Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Friday, 26 February 2010

 2                           [Prosecution Opening Statement]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Welcome back in the courtroom.  Good afternoon to

 7     everybody.

 8             Could the Registrar call the case, please.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.  This

10     is case number IT-05-88/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir.

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

12             I don't believe it's necessary to hear the appearances each day

13     of the whole trial, but as this is the first day of the hearings I would

14     like to ask counsel for the appearances.

15             MR. THAYER:  Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.

16             Good afternoon, General Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, good afternoon

17     everyone.  My name is Nelson Thayer.  With me is senior trial attorney,

18     Peter McCloskey.  We have Janet Stewart, our trial manager with us today,

19     as she will be with us every day for the remainder of the trial.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

21             And for the Defence.

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  God help

23     you all.  God bless you all.  My name is Zdravko Tolimir and this is my

24     legal assistant, Aleksandar Gajic.  I wish you a successful work and I --

25     may you bring these proceedings to a successful end, God willing, and I

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 1     would like to welcome all of you in the courtroom.  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you, Mr. Tolimir.

 3             I take it that you have received the translation properly?  Thank

 4     you.

 5             I wish everybody for this trial fruitful co-operation and a good

 6     atmosphere in the courtroom.  We have -- we are looking forward to the

 7     Prosecution to present the opening statement.

 8             Mr. Thayer.

 9             MR. THAYER:  Good afternoon again, Your Honours, and may it

10     please Court.

11             Your Honours, on the 12th of May, 1992, at the 16th Session of

12     the National Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

13     President Radovan Karadzic announced the Strategic Objectives of the

14     Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  There were six of these

15     Strategic Objectives, and for the people of Srebrenica and Zepa in

16     particular, two of these objectives would be carried forth like torches

17     for the rest of the war, keeping the flames of ethnic and religious

18     hatred burning relentlessly and culminating in the pitiless inferno that

19     ultimately consumed over 7.000 men and boys from Srebrenica on the

20     killing fields of Eastern Bosnia and permanently searing the lives of

21     thousands more of their neighbours and loved ones who survived but were

22     starved, terrorised, shelled, and ultimately driven out of the so-called

23     safe areas of Srebrenica and Zepa in buses, open lorries, dump trucks,

24     literally torn from their loved ones, most of whom they would never see

25     again.

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 1             The men who carried these torches included the highest-level

 2     politicians, such as Radovan Karadzic and President of the National

 3     Assembly Momcilo Krajisnik, who set these political Strategic Objectives

 4     and war goals.  And they also included the highest-ranking officers of

 5     the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS - as we will refer to it - such as

 6     Ratko Mladic, Milan Gvero, Radislav Krstic, and the accused,

 7     Zdravko Tolimir.

 8             Your Honours, these were well-trained officers of the Yugoslav

 9     national army, one of the most professional armies in eastern Europe at

10     the time.  They were graduates of military academies who had received

11     specialised training and attended higher command schools in Belgrade.

12     They were steeped in a tradition of military honour and proud service,

13     and they were also the inheritors of the horrors wrought by the Second

14     World War, the Balkans left as deeply scarred as anywhere in Europe.  And

15     to prevent the recurrence of crimes against humanity and violations of

16     international law, the Yugoslav national army trained these officers in

17     the sacred obligation entrusted to every soldier and in particular to the

18     proud officer class that would some day lead men in war; that there are

19     rules in war and that those rules must be obeyed.

20             When the Army of Republika Srpska was formed it adopted those

21     rules and encoded that sacred obligation and trained its officers so that

22     genocide and war crimes would never again about the ruinous legacy of men

23     under arms in the lands we now refer to as the former Yugoslavia.  This

24     case is about the betrayal of that sacred obligation by one of those

25     officers, Zdravko Tolimir, who served at the highest echelon of the VRS

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 1     and who was one of Ratko Mladic's most trusted assistant commanders.

 2     This case is about General Zdravko Tolimir's choice to forsake his duty,

 3     to abide by the laws of war in pursuit of a mono-ethnic Serbian state and

 4     ultimately to take part in and lead organised brutality, which he knew

 5     violated every tenet of his training and any officer's code and he well

 6     knew were crimes against humanity.

 7             General Tolimir sits before you charged with genocide for

 8     essentially two reasons, Your Honours.  First, because he took part in

 9     the unrelenting common plan of the Bosnian Serb military and civilian

10     leadership to expel the Muslim population from the Srebrenica and Zepa

11     enclaves, by making their lives so unbearable that they had no hope for

12     survival there.  And second, because he assisted, supervised, and

13     authorised the organised detention, execution, and burial of thousands of

14     Muslim men and boys following the elimination by that common plan of the

15     Srebrenica enclave.

16             The Prosecution will prove General Tolimir's participation in

17     these heinous events to you through virtually every type of evidence

18     available:  Live witness testimony, military records, military

19     intercepts, audio and videotape, forensic science, and aerial imagery.

20             Your Honours, the evidence will show that General Mladic himself

21     told the National Assembly of Republika Srpska in April of 1995, and I

22     quote:

23             "Gentlemen, General Tolimir has been my closest assistant in this

24     war in terms of years of service and has been with me longest from the

25     first days."

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 1             Indeed, General Tolimir was responsible for the units and the men

 2     in whom General Mladic placed his very life.  And although as Main Staff

 3     assistant commander for intelligence and security - General Tolimir was

 4     not a commander in the sense that he could routinely issue orders of a

 5     combat nature in the field to fighting units - General Tolimir's

 6     authority and influence was indisputable.  Prior to the mass deportations

 7     and executions in July of 1995, Mladic relied on General Tolimir to help

 8     him carry out the slow strangling of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa

 9     in order to create those conditions, those inhuman conditions that would

10     later force the Muslim population to give up hope of survival and leave,

11     ultimately in fulfilment of those Strategic Objectives I spoke about a

12     few moments ago.

13             And when the forced expulsions and mass murder began in July of

14     1995, the evidence will show that General Tolimir was knee-deep in the

15     middle of it.  Doing his job with the same combination of big-picture

16     field of vision and relentless precision that he had always brought to

17     his job and upon which General Mladic depended.  And indeed, I dare say,

18     Your Honours, without which the VRS could not have survived.

19             And the evidence will show that in this misery and carnage in

20     1995, General Tolimir did issue orders, General Tolimir did make

21     proposals which were implemented, and General Tolimir did oversee and

22     authorise the officers who organised and directed the slaughter of those

23     7.000 men and boys.  It was his men in the Main Staff, like Ljubisa

24     Beara, his direct subordinate, his chief of security, and others all down

25     his professional chain of command line, like Vujadin Popovic from the

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 1     Drina Corps, who were at the detention and execution and burial sites,

 2     Your Honours, making sure that that murder operation did its evil work

 3     until the last bullet was fired and the last body buried.

 4             This case is not about the farmer soldiers who were pulling the

 5     triggers in those killing fields of Eastern Bosnia, Your Honours, but

 6     about who the officer who day in and day out during the war was

 7     responsible for the work of the men like Beara and Popovic, who were the

 8     ones who made sure that those triggers were getting pulled, and that

 9     officer was General Tolimir.

10             Today I will review with Your Honours some of General Tolimir's

11     specific contributions to both the forcible transfer operation and the

12     murder operation.  But as the evidence will show, the horror of July 1995

13     did not occur spontaneously or in a vacuum; to the contrary, the VRS

14     efforts to remove the Muslim population from Srebrenica and Zepa date

15     back to 1992.  And they plot a deliberate course to the ultimate

16     destruction of the Muslim population of Srebrenica and Zepa by that

17     forced expulsion and mass murder.

18             So we need to look at some of the key documents and evidence

19     establishing this crucial context that goes directly to General Tolimir's

20     intent, knowledge, role, and contributions to the joint criminal

21     enterprises charged in the indictment.  So let us begin by returning to

22     that fateful Assembly session in May 1992 and to the Strategic Objectives

23     of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina which were issued by

24     President Karadzic before the assembled.

25             We should have on our screen, Your Honours, a copy of the English

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 1     translation of the six Strategic Objectives.  We note that Strategic

 2     Objective 1 - and please let me know if we have any technical

 3     difficulties - Strategic Objective 1 was to:

 4             "Establish state borders separating the Serbian people from the

 5     other two ethnic communities."

 6             And these other two ethnic communities, of course, were the

 7     Croats and the Muslims.

 8             The second objective was to create a corridor that stretched from

 9     the north-east to the west.  And the third Strategic Objective:

10             "Establish a corridor in the Drina River Valley, that is,

11     eliminate the Drina as a border separating the Serbian states."

12             Now, what does this mean?  As President Karadzic would say that

13     day - and let's turn to the actual minutes of that Assembly -

14             "The first such goal," again, "is the separation ..."

15             And he defines the other two ethnic communities as:

16             " ...  those who are our enemies and who have used every

17     opportunity, especially in this century, to attack us, and who would

18     continue with such practices if we were to stay together in the same

19     state."

20             And this refers to the brutal treatment of the Serbs under the

21     Nazi puppet state of the Independent State of Croatia during World War

22     II.

23             President Karadzic further defined the third strategic goal.  He

24     said that:

25             "We are on both sides of the Drina and our strategic interest and

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 1     our living space are there.  We now see a possibility for some Muslim

 2     municipalities to be set up along the Drina as enclaves, in order for

 3     them to achieve their rights, but that belt along the Drina must

 4     basically belong to Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina.  As much as it is

 5     strategically useful for us in a positive way, it helps us by damaging

 6     the interests of our enemy in establishing a corridor which would connect

 7     them to the Muslim International and render this area permanently

 8     unstable."

 9             So here we have the deadly combination:  The desire to unite with

10     mother Serbia across the river, to form a united Serbian state, paired

11     with the fear that your enemy will come, commit genocide against you.

12     And you will see time and again, Your Honours, this drum-beat of

13     impending genocide at the hands of Muslims and Croats in the documents

14     and from the mouths of the Main Staff.

15             Now, another important development at this 16th Assembly Session

16     is the establishment of the army itself.  The first name the Army of the

17     Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then soon known as the

18     Army of Republika Srpska or VRS.  And on that day as well, Ratko Mladic

19     was appointed commander of the army's Main Staff.  The evidence will show

20     that General Tolimir, then a colonel, was in Banja Luka for this Assembly

21     session and he himself would address countless other sessions during the

22     war.  And you will see that as General Mladic accepted the appointment as

23     commander of the Main Staff, even then he took the opportunity to refer

24     to General Tolimir by name during his address to the Assembly that day.

25     And you will hear that the day before, on 11 May 1992, 12 JNA officers -

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 1     four of whom were generals: General Mladic; General Manojlo Milovanovic,

 2     who you will hear about; General Milan Gvero, who you will hear about;

 3     and General Djordje Djukic, who you will hear a little bit about - met

 4     near Han Pijesak at Crna Rijeka where the army would be headquartered.

 5     And they were informed that Mladic the following day would establish --

 6     that the army would be established the following day and Mladic would be

 7     appointed the commander of the Main Staff.  They were told the day before

 8     the Assembly that Gvero would be the assistant commander for moral

 9     guidance, Djukic its assistant commander for logistics, Colonel Tolimir

10     the assistant commander for intelligence and security.  And here he we

11     see the line-up, as it were, pretty much from the beginning from the very

12     first day:  Mladic, Gvero, Tolimir.

13             And you'll see all the official presidential orders putting these

14     assignments into effect, creating the corps, calling up every member of

15     Serbian nationality to join the VRS and bring with them their JNA

16     equipment and weapons, and critically assigning its most capable officers

17     to the most important positions in the army.

18             The way it worked was Radovan Karadzic became the supreme

19     commander of the armed forces, which consisted of the VRS; the police,

20     also known -- referred to as the MUP, Ministry of the Interior, MUP; and

21     the civilian defence.  And as commander of the Main Staff, Mladic was

22     directly subordinated to President Karadzic.

23             Now, how do we know that these Strategic Objectives announced in

24     May 1992 were more than just words of politicians and were in fact being

25     communicated to the soldiers in the field?

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 1             The first thing I'm going to tell you about is a meeting that

 2     occurred in Bijeljina on the 2nd of September, 1992, attended by

 3     President Karadzic, Assembly President Krajisnik, and General Gvero,

 4     representing the Main Staff.  You will see the war diary of now-General

 5     Novica Simic, who was the commander of the East Bosnia Corps during the

 6     war.  You will hear that Momcilo Krajisnik addressed the gathering and

 7     reiterated the six Strategic Objectives, all six of which General Simic

 8     faithfully recorded in his diary at the time.  And he noted, for our

 9     purposes, the first Strategic Objective was separation from the Muslims

10     and then the Drina Valley to the Serbs.

11             So you see the gospel going out.  It's been out there for a while

12     but it's going out in full strength during this time.  And how do we know

13     that that is then getting transformed into military action from rhetoric,

14     from the Assembly floor, to concrete results on the ground.  And

15     importantly for our purposes how are these relevant to the case against

16     General Tolimir.

17             The evidence will show that these war goals were communicated and

18     translated into concrete military tasks by way of documents called

19     "directives."  These were written documents which assigned the VRS forces

20     specific military operations for a specific geographic zone and a

21     specific time-period, usually divided into stages with specific durations

22     and set objectives.  And as we will examine later, these directives were

23     typically drafted in the Main Staff by a process in which Mladic's

24     assistant, commanders like General Tolimir, provided their expert input

25     regarding the directives' larger goals and missions and after which they

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 1     were synthesised and shaped into a militarily cohesive document that

 2     could be understood and implemented by the operational level of the army,

 3     that is, by the corps and on down.

 4             They were approved by President Karadzic, signed by him in some

 5     cases, signed by General Mladic or General Milovanovic and others before

 6     being distributed down the command chain.  And in the lower-level

 7     commands would receive those documents, analyse them, and turn them into

 8     concrete missions on the ground.

 9             And that is how the strategic war goals and aims are funneled

10     down.  And let's look at one of the key documents, Directive 4, as it

11     will be referred to during the trial.

12             You can see that it begins with the review of the current

13     military and political situation and the enemy's activities and

14     intentions.  And in the Main Staff it was General Tolimir's job to find

15     out what the enemy's activities and intentions were so that the VRS could

16     make the best-informed assessments and war fighting decisions.  That was

17     part of his job.

18             And as we move through the document we see that it reflects that

19     the Drina Corps, the corps that encompassed the enclaves of Srebrenica,

20     Zepa, Gorazde, had recently been formed and was in the process of active

21     combat activities in the area known as the Podrinje, which encompassed

22     these areas as well.  The directive further notes that:

23             "The enemy groups in ...  Gorazde, Zepa, Srebrenica, and Cerska

24     have not been totally routed."

