1 Wednesday, 11 May 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 Before we continue with the current witness, the Chamber would
7 like to address the parties on the matter related to the length of the
8 whole trial.
9 We have now heard the testimony of more than 100 oral witnesses,
10 and we are nearing the end of the Prosecution case. This is a very long
11 trial, and it is the task of the Chamber to ensure that it is fair and
12 expeditious. The Chamber also needs to plan future proceedings as far as
13 possible. This is particularly important given the size of the trial.
14 First of all, the Chamber would like to thank both parties for
15 moving ahead in a generally co-operative spirit during the period of more
16 than one year and three months that has so far elapsed since the trial
17 began. This has certainly been conducive to the expeditious conduct of
18 the proceedings.
19 The Chamber would also like to recall the efforts that it has
20 made to ensure that the Prosecution case is not unduly long and the
21 assistance that it has received from the Prosecution in this regard.
22 On 29 November last year, the Chamber indicated that it
23 considered that the Prosecution case could be completed before the summer
24 recess of 2011. Subsequently, at the request of the Chamber, the
25 Prosecution reviewed its list of oral witnesses and, as a result, made
1 changes which made its case shorter than it otherwise would have been.
2 On the 30th of January and 13th of March, 2011, the Prosecution presented
3 schedules of future witnesses which would allow its case to be completed
4 before the summer recess.
5 The Chamber again thanks the Prosecution for the measures that it
6 has taken to streamline its case. We are now closer to the conclusion of
7 the Prosecution case, and an enormous amount of evidence has been
8 received. The Chamber still believes that it is possible for the
9 Prosecution case to be completed by the 22nd of July, 2011, which is the
10 last day before the summer recess, but this will very probably require
11 further streamlining on the part of the Prosecution.
12 The Chamber stresses that it is for the Prosecution to decide
13 which witnesses to call and how their evidence should be presented in a
14 manner consistent with the Statute and the Rules. But in the interests
15 of an expeditious trial, the Chamber invites the Prosecution to review
16 the witnesses it is intending to call, in light of the mass of testimony
17 that it has already presented, and to consider ways of ensuring that its
18 case does not last any longer than necessary, and that it will use court
19 time in the most efficient way possible; for example, by exploring the
20 possibility of not calling certain witnesses.
21 The Chamber takes the opportunity to invite both parties to
22 consider the appropriate length of their respective examination of the
23 remaining witnesses. This will also have an impact on the length of the
25 Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to make any observations on the matter
1 that I have raised, at the moment or at a later stage?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, and good afternoon, Mr. President,
3 Your Honours.
4 This topic is, of course, one that is of great importance to all
5 of us, and the Prosecution especially, since as it being our last trial,
6 we're planning our lives post-Tribunal. So, in fact, I know Mr. Thayer
7 wanted to tell you this himself, but he has found it necessary to go back
8 to the United States and put his kids in school for September, so his
9 last time here will be up until the recess, July 22nd. And he has to get
10 back to his original job which they've held open for him up until about
11 that time, is my understanding. So we are trying very hard, for many
12 reasons, as well as your encouragement, to finish up our case before the
13 summer recess, including that Mr. Thayer is such a crucial member of the
14 team in that regard, and the organisation, and the co-ordination of
15 witnesses and material. So from that aspect, we have every motivation to
16 do this.
17 And I can tell you that we have now heard from many of the
18 significant Main Staff witnesses, or almost finished with them. We never
19 quite know, as you are aware, if they'll even show up, if people will
20 even show up or be able to show up. We now have remaining
21 General Milovanovic, who is scheduled to be here this weekend to testify
22 next week. I don't think I'm going to take the time that we have
23 allotted. I really hope I'm not. I don't want to be up there that long.
24 And, frankly, we've heard many of the rules and the regulations and the
25 processes and the personalities that are so important for a case like
1 this from some of these other witnesses in a credible way, so I'm hoping
2 to be able to streamline that testimony so it has more meaning for all of
4 Then the next -- the big witness, Mr. Butler, who always
5 testifies, and he is our witness that will talk about documents, and
6 intercepts, and areas that may not have been gone into fully, he's
7 scheduled for I believe it's early June, which is on schedule. He's
8 able, as far as I know, to break away from his very busy life in the
9 United States to come here and testify. And I am beginning to organise
10 his materials and try to streamline them so that he is hitting areas that
11 you have not heard over and over again and so that fits into the
12 presentation of the case.
13 The other witnesses, while important, are not lengthy, as far as
14 I recall, and have various important aspects of them. I think we'll
15 probably get back into doing some more 92 ter and that kind of thing.
16 But from the schedule I've looked at, and discussions with Mr. Thayer,
17 who's back at home organising his personal matters, it looks like we're
18 on schedule to finish our case by July. And the question we were asking
19 ourselves and beginning to discuss briefly with Mr. Gajic is the next
20 step, will there be a challenge, a 98 bis challenge. Mr. Gajic says
21 there will be, so we will need to be prepared to provide oral submissions
22 in that matter. And so we're, of course, thinking about when that might
23 happen in relation to the ending of our case. So we're very hopeful that
24 we're going to finish by July 22nd.
25 There's a couple of key areas that have popped up where
1 witnesses -- where a short witness may really help fill a subject matter
2 for you that's important for the case, so you may see a motion for adding
3 a short witness, or 92 bis, or 92 ter witness, very short, but to fill
4 something that has come up that we think we need to fill. And, of
5 course, we'll provide all the justification for that.
6 Ms. Stewart reminds me of one other witness, PW-057, who is
7 another witness that sometimes takes a bit of time, but I don't think he
8 will take too much time this time around. And he is ready to testify as
9 scheduled, which was also in June.
10 So these -- we have, of course, Mr. Petrovic out there, we have
11 the witness that we just lost yesterday. There's going to be some odds
12 and ends, but we're hopeful we're going to be able to finish our case by
13 the break.
14 And when Mr. Thayer gets back - he gets back Thursday - he and I
15 will sit down on Friday and do like what we do, send you out any revised
16 schedule to see where we're ending. But if anything, and maybe I'm being
17 too hopeful, it may be before July 22nd, but I think certainly we're on
18 track for ending our case by July 22nd. And we'll keep everyone informed
19 if there's any changes in any of these more lengthy or critical
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, thank you for this explanation, and
22 this is very helpful for our purposes.
23 You just indicated that you will consult with Mr. Thayer after
24 his return. Perhaps it would be a good idea that you come back to the
25 Chamber and the other party to give us a more specific estimation of the
1 remainder of the Prosecution case after this looking into the details a
2 little more specifically and after consultation with Mr. Thayer.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just something I forgot to add, and I won't
5 spend long.
6 But I can tell you, Mr. President, we have appreciated very much
7 the freedom that you've allowed all of us, in terms of time and witnesses
8 and all. I can tell you, personally, I'm exhausted at this point. And I
9 have a good, strong team, but -- and I think my health has suffered as a
10 result. I don't know why -- this is the first time I've been sick in
11 this Tribunal. In any event, so we're -- and I've spoken to Mr. Gajic.
12 He acknowledges that they're also, of course, feeling the strains of
13 constant trial. And we always need to get ready on the weekend so we can
14 be ready on Monday, because that's when we start, so just as we schedule
15 and as you schedule, please take that into consideration. And, again, we
16 appreciate how much you have in the past and how well you've run this
17 case. We appreciate that.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
19 Now I should like to move to matters on which the Defence may
20 be -- Mr. Gajic, perhaps you may rise at a later stage. Is it possible
21 or is there a specific need to address something now?
22 Mr. Gajic.
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just briefly.
24 The Defence is striving to try to improve the efficiency of the
25 proceedings and not to waste time. I hope we have managed to fulfill the
1 expectations of the Chamber, both in terms of efficiency --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, perhaps it's a little bit premature
3 that you raise this at the moment. First, I would like to address the
4 Defence with our questions, and then you may respond to that. That would
5 be very helpful.
6 We would like to move to matters on which the Defence may be in a
7 position to give guidance to the Trial Chamber.
8 I should like to raise the procedure pursuant to Rule 98 bis of
9 our Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the Defence case.
10 Mr. Tolimir, let me stress that you are not obliged at this stage
11 to give any indication as to whether you will be making submissions for
12 the entry of a judgement of acquittal on any of the counts in the
13 indictment pursuant to Rule 98 bis; nor are you obliged to say anything
14 yet about your Defence case. However, as I mentioned earlier, this is a
15 very lengthy trial, and if you are able to provide any guidance on either
16 or both of these two matters, it may assist in the planning of the future
17 of the case.
18 Mr. Tolimir, are you able to say now whether you will be making
19 any submissions in the 98 bis procedure or whether you can give us any
20 indication of the number of witnesses you are intending to call in the
21 Defence case?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 For the time being, we cannot inform you about the number of the
24 witnesses and the duration of their examination. And as we've heard from
25 Mr. McCloskey, we will only submit regular motions that are part of the
1 normal proceedings. That would be all I can say at this moment. Thank
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey indicated that you were in
4 consultation with the Prosecution, and the Prosecution with the Defence,
5 about a possible 98 bis submission.
6 Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, it is an informal
8 discussion between us and, I believe, a normal procedure before this
9 Tribunal. And, of course, yes, we are considering this possibility.
10 Most probably, we will submit a 98 bis motion after the close of the
11 Prosecutor's case.
12 As for the number of witnesses, we cannot provide you any
13 information. We still have proceedings ahead. As you have noted, most
14 of the crucial witnesses are appearing now in the last stage of the OTP
15 case. And on the basis of that, the Defence will make its decision about
16 the number of witnesses, the length of their examination, we will focus
17 on Bar Table motions or bring viva voce witnesses. All these are matters
18 that we are considering at the moment.
19 And, additionally, Mr. McCloskey also mentioned strain that we're
20 experiencing. We're a small team. We don't have any weekends. We're
21 working at full steam. We don't even know what it means to have
22 weekends. We don't know about holidays or anything else. We are
23 completely focused on completing this case as soon as possible.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Gajic.
1 The Chamber would appreciate if you could update us, at the
2 specific time when you have reached such a conclusion, to be able to plan
3 the remainder of this case.
4 Thank you for this exchange of views.
5 We should continue with the witness. He should be brought in,
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 WITNESS: Dragomir Keserovic [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please sit down. Please sit down, sir.
11 Good afternoon, and welcome back to the courtroom.
12 Mr. Keserovic, I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
13 the truth you made at the beginning of your testimony still applies.
14 Mr. McCloskey is continuing his examination-in-chief.
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
18 Q. Good afternoon, General.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. We left off yesterday where you had returned to the bunker at the
21 command post of Crna Rijeka, and shortly after returning sometime that
22 evening, General Mladic gave you an order. And you were describing to us
23 that order, and I think we left off with you describing some of the units
24 that you were to command pursuant to that order.
25 And can you tell us, did you at some point, after receiving that
1 oral order, have you seen a written order reflecting that oral order?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And at some time in the more distant future after these events,
4 have you seen an order either in an interview or in one of these court
6 A. I have seen it for the first time when Mr. Ruez showed it to me
7 in 2000 during an interview.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could take a look at that.
10 Q. You didn't -- you didn't bring your documents and your materials
11 today, General?
12 A. No, I didn't. I - to put it in this way - got the hint and
13 realised that it wasn't necessary to bring anything along.
