1 Friday, 28 May 2010
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody.
6 Before the witness is being brought in, I would like to raise two
7 or three matters. The first has something to do with our decision to sit
8 only three days and not four days a week in the month of June. The
9 result of that is the following.
10 The Chamber will cancel the hearings on the 7th of June. That
11 will be a shorter hearing because of the Judges' plenary, as I told you
12 the last time. The 14th of June, the 25th of June, and the 28th of June.
13 And for the record, and to clarify the situation, we are sitting
14 on the 31st of May, the 1st and 2nd of June. The 8th, 9th, and 10th of
15 June. The 15th, 16th, and 17th of June. The 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of
16 June. And, finally, the 29th and 30th of June, and the 1st of July.
17 That means always three sitting days together. That is perhaps
18 convenient enough, especially for the Prosecution and the calling of
20 The second matter deals with two exhibits received yesterday,
21 P240 and P242. The Exhibit P240, we only have it in B/C/S, but this
22 seems not to be problem because this is 5 pages from a book, entitled
23 "Record of Sent Notes." This is in fact only a collection of numbers,
24 and there is no need for a translation. But the exhibit P242 has no
25 B/C/S translation, and therefore, will be only marked for identification
1 pending translation into B/C/S.
2 Yes, we wait a moment, there is no record.
3 [Technical difficulties]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hope somebody is working on it.
5 In order to explain the situation for those watching the hearing
6 or listening to us, there is a computer problem at the moment, and we
7 can't continue without the computer. We hope that problem will be solved
8 very soon.
9 Now the problem is solved. We can continue.
10 I have to repeat the problem of translation of exhibits.
11 We received yesterday two exhibits. It's P240, these are 5 pages
12 from a book, entitled "Record of Sent Notes." In fact this is only a
13 list of numbers, and there is no need for an English translation. But
14 the Exhibit P242 has no B/C/S translation, and therefore, will only will
15 mark for identification pending translation into B/C/S.
16 If there is nothing else to raise at the moment, the witness
17 should be brought in the windows should be closed.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 WITNESS: PW-024 [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Please sit down.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We wait a moment.
24 For your information, the protective measures are still in place,
25 and I would like to remind you that the affirmation you made at the
1 beginning of your evidence to tell the truth still applies.
2 Mr. Tolimir has some more questions for you.
3 Please, Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to greet everyone present
5 and the witness, and I hope that this final judgement in the whole trial
6 comes to a conclusion in keeping with God's will.
7 May I request that you tell me at the beginning how much time I
8 have left, and I will adjust my questioning.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I was told that you have already
12 spent one hour and thirty minutes for your cross-examination. We will
13 leave you time enough for continuing your cross-examination, but in the
14 first session of this morning the Prosecution must have the possibility
15 to re-examine the witness. So I think one hour and fifteen [sic] minutes
16 could be enough.
17 Thank you very much.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You used one hour, thirteen minutes. There's a
20 mistake in the transcript.
21 Please continue your cross-examination.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, I would appreciate it if you answer some questions with
1 just a yes or no. We need to complete this examination, and we are
2 pressed for time because the Prosecutor needs to conduct his redirect.
3 A. I can't hear you.
4 Q. Sorry, I turned off the microphone.
5 Could you answer this question: Did your service monitor
6 conversations of the MUP or the BH Army to establish whether there were
7 any leaks of information through these conversations?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you. On what sites were the radio-relay locations of the
10 VRS that you intercepted and which intercepts we are seeing in this
12 A. I answered yesterday, if you remember, that I did not have that
13 information. I just used the resources that the 2nd
14 Counter-Intelligence -- sorry, Counter-Electronic Protection Company had
15 of the BH Army Corps.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show 65 ter 2923.
17 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, that's Exhibit P239.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'm reading only the first sentence of this document, and you can
20 follow. I quote:
21 "On the said day, 12th of July, 1995, monitoring the
22 Zvornik-Vlasenica radio-relay route on frequency 785," et cetera, "we
23 registered the following conversation:"
24 Since the intercepts shown here concern the radio-relay route
25 Vlasenica-Zvornik, do you know if there is any direct radio-relay route
1 monitored by RRU 800 from Zvornik to Vlasenica?
2 A. I've just said it. I was told that that was the route and that
3 this frequency belongs to that route, and that is how I put it in my
4 reports. And we could very frequently witness, hear ourselves, that
5 participants in conversations were mentioning events happening on that
6 route or along that route, so we could make the connection.
7 Q. I asked you if there was a direct radio-relay route
8 Zvornik-Vlasenica subject to monitoring by RRU 800.
9 A. I don't know exactly where the radio-relay devices were.
10 Q. On this radio-relay route, on this route in general, is there
11 optical and other visibility that makes it possible to make a radio-relay
13 A. I don't know where they were, so I don't know. But logically, if
14 connection was established and conversations were intercepted, it's
15 logical to assume that it was possible.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I have 1D160, in Serbian
17 page 4, paragraph 1, lines 5 and 6; and in English it's the third page,
18 and paragraphs 3, 4, and 5. We'll have it in just a moment.
19 This is page 1. Can we see page 4 in Serbian and page 3 in
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hope this will not be broadcast. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We still don't have the Serbian.
23 Thank you, now we have it. There you see it.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In your statement to the OTP, you said the following, I quote:
1 "During the operation in Srebrenica, our service monitored only
2 the frequency 8360."
3 Is this quotation correct?
4 A. I can't see it.
5 THE INTERPRETER: We can't hear the accused.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone. Mr. Tolimir, the microphone should
7 be switched on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. My legal advisor says
9 it's not the right document. In Serbian, we need the page before this
10 one so that the witness can see what exactly he said.
11 Could you turn to the page before in Serbian, please.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it's on the screen, Mr. Tolimir.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please read the last line:
15 "During the whole Srebrenica operation, my service only monitored
16 the frequency 836.000."
17 Did I quote this correctly?
18 A. Yes, yes. It's true that this was the frequency that was fully
19 monitored, fully supervised at the time, and we monitored only that
20 frequency. And in the event that actually occurred -- could I finish?
21 Q. No need. We will get confirmation now.
22 Could we show the witness 65 ter 02932.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I would request the Court make
25 sure that the witness is allowed to explain any answer. And, of course,
1 if it's not an explanation, he shouldn't be allowed to do so, but as far
2 as I believe, that it's the policy of this Trial Chamber to allow
3 witnesses to explain their answers. And no one has rushed
4 General Tolimir, and so this idea that he needs to rush, I think, is a
5 false idea, and we have no problem with this. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think every witness should answer to the best
7 of his knowledge and belief, and, therefore, sometimes it's necessary not
8 just to have an answer yes or no, but an explanation.
9 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 I asked the witness to confirm first whether he had, indeed, said
12 this and to confirm. I didn't ask anything else. But if he does want
13 to, he can first confirm and then explain, if he wishes.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, did you actually say what I've just quoted?
16 A. Yes, I did, but I've also tried to explain a moment ago what I
17 said the day before; namely, that it was the priority in our work and
18 that this frequency, with certain channels, was monitored by us
19 continuously every day. But when, on a certain day, we established that
20 the people we were interested in were not in their offices, were not by
21 the phone, not wishing to waste time we scanned new frequencies or
22 intercepted other conversations on other frequencies, which is quite
23 normal in our work.
24 Q. If you do need to, you can explain, but just look at this
25 document. And we see that a conversation was intercepted on
1 frequency 785; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is correct.
3 Q. So it was not intercepted on the frequency 836?
4 A. Obviously.
5 Q. Thank you. Is your claim that you monitored only the frequency
6 836 correct, when we see that you also monitored 785 megahertz?
7 A. First of all, in order to reach the frequency 836, we had to do a
8 lot of scanning and searching into what is being said on which frequency.
9 Now, when we establish that a certain frequency was used by people who
10 were of special interest to us, we assigned men to monitor these
11 frequencies. During breaks, when these people we were interested in were
12 not there, we continued scanning and searching. And when we came across
13 an interesting conversation, we certainly recorded it and intercepted it.
14 We always scanned and searched for new frequencies that might be
16 Q. Thank you. Can you please listen carefully again to what you
18 "In the course of the operation in Srebrenica, our service only
19 followed -- monitored the frequency 836."
20 Did I quote you correctly? Only that frequency?
21 A. Well, I've tried to give you an explanation. I don't know what
22 else I can do.
23 Q. Whilst intercepting conversations, did you leave out portions of
24 conversations whilst transcribing them?
25 A. I would have to cast my mind back to that time. Well, I've
1 already said that if there were intercepts which were of no interest, we
2 would describe them in a sentence or two. The recording would remain
3 complete. It was only our assessment that the conversation, the
4 substance, was not interesting, and we would only give a description of
5 what it was roughly about.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we call up
7 65 ter 2909.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P243. It would be more convenient to use
9 the exhibit number you have since yesterday.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a note of it here, but I
11 made a note of it at the moment when it was showed to the witness. So I
12 have it as 65 ter 2909. This is the first intercept in the folder we
13 were given, and that's how I made a note of it.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you see it? You can see that the first word in this
16 conversation -- or, rather, the first sentence is as follows:
17 "General Mladic is in the field, and he, too, is away."
18 Line 2:
19 "I can only put him through to General Gvero, if he wants."
20 And that's what the operator at the switchboard said. I quote:
22 "Hold on.
23 "Hello, this is Gvero."
24 That's Gvero speaking, and he's asking: "Who?
25 And she says: "Svetlana," the interpreter there at Gobillard's.
1 "My regards to you and to General Gobillard." That's what Gvero
3 So Svetlana could be heard talking up until the moment you
4 exclude the interlocutor, and you go on to transcribe only what Gvero
5 says. Did you knowingly leave this out? Because apparently Svetlana
6 could be heard here and you could hear her. You wrote down her name.