25             And, okay, so far what we see is the normal war fighting

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 1     language, nothing wrong with this.  Defeat the enemy, inflict the

 2     heaviest losses possible.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Again:

 3             "The Drina Corps:  From its present positions ...  shall ...

 4     exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses ..."

 5             But then we see this language and I quote:

 6             " ... and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas

 7     together with the Muslim population."

 8             You will hear that the Birac area encompassed Srebrenica and

 9     Zvornik and some other areas along a little belt.  Your Honours, this is

10     an illegal order.  You could almost miss it, being one line of text, but

11     there it is.  And we will soon see that they're not just words on paper.

12     In a well-organised and disciplined army like the VRS, this order

13     represented the considered intent of the Bosnian Serbs' highest military

14     and political command:  Force the Muslims out.

15             Now, General Milovanovic who wrote this will testify as a

16     Prosecution witness, and to no one's great surprise he will probably be

17     less than candid about the meaning of this order.  But we will see

18     exactly what it meant.

19             Just a couple of days later we have here a Drina Corps order

20     dated 24 November 1992.  It's issued by then-Colonel Zivanovic.  You will

21     hear about him throughout the trial.  In July of 1995 he was

22     General Zivanovic, commander of the Drina Corps until 13 July, when

23     General Krstic took over.  But in 1992 he is in full command of the Drina

24     Corps.  And what does he say in this order?  You'll see at the very top

25     of the first paragraph:

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 1             "Pursuant to the directive of the Main Staff of the Army of

 2     Republika Srpska ..." and he cites the specific order number of Directive

 3     4 so there's no doubt what he's talking about, " ... I have decided to

 4     launch an attack ..."

 5             But again, we see the language, this key language, and I quote:

 6             " ... and force the Muslim local population to abandon the area

 7     of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde."

 8             The meaning of General Milovanovic's words were obviously not

 9     lost on General Zivanovic, and we'll see further in the order when he

10     talks about the moral and psychological preparations, how important to

11     the VRS this operation was from a strategic point of view.

12             " ... inform the unit members about the important aim of that

13     operation and underline that the outcome of minor actions and of the

14     whole operation is of crucial importance for the realisation of the aim

15     of the Serbian people; namely, the creation and establishment of a

16     Serbian state in these areas."

17             Now, let's take a look for a moment, Your Honours, at some maps.

18     You've heard references to the Drina Corps and various other locations in

19     Eastern Bosnia.  Birac, again, that's the area of Bratunac, Vlasenica,

20     Zvornik, Srebrenica, and Cerska.  And you will hear references to the

21     Podrinje, the upper Podrinje, lower Podrinje, middle Podrinje.  But let's

22     just take a look at the basics right now.  You can see on the left in

23     blue the Drina River flowing northwards, as it does, on the eastern

24     border of the Drina Corps all the way up beyond Bijeljina and ultimately

25     it empties out into another river.  But you'll see that it passes very

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 1     close to Zepa at the bottom there, and that will figure later in the

 2     trial.  Muslim men fleeing for their lives will swim across that river.

 3     And we see that the Drina Corps was headquartered in Vlasenica.  And just

 4     to the north you can see the East Bosnia Corps which was, as I mentioned,

 5     commanded by General Simic; the fellow who wrote down the six Strategic

 6     Objectives in his war diary that we heard about a moment ago.

 7             Turning to this second map, again you can see the border of the

 8     Drina River in blue and exactly how close it does flow to Zepa, and you

 9     can see the three enclaves starting from the south-west up to the

10     north-east, Gorazde, Zepa, and Srebrenica.  And you can see how close

11     Srebrenica and Zepa really.  And pretty much smack in the middle of the

12     map there's a blue flag, and that represents the Main Staff command post

13     at Crna Rijeka, just a little bit to the south-east of Han Pijesak.  And

14     I won't go through all the brigades with you, but a couple of the key

15     ones, if you see just below Zepa to the south-west the 1st Podrinje Light

16     Infantry Brigade, that is more commonly known as the Rogatica Brigade

17     because it was based in the town of Rogatica commanded by Rajko Kusic.

18     And north of Srebrenica you will see the 1st Zvornik Brigade.  That was

19     commanded by Vinko Pandurevic in July of 1995.

20             Now, Your Honours, immediately following the issuance of

21     Directive 4 you will hear that the Drina Corps was not able successfully

22     to carry out all of the tasks given it.  Specifically, you'll hear that

23     Muslim forces gained many military successes in late 1992 and early in

24     1993, including the assault on Orthodox Christmas of the village of

25     Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993.  That assault was conducted by

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 1     forces led by Naser Oric, who you will hear about.  Naturally, you will

 2     see that General Tolimir was familiar with these events at the time as

 3     they were -- represented a serious military defeat and also serious

 4     threats, obviously, to the area's security.  It was his job to know what

 5     the enemy was up to and perhaps more importantly what it was likely to be

 6     up to.

 7             So here we just have an example.  You'll note at the top it says

 8     Main Staff of the VRS, intelligence and security administration.  That

 9     was General Tolimir's outfit in the Main Staff.  It would later become

10     known as a sector, so you'll see documents with intelligence and security

11     sector.  That's how you know we're talking about the Main Staff when you

12     hear the word "sector."

13             He's passing this information on, that he's received information

14     that the Muslims are planning to repeat the attack in two or three days.

15     He's keeping his eye on this area, and what we see happening is a Drina

16     Corps counter-attack.  What we have on the screen now is a Drina Corps

17     combat order for the liberation of Kamenica, Cerska, Konjevic Polje.  A

18     series of towns, and we'll take a look at a map in a few moments, roughly

19     to the west of Srebrenica.

20             We can see from the first paragraph here that General Zivanovic

21     refers back to his November 1992 order, in which he explicitly

22     incorporated the language from Directive 4, that criminal order to remove

23     the Muslim population, to force them out.  We see he refers to that

24     order.  You can see he refers to the serious losses in our forces in

25     Kravica, Glogova, another village nearby.

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 1             And then he orders the liberation.  Again, under morale and

 2     psychological preparations we see how important, how strategically

 3     important, this area was to the Bosnian Serbs.  It should be stressed,

 4     and I quote:

 5             " ...  that the success of these activities ...  is hugely

 6     important for the Serbian people of this area and beyond."

 7             Now, what followed, Your Honours, in carrying out

 8     General Zivanovic's order was the forced expulsion of the civilian

 9     population of these areas of Kamenica, Cerska, and Konjevic Polje.  You

10     will hear testimony about the Drina Corps's brutal attacks on these

11     locations, the relentless shelling and targeting of civilians that forced

12     the Muslim population out, out of their homes steadily eastwards towards

13     Srebrenica.  As village after village fell to this Serb shelling, as they

14     burned the houses in their wake.  Or, to use the term the VRS liked to

15     use as a euphemism, liberated.  When you see that term "liberated," the

16     evidence will show that means ethnically cleansed, forcibly expelled.

17             Just very quickly here's a map showing you these areas I'm

18     talking about.  You can see Zvornik.  Just to the south of Zvornik is the

19     area of Kamenica.  Here we've highlighted an area called Cancari which is

20     nearby.  And these villages one by one, Cerska, Konjevic Polje, fell and

21     the populations were driven into Srebrenica.  This is a huge swath of

22     territory.  And you will hear testimony from people who survived these

23     attacks, and you will hear testimony about the humanitarian disaster that

24     was created by having all of these tens of thousands of people compressed

25     into the town of Srebrenica.

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 1             And if we could take a moment and play just a little bit of video

 2     for a couple of minutes to give you an idea of what these conditions were

 3     like, and then I want to talk a little bit more about how this is

 4     relevant to General Tolimir, his state of mind, his knowledge, the

 5     charges in this case.

 6                           [Video-clip played]

 7             "In trying to do what it thinks is best for the people of

 8     Srebrenica, the UN has spent more time planning, waiting around, being

 9     turned back and forth constantly by both sides when actually moving

10     refugees out.  It believes that the population of the besieged town

11     should be reduced --"

12             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters note that they don't have the

13     transcript of this clip and cannot interpret into B/C/S.

14             "-- particularly those who are already refugees; the thousands

15     who have no real accommodation or support in the town.  And on this

16     basis, the high commissioner for refugees Special Envoy denies being

17     involved with the policy of ethnic cleansing.

18             "The people we are evacuating from Srebrenica have already been

19     ethnically cleansed because they are coming from areas that are -- have

20     already fallen under Serbian control.  They are not people from

21     Srebrenica.  They are refugees that arrive --

22             "From the villages around.

23             "From villages around, and also Kamenica, Polje, from Cerska,

24     areas that were -- fall under Serbian control a couple of weeks ago.

25             "However, Mr. Mendeluce's plan today is ambitious.  For over a

Page 350

 1     week large convoys, similar to the 20 truck ones he's now proposing, have

 2     at times been delayed or refused passage by a single individual military

 3     official at a routine check-point.  The situation is being both

 4     intensified and muddled by more fighting.  Though the cease-fire is

 5     holding up relatively well in most of Bosnia there is heavy fighting

 6     around Srebrenica with the Serbs shelling south of the town and the

 7     Muslims fighting back hard.

 8             "Also there is no firm commitment on the ground to the UN's

 9     evacuation plans.  They are ambitious and there is considerable doubt

10     here that all will go smoothly.

11             "Kate Adie BBC news Bosnia."

12                           [Video-clip played]

13             "In Eastern Bosnia 37 wounded Muslims have been air-lifted from

14     the besieged Muslim enclave of Zepa.  The helicopters from the United

15     Nations protection force are the first allowed into the area since Zepa

16     was designated a safe area by the UN's Security Council at the weekend.

17     Many thousands who fled into the mountains around Zepa are thought to be

18     making their way to Gorazde, another Muslim enclave declared a safe zone

19     by the UN.  The Muslims air lifted were taken to Zenica in Central

20     Bosnia.

21             "The air-lift was thrown behind schedule by Serb objections and

22     because the casualties were too frightened to leave their hiding places

23     in the woods and hills around Zepa.  The first helicopters carried 22

24     seriously wounded people to the safe Muslim town of Zenica.  Some of the

25     amputees slowly struggled across the landing strip.  In Zepa they were

Page 351

 1     sitting targets.  Now they have a chance to live normally."

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Excuse me, Mr. Thayer, you realise there was no

 3     interpretation into B/C/S.

 4             MR. THAYER:  Yes, Your Honour, frankly the audio is not important

 5     for the purposes of the videos.  The idea was to give the Trial Chamber a

 6     sense of the crowded conditions in Srebrenica and just a visual on the

 7     wounded coming out of the Zepa enclave.  We do not have, unfortunately, a

 8     transcript prepared for the video in either English or B/C/S at this

 9     point.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  But you should be aware of this problem.

11             MR. THAYER:  Yes, I understand, Your Honour.  We have

12     translations for everything else that we've got prepared for the

13     presentation.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Please carry on.

15             MR. THAYER:  Thank you.

16             Now, Your Honours, I'm going to move through some reports

17     concerning these activities, save a little bit of time for us, and move

18     directly to what I was mentioning a moment ago, the evidence tying the

19     Main Staff and General Tolimir to these events in 1993.  What we have on

20     the screen is a Main Staff analyse of its combat-readiness for the year

21     1992.  What these combat-readiness analyses were were basically a

22     self-evaluation conducted first at the lower command echelons and then

23     ultimately by the Main Staff.  It was pretty much a report card to itself

24     on how it had performed in the previous year.

25             So here we have one prepared in April of 1993 for 1992.

Page 352

 1             These combat-readiness analyses were preceded by a two- or

 2     three-day conference attended by Mladic and his assistant commanders,

 3     corps commanders, and the highest-level political authorities in the RS.

 4     And they presented and discussed all of their respective combat-readiness

 5     analysis elements, their achievements, their problems, and the future

 6     task.  We see here General Tolimir was responsible for addressing this

 7     seminar, and we have here an idea of how the Main Staff viewed itself and

 8     the relationship between the Strategic Objectives and the directives.

 9             You can see it refers to " ... the need to ward off Muslim-Croat

10     forces and protect the Serbian people from extermination and genocide,

11     while at the same time laying the foundations of the Serbian state ..."

12             And then it gets specific.  These Strategic

13     Objectives were defined before the Main Staff and they served as a

14     general guide-line upon which the Main Staff prepared its operations and

15     concerted battles.

16             And basically what they're saying here is that they had more

17     broad objectives set before them by the politicians, but then - to use

18     their words - as you can see in this excerpt, and I quote:

19             "The Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska translated the

20     set objectives and tasks into general and individual missions of the

21     VRS ..."

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You don't have anything on the screen?

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My apologies.  I am only being

24     shown documents in English, and as the gentleman is presenting these

25     documents he's not citing their 65 ter number.  So I'm unable to locate

Page 353

 1     them at a later stage either.  And what I have here is in English only.

 2     Thank you for allowing me to say this and I apologise for interrupting.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, we are not in the phase of receiving

 4     evidence, but in the opening statement.  You can raise that problem

 5     later.  Thank you.

 6             Carry on.

 7             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 8             We can see that, again, the document itself written by the Main

 9     Staff notes that they're defending the Serbian people against genocide,

10     protecting the property and cultural heritage of the Serbian people, and

11     then focusing on:

12             "The liberation of territories which are ours and which belong to

13     us by historical birthright."

14             So more importantly for our specific purposes, what does this

15     document have to say about the army's focus on this area in the Podrinje?

16     And we see that they recognise the success that they've had on the

17     liberation - again to use their euphemism - of the Podrinje.  And they're

18     referring to the specific Strategic Objective of "our war being realised,

19     one that could be defined as 'establishing contact with Serbia on the

20     Drina River or the Drina ceasing to be a frontier.'"

21             That's Strategic Objective 3.  And again:  By taking Kamenica,

22     Cerska, Glogova, the VRS recognises that it will shortly have achieved

23     the strategic task.  They haven't achieved it yet because they haven't

24     taken Srebrenica.

25             And finally, it refers to the presence of the commander of the

Page 354

 1     Main Staff or of a representative of the Main Staff in the units carrying

 2     out the mission for this liberation, as a specific way of giving weight

 3     to and steering combat operations towards a single goal.  And what the

 4     evidence will show in this case, Your Honours, is that this was the

 5     preferred practice of the Main Staff.  To place one of the

 6     General Mladic's most trusted assistants forward to where the main effort

 7     was, where the battle was at hand so that they could steer and guide the

 8     action, if need be, to ensure that General Mladic's intent was being

 9     carried out on the ground.