14 Q. It's not a problem. Sometimes it's better to have documents in
15 front of you than have to work with this screen all the time. But
16 I think I've got most of the documents we've gone over.
17 So can you take a look at this? And we see that it's from the
18 Main Staff, and it's number 03/4. I believe you said that Miletic was
19 going to draft an order, is what Mladic told you; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And does this number -- 03/4, do you recall what branch or organ
22 used that number?
23 A. No, I cannot tell you that.
24 Q. All right. Then if we go down, we see that it's to the
25 Drina Corps Command for information, and then to various brigades and the
1 Communication Regiment. Is that the Communication Regiment that you had
2 mentioned yesterday?
3 A. Yes, it is. We see here that it's the
4 67th Communications Regiment, but, in any case, that was the
5 communications regiment of the Main Staff.
6 Q. All right. And we see the first two paragraphs have to do with
7 Zvornik and sending colonels to Zvornik, and you had mentioned that you'd
8 heard General Mladic issue an order about colonels going to Zvornik. You
9 remember that?
10 A. Yes, I do. I remember him saying that Trkulja, Stankovic and
11 Sladojevic should go to Zvornik. I only know that he said they should
12 review the situation and assist with matters that involve co-ordination,
13 if necessary.
14 Q. All right. Do those first two paragraphs appear to be related to
15 that order you heard Mladic give to others that night?
16 A. Yes, it's along those lines.
17 Q. All right. And let's -- let's focus on paragraph 3.
18 And if we could blow that up for the general, because this has to
19 do -- we can see your name mentioned in the middle of it.
20 As we see this paragraph 3, it states that:
21 "At 17 July, the forces of the 1st Bratunac, 1st Milici, the
22 67th Communication, the Military Police Battalion, the
23 65th Motorised Protection Regiment and MUP forces are engaged in the
24 wider area of Bratunac, Milici and Drinjaca and will comb the territory
25 in the zone of the Bratunac-Drinjaca-Milici-Besici village, with the aim
1 of discovering and destroying lagging Muslim groups."
2 And then we see it says:
3 "I hereby appoint Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic, the officer for
4 the military police in the Main Staff of the VRS Security Administration,
5 as the commander of all the aforementioned forces during the conduct of
6 the aforementioned task."
7 Then you get a dead-line, and you're supposed to suggest -- make
8 a proposal on the 19th about further engagements.
9 Now, regarding paragraph 3, is that, in your view, related to the
10 oral order you've told us you received from Mladic?
11 A. Well, the first part of this paragraph relates what
12 General Mladic told me, except I don't remember him mentioning at that
13 time this second part relating to the continuation of the operations
14 towards Cerska. I don't believe he mentioned it to me.
15 Q. Okay. The part you're talking about is that:
16 "An order for further engagement towards Cerska shall be proposed
17 by Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic -- proposed to me by
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic."
19 That's the part you don't recall?
20 A. Right.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we see the rest of it in English, so
22 Your Honours can just see the next page, so you can see where it's from.
23 And the first page, if we could blow up the first page.
24 Q. I think this is the date stamp that you talked briefly about when
25 you were talking about not being sure about the 17th or the 18th.
1 Could we blow up the date stamp.
2 Okay, we see here that's the 18th of July.
3 And then we see on the next page, it says "18 February." I'm not
4 sure if that's a mistake or just someone thought that "7" was a "2,"
5 probably, that was translating it.
6 All right. And, General, we -- because of this slight -- this
7 issue about the date, we managed to look through our records, and we
8 found an original document that appears to have been sent to the
9 Drina Corps.
10 And if we could get the ELMO going to see if that will help us
11 with the time situation.
12 And I want to give you this -- what we believe is an original
13 document, after everybody has a chance to see it.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we please go to the first page of this
15 document on the screen at the moment so that we can see the date.
16 There we see it. See the upper left corner, the 17th of July,
17 1995. Thank you.
18 It may be given to the witness, which means to put on the ELMO.
19 Obviously, we have a technical problem.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I was told that there's a
22 technical problem with the ELMO, and it will be resolved in a couple of
23 minutes. But perhaps you proceed first in a different way.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. First of all, General, can you look at this document, and can you
1 tell us, is it the same order that is the one up on the screen?
2 A. This should be the same order, except this order was probably
3 sent encrypted by teletype and there's a great number of typos. So it's
4 not the original document from the Main Staff, but it's one of those
5 printed by a teletype, because there's a large rectangular stamp saying
6 "Received/Processed," et cetera.
7 Q. Okay. Well, the one we have on the computer screen is also a
8 teletype, and it looks like some kind of a received or processing stamp
9 from Milici. So in that regard, they're both received teletyped versions
10 of this order; is that right?
11 A. Well, seeing how the document is not signed by General Mladic,
12 the one on the screen, it must have also been sent somehow via teletype.
13 I don't -- I can't think of any other reason why it wouldn't be signed.
14 Q. Okay. Down in the left corner of this original document, we can
15 see, next to Ratko Mladic's name, "S.R." Tell us what that means.
16 A. When a document is submitted to signalsmen to be sent by teletype
17 or other communication, during the hand-over, because the signature
18 cannot be conveyed by teletype, these letters, "S.R.," meaning "In his
19 own hand," are inserted to indicate that the original document was signed
20 by General Mladic.
21 Q. Okay. "S.R.," can you just say the Serbian words that "S.R."
22 stands for so I can hear what the Serbian words are?
23 A. "Svojerucno."
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay, thank you.
25 Let's now look at --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just one moment. Judge Mindua has a question to
2 ask you.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, could we see the
4 previous page again in B/C/S, please.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means the full page, which is on the screen
6 now. Yes, this one.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I wanted to have this page on the
9 I see that the date marked here is the 17th of July, 1995. In
10 the English version, it says: "Milici, 18th of February, 1995." We have
11 that entry in the English text. I believe this is a mistake, unless we
12 are dealing with two different documents.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should see the English version, the first page
14 of the English version, please.
15 This is the translation with the same date, 17th of July, 1995.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think His Honour was referring to the second
17 page, where the stamp, under English, says "February." And for some
18 reason, the translator appears to have spelled out the month, when
19 clearly the month was not spelled out in the original. So that is an
20 incorrect way to translate, and I would leave it to the Court to
21 determine -- to me, that looks -- that's a crossed "7," but it could be
22 interpreted as a "2." I think the explanation is the translation just
23 thought it was a "2."
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I think you are right, it's a
25 mistake. The "7" has been translated as "February" here, strangely
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I'm told ELMO is alive and well now,
4 so let's try to put this on the screen. And let's start off with the
5 right-hand corner and blow up that handwritten material on the right-hand
6 corner, because we don't have that on the one that's in e-court.
7 Q. And, General, looking at that handwritten material in the
8 right-hand corner, we see "OC" underlined. What does that usually mean?
9 A. "OC" usually means "Operations Centre."
10 Q. And can you read out to us slowly if you can make out this
11 handwriting under the "OC"?
12 A. It reads:
13 "Monitor the execution of this task."
14 Q. Do you recognise any of those initials underneath that section?
15 A. No, I couldn't say.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for Your Honours and everyone, this original
17 document was retrieved from the Drina Corps collection, for your
19 Now, can we now just go down and see the bottom of the document,
20 the date stamp.
21 Q. And before I get to the date stamp: You see that someone has
22 written over in ink in that bottom paragraph. Can you make out why they
23 would have written over in ink like that?
24 A. The encryptor who receives a document and finds a lot of typos
25 may add, in his own hand, the correct version, as he understands it.
1 That's one possibility. And the second possibility is that when the end
2 user received this telegram or document, he could, himself, decipher what
3 was meant and then write that clarification down.
4 Q. All right. Now, let's go to this stamp that's at the bottom.
5 And we see this word "Primljeno," and then it looks like -- can you just
6 read that material for us slowly so the interpreters can get what you
7 think that word says and those numbers?
8 A. "Primljeno," which means "Received," 17 July at 1220 hours. And
9 the signature is of the encrypting officer who received the document.
10 Below that, the number of the telegram, "3671," then something called
11 "Group number" - I don't know exactly what it means - "410." The urgency
12 is indicated as "PP," and again it's followed by some sort of number,
13 "31." Underneath is the processing, which obviously lasted about 10
14 minutes, and the final document was produced at 12.30.
15 Q. All right. So if this document was received by this unit -
16 perhaps the Drina Corps, since that's the collection we got it from, and
17 it was addressed to the Drina Corps, as we saw - does that help you with
18 this -- the issue related to whether you went to this area on the 17th or
20 A. Well, since I was informed of that task in the evening, and I was
21 expecting that the order would be then produced by General Miletic,
22 although the document indicates it was written on the 17th of July, and
23 it did arrive, and that's fine, but 17th July, at 12.20, is not in the
24 evening. That could mean that this document had already been prepared,
25 which is less likely, or perhaps it could mean that I was informed of the
1 task in the evening of the 16th. That is more likely.
2 Q. Well, you have testified thus far that you were informed of this
3 task or given the order by Mladic on the 16th. Do you stand by that?
4 A. Every time I either testified or made statements, I said I had
5 not memorised it, but by reviewing some documents and trying to
6 reconstruct events, I arrived at the conclusion I was informed of this
7 task on the 16th and engaged on it on the 17th, although some other
8 documents indicated differently. Based on this document we're looking
9 at, so we could say that I was engaged on the 17th.
10 Q. What document are you referring to that suggested differently?
11 A. Well, when I first saw this document that is on the screen now,
12 it indicates it was written on the 17th of July. I know that I was given
13 that task one evening. That means that -- that would mean that the order
14 was written on the 17th of July, in the evening. I did not have, at the
15 time, this document indicating 12.20 on the 17th of July, which means it
16 had not been received by our unit then. But looking at this and knowing
17 that it was received on the 18th by the brigade, by the Milici Brigade, I
18 simply concluded, based on this document shown to me by Mr. Ruez, that I
19 received the task on the 17th and proceeded with it on the 18th.
20 I was involved in the war for five and a half years, and I cannot
21 remember one particular day, not even a particular month.
22 Q. General, in your testimony yesterday, the issue of whether you
23 went to Bratunac on the 17th or 18th was the issue. You were always very
24 clear that you received this order on the 16th. As you sit here now, are
25 you -- when did you receive the order?
1 A. Well, let it stand that I received it on the evening of the 16th
2 and went to Bratunac on the 17th. I believe that from all the documents
3 that we have at our disposal, that is the most logical and most realistic
5 Q. Okay. And we'll go over some of those documents, for that reason
6 and other reasons.
7 So if we could take the document off the screen for now, and
8 let's just ask you a bit more about what happened that night.
9 Now --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The original document was given back to the
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, we will get this into e-court
13 at 778A so that you have is a copy of this -- oh, it's actually in now,
14 so we can offer that into evidence.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 778A shall be
17 assigned Exhibit P2217. Thank you.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
19 Q. General, going back to that evening, and General Mladic issues
20 you that oral order that we're now very clear what it was because we have
21 actually seen this written form, and you testified yesterday that that
22 order concerned you because you didn't think it was realistic, and you
23 also had, I think, some concerns about commanding this group of units,
24 can you tell us what your concern was about being able to go and command
25 these units to do this two-day sweep operation in this particular area?
