskey today, on his own.
13 Defence teams I notice the following absences, Ms. Tapuskovic,
14 Mr. Nikolic -- oh, I see, no. Ms. Tapuskovic is sitting behind. My
15 apologies to you, Madam.
16 So Mr. Nikolic, Mr. Bourgon, Mr. Gosnell, and I think that's
17 about it.
18 Let's start from here. We have some decisions for you.
19 Mr. Krgovic, Mr. Josse, you have filed a motion seeking
20 protective measures of pseudonym, facial, and voice distortion for the
21 first witness of today; namely, 6DW-02; correct.
22 MR. JOSSE: That is correct, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. And do you take that opposition,
24 Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyone else wishes to address the Chamber? We hear
2 no, none. So the Trial Chamber is persuaded that the concerns for the
3 persons safety of this witness, as explained in the motion of the 1st of
4 July, justified the protective measures requested, hereby grants the
5 motion and puts in place the three protective measures requested.
6 Next -- again, Mr. Krgovic, and Mr. Josse, we note - as at least
7 from what we have received so far - that you have not asked for an
8 amendment to the 65 ter witness list to add the five re-opening witnesses
9 to your 65 ter list. Do you wish to do it now?
10 MR. JOSSE: Well, if we need to technically, then, of course, but
11 could I say this: Two of the witnesses were on the original 65 ter list;
12 namely, the second witness today, Slavko Culic, and the witness who may
13 testify next week, Milorad Zoric. The other three witnesses, the one
14 whose just been granted protection, plus the other two, were not on the
15 list. So for those three, we do make that application, please.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Any remarks from Prosecution or
17 other Defence teams?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So this oral motion, which we
20 have just received is granted.
21 Nikolic Defence team, on the 25th of June you filed a motion
22 seeking leave to amend your 65 ter list of adding -- by adding one
23 witness, Zlatan Milosevic. You filed a corrigendum, then, on the 29th of
24 June. In the meantime, we have received a notification from the
25 authorities of Republika Srpska in relation to the service of the
2 Are you aware of this documentation?
3 Ms. Nikolic.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We have studied
5 the report on the subpoena. If you wish me to elaborate on this, we
6 could go into private session.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for a short
9 [Private session]
11 Page 33833 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: We are ready to go with the first witness. The
11 second witness, this morning we had served upon us a statement from 2008,
12 and the second witness is a senior officer and had a lot to say about
13 various villages and places and things related to an alibi defence. So I
14 would like to be able to have tonight to try to review that, to get ready
15 for cross-examination for tomorrow and not be required, if we get that
16 far, to cross-examine that second witness today. First witness, no
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll come to that because tomorrow we
19 may have some logistical problems, but, anyway, it's too early to say.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, as far as tomorrow is concerned, we
22 will be starting at 12.30 and not at 2.15 as previously scheduled.
23 12.30, okay? And probably ending -- of course, not probably, ending
24 earlier than probably at about 3.00 or just after 3.00. That's the
25 programme for tomorrow.
1 I also -- yes, I also forgot to mention that today Judge Stole
2 couldn't be with us for a very legitimate reason, so we are sitting
3 pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Thank you.
4 We are coming down now with some oral decisions.
5 On the 26th of June -- first of all, we -- relating to your 25th
6 June motion, corrected on the 29th of June, Ms. Nikolic - having heard
7 the Prosecution not objecting - we are granting the motion.
8 Now, on the 26th of June, Accused Pandurevic filed a confidential
9 further submission regarding the admission of evidence under Rule 92 bis
10 requesting the Trial Chamber to place Exhibit 7D1192 under seal.
11 Do you object, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Any of the other teams? Okay. The motion is also
15 Now, what is going to follow now is an oral consolidated decision
16 on the Prosecution and motions for extension of times, and that includes
17 also other filings and other declarations by other Defence teams on the
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So what follows now is an oral consolidated
21 decision, as I said, on the Prosecution and Gvero motions for extension
22 of time, and that -- and also included are the various declarations made
23 by some of the Defence teams and also the response filed by the Nikolic
25 We will also be deciding contextually and orally the Nikolic
1 expedited motion seeking a variation of the page limit of the final trial
2 briefs. We have decided we will not await for any responses on this, we
3 don't need any. We are going to decide this issue today.
4 The Trial Chamber is seised of the Prosecution motion for
5 extension of time for filing of final briefs and closing arguments which
6 was filed on the 26th of June, 2009, and the Gvero motion seeking extra
7 time for the filing of its final brief filed on the 1st of July.
8 Following the filing of the Prosecution motion, other Defence --
9 some Defence teams declared in one of the latest sittings that they
10 agreed with the extension asked for by the Prosecution. We have, since
11 then, also received response from the Nikolic Defence teams that makes
12 its position.
13 In addition, the Trial Chamber is also seised of an expedited
14 motion by the accused Nikolic filed on the 1st of July in which he seeks
15 a variation of the page limit of his final trial brief; more precisely,
16 Nikolic is requesting a page limit of a minimum of 375 pages, but not
17 more than 400 pages.
18 I said the Trial Chamber notes that the Pandurevic response to
19 the Prosecution motion, filed on the 29th of June, in which they did not
20 take a position as to the request ad hoc, and the Borovcanin and
21 Nikolic's response to it filed on the 30th of June. It also -- we have
22 also noted Popovic's, Beara's, and Miletic's joint submission made in
23 court on the 30th of June, as stated earlier.
24 This is our decision: All of the parties have been put on notice
25 for over three months, more precisely, since the 27th of March, 2009
1 the timing fixed for the filing of the final briefs. The Trial Chamber
2 has made it clear of the need to comply with the established dead-line.
3 Only one limited extension has been granted; namely, the one on the 27th
4 of May because of changed circumstances, in particular the admission of
5 the re-opening -- albeit -- re-opening evidence, albeit that evidence was
6 of a very limited nature. The Trial Chamber does not consider that any
7 of the circumstances that have been raised by either the Prosecution or
8 the Gvero Defence team justify - and others for that matter who have
9 supported this position - justify any substantial extension and certainly
10 nothing to support the lengthy delay requested particularly by the
12 However, considering that the parties, particularly the
13 Prosecution and Accused Gvero and Popovic, have been engaged in the
14 preparation for witnesses heard or soon to be heard, the Trial Chamber is
15 prepared, on an exceptional basis, to grant a very limited extension of
17 With regard to the Nikolic expedited motion, the Trial Chamber
18 finds that a variation of the page limit in the amount of 100 extra pages
19 at this late stage is not warranted at all. No matter the complexity of
20 the case, it is incumbent on counsel - and that applies across the board,
21 all counsel - to focus their arguments so as to comply with the page
22 limitations set by the Trial Chamber.