7 This is something that is heard by -- you can hear the operator and what
8 Gvero says, and you have it here, but you don't have the bits said by
9 Svetlana. Did you leave any other portions of this conversation with
10 General Gvero?
11 A. I think you're mistaken. I think that these were only speakers
12 who could be heard on one end. When he said, Who, then he's the one who
13 says Svetlana. He was told it that was Svetlana, so he just repeats her
14 name, Svetlana. So what I believe is that we only have a transcription
15 of the speaker speaking on one end. I'm trying to recall this, but I
16 believe that I'm right, that these are only the speakers speaking on one
18 Q. Thank you. I do understand that this is an assumption of yours.
19 But please tell me, is it not true that you have "Svetlana" written here,
20 and from there Gvero's words follow? So please explain to us how you
21 account for this. Explain to the Trial Chamber.
22 In order for us to confirm that this is the case, can we call up
23 65 ter 300, which is the last page of this intercept.
24 A. But before we do so, I would like to clarify this for the
1 We are listening only to one side, without hearing the other. So
2 it says here: "Hold on." And then Gvero takes the call. He's told that
3 it's Svetlana speaking on the other end, so he says: "Svetlana," and he
4 then says:
5 "My regards to you and to General Gobillard."
6 So do you understand what I'm saying? You can only hear one
7 side, one end of this conversation.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand.
9 Can we call up now 65 ter 300.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you mean 65 ter 3000, with three 0s?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, that's right.
12 Perhaps I misspoke.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P251. And, Mr. Tolimir, please pause
14 until the end of the translation.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. We can see the final five lines here, which is the final part of
17 the intercept, the number 631, where it is stated: "Svetlana." And then
18 it says:
19 "Greetings to you, and say hello to the general."
20 So it can't be that Gvero would be saying both "Svetlana," and
21 then "greetings to you." The intercept goes on to say:
22 "There were some new developments in the field during the night.
23 We'll be able to say with more certainty in half an hour. Have the
24 general call in half an hour, and we'll be able to give you more reliable
1 And then Svetlana says:
2 "Okay, thank you very much and goodbye."
3 So can you please clarify this? Why is the other interlocutor
4 omitted here, whereas the speaker could be heard perfectly? The
5 audibility was perfect. What Gvero was saying could clearly be heard.
6 So can you explain this to the Trial Chamber?
7 A. Again, what we can here is solely one end of the conversation,
8 only one side. And how is this possible? I will repeat what I said
10 The radio-relay communication runs along two frequencies. If the
11 micro-telephone combination of the receiver on the side we are listening
12 to is good and if the signal is very good, it may so happen that we would
13 hear the other end as well. In this instant case, we obviously did not
14 hear the speakers on the other end, and the transcription clearly relates
15 to what the speakers on one end said only.
16 Q. Thank you. If this is the case, can you tell us, is it possible
17 that the same conversation was recorded by UNPROFOR or NATO, and that
18 they provided the Serbian side with it, and that it was identical to this
20 A. That's possible. Why not?
21 Q. Can you tell me, did your intercepting service co-operate with
22 the intercepting services of UNPROFOR, NATO, and other organisations
23 present in the field, and did they exchange information?
24 A. No, they did not. But let me take you back to a conversation
25 that I've just recalled. I don't recall the time or the speakers, but I
1 do recall, myself, hearing a conversation where it was said the
2 information that was published through the media of the BH Army was
3 definitely received from the Americans because they conveyed to them the
4 information that they received from AWACS. Don't misunderstand me.
5 We -- this made us laugh at the time, because our comment was along the
6 following lines: If the other side knew that there were only two
7 individuals involved in this work, they would find it ridiculous. So
8 please believe me when I tell you that it wasn't us who intercepted these
10 Q. Please don't refer to me as having said that. I didn't say that.
11 It's the transcript that says that. Did I say it?
12 A. No, you didn't.
13 Q. It must have been someone you spoke to. Thank you.
14 Can you tell us, now that we've -- we're dealing with this
15 document, after the bit spoken by General Gvero - we will get back to the
16 other parts later on - these are lines 14 and 15:
17 "Our men said that he infiltrated himself down there in order to
18 wreak havoc."
19 This is speaking about Naser Oric. And let me not read the
20 entire text. In line 24, his interlocutor says:
21 "Well, that's true. That's risky for you."
22 Because there's a terrorist group out in the field. Do you
23 recall this conversation?
24 A. Am I supposed to have it on my screen?
25 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the accused.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your microphone.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. I was quoting lines 14 and 15, and you can have a look at them.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, there's no English translation of
5 this part, I suppose.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is an OTP document, and I
7 don't have the English translation. I'm merely showing the document the
8 Prosecution showed yesterday.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Now, Witness, have you seen this?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. I would like to hear the answer,
12 and then Mr. McCloskey.
13 Have you seen this portion, Witness?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it now.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we get a number, what he's -- because I don't
17 think he's talking about the B/C/S that's on the page. I think he's
18 talking about something else. But -- because the witness just said he
19 didn't see what he was talking about. So if he can at least give us the
20 number of the document he's talking, maybe it will clear it up.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's clear that this is the document on
22 the screen, but the upper part of the document which is not translated
23 into English, if I'm not mistaken. But you should clarify that,
24 Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 The document, as presented by the OTP, is on the screen, and I
2 was only reading one intercept which says:
3 "Naser, they said, infiltrated somewhere there. He went there to
4 fuck around."
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Is this something that you're able to find in this intercept?
7 A. Yes, you can read it for yourself.
8 Q. Can you tell me, is this a lawful activity on the part of Naser,
9 to get into the VRS-controlled territory? What's your opinion on this?
10 A. Do you really think that I should answer the question, that I
11 should be the one to know this?
12 Q. Well, you can say yes or no. It doesn't make a difference to me.
13 A. Well, you know very well that I am not supposed to know it and
14 that there's not a chance that I should know anything about it.
15 Q. Thank you. I'm happy with your answer. Is it lawful for the VRS
16 to oppose the sabotage group of Naser Oric's which got infiltrated into
17 the territory and laid an ambush?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I doubt if this is an appropriate
19 question about a legal matter. This witness is an intercept witness, and
20 I think it's better you put questions to this witness so that you can get
21 answers from him which helps your defence.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. President. I didn't
23 receive interpretation, and I have no idea what you've just said. Could
24 you please repeat it so that the interpreters can repeat it too.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. I doubt if this is an appropriate question
1 about a legal matter. The witness is an intercept witness, and I think
2 it's better you put questions to this witness that he can answer - he is
3 not a lawyer - so that you can get answers from him which helps your
5 Please carry on.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 I don't think I asked the witness to say something that I would
9 wish him to say. It's his right to say whatever he wants to say. When I
10 examined him yesterday, he said that he only made those intercepts that
11 he believed were important.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't want to discuss with you these matters.
13 I'm giving you guidance. I think it's not appropriate to ask this
14 witness, as an intercept witness, about lawful action on the ground,
15 outside his area of responsibility. Please carry on and put questions to
16 the witness, but no debate.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
19 Can we again call up 65 ter 2909, which is the first document
20 from P239 led by the Prosecution yesterday, General Gvero's intercept.
21 Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Why was the content of the -- or why were the words of Gvero's
24 interlocutor left out of this transcription, if you know? Thank you.
25 A. Well, evidently we couldn't hear him.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know that UNPROFOR showed such intercepts to
2 the sides in an open and transparent way to show them that whatever
3 actions were taken were listened to by other sides, and he said that he
4 would not wish to divulge what his officers had to say because this was
5 something that his organisation forbade? Was this something that you
6 kept in mind and adhered to in making these intercepts?
7 A. These were obviously conversations of generals or the top
8 echelons of the VRS which we intercepted regardless of who their
9 interlocutors were. It was not an instruction that we were given of this
10 nature, and I don't know that if anything went beyond the pale, if the
11 head of the service had the power to do anything. We, who were out in
12 the field, did not have an instruction to the effect that we should avoid
13 recording some conversations.
14 Q. Thank you. Although your answer was long, I am happy with it.
15 General Gvero is merely answering questions put to him here, and
16 he is pleading for the other side to refrain from any actions. And his
17 interlocutor, an UNPROFOR officer, says that he called in NATO and asked
18 for their intervention. Do you recall this conversation?
19 A. I recall several conversations of this nature, and I do roughly
20 recall their tenor.
21 Q. I will quote line 27 for you only:
22 "Our enemies are not the civilians in the region, and we will
23 protect them as far as we can."
24 That's what General Gvero says. And from all the aspects of the
25 application of the Geneva Conventions, I would firmly uphold what he says
1 here, but let me ask you this: You deliberately recorded the
2 interlocutor on the other side because he employed force against one of
3 the warring parties?
4 A. Had we heard him, we would have recorded him, and we would have
5 transcribed what he said. We would have been far happier had such
6 statements by generals of the Army of Republika Srpska been applied in
7 the field.
8 Q. Thank you. This is your comment.
9 Can we look at the following intercept, which is on the next
10 page, 65 ter 2909.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 2920.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P244.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have P244 shown, please.
14 Thank you. It's a short conversation.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Please read it, and then I'll put
16 my question.
17 Q. Can you tell us if you recall what this conversation relates to?
18 A. No, you don't need to remind me what it is. I'd like to say that
19 at that point in time, everything that was taking place in the area was
20 of exceptional importance to us, and as you can see here, there were
21 buses gathering, et cetera. What I would like to draw your attention to
22 is that I did not make any sort of assessments as to what this related to
23 and on what scale it was. There were officers who cross-referenced
24 information and analysed it in order to put it to full use for the
25 service. My duty was to forward this sort of information. I would not
1 wish to comment on it now, although I believe I do know why buses were
2 being gathered, and I believe you know too.
3 Q. Do you know that the fuel for the buses was provided by an
4 UNPROFOR commander, at the intervention of the Dutch minister of defence
5 and General Nicolai, who was in Sarajevo
6 with, since you were into intercepting? Do you know this or not?