1 A. Well, to command a group of mixed tactical units, it's necessary
2 to set up at least a minimum command base, not necessarily including all
3 that a -- usually organs, but there has to be a command. There has to be
4 a developed command post with all infrastructural elements. There has to
5 be a communications centre, there has to be an operations centre, there
6 must exist the possibility of 24-hour duty service at the command post.
7 And in order to take over command over a unit of a regiment strength in
8 the brigade, all that has to be in place. But the difficulty was I was
9 not the commander of any of the units involved. This could be done by
10 one of the commanders of the units that are covered by the order, and he
11 could then liaise with the other units.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, sorry for interrupting.
13 We just have received the other version of the same document, as
14 we see it. That one has no English translation. We have heard from the
15 witness that there are some typos and perhaps other differences and
16 written additions. I think we should only mark it for identification,
17 pending translation. It should be translated as well.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. That's a good idea.
19 I'll get one of our good people, so they'll compare both of them to get
20 that correct.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
22 Please carry on.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Well, General, I -- perhaps it's easy for a lawyer to stand up
25 here and say, You can't always have a command post in wartime, you don't
1 always get everything you need, and I'm sure officers get thrown out and
2 to have to command much worse situations than this, but let me ask you
3 this, in particular: You have described your command experience, both
4 before this and -- I think you took a command, a significant command
5 right after this period, so you were a person with command experience,
6 one of probably a few at the Main Staff at the time; is that not correct?
7 A. Well, it may not sound modest, but I need to say that I was a
8 good commander. At least that's how I was perceived by the troops and in
9 the army.
10 Q. Well, you were a lieutenant-colonel then, you're a general now,
11 you went on to be a minister of defence, so I think your army agreed with
12 you. So you were certainly a qualified person to take over command of
13 these units at the time, were you not?
14 A. My qualification was never an issue. What was an issue were
15 conditions that were in place. If we look from a distance, we can see
16 that the Operation Krivaja took only 10 days to prepare. A command post
17 was set up in Pribicevac. Officers were appointed to arrive. What I'm
18 saying is that it didn't happen that a random group of soldiers was
19 assigned to head towards Srebrenica. That task was feasible. And I
20 always repeat, if somebody had appointed me as the commander of the
21 1st Milici Light Assault Brigade, together with that brigade and the
22 other brigades in the zone, organise and carry out the task, in that case
23 I would have replaced Milomir Nastic in that command, I would have taken
24 over command, and then I would have been able to work. However, in an
25 open plain, without any support, I was not in a position to carry out
1 that task. I believe that more or less everybody should understand that.
2 I was on my own. There's no single officer who would be able to take
3 over a group of soldiers and take over command over them. It just
4 doesn't happen.
5 Q. Okay. Were you aware at the time, the evening of 16 July, that
6 that morning in the Zvornik Brigade, thousands of Bosnian Muslims had
7 over-run, from the rear, Vinko Pandurevic's unit, while at the same time
8 being hit from the 2nd Corps Muslim units from the front, where they lost
9 40 to 50 men, and Vinko Pandurevic had been returned from the Zepa
10 battle-field on the 15th to deal with that particular situation, leaving
11 the Zepa battle-field in some distress, the Zepa operation having started
12 on the 14th, losing Vinko Pandurevic's assault group on the 15th, Nastic
13 from Milici being up in Zvornik to help Vinko Pandurevic on the 16th with
14 his problems, Vidoje Blagojevic preparing to come to Zepa to take over
15 for Vinko Pandurevic on the night of the 16th, leaving
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic as a person with command responsibility?
17 Were you aware of any of those facts that we have learned in this
19 A. No. At that time, I was not aware of any of the details. I was
20 not aware of any of the movements and the participation of the
21 Milici Brigade on the axis towards the Zvornicka Brigade. The only thing
22 that I knew and that I heard from Blagojevic on that day was that he was
23 supposed to head towards Zepa. As for the rest of the information, I
24 didn't know about any of that. I heard about the problems in the
25 Zvornik Brigade somewhat later. I heard that the crowd of some 6.000,
1 7.000 --
2 Q. I don't need to know what you heard later. We may get into that,
3 but I just want to do clear something up. You said you heard from
4 Blagojevic that day that he would be going to Zepa. What day are you
5 talking about?
6 A. No, no, not on that day. The day after. At that time, that
7 evening, I didn't know anything about the problems that you've just
9 Q. So you heard from Blagojevic the next day, the 17th?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And we'll get to that chronology, but first let me -- you
12 mentioned yesterday that you gave General Mladic some of your concerns
13 verbally while he was there, but he ignored you, and then you, I believe,
14 said you went to General Tolimir. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And where did you see General Tolimir that night?
17 A. At the command post. I believe that he was in the ops room in
18 Crna Rijeka, in the underground command post room.
19 Q. So you saw him face to face in the ops room?
20 A. Yes, face to face.
21 Q. Was there anybody else in the room when you spoke to him?
22 A. There were a number of officers there. I'm not sure who was
23 listening to our conversation, but I know that Ljubo Obradovic was there
24 for sure. He was colonel at the time, and later on he became general.
25 And Bogdan Sladojevic was also there. He was also a colonel. I'm sure
1 that the two of them were there. General Miletic was also there, but he
2 would leave the ops room to go to his office, and then he would come
3 back. The ops room was in the middle, and all the offices were around
4 it, so people would come and go. I really don't know who was there at
5 the moment, but, in any case, Miletic was there, Obradovic and
6 Sladojevic. I'm sure about the three of them.
7 Q. Tell us what you said to General Tolimir and what, if anything,
8 he said to you.
9 A. I told General Tolimir -- or, rather, I repeated what
10 General Mladic's intention was. I told him that General Miletic was in
11 the process of drafting up an order in that spirit, and I told him that I
12 simply could not accept that and that I was in no position to carry out a
13 task of that nature. General Tolimir agreed with the way I was thinking,
14 and he told me that he would have a word with General Mladic with regard
15 to the task.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, we observe that you have put this
17 question to the witness yesterday already. I just want to alert you to
18 avoid repetitions.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I'd forgotten that, Mr. President, and
20 I -- it's -- I'll just continue.
21 Q. Can you -- and what happened after General Tolimir said that?
22 A. At the time, General Tolimir left and went to a different part of
23 the facility, I suppose. I suppose he went to the part where
24 General Mladic was. And he stayed there a few hours, perhaps a couple of
25 hours. I'm not sure how long. After that, when he returned and when I
1 saw him again, he told me -- in one way or another, I'll try to present
2 that. He told me that General Mladic did not relieve me of the
3 obligation to go to the area where the operation was taking place, and
4 the operation was the blocking and the scouring of the terrain, but that
5 I would not be in a position to take over command of units. I would just
6 inspect or tour the zone. I would reach the Bratunac Brigade, and there
7 Colonel Blagojevic would brief me about the course of the implementation
8 of the task, and then I would provide that feedback in the evening. I
9 would brief others that same evening. And he also told me that on that
10 same day, I would have other duties both in Bratunac and Srebrenica.
11 Q. Just so it's clear, General Tolimir is the one that's telling you
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And where were you supposed to come in the evening, and who were
15 you to brief?
16 A. The following day, I was supposed to come back to the Main Staff
17 and brief them. I should have informed General Mladic about what had
19 Q. All right. So if the order was to go there and do this on the
20 17th, you were supposed to brief General Mladic on the next day, the
21 18th, or the evening of the 17th?
22 A. According to what I remember about the events, I was supposed to
23 brief him on the 17th, in the evening.
24 Q. All right. What else, if anything, did General Tolimir say to
25 you about any topic?
1 A. I was supposed to find Colonel Jankovic in Bratunac from the
2 Intelligence Administration, and I was supposed to convey a message to
3 him that a visit should be paid to the Dutch Battalion of UNPROFOR, and
4 that weapons and some other equipment should be returned to them after
5 having been confiscated at the check-points by the
6 Army of Republika Srpska as they were entering Srebrenica. A message was
7 supposed to be conveyed to the DutchBat commander that the plan of the
8 evacuation of the battalion from Srebrenica was changed, that they would
9 not be evacuated via Sarajevo Airport, but rather via Serbia. And I was
10 also to convey a message that the evacuation would be secured by the
11 Ministry of the Interior of the Republika Srpska, and Tomo Kovac
12 personally. At that time, Tomo Kovac was either the deputy minister or
13 the minister of the interior. As far as I remember, those were to be my
14 additional tasks and duties.
15 I apologise, there is something else.
16 I'm not sure whether that was a task that I was given. In any
17 case, I was told that Jankovic's obligation would be to supervise the
18 evacuation of the wounded from the Bratunac Hospital, and that evacuation
19 was to be organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
20 Q. Do you recall him giving you any other information about
22 A. I don't remember anything else. I don't remember any other piece
23 of information that he may have conveyed.
24 Q. And do you remember, just roughly, what time of night this was?
25 A. Well, perhaps around 9.00 or 10.00, 2200 hours. Sometime between
1 2200 and 2300 hours.
2 Q. And what did you do after receiving this task from
3 General Tolimir?
4 A. Well, I went to Crna Rijeka. I went to the barracks, and that's
5 where I spent the rest of that night.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Now, I'm going to show you a few documents
7 for the days before this to see if this is anything you have any
8 knowledge of, or perhaps it will set the scene for us for 17 July.
9 So could we first go to P1605.
10 Q. And, General, I don't want to spend a lot of time with this, but
11 we can see that it's from a colonel named Ignjat Milanovic. And do you
12 know who he was? Does that name ring a bell to you?
13 A. The name does ring a bell, but I don't know what the person's
14 duty was. I don't know where he was stationed. I believe that he was a
15 member of the Command of the Drina Corps, but I'm not sure.
16 Q. All right. And I just -- we can see this is dated 15 July. It's
18 "Engagement of forces in searching the terrain in the direction
19 of Zepa and the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade ."
20 So it's on that topic again of searching the terrain and it
21 basically, and I'll try to paraphrase it, says that he was ordered to go
22 to the -- Milici and Bratunac and acquaint himself with the situation
23 along the Milici-Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road. And it says:
24 "Generally, large groups of enemy soldiers are still located to
25 the east of this road."
1 And it says:
2 "The 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade is still searching this
3 terrain and is almost at the laid" -- "the limit laid down."
4 Then it talks about the Milici Brigade intercepting groups in the
5 area of Buljim and Susnjari. And it indicates an order he's issued about
6 the general mobilisation to be carried out in Bratunac, Milici, Vlasenica
7 and Sekovici. And then he says:
8 "The assignment you have given to the commander is to be carried
9 out without fail."
10 And then it talks about the order for the Milici brigade and the
11 direction they were going to. And then the Bratunac Brigade was to
12 continue searching the terrain, clearing up the battle-field in the
13 direction of Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Kasaba. And is that the general
14 area that is later the subject-matter of your search of terrain on the
16 A. Yes, that's the area, a square between Bratunac and Besici
17 village above Srebrenica-Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba.
18 Q. Okay. And then he issues a proposal, and we can see that he's
19 delivered this to the command and to the forward command post, to the
20 attention of the commander. So his proposal is to those commander -- to
21 that commander, and the proposal is "to authorise and appoint the
22 commander of the 1st Bratunac Brigade as commander of all the forces
23 which are participating in searching the terrain and sweeping the
24 battle-field to the east of the road, and in control of the
25 Kasaba-Drinjaca road, because we have no one to appoint from the Command
1 of the Drina Corps."