23 Taking into account the submissions of counsel for Mr. Nikolic,
24 however, and the lack of opposition to the motion - at least that's how
25 we understand it - the Trial Chamber will grant a narrow extension of the
1 page limit.
2 So, pursuant to Rules 54 and 86 of the Rules of Procedure and
3 Evidence, the Trial Chamber, ex gratia orders that the parties shall file
4 their final briefs by no later than Thursday, 30 July 2009. So you have
5 an extension of 10 days.
6 The Trial Chamber shall hear closing arguments on -- from
7 Wednesday, the 2nd September 2009 instead of the previously-set -- date
8 set of the 31st of August. The final trial brief of Accused
9 Drago Nikolic shall not exceed 350 pages.
10 Lastly, the order of the 27th of March, 2009, remains unchanged
11 in all other respects.
12 Having said that, I think we can start with the witness.
13 Yes, Mr. Josse.
14 MR. JOSSE: Can I go and check with our case manager. I know
15 she's been having a great deal of difficulty sorting out the video, which
16 is the only exhibit we need for the witness. Let me go and speak to her
17 and report back to Your Honours, if I may.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Before the witness comes in, and maybe we will need
21 to go for a very short while in private session, I wish to explain to the
22 public in the gallery why we have drawn down the curtains. Basically,
23 because we have decided to grant this witness, who will be starting in a
24 few minutes' time, some protective measures, and because of one of them
25 in particular, face distortion, we are trying to hide his identity, we
1 had to draw down the curtains so that you don't see. You will not be
2 able to see him directly when he's testifying, but the curtains will be
3 drawn up again and you will be able to follow the proceedings in full
4 except when we go in private session.
5 Yes, please, go ahead.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you can draw up the curtains again.
8 Good afternoon to you, sir.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Just before I start, I want to make clear to you
11 that, at the moment, no one can see you from outside this courtroom, just
12 to put your mind at rest. The reason for that is that you asked that
13 some protective measures be put in place for you, to protect your
14 identity. We have agreed to that, and so you will not be referred to by
15 your name, and neither your face will be seen or your voice heard while
16 you are testifying. When necessary, we will also go into private session
17 to make sure that your identity is protected.
18 Now, you are going to start giving evidence as a witness produced
19 by the Defence team for General Gvero. Before you do so, our Rules
20 require that you make a solemn declaration that in the course of your
21 testimony you will speak the truth and the whole truth. Madam Usher
22 standing next to you is going to hand you the text. Please read it out
23 allowed and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: WITNESS 6DW-02
2 [Witness answered though interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself
5 Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: I am not going to be examining the witness, but
7 perhaps if I could explain to Your Honours and also to Mr. Krgovic at the
8 same time, Ms. Stewart has come to the rescue, and she is going to be
9 able to play the video at the relevant time. We've given her the times
10 that we require, so I'm very grateful to her.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you Ms. Stewart. And thank you
12 Mr. Josse. Mr. Krgovic will be putting some questions to you, and then I
13 suppose there will be some kind of cross-examination. Not some kind,
14 there will be cross-examination.
15 Yes, also since there is voice distortion, please make sure that
16 your microphones will be switched off when the witness is speaking.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, Mr. Krgovic, please proceed. I am trying to
19 make the conditions in the courtroom somewhat more bearable because it's
20 too warm in here. Last time when we opened that door over there, and we
21 opened this one and that one we could survive a little bit.
22 I mean, the problem, started at 7.00 this morning and they seem
23 to continue.
24 Mr. Krgovic, Mr. McCloskey, and the rest, there seems to be a
25 minor technical problem with the voice distortion equipment. The
1 gentleman's voice, the witness's voice, can be distorted but not to the
2 extent that it usually is, and I want to ensure that the level of
3 distortion does not allow for any possible recognition of his voice,
4 since it is not complete at the moment. I know that it is -- the matter
5 is being attended to.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime I'm told that if we can ask the
8 witness to say something, 1-2 -3 -- or the Usher, Usher, if you could say
10 THE USHER: 1-2-3
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It's work fine now. It's working fine so we
12 can proceed.
13 Mr. Krgovic.
14 Examination by Mr. Krgovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] My name is Dragan Krgovic. On behalf of the
16 Defence of General Gvero, I am going to ask you questions before this
18 Please take a look at the paper in front of you and confirm that
19 it contains your name and surname.
20 A. Good afternoon, this is my name and surname.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we say it?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] May the other Defence teams take a
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Prosecution and the other Defence teams,
25 please. Okay. Let's start.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: Can we go into private session for a moment.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure, let's go into private session for a short
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please tell us whether you did your national service either in
19 the JNA or in the VRS and when, if so?
20 A. I was doing my national service in the Army of Republika Srpska
21 from the 10th of October, 1994, to the 10th of May, 1996.
22 Q. When unit did you serve your service in?
23 A. The 65th Protected Motored Regiment of the Main Staff.
24 Q. Are you related to General Gvero?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Where was the 65th Protective Regiment quartered while you were
2 doing your national service or, to be more specific, your unit?
3 A. My unit was located at Han Pijesak.
4 Q. Do you know General Gvero?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Had you known him before the war?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Which duties did you perform from the end of June 1995 and in
9 July and August of the same year?
10 A. I was General Gvero's escort.
11 Q. For which period, roughly, approximately?
12 A. From May 1995 to the beginning of May 1996.
13 Q. During that period, May, June, July 1995, was there anybody else
14 escorting General Gvero apart from you?
15 A. No.
16 Q. What were your duties as an escort?
17 A. My duties were to care for general, to mind his security and
18 personal safety. I was available 24/7.
19 Q. Did you provide security when he would travel outside his place
20 of residence or only at that place?
21 A. When he travelled out of it, yes.
22 Q. Did you, at the end of June [as interpreted] 1995, go to an area
23 close to the Zepa enclave together with General Gvero?
24 A. Yes, once we went to the check-point at the entrance to the Zepa
1 MR. KRGOVIC: Just one small correction for the transcript, I
2 said "July" instead of "June."
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Please, could you tell us what was the time of day when you set
7 A. Around midday
8 Q. Who was with you?
9 A. The driver. He drove. Nobody else.
10 Q. Which route did you take?
11 A. We departed Han Pijesak to Rogatica, and then towards the
12 UNPROFOR's check-point towards Zepa.
13 Q. Did General Gvero tell you where you were going and what was the
14 purpose of your trip?
