1 Wednesday, 1 June 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom,
6 especially to you, Mr. Thayer. Welcome back. We haven't seen you for a
7 long time.
8 Is the next witness ready to go?
9 MR. THAYER: He is, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. Then the next witness should be brought
11 in, please.
12 MR. THAYER: And good morning to you, Mr. President,
13 Your Honours. It's a pleasure to be back before this Honourable Chamber.
14 I think the last time I was here, Mr. Monkhouse was clean-shaven.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is not the only development that's taken
16 place in the meantime.
17 MR. THAYER: A significant one, nevertheless.
18 Mr. President, while the witness is being brought in, I can let
19 the Trial Chamber know that the Prosecution will move orally now to
20 withdraw two witnesses from its witness list as a result of our review
21 pursuant to the Trial Chamber's instructions. Those witnesses are
22 Witness 130, and Witness 191.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
25 Good morning, sir.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome to the Tribunal and to the courtroom.
3 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to
4 you now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MIKAJLO MITROVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
10 yourself comfortable.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer for the Prosecution is conducting now
13 your examination-in-chief. He has the floor.
14 Mr. Thayer.
15 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
17 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please --
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Would you please state and spell your name for the record.
20 A. Your Excellencies, Your Honours, my name is Mikajlo Mitrovic. Do
21 I need to provide any additional information? I am a retired colonel. I
22 was born on the 22nd of July, 1955, in Zelinje, Zvornik municipality,
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm a Serb by ethnicity. I'm Orthodox by
24 religion. I completed the technical military academy in Zagreb where I
25 received the status of an engineer in electronics. I completed primary
1 and secondary school in Belgrade.
2 Q. And thank you for that information, Colonel. Do you recall
3 testifying in this courtroom for a little over a day in September 2008?
4 A. Yes, I remember. It was in the Beara case, and I was a Defence
6 Q. And, Colonel, have you had an opportunity recently to listen to
7 that testimony?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And can you attest that the testimony that you listened to was
10 accurately recorded and reflected in what you heard?
11 A. Yes, the testimony was correct.
12 Q. And, Colonel, can you attest before this Trial Chamber that were
13 you asked the same questions today that you were asked back in 2008 in
14 the Popovic case, that your answers would be the same?
15 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender
17 65 ter numbers 7406 and 7407, Colonel Mitrovic's prior testimony in the
18 Popovic case. The former being under seal.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both will be received as exhibits. The first one
20 under seal.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7406 shall be
22 assigned Exhibit P2258 admitted under seal. And 65 ter document 7407
23 shall be assigned Exhibit P2259. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we have some associated exhibits to
1 tender which are reflected on the Prosecution's list of exhibits. There
2 are approximately eight of them listed there.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: These eight documents will be received. The
4 first one is 65 ter 2816. It will be received under seal.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registry will provide us with the document
9 numbers. One moment, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, associated exhibits shall be
11 assigned exhibit numbers from P2260 to P2267. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And P2260 is under seal.
13 Mr. Gajic.
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] A small technical problem.
15 I wish to greet everyone.
16 Mr. President, I just wish to turn your attention to the fact
17 that the documents which are on the Prosecution list with 65 ter numbers
18 7408, 7409, and 7400 are already Defence exhibits as follows. D197,
19 D199, and D198.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this information. I
21 think you misspoke when you said 65 ter 7400. It should be 7410, if I'm
22 not mistaken. Is that correct? Or are you referring to 7400?
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] 7400, yes. At least that is what I
24 have on my list, yes. 7400.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registrar will check if this reflects -- is
3 also reflected in our documents, and, in that case, we would withdraw the
4 P numbers and leave with it with a D number.
5 Mr. Thayer, please go ahead.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Mr. President, with respect to the remaining exhibits on the
8 Prosecution's list of exhibits, the four associated exhibits we do not
9 need to tender. Three have already been admitted. We won't seek to
10 tender 65 ter 169. In addition, in the last category, the first two
11 exhibits, 2681 and 2682, we will not seek to tender either. That leaves
12 the transcript of Colonel Mitrovic's 2004 interview. I anticipate that
13 both parties during the course of his testimony will refer to it,
14 probably put it up on e-court. I don't think we intend to tender the
15 entire transcript. However, if the Defence seeks to do that, we won't
16 object to that. But we will be relying on it.
17 That leaves one exhibit in the non-associated category that was
18 not on the 65 ter list for the Prosecution. It is a handwritten
19 organisational chart of the security and intelligence organs in the VRS
20 that was sketched by the witness during that 2004 interview. I do intend
21 to use that with Colonel Mitrovic today. We've put the Defence on
22 notice. I don't think they have any objection to us using that with
23 Colonel Mitrovic, and I would orally move to add that exhibit to the
24 65 ter list of exhibits.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it that this is 65 ter 7415; is that
2 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we should come to that document later
4 when you use it.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 And I'll proceed with the 92 ter summary of the witness's prior
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
9 MR. THAYER: As a JNA officer, the witness joined the security
10 organ in 1983 and served in various security and counter-intelligence
11 posts until the war started. In 1985, he met Ljubisa Beara and the
12 accused. Beara was the witness's second superior officer and served as
13 deputy chief and later chief of the JNA Naval Military District based in
14 Split. The witness would see Beara several times a year when Beara
15 toured the security organs or summoned the witness to the command.
16 During this period, Beara was a superior officer to the accused, who was
17 chief of the Naval Military District's counter-intelligence group.
18 In September 1991, the witness was wounded by Croatian forces,
19 taken prisoner, and held for 45 days in solitary confinement, during
20 which time he was beaten daily, not registered, and hidden from the ICRC.
21 Following his exchange in November 1991, the witness was appointed chief
22 of the counter-intelligence group of the JNA 9th Knin Corps, where the
23 accused was his immediate superior and chief of the Knin Corps' security
24 department. General Mladic was Chief of Staff and later commander of the
25 Knin Corps. General Mladic and Colonel Beara knew each other from this
1 time because the Knin Corps was part of the Split military naval district
2 in which Beara served.
3 When the witness joined the VRS in May 1992, he was transferred
4 from Knin to Drvar and became chief of intelligence and security affairs
5 of the 2nd Krajina Corps serving in that capacity until the end of the
6 war. Although Colonel Beara had been the accused's superior prior to the
7 war, the accused arrived at the VRS Main Staff earlier than Beara and
8 became Beara's superior officer at that time.
9 The witness, in his Popovic testimony, described the structure of
10 the VRS intelligence and security organs, the relationship between the
11 subordinate and security organs in the VRS and the reporting and
12 transmission of information between them. He also testified about the
13 relationship between the security organs and their unit commanders, the
14 relationship of the security organs to the military police units in the
15 VRS, as well as the tasks of the VRS military police units, the
16 relationship between the security organs and the MUP security services,
17 and the importance of not withholding information or secrets from the
19 The witness also testified that he holds Colonel Beara in high
20 esteem, as an officer, and that Beara and the accused held each in high
21 esteem. Tolimir and Mladic valued Beara's work. The witness also
22 testified that he held Vujadin Popovic in high esteem as an officer.
23 Popovic at one time served as a desk officer in the 2nd Krajina Corps
24 intelligence and security department, and the witness recommended Popovic
25 for the post of chief of the Drina Corps intelligence and security
2 Finally, the witness also testified about information he had
3 concerning the smuggling of weapons and other contraband in humanitarian
4 assistance and also by parachute air-drops.
5 Q. Now, Colonel, I have some follow-up questions for you; some, in
6 part, based on your testimony in the Popovic trial, and some based on
7 your 2004 OTP interview. And before we get started, did you have a
8 chance recently to also review the transcript of your 2004 OTP interview?
9 A. Yes. I had a chance, in fact, to remind myself a bit of this
11 Q. Okay. The first topic we'll address this morning is your capture
12 and imprisonment in September 1991. I know this is a difficult subject
13 for you, so let's go through it first.
14 As you testified in the Popovic case, you were taken prisoner by
15 the Croats and mistreated the entire course of your imprisonment. I want
16 to just focus on a couple of things you said in your 2004 interview. The
17 first concerns, just generally, the training which you received as a JNA
18 officer in the Geneva Conventions and the proper treatment of prisoners.
19 Can you tell the Trial Chamber just a little bit about what kind
20 of training you received in that regard.
21 A. Your Honours, Your Excellencies, in the introductory part, I said
22 that I graduated from the technical military academy in 1979. And I
23 finished it as an engineer of electronics. After that, during my work, I
24 continued my education and when, in 1983, I was admitted into the
25 security and intelligence service of the then-JNA and I was subsequently
1 sent to Pancevo to the intelligence education centre where I completed
2 the security school which lasted for six months. In addition to that, I
3 had to take exams which lasted for two and a half years to obtain the
4 rank of major. And after the war I also attended master's degrees
5 studies of contemporary sociology at the faculty of philosophy in
6 Banja Luka. During work, we had to undergo various kinds of training.
7 There were seminars, lecture, and so on, and we had occasion to come
8 across the provisions of the international law of war; that is to say,
9 the Geneva Conventions. So I am familiar with them in general terms.