2 Then on the next page of the English -- sorry, again, I've got a
3 different translation. Sorry about that.
4 It says that:
5 "The Bratunac commander be authorised and appointed a commander
6 of all forces engaged in the search of terrain and clearing up the
7 battle-field" -- sorry, could you raise -- could I get a little more -- I
8 can't read that, and I want to be able to.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be difficult to have that enlarged,
10 because we have both versions on the screen to enable the witness to read
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
13 Q. In any event, you can see the proposal for the Bratunac commander
14 to be in command of these units and to conduct this sweep operation, and
15 can you remind us who the Bratunac Brigade commander was at that time?
16 A. The Bratunac Brigade commander was Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic.
17 According to what I know -- or, rather, according to the information that
18 I received from General Mladic, he was the one who had organised things
19 to implement that task. He was the one who made it possible for the task
20 to be carried out.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay, and we see this proposal on the 15th.
22 Now let's go to another document, 65 ter 247.
23 Mr. President, so you know, many of these documents were typed
24 and handwritten, and so they ended up being translated by different
25 translators. So the translations get multiple and they get slightly
1 different, but that's -- that's sort of where this problem is created.
2 In any event -- well, we'll get that B/C/S version up for you.
3 If we could get -- there should be a typed version of that so you don't
4 have to struggle with the original hand version.
5 Apparently the typed version is so old that it doesn't show up,
6 so I -- the part I want to read is in the middle of paragraph 2, and I'll
7 just go slowly through this. It's not, I don't think, a contested kind
8 of issue.
9 Q. This is a daily combat report from the Bratunac Brigade, dated
10 16 July, and we see that it's got a "1640" time written on it at the
11 bottom right-hand corner, and it's to the Command of the Drina Corps.
12 And as you know, these reports give a basic accounting of what's gone on,
13 and the part I want to ask you about is: We see that they're making
14 preparation to dispatch units to the Zvornik Brigade to help, and then it
16 "During the day, the brigade commander visited all units which
17 are blocking the enemy retreat (the 1st Milici Brigade, units of the 65th
18 Protection Regiment, parts of the MUP and the 5th Engineering Battalion).
19 Define their tasks and organise their joint action and communications.
20 Because of the engagement of forces of the 1st Bratunac Brigade and the
21 1st Milici Brigade on other tasks and assignments, execution of the task
22 in searching the terrain has been slowed down, and actions to block enemy
23 forces in the aforementioned area have been hampered."
24 So on the 16th of July in the late afternoon, when this report
25 goes to the Drina Corps, can you tell, from this document, who is in
1 command of those forces doing the terrain sweep and blocking?
2 A. Well, you can see from the report that that person was
3 Colonel Blagojevic.
4 Q. And how can we tell from the report? What -- it doesn't -- does
5 the fact that he is defining their tasks and organising their joint
6 action -- is that an indication of command?
7 A. At the top of the document, when you go to the very top of the
8 handwritten part of the document, you can see where it says "Command of
9 the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade," and the date is the 16 July,
10 and it is a daily combat report. It was only the brigade commander who
11 could send such reports, irrespective of who was in charge of the
12 technical preparations of such reports.
13 Q. One last question. It's break time, but my question, General,
14 was: The fact that we see here that the commander was defining the tasks
15 of these units and organising their joint action and communication, does
16 that indicate that he's actually in command of all those different units?
17 A. Well, that could be an indication, and one could arrive at the
18 conclusion that he did play the role of commander in the entire zone
19 where the operation was taking place.
20 Q. And that was, in fact, the proposal of Colonel Milovanovic [sic]
21 the day before, wasn't it, that Blagojevic take command of all these
23 A. Colonel Milanovic, yes.
24 Q. And these are many of the same units in the same area that your
25 order was involved in; correct?
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. It's a good time to
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 We must have our first break now, and we will resume quarter past
7 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
11 And I'd like to tender 65 ter 247, that 16 July daily combat
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 247 shall be
15 assigned Exhibit P2218. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
17 Q. General, the -- we've left off where I think you've gone back now
18 and you wake up the morning after you receive this order from
19 General Mladic. Tell us what you do.
20 A. In the morning, I don't know at what hour, I set off from
21 Crna Rijeka or Han Pijesak towards Bratunac. My first stop was at
22 Nova Kasaba.
23 Q. And who was with you, if anyone?
24 A. Only the driver, as far as I remember.
25 Q. And what's his name?
1 A. I think it was Novo Ranitovic [phoen].
2 Q. All right. And where in Nova Kasaba did you stop?
3 A. It's an intersection where one can make a turn and head for the
4 school, because at the school the Command of the Military Police
5 Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment was deployed. We stopped next
6 to the road, itself, because the commander of the battalion was there at
7 the moment, Major Malinic.
8 Q. And about what time was this did you stop at the headquarters of
9 the Military Police Battalion?
10 A. I cannot tell you how late it was. It was maybe 9.00 in the
11 morning, roughly.
12 Q. And what, if anything, was said?
13 A. Since it was said that one segment of the
14 Military Police Battalion was active in the area, I was simply briefed by
15 Major Malinic about their activities at the moment and their activities
16 in the preceding days.
17 Q. And can you, just briefly, say, you know, what you -- what you
18 told Malinic, you know, about your task?
19 A. I told Malinic that I need to go through the zone, get to the
20 zone where the operations were being carried out, and reach the
21 Bratunac Brigade that I was tasked with getting information from
22 Colonel Blagojevic, and that I had some other assignments. I don't know
23 whether I mentioned my other assignments. But, in any case, I told them
24 what my role was that day in the area.
25 Q. And can you just tell us, briefly, what he reported to you about
1 the situation, what sort of details, as best you can recall? But just
2 outline them. We don't need all the details.
3 A. I will try and tell you all we discussed in the 10 or 15 minutes.
4 The first thing he told me was that he had suspended the training
5 with new troops because there, in the area of the command post at
6 Nova Kasaba, there was only one company that was being trained, a
7 military police company. All other units were outside of that area. So
8 he had suspended the training and deployed that unit, consisting of a
9 hundred to 150 troops, to block the area from Nova Kasaba towards
10 Konjevic Polje, in other words, along the road between those two towns,
11 so they had a line there along that axis. That was the task that the
12 unit was carrying out at the moment, together with Major Malinic.
13 I also received first information about larger groups of POWs
14 being present in the area. They were being transferred. They were on
15 the move from Srebrenica to Tuzla. Major Malinic informed me that late
16 on the 12th of July, but mostly on the 13th of July, there were --
17 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but there's just, I think, a
18 translation issue. We got that there was large groups of POWs that were
19 present in the area and that were being transferred. What did you mean
20 by that, and what dates did he tell you about, if that's what you're
21 talking about?
22 A. I did not understand you. You mean in my previous answer or at
23 an earlier stage?
24 Q. No. In the answer you just gave us, it says that you said POWs
25 were being transferred. Is that correct or is that a translation issue?
1 A. No, no, it wasn't correct. On that day, I received first
2 information about POWs appearing in the area in the preceding days.
3 Q. Okay, all right, and I interrupted you. You were talking about
4 the 12th, so go ahead.
5 A. So on that occasion, Major Malinic told me that on the night
6 between the 12th and the 13th, and during the 13th of July, there were
7 2.500 or 3.000 prisoners of war, according to his estimates of POWs, that
8 were located at the football pitch there. He told me that his initial
9 assignment was to register them, which he had started doing, he started
10 registering them, but had to stop doing that because General Mladic told
11 him to stop.
12 General Mladic was passing on that road, and he stopped and
13 addressed the POWs himself. He allegedly told them - he told him as
14 well - that there was no need for registering these people because they
15 were to be transferred/moved to Tuzla because that was their destination
16 anyhow. And Major Malinic then stopped registering the POWs.
17 Immediately after that, or, rather, after some time --
18 Q. Let me interrupt you. Can you tell us what you mean by
20 A. I mean that lists were to be made, including their names,
21 surnames, name of one of their parents, date of birth, and the place of
22 birth, in other words, basic data for individuals, providing they had
23 their IDs. If they had their IDs, of course, the documents could be used
24 to make the lists. If not, they would be asked to provide their basic
25 data. And the idea was to make the lists.
1 Q. Okay. And you said after that -- you said:
2 "Immediately after that, or, rather, after some time --"
3 And that's when I interrupted you.
4 So what do you remember him telling you next; Malinic, that is?
5 A. He told me that he did, indeed, stop making those lists, and that
6 soon after, General Mladic, the commander of the Main Staff, addressed
8 Buses arrived to the football pitch in Nova Kasaba, maybe buses
9 and trucks or maybe just buses, and these buses were there in order to
10 transport the POWs to Bratunac. That was done. They entered the
11 vehicles, and under escort, military police escort, Malinic --
12 Military Police Battalion escort, they were taken to Bratunac.
13 Q. And did he mention anything to you about Colonel Beara?
14 A. He did mention -- or Colonel Beara was mentioned there.
15 Allegedly, he either issued or passed on the order for all the POWs to be
17 Q. And did he say where those POWs were to go?
18 A. You mean Beara? He did not. I did not hear anything about that.
19 Q. Do you remember Malinic telling you that Beara had ordered that
20 all the prisoners were to be taken to the soccer field?
21 A. Yes, yes, that was the initial order, that they should be located
22 in the area of the football pitch and that they should be registered,
24 Q. And who gave that order to Malinic, according to Malinic?
25 A. It was Beara's order. The way I understood it, it was passed on
1 to him through the duty officer in the unit.
2 Q. Did Malinic tell you Beara was personally present or did these
3 orders come in over the communications through the duty officer?
4 A. I don't remember him telling me anything about Beara being there
6 Q. So this would have come through the duty officer -- from Beara,
7 through the duty officer of the Military Police Battalion?
8 A. Yes, possible. I think -- I think that's the way it was, through
9 the duty officer.
10 Q. Had General Tolimir told you where Beara was?
11 A. At one point, and as I sit here, I do not recollect when, whether
12 it was on the 16th, in the evening hours, or maybe on the 17th, in the
13 morning, before I departed, I'm not sure about that, but at about that
14 time on the 16th, General Tolimir did say that Colonel Beara was present
15 in the zone of the Drina Corps. I did have that piece of information at
16 my disposal.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, Judge Nyambe has a question.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
20 I just need a clarification from you regarding what you have just
21 stated at page 36, lines 6 to 10. And you've said:
22 "Buses arrived to the football pitch in Nova Kasaba, maybe buses
23 and trucks or maybe just buses, and these buses were there in order to
24 transport the POWs to Bratunac. That was done. They entered the
25 vehicles, and under escort, military police escort, Malinic --
1 Military Police Battalion escort, they were taken to Bratunac."
2 Were you present when this was happening? Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not present. What I'm
4 recounting now is what I'd been told by Major Malinic on the 17th, in the
5 morning, when we ran into each other close to his command post. All the
6 events I'm talking about took place on the 13th, and I was not an
7 eye-witness to the events.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, I -- do you recall, did General Tolimir give you a location
12 in the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps?
13 A. Zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps? I'm not familiar
14 what's the northern border of their zone of responsibility, because it
15 was neighbouring with East Bosnia Corps, where I had been prior to that.