10             I want to show you a report of a meeting that was held on the

11     12th of April, 1993.  This meeting was attended by the UN force

12     commander, by General Morillon, who you've heard about already;

13     Mr. Mendeluce, he was the gentleman in the video you saw who was

14     describing the cleansing from Cerska; and it was attended by

15     General Mladic, Gvero, and Tolimir.

16             General Mladic states:

17             " ...  that he was attending the meeting for the Muslim civilian

18     population in Srebrenica and not for his own people."

19             We see that the document says that Mladic said that he had been

20     aware of the fact that the Presidency delegation would not attend the

21     meeting because this was part of the Muslim strategy to present the

22     situation as badly as possible.  Mladic went on to say that the complete

23     truth was that Srebrenica was not attacked and that it was completely

24     quiet in the area and that only the BiH - you'll see the Muslim army

25     referred to as the ABiH, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina - only the

Page 355

 1     BiH has broken the cease-fire.  He said that the civilians were not a

 2     target of the VRS.  Here it's referred to as the Serbian -- the Serbian

 3     Republic Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the old name.  He says the Serbs

 4     have no problems with the evacuation of the civilians, their actions were

 5     only of a defensive character, and that he accused the Muslims of abusing

 6     the humanitarian aid convoys for propaganda and to achieve their goals.

 7             And you'll see throughout the trial, Your Honours, that this is a

 8     consistent strategy employed by senior members of the Main Staff, be it

 9     Mladic, Gvero, or Tolimir.  Admit nothing, deny everything, make

10     counter-allegations, and lie.

11             Now, there's nothing wrong with deceiving the enemy.  There's

12     nothing wrong with lying to your enemy's face; that's war.  But when you

13     do it to help further a criminal objective, like forcing the civilian

14     population from their homes because they are Muslims and therefore an

15     obstacle to your plan to have a Serbian state, that's a contribution to a

16     joint criminal enterprise.  And you'll see General Tolimir do this while

17     the VRS was shelling UNPROFOR positions and the hospital in down-town

18     Srebrenica in July of 1995.  And you'll see at the bottom of this excerpt

19     Mr. Thornberry asked if the Serbs would take Srebrenica by force.  And

20     General Mladic responded that he would try to solve the Srebrenica

21     problem in a political way, and he added that Srebrenica was not part of

22     Eastern Bosnia but that it was, in fact, a part of Republika Srpska.

23             Now, one notorious incident you'll hear about, Your Honours,

24     occurred on this very day, April 12th, 1993.  Serbs shelling struck a

25     playground in Srebrenica and killed approximately 60 people, many of whom

Page 356

 1     were youngsters.  You will see the UN respond to that.  You'll hear

 2     witnesses who were present.  And we will see time and again the Main

 3     Staff saying one thing and then doing another.  And the Main Staff was of

 4     course well aware of what was happening in Srebrenica during this period

 5     in 1993, just as it would be well aware and part of what was going on in

 6     1995.

 7             Here we have a request from the Drina Corps command, again

 8     then-Colonel Zivanovic to the Main Staff the day after those 60 people

 9     were killed by shelling.  He starts off by saying:

10             "You are well aware that a large number of civilians from

11     Srebrenica and other locations have found refuge in Srebrenica."

12             And then he goes on to talk about the population that's caught,

13     encircled by the Serb forces.  And he's writing this to General Gvero,

14     the morale assistant commander.  And he asks Gvero for the Main Staff's

15     help, that they "should engage themselves with projecting information to

16     the Muslims of Srebrenica on the means of their safe evacuation from the

17     combat zone."

18             Liberation, safe evacuation, again this is an example of the

19     grotesque euphemisms that you're going to hear used in these VRS

20     documents, and it's particularly sardonic when placed in the context of

21     its general -- its Colonel Zivanovic's troops which are dropping those

22     shells on the playground and that had just conducted this ethnic

23     cleansing campaign that brought everybody, all those civilians, into

24     Srebrenica in the first place.  And we'll see that just a couple of days

25     later the UN declared Srebrenica a safe area, citing what it termed this

Page 357

 1     abhorrent campaign of ethnic cleansing.

 2             And of course General Tolimir is aware of this situation because

 3     it's his job to know.  He's got to know what's happening down there.  And

 4     we see him sending out an intelligence report just a couple of days later

 5     after the massacre at the playground.  This goes to President Karadzic,

 6     all of the intelligence and security organs, security departments, it

 7     goes across the river to Serbia, to the Yugoslav Army, the VJ.  He

 8     mentions General Morillon's involvement, and then he writes:

 9             "Their propaganda campaign, aimed at internationalising the

10     problem and securing the deployment of UNPROFOR in Srebrenica, churns out

11     allegations of artillery fire targeting the town and causing numerous

12     casualties among civilians."

13             So by Tolimir's turn of phrase those 60 lives become simply

14     propaganda and mere allegations.  And, Your Honours, this is

15     evidence - and you will see it time and again - of how General Tolimir

16     shapes and steers the message that goes out to the army and it

17     facilitates the continuation of these tactics by the VRS.  We're not

18     doing anything wrong, it's all Muslim propaganda.  We're not doing

19     anything wrong, the Muslims are shelling themselves and they're blaming

20     it on us.

21             So that begs the question:  Why does the chief of intelligence

22     and security for the Main Staff write this stuff?  And it may sound

23     delusional, but as you will see, Your Honours, in part owing to the

24     horrendous atrocities suffered by the Serbs during the Second World War,

25     General Tolimir and the Main Staff shared with the Bosnian Serb political

Page 358

 1     leadership the self perception that the West and the Arab nation and

 2     world and Catholic forces were all ranged against the Serbs.  That

 3     genocide was just around the corner, and the only way to prevent that

 4     genocide was to remove the Croats and the Muslims.

 5             Did General Tolimir really believe it?  I don't know.  But you

 6     will see over and over again General Tolimir denying what the world knew

 7     to be the case, repeating the mantra, I think it's called owning the

 8     message.  VRS shells weren't killing people in Srebrenica, people weren't

 9     starving and suffering because of any VRS ethnic cleansing campaign.  And

10     whether he believed the message or not is not as important as the fact

11     that again he is shaping the message, he and Gvero, the chief

12     propagandists, are selling the message to their men in the trenches.

13             Here we have another example, 17 April 1993, another intelligence

14     report.  The Muslims are manipulating the wounded and attributing

15     offensive operations to the VRS.  A few days later he refers to a

16     propaganda campaign about Zepa and Gorazde where people are allegedly

17     dying of hunger as they did about Srebrenica.

18             Now, despite the international condemnation expressed in UN

19     Security Council Resolution 819 declaring Srebrenica a safe area, and

20     perhaps even spurred by it, the VRS launches an operation in May of 1993.

21     And we see here the Main Staff combat order for the liberation of Zepa

22     and Gorazde.  This was drafted in the Main Staff and there is the usual

23     preamble of the political situation, the intentions of the enemy.  From

24     the document we can see that what the VRS is afraid of is UN peacekeepers

25     on the ground in Zepa preventing them from taking over Zepa as they were

Page 359

 1     prevented from ultimately taking Srebrenica.

 2             This combat order, and I quote from an operative section in the

 3     beginning:

 4             " ... the Muslim leadership is trying to internationalise the

 5     problem of -- the problem of the Podrinje region at any cost by bringing

 6     the UN forces to Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde and organising other

 7     humanitarian actions ..."

 8             And again he's -- what this is expressing is:  We've got to get

 9     the Muslims out before the UN gets here.  And if this language about

10     internationalising the problem sounds familiar, it's because we just saw

11     it a couple of minutes ago in General Tolimir's intelligence report.  So

12     you see his influence here.  They are contributing to this overall effort

13     to remove the Muslims from Eastern Bosnia.  And if we move through the

14     document, you'll see they talk about fully mopping up various areas of

15     the Drina River Valley.  And then significantly it says in the middle,

16     and I quote:

17             " ... to enable the Muslim civilian population to move out," this

18     is their language, "(transfer) to other territories ...  or to recognise

19     the rule of Republika Srpska and in that manner create conditions for the

20     return of the Serbian population to the left and right bank of the Drina

21     River."

22             Once again we have here in order to achieve Strategic Objective

23     1, separate out the Muslims, and Strategic Objective 3, the elimination

24     of the Drina River as a barrier to a unitary Serbian state.  And here we

25     have references to an organised exit of the civilian population, and

Page 360

 1     you'll note, please, at the top of the document a reference to a sabotage

 2     detachment and the 65th Protection Regiment.  These are Main Staff

 3     assets, and you will see how these Main Staff units are employed during

 4     the Srebrenica operation and in the murder operation.

 5             So here we have organised exit, enabling the transfer, just like

 6     General Zivanovic's safe evacuation, all euphemisms for:  Move them out.

 7     Euphemisms for expulsion.  And this reference to staying and putting

 8     one's self under RS authority, as you will see from, for example, the

 9     report that I moved through, from the other evidence that we will show

10     you, after what the VRS did during this campaign, the Main Staff knows

11     that no Muslim in his or her right mind would choose to stay and there's

12     no way that the VRS would have let them.  And one indicia of what their

13     stay would have been like is evidenced by the destruction of mosque after

14     mosque after mosque, and you'll see that repeated again in 1995.  You'll

15     see lip-service in VRS documents paid to this idea that:  We'll let the

16     Muslims stay if they recognise our authority.  We'll treat them according

17     to the Geneva Conventions.  And then as soon as the UN leaves, the

18     mosques get blown up.  Pure lip service, window-dressing, and nothing

19     more.

20             Now, you'll see that this combat order actually led to an attack

21     on Zepa in 1993 that went on until the UN passed another resolution

22     declaring Zepa and Gorazde and Sarajevo and Bihac all safe areas.  And

23     Mr. Butler, the Prosecution's military expert, will probably also show

24     you yet another combat order directed at Gorazde.  And remember, there

25     are three eastern enclaves we are talking about:  Gorazde, Zepa, and

Page 361

 1     Srebrenica.  Obviously we're focused on Srebrenica and Zepa.  Those are

 2     the events from 1995 that are of greatest interest.  And you'll see

 3     reports, Your Honours, during this time when Zepa's being shelled, from

 4     General Tolimir again to President Karadzic, describing the attacks as

 5     propaganda, referring to them as alleged, when no one can deny the

 6     activity on the ground.

 7             Here we see he's accusing and alleging that there is systematic

 8     misinforming, alleged fierce attacks by the VRS.  You just saw the combat

 9     order ordering attacks.  And we saw that the UN had to intervene to stop

10     those attacks.  In this document from 3 May 1993 another intelligence

11     report, again referring to these reports of the attacks and shelling and

12     misery as a propaganda campaign.

13             "They make much of 'dying of hunger,' lack of medicines, and make

14     appeals to the 'conscience' of international institutions."

15             General Tolimir wrote this just a day before the UN declared Zepa

16     a safe area and just days before those wounded were brought out on the

17     helicopters that you saw on the video.  Little girl, old men and women,

18     victims of shelling and sniping.  And why is this all relevant to this

19     case?  It's relevant, Your Honours, because it is compelling evidence of

20     General Tolimir's state of mind and his shared intent with the architects

21     and the engineers of this widespread suffering and forced expulsion.  And

22     what the evidence will show is that in the beginning of March 1995 with

23     the end of the war in sight the Bosnian Serb political and military

24     leadership decided on a plan to bring the issue of the enclaves to an end

25     once and for all, to bring it to a boiling point and re-create this

Page 362

 1     humanitarian disaster from 1993.  And it is important to have an

 2     understanding, Your Honours, of just how intimately General Tolimir knew

 3     these enclaves and understood their strategic importance to the Bosnian

 4     Serb military and political leadership he was a key part of.  So that by

 5     the time 1995 comes, he's going to be engaging in the same activities,

 6     the same practices.

 7             What I'd like to do now, Your Honours, is turn to a brief

 8     overview of the Prosecution's evidence of the Main Staff and how it

 9     operated and was constructed, the duties and responsibilities of the

10     accused, how his sector worked, and so forth.

11             Your Honours, as the highest echelon in the VRS it was the Main

12     Staff where the military activities of the army were harmonised with the

13     political war goals and the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Bosnian

14     Serb government leadership.  It was the Main Staff that interacted with

15     this high level, with President Karadzic, with Mr. Krajisnik, and the

16     Assembly, and it was exclusively Main Staff officers like

17     General Tolimir, like General Gvero, and occasionally Mladic himself who

18     would address the National Assembly.  He would provide an overall

19     assessment of the military/political situation as well as the picture on

20     the ground.  He knew the facts, the figures of the entire war theatre

21     when he addressed the National Assembly.  They would advocate on behalf

22     of the army on any number of issues, ranging from funding to specific

23     military decisions that they made in a particular municipality.  And it

24     also meant that General Tolimir and a select group of Main Staff officers

25     would meet regularly with President Karadzic, talk to him on the phone.

Page 363

 1     You will see evidence from President Karadzic's agenda showing these

 2     meetings, these meetings in Pale at the Presidency.  And indeed, you will

 3     hear Generals Mladic and Tolimir both speak themselves about how often

 4     the Main Staff reported its activities to President Karadzic, consulted

 5     with him several times a day.

 6             So let's take a look at the structure of the Main Staff.  You

 7     should have a chart in front of you.  We have tried to make it as simple

 8     as possible, although it's never really attainable.

 9             At the top we see General Mladic.  Again, we know that he was the

10     commander of the Main Staff, subordinate only to President Karadzic.

11     Directly below him was his Chief of Staff, Manojlo Milovanovic.  Now, he

12     simultaneously with his Chief of Staff held the position of deputy

13     commander if Mladic were absent.  And as a first among equals among the

14     high command in the army, General Milovanovic alone had the right to

15     issue combat orders on his own.  General Milovanovic you could describe

16     as being Mladic's main war-fighting man and was subsequently placed

17     forward in various parts of the war theatre for weeks or even months at a

18     time.  And you will see that in July of 1995 General Milovanovic is out

19     of the picture, in the far west of the country.

20             General Milovanovic was also responsible as Chief of Staff for

21     the Main Staff's staff sector.  And one might describe that as the nerve

22     centre of the Main Staff.  You can see it here on the chart to the left.

23     The heart of the Main Staff in many respects is operations.  And

24     Radivoje Miletic was the chief of operations and training, chief of that

25     administration.  His main duties and responsibilities were to follow the

Page 364

 1     developments across the war theatre, analyse all the reports that were

 2     flowing in from the corps, put those together, send a report up to

 3     President Karadzic describing what was going on every day, but also to

 4     separate out developments which were important for each of the other

 5     assistant commanders to know about.  The operations branch also

 6     translated General Mladic's intentions into actual combat documents.