10 Q. And to your knowledge, was the training provided by the JNA, with
11 respect to the international laws of war and the Geneva Conventions,
12 something that was given only to members of the security services or was
13 it training that was given across the board, shall we say, to JNA
14 officers and soldiers?
15 A. Yes. That was given to all members of the JNA.
16 Q. Now, you testified in the Popovic trial that, in addition to
17 being physically abused daily and being beaten and having tear gas thrown
18 in your cell, you were also never registered by the ICRC and were
19 blindfolded and hidden from them when the ICRC came to visit the
21 Do you recall that testimony, sir?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. I was wounded and taken prisoner. And in
23 Sibenik, what I considered to be paramilitary forces, the ZNG, they first
24 took me to a hospital. I was only semi-conscious due to my wounds. I
25 was wounded in the head, and I still have pieces of shrapnel in my head
1 and they still cause problems for me.
2 I was also wounded in my leg and shoulder. There were many
3 Croatian soldiers who were wounded and who were in the hospital and they
4 started threatening me, so I was happy when they came and took me to
5 prison because I do not think I would have survived if I had stayed at
6 the hospital. In prison, I was in solitary confinement, number 79, as
7 you said, and I had severe pain in my head, probably due to my wound. I
8 never received any sort of assistance. That is to say, the assistance
9 was reduced to daily beatings.
10 In addition to physical mistreatment and mental torture, there
11 were situations in which they would bring me food, tinned food, but not
12 the tin opener, because they would say that I could use the tin opener to
13 inflict wounds on myself, so that I would just leave tins aside and
14 occasionally they would take them away. It is true that I would hear
15 when the ICRC would visit, because I could hear that. It's a long
16 corridor. You could hear sounds of conversation and noises, and they
17 would take me somewhere. I was blindfolded, and they took me downstairs,
18 somewhere, probably to the basement, but I could hear from the guards
19 also that it was the ICRC.
20 Then when there were attacks on Sibenik by the JNA, they always
21 threw tear gas into my cell. All other prisoners and detainees would be
22 taken to a shelter but they would leave me there and they would tell me,
23 Let your people kill you, and so on. I was not the only one who was
24 imprisoned there. Of course, there were other officers and there were
25 also civilians who used to work in Sibenik who were in prison, but they
1 were in a common cell as opposed to me.
2 Before the war, I knew the prison warden and also the chief of
3 the MUP. We used to socialise up until the time when fighting broke out
4 in Croatia. It was normal socialisation. And it ended by me being
5 exchanged on the 2nd of November, after 45 days in prison.
6 Q. Okay. Colonel, I want to go directly to the transcript of your
7 2004 OTP interview. This is P2258. And we won't be showing any part
8 that needs to be under seal.
9 MR. THAYER: Oh, I beg your pardon. This is 65 ter 2785. 2785.
10 And if we could go to page 15 in the English. And this should be
11 page 16 of the B/C/S.
12 Q. And I'll just read the question in English, and we'll see -- and
13 you'll have an opportunity to read your answer in your own language in a
15 On page 15 of the English, you were asked the question:
16 "And the treatment that you received while in custody, was that
17 in violation, in your opinion, of the Geneva Conventions and the
18 internationally recognised standards of combat?"
19 And again that's page 16 now and we'll look at the answer. It's
20 page 16 in both versions.
21 And in your version, Colonel, we can see the question being asked
22 about little more than halfway down the page. In the English version,
23 your answer is at the very top of page 16. And your response, when asked
24 whether the treatment you received was in violation of the
25 Geneva Conventions, your answer was:
1 "Yes, yes, because every time that an ICRC team would come for a
2 visit, because the Red Cross would come and visit, I would be
3 blindfolded, taken out, and taken somewhere to the cellar, because I
4 could feel, you know, I was walking down and descending."
5 You were asked if you were hidden.
6 You answered, "Yes."
7 And then you stated that you were only registered on the day of
9 Is this transcript accurate, in terms of what your answer was at
10 the time, sir.
11 A. If fully reflects what I said, and I believe I repeated most of
12 it today.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you.
14 MR. THAYER: We're done with this exhibit for now.
15 Q. When you were exchanged, Colonel, you testified about this in
16 Popovic, you were exchanged for 50 soldiers and a major. Can you explain
17 why that was, how -- how it was that 50 soldiers and a major were
18 exchanged for one colonel?
19 A. You see, it was my luck that the Knin Corps command knew of me
20 being taken prisoner and probably it was for that reason that I stayed
21 alive. The corps commander, or, rather, the Chief of Staff of the corps
22 at the time was General Mladic. General Tolimir, who was a colonel then,
23 was at the helm of the security department of the corps. At that time, I
24 was the most important prisoner of the Croatian paramilitary forces
25 following General Aksentijevic, who was captured in Zagreb, whereas I was
1 captured in Sibenik. When I was released, I was told this story you
2 mentioned which was that General Mladic and the Knin Corps command,
3 before I was exchanged, twice scheduled me to be exchanged but I simply
4 was not brought to the location. They only managed to release me on the
5 third occasion. So in exchange, a major and 50 soldiers were released
6 who had been taken prisoner in Sinj. That was simply my price. An
7 exchange of prisoners, to put it in plainest and most vulgar of terms, is
8 an exchange of goods. There is a careful weighing of who is worth what,
9 and then an exchange occurs.
10 Q. And, Colonel, was your value based on your rank, on your
11 position, or on something else?
12 A. I don't know. Probably both, the rank and position. I really
13 couldn't tell you how they decided on it.
14 Q. Let's talk a little bit very quickly about some geography just to
15 orient ourself. There are reference throughout your testimony to Sibenik
16 and Split.
17 They are both located on the coast of Croatia; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, they are.
19 Q. Let's look quickly at an a map book.
20 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, this is just a late addition to
21 the exhibit list. We actually didn't think it would be useful to crank
22 out another list to just add the map book. I've advised the Defence that
23 we're going to throw up P104 and just look at a map very quickly. So if
24 we could do that.
25 It's P104, page 5. And if we could blow up the map just a little
1 bit. Thank you.
2 Q. Sir, do you see this map of the various VRS corps in front of
4 A. Yes, I can.
5 Q. Okay. And during the time that you spent as chief of
6 intelligence and security affairs or chief of the intelligence and
7 security department of the 2nd Krajina Corps, where did you spent most of
8 your time? Was it behind a desk, or were you out in the field within
9 your corps's area of responsibility?
10 A. While working or serving with the 2nd Krajina Corps, for the most
11 part, I was in the field. I also had to spend a certain amount of time
12 at the command post at Ostrelj. I have to point out something, though.
13 As a superior command, that is to say, the corps command, we toured our
14 subordinate units daily. It was mainly the brigades and we visited the
15 front lines. Occasionally, we also spent the night in the commands of
16 those subordinate units; whereas, on other occasions, we returned to our
17 command, to our base. But in any case, I used most of my time to be at
18 the front lines, visiting our subordinate units; that is to say, the
20 Q. And we can see here on this map the 2nd Krajina Corps depicted in
21 the west on the border of Croatia. In July and August of 1995, Colonel,
22 generally speaking, where were you during that period of time,
23 July/August 1995?
24 A. In July and August 1995, I was in the area of the corps. I'm not
25 sure at what location exactly. It may have been Drvar, but probably not
1 just Drvar. I was probably also at Grahovo and Livno axis, because, at
2 the time, we fought the HVO which was trying to break through to Grahovo
3 and Glamoc. I know that on the 27th of July, we lost both Grahovo and
4 Glamoc to them. It was a chaotic period of our attempts to defend the
5 corps's area of responsibility. Therefore, at that time, I was in the
6 corps area.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, it is perhaps a very interesting
8 story we are listening to. I'm a bit concerned about the relevance to
9 our case and the indictment against our accused.
10 MR. THAYER: I --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is the purpose of this line of questions?
12 MR. THAYER: The purpose of this line which is now at an end,
13 Mr. President, was just to let the Trial Chamber know where this witness
14 was during the period of time of the events that are charged
15 specifically, July /August 1995. Just to give you an idea --
16 Your Honours an idea of what he was up to. I thought it might be a
17 question that would be in the back of your mind. You've heard a lot of
18 other witnesses who were more involved and physically located near the
20 So I just wanted to place that in some sort of geographical
21 context for Your Honours.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this explanation.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Now, Colonel, let's talk a little bit about the actual work that
25 you and your organs performed during -- during the war. If we could
1 start, generally, talking about the tasks of the intelligence organs.
2 If you could briefly provide the Trial Chamber with how you would
3 describe the basic intelligence tasks of the VRS intelligence organs.
4 A. Your Honours, the intelligence organs of the VRS, like any other
5 intelligence service, primarily busied itself with collecting
6 intelligence about the enemy and its forces. In times of war, it is done
7 by reconnoitring at the tactical level. One needs to know where the
8 positions and deployment of enemy forces is, or are. Next, we also
9 surveyed radio communications and monitored movements of units and
10 received information about the enemy from the -- from friendly countries
11 through operative work, as well as analysing the media.