15 A. Briefly, just since he could not contact General Mladic, we were
16 supposed to be given an approval to travel to Kladanj [as interpreted],
17 because we were supposed to go to Kladanj, and he hadn't obtained an
18 approval to go there.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] One correction for the transcript:
20 The witness stated "Krajina" and not "Kladanj," as stated in the
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I was asking myself what was he going to Kladanj
24 Okay, thank you for that, Mr. Krgovic.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Would, usually, General Gvero tell you about the destination of
2 your travels, or was this an exception?
3 A. Usually, no. He just briefly mentioned that we were supposed to
4 go to Krajina.
5 Q. Did you discuss with him before the trip and during the trip
6 about the events at Krajina?
7 A. Well, he was very much worried about the developments in Krajina,
8 some summits fell into the enemy's hands, and he was - as I was - worried
9 about those developments.
10 Q. Were any of your relatives in the army during that time?
11 A. Yes, my father, my uncle, they were positioned in the western
12 front, in the so-called Krajina front. I was very much worried about my
13 family because nobody was at home when those developments unfolded, so
14 I'd expected that we would be going in the direction of Krajina.
15 Q. How long did the trip take from Han Pijesak to the check-point?
16 What were the conditions, and what was the type of trip?
17 A. It took us one hour. It was a dirt road that we took.
18 Q. Did you stop anywhere along the route?
19 A. No.
20 Q. From Rogatica to the check-point, were there any VRS check-points
21 at that time?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you see any UNPROFOR officers, and did General Gvero talk to
24 such an UNPROFOR officer en route from Rogatica to the check-point?
25 A. We neither found or encountered anybody along that road. There
1 were no UNPROFOR officers until we reached the UNPROFOR check-point where
2 there were UN soldiers there.
3 Q. Did you see General Smith en route to the check-point?
4 A. No, no.
5 Q. Did you see him at the check-point when you arrived there?
6 A. No, no.
7 Q. Do you know who General Smith is? Have you ever seen him?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When you reached the check-point, who did you find there from
10 among those whom you knew?
11 A. When we got there, apart from the driver, General Mladic was
12 there as well, General Krstic, two commanders from the Zvornik Brigade, a
13 cameraman, a helicopter pilot, several soldiers - I don't know from which
14 unit - and UNPROFOR soldiers as well.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: Can we now play it --
16 [Video-clip played]
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We can continue playing the video,
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] From 13.20 to 13.27, please.
21 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. KRGOVIC: No, Your Honour. That's all.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Sir, did you have occasion to hear this conversation that we saw
13 in the video and parts that we haven't seen?
14 A. Partially I was -- I did have the opportunity to hear it.
15 Q. We saw here this video and part of the conversation. Was your
16 entire stay there filmed or are there parts that were not filmed?
17 A. There are parts that were not filmed.
18 Q. How long did you stay there, in this field for?
19 A. Two to three hours, not long. Two to three hours, not long.
20 Q. Counting the trip -- the travelling time or not?
21 A. Yes, including the travelling time.
22 Q. Was anything else discussed except what we saw on the video?
23 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we can't hear the witness. Could he
24 approach the microphone.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, the interpreters couldn't hear what you
1 said. If you could speak nearer to the microphone, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, is that all right?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What part didn't they hear?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The question was --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: They can't tell you now. If they didn't hear it,
9 they can't tell you what they didn't hear.
10 So I think you repeat the question, Mr. Krgovic, and he will
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The question was: Was anything else discussed except what is
14 seen on the video?
15 A. There was discussion about a train [as interpreted] that we were
16 to take over, and he discussed this with General Krstic, General Gvero
17 discussed it. The atmosphere was relaxed, and I don't know.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] A small correction: The witness
19 said "a vehicle," not "a train."
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What was General Mladic doing?
23 A. General Mladic was talking to UNPROFOR and their officer. He was
24 assigning the people to conduct the talks. He was --
25 Q. Did he get into a bus?
1 A. Yes, after the bus arrived, then he said that we move away. He
2 got into a bus. What exactly he said, I don't know. He introduced
3 himself and things like that, and Mr. Gvero waited. He asked for
4 permission to go to Krajina. However, Mladic told him to wait a little
5 because he had to talk to a gentleman from the Zvornik Brigade. He gave
6 them certain assignments. We waited until he finished with the mounting
7 of the bus, one by one, then with Mr. Gvero he had a short conversation,
8 and after that we left.
9 Q. Where did you go after that?
10 A. We immediately returned to Han Pijesak. We took our things
11 because he told us, Boys, we are going into the field. We packed our
12 things and we headed for Krajina. We stopped at Vlasenica because we
13 changed vehicles. We were using a passenger vehicle, and in Vlasenica,
14 we took a military [as interpreted] vehicle and then we set off for
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] A small correction again: The
17 vehicle is an off-road vehicle, not a military vehicle.
18 Q. On your way back from the field to Han Pijesak, did you stop
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you meet any officers on that occasion?
22 A. No.
23 Q. How long did your journey from Han Pijesak to Krajina take?
24 A. Under the conditions at the time, it took about six, seven, or
25 eight hours.
1 Q. And where did you sleep?
2 A. That same day, we reached Banja Luka late at night, and then we
3 were put up in Banja Luka in the army club. We arrived late in the
4 evening, and then the next day we went on a tour of Krajina; actually,
5 the command posts in Krajina.
6 Q. How long did you stay in Krajina for on that occasion?
7 A. That time we stayed for about 15 to 20 days.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I am
9 just checking the transcript.
10 Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further questions for this
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I you thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
13 Mr. McCloskey -- or, rather, sorry. I don't think any of the
14 Defence teams wish to cross-examine this witness. I am correct in that.
15 Mr. McCloskey, do you have any questions for him?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: How long?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Hopefully not more than an hour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That much?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Less than that.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
22 Q. Witness, good afternoon. My name is Peter McCloskey, and I
23 represent the Prosecution.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. What did General Gvero mean when he told the Ukrainian officer
1 he's lucky he wasn't down there with the Turks; down where?
2 A. I don't know what he meant "down there." I didn't even hear
3 that. It was a conversation we had -- he had with the UNPROFOR officer.
4 Q. So there were conversations between General Gvero and officers
5 that you didn't hear?
6 A. I said that I partially heard the conversations. I wasn't right
7 there behind him. Maybe five or six metres away. My duty wasn't to
8 listen in to the conversations they were having.