7 A. Well, I'm not familiar with everything. I am familiar with the
8 events in this area. There were reports which clearly defined or
9 specified the procurement of fuel even from Serbia.
10 Q. Thank you. So it's a crime if Serbs provide fuel for the people
11 from Potocari to be evacuated, and if UNPROFOR is involved in the
12 procurement of fuel, this is not a crime? Is my understanding of what
13 you're saying correct?
14 A. No, it's not. I was not referring to crime. This isn't my job.
15 I'm talking about the accounts and the reports that we came by, and I
16 know that there were reports based on which vehicles were being provided
17 from Serbia
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's call up
19 65 ter 2930, which speaks exactly to what you said right now, that
20 vehicles were being gathered in Serbia
21 Republika Srpska. I'm sure you would have noted down something like
22 that. 65 ter 2930.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You can see that line 1 says:
25 "I have --"
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on the screen. This is P245.
2 Carry on, please.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I will quote the first line only, to save time:
7 "I have, at the 35th, five trailer-trucks."
8 That's the sentence you just transcribed.
9 So in the second part of this conversation that you intercepted,
10 563, they speak of fuel. Line 1 says:
11 "What are we going to do about fuel?"
12 And they're saying this because there is no fuel, and it needs to
13 be transported in one day.
14 My question is as follows: Are they looking to obtain fuel for
15 public activity, one which UNPROFOR participated in, or, in other words,
16 overt activity, or are they seeking to obtain it for covert activity?
17 Thank you.
18 A. What was the fuel used for? I think these reports relate mainly
19 to activities involving transport of population. What else was it used
20 for, I really don't know. But this was an interesting story, from my
21 point of view. However, whether somebody analysed this and came to
22 different conclusions, I really don't know.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's now look at 65 ter 2932.
24 When we look at it, read just the second sentence.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P241.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. "Did those buses and trucks set out?"
3 That's the second sentence. Can you see it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In this conversation, is there any mention of any other military
6 activity, apart from fuel and the gathering of buses? Read it, if you
7 need to, and tell us. Do they speak only about evacuation? That's my
9 A. I can't recall every intercept, but I can read through and
10 then ...
11 From the transcript, we can see what you are saying, that fuel
12 was being collected for evacuation.
13 Q. Can you tell us, did you get any intercepts concerning evacuation
14 involving anyone apart from the VRS; for instance, civilians who were
15 looking for the fuel, or the military who were providing it?
16 A. I believe there were many, many conversations at that time
17 regarding these activities, the collection of fuel and transportation
18 vehicles. I would really need time to recall all this. I can't do it
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. We have finished with
21 this issue.
22 Can we now show 65 ter 2968.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. While we are waiting, can I give you an introduction? That's the
25 situation we discussed a moment ago when I mentioned the infiltration of
1 groups. Now we see a transcript showing that ambushes had been set. You
2 can see it now, and I will quote lines 12 through 14:
3 "Listen, those ambushes I've been setting up over there on the
4 wide road and on the part of Glodjansko Brdo - they just called me two
5 minutes ago - there's a large collection of Turks, three continuous
6 kilometres long, from the school in Glodi."
7 This is a reference to columns and to ambushes. Was this column
8 moving announced or unannounced to those forces on the ground that had
9 set ambushes?
10 A. I think you are mistaken again. I'm not the kind of person who
11 can answer that sort of question. These are just transcripts of
12 intercepts, and that was my job.
13 Q. Thank you. [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There's no interpretation at the moment.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. We could analyse more of these transcripts that are introduced
17 through you, but we don't have time. We could go on quoting from all
18 these transcripts of intercepts that are being introduced through you.
19 I'm not forcing you to say whether anything lawful or unlawful is
20 mentioned here. But since you were talking about that note-book
21 yesterday, are these conversations recorded in that note-book?
22 A. First of all, I would like to say, if you allow me, that as far
23 as these events are concerned involving columns of people who are fleeing
24 through forests and ran into ambushes and got into trouble, where some
25 people were killed even, there have been reports, and this is one of
1 them. That's one point.
2 And what was that other thing you mentioned?
3 Q. You said yesterday your note-book will be arriving here. In that
4 note-book, are there any of the intercepts that you presented here and
5 the Prosecution introduced through you?
6 A. I've said that all these intercepts were recorded into that work
7 log-book - that's what it's called - and that's how they are accessible.
8 Q. And where was that log-book when you testified in other cases?
9 Was it in the same place as now, and why was there no access to it?
10 A. There has been access to it, and I believe you saw a copy of
11 three or four pages yesterday.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show the witness the
13 transcript from Popovic, 1D161, lines 18 to 24, page 46 in e-court. The
14 page number is 6160.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I will tell you what you said, responding to one Defence
17 counsel's question. He asked you:
18 "Can you tell us where this note-book was archived? Where is
20 That was the question by Defence counsel. And you answered:
21 "I am not authorised to say. I explained that the part of this
22 note-book that was in the possession of my service has been copied by the
23 Tribunal -- by the OTP. In this case, I can really not answer this
25 Would you confirm, first of all, that you've said this when
1 testifying in the Popovic case? If you say, No, then I will have no
3 A. Do I have to explain? Yes.
4 Q. Now, what is the difference between then and now concerning this
5 note-book where intercepts were recorded?
6 A. In the course of my work in the service, I occupied different
7 positions. I occupied one position at a time, which I lost later and was
8 replaced by someone else. This log-book came to a different
9 jurisdiction, and I no longer had access to it in a certain period, and I
10 don't think that even now we can provide the complete log-book, because
11 we wouldn't do something that runs counter to the interests of my
12 service. But I can tell you, for instance, the number of reports.
13 Q. Thank you. I don't need that. The Trial Chamber and the
14 Tribunal can ask for it, if they want to, because you say you have all of
15 these reports.
16 Just tell me, to the best of your knowledge, did the OTP get
17 insight and access to all these archives of intercepts?
18 A. I cannot say yes or no with any certainty.
19 Q. Have they been given anything out of all this material and all
20 these note-books?
21 A. I know that. At a certain stage, I personally made a list of all
22 the material that had been turned over, the material that I was told to
23 hand over and get a receipt.
24 Q. Was this material shared with anyone else; for instance, the
25 Defence team here in the Tribunal?
1 A. Nobody asked me for anything. Everything that was requested is
2 accessible to the Prosecution and probably, by the same token, to you.
3 Q. Did you have an exchange of information of the material that, as
4 you said, you gave to the Prosecution and that is otherwise treated as
5 military secret?
6 A. I did not mention military secret.
7 Could you repeat your question, please.
8 Q. Because you said you don't know and that the OTP was given only a
9 part of this material, I'm asking whether material of this sort has been
10 given to any other service or any other user as part of an exchange of
12 A. I don't know, or, rather, not that I know.
13 Q. Now, tell me why you and the other interceptors signed off with
14 initials that do not reflect your name, and every report you made was
15 marked "state secret." And why is everything decrypted in the material,
16 apart from your code-names?
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There was an answer, but it was not interpreted.
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: In this particular case, I think it's --
21 Your Honour, I would object to this three-part question. To try to get
22 the witness to remember all three parts is too much, in my view. If he
23 could break it down, I have no objection to it, but he doesn't -- he's
24 not able to read the transcript to be able to go through and figure them
25 all out. And he's trying hard, I think you see that, but even yesterday
1 we know that he -- and the problem with this is we don't know -- if he
2 doesn't answer all through, we don't know which of the three questions
3 his answer applies to, and it's really hard to try to sort that out on
4 redirect a day or several hours later. But ...
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will break it down
6 into three questions.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Were your names, as interceptors, encrypted in the telegrams sent
9 to the Security Centre?
10 A. I can explain.
11 Q. Let me first ask all of the questions, and then you will clarify.
12 Were these telegrams marked "state secret"?
13 A. Yes, that's how we marked them.
14 Q. In these reports, everything was decrypted and open, except the
15 names of the interceptors; is that right?
16 A. When you write a report, you write it in the form as you can see
17 it now, and then it is encrypted in its entirety, and then it is sent to
18 the centre through communications.
19 Q. This information we are presented with in this note-book
20 introduced through you, is it decrypted or encrypted?
21 A. It's obviously decrypted. If it were encrypted, we wouldn't be
22 able to see anything.
23 Q. Is it necessary for the Tribunal to know what you, as an
24 interceptor, wrote about anyone, such as the chief of your service? Why
25 is it important to know their names?
1 A. I think we are moving into a completely different area that has
2 to do with communication control and protection of data in our service.
3 And if you want to discuss it, perhaps we should go into private session.
4 Q. No need. I won't ask you anything about that anymore. If the
5 Trial Chamber is interested, they will put other questions to you.
6 You just answer this for me: In a decrypted conversation, in a
7 decrypted intercept, do the names of the interceptors remain encrypted?
8 And if so, why?
9 A. I've explained to you, when you write on the computer the whole
10 report and the signature of the author, this file, in its entirety, is
11 encrypted, and then it goes through the media to the communications
12 centre, where it comes out in the original form, where the name of the
13 operator is again protected.
14 Q. We have here 12 intercepts that you transcribed, and there's
15 nothing encrypted in them except your signature, which consists of
16 initials and numbers that do not reflect your name. "JD073" is the name
17 of your co-worker, and your signature is "JN160." Was it done at the
18 suggestion of the OTP, or did you know back in 1995 that you would need
19 it for this purpose?
20 A. I really did not expect such questions from you. These are
21 code-names of our operators used in all documents. Anything that I ever
22 wrote in my service, I would sign as "JN160." That was my name and
23 surname at the time in my service whenever I signed documents.
24 Q. Yes, but this document is used in court, and you are appearing in
25 court as a witness. Is it really necessary that your code-name remains
1 the only protected piece of information, whereas everything else is
3 A. In 1995, we were not working for the purposes of a court. It was
4 standard practice, standard procedure in our service, and I'm sure you
5 know this very well, that not a single employee of our service would sign
6 anything with their full name. They would use the code-name. And it
7 works the same in all such services in the world.