12 The intelligence organs followed anything that would physically
13 take place between the front line and the enemy and deeper into the enemy
14 territory. Whereas, counter-intelligence organs worked on everything on
15 the other side, that is to say, from the front line and into our
17 I don't know how clearly I am explaining this, but I hope you
19 Q. And although it might sound, at least as it is interpreted in
20 English, a little counter-intuitive, what you described as
21 counter-intelligence is work that was actually performed, generally
22 speaking, not by the intelligence organs but by the security organs; is
23 that correct?
24 A. I am not following. If intelligence organs received
25 security-related information, they forwarded it to the security organs,
1 and the other way around. If the security organs, through operative
2 work, received intelligence information, they were duty-bound to forward
3 it to the intelligence bodies. In that respect, they had a very close
5 Q. Understood, Colonel. When you say in your answer:
6 "... whereas, counter-intelligence organs worked on everything on
7 the other side, that is to say, from the front line and into our
8 territory," that responsibility lay, essentially, with the security
9 organs and not with the intelligence organs.
10 Is that fair to say? That's the only point I'm trying to
12 A. Yes. Their area was from the front line and into enemy
13 territory. That is the simplest explanation.
14 Q. Okay. So front line into enemy territory is intelligence. Front
15 line back into your own territory is security. Is that fair to say?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Okay. I just want to follow up on a couple of specific
18 intelligence methods that you spoke about in your interview.
19 MR. THAYER: If we could go to 2785; 65 ter 2785.
20 Q. Again, this is your 2004 interview.
21 MR. THAYER: And we'll be going to page 21 of the English and
22 page 22 of the B/C/S.
23 Q. Now, here you've described in your interview some of the things
24 you've already spoken about. The electronic reconnaissance, and that's
25 just basically intercepting radio communications; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. We monitored enemy communication. We had devices which
2 made it possible.
3 Q. And in the VRS, was that done by professionals, amateurs, or
5 A. Both. Those who were in charge were professionals in the field.
6 But we also relied on the knowledge and skills of ham radio operators.
7 Q. Okay. You also refer in your answer - and this is on page 22 of
8 the English, and we'll need to go to page 23 of the B/C/S - to relying on
9 information and intelligence gathered by -- from seized documents from
10 the enemy as well as interviewing prisoners of war.
11 Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about the importance,
12 in your experience, of information that was gathered from interviewing
14 A. Information gathered from POWs are, for the most part, credible.
15 Like the information you may find in enemy documents. In addition to
16 that, POWs could provide us with troop information, so to say. At least
17 those of them who were plain soldiers could not provide any crucial
18 information, but what is interesting for any command at the front line is
19 to know the number of trenches manned by that many people who have those
20 specific weapons. This may be very important if you're planning to break
21 through the front line or engage in any other combat operation.
22 Q. Okay. Let's focus just for a couple of moments on the tasks of
23 the security organs.
24 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 25 in the English. And this
25 will be page 26 in the B/C/S.
1 Q. We can see in -- in English at the top of the page 25, and it's
2 about the middle of your page. We can see in the interview, you say
3 pretty much what you just told us a moment ago, that:
4 "The security service was engaged in issues dealing with, or on
5 this side of the front line, in other words, things that were happening
6 on our own [sic] territory?"
7 And the question was put to you:
8 "So protecting the secrets of your forces then?"
9 And your answer was:
10 "Yes. The territory and the forces, yes."
11 And then you go on and describe what counter-intelligence entails
12 in general.
13 Do you see that, sir?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Now, I want to focus on one part of your answer here, after you
16 talk about counter-intelligence and security being involved in revealing,
17 monitoring and preventing enemy agents and their activities in our
18 territory and our units, a little further down you say:
19 "However, there was also, in addition to that, the
20 counter-intelligence protection of documents, plans and people."
21 Can you just provide a little bit more detail, please, for the
22 Trial Chamber about what you meant there? What are you talking about
23 when you talk about "counter-intelligence protection of documents, plans
24 and people"?
25 A. The tasks of security organs are complex, and you specified a
1 number of such tasks. Basically, such activities are aimed at detecting
2 possible agents functioning in the area of responsibility of the units in
3 question. There were such agents who, for different reasons, forwarded
4 information to the enemy, be it by radio communication or through
5 couriers. They would forward information on the deployment and situation
6 in our area of responsibility and in our units.
7 In that regard, security organs undertook counter-intelligence
8 measures to protect their units. What does that mean? It means that
9 those units should be kept safe so as not to be surprised by the enemy.
10 Command posts had to be protected so as to enable competent people to
11 work there. One could not have unknown and uninvited people moving about
12 command areas.
13 There was another measure in place, which was the protection of
14 commanders, especially that of the corps commander. He was protected in
15 his capacity as such. In his immediate environment, there could only be
16 checked personnel, and this applies to couriers, secretaries, and all
17 assisting personnel. We could not allow to have someone in that circle
18 of people who had not been checked and was not to be trusted.
19 Counter-intelligence protection of territory involves the
20 following: One needs to control the territory to prevent any sabotage
21 and terrorist incursions. There were such attempts and groups on a
22 number of occasions, and not only in the AOR of our corps. Such groups
23 can cause great damage. They can set up ambushes, kill personnel,
24 destroy infrastructure and materiel resources. Those were the most
25 important tasks, in addition to staff security. This means the
1 participation of staff security organs in the decision making process of
2 the command, in terms of certain operations, as well as information which
3 has to do with managing the military police. Those were the principle
4 tasks during the war.
5 Q. And, Colonel, it may be that you've touched upon this in the
6 answer you just provided, when you spoke about, in your answer in your
7 OTP interview about counter-intelligence protection of plans, what --
8 what are you talking about there, sir?
9 A. Your Honours, primarily any work and elaboration on combat
10 documentation is carried out in the corps command in a specific room
11 under certain measures. When that work is being carried out, first and
12 foremost, no uninvited personnel is allowed in the room, including VRS
13 officers who are not directly involved in the process and work on that
14 future project or task.
15 In other words, the number of personnel involved needs to be
16 narrowed down so as to have a minimum number of people. Also, no
17 documents may be taken out of that room unless strictly checked. Such
18 plans were protected in that way. They were held in a separate safe in a
19 room within the staff. Such rooms were guarded round the clock. Such
20 measures were in place until the plan became implemented. The most
21 important part of the process is preparation and elaboration of command
22 decisions, in order to put together a plan. Once the plan is in its
23 operational phase, then many things are no longer secret.
24 That is it, for the most part.
25 Q. And understanding what you just said, that once the plan is under
1 way and being implemented, necessarily certain information becomes known.
2 Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what role the security and
3 intelligence organs would continue to play during the course of an
4 operation to maintain the secrecy of an operation?
5 A. Your Honours, in the process of decision making all security and
6 intelligence organs participate. Intelligence organs usual provide
7 information about the enemy which are normal part of the corrected --
8 decision on the part of the commander for possible combat activities.
9 And security and intelligence organs also provide the assessment of the
10 situation in the field, whether the communications are working, whether
11 roads are such that military convoys can travel. How about traffic
12 nodes, are there any dangers for units of in the territory, and so on and
13 so forth. So, more or less, these would be the duties.
14 So a proposal is also given to the commander on how to use a
15 military police unit. That is the proposal, and then the commander
16 approves, or, rather, orders the use of the military police unit. That's
17 the preparation stage. Security organs also say what are the security
18 measures which all subordinate units must implement as part of the
19 commander's order. So it is not my decision as the chief of the security
20 but it is one of the points which is called security support, in order to
21 prevent a counter-attack and anything else that might obstruct such an
22 operation. So measures are outlined how not to communicate by radio or
23 just through courier, not to use telephone lines, and so on, to step up
24 reconnaissance in depth in the territory, to keep the plans where
25 prescribed, not to carry documents to combat tasks if not necessary for
1 the operation. Because our superiors would often put everything they had
2 into their bag, all the documents they had, and carried them with them to
3 the front. So sometimes they would lose them or they would be killed,
4 and that was a way for information to leak.
5 So, more or less, that was the role of security organs in the
6 preparatory stage and during the carrying out of an operation.
7 Q. And to what extent would the security and intelligence organs be
8 responsible for monitoring the course of an operation to ensure that the
9 security was maintained properly of an operation?
10 A. Intelligence and security organs participated in these
11 operations. They monitored what was happening, in a way. They followed
12 the movements of enemy forces, the situation in the territory. And it
13 was always envisaged that you would have some forces as a reserve so that
14 you could intervene possibly if a problem should arise in some section of
15 the front or on a particular axis. And they were also at the command
16 post. If it's a brigade, and if a brigade carried out combat activities,
17 then they were most often at the command post of the brigade, together
18 with the brigade staff. They were also with the units, if the units were
19 those that carried out the combat operations, and so on.
20 After that, an analysis would be made and one could see exactly
21 where any problems or shortcomings may have occurred.
22 Q. Okay, Colonel. Let's take a few moments and look at a sketch you
23 drew. We spoke about this a little earlier. I think it will be helpful
24 to have you explain it.
25 MR. THAYER: If we could have 65 ter 7415 on e-court, please.
1 And we'll just work with the original B/C/S version.
2 Q. I will be asking you to explain, in any event, so I don't think
3 we need to put up a translation.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At this point in time, I would like to ask the
5 Defence if there's any objections to add this document to the 65 ter
6 exhibit list?