9 Q. And I understand that. And so, of course, there is, I'm sure,
10 potentially quite a bit of information passed between General Gvero and
11 various officers that you didn't hear?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. And can you tell me, do you remember the days when
14 Srebrenica fell? This was, as you now know, on this video I think if you
15 had a chance to look at it very carefully, was July 26th. We know that
16 Srebrenica fell, the town, on the 11th, and that the VRS went into
17 Potocari on the 12th. And on the 13th of July, there were many Muslims
18 surrendering along the road from Nova Kasaba to Konjevic Polje to
19 Kravica. So does that help refresh your recollection about those days?
20 A. I don't remember the exact day when Srebrenica fell. You see, we
21 were up there. We didn't have access to any media or anything like that.
22 We were doing our work as soldiers. My assignment was what it was.
23 Q. Well, you recall when General Gvero went to the Srebrenica
24 forward command post, it's called Pribicevac, not far away from a place
25 called Zeleni Jadar, not far away from Bratunac, and overlooking the area
1 of Srebrenica. He went there while the battle was raging.
2 A. Sir, as far as I know, General Gvero never went to that part, as
3 far as I know. It's only once that we went as far as the UNPROFOR, their
4 check-point near Zepa and not Srebrenica.
5 Q. Sir, on July 9th, people in this courtroom have testified,
6 General Gvero and, in fact, two escorts, I believe it was a military
7 officer from the Zvornik Brigade named Jevdjevic, said Gvero showed up
8 with it two escorts, army escorts, went out and spoke to General Krstic
9 at the forward command post in Pribicevac. Surely you -- if you can
10 remember anything about Zepa, you can remember Srebrenica?
11 A. I do not remember. I don't remember that we went there at all.
12 We didn't go there.
13 Q. Now who were the other escorts that could have been with
14 General Gvero on July 9th?
15 A. No, sir. If the General went to Belgrade, I didn't go with him.
16 Now, if he may have dropped by somewhere en route, I don't know, on his
17 way to Belgrade
18 Q. So would have been with him if he was coming back from Belgrade
19 A. I don't know. I really don't know.
20 Q. And did you go -- you know that there is a 65th Protection
21 Regiment MP battalion stationed at Nova Kasaba; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And were you there after Srebrenica?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And was General Gvero there?
1 A. Not as far as I know.
2 Q. But then he could have been in Srebrenica, and you didn't know
3 that either, I take it; right?
4 A. No, sir. As far as I said, as far as I know, I spent a lot of
5 time with him. I was his escort, but we didn't go to Srebrenica or
6 anywhere near it.
7 Q. Now, when did you first start thinking back about Zepa to get
8 ready to come testify?
9 A. The first time they contacted me, that is General Gvero's
10 Defence, they asked me whether I remembered going to that region, and I
11 said that, as far as I remember, we went there only once and that was the
12 UNPROFOR check-point.
13 Q. Did they tell you about the video before they asked you
15 A. No. Later on, to remind me of the events, they showed me the
17 Q. So when did they first contact you, roughly?
18 A. At the end of May, this year.
19 Q. And did you give them information prior to them showing you the
21 A. Yes, they asked me whether I remembered things in connection with
22 our going there, things like that.
23 Q. That's what they asked you. What did you tell them having
24 thought back 13-some-odd years.
25 A. Well, you see, sir, as I said, the situation was critical in
1 Krajina at the time, and we didn't stay there long. And because we
2 changed vehicles, we had a passenger vehicle and then we got this
3 off-road vehicle that same day, and we reached Krajina. So I had a
4 chance to see my family after some time. And maybe something else that
5 makes me remember this is that a couple of days after our arrival there,
6 a short while later, that off-road vehicle crashed. So these are certain
7 events that stick in my mind?
8 Q. Tell us about the orders you heard Mladic give the guys from
10 A. Well, mostly he just said that they should go, to get ready to go
11 to Krajina. That was my understanding of what he said.
12 Q. And "he" meaning Mladic; is that right?
13 A. Yes, yes, I mean General Mladic.
14 Q. And what officers was he speaking to?
15 A. With the commander of the Zvornik Brigade and Vinko and --
16 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we didn't hear that.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. We got Vinko, but we didn't get the next name.
19 A. I don't know now exactly what his name was.
20 Q. And did Mladic give those orders -- or those assignments to Vinko
21 and the other guy before the buses arrived or afterward?
22 A. I think before.
23 Q. And what was the situation around Zepa when you were there?
24 A. I don't know what you mean. In what way?
25 Q. Well, sir, you've come here to testify about your knowledge. Did
1 you know anything about what was going on in or around Zepa when you were
3 A. During our stay there, I was able to conclude that the population
4 was moving out, the town, as such, was normal, quite normal. The
5 population was leaving the town.
6 Q. What was normal about that?
7 A. I mean, the situation was normal, relaxed. The population seemed
8 okay, they seemed to be satisfied with their departure. I couldn't
9 notice anyone being tense or anxious or crying or anything like that as
10 they got on the buses.
11 Q. No fear at all?
12 A. Not that I could notice any fear.
13 Q. You were there when General Mladic was talking to Hamdija Torlak,
14 weren't you?
23 Q. Let me remind you of something General Mladic said to Mr. Torlak
24 as he was sitting there after these people had left. He said: "They
25 killed our people. You have to understand that, but I'm not going to
1 kill you. I'm going to kill them, mother fuckers."
2 And then he says: "Don't be afraid."
3 Mr. Torlak was scared to death, wasn't he?
4 A. No, sir. I didn't hear their conversation. I was probably stood
5 a distance away when I was told to go away, so I did not hear their
6 conversation. He drank coffee. He didn't seem afraid. He drank coffee
7 with General Mladic.
8 Q. Were you in the Glamoc area a few days later when the Serbian
9 population had to pack up and flee for their lives?
10 A. Yes, when we arrived to Banja Luka -- Banja Luka we toured all
11 the critical areas there, Mrkonjic, Jajce, Glamoc, Drvar.
12 Q. Well, those Serb civilians that had to leave their towns and
13 villages, they were scared to death, too, weren't they -- or they were
14 scared to death when they left, weren't they?
15 A. Sir, whether they were -- well, they were sad most probably.
16 Q. Now, when you were in Zepa, I take it you didn't know that the
17 Serb forces in Zepa were still putting up fierce resistance, that Serb
18 soldiers were still dying in those woods in the battle with the Muslim
19 army and that the fight was still going, even as the Muslim civilian were
20 being shipped out. You didn't know anything about that, huh?
21 A. No, we weren't in Zepa. We were at the UNPROFOR check-point
22 there. We did not hear -- see Zepa, neither could we hear any combat.
23 Those two or three hours that we were there, there was no fighting that
24 we could hear.
25 Q. And you didn't hear any of the officers, any of those VRS
1 officers speaking of any of the fighting that was going on in Zepa on the
2 days preceding that? You didn't hear anything about that?