 7     They're the guys that sit down and actually draft a lot of the combat

 8     documents that get distributed on behalf of the Main Staff.

 9             And within General Miletic's administration, you will see the

10     head of the operations department, then-Colonel Ljubo Obradovic, who was

11     the assistant chief of the section for the operations affairs.  And you

12     will hear from him, he will come and testify.  And Colonel Obradovic's

13     section was in many ways really where a lot of the work was done in terms

14     of the analysis of all this information, the nerve centre.  And because

15     the ops and training administration was responsible for following these

16     developments, they had to acquire, attain, information from all different

17     sources, as I said the corps reports, the regular reporting everyday that

18     was coming in, reports from the individual assistant commanders, oral

19     reports from the corps commanders, information from General Tolimir's

20     intelligence and security sector.

21             And as we'll see in a little while, good communications and

22     constant regular reporting were critical for the Main Staff, both in its

23     operations centre and up and down the professional lines of command.  And

24     we'll see in July of 1995 because General Milovanovic was away, you'll

25     see a lot of documents with General Miletic's name on it, as standing in

Page 365

 1     for General Milovanovic.  And you'll also see while we're looking at this

 2     staff sector, there was a chief of training, chief of the training

 3     department, and I that name, I think, pretty much speaks for itself.

 4             Now, in addition to the Chief of Staff and the staff sector,

 5     General Mladic also had his assistant commanders, each of whom headed a

 6     separate branch.  And I see we're nearing what I think is probably the

 7     break time, Mr. President.  I can stop here for a moment and pick up or I

 8     can continue for a couple more minutes.  As you wish.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Have you an estimation how many minutes you need

10     for finishing this part?

11             MR. THAYER:  I will need probably more time than the translators

12     would like to do their jobs, Mr. President.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Then we must have our first break now.  For

14     technical reasons we need to have a break, and we resume quarter past

15     4.00.

16                           --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

17                           --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, before you continue, let me say the

19     following.  The Chamber would appreciate if you could provide Mr. Tolimir

20     with the 65 ter numbers of the documents you have used and are going to

21     use during your opening statement.  And if there is a translation of the

22     transcript of this video in B/C/S, you should provide Mr. Tolimir as well

23     with this document.

24             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President.  Thank you.  Your point is well

25     taken.  In fact, what I did do on Wednesday was provide Mr. Gajic with an

Page 366

 1     index of every document I have been using, organised by subject matter,

 2     with 65 ter numbers, English ERNs, B/C/S ERNs, and a description in the

 3     order of my presentation so that they would have it in time to make

 4     copies or get familiar with my presentation.  Because this is a

 5     PowerPoint presentation, unfortunately I can't put English and B/C/S up

 6     at the same time.  I understand from speaking with Mr. Gajic that

 7     General Tolimir may be having some difficulty switching from e-court

 8     to -- from the index.  It's ultimately obviously a matter for the

 9     Trial Chamber's discretion and the security folks, but we certainly

10     wouldn't have a problem if Mr. Gajic assisted -- if he can be of

11     assistance with this to General Tolimir for the remainder of my opening

12     statement.

13             Again, we furnished the index just for this purpose, so that he

14     would be able to follow along in his own language.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  The Chamber is satisfied

16     with this course of action, and if the Defence is in the possession of

17     all numbers of the used documents.

18             And can you indicate if there is -- will be any more videos shown

19     to the public and to the Chamber?

20             MR. THAYER:  There will be, Your Honour, and it's all subtitled.

21     And -- I'm speaking with the oracle, Mr. President, and the originals of

22     those videos are in the B/C/S language themselves.  So General Tolimir

23     will be able to follow along with the actual video.  So they -- it's been

24     subtitled into English for our purposes, but the original is in B/C/S.

25     So I think we should be okay for the remainder of the video

Page 367

 1     presentations.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

 3             Then please carry on, Mr. Thayer.

 4             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon again to

 5     you and Your Honours.

 6             Now, where I left off was beginning to discuss the assistant

 7     commanders of General Mladic.  We spoke about the staff sector which was

 8     headed by the Chief of Staff, and technically speaking

 9     General Milovanovic was not an assistant commander in the same way that

10     General Tolimir was an assistant commander.  He was the Chief of Staff.

11     He was the first among equals.  He had this inherent power to issue

12     combat orders which absent specific delegated authority from

13     General Mladic the other assistant commanders did not.  But the evidence

14     we will see will show that, in fact, the assistant commanders were

15     empowered to issue combat orders on occasion if they had that authority

16     delegated to them.

17             Let me spend just a couple of minutes describing generally what

18     the role of the assistant commanders was in the Main Staff.  You may have

19     heard me refer to professional line of command or professional chain of

20     command.  What that refers to is in the Main Staff, similar to any almost

21     corporation, you had different sections that had different specialties.

22     So we had security and intelligence, logistics, morale, and each of these

23     sectors in the Main Staff was headed by an assistant commander, and

24     sometimes we refer to this as the professional line, sometimes we refer

25     to it as the specialist line, sometimes we refer to it as the expert

Page 368

 1     line, but they all basically mean the same thing.  An assistant commander

 2     is an assistant commander for a certain expertise or area, intelligence

 3     and security, rear services, morale, personnel, and so forth.  And they

 4     each reported directly to General Mladic.

 5             And within each of these sectors, the assistant commander had

 6     officers that he himself directly commanded in a professional sense and

 7     to whom he could issue orders that fell within a particular professional

 8     line, as it were.  So these were -- and we'll talk about some specifics

 9     in a minute, but these were branches that all reported through the

10     assistant commanders, like General Tolimir, directly to Mladic but had

11     their own areas of expertise.  And we'll see how they operated together

12     as a unit in a little bit.

13             Now, it was the job of each of these assistant commanders to make

14     proposals to General Mladic within their specific field of expertise, be

15     it logistics, be it the morale of the army, be it intelligence and

16     security matters.  So their job was to make these proposals which Mladic

17     would consider and either adopt, reject, or modify, and ultimately make a

18     decision.  And if General Mladic did issue an order based on an assistant

19     commanders's proposal, it was then the assistant commander's obligation

20     to make sure that General Mladic's order was fulfilled and implemented on

21     the ground, all the way down the line.  And the assistant commander would

22     do that by professionally controlling, as we refer to it, by directing,

23     as we also refer to it, expertly managing, as we sometimes refer to it,

24     the officers who fell underneath that professional line.  And it was

25     their obligation to make sure that the job got done according to their

Page 369

 1     understood intent of General Mladic.  They knew what General Mladic

 2     wanted and they would make sure that their men did what had to be done to

 3     get that accomplished on the ground.

 4             Now, in addition to being able to issue orders within their own

 5     field of expertise, for example, General Djukic, the head of rear

 6     services could tell somebody to go transfer this amount of boots

 7     somewhere else, the assistant commander was held responsible himself to

 8     General Mladic for the work that that assistant commander's subordinates

 9     were doing or weren't doing in the field.  So the assistant commander is

10     always accountable, as it were, for the work done by his professional

11     subordinates.  That's why you had that assistant commander there, to

12     manage those specialist branches down the line.

13             So let's look -- spend a couple of minutes, please, looking at

14     some of the individual assistant commanders and their sectors and talk

15     about what they do.  The first one I want to talk about is

16     General Gvero's morale sector.

17             And we see here that his title is assistant commander for moral

18     guidance, religious, and legal affairs.  And by moral guidance, that

19     incorporates a number of concepts, but the most important one was combat

20     morale, that is making sure that the fighters in the trenches have the

21     will to continue to fight, that they understand what the fight is about,

22     that they're going to retain their respect for command and do what

23     they're told.  And it was General Gvero's job to monitor the state of

24     morale throughout the army, to make sure that that morale wasn't

25     weakening, that soldiers weren't deserting their posts, for example.

Page 370

 1             And you'll see that General Gvero and General Tolimir had to

 2     co-operate a fair amount because there was overlap between their two

 3     areas.  For example, if you have a lot of desertions or crimes being

 4     committed within a certain unit, not only is that an indication that you

 5     might have a morale problem, but it's an indication that you might have a

 6     security problem, and that would be of interest to General Tolimir as

 7     well.  So you have co-operation and overlap going on.  Same thing with

 8     respect to propaganda and psychological activities.  Because it was

 9     General Tolimir's job to make an assessment of the enemy's forces and

10     intentions, that meant knowing what your enemy was up to and that meant

11     trying to get inside your enemy's head, and that necessarily involved

12     propaganda and counter-propaganda, and psychological operations.  So

13     we'll see overlap in that area as well.

14             And we have here on the screen Lieutenant-Colonel

15     Milovan Milutinovic.  He was chief of the department for information and

16     psychological propaganda activities.  He headed up the Main Staff's

17     information centre, and he reported to General Gvero.  You'll see

18     Colonel Milutinovic on the ground.  You'll see him at the Hotel Fontana

19     meetings you've probably heard about.  You'll see him in Zepa.  You'll

20     see General Tolimir issue an order for loud-speakers to be brought to

21     Zepa for Colonel Milutinovic for the purpose of broadcasting propaganda

22     messages to the Zepa civilians that, "You can't stay any longer in Zepa."

23     This was a common tactic used by the VRS.

24             General Gvero was also responsible for legal affairs, which meant

25     monitoring what was happening with respect to disciplinary matters,

Page 371

 1     criminal matters.  There was a whole separate process through the

 2     military court system that handled that, but it was General Gvero's

 3     responsibility to have oversight over that.  Again, because if you have a

 4     suddenly high number of criminal acts being committed, violence,

 5     soldier-on-soldier violence in a unit, that can be indicative of a morale

 6     problem, so General Gvero had his eye on that issue.  And given the

 7     religious nature of this war, the religious affairs aspect was something

 8     that General Gvero was responsible for.  That meant liaising with the

 9     community, with the religious community, the Serbian Orthodox church

10     basically.  And you'll see members of the church involved in various

11     activities, events, celebrations during this trial.

12             Just a quick note.  We have the sector for organisation,

13     mobilisation, and personnel affairs.  That was headed by General Skrbic,

14     and essentially his sector was responsible for overseeing the

15     mobilisation of people, materiel, as well as the education and assignment

16     of officers.  And then we have Djordje Djukic, General Djukic, who was

17     head of rear services, also known as logistics.  That sector was

18     responsible, as you can imagine, for procuring, distributing war

19     materiel, the needs of the army, weapons, fuel, clothing, and maintaining

20     the various logistics bases that the army had throughout the war theatre.

21             Now, let's go to the intelligence and security sector.  Let me

22     start by just showing you a transcript of an address that General Tolimir

23     made to a particularly contentious RS National Assembly session in 1995.

24     This was in Sanski Most, and some members of the army had come in for

25     some criticism.  And I think, as we'll see, General Tolimir described his

Page 372

 1     job obviously pretty well, pretty succinctly.  Gathering intelligence

 2     about the enemy's strength, plans, and intentions.  The organs under his

 3     charge have successfully secured information of strategic significance

 4     about the political and military leadership, on the basis of which we

 5     could obtain accurate assessments about the behaviour of the Serbian

 6     enemies and on this basis, and this is what's important, the

 7     corresponding decisions.

 8             He refers to here his daily intelligence and security reports

 9     that he and his staff would compile and send out again to President

10     Karadzic and all the relevant security intelligence bodies in the army

11     and across the river to the VJ.  And he says:

12             "Every day I supply this information ...  I've sent them since

13     the beginning of the war ..."

14             And you'll see that he takes responsibility.

15             "I am willing to do so for my collaborators who are my

16     understudies when I am absent who process the information ..."

17             He says, I am willing to be dismissed, because he takes

18     responsibility for their work.

19             So basically this intelligence is gathered through a variety of

20     means, informants, captured documents, interrogating POWs, interceptions

21     of radio and telephone communications.  And you will also hear that the

22     intelligence administration was responsible for planning and directing

23     reconnaissance actions, which means sending soldiers deep to gather

24     information as well as sabotage.

25             Just briefly, security, on the other hand, versus intelligence

Page 373

 1     entailed three main areas.  First, counter-intelligence.  It might sound

 2     a little odd, but counter-intelligence didn't fall under the intelligence

 3     administration; it fell under the security administration.

 4     Counter-intelligence is trying to identify and thwart internal enemies,

 5     traitors, spies, and denying to the enemy the very kinds of information

 6     that you're trying to find out about them.  That was what

 7     counter-intelligence was about.  And with that information the security

 8     organs had the obligation to inform their commanders of these threats and

 9     to propose ways to counter them.

10             The second area under security was criminal legal duties, such as

11     prosecuting the soldiers for criminal violations and apprehending

12     deserters.  Now, it wasn't the security administration that acted as the

13     lawyers, but it was the MPs, for example, the military policemen

14     operating under the security administration who would go out and make the

15     arrests.  It would be lawyers usually within an MP or security unit who

16     would be drawing up the initial documents.

17             And third, related to what I just said, the security

18     administration - and this is critical for our case - oversaw the work of

19     the military police units.  The duties of the military police included

20     physical protection of key personnel, facilities, traffic control, plus

21     crime prevention activities, like I just mentioned, and, importantly,

22     prisoners of war, escorting, guarding.

23             Now, General Tolimir oversaw both of these administrations, and

24     obviously it makes sense to have one person do that because there's a lot

25     of overlap between the two.  Each administration, as you will hear, had

Page 374

 1     its own chief.  The chief of the intelligence administration was

 2     Petar Salapura, and the chief of the security administration was

 3     Ljubisa Beara, and I'll talk about each of those areas in a moment.

 4             And as I mentioned before, as the immediate professional superior

 5     of Salapura and Beara, General Tolimir could directly issue orders to

 6     them and commands within his line of expertise.  And he could also pass

 7     on orders to them from his own superiors, from General Tolimir's own

 8     superiors, like General Mladic or even the president.  Of course, if he

 9     received an order from the president what he would be duty-bound to do in

10     the first instance was to inform his immediate superior, and that would

11     be Ratko Mladic.

12             In turn, Salapura and Beara were duty-bound to report to

13     General Tolimir and advise him on important developments and make

14     proposals to him and carry out and supervise the implementation of orders

15     that General Tolimir issued or passed on to them.  And this was true up

16     and down all the professional lines.  That's how it worked.  Subordinates

17     were duty-bound to report up to their superiors that they'd accomplished

18     the tasks that they'd been given.