7 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any objection?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I greet
9 everyone present. And may God's will be done in these proceedings and
10 today and not according to my wishes. I especially wish to greet
11 Mr. Mitrovic and wish him a pleasant stay among us.
12 The Defence has nothing against presenting any document which
13 points to anything that is incorrect. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Leave is granted to add this document to the
15 65 ter exhibit list.
16 Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Colonel, if could you explain the title you've written across the
19 top of this chart. It begins "nacelna ..."?
20 A. Your Honours, this is a general chart, organisational chart, of
21 the intelligence and security system of the VRS from mid-1993 to the end
22 of the war. But I added in brackets that it is possible that it was from
23 1994 onwards.
24 Why? Perhaps Mr. Prosecutor might ask me that. Because, in that
25 year, 1993 or 1994, there was a separation of the intelligence component
1 from the security component at the corps level.
2 Q. Okay. Now, in the top box that we have there, we see
3 General Tolimir's name. And what have you written above his name there?
4 A. In this general chart at the top of the pyramid is the
5 intelligence and security sector which was a part of the Main Staff. At
6 the head of this sector was the assistant commander for intelligence and
7 security affairs. At the time, that was Major-General Zdravko Tolimir.
8 Directly subordinated to this sector were the security administration of
9 the Army of Republika Srpska which was headed by naval
10 Captain Ljubisa Beara; and intelligence administration, headed by Colonel
11 Petar Salapura.
12 In the security administration, professionally speaking - and I
13 emphasise this because there may possibly be a question later on who were
14 the security organs subordinated to and how - professionally speaking,
15 they were subordinated to corps security departments of all corps. So we
16 have the security departments of the 1st Krajina Corps, the 2nd Krajina
17 Corps, then third is the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Well, they were
18 specific because they still had this intelligence and security department
19 joined to the end of the war, probably because they were few and they
20 were close to the Main Staff. And in numerical terms, they were few.
21 Then the Eastern Bosnia Corps security department. Then the
22 Drina Corps security department. The Herzegovina Corps security
23 department. And also subordinated to the security administration was the
24 counter-intelligence group of the VRS Main Staff. That's how it was
25 called. And the Department of Security of the Ministry of Defence of
1 Republika Srpska.
2 These were the security departments.
3 Q. Okay. Let's go through these boxes that you've drawn on the
4 left-hand side of the chart and put some names to the boxes.
5 You started off with the 1st Krajina Corps security department.
6 And you've abbreviated that 1 KK; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And in July 1995, who was the chief of the security
9 department of the 1 KK?
10 A. If we are talking about 1995, the chief of security in the
11 1st Krajina Corps was Colonel Stevo Bogojevic [Realtime transcript read
12 in error "Bogovic"]. The department chief in the 2nd Krajina Corps was
13 myself. The chief of department in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was the
14 then-Colonel Marko Lugonja. Chief of department in the
15 Eastern Bosnia Corps was Colonel Milenko Todorovic. I think his first
16 name was Milenko. And the chief of the security department in the
17 Drina Corps was Vujadin Popovic.
18 I don't remember who was the chief of the department in
19 Herzegovina Corps because there were several people in that position
20 during the war. I don't remember who was last among them. And the chief
21 of the security department at the Ministry of Defence was -- I'm not sure
22 if he was a reserve lieutenant-colonel --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the last name.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know his first name and the
25 chief of the counter-intelligence group was the
1 then-Colonel Petar Jakovljevic. These were the persons.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to stop you, because -- the interpreters
3 didn't catch the last name you mentioned. Could you please repeat this
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Do you mean the
6 Department of Security -- or, rather, which chief? Colonel
7 Petar Jakovljevic was mentioned.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was referring to the security department at the
9 Ministry of Defence. Who was that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think his name was Pereula at the
11 Ministry of Defence, yes. I'm not certain.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to clarify two other things. You
13 mentioned, line 1 of page 26, "the chief of security in the
14 1st Krajina Corps was Colonel Stevo ...," and the family name was not
15 correctly recorded.
16 Please repeat the name.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Stevo Bogojevic. Perhaps
18 it said Colonel Milan Stevilovic on this page. He was the predecessor of
19 Stevo Bogojevic. Perhaps that's what was recorded on the page. I didn't
20 pay attention to that, really.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We need everything on the
22 record. With these names, it is quite difficult to put everything
23 correctly into the transcript.
24 And you were talking about the chief of department, the
25 Eastern Bosnia Corps Colonel Milenko Todorovic. You added one sentence
1 to that which was not recorded. You said you are not sure if the first
2 name was Milenko; is that correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right. I think that
4 that was his name, but ...
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But? You're not sure about that, I take it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not. I think that it is,
7 but I'm not quite certain.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
9 Mr. Thayer, please continue.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. And just two quick follow-up questions about this side of the
12 chart, Colonel. The box that's the second from the bottom, you've used
13 the abbreviation KOG GS - with what we refer to as the full banana on
14 top - VRS. That abbreviation, I take it, stands for the
15 counter-intelligence group of the VRS Main Staff; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, you are correct.
17 Q. And the last follow-up question about this side of the chart, you
18 I think explained this in part. The third box down where it refers to
19 the Department of Security -- well, let me put it this way. You've
20 written department SRK OBP, and you've drawn a line from that box to the
21 box containing Colonel Salapura's name. Could you just explain to the
22 Trial Chamber why you've drawn that line?
23 A. Yes. Your Honours, I drew this line because, as I said in my
24 answer when I was explaining the general chart, it was only in the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps that until the end of the war the function of
1 security organs and intelligence organs was not separated. It was one
2 and the same department. Namely, to clarify, up until 1993, that is to
3 say, since the establishment of the security system in the VRS up until
4 at some point in 1993 and the arrival of naval Captain Beara to the
5 Main Staff, that is the connection that I make, at least once he became
6 the chief of the security administration, until his arrival, all the
7 departments in all the corps were joined. They had intelligence and
8 security personnel and character.
9 After his arrival, a separation was made of these two functions,
10 the intelligence one and the security one. This is why there are two
11 lines here. One is connected to Beara. These are the security
12 departments, whereas the intelligence departments are connected with
13 Colonel Salapura. But as the department remained one for intelligence
14 and security department in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, they had to
15 submit their reports to Salapura as well. As the chief of security, I
16 did not have to submit my reports to Colonel Salapura but exclusively to
17 Beara and that's the difference.
18 Q. So when you use the abbreviation OBP in the box for the
19 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps' chief, literally what does OBP stand for? What
20 does that abbreviation that you've used stand for?
21 A. It's at the beginning, intelligence and security affairs.
22 Intelligence and security system is what it says here. But this is
23 intelligence and security affairs.
24 Q. Okay. We've got a couple of minutes before the break so I think
25 we should be able to finish talking about the chart. And let's turn to
1 the right side of the chart under Colonel Salapura's name. Now, the
2 Trial Chamber has heard testimony already about the operation of the
3 intelligence department. But, if you would, to the extent that you can
4 remember, can you provide the Trial Chamber with the names of any of the
5 corps chiefs of intelligence. If you can't remember, that's okay. But
6 if you can, if you would provide the names for the Trial Chamber.
7 A. I'll try to state some names.
8 The chart is basically similar to the chart which relates to the
9 security administration, their-intelligence departments in all corpses
10 plus the 410th Intelligence Centre. I think it was seated in Banja Luka
11 at the time, or perhaps Bijeljina - I'm not certain - and the 10th
12 Sabotage Detachment.
13 The chief of the intelligence department was Colonel Djuric. I
14 don't remember his first name. I knew him. That was in the
15 1st Krajina Corps. The chief of the intelligence department in the
16 2nd Krajina Corps -- in the first one it was Colonel Djuric. In the
17 second, it was Colonel Milan Atlagic.
18 The chief of the 410th Intelligence Centre -- I don't remember
19 the other people, as I didn't know them.
20 The chief of the 410th Intelligence Centre was
21 Colonel Cedo Knezevic.
22 And the commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment was
23 Lieutenant Miso Pelemis.
24 These are the names that I can remember from the intelligence
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please repeat the name of the chief of
2 the 410th Intelligence Centre.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of the
4 410th Intelligence Centre was Colonel Cedo Knezevic. That's what he was.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was it Knezevic or Knezovic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first you said, Knezevic.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Now, Colonel --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Colonel, we can see that there's an arrow that points upwards
13 next to these boxes indicating the various intelligence organs. Does
14 that arrow mean anything?
15 A. Yes, it indicates for both branches what the reporting system
16 was. That is to say, all the departments or the units which are listed
17 here in -- on both sides reported upwards.
18 And the horizontal arrow above the number, 358736, means an
19 exchange -- an exchange of information between the administrations,
20 between the departments, generally speaking.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you, Colonel.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender
23 65 ter 7415.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification, pending
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7415 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit P2265, marked for identification. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At this point in time, I would like to ask
4 Mr. Registrar to provide us with the correct numbers of the associated
5 exhibits used in the Popovic trial.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. Having in mind
7 Mr. Gajic's remark regarding the identical documents that were tended by
8 the Prosecution, I have reassigned exhibit numbers in the following
10 65 ter document 2816 shall be assigned Exhibit P2260, admitted
11 under seal.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you for speaking slowly.