3 A. No. What was conducted there was everyday normal conversation.
4 They did not talk about Zepa. General Gvero discussed things, the
5 vehicle, with General Krstic, but they did not mention the fighting
6 there, neither did I hear any conversation about any fighting.
7 Q. And the casualties coming out of the Krajina at the time. I've
8 looked at those reports, sometimes 20, 30 Serbs a day were being killed
9 in that fighting. That was where you were about to go and General Gvero
10 was about to go. Surely, you would have heard the officers discussing
11 that front where you were about to go and be put in harms way and hear
12 about that?
13 A. General Gvero was not on this footage. General Mladic was
14 entering the buses. General Gvero was 20, 30 metres away from the
15 action, from the buses. Then there were APCs belonging to UNPROFOR.
16 General Gvero was in the shade waiting for General Mladic to finish his
17 business. General Gvero requested from General Mladic a vehicle [as
18 interpreted] so that he could depart for Krajina, and he was also
19 concerned about the situation there at the time. He asked General Mladic
20 to be permitted to depart for Krajina.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: I'm sorry, but my learned --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic. Microphone.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: Sorry, the witness said "permission" instead of
24 "vehicle." "Dozvola a ne vozilo."
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, okay thank you.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Yes, I'm sure General Gvero was very interested as were all the
3 VRS, including yourself, about what was going on in the Krajina. But you
4 know that General Gvero was just standing right there or sitting right
5 there in the shade when all those, we counted 24 buses, full of Muslims
6 went by. Gvero was right there, huh?
7 A. Well, we just waited for Mladic to finish his business and to
8 permit Milan
9 Q. But to be clear, General Gvero, whom you've called Milan, was
10 there at this check-point while this -- some 24 buses containing Muslims
11 went by.
12 A. They were. I don't know how many passed, but he had to wait to
13 obtain permission from General Mladic to depart for Krajina.
14 Q. Sir, it's still not clear in the record. So General -- was
15 General Gvero there when the buses were going by?
16 A. General Gvero, as I said, waited for Mladic to finish to be given
17 permission to leave.
18 Q. Sir, was General Gvero right there by the road, right by where
19 the buses went by as they drove by him?
20 A. No. He was not next to the road. He was next to UNPROFOR APCs.
21 He was not standing next to the road. General Mladic boarded the buses.
22 Q. I didn't ask you if General Gvero boarded the buses. We all saw
23 General Mladic order his officers to stand in a row and we saw them
24 standing in a row. You saw that; right?
25 A. Yes, I was behind the buses on the other side.
1 Q. Right. And then the buses drove by those officers who were
2 standing in a row?
3 A. No. Mladic was on one side, I was on the other side. You saw on
4 the footage that I was told to move over there. And Milan,
5 General Gvero, walked away from that place. He sat down in shade waiting
6 for Mladic to be finished so that he could obtain from Mladic permission
7 to go to Krajina.
8 Q. We saw the people line up when the judge gave -- sorry, the
9 General gave the order; didn't you?
10 A. Yes, yes. For a brief period of time we went away from
11 General Mladic immediately. I went to the left, towards the APCs. They
12 were on the right-hand side.
13 Q. And then the buses came to where you were?
14 A. Well, the buses were -- just passed, passed by. They would come
15 and pass by.
16 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 No re-examination, I suppose, Mr. Krgovic?
19 MR. KRGOVIC: We will take some time for re-examination.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't quite --
21 MR. KRGOVIC: Very briefly.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. Go ahead. We have five minutes before
23 the break.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, the Prosecutor asked you whether you went
1 with General Gvero to Pribicevac, and you answered, When general would go
2 to Belgrade
3 Do you recall your answer?
4 A. Yes, because I do not really recall going to Serbia. We did not,
5 and if General Gvero would go to Belgrade
6 him, and that's how I remember it.
7 Q. Where did you sleep [Realtime transcript read in error "leave"]?
8 A. At Han Pijesak, in the motel there, where the logistics was
9 located. We had a room for escorts and drivers in the basement, and this
10 is where we slept.
11 Q. I asked where the witness resided and not when he departed. The
12 translation was okay, but the transcript seems to be problematic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Perhaps you would like to put the question
14 again. If you're not happy with the transcript, I think we need to
15 correct it.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, the witness answered, so ...
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead, then.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you where was Mr. Gvero when the buses
20 passed by. What was, if you recall, General Gvero doing when the buses
21 passed by?
22 A. Well, as I said, he was sitting in the shade, and he even spoke
23 to a Ukrainian man, one member of the UNPROFOR who was there.
24 Q. Is -- was there a woman?
25 A. The interpreter was there as well, and he spent quite a lot of
1 time discussing things with her. He'd like to talk to interpreters,
2 joking and chatting away.
3 Q. Did General Gvero issue any orders, take part in military terms
4 in this operation?
5 A. No, not then and not before that, not ever.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this is --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: You know --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, if you could conclude, please.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you, I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 All right. Sir, we have come to the end of your ...
13 I wish to thank you for having come over to give testimony at
14 such short notice. On behalf of everyone here, I also wish you a safe
15 journey back home.
16 Now, we will have --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- a break, and it will be of 30 minutes' duration.
19 No, I don't accept -- I don't think you are tendering the parts
20 from [indiscernible] because they are already in, and Mr. Krgovic
21 referred to the sections.
22 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
3 Mr. Josse.
4 MR. JOSSE: Well, as sadly as is so often the case, Your Honours,
5 I was wrong immediately before the break when I said there was no
6 document. There is one. It's a pseudonym sheet. It's --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, okay. But I took that for granted, and that
8 is under seal. Thank you.
9 Next witness, please. This is Slavko Culic, isn't he?
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Culic. Welcome to this
12 Tribunal. You are about to start giving evidence. Before you do so, you
13 need to make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth.
14 Text is being handed to you now. Please read out aloud and that will be
15 your solemn undertaking with us.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I start?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: SLAVKO CULIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself
23 comfortable. Take a seat. Mr. Krgovic will be asking you some
24 questions, and Mr. McCloskey later on, for the Prosecution, will
25 cross-examine you.
1 Mr. Krgovic.
2 Examination by Mr. Krgovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Culic, we've met already, but for the record
4 I would like to introduce myself again, Dragan Krgovic defending
5 General Gvero.
6 Since we are both speaking the same language, please, after
7 hearing my question, pause a bit before you answer so that we do not
8 overlap and so that other participants who do not share our language
9 could follow the proceedings.
10 A. Yes, well, okay.
11 Q. Please state your full name and surname?
12 A. Slavko Culic.
13 Q. Where and when were you born?
14 A. I was born in the village of Glavice
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the 5th of October, 1958
16 Q. What qualifications do you have?
17 A. I graduated from the military academy of the land forces,
18 infantry, in Belgrade
19 Q. Could you please give us an overview of your career in the
20 military up until the outbreak of war.