19             Now, General Mladic could directly issue an order to

20     Colonel Beara or Colonel Salapura, but if he did so the first person they

21     would have to inform would be General Tolimir.  And that is because he

22     had to know.  These were his men.  He could not make sound judgements

23     within his own competencies as chief of the intelligence and security

24     sector regarding these incredibly important issues and areas without

25     being fully informed and in full knowledge of what those immediate

Page 375

 1     superiors were doing.

 2             And again, Tolimir was answerable to Mladic for the work of men

 3     like Beara and Salapura who were immediately subordinate to him.

 4             And we will see in July of 1994 -- I beg your pardon, July of

 5     1995 how this operated on the ground.  You will also hear that

 6     recruitment into the VRS's security intelligence organs was done

 7     exclusively with the approval of General Tolimir.  General Mladic had the

 8     final say, but recruitment into that specialised field - and again we're

 9     talking about people that are entrusted with intelligence work, with

10     security work.  As I mentioned in the beginning, even the life of

11     General Mladic, his personal protection, it was General Tolimir who had

12     that ultimate authority of who went into those units.

13             Now, the Main Staff, as you can see from this chart there are a

14     lot of names here, but the Main Staff was actually a very small tightly

15     knit group of officers.  It really came down to a handful of officers day

16     in and day out who got the job done.  And the security organs, you'll

17     learn, were particularly tightly knit for some of the reasons I just

18     mentioned, owing to the nature of their work.

19             You'll hear Colonel Beara refer to General Tolimir not as

20     General, sir, but as Toso.  You'll hear that that is General Tolimir's

21     nickname.  And Bro.  Let's listen to just for a couple of seconds an

22     audio tape.  We may have to try to keep the volume a little low.  This is

23     an intercepted conversation from the 6th of June, 1995, between General

24     Tolimir and Colonel Beara.

25                           [intercept played]

Page 376

 1             MR. THAYER:  Now, the content of the conversation is of no import

 2     for our purposes, but what is important is here you see the relationship,

 3     Toso, Ljubo, Bro.  And you hear General Tolimir giving instructions to

 4     General -- to Colonel Beara, go there and then come here and then go take

 5     care of that.

 6             You'll hear Drina Corps chief of security Vujadin Popovic

 7     contacting General Tolimir directly, seeking his assistance about a

 8     personal matter.  You'll hear security officers referring to each other

 9     as Pop and Nedjo, Colonel Beara referring to Drago Nikolic, the chief of

10     security for the Zvornik Brigade, as Drago.

11             Now, let me spend just a couple of minutes focusing on

12     Colonel Salapura.  Again I mentioned some of the ways that the

13     intelligence administration obtained its intelligence, and again it

14     provided expert direction, as we call it, to the subordinate units.  If

15     there were an intelligence issue that came up, a problem that came in the

16     brigades through the corps, it would be Colonel Salapura that would have

17     to deal with it, with General Tolimir overseeing, obviously.

18             Now, you will hear testimony that Colonel Salapura also

19     professionally managed the 10th Sabotage Detachment which was a special

20     mission unit that was directly involved in executing prisoners in

21     Branjevo on 16 July and at Bisina on the 23rd of July.  And they went out

22     and they performed various sabotage missions, attacks, terror attacks.

23     And again by professional management, when we talk about that we mean

24     recommending the most appropriate use of the unit to the actual

25     commander - in this case it would be Mladic - where, when, and how to use

Page 377

 1     a particular unit and ensuring its combat-readiness.

 2             So this was a unit within General Tolimir's intelligence

 3     administration.  So General Tolimir knows what's going on with the 10th

 4     Sabotage Detachment, he's responsible for it.  And you will see documents

 5     showing General Tolimir directly involved in the recruitment process for

 6     the 10th Sabotage Detachment.  And we talked a little bit about gathering

 7     intelligence from prisoners of war.  Both the security administration and

 8     the intelligence administration under General Tolimir had interests in

 9     prisoners of war.  And they both had a role to play.

10             I want to show you a document that is a Drina Corps

11     combat-readiness analysis report.  We saw one from the Main Staff a while

12     ago from 1993.  I'd like to show you one from January of 1995, just to

13     give you an idea of how this actually worked on the ground.  I'm throwing

14     out a lot of general descriptions of what these duties were and how they

15     worked, but let's take a look at how it actually worked.  Again, Drina

16     Corps command, 28 January 1995, Drina Corps.  Under intelligence and

17     security support they talk about -- they've got a role for electronic

18     surveillance, listening in on radio communications by the enemy.  So

19     they're using that.  And you will hear a lot of evidence about how the

20     Muslim army did the same and some of the most compelling and damning

21     evidence in this case comes from such electronic surveillance that was

22     conducted by both sides.

23             Here the Drina Corps is reporting that the main source of their

24     intelligence data is interrogating POWs and defectors, again, to obtain

25     all this information about the enemy.  And the Drina Corps reports that

Page 378

 1     its handling this process very professionally and responsibly with

 2     information being presented to the commands and units in whose zone of

 3     responsibility the work is being conducted.

 4             And most importantly for our purposes, all this intelligence is

 5     being sent to the sector for the Main Staff, and again sector, that's

 6     Main Staff, that's going to be General Tolimir's sector, where it's

 7     professionally processed and then sent back out to the commands in a

 8     useful form.  That's part of General Tolimir's job.  And we'll see when

 9     we get into July of 1995 that questions have to be asked within the

10     security administration -- security intelligence administration by

11     General Tolimir himself when all these prisoners are being taken.  What's

12     happening to them?  Because they present such a potential wealth of

13     intelligence opportunities, among other reasons.

14             And as I mentioned before, it was the military police under the

15     security administration who handled the escort and guarding of POWs.  And

16     again, this isn't just guide-lines in a book.  As we see from another

17     Drina Corps command document issued in April of 1995, this one from

18     Vujadin Popovic, who you will hear a lot about, the Drina Corps command

19     security chief.  In April he's complaining that they're receiving

20     information that POWs are not being handled properly as they're being

21     taken up to a prison camp called Batkovic, and you'll hear about Batkovic

22     later.  And what he specifically complains about is these POWs are being

23     taken through sensitive areas, they're not being secured properly.  So he

24     orders that their hands must be tied and they must be blindfolded.  Fair

25     enough.  You don't want to reveal your troops' positions, you don't

Page 379

 1     people to be able to escape.  The point is that this is being

 2     communicated, this information about how to handle POWs, by

 3     General Tolimir.  And we have an excerpt here from June of 1995.  Again,

 4     he's at a National Assembly session.  There's been a complaint raised

 5     about a particular politician who had been arrested, and General Tolimir

 6     specifically cites that directive that came out of his sector.

 7             The point is it's his job to know.  He is on top of all these

 8     issues all the time and has been since the documents you saw from 1993.

 9             And you'll see that it's naturally General Tolimir's sector that

10     issues guide-lines for the interrogation of POWs.  And related to this

11     important issue of prisoners of war, you will see documents that

12     demonstrate General Tolimir's responsibility and direction of the work of

13     the RS prisoner exchange commission and the prisoner exchange process.

14     He's the one, you'll see from the documents, that makes these ultimate

15     decisions regarding exchanges.  They have these commissions, but the Main

16     Staff through General Tolimir retains ultimate approval authority.  And

17     again, this is important because it shows that General Tolimir understood

18     the value of POWs, not only as a source of intelligence but as a key to

19     the release of Serb prisoners who were held in Muslim and Croatian

20     prisons in July 1995.  And you'll see that General Tolimir was assisted

21     in this process by Colonel Beara.

22             Now, again we're still in the intelligence administration.

23     Underneath Salapura there were three men that you'll hear a fair amount

24     about.  The first is Colonel Radoslav Jankovic.  In July 1995 he was

25     dispatched from the Main Staff command post to Bratunac during a VRS

Page 380

 1     attack on Srebrenica.  He was there in its immediate aftermath, and

 2     you'll see some very important orders and intercepts involving him.  And

 3     you'll see him on the video of the Hotel Fontana meetings which you've

 4     heard about and which you will see in full before too long.

 5             The second person to keep in mind is Dragomir Pecanac, who was

 6     involved in both security and intelligence matters, and we'll see him

 7     passing on information from the field to General Tolimir in July of 1995.

 8             And thirdly, you'll see documents from Jovica Karanovic who was

 9     based at the Main Staff command post in Crna Rijeka.  And you'll be

10     seeing him passing critical information up to General Tolimir when

11     General Tolimir is out in the field in July of 1995.

12             So let's turn to the security administration for a few moments.

13     You've heard a lot already about Colonel Ljubo Beara.  Again, his

14     responsibilities were the expert direction of the subordinate security

15     organ commands and units, counter-intelligence, maintain the security of

16     the command posts, draft plans for counter-intelligence, protection of

17     the units, combat support, how to keep the combat plans confidential.

18     And as we've already talked about, the security administration had

19     professional control over the military police units.  And this is an

20     important area to understand clearly.  The security organs, and

21     specifically the security chiefs who headed those organs, be it at the

22     brigade level or at the corps level - let's just use those as

23     examples - the security chiefs of those organs had professional control

24     over the military police units, if it's a Drina Corps military police

25     unit, the Drina Corps security chief has professional management control

Page 381

 1     over those units.  That means he proposes to the actual corps commander -

 2     in 1995 in July that would have been General Zivanovic and then General

 3     Krstic - proposes to the commander how to use those units.  He doesn't

 4     actually command those units.  The security chief does not have the right

 5     of actual command to send those units himself somewhere.  He can only

 6     propose to the actual commander how to use those units.  And he's also

 7     responsible for their combat-readiness.  And that's similar to how the

 8     professional lines worked in the other specialised branches as well.

 9             But once the commander, whether it's the corps commander, brigade

10     commander, or General Mladic, made a decision about what the military

11     police were going to do, it was the security chief's responsibility and

12     duty to make sure again that the intent of the order was being carried

13     out properly and fully.  And that's what we mean again by this

14     controlling aspect of the security chief's job, the management

15     supervisory role of the security chief.  And you'll see, therefore, that

16     Colonel Beara supervised the military police battalion of the

17     Main Staff's 65th Motorised Protection Regiment.  That MP battalion had

18     its own commander and was himself commanded by the 65th Protection

19     Regiment's commander, but Beara had professional control over that

20     military police battalion commander.  And what that meant frequently on

21     the ground, as you'll see from the testimony, is that for your average MP

22     it was the security chief that for all intents and purposes gave the

23     orders.  It was the security chief who that MP considered to be his

24     commanding officer.  But in terms of the formation and the way it was

25     supposed to work and did work, they had different responsibilities as

Page 382

 1     commander versus security chief.

 2             Now, you'll hear that Beara, like the other chiefs of the

 3     departments here that you see at the Main Staff, would attend the daily

 4     meetings that we'll talk about in a while of the Main Staff, collegiums

 5     as they were called.  Beara would obtain information from those meetings

 6     and he would obtain information from the field.  You'll hear testimony

 7     from Dutch peacekeepers that Beara was seeking information in 1995 about

 8     what the Muslim army was doing, about what Naser Oric was doing, about

 9     army positions that the Muslims had.  So he was an important conduit of

10     information flowing directly to General Tolimir, and he would remain so

11     in July of 1995.

12             Now, let's go to another document.  This is from October of 1994,

13     and the Main Staff is issuing instructions on how this is supposed to

14     work.  Specifically, you can see that there is an 80 per cent/20 per cent

15     split that the Main Staff is directing for intelligence and

16     counter-intelligence tasks versus administrative military police and

17     criminal legal tasks.  And here in a nutshell we have what I've been

18     talking about, a description of how this professional chain of command

19     relates to the commander's right of command.  Security intelligence

20     organs are directly commanded by the commander of the unit.  But with

21     regard to professional activities they are controlled centrally by the

22     security intelligence organs.

23             Here we have it.  You can see it in these instructions.

24             "Security intelligence organs at all levels must submit to their

25     superior organ in the professional sense," that means up this

Page 383

 1     professional lines, "...  reports ..."

 2             And you'll see how important the reporting comes.

 3             In the Main Staff -- let me just do a little defining here.  When

 4     you see VRS GS with that -- what we call a little banana on top, that's

 5     VRS Glavni Stab meaning Main Staff.  So VRS GS means, in short, the Main

 6     Staff.  And here the instructions lay out that it is the sector of

 7     General Tolimir that takes decisions on transfers, appointments, and

 8     assignments to special tasks from their field of work.  And again, the

 9     recruitment, that's according to special criteria and exclusively with

10     the approval of General Tolimir.

11             Now, you'll hear that the VRS adapted most if not all of the

12     rules of conduct and combat rules from the former JNA to its own needs.

13     That's natural because that's what they were raised as soldiers on.  And

14     this included significantly training in the Geneva Conventions, the laws

15     of war.  And they were studied at all levels.  And on your screen we've

16     got the regulations specifically on the application of international laws

17     of war for the SFRY.  This is from 1988.  And under the heading

18     "Prevention of Violations of the International Laws of War and Criminal

19     Responsibility for War Crimes," there's a general admonition that

20     everyone is responsible for these kinds of violations.  Everybody will be

21     accountable and ignorance basically is no excuse.  Okay.

22             Back in 1988 these professionally trained officers also

23     understood that they could be held criminally liable before national

24     courts or before an international court.  And it specifically provides

25     that a person organising, inciting, or assisting in the commission of a

Page 384

 1     violation of the laws of war or an accomplice in the same shall also

 2     about held responsible as a perpetrator.  And that an officer shall be

 3     answerable as an accomplice or instigator if he fails to take action

 4     against his subordinates who violates the laws of war, he contributes to

 5     the repeated commission of such acts by units or individuals subordinated

 6     to him.

 7             Talking about failure to take action contributing to the repeated

 8     commission by units subordinated to him.

 9             Now, you'll see that the day after that May 12th, 1992, National

10     Assembly session where President Karadzic issued the Strategic

11     Objectives, the day after President Karadzic signed an order on the

12     application of the rules of international law of war to the VRS.  And by

13     another order in August, he made them an explicit part of the duties of

14     VRS members in the service regulations of the army, and that was issued

15     down the chain of command within the army from the Main Staff.

16             So here he we have in October of 1992 from the Main Staff

17     military prosecutor's office these guide-lines.  The print is kind of

18     small, so I apologise.  But in 1992 this is going out from the Main

19     Staff.

20             "Crimes against humanity and international law can be committed

21     by individuals ...  but by their nature these criminal offences are

22     usually committed in an organised fashion in the implementation of the

23     policy of the ruling circles."