13 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 2818 shall be assigned Exhibit P2261.
14 65 ter document 2854 shall be assigned Exhibit P2262.
15 65 ter document 3324 shall be assigned Exhibit P2263.
16 And 65 ter document 7410 shall be assigned Exhibit P2264.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And for the sake of the record, please give us
19 again the D numbers of the three remaining documents.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Just one moment.
21 65 ter number 7400 that was tendered by the Prosecution was
22 previously admitted as Defence Exhibit D197.
23 65 ter document 7408 was previously admitted as D198.
24 And 65 ter document 7409 was previously admitted as Defence
25 Exhibit D199.
1 Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take it the numbers, the P numbers, given
3 to the three Defence exhibits are now vacated.
4 Mr. Thayer, is this perhaps an appropriate time for our first
6 MR. THAYER: Yes, it's, Mr. President. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Because I assume you are moving to another part
8 of your questioning.
9 We must have our first break now, and we will resume at 11.00.
10 And the Court Officer will assist you during the break.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, please continue.
14 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Good morning again to you, Colonel.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Colonel, you testified in the Popovic trial, and just, for the
18 record, this was at pages 25141 to -42, about the daily intelligence
19 reporting that went from the subordinate units all the way up to the
20 Main Staff, and you also testified about how the Main Staff transmitted
21 its information down through the subordinate units for your use.
22 Was there a particular time of day by which your intelligence and
23 security department, or departments when they got split, were required to
24 submit your daily intelligence reports?
25 A. Yes. It was as follows -- following: Informing and reporting is
1 one of the more important aspects of the system of chain of command in
2 any army. We were duty-bound to draft a report by 6.00 p.m. every day
3 and send it from the level of the corps security department. We were
4 supposed to send it to the security administration and its intelligence
5 and security sector at the level of the Main Staff.
6 Before 6.00, we needed to gather information from our subordinate
7 units, that is to say, the brigades and regiments, by way of their
8 reports, on the basis of which, we drafted our own. Those reports, for
9 the most part, contained some standard points that were prescribed by the
10 regulations, and most of the answers were rather typical in that sense.
11 The first item was the situation at the front line. Next, combat
12 readiness. Then the situation in the territory, as well as logistics and
13 its situation in the unit and in the field. Then the state of morale in
14 the unit and so on and so forth. All of those elements were contained in
15 the report. In other words, the command would be send such reports to us
16 and then to the Main Staff.
17 As for our security organs, we received their information from
18 our subordinate units about the situation in their respective units and
19 what security issues they had, and such security issues could have been
20 of different types. We also wanted to know whether there were any
21 counter-intelligence problems and whether they were being addressed and
22 in what way. We also wanted to know what the situation was in the units
23 of the military police, in terms of training, equipment, et cetera.
24 Those would all be parts of our daily reports that we sent to the
25 Main Staff.
1 The Main Staff did something that you mentioned in the sector
2 part of your question. In other words, they sent daily intelligence and
3 security information to the corps commands. Those were information
4 bulletins about the situation at the level of the RS and the VRS. By
5 nature of my work, I was unable to know what was going on in the
6 East Bosnia Corps, for example, because I was all the way to the west.
7 By the same token, I wasn't privy to developments in the
8 Herzegovina Corps.
9 We received such information from the Main Staff enabling us to
10 see at least partially what the situation was throughout the territory
11 and the armed forces.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, page 34, line 5, we
14 see you repeat the intelligence problems, whereas it should have been
15 counter-intelligence, as interpreted.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, Colonel, just to be clear about the different types of
20 reporting that were going on, is it the case that there was a daily
21 combat report which was issued by the corps command that went to the
22 Main Staff, in addition to the daily security report that your department
23 would send up to the Main Staff's security and intelligence sector? Were
24 those two separate reports or are you talking about one report? Just so
25 we're clear.
1 A. There were two separate reports. But the command report also
2 contained elements pertaining to the security situation. There was a
3 standard item in that report, the title of which was: Security. Within
4 that particular paragraph, there were always a few sentences stipulating
5 what took place during that particular day at the corps, in terms of
6 security, and it usually concerned general security, as regards the corps
8 In the reports that were sent by the intelligence -- by the
9 security department when we sent them to our administration, we were more
10 detailed in them, providing more precise, for the lack of a better word,
11 information about the security situation in the corps area, including
12 counter-intelligence issues, as well as general security issues. I'm
13 trying to say that there was a difference which was obvious only in that
14 part in which the reports of the command were general in nature. There
15 were no counter-intelligence issues specified in any detail. I can use
16 an example to illustrate that.
17 In the command report, perhaps it would be included that, in an
18 X/Y area, an enemy operational position of -- was detected. And then in
19 the other report that we sent to our administration, we specified in
20 detail what the position was and what measures we would take to address
22 Q. Now, in the -- in your interview with the OTP in 2004, and to
23 save a little bit of time, I won't put it up on the screen, you mention -
24 and this is at page 43 of the English and page 46 of the B/C/S, if
25 anybody wants to look at it later -- you mentioned that the brigades
1 within your corps had to brief the corps command twice a day on the
2 situation in their area of responsibility, and that each corps had an
3 operations centre with communication links with the subordinate units.
4 Do you remember telling us that in 2004, Colonel?
5 A. Yes, that's how it was. Each command post - and this goes for
6 all armies in the world - there is an operational centre where all
7 communication means are placed to communicate with the subordinate units.
8 All subordinate units would channel their information to that hub
9 regarding the situation in their respective areas. That operational
10 centre monitored events and noted them and it included entire corps area
11 of responsibility. Usually, such reporting was done twice in the morning
12 and in the evening before 6.00 p.m. because I've already said that by
13 that time we should have produced a report already. We also wanted to
14 know how the night went in their areas, whether there were any problems.
15 So the morning briefing was usually not of that much importance; whereas
16 the afternoon reporting usually contained much more information and
17 detail. That was the only difference. And we also received reports as
18 needed, not only on those two occasions. If the enemy broke through our
19 lines, the command of the corps was notified immediately. Also, if the
20 enemy stepped up its activities, the command would be informed as well.
21 The two particular briefings we addressed simply offered an
22 overview of the situation in general terms up to that particular time of
24 Q. All right. Let's look at 65 ter 2785 again, please. That is the
25 transcript of your OTP interview. I want to follow up on this topic of
1 communications and look at a portion of your interview in that regard.
2 MR. THAYER: And we'll be going to page 81 in the English and
3 page 85 in the B/C/S.
4 Q. And, sir, just take a moment, if you would, to read in your
5 language approximately from line 9 or so down to the bottom of the page.
6 Just take a moment, reacquaint yourself with this portion of your
7 interview, please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In B/C/S, it would be, if I'm not mistaken,
9 line 15 downwards; is that correct?
10 MR. THAYER: Approximately. Maybe even up a little bit, line 9.
11 But that's the general area. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Line 9 in B/C/S.
13 MR. THAYER: In B/C/S.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I was referring to the English text.
15 Line 15.
16 MR. THAYER: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. In English, yes,
17 line 15, exactly.
18 And we can stay on the one page in B/C/S but Colonel Mitrovic's
19 answer in the English transcript goes to the next page.
20 Q. Colonel, have you had a chance -- okay. I see that you're
21 nodding yes.
22 The -- you refer to this Neven communications system, this
23 encrypted or protected system, and if we can - yes - go to the next page
24 thank you. In the English, it's at the top of page 82. You state that:
25 "All the corps were connected through Neven with the
1 security administration with Tolimir."
2 Can you explain what you're talking about there, how all the
3 corps were connected with General Tolimir through this Neven system.
4 A. This is correct. Excuse me. The Neven system was a computer
5 system. It was a coded software that could only be used by the
6 administration sector at the Main Staff and security departments in the
7 corps. The communication was direct, and we could rely on it by using
8 our codes to pass on information to our security administration.
9 The system was rather simple to use. I believe I also mentioned
10 that in our reporting we used the same code as was used by the corps
11 command. The Neven system was to communicate between the security
12 department in the Main Staff and its security administration. In other
13 words, the different corps could not communicate using that system
15 That would be the best explanation I can give.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Let's turn to another topic now, and we'll
17 stay with your interview for a little while.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you for a moment. I have an
19 additional question.
20 Throughout the time-period from June to August 1995, did this
21 system, this Neven system, work all the time, or were they -- were there
22 any problems?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot be specific
24 because July and August was a different -- difficult period for our
25 corps. We were constantly in combat and had to move. I believe in
1 August or September we abandoned the corps command post. Probably the
2 Neven system was not in operation by that time.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you have specific knowledge about that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't recall anything specific,
5 but I believe that if we had to move from our command post, it affected
6 the system. I no longer remember whether we were able to set it up later
7 on. In that period of time, we probably reported by way of codes and the
8 command line.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You just told us that in August or
10 September you - that means your unit - abandoned the corps command post.
11 Could you be a bit more specific? What does that mean, in fact.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in August and
13 September, we were under constant attack, and we lost territory. In late
14 August and in early September, we abandoned our command post at Ostrelj
15 because we were exposed to artillery fire on a daily basis. It was for
16 that reason that we had to leave Ostrelj and go to Bosanski Petrovac,
17 which is some 10 kilometres away.