8 Q. Tell me, did you receive any training from anyone, apart from the
9 members of your army, before the war or during the war? Did you travel
10 anywhere for training that would enable you to engage in these activities
11 during the war?
12 A. Yes, I did, but I wouldn't like to discuss it.
13 Q. Does it have any relevance for your testimony?
14 A. Well, it's relevant because it concerns my education, my
15 approach, the methods we used in monitoring these communications,
16 intercepting them, and the methods of conveying information.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for your
18 answers, for sharing your views and comments. I'm very grateful to you
19 for helping us and the Trial Chamber understand your work.
20 I have no further questions. I wish you a safe journey home.
21 I have concluded my cross-examination, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
23 Mr. McCloskey, do you have re-examination?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just very briefly, Mr. President.
25 And could we bring up 65 ter 1680, P240.
1 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
2 Q. Now, sir, you'll see, when this comes up that it should be the
3 first page, yes, of your -- of all the number in the note-book, this is
4 one of five pages. And this is a page of the note-book we have been
5 talking about and that General Tolimir has been talking about; correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And he asked you questions about whether or not the intercepts
8 were in the full note-book, and you said they were, and that this
9 note-book, hopefully, is coming. Can you clarify for us, when you said
10 the intercepts were in this note-book, are you referring to the
11 intercepts as they are identified by number and such, as we see them on
12 this page, or are you suggesting or saying that the entire intercepts are
13 in this note-book as well, the text of the intercepts? Just so we can
14 clarify that. It's a little unclear in my mind.
15 A. This log-book contains transcripts -- or, rather, a reference to
16 the numbers of the transcripts. For instance, transcript 510 at the top
17 was logged into this book, as written here. It's the number assigned by
18 the computer during encryption and the time when this report was sent.
19 It's not the text of the intercepts. It's just the protocol number, a
20 record, a register of the numbers of transcripts, and this log-book
21 contains all the information that was transcribed at this site.
22 Q. Are there frequencies in this log-book?
23 A. No, no.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much.
25 I have nothing further, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You will be pleased to know that this concludes
2 your examination. The Chamber would like to thank you that you came to
3 The Hague
4 very much again.
5 We will have our first break now and resume five minutes before
6 half past 12.00. That means 12.25.
7 The Court Officer will assist you after the Chamber has left the
8 courtroom. Thank you very much again.
9 We adjourn.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Vanderpuye. It's already
14 afternoon now.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, good afternoon, Mr. President, Your
16 Honours. Good afternoon, everyone.
17 Mr. President, I did want to bring one issue to your attention.
18 There is a document that I had intended to use with this witness. We
19 have assigned it a provisional 65 ter number, and I've spoken to
20 Mr. Gajic concerning it. It is a series of intercept reports that I
21 wanted to use with this witness for only illustrative purposes, not as
22 substantive evidence, just to familiarise the Court with how the
23 intercepts are processed during the course of the operations.
24 There is an intercept that is the subject of the first of
25 these -- there are 19 reports for a series of -- on one day, on the 15th
1 of July, 1995. The first of these intercepts is actually on the 65 ter
2 list, and there are some other ones as well within those reports that are
3 on the 65 ter list, but the whole of the reports, 1 through 19, is not,
4 in and of itself, on the 65 ter list.
5 I've spoken with Mr. Gajic to see if there would be any objection
6 to using it with the witness for non-substantive purposes, and it appears
7 that there isn't an objection, so I would like to ask permission of the
8 Trial Chamber -- leave of the Trial Chamber to use this document, in
9 other words, to add it to the 65 ter list.
10 I know that we normally submit these applications in writing, and
11 I think that's the best way to do it, but I think given the fact that
12 it's uncontested, it might be more efficient to do it this way. In any
13 event, if not, I can use only the intercept that is on the 65 ter list,
14 of which I've given Mr. Gajic notice in any event.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you intend to tender these additional
16 intercept transcripts?
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, I don't need to tender them. I can just
18 show them to the witness so that he can illustrate for the Court how the
19 process works.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I realise that the accused is not objecting, and
23 leave is granted, Mr. Vanderpuye.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is the witness ready?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: He is, and we're prepared to proceed.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He should be brought in.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir.
5 I think the screens should be opened first. Please be patient
6 for a moment.
7 Good afternoon, sir, again. Would you please read aloud the
8 affirmation to tell the truth on the card which is shown to you now.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
10 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: PW-032
12 [The witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, and please sit down.
14 There are, as you know, protective measures in place for you, and
15 Mr. Vanderpuye has some questions for you.
16 Both parties should be reminded to switch off the microphone
17 during the answer of the witness.
18 Mr. Vanderpuye.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. And, again, good
20 afternoon to you and Your Honours. Good afternoon, Witness.
21 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
22 Q. First, I'd like to show you 65 ter 6279.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This will not be broadcast.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Witness, if you could take a look at the name on this exhibit,
1 and just confirm that you are the person named in it, without telling us
2 your name.
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to offer this into
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P253, under seal.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
9 Q. I'd just like to get a little bit of background information, if I
10 could, from you, Witness.
11 Mr. President, may we go into private session.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 2152-2154 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
23 Q. Witness, I was asking you if there was a difference between radio
24 communications at the 2-metre or 80-centimetre range and those of
25 radio-relay links. If you could just briefly illustrate that for us.
1 A. Normally, there would be a difference in terms of its technical
2 setup. But as for the link itself, the communication line is the same.
3 The specificity of radio relay links lies in the fact that the
4 communication runs along directional antennae, in the fact that they are
5 used for traffic mostly of the higher-level units, from the brigade up to
6 the General Staff.
7 Q. Was your unit able to or did your unit engage in the interception
8 of civilian telephone lines, for example, or data lines?
9 A. While I was its commander, our unit never monitored civilian
10 lines. It did happen, however, that civilians would use military lines
11 of the Army of Republika Srpska.
12 Q. Now, with respect to the three facilities you were involved with,
13 was there a distinction between the types of communications that were
14 intercepted among them?
15 A. As I've already said, from the northern facility and the southern
16 facility, radio-relay links were monitored, and partly ultra-shortwave
18 Let me be quite clear. From -- between 0 to 5, 6, 8, or 10 megahertz for
19 these ultra-shortwave communications, visibility is not required. Since
20 these waves do have these qualities of refraction, and these are
21 technical terms - it doesn't really matter - but they can bend around
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, one location was mentioned. This
24 page 37, line 7. Is there any problem with it?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, just bear with me. I'm trying to
1 locate it in the transcript.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Page 37, line 7.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yeah, there's a problem. Thank you,
4 Mr. President. I wonder if we could --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will redact that.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much. Okay.
7 Q. Now, was there any distinction among these facilities? And we'll
8 try to avoid mentioning their names, but is the distinction between them
9 in terms of the targets of the interception, that is, the facilities and
10 objects of the operation?
11 A. There is a distinction, and at first glance it is very simple.
12 All radio-relay stations need to be placed on elevations high up in order
13 for them to be able to establish communication, and there has to be
14 optical visibility. From the military perspective, and I've already said
15 this, the facilities in the north and in the south were part of the
16 communications system of the Yugoslav Army, and they stayed in the
17 territory of the BH Army. From the military perspective, we had ideal
18 locations for monitoring radio-relay communications, even more than
19 ideal, as it were, because we were swamped by them from all sides. The
20 question was not whether one could monitor communications; rather, how
21 much could be followed with the modest amateur equipment we had.
22 Q. Okay. What I'd like to know, though, is: Is there any
23 difference between who you were -- your unit was intercepting, as among
24 the three facilities that you were attached to? In other words, was one
25 unit monitoring one category of people or facilities, versus another
1 unit, or were they all monitoring the same target?
2 A. Every unit or part thereof had its respective area for radio
3 reconnaissance. Thus, the unit in the north, for the most part,
4 monitored the communications of the East Bosnian Corps, the 1st Krajina
5 Corps, and elements of the Drina Corps, whereas the unit in the
6 south monitored radio-relay communications of the VRS General Staff, the
8 Q. And did any of the three facilities monitor, for example,
9 political entities or political people, as distinguished from military
10 facilities and military people?
11 A. We were never charged with the task of monitoring political
12 leaders. However, in performing our -- in performing their duties,
13 political leaders used military communication systems, especially when
14 communicating with Banja Luka, since the political authorities were at
15 Pale, and with Belgrade
16 Q. Now, with respect to the northern and southern facilities, I
17 wonder if you could just familiarise the Trial Chamber with how these
18 particular facilities were set up. That is, if we could begin, perhaps,
19 with the command structure, how it was organised in terms of personnel.
20 A. It all depended on the amount of equipment that was available at
21 a given point in time. Since our unit was providing support to
22 intelligence structures and, to that end, gathered information, it was
23 never manned 100 per cent. On average, in the northern facility the
24 tasks were performed by a platoon of approximately 15 men. They worked
25 according to the following system: They would spend seven days in the
1 facility and then seven days at home. It could change depending on the
2 frequency of traffic, so they could spend 10 or more days in the
3 facility, and this mostly happened in the summer of 1995, and then the
4 subsequent 10 days at home. The workload was enormous. One worked
5 'round the clock, under very difficult conditions, with poor equipment
6 and poor training -- or, rather, poor clothing, I meant. And this was
7 especially the case in the winter. There was no heating. Old heating
8 stoves were used, if only just to keep the equipment in working order.
9 A similar situation prevailed in the southern facility as well.
10 This facility was even more difficult to access, especially in the
11 winter. It was also manned by a platoon which monitored radio-relay
12 communications with approximately 12 to 18 men; on average, 15. They had
13 the same work regimen.
14 Q. Now, in terms of the number of men that were working at each of
15 these facilities, were they -- you said they were organised in platoons.
16 Were they further -- were they further divided into shifts, squads, and
17 so on?