24             And it goes on to say:

25             " ...  which means that they are committed within the context of

Page 385

 1     broad military operations and on orders from superior officers."

 2             Again, recognises those former soldiers doing the shooting at the

 3     execution sites you'll hear about don't just wake up one morning and

 4     decide to go out and do what they did in July of 1995.

 5             The next slide, it just catalogues the various offences, among

 6     them starvation of the population, murder, causing great suffering or

 7     injury to body or health, forcible relocation.  And here is the

 8     recognition that the officer class bears particular responsibility.  From

 9     this follows the explicit responsibility of the officer corps of the Army

10     of Republika Srpska as the giver of orders in command of the armed

11     forces.

12             "This responsibility belongs by its nature particularly to

13     high-ranking individuals and officials in state, military, or public

14     organisations.

15             "If officers merely found out that units of the armed forces of

16     the Army ...  or their members have committed or are committing such acts

17     and take no measures ...  this in itself makes them answerable for these

18     criminal offences."

19             Now, another part of the professional training also required that

20     officers assumed responsibility for documents that went out and reports

21     that went out under their name.  Before an officer signed his name to a

22     report, he was expected to have read it, familiarised himself with the

23     contents, and determined it to be valid and in good order.  And by

24     signing it he indicates his approval of its contents and he has thereby

25     assumed responsibility for it.  This was a principle carried throughout

Page 386

 1     the officer class.

 2             And once its passed from its subordinate to the superior up the

 3     chain of command, responsibility for that document would lie both with

 4     the original author but for the person that gets it next.

 5             Now, I already spoke about reporting.  The reporting in the VRS

 6     was vital for the Main Staff.  The superior commands had to be kept

 7     informed of what was happening, and timely and accurate reporting was

 8     critical so that the commander at whatever level could make the accurate

 9     decisions, whether he had to change his decision, modify a decision, or

10     stay put.  And the reporting also helped a commander verify that his

11     prior commands were actually being carried out.  So they served a number

12     of purposes.  And you'll hear that the reporting was done according to a

13     regular schedule, and it had to be otherwise there would have been no way

14     to control the process.  The lower-level commands had to send their

15     reports up at a certain time so their superior commands could review

16     everything, create their own reports to send them up to the next level of

17     command.  So you had battalion, brigades, corps, all compiling their own

18     records after receiving reports from their subordinate commands,

19     analysing them, processing them, and sending them up so that they could

20     be used by the superior command.

21             General Mladic would speak with the corps commanders each day by

22     telephone often.  He had to do that later in the evening because

23     oftentimes the situation on the field had changed between the time a

24     report went up to a particular level and made it to the Main Staff or had

25     been processed in the Main Staff.  And then all of those reports would be

Page 387

 1     put together at the Main Staff, culled, analysed and put together in a

 2     report that went to President Karadzic as I mentioned before.  These

 3     reports were a vital link between the Main Staff and President Karadzic.

 4     They informed him of what was developing, what was important, so he could

 5     make decisions as supreme commander of the armed forces.

 6             And in addition to this type of reporting, again you also had the

 7     reporting that was going up the professional lines of command as we

 8     already talked.  So you've got two types of reporting that are always

 9     going on, always communications going on every day.  It was in some ways

10     the life blood of how the army worked.

11             And related to that is the issue of communications.  You can't

12     report if you don't have good comms from the field, if you're reporting

13     back to your brigade, if you can't communicate from the brigade to the

14     corps, you're going to be in trouble.  So you'll see the efforts that the

15     Main Staff made to ensure that it maintained constant communications with

16     subordinate units, especially because General Mladic would be out in the

17     field, he would send his main assistant commanders out in the field.  And

18     you'll see that they were able to maintain these communications by

19     setting up forward command posts.  And you'll see the initials IKM over

20     and over again in this case.  IKM means forward command post.  They would

21     set up IKMs where you would have an officer forward with its own

22     communications equipment.  Or sometimes they would utilise the

23     communications equipment of the local brigade or corps.  But they always

24     stayed in contact.

25             General Milovanovic will tell you even when he was in the Krajina

Page 388

 1     he was able to speak with General Mladic on an encrypted line, and he was

 2     able to contact the Main Staff every day.  And you will see during the

 3     Srebrenica and Zepa operations General Tolimir communicating with the

 4     Main Staff and subordinate units and officers from a variety of

 5     locations.  You will see General Tolimir issuing proposals, orders,

 6     reports, from the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica, from the Rogatica

 7     command, from the Drina Corps forward command post in a place called

 8     Krivace.  You'll see him do it from another forward command post called

 9     Borike in a little school in a village near Zepa, near Rogatica.

10     Everywhere he goes, he makes sure he's got good communications,

11     communications officer and equipment.  If he doesn't have it, he'll find

12     some way to get it.

13             So as we go and look at these documents you'll see at the top of

14     the document where it's coming from, Drina Corps IKM Krivace.  Drina

15     Corps IKM Pribicevac.  General Tolimir would not have been able to do his

16     job without being able to maintain these good communications.

17             I just want to again look at the words of General Tolimir

18     describing how the Main Staff in fact operated.  Again, this was a

19     contentious meeting at the National Assembly.  The army was coming in for

20     some heat for what happened in Srebrenica and Zepa, and more importantly

21     what was happening at that time with the collapse of the VRS defences in

22     the west.  But here you'll see General Tolimir responding to a criticism

23     and he says, Hey, we're the smallest Main Staff in the world - again you

24     see this GS with the banana on the top - General Miletic is currently in

25     the Main Staff and it was always so.  General Miletic is the operations

Page 389

 1     man.  He is the one that stays home to receive all that information and

 2     get the information out.  General Milosevic, that refers to

 3     Dragomir Milosevic, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander, will not be

 4     left alone.  We are always sending someone from the Main Staff and we are

 5     still doing it.  There is a forward command post that is stronger than

 6     his is and is located in that part of the Sarajevo front.  There are two

 7     forward command posts of the Main Staff in his zone.  Again, this

 8     practice of the Main Staff sending its representatives forward.  We have

 9     been keeping General Milovanovic as the most experienced commanding

10     officer as well as General Mladic, and he misspoke, he meant

11     General Maric, out at this front, this Grahovo-Glamoc front that was

12     collapsing.  And winds up saying and summing:  We make expert analyses,

13     we prepare directives, and based on those directives we all go in the

14     field and work in accordance with the assignments that we received."

15             That's it in a nutshell.  Mladic gave these Main Staff officers

16     these critical tasks because they were his most trusted and experienced

17     officers.  And by virtue of the fact that as general officers, that means

18     at the rank of general, they were expected to and did possess the

19     necessary skills regardless of whatever their professional line of

20     expertise was.  And you'll see that when General Mladic left the command

21     post in Crna Rijeka he would leave one of his most trusted officers in

22     charge if they weren't already out in the field.  And you'll see an

23     intercept where General Mladic tells General Tolimir, "You're taking over

24     completely for me there in command."

25             Before we started looking at the Main Staff structure and

Page 390

 1     operation, we had left off with this combat order to attack Zepa and the

 2     Gorazde enclaves and its provisions for moving out the Muslims from those

 3     enclaves.  And again as I mentioned, the UN issued another resolution

 4     making Zepa a safe area.  And you'll see that as part of this safe area

 5     regime the warring parties were supposed to demilitarise.  They signed

 6     agreements, pledged to remove all their weapons and hand in their weapons

 7     and store them in weapons collection points at various places.  And I

 8     think one thing we can all agree on, Your Honours, is that the enclaves

 9     were never demilitarised.  That is not contested by the Prosecution.

10     They were not demilitarised.  Some small arms, broken weapons were turned

11     in.  But a lot of them weren't, and you'll hear that the Muslim forces

12     were reinforced throughout this period from 1993 all the way to 1995 by

13     air-drops of weapons so that they were able to conduct military strikes

14     outwards from the enclaves, primarily to tie-down Serb forces, draw them

15     away from other areas, keep them stuck to the enclaves, distract them

16     from the Sarajevo front.

17             And you'll see that this created a situation for the VRS that

18     became increasingly problematic.  It couldn't afford the manpower and

19     resources to constantly surround and enclose these enclaves where these

20     hit-and-run sabotage attacks were being committed by the Muslim forces

21     operating in violation of the agreements.

22             Let's just take a look at a map which shows the enclave of

23     Srebrenica and how the peacekeeping scheme worked in 1995.  You'll hear

24     that there was a battalion of Dutch soldiers who were stationed there.

25     We refer to them as DutchBat for short.  They were actually the third

Page 391

 1     rotation, so this -- you'll see sometimes referred to as DutchBat 3.

 2     They were based in two compounds.  One right next to where it says

 3     "Srebrenica" basically, in Srebrenica town they had a base, and the other

 4     up in the village of Potocari, which you'll see if you follow that's a

 5     road that's running north to south between Potocari and Srebrenica.  So

 6     they had two compounds, Bravo compound in the south and Charlie compound

 7     to the north between Srebrenica and Bratunac.

 8             And the way it was supposed to work was the United Nations set up

 9     observation posts encircling the enclave.  We refer to them as OPs, and

10     you can see them marked there starting from the west, Alpha, and so

11     forth, Mike, Oscar, and Papa, right near the base in Potocari.

12             One OP that will be particularly important for us to pay

13     attention to is all the way down in the south-east corner you'll see an E

14     denoting OP Echo.  And that will be a source of dispute, you'll hear, and

15     ultimately you'll hear that it was blasted out by the Serbs as a prelude

16     to their attack on Srebrenica in July of 1995.  The OPs were brightly

17     lit, painted white.  They were made to be visible.  They weren't meant to

18     be surreptitious observation posts.  They were supposed to scream, We are

19     the UN, we are here, and we are watching.  They were supposed to be

20     watching to make sure that both parties laid down their weapons, but you

21     will hear for a variety of reasons - there's fault to be laid at many

22     feet - they weren't able to do that job.  You'll hear that in Zepa the

23     peacekeepers were Ukrainians, about 80 of them in July of 1995.

24             I just want to while we're on this map show you -- point out this

25     very significant road that runs east-west between Bratunac and

Page 392

 1     Konjevic Polje.  If you see Bratunac on the right, the top-most marking

 2     there, that's a road that runs through Glogova, Kravica, Sandici, then to

 3     Konjevic Polje, and it intersects at that point with the road that runs

 4     north-south from Milici, if you see that down there, to the west, through

 5     Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, and then up north ultimately to Zvornik.

 6     You'll hear a lot about this road in July of 1995.

 7             Basically what happened was the areas were supposed to be

 8     demilitarised, they weren't.  There were tit-for-tat attacks.

 9     General Tolimir would complain in his intelligence reports that they were

10     happening, and it was true.  And in July 1994 after about a year of this,

11     we'll see that in connection with a six-month combat-readiness analysis,

12     General Mladic tours the corps and he meets at the Drina Corps command in

13     Vlasenica with the brigade commanders.  And he's briefed by the Drina

14     Corps and brigade commanders.  And two days later, two after this

15     briefing on -- in early, early July, I think July 1, in fact, we see the

16     Bratunac Brigade commander.  At that time it was Lieutenant-Colonel

17     Slavko Ognjenovic.  On 4 July 1994 he issues a report to his brigade.

18     And you can see on this document that this is being distributed all the

19     way to the 3rd Infantry Battalion, so it's going down so that all the

20     soldiers in the trenches are hearing the message in this report.  What

21     does he say?  He says:

22             "We have won the war in Podrinje but we have not beaten the

23     Muslims completely, which is what we must do in the next period.  We must

24     attain our final goal - an entirely Serbian Podrinje.  The enclaves of

25     Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde must be defeated militarily."

Page 393

 1             Okay.  Sounds like maybe he's talking about straight warfare,

 2     crushing the enemy's troops.

 3             "We must continue to arm, train, discipline, and prepare the RS

 4     army for the execution of this crucial task - the expulsion of Muslims

 5     from the Srebrenica enclave."

 6             Okay.  Well, maybe he's talking about the soldiers again.

 7             "There will be no retreat when it comes to the Srebrenica

 8     enclave, we must advance.  The enemy's life has to be made unbearable and

 9     their temporary stay in the enclave impossible so that they leave the

10     enclave en masse as soon as possible, realising that they cannot survive

11     here."

12             En masse.  He's talking about the civilian population which has

13     been the target, as you've seen, going all the way back to Directive 4.

14     And when the commander who you will hear personifies command, that is,

15     sets the example for his subordinates and makes a statement like this

16     that is distributed down to the battalion levels, of course they get the

17     message.  And what's important, Your Honours, is that

18     Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic isn't making this stuff up himself.  He is

19     passing down to his command what he understands are the objectives of his

20     superior command which he had just met with.  And you'll hear that two

21     days later at an Assembly session -- I apologise -- about two weeks later

22     at an Assembly session, President Karadzic in Pale has this to say about

23     the strategic goals in case there were any doubt that they are still

24     viewed as being unfulfilled, uncompleted.  He said that the primary

25     strategic aim was to get rid of the enemies in our house, the Croats and

Page 394

 1     the Muslims, and not to be in the same state with them anymore.

 2             And so what we see being issued by the Main Staff three days

 3     after that speech by President Karadzic is an order.  The first item is

 4     General Mladic is saying basically the peace agreement setting up the

 5     safe areas and the UN peacekeepers, that's all null and void because of

 6     the attacks that had been happening.  So he says he wants to -- he orders

 7     the communication and departure of Muslims from the enclaves at all

 8     costs.  By "communication," he means the frequent travel between

 9     Srebrenica and Zepa that has historically occurred looking for food,

10     running goods, weapons.

11             So he orders that this transport be tightened up and that the

12     Main Staff is going to take further control over this.  No equipment is

13     to be allowed into the enclaves, apart from food and medication which are

14     approved by the Main Staff.  They're going to have control over this

15     process.

16             "In the orders they issue, corps commands shall regulate

17     check-points ...  thoroughly check all cargo authorised by the ...  Main

18     Staff ..."

19             And you will hear about how the Main Staff implemented the strict

20     control over the movement of convoys in connection with the document

21     called Directive 7 you've probably already heard about, and we'll get to

22     that in a little bit.  But here we have in 1994 the Main Staff already

23     setting up the mechanism.

24             He wants the enclaves to be fully mined, surrounded.  He wants

25     the Muslims not to be able to leave the enclaves.  You might be asking

Page 395

 1     yourself, "Well, I thought the whole point was to get them to leave the

 2     enclaves," but what he's talking about here is he wants to close them in,

 3     pen them in.  Don't let them get out, don't let them get weapons to each

 4     other, pen them in.  That's what's going on here.  And then he instructs

 5     that the corps and brigade commands shall start basically ramping up

 6     their sniping.  And then in paragraph 13 he says basically because the

 7     Muslims have thrown out the agreement by their sabotage attacks, I want

 8     you to take measures to reduce the enclaves to a particular area,

 9     geographic area.