18 Later in September, when the Muslim and Croat forces attacked
19 Petrovac, we withdrew toward Kljuc. In that period of time, so from
20 August and until the end of the war, we no longer had a permanent command
21 post. We simply set it up in different locations depending on where we
22 happened to be. When I say that we set up different command posts, I
23 mean to say that it was never a standing command post as it had been at
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: After you moved to Bosanski Petrovac, did you set
1 up the Neven system again?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. But I don't
3 think we were able to. I think we only used the code system. I can't
4 say anything with any certainty.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you recall if the Neven system was working at
6 any other location where you moved with your command post after August or
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible that it worked when
9 we were in Banja Luka later on. Basically that system resembles regular
10 e-mail, only that this one is protected. You needed communications, and
11 at that time, we could only use radio relay communication.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you have any information if at other command
13 posts, wherever in that region, the Neven system was in place when it was
14 abandoned in your command post? I'm referring specifically to the same
15 time-period, from June to August 1995.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe it worked in Banja Luka,
17 as part of the 1st Krajina Corps, because they did not move. I also
18 believe, since the situation there was stable, it worked in the
19 East Bosnia Corps, as well as in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, so all
20 those corps which stayed within their areas. Since they didn't need to
21 move, they probably could still rely on the Neven system.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that clarification.
23 Mr. Thayer.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
25 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. And just to follow up on your last answer, would you include the
2 Drina Corps as one of the corps that didn't have to move outside their
3 area of responsibility, as your corps did in August and September?
4 A. I probably would. As far as I recall, their command post was in
5 Vlasenica and it remained in that location until the end of the war.
6 Q. Okay, Colonel. Let's turn for a little while to the topic of the
7 command and control of the security organs.
8 MR. THAYER: I'd like to turn to page 93 of 65 ter 2785, in the
9 English, and page 97 in B/C/S.
10 Q. Colonel, and if you'll focus on the portion on the page in front
11 of you, it's about halfway down the page. It begins, "vidite ..."
12 There's a large paragraph. Thank you. Right there. And in the English,
13 it's in the top paragraph and it begins, "You see ..."
14 And you provide the investigators with an explanation of how
15 command and control applies to the security and intelligence organs. And
16 in your answer, you say that -- and I quote:
17 "The corps commander commands me, and Tolimir controls me, or he
18 runs me. And this is the professional line, the professional chain.
19 These are the two lines that we're talking about when it comes to command
20 and control."
21 Can you explain for the Trial Chamber what you mean when you say
22 "The corps commander commands me, but General Tolimir runs me"?
23 A. Your Honours, security organs of the former JNA worked in
24 accordance with the rules of security organs of the former JNA. The
25 rules decidedly state, I don't have the rules here, so I cannot tell you
1 which item it is within the rules, but the rules say that intelligence --
2 that is to say, security organs are subordinated to the commander of unit
3 which they are a part of, and that professionally speaking, they are
4 controlled by the immediately superior security organ.
5 To clarify, within a corps command, I was commanded by the corps
6 commander in war time. The corps commander is - let me put it that way -
7 the lowest instance which has a full overview and a full insight into the
8 work of security organs. That is to say, that he has a right to have an
9 insight into counter-intelligence tasks of a security organ, which a
10 brigade commander, for instance, does not have.
11 In war time, the corps commander approves the implementation of
12 secret working methods for security organs. In peacetime, an army
13 commander would do that. That was the level in question. The corps
14 commander would also assess me in the professional sense. It wouldn't be
15 Mr. Tolimir, but, rather, the corps commander.
16 That's command. So I am obliged to perform the tasks and duties
17 which are assigned to me by the commander.
18 But there is something specific I need to say. The former JNA,
19 in security sense, trained unit commanders so that future brigade or
20 regiment commanders came to the intelligence educational centre in
21 Pancevo and they listened to lectures about working with security organs
22 and on control with security organs. Likewise, brigade commanders at
23 Command Staff academies, and these are all people who had graduated from
24 these academies because it is a higher level than the basic academy, they
25 were also given lectures by security organs by command and control in
1 terms of security organs, and they could see the book rule of security
2 organs. Other officers, officers of any rank who were outside of the
3 security service and were not at the brigade commander or corps commander
4 level, were not allowed to have an insight into the rule-book of security
6 That was the command element.
7 As for control of security organs by the immediately superior
8 organs, in this case, it was Tolimir, in relation to me, or Beara in
9 relation to me, that is professional guidance in discharging
10 counter-intelligence and security tasks and resolving related issues.
11 General Tolimir and Colonel Beara were exceptionally professional, in
12 terms of security service. This is undoubted. But, in general, the
13 superior security organ is considered to be more educated, more
14 intelligent, more experienced than the subordinate one and that it can
15 properly guide him in discharging counter-intelligence tasks and
16 resolving counter-intelligence problems.
17 These were the two lines that I mentioned.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Indeed. Excuse me, for
20 interrupting you, Mr. Prosecutor, at this juncture.
21 Witness, I did understand the difference you explained between
22 the task of a corps commander and those of a brigade commander. I saw
23 that a corps commander has a complete overview of the
24 counter-intelligence activities, which is not true for a brigade
25 commander. But I can't understand why a brigade commander should not
1 have a complete overview of the situation.
2 If we remember that counter-intelligence work is to know what
3 happens in the opposite camp. A brigade commander has to fight the enemy
4 facing them. So, in your view, he doesn't need to know what is happening
5 in the enemy's camp?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Have you finished?
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. I just want to know why a
8 brigade commander cannot have a complete overview and insight into
9 counter-intelligence work.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The security organs' rule-book is
11 defined in such a way that the corps commander may know this, whereas a
12 brigade commander may not. It is believed that a brigade commander is a
13 lower command level, which does not need to know this. It was a
15 Counter-intelligence tasks are not just what you mentioned; that
16 is to say, collecting information about the enemy. That's a task for the
17 intelligence service. The counter-intelligence tasks are, for example,
18 implementing secret working methods, focussing on a specific person who
19 is working within the brigade command. In order to apply these methods,
20 the corps commander is informed about that but the brigade commander
21 isn't, because, according to the rule, the brigade commander is not the
22 level which needs to know this, regardless of the fact that this is a
23 person from his own brigade.
24 And why is that so? We had cases in which the brigade commander
25 would become aware of the method which is applied to a person who is
1 being observed, in intelligence terms, from his own unit, which is quite
2 bad because not even all brigade commanders were mature enough for this
3 position, even though they may have been discharging it.
4 And another thing. There were brigade commanders to whom one
5 could tell; that is to say, this could have been applied selectively.
6 They could have been told that something was being done in their
7 environment; that is to say, in their unit or something like that.
8 But the remaining part of the answer to your question is this:
9 The rule from the rule-book decidedly defined that a corps commander is
10 one level and that the brigade commander is another level which cannot
11 know this. And I just tried to elaborate that. And brigade commanders
12 were aware of this, that they were not allowed to know that.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Therefore, a brigade
14 commander is just somebody who carries out orders and doesn't need to
15 know what is being designed at the level of the Main Staff or at the
16 level of the corps.
17 Is that so?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are right, Your Honour. This
19 is the principle probably an all armies that a certain command level also
20 has a specific level of information. Not everyone can have the same
21 amount of information. I think that is perhaps the best explanation to
22 it all, including your question.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has another question.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
1 I needed a clarification, just to understand something that you
2 said in -- at page 41, line 1 to 4, on today's transcript. And you
3 stated there:
4 "I also believe, since the situation there was stable, it worked
5 in the East Bosnia Corps, as well as in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, so
6 all those corps which stayed within their areas. Since they didn't need
7 to move, they probably could still rely on the Neven system."
8 My question is: Do you know for a fact that the Neven system
9 worked, as you state, in the East Bosnia Corps, or are you just supposing
10 because they did not move? Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that I may
12 reduce that, because I said probably, so it's an assumption, which is
13 most probably correct because they didn't move, so that means there was
14 no reason to interrupt the system. They were simply stable and they were
15 in their own area, as opposed to us.
16 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This relates also to the Drina Corps, as
18 Mr. Thayer was asking you, in addition; correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yes. Because
20 when I was listing the corps, I just mentioned the others as examples. I
21 didn't list them all. I suppose it was also the Drina Corps because they
22 were also not moving. And the counter-intelligence group, for example,
23 was also using the same system, and probably there were not any changes
24 of that kind within their remit because they were in Banja Luka, I mean,
25 all the corps and units which stayed in their zones of responsibilities
1 and had no need to leave their command posts at all.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Thayer, please continue.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Colonel, I want to follow up on Honourable Judge Mindua's
6 question about the brigade commanders not being privy to certain
7 information that the corps commander was privy to.
8 The -- and I think you've spoken about this in your interview and
9 you touched upon it in the Popovic trial a little bit. When we -- or
10 when you speak about the brigade commander not being allowed to know
11 certain information, are we talking about, in specific,
12 counter-intelligence information first? That's my first question.