16 I didn't even know the lines towards the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, but I
17 knew that the command post of the Drina Corps was in Vlasenica. That's
18 the only thing I knew. I don't know any locations and wasn't told about
19 any locations by anyone.
20 Q. Where did General Tolimir tell you Beara was located?
21 A. Somewhere in the zone of the Drina Corps. He didn't tell me
22 precisely where.
23 Q. All right, and so back to our chronology.
24 Major Malinic is telling you this information. You've added the
25 part about General Tolimir information too. What happened -- what
1 happened after Major Malinic finished telling you this information?
2 Anything else that you recall him telling you?
3 A. I don't remember anything else, except for the fact that he told
4 me he'd stay there and continue with his assignment; namely, keeping the
5 communication blocked until further orders. That's the only thing I
6 remember about it.
7 Q. Okay. And where did you go next?
8 A. I headed on along that road. And after several kilometres
9 between Kasaba and Konjevic Polje, I ran into an officer from the
10 Communications Regiment. I'm not certain who he was, although somewhere
11 in the area the commander of the regiment was supposed to be, but I don't
12 remember having seen him. The officer I saw also told me that the
13 Communications Regiment has one segment of its forces blockading the area
14 facing Konjevic Polje.
15 Q. Okay. And after checking with that unit, where did you go?
16 A. From there, I went to the crossroads at Konjevic Polje, and from
17 there to Bratunac. I stopped only briefly at Konjevic Polje because
18 there were many vehicles there, buses, and various members of the army,
19 police. So what they were doing, they were trying to make sure that the
20 traffic would flow faster through the crossroads. And I did not stop
21 there, looking for anyone in charge for that area around Konjevic Polje.
22 And then I went immediately to Bratunac.
23 Q. Did you see any Muslim prisoners assembled around Konjevic Polje
24 or anywhere on this road at this -- at this time?
25 A. Not at that time, I did not see any prisoners at all.
1 Q. And about how many buses did you see at the Konjevic Polje
3 A. I'm not sure. Perhaps three or four, but there were other
4 vehicles and lorries.
5 Q. And you said you went to Bratunac. Where did you go in Bratunac?
6 A. Since I had never been there, I made inquiries, and I went
7 directly to the Command of the Bratunac Brigade.
8 Q. And, again, I know you can't be exact, but roughly what time was
9 it when you got to the Command of the Bratunac Brigade?
10 A. Well, it was past 10.00 in the morning, sometime between 10.00
11 and 11.00, not later than a quarter past 11.00.
12 Q. And who did you see there?
13 A. I looked for the commander, Colonel Blagojevic, and I found him
14 on the first floor of the building where the command was based. It was a
15 red building of a factory. And he was alone in his office.
16 Q. And describe the -- what was said.
17 A. Well, that's the first time we met. We hadn't met earlier. I
18 told him on what mission I had come to the area; that one of my tasks was
19 to report to him, to be briefed by him as to how the blockade was
20 proceeding and how the sweep operation was proceeding, that aspect of the
21 Krivaja Operation. Blagojevic told me, as far as I remember, that
22 everything was on the move as of the day before, that the units were
23 carrying out the blockade, and the sweep operation was being handled by
24 the units of the police, of the MUP. That's what he said that I can
25 remember. In other words, he had organised all the activities, just as
1 the day before.
2 Q. And did he indicate some of his units were involved in that as
4 A. His units, or at least a part of his units, was keeping the
5 blockade from Bratunac towards Kravica and Konjevic Polje. Up to what
6 point, I cannot remember exactly, but that was a section of the road
7 between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje.
8 Q. And what else of significance do you recall him telling you?
9 A. Well, I recall he said he had already received the so-called
10 preparatory order, and he was about to receive his assignment relating to
11 operations towards Zepa. And part of his forces, together with him, were
12 supposed to head there.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And can we just go to P1219.
14 Q. And this is -- General, it's a log-book that we picked up at the
15 Bratunac Brigade in a search back in 1998.
16 And if we could go to page 10 in the B/C/S, and it should be
17 page -- sorry, page 10 in the English, and perhaps page 10 in the B/C/S.
18 You've got the B/C/S correct. I see that. And, yes, the e-court
19 gods are with us.
20 So we can see in this book, which is entitled "Report on the
21 meetings of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade," that there's a
22 working meeting with the commander, with the corps command. And then the
23 commander -- this is dated the 16th, as we can see, and it says:
24 "The formation of the battalion for Zepa by 0700 hours on 17
1 Is this one of the documents I showed you to help you prepare for
2 your testimony?
3 A. Well, I don't really remember seeing this document. Perhaps I've
4 seen similar documents. Whether it was this one, I'm not sure. But it
5 supports what Blagojevic said, that he was about to prepare and head for
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 3036A.
8 Q. And as we're waiting: You may remember this is an intercept the
9 Bosnian Muslims were able to get. It's at 1220 hours.
10 If we can find the one in that report that starts at 1220.
11 You're going to have to blow it up to be able to figure that out, I'm
13 Thank you. That's -- that's it. And this is, I can tell the
14 Court, one of the exhibits that is dated 17 July. If we go to the very
15 top of the report, you'll see the 17 July date, at 1220 hours.
16 Is this an intercept you recall being shown before, I think at a
17 trial a few years back?
18 A. Yes, yes, and it was shown to me recently.
19 Q. And what, if anything, are you able to make of this intercept
20 that may or may not relate to this issue we're talking about?
21 A. Well, if we are to believe this text, and I suppose we can
22 believe it because this is a transcript of a real conversation, we see
23 that at 12.20, Colonel Blagojevic had already left Bratunac and was on
24 his way, together with his column.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 My greetings to Mr. McCloskey.
3 Could we see the date on this document? It would be good to see
4 the date; for the witness as well.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we go back up to the beginning of this report,
7 it should have the date, if we've got the complete thing.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps another page.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, we do not -- we only put into e-court
10 the section of the report with the -- with the intercept. But for the
11 general, we'll get the whole report. So as I'm sure you remember, to
12 find the date, you've got to go to the top, to the report, and we'll get
13 that so he can take a look at that. But I can assure you it's 17 July,
14 but we can get that, of course.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We would appreciate that.
16 Please continue.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. And do you recall this intercept? I think it was first shown to
19 you as a Defence witness by the Defence attorney for Colonel Blagojevic.
20 Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And your view, that this intercept that says Blagojevic has set
23 off at the head of a column of seven buses, is consistent with what
24 you've just testified?
25 A. Well, I believe it is. That's what we concluded, that this
1 battalion of the Bratunac Brigade was already moving towards Zepa.
2 Q. Okay. Let's go back to your chronology, then.
3 You're still in Bratunac. What else do you remember
4 Colonel Blagojevic telling you, besides that he was getting ready to go
5 off to Zepa?
6 A. Well, I don't remember talking about anything else with him. We
7 didn't have much time anyway. In the meantime, Colonel Jankovic showed
8 up, and I had been looking for him, so I don't remember discussing
9 anything else in particular.
10 Q. Okay. Before we get to Colonel Jankovic, let me ask you: We'll
11 recall that the original Mladic order, both oral and written, puts you in
12 command of these forces, and then you've said that General Tolimir was
13 able to change that so that you just were to be able to go to the various
14 forces and get information. So now that you see Colonel Blagojevic
15 getting ready to go off to Zepa, what did you do, if anything, about the
16 command situation for the sweep operation?
17 A. Nothing. As far as I know, nothing, because Blagojevic had his
18 chief of staff, his deputy. I don't know what arrangements he made for
19 his absence, but at that time he had hardly left his area. Srebrenica
20 and Zepa were in the same area. Maybe he never left his own area of
21 responsibility. Anyway, I wasn't even sure he was leaving on that day.
22 Q. All right. And you say Colonel Jankovic showed up. Can you
23 remind us who Colonel Jankovic is?
24 A. Colonel Jankovic was one of the commanding officers in the
25 Intelligence Administration, in the Sector for Intelligence and Security.
1 Now, which section he belonged to exactly, I don't know, but he was used
2 a lot for ensuring communications, contact, and liaison because he spoke
3 English and other languages. In any case, he was in the
4 Intelligence Administration.
5 Q. And can you again briefly remind us, had you had a particular
6 assignment regarding Colonel Jankovic?
7 A. Yes. I've already spoken about that. My assignment was to find
8 Colonel Jankovic in Bratunac, and that I did immediately at the command.
9 I told Blagojevic or somebody at the command that I needed Jankovic.
10 Jankovic was found, and he came to Blagojevic's office because I had
11 specific assignments for Jankovic.
12 Q. And tell us, briefly, what was said.
13 A. Well, it was said that he should establish contact with the
14 Dutch Battalion, make apologies somehow for the events that occurred
15 during entry into Srebrenica, when weapons and other assets were taken
16 away from Dutch armed forces, and he was to say that these things would
17 be returned to them. That's one of the assignments I was supposed to
18 convey to him.
19 Another assignment was that he should tell Colonel Karremans,
20 commander of the Dutch Battalion, that his evacuation plan has changed,
21 that it would be done through Serbia and not via Sarajevo Airport, for
22 security reasons. This evacuation would be monitored and supported by
23 the MUP of Republika Srpska; namely, Tomo Kovac.
24 Also, Colonel Jankovic was supposed to arrange somehow the
25 evacuation of the wounded from the Health Centre in Bratunac.
1 That's what I told Jankovic when he came.
2 Q. Did you tell him who he was getting this assignment from?
3 A. Well, I told him that these assignments were given to me by
4 General Tolimir.
5 Q. And do you recall what his response, if any, was?
6 A. I don't remember anything in particular, because I left the
7 Command of the Bratunac Brigade with him to start carrying out some of
8 these tasks.
9 Q. And tell us where you went and what, if anything, you
10 communicated about.
11 A. After leaving the Bratunac Brigade Command, we went to the
12 Dutch Battalion. At one point, we stopped by the police station in
13 Bratunac. I'm not sure anymore for what reason. Jankovic had some
14 business there. But, anyway, we dropped by. Whether it was before or
15 after visiting the Dutch Battalion, I can't tell anymore, but we stopped
16 by the police station. We went together to the Dutch Battalion Command,
17 where we waited for about half an hour to be received by the commander.
18 We went into his office and stayed there for about an hour. I'm not sure
19 how long it was exactly, but it took some time.
20 Q. And just briefly describe to us what you did during this hour, or
21 just the topic of the discussion.
22 A. Well, only vaguely, because Colonel Jankovic spoke in the English
23 language with the UNPROFOR battalion commander, so I did not understand
24 all of it. I didn't understand most of it. I know only what Jankovic
25 kind of interpreted to me in the breaks so that I should be able to
1 follow: that he was telling them what he had to tell them concerning the
2 evacuation, and return of the weapons, and other things that had been
3 taken away. So I wasn't able to follow the entire conversation.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's just go back for
5 General Tolimir.
6 If we could go to 3036G. That's the big report of that
7 intercept, and we can go to where the date is shown.