21 A. Up to the outbreak of war in 1991, I served in several garrisons
22 of the former JNA. I carried out the duties from platoon commander up to
23 battalion commander.
24 Q. Where were you when the war broke out?
25 A. I was at the Pula
1 Q. When did you arrive to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. After the JNA units were dislocated, I was transferred, together
3 with my unit, from the Pula Garrison to the Niksic Garrison in 1991.
4 Pursuant to an order of my superior officer, dated 16th of May, 1992, I
5 was transferred from the Niksic Garrison to the Banja Luka Garrison.
6 Upon arrival to Banja Luka, I was transferred to the Mrkonjic Grad
7 Garrison where I was appointed to a post.
8 Q. Which post did you occupy in July 1995, and where?
9 A. In July 1995, I was commander of the 1st Sipovo Light Infantry
10 Brigade, from that date on towards the -- up until the end of the war.
11 Q. What -- which rank did you hold at the time?
12 A. Captain first class.
13 Q. What was the situation like in the area of defence of your
14 brigade, along that section of the front in July 1995?
15 A. In the area of responsibility of my brigade, Muslim Croatian
16 units, or units of Muslim Croatian forces, were executing an offensive in
17 June and in July, and they continued until September 1995. And I'm
18 duty-bound to remark that in July, the Muslim Croatian offensive was
19 unfolding along two axes: The first one was from Travnik to Komar, and
20 the other axis was from Bugojno to Gornji Vakuf. Some five Muslim and
21 Croatian brigades took part in the offensive, Croatian meaning Croatian
22 Defence Council or HVO.
23 Q. Did you know General Gvero?
24 A. I met General Gvero in 1978. I was in Belgrade, at the time,
25 attending a military academy and went for practical exercises with
1 students of the military gymnasium or grammar school. This is when I met
2 him for the first time.
3 Later on, I got to know him better during the carrying out of
4 combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina; to wit, in the territory of
5 Bosnian Krajina.
6 Q. In July 1995, did you see General Gvero in the area of
7 responsibility of your brigade?
8 A. On the 27th of July, 1995, both at the basic and the forward
9 command posts of mine, General Gvero visited both, and with General Gvero
10 the political organ, Klark-Dulic-Ostoja [phoen], of the brigade was
11 accompanying General Gvero.
12 Q. How can you be sure that it was on the 27th of July, 1995
13 A. This date stuck in my mind for two reasons: The first one being
14 that on the 27th of July used to be the -- the day of uprising of the
15 peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and the second reason being that on that
16 day and the following day, Croatian army forces occupied Glamoc, and
17 Glamoc is my hometown. And for those reasons I remembered that day.
18 Q. The day of the uprising of the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
19 the arrival of General Gvero, how do you make the connection between the
21 A. I jocularly asked the General, has he come congratulate us on the
22 national holiday, and we all laughed at the joke. And the other reason
23 why I remember that day was the fall of Glamoc and the settlements around
25 Q. Do you have any relatives in Glamoc?
1 A. Yes, all my relatives were there.
2 Q. Where exactly was your command post in July 1995 when
3 General Gvero visited?
4 A. My basic command post -- post was in the bauxite mines at Jajce
5 [Realtime transcript read in error "Kravica"]. And the forward command
6 post was in the village of Obrtci
7 Q. What was General Gvero's business, and what was the purpose of
8 your visit, what did you discuss then?
9 A. General Gvero, as on previous occasions when he had visited my
10 unit, was interested about the situation in the unit. He was interested
11 in both the officers and the troops, and he wanted to hear about the
12 problems that the unit was facing, the members of my brigades were
13 facing; first and foremost being interested in information activities,
14 the level of combat morale, issues to be resolved with the civilian
15 authorities, and other issues important for the unit or of interest to
16 the unit.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] One correction in the transcript:
18 Q. When you said that your basic command post, you said bauxite
19 mines. It says here "Kravica" instead of "Jajce." Did you say Kravica
20 or Jajce?
21 A. Jajce.
22 Q. Please, could you repeat the name of the town?
23 A. The basic command post of the brigade, my brigade, was at Jajce,
24 J-a-j-c-e, in the town of Jajce
1 Q. Was General Gvero specifically interested in the situation in the
2 area of responsibility of your brigade?
3 A. You see, as on many other occasions, General Gvero wanted to know
4 about the situation for the simple reason that he hailed from that area.
5 And that was important for the troops and the officers who hailed from
6 that same area. His very arrival had a positive impact on morale and
7 combat readiness of the units, not just my unit but all the units who
8 were in the area of responsibility of the 30th Division.
9 Q. How will did General Gvero stay with you?
10 A. Talking to me and my officers who happened to be there at the
11 command post, General Gvero stayed for about one hour.
12 Q. Did you see him again during those days?
13 A. Yes, I saw him again two or three days later in Mrkonjic Grad
14 where the question of refugees was being addressed, refugees from the
15 town that had fallen captive to the enemy.
16 Q. Did General Gvero tell you about the situation in other parts of
17 the front during those two encounters that you had?
18 A. No. He just specifically mentioned the situation in the units
19 and the significance of defending those areas.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Culic. I have no further questions for you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Any of the Defence teams? I suppose none.
22 Mr. McCloskey, we are, of course, aware of your previous request.
23 Are you in a position at least to start today?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That was relatively short.
25 Maybe I can just finish today.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And though I would like, if there are any witness
3 statements for any other witnesses, it would be nice to get them before
4 the morning of.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic, or Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, there are none for the two witnesses tomorrow.
7 There are no witness statements in existence for those two witnesses.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And tomorrow we are hearing which ones?
9 MR. JOSSE: We are hearing -- could you just give me a moment to
10 look at my lists. One is called Jovanovic.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MR. JOSSE: And the other is Zoranovic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Proofing notes. There is a witness scheduled
15 after them.
16 MR. JOSSE: The witness after them, I will be frank with the
17 Court, there is a statement in existence for him. We have not yet
18 decided whether we are going to call that witness who, as we have already
19 said can't be here until Monday. I understand the Court's not sitting on
20 Tuesday, which means he wouldn't be able to give evidence until
21 Wednesday. So we need to make a decision, primarily, for strategic
22 reasons but also for logistical reasons as well, and we will make that
23 decision some time tomorrow.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Tuesday we can't sit because we have no
25 space, no courtroom. Yes.