18 A. I've already said that the work was done seven days in a stint,
19 followed by seven days of rests. So people were divided into shifts.
20 Half of them were resting, half of them were working.
21 Q. And how many hours was a shift, for example?
22 A. Twenty-four hours.
23 Q. Now, in terms of the personnel, that is, the operators
24 themselves, was there any formal training that was provided to them
25 either prospectively, before they were recruited, or after they were
1 recruited into your unit?
2 A. In order to explain that, I have to go back to 1992. The unit,
3 as such, was established -- founded from a number of enthusiasts, mainly
4 radio amateurs and officers of the Yugoslav People's Army, or, rather,
5 former JNA officers who at that time were serving as officers in the
6 BH Army. They started with modest equipment, and the unit grew to its
7 full size in mid-1995, numbering, on average, 50 to 60. There was no
8 professional-quality equipment either imported or inherited from the JNA.
9 We just adapted and souped-up devices we had in our radio clubs, adding
10 amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, and other components, and we managed to
11 enable these devices eventually to monitor one channel from one site.
12 Our capacities were modest, but they were used to the full. We had in
13 our unit former JNA officers specialised in communications, and the core
14 of the unit was made up by Ham radio operators with 10 to 40 years'
15 experience. They were the moving force of the unit, especially when we
16 had to deal with technical problems. There was no special training, as
17 such, because there was too much to do. There was just training on the
18 job, for the very simple reason that at that time we couldn't do any
19 different. We fought to the best of our ability, and I believe we won
20 our victory deservedly.
21 Q. In terms of the experienced radio amateurs that worked in the
22 unit, do you know whether or not any of them held any certification,
23 Ham radio or amateur certifications?
24 A. All the people we had, had certificates of a completed course in
25 radio amateurism and awards from various competitions, and they had
1 constant shortwave communication with all continents; Europe
3 devices needed to establish connection. Radio amateurs have to learn the
4 same things as radio operators. You need to be able to receive and
5 transmit messages. But in our unit, all they had to do was to receive a
6 message and transform it into written information. They had enormous
7 experience, and they proved to be even better than some schooled soldiers
8 from the former JNA.
9 Q. Of the former JNA officers that you had working in the unit, did
10 they also have certain certifications from the former JNA in terms of
12 A. Right this minute, I can't tell you about each individual person,
13 but I know that we had two officers who had graduated from the military
14 academy specialising in counter-intelligence protection and electronic
15 warfare. But there were also officers who had graduated from the
16 military academy in Zagreb
17 radars and communication systems of the air force, and they were a
18 considerable reinforcement to us.
19 Q. Now, you've mentioned a little bit about the work process,
20 itself, but I'd like to get into a little bit more in depth of detail
21 about what the intercept operators did in performing their functions.
22 But if you could just describe basically how the process went in terms of
23 receiving communications and then translating those or transcribing those
24 into written documents.
25 A. Before I answer your question, I just want to mention something
1 I'd forgotten to say before.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, could we go into private session
6 for just a moment, please.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
8 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you for that.
25 Q. Witness, I will repeat my question, just so that --
1 A. There's no need.
2 Q. Okay, thank you.
3 A. The process of gathering information at our work-place ran as
4 follows: The first and primary task was to record and note down all the
5 signals that appeared within the range to eliminate channels of no
6 interest, mainly within the range of the RRU 800, television channels.
7 And then once a working frequency is discovered where communication runs
8 between two hubs of communication, or a radio station, on the one hand,
9 and a radio-relay station, on the other hand, we would adjust our
10 antennas to get the best signal possible, and then we would proceed to
11 identify active channels. Our technical capacities enabled us to monitor
12 one channel from one work-place. I know very well what the ideal
13 situation would be and what was possible in the former JNA, but with our
14 technical capacities, that's the only thing we could do.
15 After we identified -- or, rather, discovered participants in the
16 traffic, we would proceed to record the communication. People could not
17 memorise and then note down what they heard, so they first had to make a
18 recording, then play it back and listen, and note it down. Such
19 information was written down into station log-books according to the
20 recipe of the former JNA or in our working note-books, because we did not
21 have any dedicated documents for writing this down.
22 After a particular communication was transcribed by hand, we
23 would type it on a computer. Once it was typed up, these reports would
24 be encrypted and sent to the competent command.
25 That would describe the process of work of one listener on one
2 Q. Okay. Now, you've mentioned a few machines that are involved in
3 this process. The first is that you mentioned an RRU 800, and if you
4 could just briefly explain that to the Trial Chamber. I believe there's
5 been some evidence concerning what that is, so if you could be brief,
6 that would be very helpful.
7 A. Radio-relay device RRU 800 is a classic device of the former JNA
8 used to maintain communication at the level of higher-ranking units. It
9 is manufactured by Siemens of Germany, and its working life is over
10 60 years, at least was in the former JNA. It is an analogue device. In
11 other words, you can listen to it. It is mainly installed in stationary
12 facilities on high mountains, and it can establish communication within a
13 range of 50 to 80 kilometres from one hill to another. It can also
14 communicate on longer distances, but the manufacturer gives a guarantee
15 for up to 80 kilometres. It's mainly used for communication from the
16 General Staff of the JNA in Belgrade
17 districts. It's a high-maintenance device that uses a lot of power, but
18 the former JNA also had mobile devices, which means they could be
19 installed, with all the supporting equipment, on a truck. They are
20 rarely moved. They are mainly stationary, in installations where they
21 had a constant power supply, but also a back-up power supply.
22 Q. And were the southern and northern facilities also monitoring --
23 sorry, I see Mr. Tolimir wants to say something.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I could not hear the
1 question interpreted, the question by Mr. Vanderpuye.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat your question, and we will find out
3 if this will be recorded and interpreted correctly.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. What I was asking is: Were the southern and northern facilities
6 also monitoring other radio-relay devices, such as RRU 1? And if you
7 could explain to the Trial Chamber what that is.
8 A. From the northern and southern facilities, apart from the RRU 800
9 device, which is a classic for the former JNA, whose range is 690 to
10 950 megahertz. There was also a device, SMC, that we couldn't monitor
11 because that device worked on satellite frequencies, several gigahertz.
12 It's a massive one. It's mainly connected with the supporting equipment
13 and communicates over 120 channels. And there was also VZ 120 device.
14 Apart from these devices, the VRS also had HVT 1 devices that operated
15 between 400 and 500 megahertz, and the latest devices produced in
17 It works in the range of 230 to 270 megahertz. It's very light. You can
18 carry it on your back. It's mainly used in certain combat activities
19 because it's easy to remove when changing position. That means that one
20 person can carry it on their back and install it and re-install it. It
21 uses normally two antennas, one of them directional, and it also uses a
22 stick antenna that has a circular beam. It was very easy to discover and
23 monitor. As I've already said, the Army of Republika Srpska used this
24 device to set up a forward command post, to set up a tactical group,
25 because it was rapid in connecting to RRU 800. It was easy to take it
1 down to the telephone switchboard. You can easily plug an extension into
2 it. For instance, when someone is calling Vlasenica, they dial three
3 digits and that telephone will ring in Pribicevac. These are the main
5 Q. Now, you mentioned that these communications had to be recorded,
6 and can you tell us basically what kind of tape they recording on and
7 what kind of machine was used to accomplish this?
8 A. That was our second-greatest problem, where to record this huge
9 amount of information, how to keep it, and on what to record it. All
10 these communications, voice communications, were recorded throughout the
11 war onto traditional reporter recorders that were formerly used by
12 journalists. They were called UHER. We got them from radio stations
13 such as Radio Tuzla, from major companies where they had been used to
14 record meetings of the workers council before the war, and we also got
15 all the tapes. We didn't have any new tapes. We didn't have food, let
16 alone tapes. We also got them from radio stations such as Tuzla
17 Banovici, Gradacac, and such, and we recorded onto those tapes. After
18 the content was typed up, we would dub more important communications onto
19 a different tape, and we would erase the original tapes and put them back
20 into use.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have in e-court, please, 65 ter 1639.
22 Q. Do you see the machine that's on the screen in front of you,
23 Mr. Witness? Could you tell us what that is.
24 A. This is the traditional UHER recorder, manufactured in Germany
25 that we used in our work.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If we could just go to the next
2 page, please. I'm sorry, it's 1640, I understand.
3 Q. You recognise this machine as well?
4 A. Yes. That's a type of recorder we used in our work. Let me say
5 that this type of recorder was used by the listening units of the JNA.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you for that. I have one other I would
7 like to show you, and I understand it is 1641.
8 Q. Do you recognise what's on the screen in front of you now?
9 A. That's also a type of recorder, UHER recorder.
10 Q. And are these three types that I've shown you the types that were
11 used by your unit in at least 1995, if not for a longer period of time?
12 A. Yes, these recorders were used in 1995 and before 1995.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender all three of
14 these photographs. The first is 1639.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P254.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: The next is 1640.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, this one as well.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P255.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: And the last is 1641.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P256.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE:
24 Q. Witness, in the process of interception as it occurred in these
25 facilities, northern and southern, were the operators provided with any
1 additional information concerning the areas that they were monitoring or
2 the events that they were monitoring?
3 A. I've already said that intelligence gathering is a painstaking
4 process. It is only normal that as the unit developed, some amount of
5 organising and re-organising was required. All these units and parts
6 thereof were assigned their respective zones for radio reconnaissance.
7 This did not rule out the possibility that they would be monitoring the
8 communications normally falling under the remit of the other unit, that's
9 to say the northern facility, that of the southern, and vice versa. It
10 all depended on the density of traffic. If there were certain activities
11 taking part in the south and they could be followed from the north, it
12 was only natural for that other unit to get involved and assist the
13 other, and this was solely because of the modest resources we had. All
14 these activities were regulated in an order for radio reconnaissance
15 received from the command of the corps and were further regulated by own
17 Q. And so was it the case that the intercept operators at the
18 northern and southern sites were told or directed as to which frequencies
19 or channels to monitor in any given situation?