8 Okay, there we see the report with the date of 17 July, and,
9 actually, the 12.20 conversation is right up front. So we'll -- and
10 that's 3036G, which we should put into evidence, I guess.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you using it with the witness any further?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. I just wanted to respond to the general's
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 It will be received, and I think with both versions, one with the
16 date, 17th of July, and the other one, solely the intercept, itself, and
17 the translation.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter documents 3036A and 3036G
19 shall be assigned Exhibit P2219. Thank you.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
21 Q. All right. General, let's go back. You've described to us
22 briefly about that you and Colonel Jankovic were carrying out the task
23 that Tolimir had issued for him. And what did you do after that?
24 A. From the Command of the Dutch Battalion, we went again to
25 Bratunac, and we stopped by the Health Centre, where the evacuation of
1 prisoners was underway, organised by the ICRC. Something was going on
2 there. As we stopped by, somebody - I don't remember who - had separated
3 a group of the wounded, about 20 of them, and these were not evacuated in
4 the organisation of the ICRC, and they eventually stayed there after the
5 column left. And we stayed there and observed until the column of the --
6 the convoy of the ICRC had left. I remember there was a certain lady,
7 Lucy, organising all that.
8 Q. All right. And did you ever see, that day, a man -- a military
9 man named Momir Nikolic?
10 A. I don't remember -- no, I did not know a Momir Nikolic. He was a
11 security officer in the Bratunac Brigade, and I don't remember seeing him
12 on that day.
13 Q. All right. And what did you -- do you know, again roughly, what
14 time the ICRC evacuated those wounded people?
15 A. In the afternoon, around 2.00 p.m., 3.00 p.m.
16 Q. And what did you do after that? You're still with
17 Colonel Jankovic, I take it.
18 A. Well, we stayed around - how long, I don't remember - after the
19 convoy left. I don't remember at what point we stopped by the police
20 station. After all that was done, we went our different ways. I went
21 back to Crna Rijeka; that is, up the road to Konjevic Polje and Kasaba,
22 towards Crna Rijeka.
23 Q. Do you remember, while you were in the Bratunac area, did you
24 ever meet with an officer from the Special Police?
25 A. Yes, I did. At the police station in Bratunac, I came across
1 Colonel Ljubisa Borovcanin, who was chief of staff in the
2 Special MUP Brigade, and he was one of the rare officers whom I had known
3 earlier in that area.
4 Q. So why were you at the police station in the first place?
5 A. I'm not sure why Jankovic had to stop by, on what business. But
6 when we went into the police station, in the office of the commander or
7 whoever, there was a large group of policemen, and Borovcanin was with
8 them. I did not have any reason to go there.
9 Q. Did Borovcanin say anything? Did you have any discussion or
10 communication with Mr. Borovcanin?
11 A. He said some things we spoke about, what he did, and he said he
12 was there with some of his forces. And he said that his forces were
13 mixed, that he had some members of the Special Brigade and some police
14 officers from the rank of regular police forces from various police
15 stations. From the Zvornik Security Services Centre, that encompasses
16 Bratunac and Milici. Those were special units, in other words. He also
17 said that those special units were deployed in some check-points,
18 including Konjevic Polje, but all of his troops were mostly engaged in
19 scouring the terrain.
20 Q. And when you say "scouring the terrain," was the "search of the
21 terrain" job that was the subject of your earlier order by
22 General Mladic, or similar to?
23 A. No, that's the search Colonel Blagojevic was talking about when
24 he said the troops were blockaded and that the police would be sent out
25 to search the terrain. So, yes, that's the task I was talking about.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
3 Yes. At page 47, lines 23 to 25, through to 48, lines 1 to 3,
4 you have stated as follows:
5 "Something was going on there. As we stopped by, somebody - I
6 don't remember who - had separated a group of wounded, about 20 of them,
7 and these were not evacuated in the organisation of the ICRC ...," and so
8 on and so forth. ^
9 Then you come to say:
10 "I remember there was a certain lady, Lucy, organising all that."
11 My question is: From which side of those involved in that
12 evacuation was Lucy from; the ICRC, or the MUP, or another organisation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The ICRC, they brought vehicles and
14 they carried out the evacuation. So it was the International Red Cross
15 that did that.
16 JUDGE NYAMBE: And so Lucy, the lady Lucy, was from the ICRC?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
21 Q. And perhaps on that same subject: Do you know why those 20 were
22 separated that didn't get transported?
23 A. There were stories, people talked, and it was said that those
24 combatants had been identified as perpetrators of crimes that happened
25 during the previous period and that they couldn't be evacuated together
1 with the rest. That was the explanation.
2 Q. And who did the separating of these 20 individuals from the
3 larger group that was evacuated?
4 A. I don't know. I can't answer your question.
5 Q. Was it the ICRC that separated them?
6 A. No, of course not. Madam Lucy actually fought hard for everybody
7 to be evacuated, without any selection or separation.
8 Q. Okay, thank you. And this information, you say "stories," where
9 did that come from?
10 A. Well, all the stories were heard there within the perimeter of
11 the Health Centre, and most of the people who were there were police
12 officers probably from Bratunac. I don't know if there were members of
13 the military too. I didn't notice anybody but Jankovic, and, of course,
14 I myself was there. And there was also doctors, medical staff from the
15 hospital. They all made up a group that talked very agitatedly about the
16 problem, and that was the first time the issue was raised about that
17 group that couldn't go. Who identified them and who issued an order for
18 them to stay behind instead of being evacuated, I really don't know.
19 Q. All right. And on a related topic: Did you deal with any issues
20 with an international group called Doctors Without Borders, MSF?
21 A. Doctors Without Borders, I know who they are. My only personal
22 contact with them was when I met them as members of a mobile hospital in
23 Banja Luka. After I was wounded, I asked them for medical assistance.
24 Otherwise, I did not have much to do with them.
25 Q. Okay. Going back to where you were talking with Mr. Borovcanin
1 about the sweep operation: Did you come to any decisions about the sweep
2 operation with the army and his forces or anything of significance?
3 A. Well, I just took stock of the situation. I had some personal
4 contacts that helped me with that, and I also relied on what Blagojevic
5 and Borovcanin told me. I realised that the operation was ongoing, that
6 it was underway, and that it would come to an end pretty soon.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Could we have 65 ter 1435.
8 Q. And, General, I don't want to spend too much time with this. I'm
9 not sure you've seen this before, but I just want to ask you if you have.
10 It's a 17 July order from a Special Police commander named Goran Saric,
11 and as we can see, it's sent to a group of people, including
12 Ljubisa Borovcanin, the person you just mentioned, and the Bratunac
13 Public Security Station, where -- is that where you were talking to
14 Ljubisa Borovcanin, at the Bratunac Public Security Station? --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And we see, in paragraph 1 of this, that it talks about forming a
17 combat group on the 17th to search the terrain of the Pobudje sector and
18 clear the side of the Milici-Drinjaca road. Is that basically this part
19 of the sweep operation that you were sent down to co-ordinate and be
20 involved in to some degree?
21 A. That was one part of the operation. But as I've already told
22 you, I was not supposed to take an active part in it in that way. I was
23 just to see how things were going on. I was just sent out to be there
24 and to see how things were done.
25 Q. Understood. Have you ever seen this order before?
1 A. I don't think so.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I'd offer this into evidence.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1435 shall be
5 assigned Exhibit P2220. Thank you.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
7 Q. And going back to your chronology: Before I'd asked you about
8 the Special Police, I think you'd basically gotten yourself -- you had
9 split up with Colonel Jankovic, and you'd started going back to
10 Crna Rijeka; is that correct?
11 A. After all of the activities in Bratunac, namely, the evacuation
12 of the wounded, I visited the police station and to the DutchBat. When
13 everything was finished, we went our separate ways. During that period
14 of time, Colonel Jankovic actually stayed in Bratunac. He never told me
15 that; not in so many words, but that was my impression.
16 Q. Did he give you any messages to pass on to anyone at Crna Rijeka?
17 A. Nothing special. The only thing that he told me was that he had
18 accomplished his mission with the Dutch Battalion, and then we agreed
19 that I would say that some of the prisoners had stayed behind in the
20 Health Centre; that some of them were not evacuated, in other words.
21 Q. Okay. And about what time did you leave the Bratunac area?
22 A. Probably, sometime after 1600 or 1700 hours. It was still
23 daylight. It was summer, summertime, and the visibility was good. I
24 would say sometime late in the afternoon.
25 Q. And did you stop anywhere along the way home towards Crna Rijeka?
1 A. Well, I don't remember that we stopped. I remember that we had
2 to stop before Konjevic Polje for 10 or 15 minutes because the road was
3 blocked with vehicles which were making U-turns in that area. That's
4 what stopped me for 10 minutes or so on the road.
5 Q. What kind of vehicles?
6 A. There was an occasional bus, but mostly lorries, some all-terrain
7 vehicles. I believe that on the side of the road, I even saw an APC on
8 the road to Drinjaca, where the road forks off towards Drinjaca. I
9 believe that even APCs were there. There was some -- there were a lot of
10 passenger vehicles. I really can't tell you exactly what I saw, what
11 kind of vehicles I saw.
12 Q. Whose APC was this?
13 A. No, no, no, I don't understand. No, I didn't say "transport." I
14 never mentioned any transporters.
15 Q. We have, in the English translation, that:
16 "I even saw an APC."
17 An armoured personnel carrier is what that's short for. Did you
18 ever say you saw an armoured personnel carrier?
19 A. No, no, I said that it was a piece of engineering machinery, a
20 piece of machinery or vehicle belonging to engineers. That's what I
22 Q. What kind of machinery? What was the machinery designed to do?
23 A. Well, it was a classical dozer -- bulldozer.
24 Q. Was it a machine that could dig?
25 A. It was a combined piece of equipment. It could dig and it could
1 also push the earth in front of it.
2 Q. All right. And did you see any Muslims around, any prisoners?
3 A. No, no, I didn't. I didn't see any.
4 Q. And why were these vehicles turning around, as far as you could
6 A. I don't know why. They were moving in all sorts of directions
7 from there; towards Bratunac, Kasaba, and towards Drinjaca. In any case,
8 at one point in time that crossroads was totally blocked. I don't know
9 why all the commotion.
10 Q. Okay. And after that delay, where did you go?
11 A. Back to Crna Rijeka, to Han Pijesak.
12 Q. And who did you see back there? Actually, let me ask you:
13 Roughly, what time did you get back to Crna Rijeka?
14 A. At sunset, around 1900 or 2000 hours.
15 Q. And who did you see back at the Crna Rijeka?
16 A. First, I went to the Operations Centre, where General Miletic
17 was. I don't remember who else was there at the time. I briefed
18 General Miletic about the search of the terrain. I don't know how much
19 time I spent with him, and I really don't remember whether our discussion
20 touched upon any other topics. I can't remember that.
21 After that, I went down to the barracks, or, rather, to the
22 command post. And there, over a period of a few hours, I conveyed the
23 same information to General Tolimir.
24 Q. And, roughly, what time of day was it? If you got back at about
25 sunset and you went to the Operations Centre -- actually, let me ask you:
1 When you went to the Operations Centre, was that the one in the bunker or
2 the one in the buildings?
3 A. The Operations Centre in the bunker. And everything happened
4 within the scope of a few hours, so I wouldn't be able to pin-point the
5 times exactly.
6 Q. Okay. And so you leave the bunker, and you go see
7 General Tolimir where?
8 A. In the prefabricated buildings, in the barracks.
9 Q. And what do you say to him?
10 A. Just like in the Operations Centre, but I also told him about the
11 tasks that we carried out together with Jankovic.