1 MR. JOSSE: And so I am laying our cards firmly on the table. My
2 learned friend will get a proofing note in relation to tomorrow's
3 witnesses. They haven't been done as yet.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
5 Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would like the cards to be laid face up. I
7 would like the statement. If he is planning on possibly calling a
8 witness, this gamesmanship is just silly.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed --
10 MR. JOSSE: I --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop, and let's proceed. And let's try
12 to keep up to the standard, high standard of practice when it comes to
13 interrelationships between Prosecution and Defence and vice versa.
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
17 Q. Hello, Witness. My name is Peter McCloskey. I represent the
18 Prosecution in this case. And were you a brigade commander in May of
19 1992 in this area?
20 A. I was brigade commander from the 10th of June 1992.
21 Q. In that particular area that you've spoken of?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, I want to show you a document, and let me know if you recall
24 seeing it.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's in evidence. It's 65 ter 5D1415.
1 Q. I'll give a hard copy of it. It may help you to look at it. And
2 I'll let you take a little bit of time to read it, but do you see any of
3 your units in the address list of that? I see the
4 30th Infantry Division.
5 So do you see your -- your unit in the address box?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Which one?
8 A. The 1st Light Infantry Brigade of the 30th Division. The word
9 "Sipovo" is missing here. But all the units of the 30th Division are
11 Q. Well, if you could just take some time. I'm not going to go over
12 a lot of detail with this, but we can see that it's sent out by
13 General Gvero from the forward command post at Drvar on 31 July, 1995
14 Okay. And just in the first paragraph, we can see that in the
15 middle of it, it says:
16 "The VRS Main Staff, profoundly aware of the gravity and
17 complexity of the situation, has adopted the decision to undertake all
18 measures by engaging the most senior officers of the Main Staff, headed
19 by the commander, General Mladic, and his assistants."
20 And then it goes on to talk about halting the and smashing the
22 So do you agree with this? Was this an extremely grave situation
23 at the time that needed the attention of the Main Staff, General Mladic,
24 and his assistants?
25 A. The situation was extremely grave. And probably for those
1 reasons the Main Staff made such a decision.
2 Q. And you know this reference here when it says "and his
3 assistants," General Gvero was one of his assistants; correct?
4 A. Yes, for morale and legal affairs.
5 Q. Yes. And as we go down to the different paragraphs, we see some
6 issues related to morale and legal affairs. We also see in the third
7 paragraph he says:
8 "It is indispensable to stabilise the units, the
9 2nd Krajina Corps, deployed on these lines today, as soon as possible,
10 and use them in combat on the designated axis according to the order of
11 the Main Staff."
12 So he's also, in the name of the Main Staff, passing on the order
13 regarding the units and the deployment of those units; isn't he?
14 A. No, this is a piece of information, and an order for the use of
15 units probably -- or certainly, rather, went along the command line, the
16 command chain of command.
17 Q. Well, then, let's look further. You think -- let me ask you if
18 you followed any of this. And it's the fifth paragraph in this document;
19 on page 2, it's the second paragraph in English.
20 "All troops currently with their families, who are heading
21 towards Banja Luka, must return to their commands immediately. The
22 combatants of the 5th Glamoc Brigade must urgently report to their
23 brigade command in the Mliniste area."
24 That's an order, isn't it?
25 A. This, in my view, sir, was a report; information.
1 Q. So you don't think the combatants of the 5th Glamoc Brigade must
2 urgently report to their brigade command. You don't think that's an
3 order coming from General Gvero? That they can ignore that? That's just
4 information? The commander of this unit can't take this document and
5 say, Get in here?
6 A. Well, you see, at the time, I didn't extract parts of this
7 report. For me and my officers, this was a report containing
8 information, and that is how we understood it.
9 Now, whether this context can be taken out of -- this sentence
10 can be taken out of context, that's another matter.
11 Q. Okay. Let's keep going to the next paragraph. It's page 2,
12 B/C/S. And I'm sure you remember he was the head of the morale, legal,
13 and religious branch.
14 "Various rumors and disinformation are being spread within the
15 units which are exceptionally detrimental and dangerous. Energetic and
16 rigorous measures should be taken against those spreading them. Urgently
17 establish extraordinary court-martials, and in spirit of instructions
18 given, organise trials for all cases of destructive behaviour and the
19 weakening of combat readiness."
20 Isn't that the chief of the legal department of the VRS ordering
21 you to set up court-martials, to put soldiers on trial that are doing
23 A. No. This is not the way in which a court-martial is established.
24 Q. So you can just ignore these words of General Gvero?
25 A. We can't ignore them, but this is just information as to what
1 should be done and undertaken for each case individually.
2 Q. Did you do this? Did you set up court-martials? Did you
3 investigate these issues? I'm sure he learned about this during his --
4 his tour of the troops. He wouldn't have said it had he didn't meant it.
5 A. We did not form court-marshals, or, rather, I did not form a
6 court-martial because that was not my responsibility. I did not have the
7 authority to do that. And there was no need, either.
8 Q. Do you disagree with the foundation of his statement?
9 A. This statement, or, rather, this report was not drawn up with a
10 view to forming court-martials, but rather that measures should be taken
11 by those responsible within their terms of reference.
12 Q. A brigade commander has significant responsibilities to punish
13 those under him that are violating the law and creating the kind of havoc
14 discussed in this report. You agree with me on that?
15 A. A brigade commander, according to the regulations on military
16 discipline, has prescribed competencies regarding appropriate measures to
17 be taken, and he couldn't do anything that was not envisaged by those
18 rules. And disciplinary measures for disciplinary offences were
19 prescribed by the brigade commander, by the battalion commander,
20 et cetera, by the highest level officer. And this go -- could go as far
21 as a ruling on military detention.
22 Q. Of course. And you must recall that General Gvero came back to
23 your area in early October in a leadership position along with other
24 members of the Main Staff; do you remember that?
25 A. I don't understand the question.
1 Q. Do you remember him coming back to your area in October, playing
2 a leadership role with other members of the Main Staff?
3 A. No, General Gvero was not a leader.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's take a look at 65 ter 4586.
6 Q. I'll give you a -- a copy of that. So you can take a look at it.
7 And I'm sorry I didn't have time to translate all of this, but we did
8 have some of it translated.
9 And the English first page I'll go over some of it. It's the
10 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. It's dated 11 October, very
12 "Blocking of the enemy offensive in the western part of the
14 And it's to the commands of the various units, including the
15 2nd Krajina Corps and the 30th Infantry Division and other corps.