10             Now, this reference to reducing the enclaves, the evidence will

11     show - and it's the Prosecution's position - is not the same as what

12     happens in March of 1995 with the issuance of Directive 7.  What we have

13     here in 1994 is the Main Staff keeping its eyes on this strategically

14     important area and beginning to turn up the heat.  They're not bringing

15     it up to the boiling point yet, but the Main Staff is turning up the

16     heat.  And you'll see what happens with its policy of sniping, you'll

17     hear evidence about how the sniping did get ramped up, how civilians were

18     sniped and killed.

19             And I won't show it to you now but you will see being the

20     well-organised disciplined army that the VRS was, General Zivanovic, the

21     Drina Corps commander, adopting General Mladic's order virtually word for

22     word, just putting his name at the end.  So we see from 1992 to 1993 to

23     1994 the Main Staff always, always has its eyes on the enclaves.  And as

24     we enter 1995, we'll see that the parties have entered a cessation of

25     hostilities agreement and that in connection with that agreement there

Page 396

 1     have been what are called joint commissions formed, where the warring

 2     parties are supposed to get together and monitor this cessation of

 3     hostilities agreement.  And this agreement entailed a number of issues

 4     which were of importance to General Tolimir's sector, and you will see

 5     General Tolimir personally involved in them.

 6             And what we'll see, for example, is Main Staff document 7 January

 7     1995.  General Tolimir had been attending these meetings.  He was

 8     actually a signatory to a freedom of movement agreement.  He's meeting at

 9     the highest levels with UNPROFOR, he's representing the army.  And he's

10     keeping President Karadzic abreast of what is going on because these

11     issues directly implicate the enclaves.  We'll see number 2.  He is

12     telling the corps commands that they are to submit to the Main Staff

13     proposed locations for UNPROFOR observation stations along the lines of

14     disengagement, to see whether they're going to monitor the cease-fire.

15             Now, this isn't General Tolimir issuing a combat order, he's not

16     acting as a commander here.  But he is issuing instructions in line

17     certainly with the intention of General Mladic.  He is telling the corps

18     commands:  You are to submit.  And you can rest assured that if

19     General Tolimir writes "you are to submit" they will submit, because they

20     know that he is writing that with the authority of General Mladic.

21             Related to the cessation of hostilities agreement you will see

22     again General Tolimir in February sending out to the corps this

23     notification.  He's saying look, we've looked at the maps you sent us

24     where you were supposed to mark the lines of confrontation between the

25     VRS and the Muslim forces.  And he's saying:  Drina Corps, you did a

Page 397

 1     terrible job, you did a sloppy job.  You didn't even demarcate certain

 2     areas along the line.  And he's talking specifically about Srebrenica.

 3     And then he points out:  And look, it's not clear who is in control of

 4     this Zeleni Jadar factory near this check-point.  And what he's referring

 5     to there is this OP Echo that I mentioned a few moments ago when we were

 6     looking at the map at the south-east corner of the enclave.  That

 7     observation post is located on a critical east-west asphalt road, and it

 8     was critical if the Serbs were going to launch an attack on Srebrenica to

 9     have that road and that location secured, and he's talking about that

10     particular area here in February of 1995.  It's his job to be on top of

11     this type of intelligence information, and you will see how that plays

12     into his actions in July.  And then he gives again instructions:

13             "When going to the field you are to justify all of the disputed

14     issues ..."

15             And then he basically throws the maps back at them and says:  Do

16     it right.

17             About a month later we see another document from General Tolimir,

18     March of 1995, March 19th entitled:  "Establishment of a security system

19     and control of the territory."

20             What's going on is if you remember that map we looked at a little

21     while ago, that key road from Bratunac that ran east-west to

22     Konjevic Polje and that intersection between the east-west and

23     north-south roads, he's talking about an area basically at that

24     intersection, an area of Konjevic Polje, and he's saying in this

25     communication:  We've got unoccupied areas that Muslim forces are going

Page 398

 1     to move into if we don't do something about it.  And he sends this to

 2     President Karadzic and he proposes to President Karadzic that MUP units,

 3     Ministry of the Interior units, get dispatched there.  And he talks about

 4     both of these roads, the importance of this area to the east-west road

 5     and the north-south road, again referring to this area of the Birac and

 6     Podrinje.  And then he says please inform the Main Staff what the MUP's

 7     going to do about it.  And you'll see documents, Your Honours, during the

 8     trial, that within about 36 hours President Karadzic through his Ministry

 9     of the Interior command has made sure that there are MUP police stationed

10     at that intersection.  And this intersection will be critical to

11     understand during the events of the murder operation and the forcible

12     transfer.

13             I see it's break time, Mr. President, and this is as good as any

14     for me.  Thank you.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you, Mr. Thayer.  We must break now and

16     have the second break and resume quarter past 6.00.

17                           --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.

18                           --- On resuming at 6.16 p.m.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer.

20             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

21             Now, during this period in February/March of 1995,

22     General Tolimir, you will see, is receiving intelligence and security

23     reports about the situation in the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves from his

24     subordinates like Beara, who are in the field meeting with UNPROFOR and

25     going to Zepa to gather information.  You will also hear that they are

Page 399

 1     receiving information that - and this is in early 1995 - that Muslims are

 2     trying to leave the enclaves because of shortages and poor living

 3     conditions.  It's been that way for, as you've already heard, from early

 4     on in the war, no doubt intensified by General Mladic's order that we saw

 5     from July of 1994, sealing off the enclaves from each other, basically

 6     penning people in, turning the heat up a little bit, but not to the

 7     boiling point yet.

 8             General Tolimir receives this information and he passes it up

 9     once again to President Karadzic and the various intelligence agencies

10     because this is important information to know about these strategically

11     valuable areas.  And he's also receiving intelligence information about

12     the military and political leaders in Srebrenica and Zepa.  And one

13     example you'll see, there's a Drina Corps intelligence officer by the

14     name of Golic, and he sends up his reporting, his professional chain of

15     command an intelligence report that talks about Muslims from Srebrenica

16     and Zepa leaving the enclaves and lays out the identities of various

17     military -- high-ranking military officers in Zepa, some of the political

18     leaders.

19             So in this document you'll see the same Avdo Palic, who you'll

20     hear is the Muslim army leader, the commander of the Zepa Brigade,

21     Hamdija Torlak, Emir Imamovic, these are civilian leaders of the Muslim

22     community.  General Tolimir is receiving information about these

23     individuals, and it's going where it needs to go, up from the corps to

24     the Main Staff and ultimately to General Mladic.  And you'll see this

25     document from Major Golic and it's got General Mladic's handwriting on

Page 400

 1     it.  There's a note written by General Mladic that:  General Tolimir --

 2     Toso, we should process this and distribute it to the 65th Protection

 3     Regiment which is in the area.  This must be used.  You'll see examples

 4     of this how of how this intelligence is going to be employed during the

 5     events of July 1995.

 6             And again, General Tolimir is receiving this information about

 7     the humanitarian situation in the enclaves.  So when these terrible

 8     events begin to unfold in July of 1995, Srebrenica and Zepa aren't just

 9     names in a report, places on a map to General Tolimir; these are areas

10     about which he possesses a deep working knowledge, set against the

11     general Strategic Objectives that we've been talking about all day today.

12     It's important to keep that in mind, that he is looking at these enclaves

13     from both perspectives.

14             And heading further into 1995, the evidence will show that the

15     Bosnian Serb military and political leadership was united in its

16     hardening position regarding the eastern enclaves, as both sides began to

17     foresee a decisive engagement or battle on the horizon that would end the

18     war with respect to this area.  They saw some kind of definitive military

19     action coming at some point.  You will hear from General Rupert Smith who

20     was the commander of the UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He

21     was based in Sarajevo, and he'll tell you about meetings that he had with

22     President Karadzic, sometimes alone, sometimes in support of other

23     high-ranking UN officials with, among others, President Karadzic,

24     Mr. Krajisnik, and so forth.  Sometimes General Tolimir would be there,

25     sometimes General Gvero.  But from early 1995 the conditions were already

Page 401

 1     severe in the enclave and UNPROFOR complained about them to the Serb

 2     military and political leaders.  And you'll see that the VRS had always

 3     restricted the inflow of supplies, humanitarian aid to the enclaves even

 4     before March of 1995.  But you'll see - and we'll look at the document in

 5     a minute - that boiling point, finally the gas being turned on to get

 6     there.  What we're looking at is another directive.  This is Directive

 7     number 7.  We talked about Directive number 4.  This is from March of

 8     1995.  This is just the cover letter, as it were, distributing it to the

 9     corps.  It's dated March 17th.

10             And here's the first page.  Again, this is the result of the

11     combat-readiness analysis that was conducted earlier in the year in

12     January, all of the highest-level military political leaders get together

13     and decide what the tasks are going to be for the upcoming war -- for the

14     upcoming period of the war.  And the Main Staff drafts this directive and

15     issues it in March, and the date of the directive is actually March 8th

16     of 1995.  We know General Tolimir is involved in this combat-readiness

17     analysis that spawned Directive 7 and we know that he's involved in the

18     drafting of this document because these are drafted through what we call

19     the full method, where all the assistant commanders contribute their

20     expertise in putting it together as a military document.

21             Now, we'll see that there's a section concerning the main

22     characteristics of the international military and political situation,

23     just as we have in some of the other combat orders where we saw

24     General Tolimir's message being incorporated, his assessments being

25     incorporated, and here we have a very detailed section on the probable

Page 402

 1     objective and plans of the Muslim forces.  This again, this is

 2     General Tolimir's job.  This is his sector's responsibility, knowing what

 3     these are going to be to the best of their abilities.  And here we are,

 4     the assessment that the Muslims are planning a spring offensive, that

 5     they're going to focus on linking the enclaves and reaching the

 6     Drina River.  They're concerned, as we saw in one of President Karadzic's

 7     earlier addresses, that the Muslims are going to themselves reach the

 8     Drina and create their own what they called the green corridor,

 9     transversal Islamic corridor across Bosnia.

10             Now, this information that we see about the assessment of the

11     enemy is clearly reached, made its way into Directive 7, help shape it,

12     steer it.  And you'll see in a follow-up directive to this directive an

13     explicit reference to General Tolimir's intelligence reports.  This is in

14     the section that we're looking at here devoted to the tasks of the VRS.

15     These are the more general tasks that are being issued, the goals:

16             "While in the direction of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves,

17     complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be carried

18     out as soon as possible preventing even communications between

19     individuals in the two enclaves."

20             Again, splitting apart, sealing off, not necessarily an illegal

21     motive.  Of course, what the evidence will show is that all along there

22     has always been an illegal motive pursuant to Directives 1 and 3 --

23     Strategic Objectives 1 and 3, move the Muslims out.

24             And this section is immediately followed up by this passage which

25     instructs the Drina Corps:

Page 403

 1             "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create an

 2     unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope for further

 3     survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."

 4             Now, let's just look at this for a moment.  Really, this is the

 5     latest incarnation, if you will, from the language of Directive 4 that

 6     we've seen as the common thread all throughout this illegal objective

 7     targeting the civilian population of these enclaves.  This is an illegal

 8     motive to create a situation that is so intolerable, to make life so

 9     unbearable with no hope for survival that they are going to leave.  It's

10     a clear order to create the conditions to deprive the Muslim population

11     of Srebrenica and Zepa, of the necessities for survival.  And we'll see

12     in just a moment another part that links with this portion of the

13     directive, that loss of hope of survival is going to be tied to the

14     supply of humanitarian aid to the civilian population and re-supply to

15     UNPROFOR to weaken UNPROFOR.  So we have this section here that talks

16     about creating this unbearable situation, no survival for life.

17             The next section talks about another operation in case UNPROFOR

18     leaves, where they will definitively liberate the Drina Valley region.

19     And here we have the section I was just talking about.

20             "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with

21     UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations ..."

22             The evidence will be crystal clear that the relevant military

23     organisations responsible for work with UNPROFOR and humanitarian

24     organisations is the Main Staff.

25             " ...  through the planned and unobtrusively restrictive issuing

Page 404

 1     of permits, reduce and limit the logistics support of UNPROFOR to the

 2     enclaves and supply of material resources to the Muslim population,

 3     making them dependent on our goodwill while at the same time avoiding

 4     condemnation by the international community and international public

 5     opinion."

 6             Now, let's unpack this little bit.  There's a lot in this

 7     section.  Again, the evidence will be clear that it's the Main Staff that

 8     decides what convoys get to go in or not, whether it's for UNPROFOR, for

 9     the peacekeepers, or whether it's UNHCR, food, sanitary supplies for the

10     Muslim population in Srebrenica and Zepa.  This is talking about the Main

11     Staff and the state military -- the state organ you'll hear is a

12     commission that in the end had to defer to the Main Staff.

13             " ... through the planned and unobtrusively restrictive issuing

14     of permits ..."

15             "Unobtrusively," Your Honours, they're being careful here,

16     they're being smart.  The evidence will show that General Tolimir, like

17     General Gvero, always had his eye on the international community, on

18     international opinion.  He and General Gvero next to General Mladic were

19     the most public faces of the VRS, interviewed on the news, making the

20     appearances before the National Assembly.  It was General Tolimir's job

21     to have that wide field perspective I mentioned before of what was going

22     on in the larger international community, the larger military field of

23     vision, and on the ground as well.  That's why they're being smart and

24     they're being careful.  They're saying let's do it, let's do it

25     unobtrusively, we'll make them dependent on us and we're going to do it

Page 405

 1     in such a way that we don't trigger UN intervention or international

 2     intervention like there was in 1993 when General Morillon came.  And

 3     you'll hear this theme over and over again.  We can't let ourselves be

 4     stopped like we were in 1993 when Morillon came in and put those

 5     peacekeepers around Srebrenica.

 6             So this is a clear order to create the conditions in combination

 7     with that earlier section, with that appalling language about making life

 8     so unbearable, that the Main Staff sends out to its subordinate commands

 9     to implement on the ground.