12 Q. All right. And those are all -- those are the tasks that you've
13 already told us about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what, if anything, did he say to you?
16 A. I don't remember anything special. Perhaps we said a few things,
17 and he said that the separation of some of the wounded was not okay and
18 that that situation had to be resolved over the next few days. I vaguely
19 remember something to that effect. And after that, we discussed the
20 upcoming tasks.
21 Q. And what were those? Tell us about what you discussed with him.
22 A. Well, we discussed things to do over the next few days. For
23 example, on the following day or over the next two days, I was supposed
24 to talk to the officers of the military police who had completed training
25 in the Army of Yugoslavia and who had joined the Army of the
1 Republika Srpska, and I was supposed to give a proposal to the commander
2 as to how they would be deployed. After that, I was supposed to go to
3 the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, and there I
4 was supposed to meet with the officers of the Security Department of the
5 Sarajevo Romanija Corps. I was supposed to take stock of the situation
6 over there, in view of the all-out offensive which was launched from
7 Sarajevo against the axis from Trnovo to Kijevo. That axis had been
8 threatened at the time. Most of the Battalion of the Military Police and
9 the Protective Regiment were deployed on that axis.
10 As for the other tasks, I was supposed to have a meeting and a
11 conversation with the group of Russian volunteers. I was supposed to
12 brief them about the rules of engagement. They had turned up with an
13 intention to be deployed in the Sarajevo front-line.
14 Another task was for me to talk to a group of officers that had
15 been selected to replenish the security organs in the units where those
16 were missing.
17 All those things were supposed to be done over the next four or
18 five days, before the 23rd of July. And on that day, I travelled to
19 Drvar, to the forward command post of the Main Staff, where I joined the
20 general, General Milovanovic.
21 Q. Okay. And who told you about all these tasks? Who told you you
22 were supposed to do all these things you've just described?
23 A. General Tolimir, General Tolimir.
24 Q. And do you remember telling us before about going to Sarajevo to
25 bring an officer from an international organisation to take part in some
1 agreement with Mladic in Zepa?
2 A. When General Tolimir gave me the list of tasks facing the
3 Security Administration or, rather, the Sector for Intelligence and
4 Security, all in the function of the intention for me not to take over
5 command of those units. He mentioned, amongst other things, that a
6 military mission in Sarajevo was supposed to send a certain
7 Colonel Howard and another officer, or, rather, that they should have
8 been brought over to monitor negotiations between the VRS and the
9 leadership of Zepa. However, I did not carry out that task. I don't
10 know why. I must have forgotten it. As far as my memory serves me, that
11 task was actually never issued to me, and there is nothing that would
12 tell me that it ever was. There are no notes to that effect or anything.
13 Q. When did General Tolimir tell you about this task of getting
14 Colonel Howard?
15 A. He mentioned that task in the evening on the 16th.
16 Q. All right. And those other tasks that you -- that he gave you
17 when you got back from the Bratunac area, were those in written form, or
18 oral, or both?
19 A. Oral, those tasks were conveyed in an oral form. That was a
20 customary way of communication among the security officers or, rather,
21 the officers in the Security and Intelligence Sector. The only exception
22 would have been engagements that dealt with things that were not within
23 the normal scope of our activities.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Thank you, General. It's break time.
25 And, Mr. President, I have just a couple of documents to clear up
1 some of the timing issues, but I'm hoping 15 or 20 minutes is all I have
2 left. And given that I've been on for five hours and forty-five minutes,
3 I better not have more than fifteen minutes left.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told you have only used five hours and
5 forty-three minutes. That means you have really a quarter of an hour
7 We must have our second break now, and we'll resume at quarter
8 past 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.16 p.m.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please go ahead.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. General, I want to go over a couple of documents. I think you've
14 seen them sort of briefly.
15 If we could go to P00376A.
16 And this is an intercept, and I can tell you that it's from 17
17 July 1995. I think -- you've seen it before, I know. It's got your name
18 in it, and it's between X and Y. And we can see that it talks about:
19 "Has Keserovic set out already?"
20 And X says:
21 "We came across him on our way here."
22 It's 11.15 a.m. on the 17th of July, and it's hard to make out
23 exactly what they're talking about, but have you seen this intercept
25 A. Yes, I have, in the printed version, typed version of it, of this
1 issue where I was, because I was expected somewhere in the area on that
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the typed version is B, if we can show that.
4 Q. And we see that it mentions at some point:
5 "Well, he must have gone first forward over there to
6 Momir Nikolic."
7 We know that Momir Nikolic was in the Bratunac area. During this
8 period of time after you got back to Eastern Bosnia, the 16th, 17th,
9 18th, did you ever go to the Bratunac area but once, that you've told us
10 about, or did you ever go there again?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This should not be broadcast. I was told it is a
12 confidential document.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was in Bratunac only once.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would tender this document -- it's
15 already in, I see. It's got a P number.
16 All right. Let's go to P1747, and it should be page 4 in the
17 English and page -- I've got "89" in the B/C/S.
18 Q. And this is a log-book from the Zvornik Brigade, and this is a
19 log-book for 17 July. Do you remember me showing you this 17 July entry?
20 A. Yes, and also that at 0845 hours, three colonels showed up in the
21 Zvornik Brigade.
22 Q. Yes. And it's mentioning "led by Colonel Trkulja," that they
23 went to the IKM to review the conditions and then returned at 1500. Does
24 this assignment led by Trkulja, does that -- is that related to anything
25 that you heard General Mladic order anybody else to do on that 16th?
1 A. Yes, it is related. The three colonels, that's what we saw in
2 items 1 and 2 of the order. They were told to go to the Zvornik Brigade,
3 and to assess the situation there and to return.
4 Q. All right. And so if this is correct, they would have left
5 Crna Rijeka probably in the morning and driven there, or do you know if
6 they went to Zvornik and spent the night before going out to the IKM?
7 A. I'm not familiar with their time of departure.
8 Q. All right. Now, General, I want to ask you a couple of final
10 You've told us that you were not in command of the sweep-up
11 operation, but I want to tell you there's a witness in this case that has
12 testified he was one of the officers for the Special Police, under
13 Mr. Borovcanin, and he said he was involved in the sweep operation - and
14 this is at page 8633 of the testimony - on the 17th of July, and that by
15 the end of that sweep operation that he conducted with the army, they had
16 received about 200 prisoners. And there are indications in this case
17 that some of those people turned up in a mass grave in Cerska, and
18 certainly 200 people from the 17th have never been seen again.
19 So, General, I'm concerned that you have said that you were not
20 in command of that sweep operation because you're aware that prisoners
21 were captured and then killed at the end of it. Is that true? Were you
22 in command of this sweep operation?
23 A. No.
24 Q. When did you first find out that Muslims were summarily executed
25 by the VRS?
1 A. People started talking about it just before the end of the war,
2 but I didn't have any concrete information before the first trials to
3 Erdemovic and Kremovic here.
4 Q. So when you say near the end of the war, what month are you
5 talking about?
6 A. I cannot be precise about that. But, in any case, semi- and
7 unofficial information started appearing in newspaper articles, rumours,
8 to the effect that something had happened and that humanitarian
9 organisations are trying to locate people from Srebrenica. But nobody in
10 Republika Srpska officially and publicly spoke about that. I didn't have
11 any information about it, and I wasn't in the area until the end of the
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, we have the page on the screen,
14 8633, but we can't see that there is a reference to testimony about these
15 events by the military police. Can you check that, please.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I hadn't meant for it to come up,
17 but it's -- I just wanted to ask him about it. And I realised that this
18 was testimony that's part of the record of this case at 92 bis, but it's
19 actually testimony from the Popovic case. So it's not our -- that's the
20 reference for where it's in evidence, but I probably need some more
21 numbers for you to bring it up in this case. And it wasn't my intention
22 to do that. I don't think they'll be any disagreement that that
23 fundamentally was testified about.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was very helpful to have it on the screen.
25 Otherwise, later on we all would have trouble to find the right location.
1 That may be checked later.
2 Just continue, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And it's PW-052, 92 bis, and that is the correct
4 page from Popovic.
5 And that was my last question. Thank you for clarifying that for
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
8 I take it you concluded your examination-in-chief.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it's now your turn to commence your
11 cross-examination. You have the floor.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 May God's peace reign in this house, and may God's will, not
14 mine, be done in these proceedings.
15 My greetings to Mr. McCloskey. We are all pleased that he's
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. My greetings to Mr. Keserovic as well. I would like to
20 congratulate him for all his accomplishments. Last time I saw him, he
21 was a lieutenant-colonel in the VRS. In the meantime, he has become a
22 general and has obtained his doctorate, so my congratulations.
23 A. Thank you.
24 Q. We don't have much time, Mr. Keserovic, maybe 20 minutes at the
25 most, and we'll try to go back through the transcript to remind you of
1 some of the discussions before my turn came. But, please, before you
2 answer, wait for the transcript to stop so that we wouldn't overlap.
3 On several occasions during the previous session, you were asked
4 about your stay in Bratunac together with Colonel Jankovic. For
5 instance, on page 44, line 21, you said:
6 "Jankovic spoke English, and he was a member of the
7 Intelligence Administration. He was used for interpretation because he
8 could speak two different languages."
9 Do you remember saying that?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Thank you. Was everyone in the administration aware of the fact
12 that Jankovic was there only to interpret, and that he was summoned to
13 Srebrenica precisely for that purpose; namely, just to be an interpreter?
14 Thank you.
15 A. I was aware that Jankovic was used as an interpreter, and that is
16 why I was not aware what his precise role was within the
17 Intelligence Administration besides that.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please now look at
19 document 03884, and this document will help us understand why the
20 knowledge of various languages is of use for the
21 Intelligence Administration.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. There is a document on the screen now that was sent by the
24 Intelligence Administration to the Sections for Intelligence Affairs of
25 the Herzegovina Corps, Drina Corps, and to the Organ for Intelligence and
1 Security Affairs of the IKM of the Herzegovina and Drina Corps. It is
2 stated here:
3 "Activities of the NATO Air Force."
4 And it says at 1344 hours, AWACS called two American aeroplanes,
5 F-18, with code-name Thebault ^ 37, to fly over Gorazde, fly over the
6 Gorazde, and record the situation there. And later on, they were asked
7 to fly over Serbian positions at supersonic speed and to be in touch with
8 the British VON, code-name Fortune 95. But until they come to that
9 location, to stay in contact with them.
10 I apologise to the interpreters.
11 So this is mention of a situation where it was necessary to
12 translate communication between the aeroplane and the station.
13 Do you remember who in the administration was in charge of
14 translating such documents when they would reach us with written in
15 English on them?
16 A. I'm not sure, but I think Captain or Major Mamlic also spoke a
17 foreign language. Jankovic also knew some foreign language. And was
18 there anyone else we used to translate for us? I'm not able to recall at
19 the moment.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you mostly convey to Jankovic assignments that
21 were related to UNPROFOR, UNPROFOR, ICRC, and so on, which were a part of
22 the duties of our administrations because we were the ones who were in
23 contact with international factors and representatives?