16 Take a little time to look at it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
18 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps the witness could take his headphones off. I
19 don't think he speaks any English, perhaps Your Honour would check.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Culic, do you understand English?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Can I ask you, please, to remove your
23 headphones for a short while.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And in all due respect, am I being double-teamed
1 here, Mr. President?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, can you -- since there is an objection --
3 MR. JOSSE: Is he really? I'm raising a legal point. Is he
4 really saying that I can't get up and raise a legal point.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you feel Mr. Krgovic can't, go ahead.
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, that's plain offensive, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know why we have to get to this now at the
8 end of this trial.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead, Mr. Josse.
11 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Your Honour, since the vast majority of
12 witnesses have given evidence in this case, the law on the Prosecution
13 adducing new documents in the course of the Defence case has been
14 clarified by the Appeals Chamber in the Prlic case. And rather than go
15 through that in great detail, really what I'm asking my learned friend is
16 to say whether this goes to the credibility of the witness or whether it
17 goes to the substance of the case, because that decision has really set a
18 distinction that needs to be drawn between the two.
19 I appreciate that this Court has visited that area on a number of
20 occasion, but not in the light of that particular decision.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay: Thank you.
22 Yes, do you wish to comment, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, this particular use of this
24 document is designed for impeachment because --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, that's enough. That's enough.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: But --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But all he wanted to know whether it's for
3 substance or for credibility.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's for both. It's for both. It's absolutely
5 for both. I don't think the Court has ever shown an inclination to make
6 that adversarial division in every case. Sometimes you found it to be
7 appropriate, but in this case, I don't think it's particularly
8 unappropriate, I think. Inappropriate, excuse me.
9 MR. JOSSE: I won't say anymore at the moment. I reserve our
10 position until such time that the Prosecution seek to introduce it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, let's proceed and conclude, please.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. All right, sir. The part I'm drawing your attention to is under
14 number 5, "Unit tasked."
15 And it says:
16 "Main Staff of the VRS commands with the entire operation
17 engaging the following commanding officers:
18 "Chief of the Main Staff of the VRS,
19 Lieutenant-General Manojlo Milovanovic, commands with the" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The text in English on the screens, please, for
21 the interpreters.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Page 2 in English.
23 Q. "Chief of the Main Staff of the VRS,
24 Lieutenant-General Manojlo Milovanovic, commands with the entire
25 operation and coordinates combat activities of the corps, the OGs, and
1 the brigades from the IKM of the Main Staff of the VRS, Banja Luka.
2 Assistant commander of the Main Staff of the VRS for morale,
3 Lieutenant-General Milan Gvero, coordinates the activities of the 1st NG,
4 the 11th Krupa Light Infantry Brigade, and a PJP unit, which" -- I will
5 just call it a PJP unit, and we'll get into the special police business,
6 because it -- we know where that is.
7 "And is responsible for the defence of Novi Grad and Prijedor."
8 And then it goes on.
9 So in this document, General Gvero is responsible, in part, for
10 the defence of Novi Grad and Prijedor; correct?
11 A. I never saw this order before.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but you are seeing it now. So please answer
13 the question.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this order, it unequivocally
15 says that General Gvero shall coordinate the activities. And a
16 coordinator in our military terminology means that if something is not an
17 order in the activities, he should coordinate. He doesn't have command
18 of the units.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Sir, my question was: Was he, in part, responsible for the
21 defence of Novi Grad and Prijedor?
22 A. That is what it says here in the order. If it says that he's
23 responsible, then he's responsible.
24 Q. And coordination military, you're a career military guy, that is
25 a function of command, isn't it? If we look at the JNA lexicon under
1 coordination, we will find that that is something that commanders do.
2 A. I think that it says here that he should coordinate activities.
3 So he's not in command of those units because the units have their own
4 commands, according to the chain of command. And I think that this
5 refers to coordination, as any other coordination. Should some issues
6 arise during the execution of an assignments, then these should be
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have anything further, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Is there re-examination,
11 Mr. Krgovic?
12 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, go ahead.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Culic, you're aware that on the 29th of
16 July, 1995, a decision was taken to declare a state of war throughout
17 Republika Srpska, the decision being taken by President Karadzic. And
18 that by that decision court-martials were established and certain
19 punishments envisaged and a stricter regime for perpetrators.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to save time,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Are you familiar with the provisions of a state of war, according
2 to this decision, with reference to military courts and judicial bodies?
3 A. I am aware of that order, but I can't remember the substance of
4 everything because I would need to remind myself, but I know that such an
5 order was made.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
7 further questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Culic, we have come to the end of your
9 testimony. On behalf of everyone here, I wish to thank you for having
10 come over at such short notice, and I also wish you a safe journey back
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, documents?
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Your Honour, we don't have any documents.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The last document, 4586.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: I'm very loathe to do this, because a submission in
22 relation to this takes some time.
23 My first observation, my learned friend says it went to
24 credibility. He didn't ask the witness one question about what this man
25 had come here to testify about; namely, whether Gvero was in that place
1 on the 27th of July. He chose, instead, to ask him about other things.
2 So we invite the Trial Chamber to say that it can't possibly go to
3 credibility when he doesn't challenge the witness's evidence in any
4 substantive way at all.
5 That's the easy part. The more difficult part, Your Honour, is
6 inviting the Court to examine the decision of the 26th of February, 2009
7 in the Prlic case. I am going to do this shortly, if I may, which may
8 result in you considering the matter in due course.
9 I would simply invite the Trial Chamber to look at paragraphs 18,
10 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 of that decision. And when you have done
11 that, in our submission, this particular document falls foul of that
12 decision, both as the credibility and as to substance or guilt in both
13 regards. It doesn't fall within the test as now laid down by the
14 Appeals Chamber, and it shouldn't be entered into evidence in this case.
15 I'll leave it at that, because doing more than that, so far as
16 this document is concerned, would be making a mountain out of a mole
17 hill, I do accept. But, as a matter of principle, it is quite important,
18 particularly since we have more witnesses to come.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
20 Mr. McCloskey, briefly, please.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's particularly shocking to me what he just
22 said. Anyone in the courtroom saw why they called this man.
23 One, because of the alibi; two, to show General Gvero was just
24 there on morale issues, was just there because he was from Mrkonjic Grad,
25 was just there because he was there. That's what that was all about. He
1 was not commanding. He was not issuing any orders. That came through.
2 For him to not tell you about that part is astounding. And
3 that's what my response was about. And I apologise for being a little
4 angry, I don't like being set up like I was with this witness.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll reserve our position on this
8 after we have gone into it more deeply.
9 You don't have the next witness here available, I suppose,
10 Mr. Krgovic, do you?
11 MR. JOSSE: We don't.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So tomorrow at 12.30.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.13 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 3rd day of July,
15 2009, at 12.30 p.m.