20 A. It was standard procedure. Of course, directions were received
21 as to which links were more important and others were not. Let me note
22 that operators, be it in the north or in the south, never knew what their
23 colleagues in other facilities were monitoring. It so happened on many
24 occasions that the same line would be monitored from both the northern
25 and southern facilities.
1 Q. Now, you've indicated that the operators would at some point play
2 back the tape and listen to it. Did they do that individually, did they
3 do that collectively? If you could tell us a little bit about that
5 A. All the play-backs of information as it arrived had the purpose
6 of being listened to and transcribed. This would be normally done by a
7 single person. However, in most cases where the other interlocutor could
8 not be heard well or when weather conditions were bad, and since the
9 frequency was not everywhere the same, one had to rely on the help of his
10 colleagues to find out what was actually said. This was a normal
11 process. Since the return signal sometimes was of good quality, at other
12 times it was of poor quality, and since in some cases both could be heard
13 on the same channel, only once everybody agreed that, indeed, a specific
14 word was uttered would it actually be transcribed onto a piece of paper.
15 Likewise, in view of the technical features of the UHER
16 reel-to-reel tape-recorder, the speed would be slowed down, and the words
17 could then be heard better. Another possibility afforded by the UHER
18 device was that noise -- background noise could be eliminated to a
19 certain point.
20 Q. And in terms of listening to and transcribing these tapes, was
21 that something that was done immediately after a recording was made, or
22 is that something that was done later in the day? Was there any specific
23 protocol concerning when and how that transcription took place?
24 A. The transmission of information gathered primarily depended on
25 the following factors: Number 1, the weight or importance of the
1 information concerned. If the nature of the information dictated its
2 urgent transmission -- let me explain it the following way. We had a map
3 of targets in the Command of the 2nd Corps, and when artillery would open
4 fire from Mount Ozren
5 would not be even put on paper. You would immediately inform the
6 municipal early-warning system and the HQ for an alarm to be sounded,
7 because military installations were never targeted. No important targets
8 were fired upon. Rather, indiscriminate fire was opened on the
9 residential areas populated by the civilian population. So this is the
10 sort of information that dictated urgency, and they would be transmitted
11 instantly. Other sort of information, like most of the intercepts, which
12 carried long-term importance and meant that nothing would change for the
13 moment, would be typed up as soon as they were recorded; at most, an hour
14 or two later. The information would be transcribed, typed up, and
15 forwarded. One needs to bear in mind that this is a difficult,
16 labour-intensive process, transcription, typing up, et cetera, so there
17 was normally a lapse of one to two hours before it was completed. So
18 sometimes we would have 35 or 30 such batches of information, sometimes
19 15 only, but whatever was recorded would be forwarded not soon
20 thereafter. It happened occasionally that if we had intelligence
21 intercepted before midnight
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If I could show the witness, please,
23 65 ter 6283, 6283.
24 Q. All right. I just want to show you -- this shouldn't be
25 broadcast, by the way.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. First of all, I want to show you this document. It indicates
4 that it is from the 2nd Corps in the title.
5 I'm afraid there's not an English translation, just so you're
6 aware, Your Honours, but I think we can get through it.
7 It indicates the site, as you can see in the third line on the
8 left. And then it has a strictly confidential number. It's "Str.pov.br.
9 01/15795. Do you see that, Witness? All right.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Answer the question for the record.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE:
12 Q. If you can just -- you have to answer out loud. Do you see what
13 I was just reading into the record?
14 A. Yes, yes, I do.
15 Q. Now in terms of the number "01/15795," can you tell us what that
16 indicates? What does it mean?
17 A. This is the conventional letterhead normally used for reports
18 from northern and southern facilities. These reports were sent to the
19 intelligence organ of the 2nd Corps. It's a daily report of radio
20 reconnaissance. In the left-hand corner, we have this conventional
21 heading. Since our unit was under the 2nd Corps, (redacted)
22 (redacted) northern
23 facility, and this means that the intercept that follows was made in the
24 northern facility. Then we have what is short for "strictly confidential
25 number 01/15795." Well, this is the normal reference number assigned to
1 this report, which consists of the following: The first number, 01,
2 tells us that this is the first report to have been typed up and sent to
3 the command on the 15th of July. What follows after "01" is the date,
4 "15," the 15th, "7," July, "95," the year 1995, and this date is written
5 below. So this is the typical report -- the typical example of a report,
6 that is, which doesn't -- this is a typical example of a report which
7 does not have an instantaneous importance. It was recorded on an RRU 1,
8 and we can see below the dotted line the frequency on which it was done,
9 254.300 megahertz, at 2221 [as interpreted] hours, that is. Every one of
10 these reports needs to contain an encryption indicating when exactly it
11 was sent. This report was sent on the following day, right after
13 Moreover, the report indicates the interlocutors, X, a Malinich and a
14 Nastich. What does this mean? This means that one of the participants
15 in the conversation was Major Malinich. He introduced himself at the
16 start. Any participant in a conversation who is not introduced, who is
17 not known, is designated with an X or a Y. We can see it is clearly
18 indicated when Major Malinich is speaking, or when the unknown
19 participant is speaking, or when Nastich is speaking. So this is the
20 typical template that was used for reports that were sent to the Command
21 of the 2nd Corps on a daily basis.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't want to interrupt this explanation. I
23 waited. Now we have to redact line 11 of page 52 on the right screen.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I have a different
25 pagination, but --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I know that. In LiveNote, it's another page and
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Also in the transcript, I'm not sure which line
4 it is, but it's indicated the timing of this intercept is 2221. In
5 fact -- oh, I can see it now. It's page 53, line 14. Okay. It should
6 be 2241 is the time of the intercept, as we can all see in e-court.
7 Q. Witness, if we could just page forward to ERN 348, so it should
8 be three pages -- or the third page, rather, in e-court. Page 4, that's
9 it. All right.
10 In this document, it has the same heading as the first one, but
11 we can see, for the strictly confidential number, it starts with
12 "02/15795." And if you'll note with respect to the first intercepted
13 communication between X and Y, it shows a time of "0554 hours." Now,
14 between the two, that is, the prior intercept of 2241 hours and this one
15 that we see now at 0554 hours, can you tell us when this intercept would
16 have been recorded and sent?
17 A. This intercept was made at the same facility, and which,
18 according to the reference number, was the second report on the 15th of
19 July, 1995. The difference between this report and the earlier one is
20 that the instant report contains information intercepted by an RRU 800.
21 We can see that the time indicates early-morning hours. What else is
22 typical? Well, the fact that the participants in the conversation did
23 not introduce themselves or reveal their identity in any way. They are
24 denoted as X/Y, meaning unknown, unidentified. What else is telling
25 about this report? Well, the fact that at a different time, at
1 0611 hours, the report -- or, rather, the intercept was made on channel
2 784.700, on channel 5.
3 Q. And would this intercept have been recorded on the 15th of July,
4 as opposed -- would this intercept have been recorded on the 15th of
5 July, as opposed to the one at 2241?
6 A. This intercept was recorded in the early-morning hours of the
7 15th of July, and this tells us that from 2241 hours, which is the time
8 indicated earlier, up to this point, there was no traffic. Normally,
9 things quietened down around midnight
10 was sent from the northern facility to the Command of the 2nd Corps on
11 the 15th of July.
12 Let me also add that communications operators worked 'round the
13 clock. They had their sleeping quarters in the office, so they were
14 working and always available both in the corps command and in these
16 Q. All right. Thank you for that. Now, is there any fixed number
17 of reports that are required to be sent in a given date or -- on a given
18 day, or is that a flexible system?
19 A. The report in this particular format would be typed up at the KZ
20 station or the encryption station. This station had a set -- special
21 code set aside for each day. So the report would be encrypted, and only
22 an encrypted report could be sent on the day. It would be entered in the
23 log-book of outgoing telegrams, and then in the corps command they would
24 have a log-book of incoming telegrams. So every day for the period of
25 consecutive three years, the communications officers dealing with
1 encryption would check if the number of telegrams sent out from the
2 facility on a given day matched with the number of telegrams received in
3 the corps command on the day. This was a standard procedure. Now, the
4 codes for encryption were received on a monthly basis from the Main Staff
5 in Sarajevo
6 Q. Now, the number of reports that are sent out, we see here in
7 these two examples, 01, 02, is that -- is the number of these reports
8 fixed? Are 10 reports required to be sent out on a given day, 20, 1, 2?
9 A. Absolutely not. The number of reports depended on the activity
10 on the other side. I've already said that there were days when 30, 40,
11 50 reports would be sent out, and there were days when only 2 would be
12 sent out. The number was never fixed. Only the midnight report was
13 fixed, because there you would check if the number of the telegrams sent
14 out matched the number of those received.
15 Q. Now, when the operators wrote down or would write down what was
16 on a given tape, was there any analysis that was involved in this that
17 they were required, or authorised, I should say, to perform?
18 A. As in every other job, some sort of analysis was conducted at all
19 times. The primary task of operators was to record a given activity or a
20 given conversation and transcribe it just the way it was recorded. Of
21 course, we had note-books where we would write down specific frequencies.
22 Let me just say that it was very easy to uncover radio-relay routes, for
23 the simple reason that they tended to change very rarely. During my stay
24 there, frequencies changed maybe on four -- three to four occasions, as
25 did the names of these radio-relay stations or the names of the various
1 participants, members of staffs or brigades. So we had the supporting
2 documentation which facilitated and directed our work.
3 Q. And was this information provided to intercept operators, such as
4 the names of facilities, of participants, things of that nature?