10             And I'll save a little bit of time I hope and we'll see it some

11     other time, but you will see this language about making life unbearable

12     being repeated word for word by General Zivanovic in his order to the

13     Drina Corps, to whom this is going to, to implement the policy on the

14     ground.  Again, these are not just words.  These are orders to do things,

15     to create these conditions, and they are taking -- they are taken deadly

16     seriously because they know how this system works in the army.  Orders

17     are given, they're meant to be followed, they shall be reported on back

18     up the chain; and if they're not, somebody's going to be held accountable

19     for it.  So you'll see General Zivanovic sends that language out:  Create

20     these conditions that are so unbearable that we will force them to leave.

21             And this, Your Honours, is where we see the forcible transfer

22     operation starting to the brought to the boil.  You'll see sniping,

23     shelling, and the slow steady strangling of these enclaves all throughout

24     the spring of 1995.  The Main Staff deliberately restricted these

25     supplies both to DutchBat as well as to the civilian population of

Page 406

 1     Srebrenica and Zepa.  This was part of this common plan and organised

 2     effort to remove these populations.

 3             Let's start with the convoy restrictions.  I'm going tell you a

 4     little bit about how that worked.  It was actually very simple.  If

 5     UNPROFOR needed supplies, Your Honours, or to rotate its peacekeepers or

 6     military observers, they would send a fax over to the Main Staff.  There

 7     was a colonel there by the name of Djurdjic who was the point person for

 8     these requests, but Mladic relied on his top men like General Tolimir,

 9     General Gvero, working together to review these requests, make proposals

10     to him.  And with respect to the humanitarian aid convoys, as I mentioned

11     there was a so-called RS commission for -- it was a state committee for

12     co-operation with international organisations, humanitarian

13     organisations.  The Main Staff had a representative on that committee,

14     and you'll see convoy request after convoy request where the Main Staff

15     says, "We have reviewed the committee's plan.  We approve this and this

16     and this, but we deny this and this and this."  So it's, as you will see,

17     the Main Staff that ultimately retained the power over what was going

18     into the enclaves and what was not.

19             And you'll see examples of these requests with General Mladic's

20     handwritten notes to Toso, Gvero, your input and opinion, your advice,

21     your proposals.  And you'll see, you'll get familiar with

22     General Tolimir's signature and his initials.  Sometimes you'll even see

23     General Tolimir's comments written right next to the fax or written right

24     on the fax request.

25             Let me just give you a little sense of what some of these convoy

Page 407

 1     denials were like and how they operated.  You'll see a notification

 2     signed by General Miletic from March saying that we reduced the plan for

 3     the enclaves in number of vehicles and the transport of fuel is not

 4     permitted.  Despite the information on restrictions, we submitted to the

 5     co-ordinating body, we expect that UNHCR will try to bring fuel into the

 6     enclaves which has to be prevented.

 7             In another convoy denial from March you'll see the following

 8     being prevented from going into Srebrenica:  Diesel, dry rations, frozen

 9     and cold food, water trailer, spare parts.  And there's a note.

10     Instructions in the last paragraph:  Give information on the convoys that

11     were not approved to check-points and do not relate them to third persons

12     or give any explanation to UNPROFOR representatives, as if you did not

13     receive it.  If a convoy appears at a crossing return it to the place of

14     origin.

15             Field beds, hospital beds.  From UNHCR a request for convoys was

16     approved by the state committee, and this is from April of 1995, but the

17     VRS denied beef, salt, oil, clavers [phoen] for Srebrenica.  This was on

18     the 8th, et 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of April, 1995.  That

19     material and those supplies were supposed to go in.  School supplies

20     denied.

21             You'll see the examples yourselves during trial.  I won't take up

22     any more time going through them.  Let me just give you one more example

23     that sort of exemplifies the problems that this caused for the UN that

24     was charged with getting this humanitarian aid into the enclaves.  This

25     is how it affected by June the UN:

Page 408

 1             "Problems with convoys, both logistics re-supply," that's

 2     DutchBat, "and UNHCR," that's the civilians, "continue in many parts of

 3     the UNPROFOR AOR," area of responsibility.  "The 56 truck convoy bound

 4     for the eastern enclaves arrived in Belgrade yesterday.  However, the

 5     BSA ..." and you'll see that UNPROFOR referred to the VRS as the BSA in a

 6     lot of their documents, the Bosnian Serb army, so if you see BSA it's the

 7     same thing as VRS.  "The BSA has cut the number of trucks from 56 to 23,

 8     has cut the amount of food by 50 per cent, and the amount of fuel by 70

 9     per cent, has rejected the passage of two ambulances needed for UN

10     troops, and has insisted that those personnel travelling with the convoy

11     to the enclaves must also depart with it.  Though no one else may, in

12     other words, preventing any troop rotation or reinforcement."

13             Another element of this policy to unobtrusively restrict the

14     permits was to prevent the rotation of UN personnel.  They'd let people

15     out but they wouldn't let fresh peacekeepers come back in.  So you had an

16     increasingly undersupplied, underfed, underarmed group of peacekeepers in

17     Srebrenica and Zepa that was dwindling in number.  So that by July of

18     1995 you will see just how operationally impaired they were by the time

19     the attack came.

20             Now, when the Main Staff did approve a convoy - and they did

21     approve convoys, they didn't pull the plug completely because they knew

22     that they could only go so far.  You'll see over and over again.  The

23     evidence in this case will show that General Tolimir, General Gvero, Main

24     Staff knew just how for they could go before triggering international

25     condemnation and action.  And it was the action that they were worried

Page 409

 1     about, specifically the deployment of NATO air power in support of the

 2     UNPROFOR troops or the insertion of ground forces in support.

 3             Now, when the Main Staff did approve a convoy, they had to be

 4     checked in Zvornik, depending on which bridge they came over.  And you'll

 5     see reports from the Zvornik Brigade up to the corps detailing what they

 6     have removed from the convoys.  Because they know what's approved by the

 7     Main Staff and what's not.  You'll see, for example, a field steriliser,

 8     a veld steriliser that's taken out.  That's a medical device.  You'll see

 9     at one point laundry detergent, cleaning stuff, cleaning fluids, shampoo,

10     towels, all being removed.

11             And General Tolimir was part of this whole process for a number

12     of reasons, one of which was it was the military police units and the

13     security organs which were responsible for the operation of these

14     check-points.  You'll see many examples of these convoy notification

15     documents with the words handwritten "security, security organ," or the

16     name of the actual security officer for the brigade written on it,

17     indicating that these requests are going to the security organ.

18             And when the approvals came through you will see that it was the

19     security branch's job to monitor and to enforce this VRS policy of who

20     and what was coming into the enclaves, and there's naturally an

21     intelligence aspect to that.  So that's another reason why

22     General Tolimir is responsible for this activity in addition to the

23     illegal motive that's always, always present.  But on the ground, on the

24     ground in the Srebrenica enclave for the DutchBat peacekeepers, for the

25     suffering civilians in Srebrenica, the Main Staff convoy procedure became

Page 410

 1     embodied in Momir Nikolic, who you will hear was the security and

 2     intelligence assistant commander for the Bratunac Brigade.  Because the

 3     final check-point for these convoys before entering Srebrenica was in

 4     Bratunac at a check-point referred to as Yellow Bridge, near a Dutch

 5     observation post Papa.  The convoys would be stopped and rigorously

 6     checked by Momir Nikolic, and you will see again documents, some with his

 7     handwriting on it, one that says "not a single convoy or ICRC team or MSF

 8     may enter Srebrenica without my permission and presence."

 9             And again, just like Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic in July of

10     1994 isn't just making up this stuff about having to force the Muslims

11     out make life unbearable, Momir Nikolic is receiving his instructions

12     from his superior command.  And the Main Staff was well familiar with

13     Momir Nikolic, and you'll see Main Staff documents mentioning Nikolic by

14     name, which they say:

15             "We set out the manner of inspection and requests in this

16     connection."

17             Let's look at another document.  Again, this is a document

18     created in connection with a combat-readiness analysis.  This one is a

19     sixth-month combat-readiness analysis.  You might be getting a sense of

20     how organised and disciplined the VRS was.  A brigade putting this report

21     together element by element and under "intelligence-security support,"

22     the report writes:

23             "During 1995, international organisations, and their

24     representatives have passed through and stayed temporarily in the

25     brigade's area of responsibility."

Page 411

 1             And it goes on to say that they were monitored and every single

 2     event was reported to the superior organs and the Main Staff.  And then

 3     it refers to the check-point for the control of all international

 4     organisations, and, again, functioning in accordance with the orders of

 5     the Main Staff and instructions of the brigade commander.

 6             Now, you'll hear how the conditions worsened and worsened from

 7     March 1995 until the attack in July.  And this unobtrusive issuing of

 8     permits by the VRS didn't have to be so severe to create corresponding

 9     misery on the ground in Srebrenica because the conditions were already so

10     bad.  It didn't take a whole lot of denied convoys to make the people

11     even more hungrier or more miserable or without even the dwindling

12     medical supplies they needed in the enclave.  So the corresponding effect

13     was magnified because of the conditions that already prevailed.

14             Added to that you'll hear evidence that the sniping increased

15     during this period of time.  And you remember that order about the

16     snipers and the silencers, it was the Main Staff that ran the sniper

17     school, and of course it's the Bratunac Brigade soldiers who were

18     shooting these Muslim civilians.  You'll hear about that.  That order

19     went out at the same time basically that the Bratunac Brigade commander

20     was talking about making life unbearable for the Muslims, and the sniping

21     got worse and worse and so did the shelling.

22             You'll hear testimony from survivors, witnesses about the

23     intensified shelling during 1995.  And you'll see, as we did in 1993,

24     intelligence and security reports from General Tolimir describing this

25     shelling as part of a propaganda campaign, disinformation.

Page 412

 1             And you'll hear about a notorious example of the VRS shelling of

 2     civilians that took place on the 25th of May, 1995.  On that day in

 3     retaliation for NATO air-strikes on an ammo dump in Pale you will hear

 4     evidence that the VRS shelled all of the safe areas that day.  And you'll

 5     hear that in Tuzla over 70 civilians, most of them youngsters,

 6     celebrating Tito's birthday were killed when they were celebrating

 7     outdoors in the early, the early evening, in the old town.  They were

 8     killed by massive and deliberate VRS shelling.  And you'll hear that

 9     almost simultaneously the VRS shelled Srebrenica killing a 9-year-old

10     girl and seriously wounding her sister, and you'll have testimony from

11     that sister who survived.

12             The evidence will show that this was a co-ordinated attack on the

13     civilian population for no other reason than to inflict terror and

14     suffering.

15             And you'll hear from witnesses as well about an attack on the

16     24th of June, 1995, you'll hear from a UN military observer.  You'll see

17     reports that the VRS inserted the 10th Sabotage Unit, the 10th Sabotage

18     Detachment, to fire on civilian targets in Srebrenica, and that resulted

19     in deaths of civilians as well.

20             Momir Nikolic, the Bratunac Brigade security and intelligence

21     assistant commander will tell you that General Tolimir's direct

22     subordinate, Colonel Salapura, who we talked about earlier, directed that

23     action on the ground.  So by late June -- and here we have just one

24     example of many protest letters from the UN.  General Smith is protesting

25     to General Mladic that on almost a daily basis he's receiving reports of

Page 413

 1     shelling of populated areas, Bihac safe area, Srebrenica safe area,

 2     Gorazde, and Sarajevo, safe areas.

 3             And again General Tolimir has his spin ready.  After this June

 4     24th sabotage attack where civilians are killed in that terror attack,

 5     General Tolimir writes:

 6             "In the area of Srebrenica there is increased distrust among the

 7     population in relation to the military and civilian leadership, and also

 8     accusations that they have caused the reprisal of the VRS by the

 9     infiltration and action of sabotage and terrorist groups in Serbian

10     territory.  The 28th Division command is circulating disinformation that

11     the VRS carried out a sabotage attack on civilian features, wanting to

12     cause condemnation by the international community."

13             Again, this is the message that General Tolimir has been shaping

14     and steering since day one.  The MO never changed.

15             You'll hear soon enough about the effects that these restrictions

16     had on the DutchBat peacekeepers and on the civilian population.  You'll

17     hear about the meetings that the UN leadership had with the Bosnian Serb

18     political and military leadership, the concerns that were expressed.

19     You'll hear President Karadzic repeating the assessment of

20     General Tolimir that they were expecting the Muslims to try to break out

21     of the enclaves and President Karadzic describing the enclaves as a time

22     bomb about to explode.

23             By July of 1995 the UN peacekeepers who were supposed to number

24     600 were down to 350.  They hadn't been permitted to bring in weapons.

25     They had to use the weapons that were used by the prior DutchBat

Page 414

 1     rotations.  They weren't allowed to bring in fresh ammunition.  They

 2     weren't allowed to bring in testing equipment for their anti-tank and

 3     other weapons systems.  They hadn't been allowed to bring in fuel since

 4     February.  They were cooking on wood.  They had to conduct foot patrols

 5     instead of APC patrols so they could not enforce their mandate in that

 6     respect.  They were living on dried rations because they had no fresh

 7     food.  Because of the lack of fuel they had to use candle light at night.

 8     They didn't have electricity to purify water.  And for the civilians in

 9     Srebrenica the situation was devastating.  UNPROFOR could not support the

10     medical facilities with its medical supplies.  People were starving.

11     People were getting killed as they tried to leave Srebrenica for Zepa in

12     search of food.

13             What we're looking at, Your Honours, is a photograph that was

14     taken by a DutchBat officer.  These are civilians from Srebrenica

15     gathered around a garbage truck searching for food.  And you'll hear that

16     they regularly did this, going through the dumped garbage looking for

17     anything edible.

18             General Tolimir knew what the conditions were like even before

19     Directive 7 began its operation.  Again, this is even before this

20     unobtrusive issuing of permits was underway.  So you can imagine what the

21     conditions were like, maybe you can't.  I don't think I can really

22     imagine what it was like by July of 1995.

23             You'll hear a DutchBat officer, the deputy commander of the

24     battalion in Srebrenica, Colonel Franken refer to it as convoy terror and

25     that's what it was.  Directive 7 was implemented efficiently and

Page 415

 1     brutally, and you'll see the effect it had on DutchBat's ability to

 2     respond to the military attack that was coming.

 3             Now, I see we're at the end of the day and I've actually found

 4     myself at the beginning of a new chapter, so I'll pick up there tomorrow,

 5     Mr. President -- Monday.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you, Mr. Thayer.  Not tomorrow, of course

 7     not.

 8             We will adjourn now, but I think we should discuss on Monday at

 9     the end of the session the question in which way we should schedule our

10     days, with breaks and the duration of the sessions.

11             We adjourn now and we'll resume next Monday, 9.00, in this

12     courtroom.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01. p.m.

14                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 1st day of

15                           March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.