13 A. Your Excellency, brigade commanders could not know
14 counter-intelligence information. They could if, as I earlier said, they
15 were mature, responsible, as I could say. So they could be -- said
16 something general. But there were all other security issues that the
17 security organ was obliged to inform them about. It was obliged to
18 inform them about all other security problems which arose within the unit
19 and in the territory.
20 As I say, the counter-intelligence problems were a very narrow
21 area, especially when a specific secret working method was applied on
22 someone from the brigade command or someone who was a member of the
23 brigade. All other security information was something that the security
24 organ had to be relayed to a brigade commander, just as I had to inform
25 the corps commander about it all.
1 Q. And I think you spoke earlier in your testimony about having to
2 protect the commander from people that might have been infiltrating his
3 inner circle, so to speak. So when we speak of this counter-intelligence
4 information that the brigade commander couldn't know about, are we really
5 talking about internal threats, as opposed to external threats? Is that
6 fair to -- fair to say?
7 A. These were both of those threats, as you have phrased your
8 question. Most often, we talked about threats coming from within because
9 that was closest and also most frequent and most painful eventually.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Sorry once again,
13 Mr. Prosecutor.
14 Your follow-up question after the question I raised forces me
15 into uncertainty once again.
16 Because, Witness, in the army, we have a principle, the one of a
17 single command. And I believe that in the JNA, as well as in the VRS, it
18 was very well applied. The JNA officers were among the best, at least
19 the best trained, officers in the world.
20 My problem now is at the level of a brigade. Because you said
21 that at all levels a commander commands, whilst in the professional chain
22 you have the superior who controls.
23 So here we have a brigade with a commander who commands, and we
24 have an officer of the security or counter-intelligence department who
25 hides something from his own commander and is bound to undertake actions
1 sooner or later, actions that the commander is not aware of.
2 So what happens if you have an officer under the orders of a
3 brigade commander who might wish to start something without his commander
4 not knowing about it, and then refuses, because he has not been informed
5 of the actions?
6 Have you come across such cases?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have not fully
8 understood your question. In particular, the last part of the question.
9 Can you please be more specific?
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, I will be more specific.
11 At the brigade level, you have a brigade commander with, under
12 his orders, a counter-intelligence department officer. The latter would
13 like to undertake a task, and this is refused. This is not authorised by
14 the brigade commander because he has not been informed.
15 Could such a case occur or not?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, now I have understood the
18 It did occur, and, as a consequence, once, or, perhaps, twice, we
19 received instructions from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska
20 on command and control of security organs. This document was produced
21 precisely as a consequence of this internal misunderstanding, or to be
22 more precise, misunderstanding between a brigade commander and the
23 security organ, in terms of the duties of the security organ. This
24 document warned about such occurrences as there were cases that, for
25 example, the mail, which is indecent in private life to open somebody
1 else's mail -- that brigade commanders opened the mail for security
2 organs which was addressed specifically and personally to the security
3 organ. There were such cases. There were cases where they did not allow
4 the use of the command code to send security reports. There were such
5 cases, too, and, therefore, you are right in what you said.
6 Let me also try to clarify something about your previous question
7 and also the question of Mr. Prosecutor. To repeat, the security organ
8 in the brigade had to, was obliged to, relay all security information
9 relating to the territory and the unit that was collected. The commander
10 had to be presented all this information and informed about it. But, by
11 contrast, there was no such obligation relating to the
12 counter-intelligence information. As the chief in the corps, I had the
13 right to go and meet with the brigade commander and inform him about
14 something if I believed that he needed to know that. Of course, I would
15 have done that after talking and obtaining approval of the corps
17 I'm not sure if I managed now to clarify some of the issues
18 following from the questions which you have asked.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, it's much clearer now. Thank
20 you very much. I understand much better now. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. So using the example that you and Honourable Judge Mindua just
24 shared, could it have been the case that you had a security chief of a
25 brigade, an assistant commander for security in a brigade, who is the
1 brigade commander's subordinate, privy to information because of his
2 status as a security officer, that the brigade commander does not himself
3 know, such that the brigade commander's subordinate knows something and
4 you know something about counter-intelligence issues but the brigade
5 commander himself doesn't know?
6 A. It was possible. Because, as I told you, this is what is set out
7 in the security organs' rule-book, and we had to work in accordance with
8 these rules. When answering the Honourable Judge, I said earlier that it
9 was possible for me to meet with a brigade commander and inform him about
10 a certain problem, if I was sure that he was mature enough and that he
11 would not abuse this information in any way. There were brigade
12 commanders who believed that they were the subject of interest of
13 security organs and that security organs were dealing with them, and that
14 was why they did the things that I mentioned earlier. And essentially
15 they were commanders whose account from the war should have been looked
16 at. That was why they expressed concern or they had doubts that they
17 were the subject of investigation which was not correct. There was no
18 need for them to act in that way.
19 Q. So from -- from what I understand from your answer to
20 Honourable Judge Mindua's question, the fact that a subordinate of a
21 brigade commander has information that he is not sharing with his
22 commander, doesn't necessarily cripple that commander's ability to
23 command. Because, as you said, the commander is still receiving all of
24 the other security and intelligence information which he needs to
25 exercise his command as a commander.
1 Is that a fair way of putting it?
2 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you have made an excellent observation.
3 Essentially this was not information, at least that is my view, that
4 might have a significant impact on command and control in a unit. If
5 there was information that would have a significant impact on the command
6 and control of a unit, then somebody would have reacted immediately. For
7 example, the enemy activity which may have occurred within a unit would
8 have been eliminated immediately. But it had to be proved first that it
9 was really enemy activity.
10 So while the time when this was monitored, the brigade commander
11 would not feel the activity so it wouldn't have an impact or affect his
12 orders, the use of the unit. He wouldn't feel the activity was ongoing,
13 nor was he even aware of it.
14 I'm not sure if I was precise enough and clear.
15 Q. Okay. Let's go back to the command and control of the security
16 organs. You had spoken about the command line versus the professional or
17 expert line wherein General Tolimir ran you professionally.
18 I want to save a little bit of time and just quote to you from
19 your interview. And this is at page 87 of the English and page 91 of the
20 B/C/S. And, again, you, I think, encapsulate in your answer, to some
21 degree, what we are talking about. You said:
22 "It is the corps commander to whom I am responsible for my
23 activities, but when it comes to the expert side of the whole thing, it's
24 Colonel Beara who is in charge of me and the second superior officer is
25 General Tolimir."
1 And then you say for intelligence matters:
2 "I had to report to Colonel Salapura as well, and, naturally,
3 again, Tolimir above him."
4 Let me just pause for a moment and make sure that is getting
5 translated to you and that you understand what I've quoted from.
6 A. Yes, it was interpreted correctly. What I said then is something
7 that I stand by now.
8 Q. Okay. And it wasn't the case that you would have to report
9 twice: Once to Salapura; and then once to General Tolimir, was it, sir?
10 You reported to Colonel Salapura and then he would, in turn, report to
11 Tolimir; is that correct? Or did it work some other way?
12 A. Your Honours, in principle, it was so. As a subordinate of the
13 security administration, I was supposed to draft reports sent to that one
14 single place. And then both administrations, security and intelligence
15 administrations, draft a report for Tolimir and for the commander of the
16 Main Staff. This was according to the rules.
17 At the time when we were still joined, then both knew all
18 information, of course. Later on, when the functions were separated,
19 they exchanged information.
20 Q. Let's go to page 107 of the English in 65 ter 2785, please. And
21 we'll need to look at page 112 in the B/C/S.
22 And, again, this is on the topic of command and control within
23 the security and intelligence organs in the VRS.
24 In the English, we'll be looking at the bottom of the page; and,
25 as well, in the B/C/S.
1 Colonel, if you would focus, please, on the paragraph that
2 begins, "Ne ne" at the bottom of the page?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in the English, it's the paragraph that begins, "You see ..."
5 You say here in your answer:
6 "I cannot issue orders to the brigade commanders. I can issue
7 orders to the security organs, to be careful about the communications
8 through phone lines and other types of communications ... I could inform
9 the brigade commanders to sign an information or a document that would go
10 to the brigade commanders, to address them in my capacity as the chief of
11 security in order to make them more serious in respect of the security
12 situation. But I could never say, I order to them."
13 My first question is: Has this transcript accurately reflected
14 your explanation; and if it has, can you just explain to the
15 Trial Chamber what you're talking about here, please?
16 A. Your Honours, this is correct and accurate. It reflects what I
18 As far as I could see here, we were discussing information sent
19 from the Main Staff concerning the interception of electronic
20 communication and radio reconnaissance conducted by the enemy. That
21 information was probably a summary of all the information that security
22 departments from the corps sent to the security administration. And
23 based on that, the summary was made and then the information
25 What was it all about? Well, it was a sort of warning to pay
1 more attention to protect secrecy in radio communication. In other
2 words, to prevent leaking secret military information by way of radio
3 communication. In a way, it seems that people became too lax, having
4 forgotten that their radio systems they used did not all have encryption.