24 A. Yes, exclusively such assignments.
25 Q. Thank you. Were all your contacts with Jankovic in Bratunac in
1 relation to activities regarding UNPROFOR and UNHCR? Thank you.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. McCloskey asked you on several occasions whether
4 you conveyed Tolimir's orders. My question is this: Were those orders
5 or were those tasks pertaining to the regular work of the organs in the
6 sector? Were those military tasks, military orders, or were those
7 regular tasks?
8 A. Those were regular tasks. Those that are carried out in the
9 Intelligence and Security Sector, those were not military orders.
10 Q. Thank you. You were also asked, on page 56, about the tasks you
11 received, and you listed them. For example, you mentioned the deployment
12 of newly-admitted officers who had just arrived from training. You also
13 spoke about the deployment of new security organs. You mentioned talks
14 with the Russian volunteers. All that we can find on page 56, starting
15 with line 17. And you said that you were to carry out those tasks from
16 the 18th, when you returned from Bratunac, up to the 23rd, when you went
17 to Drvar on a new assignment.
18 Is there a single military task among these? You also mentioned
19 the fact that two monitors were supposed to arrive to supervise
20 negotiations between the VRS and Zepa. Would you say that any of these
21 tasks is a military task?
22 A. No, there is nothing outside of the purview of the normal work of
23 the sector.
24 Q. Thank you. Since you are familiar with the Rules of Service,
25 would you say that there is anywhere in the rules a ban on communications
1 between officers and those employed in the Security Sector? Thank you.
2 A. There's no such thing in the rules, there's no ban on
4 Q. All of those tasks that you carried out together with Jankovic,
5 the tasks you carried out after your arrival from Bratunac until the
6 moment you left and went to Drvar, were they all within the purview of
7 the work of the security organs, and were they all part of their
8 professional duties? Thank you.
9 A. Yes, they were all professional tasks.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Could the Pre-Trial Chamber [as interpreted] admit this document
12 into evidence, the one that we have just called up on e-court? Thank
13 you. And then we will continue when Mr. McCloskey has had his say.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We received the interpretation "Pre-Trial
15 Chamber." There is no Pre-Trial Chamber at the moment. It is the
16 Trial Chamber.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. It may be a translation issue, but we're
19 getting a distinction between tasks, kind of regular tasks, and military
20 tasks. And so, foundationally, if the general and the witness could
21 establish what they mean by that, it could have some meaning, but in
22 English it has no meaning because these are all the military men and
23 everything is a military task in that sense. So unless foundationally
24 you establish what you mean, it has no meaning. And, again, it's
25 probably translation, but I just want to point that out.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's not the first time that this question occurs
2 here in this trial.
3 First, we will mark this document on the screen for
4 identification, pending translation.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3884 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit D247, marked for identification pending translation.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have heard the desire of
9 Mr. McCloskey. You may clarify that or not. Please carry on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 I would like to thank Mr. McCloskey for having corrected my
12 mistake. I said "Pre-Trial Chamber." It was not the interpreter who
13 made the mistake. And now I'm going to ask Mr. Keserovic, and maybe he
14 can clarify the matter.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Keserovic, when a commander, in keeping with his own decision
17 or his own design, issues a task to all of us, are security organs or
18 members of the Security Sector duty-bound to work on the implementation
19 of such tasks? Thank you.
20 A. Yes, they are duty-bound to do that. Everybody has to carry out
21 the commander's tasks.
22 Q. Thank you. Were we all subordinated to all those who were in
23 command positions in the commands of the brigades, corps, main staffs?
24 Did we report to them about our own work along the command line, along
25 the line of the chain of command? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, we reported to the members of the command, to the assistant
2 commanders, depending on where we worked, and we were responsible for our
3 overall work before the commander.
4 Q. On several occasions, you asked whether I changed the commander's
5 order. I don't want to quote, but if necessary, I will provide
6 references. My question is this: Did I change the commander's decision
7 or was it the commander, himself, who changed his decision before you set
8 out to carry out the tasks that he had given you? Thank you.
9 A. You did not change the task or the order. I believe that that's
10 what I said. You conveyed the message to me, and you told me that the
11 commander, himself, had changed the task before I went on the mission.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keserovic. You were asked on page 44, line 7,
13 about that, but I didn't want to mention either the page or the line
14 before you answered.
15 My next question is this: Did anybody, any of the organs,
16 including the chief of the Sector for Intelligence and Security, have the
17 right to issue any tasks or orders to the organs who were not on the
18 strength of either the sector or the administration?
19 A. I'm afraid that I didn't understand your question. You say
20 "task." I didn't understand your question. In professional terms and in
21 terms of professional control of counter-intelligence, if that is what
22 you meant, one could issue tasks from the sector and Administration for
23 Security to the Security Department, but those could not be military
24 tasks or orders, nor could security organs be taken out from the chain of
25 command in the unit that they belonged to.
1 Q. Thank you. Since you performed different duties, starting with
2 the platoon commander to your last position - you were also a corps
3 commander and chief - can you tell us this: If any other organ issued a
4 command to any organ of the command, would you request clarification?
5 Would you seek to find out why that order had been issued unbeknownst to
7 A. Yes. The relationship in the command is indivisible. The
8 commander is the only one that can issue orders.
9 Q. Thank you. When it comes to professional bodies or organs, did
10 they have the right only to issue tasks to their own professional organs
11 at various levels or did they have the right to issue tasks and orders to
12 the commanders and their units?
13 A. They could issue orders and tasks only to their own professional
14 organs. They certainly couldn't issue orders to units, and that applied
15 to all organs, not only to security organs.
16 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Keserovic. Please, if you did not carry
17 out a task given to you by the commander, would you be taken to task by
18 myself or by the commander? For example, just to illustrate the
19 situation, when you were sent to Bratunac to carry out the mission, who
20 were you responsible to?
21 A. The commander of the Main Staff.
22 Q. And would you have been taken to task by me if you had not
23 carried out my task; for example, if you had not briefed Jankovic about
24 the tasks that I had given you?
25 A. I would have been taken to task first by you and then by the
1 commander, I suppose.
2 Q. Thank you. For grave breaches of discipline, for non-compliance
3 with orders, which disciplinary bodies are authorised? Do security
4 organs report only to their professional superiors or do they also have
5 to bear responsibility before courts?
6 A. They bear responsibility before military and disciplinary courts,
7 civil courts, and commanders are command organs; wardens, chiefs and
8 organs of that kind.
9 Q. Thank you. As far as tasks, obligations and status issues of
10 officers in intelligence and security organs are concerned, is it the
11 chief of the sector who is in charge or is it true that some of them have
12 to be dealt with by the commander?
13 A. All status issues are dealt with by the commander or the
14 authorised body is of the command. Proposals may be given by the sector;
15 in other words, the chief of the sector or the chief of the relevant
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keserovic. I believe that we have clarified the
18 issue that was raised by Mr. McCloskey. If we have not been successful,
19 we can go on exploring the issue. Maybe we can leave it to Mr. McCloskey
20 to raise the issue again in his redirect. Thank you for your answers, in
21 any case.
22 Please, on page 22 of today's transcript, on line 6, you were
23 asked whether on the 16th of July, you knew that the unit of the BiH Army
24 had left Srebrenica and that it had walked over the Zvornik Brigade, and
25 that Blagojevic was supposed to go to Zepa on the day when you were with
1 him in Bratunac. Do you remember that, and could you understand the
2 question, since you speak English?
3 A. Yes, I remember the question.
4 Q. Please, can you answer the following question: What forces
5 walked over, as the Prosecution put it, the area of responsibility of the
6 Zvornik Brigade, they over-run that area of responsibility, and where did
7 they open fire from against the Zvornik Brigade?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I think it got cleared up right at
9 the end, but the term has been translated as "walked over," and I believe
10 I probably used the term "over-ran," which the translator got to
11 eventually. But I think everyone agrees that it's "over-ran" is the
12 appropriate term in English, not -- well, "walked over" is another way of
13 saying it, but not a military way.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I remember very well that you used the word
15 "over-run," and, indeed, Mr. Tolimir used it as well.
16 Your answer, please, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know today about what happened at
18 the time. That evening, I didn't know, I didn't have that information.
19 However, I know today, according to estimates, some 7.000 or 8.000 people
20 from Srebrenica, from the 28th Division, and perhaps a few civilians
21 together with them, hit the area of defence of the Zvornik Brigade. They
22 attacked from the rear. They inflicted major losses on them. And the
23 commander of the brigade decided to open the corridor to let them through
24 towards Tuzla, towards the zone of the 2nd Corps, because he simply could
25 not engage in combat with them because they were simply more powerful.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Was that prevalence in power in terms of the numerical strength
3 or also the technical strength? Thank you.
4 A. At that moment, it was mostly the numerical strength of that
5 division. They had some infantry weapons that they could carry.
6 However, as they were encountering the elements of combat order of the
7 Zvornik Brigade, like artillery and orders, they would get hold of those
8 and turned the barrels against the Zvornik Brigade. However, I would say
9 that the numerical element was prevalent in that case.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keserovic. As a soldier, would you be able to
11 analyse the military activity of the Muslim forces that had left
12 Srebrenica? How would you term those activities?
13 A. Here, we are talking about a forcible march. That would be the
14 correct military terminology, and that would imply a movement involving
15 the use of all available means. And in the final part, the activity was
16 an offensive from the rear against the Zvornik Brigade and the
17 Drina Corps, and those activities were in the direction of the
18 2nd Brigade of -- or 2nd Corps of the BiH.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us now look at D176.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And while we are waiting for it, I would like to say that this is
22 a document which was issued by the BiH Army, the Command of its
23 2nd Corps, on the 27th of July, 1995, and the title is "The chronology of
24 the breakthrough of the 28th Division." It was sent to
25 General Rasim Delic. The commander of that brigade was Sead Delic.
1 Do you see the document now?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, excuse me. I just see that it's
4 getting late, and I don't have an estimate for cross-examination. And we
5 need to know tonight if we need to get ready for anything tomorrow, so
6 if, before we quit, we could get that estimate, that would be very
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 I will finish whenever you tell me to finish, but not this
11 evening. I can't finish within the next 15 minutes. I have a lot of
12 questions, I have a lot to deal with. There have been a lot of questions
13 put to the witness over the past two days.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, that was not the question. We will
15 finish at 7.00 today, and it's very clear -- it's obvious that you can't
16 finish your cross-examination in the next two minutes.
17 You have indicated earlier that you will use three hours for
18 cross-examination. Can you give us an update, as the Prosecution used
19 more than the estimated three hours at the beginning? What is your
20 estimation for the whole of the cross-examination?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Through our contacts with the Registry, we said that we would
23 need as much time as the Prosecutor has used. If you don't mind, we
24 would like to use that right.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You always should use your right. It was just a
1 question by Mr. McCloskey and by me. That means six hours; is that
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Approximately, approximately six
4 hours. I'll try to finish even before that. I'll try and make sure that
5 I leave some time within my six hours for redirect, for additional
6 questions by the Prosecutor. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Taking into account this information, it is very
8 clear that we will not finish with the witness by tomorrow. We will go
9 further into the next week, I think.
10 After we have had this discussion, there is no reason for
11 continuation of cross-examination. We should adjourn for the day.
12 You should be reminded, sir, there's no permission to have
13 contact with either party about the content of your examination.
14 We adjourn, and we resume tomorrow afternoon at 2.15 in this
16 [The witness stands down]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of May,
19 2011, at 2.15 p.m.