5 A. Naturally, every operator had to have an idea of what was
6 happening in the field. They knew these things by heart. It wasn't a
7 problem. The reports were analysed in detail in the Analysis Department,
8 and based on their analysis, guide-lines were given for work. But, of
9 course, every operator had to have an idea of how radio-relay systems in
10 the VRS worked. So the process can at once appear simple and
11 complicated. We would simply open up the radio-relay systems -- the
12 empty charts of radio-relay systems used by the JNA formerly and fill
13 them out in order to create a picture of the participants in the
14 communication; brigades, staffs, commanding officers, the charts of wire
15 and wireless communications, and communications systems that were in
16 place. So this was the sort of analysis that was conducted within the
17 unit, but the overall analysis was carried out by the Analysis Department
18 of the 2nd Corps and --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat where else?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE:
21 Q. I think your answer is only recorded up until you mentioned the
22 Analysis Department of the 2nd Corps, but you also mentioned some other
23 facilities. Could you please just repeat that part of your answer.
24 A. So primary analysis was made by our unit. Because of the
25 frequency of traffic, we didn't have time for anything else. In the
1 Command of the 2nd Corps, there existed an analysis department, and
2 opposite that department there existed a department for
3 counter-intelligence protection, which had the task of analysing all the
4 information gathered through electronic reconnaissance and to fill out
5 all the gaps in the communications system as it existed on the other
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. I think it's time for the break, and
8 this is a good point to stop, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 We must have --
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we break, Judge Mindua has a question for
13 the witness.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Indeed. Thank you, Witness.
15 On page 56 of the LiveNote, you stated that the system, as it
16 worked, was such that all the operators, normally speaking, were
17 warned -- were informed of the way the system operated in the VRS, all
18 the more so since many operators had trained -- had done their training
19 in the JNA. Now, here's my question: If such was the case, normally
20 speaking, all the VRS operators should have known the system that
21 operated in the ABiH, and vice versa, so everybody knew that they were
22 being tapped; is that so?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right. Let me
24 just make a few points.
25 Our advantage during the war was primarily the fact that we did
1 not have the equipment of the sort, we didn't have anything to work with.
2 In a number of reports, you can find constant cautions from lower-level
3 ranks to the higher-level ranks that they should be wary of what they say
4 because these links or these routes were being monitored, so it was a
5 cat-and-mouse game. We were the mouse, a cornered mouse, and they did
6 not much pay attention or give importance to the fact that we listened to
7 them. I don't know if you understand me. If you have a side that has an
8 upper hand, then it doesn't really matter. They believe that things were
9 going to end in their favour.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Precisely, you've already answered
11 the question I was about to ask you now. I wanted to know how it came
12 that they were so naive. When you look at the contents of the
13 intercepts, why were they being so frank, provided these are authentic
14 intercepts? I was curious as to the frankness of the messages we've
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now another question by Judge Nyambe.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Mine is just a clarification.
18 At page 34, lines 10 to 13, you stated that:
19 "The main duty of any commanding officer is to assemble men and
20 equipment to ensure that the process of gathering intelligence through
21 electronic reconnaissance is going on smoothly and to provide necessary
22 resources for his men."
23 My question: Is your reference to "men" in that paragraph --
24 does your reference to "men" in that paragraph include women, or you had
25 no women under your command?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're referring to a specific
2 period, I can tell you that we did have women who performed other types
3 of work. If we're talking specifically about 1995, there were no women
4 in our ranks.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we must have our second break, and we will
7 resume at 2.35.
8 The Court Officer will assist you during the break.
9 --- Recess taken at 2.06 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer [sic], please proceed.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, I misspoke, Mr. Vanderpuye. You know
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's all right, thank you.
16 Q. All right. What I'd like to ask you, Witness, is I'd like to go
17 over, I think in a little bit more detail, the process of transcribing
18 these taped intercepted communications into note-books, and how that was
19 done, specifically.
20 Now, was it the case that operators always transcribed taped
21 intercepts into note-books, in particular?
22 A. I've already said the process ran as follows: Upon detecting a
23 conversation, in other words, the channel where the speakers were
24 speaking, we started recording on tape-recorders. The next step would be
25 to transcribe the communication by playing back the tape. And
1 considering that we never had original documents, we transcribed these
2 intercepts wherever; in paper -- on paper from old books, old forms, and
3 note-books. We would note down every conversation in a note-book,
4 indicating speakers, the time, the frequency. And then we would go to
5 the KZ station, which is the encryption station, and that is where these
6 transcripts would be typed up on a computer. According to our procedure,
7 the report would be in its proper format once the typewritten text from a
8 computer is printed out. Once it was typed up on a computer, it would be
9 encrypted and sent to the relevant command.
10 Q. How important was it for the operators to note down the
11 information on the tapes accurately?
12 A. That was the most important duty of every operator. We never
13 insisted, in our service, on how much should be written or that the
14 operator should listen carefully to who is speaking and what they are
15 saying. The most important task was to write down correctly in the
16 note-book whatever was recorded on tape.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, before you continue, Judge Nyambe
18 has a question.
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just want a clarification.
20 Page 60, line 9 to 21, you have given us a description of how the
21 listening was done, the evidence was noted down, up to the time when it
22 was sent to the relevant command. How many people would have been
23 involved in this process? Is it the same person who listens, transcribes
24 the notes, types the report, and sends it to the command, or were there
25 other people involved in the process?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The process of gathering
2 information would involve several people, that is, from the moment of
3 recording until the moment of play-back. We would have four to six work
4 posts, meaning that four to six people would be present on every shift.
5 Only one person would be doing the re-typing and encryption. That man
6 worked in a separate room. He was the only one who had the codes for
7 encryption. He had to have special training, and he was the only one
8 authorised to receive and send telegrams. The person who took down the
9 message could be present in the room only to dictate. As for play-back
10 of tapes, if there were any indistinct passages, everyone would gather
11 and listen carefully and give their input on what they think they were
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. In terms of the note-books that the operators used to transcribe
16 this information, who supplied these note-books to them?
17 A. I shall only say that during the whole war, at any time all of my
18 men and I knew very well what we needed, what we wanted to have, what
19 would be ideal, but it was wartime. We didn't have enough to eat, and
20 note-books were unthinkable. They only started to appear on the
21 market in 1995. We had to make due with what we had. In the summer,
22 when there were mushrooms, we ate mushrooms. If we had some flour left
23 over, we would swap it for note-books. We would ask friends to give us
24 old forms to fill in. They were in the form of note-books, and you could
25 write on the back because the back of every page was blank. Logistics
1 were poor. We simply didn't get around to note-books because we ran
2 short of many more important things.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If we could have in e-court, please,
4 65 ter 869.
5 Q. And while that's coming up on the screen, let me ask you this:
6 Was there specific information that the operators were required to record
7 in the note-books when they took down an intercept, such as the frequency
8 or the participants?
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, will there be a problem if this
10 note-book will -- this document will be broadcast?
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, there's not a problem.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. All right. Do you recognise what's on the screen in front of
15 you, Witness?
16 A. What you see is the cover of a note-book which I think we had in
17 1995, and we used it to write down intercepts in it. Basically, these
18 are --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, you should switch off.
20 Witness, you should continue your answer.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I came to the unit, one of my
22 priorities was to make the unit more soldierly, and we started with what
23 we could get hold of. All these note-books, before being put to use,
24 were registered in a record. They would get a number, a date, and be
25 marked "Strictly Confidential," and they would be sent to the northern or
1 the southern location. Since there were no columns printed in these
2 note-books for various rubrics, date, frequency, intercept, et cetera,
3 et cetera, everyone had to write and draw these lines themselves, the
4 time and hour of the conversation, the name of the speakers if they
5 introduced themselves, if their identity was known, or perhaps X/Y if we
6 didn't know who they were. And then at the end of every intercept, it
7 was the duty of the operator to put down -- to note down his own
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have an original note-book. I don't know if
10 the Court would like to see it. I would like for the Court to see it,
11 and I think the accused has had an opportunity to inspect it as well.
12 But for the moment, I'd like to show it to the witness and have him
13 explain it, some of the content. So if I could have this shown to the
14 witness and placed on the ELMO, please.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: It is note-book 103 that's actually indicated in
17 the exhibit -- the photographic exhibit in front of the Court now. It's
18 on the far right in that photograph, the second one down.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is this whole note-book in e-court?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: I don't believe the whole note-book is in
21 e-court, no.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That could create a problem.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm not seeking to tender the note-book. I just
24 want the witness to indicate to the Court what he's talking about, in
25 terms of the notations that are in it. But for the purposes of e-court,
1 I'm going to tender just the photographs of it, because there are other
2 documents that establish the connection, without tendering the physical
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Witness, could you indicate -- is the ELMO functioning? I'd
7 like the witness just to show the Court the strictly confidential number
8 that you've indicated were written down in these note-books.
9 If we could just place that on the ELMO so we can see where those
10 are marked -- that number's indicated, I'm sorry.
11 I'm sorry, if you could just indicate to the Court where the
12 "Strictly Confidential" number is that you indicated were -- these
13 note-books were marked with.
14 A. [Indicating]
15 Q. All right. And for the record, the one you're pointing to in
16 this note-book 103 is "08/2-01-395." Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who placed this number in this note-book, if you know?
19 A. I know. When I came to the unit, as I have already said, my job
20 was to introduce some order, first of all. This note-book is the result
21 of that effort. I'm sure that a full truck-full load of such note-books
22 were burned down, because we did not have heating. This number was
23 written by the person who kept records, and he would also put a number
24 and a date when the note-book was registered. They would be shipped out
25 to locations empty, blank, and they would be returned when they were
2 Q. And was each note-book that was used given one of these strictly
3 confidential numbers?
4 A. Each note-book from the time when I arrived was registered,
5 99 per cent of them were registered. An odd one could have perhaps been
6 omitted in this big workload, but every document was normally registered.
7 Q. And aside from the collocutors and the frequencies that an
8 intercept operator was required to put in the note-book, was it always
9 the case that each intercept operator wrote down the date for a given
10 intercept in the note-book?
11 A. You can see on the note-book there is a date, the frequency, the
12 time, the device used for recording. Here [indicates], it's "AR3000A."
13 The speakers -- also, if we had an original document, we would have
14 proper columns, and the speakers would have their own rubric or they
15 would be designated as X/Y. But because we had to work very fast, there
16 was a lot of work, we would sometimes omit one of these elements.
17 Whoever works makes mistakes. That's normal. But the rule was to write
18 down all this information.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right, thanks for that. We don't need that
20 document anymore on the screen.
21 Mr. President, I would like to tender 65 ter 869. Yes, I would
22 like the Trial Chamber to be able to look at this original.
23 Q. Witness, you also mentioned just a moment ago --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue, you are tendering this
25 collection of note-books as a photograph on the screen now?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P257.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 I also have a second photograph, but also of the note-book
7 covers. If you'd like, I can show it to the witness, but it's basically
8 the same. And I would also like to tender that as well. It's
9 65 ter 870.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received as well.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P258.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Witness, in your very last answer, your answer is recorded in the
14 transcript as referring to an original document, and I just want to
15 clarify what you meant by that because -- are you talking about an
16 original document in the sense that it's printed -- a formal printed
17 document, or are you talking about an original document in the sense that
18 one that was originally transcribed or written into by the operators?
19 A. When I said that, I meant we did not have original station
20 log-books that were in use in the former JNA, properly formatted. We
21 used this note-book -- these note-books in lieu of proper station
22 log-books, and proper station log-books have columns already -- and boxes
23 already printed out for all the various information that has to be
25 Q. In the note-book that I just showed you, the one that's written
1 "103" on the cover, can you tell, from looking at it, whether that's an
2 original note-book, that is, one that was created by the men in your
3 unit, or not?
4 A. Absolutely, it's original.
5 Q. Now, when these note-books were filled up, you indicated that
6 they were -- that they were kept. Were they ever reviewed?
7 A. I oftentimes took note-books at random, whenever they were filled
8 out, and compared them to typed reports. This was a system of checks and
9 balances to avoid errors at the lowest level. I found them somewhat
10 interesting, to be frank, because I would be reading these conversations
11 and at the same time compare the note-book against the typed reports to
12 make sure that there were no errors.
13 Q. And in your review of these note-books, did you find any
14 recurrent or systematic errors that were being made by the men in your
16 A. Well, naturally, there were typographical errors, a letter
17 missing here and there, but there were no such mistakes as would impair
18 the substance of what was written.
19 Q. And with respect to the tapes from which these transcriptions
20 were made, can you tell us what happened to those? I know you've
21 indicated previously that they were dubbed at some point and taken to
22 other facilities, but, generally, what happened with those tapes?
23 A. In the process of checks and dubbing, the following would take
24 place: If certain intercepts were recorded in a facility and a tape
25 would be filled up, some four hours of conversation on average, then
1 these tapes would be taken to the corps command, where the EDA department
2 would play the tapes back, record important conversations onto a
3 different tape, erase the contents of the original tapes, and return them
4 to the facilities. So that was the procedure which was applied, for the
5 simple reason that we were always in -- there was always a shortage of
6 these tapes, we were always short of these tapes. It would have been
7 normal for us to have a room full of tapes complete with all the
8 conversations that had ever been recorded on them.
9 Q. And with respect to the information that was entered by the
10 typist and then forwarded on to the headquarters, how was that -- was
11 that information preserved?
12 A. I think that it can all be found in the Central Archives in
14 called P-25s - they were somewhat larger diskettes - or 1.4-megabyte
15 floppy discs. They are also stored in hard copy.
16 Q. And would the information that's stored on those floppy disks and
17 diskettes, would that encompass all of the information that is from the
19 A. All the information which was received by the 2nd Corps Command
20 in the form of reports accurately reflected the content of the
21 note-books. In the Counter-Electronic Activity Department, there was
22 also a sort of checks carried out, where they would compare the reports
23 which they also received against the audio-recordings. They would make
24 sure that the recordings were accurately reflected in the reports.
25 Q. And did you receive any information from that department or from
1 that unit about any systemic or ongoing discrepancies between what's on
2 the tape and the transcriptions that were created by the men in your
4 A. There was a war on, and it was only natural that some mistakes
5 were made, but the people from the department always asked that we gather
6 as much information as possible. And this was our primary duty, to
7 gather as much information as possible, regardless of the substance. So
8 they always pushed us to do our work, to do more, and, of course, in that
9 process errors are always possible.
10 Q. And did you receive a number of reports concerning errors, or
11 instructions as to how to improve the performance of your men, that kind
12 of thing?
13 A. During my term there, I didn't receive any such instructions. I
14 said that there were negligible mistakes, typos, omissions to include
15 time, but this was not deliberate. Still, we never received any set of
16 instructions telling us how to address these difficulties.
17 Q. In respect of the facilities with which you were attached, and
18 I'll refer you specifically to the northern facility, were there other
19 units operating from that facility? And if you need to name them, let us
20 know so that we can go into a private session.
21 A. After I arrived at the northern facility, in one of the rooms
22 there, there would be a representative or sometimes two representatives
23 of the State Security Service, and they were the only individuals who
24 were with us in the facility at the time. As far as I know, their task
25 was to monitor, on the radio-relay communications of the Army of
2 political leaders. Their capabilities were modest. They had one or two
3 devices; that was all.
4 Q. And did they cover the same geographical area as the unit that
5 you were attached to, if you know?
6 A. Well, they were not able to cover anything else than the swath of
7 territory we controlled.
8 Q. And are you familiar with the 21st Division of the Bosnian Army?
9 A. Yes. They, too, had a section. Their main duty was to cover the
10 northern zone, i.e., Eastern Bosnian Corps, 1st Krajina Corps; in other
11 words, the Posavina area.
12 Q. And was that a unit entirely separate from your unit, or was it
13 related to your unit in some way?
14 A. At that point when I arrived there, the unit was independent.
15 Its activity covered the area of responsibility of the then 21st Division
16 or, in military terms, radio reconnaissance always covers up to
17 50 per cent more to the left and to the right. The information was sent
18 to the intelligence organ of the 21st Division, their information.
19 Q. And did they at some point later on become affiliated or
20 associated with your unit more directly?
21 A. Toward the end of the war, that's to say, in early 1996, all
22 these platoons, not just the ones from the 21st Division - there were
23 others as well from the 22nd, the 24th, 25th - became part of my unit,
24 men and the resources they had.
25 Q. And was information that you gathered and information gathered by
1 the State Security and by the 21st Division, was that at some point
2 shared amongst you in, say, 1995?
3 A. In principle, very rarely; in principle, though. But as I've
4 just said, depending on the urgency of the situation, if we received a
5 piece of information which was very important and occurred in the area of
6 responsibility of the 21st Division, it would only be logical that we
7 forwarded the information immediately to these men, and they, in turn, to
8 their units. This sort of information, which was of military nature,
9 would be sent to the intelligence department of the corps and of the 21st
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If I could please have in e-court,
12 it should be P239. And this should not be broadcast, please.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, I'm informed that this document,
16 P239, is not under seal.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Not under seal?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is not under seal. It was not tendered to be
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Oh, I see. So it's just a question of whether
21 it can be broadcast or not. All right, then so be it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If it's not confidential, there's no reason not
23 to --
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yeah, then I think it could be broadcast.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Please carry on.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Just a moment. I'm sorry. Okay, it's okay.
3 Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Carry on for the last minutes of today.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right.
6 Q. What I'm showing you is an intercepted conversation. If we could
7 go down to number 557. Well, I think we can see it fine on the screen.
8 It's an intercepted conversation from the CSB. You can see at the top
9 the caption is "CSB
10 conversation between Ognjenovic and a general.
11 And I'd now like to show you 65 ter 2923A.
12 All right, this is a good place to stop, since I understand it's
13 not on my list. So I'll work that out, and we can pick up tomorrow, with
14 the leave of the Court, please.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The only problem is we're not sitting tomorrow
16 because it's --
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Monday, I'm sorry. Okay, thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are running out of time. We are at the end of
19 today's hearing.
20 Mr. Vanderpuye, could you indicate how much time you will need on
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think I estimated about four for this witness.
23 I think I can do it in less, but I'll have to hurry through a couple
24 things to do that. I estimate about three and a half hours maybe, total.
25 I think I've used two, so about an hour, hour and a half.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's just for planning purposes.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think we have another issue which maybe we
3 should -- well, we can raise, I think, in just a moment, in terms of
4 scheduling for Monday. And I'm not sure, but I have to check with my
5 colleagues to see, but I think we have a witness coming in on Monday who
6 can only testify on Monday, and it may conflict with the continuation of
7 the direct examination of this witness. So I'm sure it doesn't concern
8 you so much, but we'll work out with our colleagues how to order it. But
9 I think this witness's testimony may be interrupted as a result.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should liaise with the Defence and find a
11 good way to deal with the time of the Court and for the appropriate way
12 to stay with the witnesses.
13 Mr. Gajic.
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I was in touch with Mr. Vanderpuye
15 and with Mr. Thayer, and I don't think that there will be any problem in
16 interrupting the direct examination of this witness in order to
17 accommodate the witness arriving on Monday.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case, this witness will be heard on
19 Tuesday; is that correct?
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: I understand that we might be able to get him
21 back on, on Monday, maybe after the other witness, but again I will talk
22 to my colleagues and Mr. Gajic about that. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
24 Sir, we have to break now and to adjourn. I think your
25 examination will be continued on Monday or on Tuesday. Mr. Tolimir will
1 have some questions for you as well for a longer cross-examination. We
2 have to adjourn now. When the Chamber has left the courtroom, then the
3 Court Officer will assist you. And please be reminded that it is not
4 appropriate to have contact about the content of your evidence during the
5 break until Monday or Tuesday, no contact with the Prosecution. Thank
6 you very much.
7 Have a nice weekend, and we adjourn and resume on Monday.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.19 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Monday, the 31st day of May,
11 2010, at 2.15 p.m.