5 They forgot that what they said could be openly heard, including all
6 information they referred to. It was customary at the time in the army
7 to use the so-called TKT documents. This was an abbreviation for secret
8 telecommunication code which basically consisted of a code list,
9 including terms and words that were important, as well as numbers.
10 Obviously this was not used, and secret military information was
11 leaked. That is why this information notice was sent, and it was signed
12 by Boric, the corps commander. He sent it to the brigade commanders. As
13 the security service, we realised there was a security issue to deal
14 with. One of the ways of dealing with it was to send an order by the
15 corps commander to the brigade commanders to pay attention and to
16 undertake measures. That is why I wanted to stress that I was not a
17 superior to the brigade commanders. It was the corps commander who could
18 do this. I was not authorised by the law, and I was not their superior.
19 I could only propose to the corps commander to draft a document of this
20 kind which would then be sent by way of his orders to his subordinate
22 This is what I wanted to explain in the interview.
23 Q. And in this example that you've told us about from -- from your
24 interview, you said that -- and I quote:
25 "I can issue orders to the security organs to be careful about
1 the communications through phone lines and other types of
3 Can the tell the Trial Chamber what other types of orders you, in
4 your capacity as security chief, could issue?
5 A. As the chief of security, I could issue orders to my subordinate
6 security organs, or directives. To say that I could order would make it
7 part of command, but I could tell them to do something by applying a
8 specific method in specific circumstances. Then I could ask for
9 information to be passed to me on, say, an incident of theft in the unit
10 if it was of any importance. It included everything that fell within the
11 scope of activities of security organs. Since at the corps level, we had
12 more information as compared to the levels of brigades, we frequently
13 received information from the security administration that in the
14 territory of a specific brigade there was somebody doing something for
15 the enemy, or that there was a radio device there. We would then include
16 that in our instructions to the chief of security in the brigades to
17 verify that. Once verified, we would then propose measures.
18 Q. And what ability did the subordinate - to whom this directive
19 from you was issued - have to disregard your directive going down to that
20 subordinate organ?
21 A. I don't think he could ignore it or disregard.
22 Q. And why not, Colonel?
23 A. Because it was a superior/subordinate relationship. And we all
24 know what consequences one may face if refusing to carry out an order in
25 times of war.
1 Also, well, how should I put it? This relationship between me
2 and my subordinate security organs was not a very firm or inflexible
3 relationship. It was a matter of agreement and a matter of discussion on
4 how to deal with a certain problem. It's a specific job which includes
5 different work methods to, say, the use of a gun, rifle, or a tank. This
6 is rather specific. It is primarily a mental task, and it is specific in
7 that regard.
8 I don't recall having had such situations in which anyone from my
9 subordinate security organs refused. There were other situations in
10 which some brigade security personnel had to be removed from their posts,
11 but those situations were different.
12 This is what I can tell you about it.
13 Q. And just to follow up on your answer, Colonel, you said:
14 "And we all know what consequences one may face if refusing to
15 carry out an order in times of war."
16 What were the consequences, Colonel?
17 A. Well, you know, unfortunately, at the time, we had no
18 court-martial during the war. This is my personal remark. But it would
19 entail removal from duty, detention, prosecution. Those were the
20 measures that were applied in war time. There was no time to place any
21 other measures.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, page 57, line 1, it
24 seems that the answer of the witness was not interpreted as precisely as
25 we would wish.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, could you please clarify with the
2 witness if this interpretation reflects correctly what he said to your
3 answer [sic].
4 MR. THAYER: Well, on my LiveNote, Mr. President, the answer is:
5 "I don't think he could ignore it or disregard."
6 I'm not sure if that is the line in question. If it is, it is
7 what I heard. So I'm not sure what the -- what the alleged error is.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, could you explain your concern?
9 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I am unable to recall the precise
10 answer. In interpretation, it seems that some terms were missing or some
11 terms were extra. I don't think the witness mentioned the command
12 relationship in that part.
13 MR. THAYER: Well -- Mr. President, I think --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To avoid any problems, please put your question
15 again to the witness, Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: All right. I'll start from the bottom of page 56,
17 Mr. President.
18 Q. My question was, Colonel: What ability did your professional
19 subordinate have to disregard your directive, going down to that
20 subordinate organ.
21 A. I said that they weren't supposed to. Perhaps that expression
22 was missing from the translation. As for the other terms, that's
23 something that I can accept. They fully reflect what I intended to say.
24 Q. Now, when you said, "We all know the consequences of disregarding
25 an order in a time of war," Colonel let's -- I'll be frank, if not a
1 little vulgar, here in the Court. Did you ever hear of anybody being
2 shot for failing to carry out an order in a time of war?
3 A. No. I've never heard of anything like that. That is why I
4 specifically mentioned summary court-martials.
5 Q. Now, when you say you've never heard of anything like that, are
6 you referring to war in which you were participating only, or is it the
7 case that you've never heard of soldiers being shot in a time of war?
8 Let's just go back to conflicts in the 20th century, don't have to go
9 further than that. Have you heard of that method being applied to
10 soldiers in a time of war, who failed to carry out an order?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think, Mr. Thayer, you're going a bit too far
12 to refer to all possible wars in the 20th century. You should restrict
13 your questions to the relevant period of the indictment.
14 MR. THAYER: Okay. I'll move on, Mr. President.
15 Let's look at page 83, if we could, of this interview. And it
16 will be pages 86 to 87 in the B/C/S. And in the B/C/S, we'll be starting
17 at the very bottom of the page, please. The paragraph beginning,
18 "malo ..."
19 Okay. Have you had a chance to read that? And if we could go to
20 the next page in B/C/S, please.
21 A. I see -- I've seen it.
22 Q. Okay. And if we can go to the next page, top of the page, in
24 And we are at the top of the page in English. You state,
25 Colonel, that:
1 "General Tolimir could also order us to do things through his own
2 chain, with his own signature."
3 And then you're asked:
4 "Tolimir could order forces, actually?"
5 And your answer is:
6 "Security organs and the intelligence organs."
7 And the follow-up question is:
8 "Including the military police?"
9 And your answer is:
10 "Yes. So he could."
11 Can you explain a little bit what you're talking about here in
12 this answer, Colonel?
13 A. Your Honours, in this part of the interview, we were discussing
14 who had the right to assign what documents and who could sign for someone
15 else. Specifically, we were discussing who could sign a document for
16 Mladic or who could sign documents within my command. I said then that
17 General Tolimir could issue an order to the security and intelligence
18 organs as their superior officer. He could also issue orders to the
19 military police following an approval of the Main Staff commander. This
20 is something I need to add to what I said then.
21 When it comes to the use of a military police unit in combat,
22 this is -- this would be a situation in which he required an approval.
23 As for the training and equipping units of the military police, in such
24 instances, he could issue direct orders because equipping and training a
25 unit was part of the work of the security organ. I don't know whether at
1 the level of the Main Staff there was a MP unit. If there was one, it
2 was probably part of the protection regiment.
3 If we go back to the issue of orders, that was the sense of my
4 answer then, and I just tried to explain it again.
5 Q. You gave us an example a few moments ago of issuing a directive,
6 to use that term, and you've also used the term "order," although I
7 understand you want to distinguish your role from that of a commander.
8 But you gave an example a little while ago of a directive in connection
9 with proper use of communications.
10 Can you provide the Trial Chamber with any other examples of
11 where you would issue directives or orders down your subordinate chain.
12 A. Basically, as I said, I could issue a directive, or order, to
13 those who were in the security department as part of the corps command
14 and to my subordinate security organs in the commands of brigades,
15 regiments, and independent battalions. Following the corps commander's
16 approval, I could issue an order to the military police unit, or, to be
17 more specific, to the MP battalion, as regards training, equipment, and
18 similar issues. I could also suggest or propose to the commander how to
19 use the military police unit, but it was his sole discretion to order any
20 such use. While the intelligence and security organs were still merged,
21 they could put such proposals to the commanders to use reconnaissance
22 units, although it was more under the competence or in co-ordination with
23 the Chief of Staff of the corps because it was usually the Chiefs of
24 Staff of corps and brigades who were in charge of reconnaissance units at
25 troop level. In other words, as the security organ, I had no right to
1 order to anyone in the MP battalion or to order any brigade or battalion
2 commander. I was only a superior officer to those who were in the
3 security and intelligence departments, and such departments had five to
4 six people. And I was also a superior to those who were placed in the
5 different brigades and regiments.
6 MR. THAYER: Now in the -- I think we're pretty much at the
7 break, but if I could just ask one more question, and we'll be done with
8 this topic, I think.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. You said in your interview and this is at page 97 of the English
12 and pages 101 to 102 of the B/C/S. You said that the corps' military
13 police battalions had to report to the Main Staff military police
14 service. That's then-Colonel Keserovic. They also had to report to you
15 as the security chief and they had to report to the corps commander. I
16 just wanted to ask you, number one, is -- is that accurately reflected in
17 the -- in the transcript, that the corps' military police battalions had
18 to report to all three of those levels?
19 A. It is correct, what I said then, and what you just said now.
20 In military police battalions, you had the duty military police
21 service. It would compose reports about the events and military police
22 duties which the military police battalion had carried out during the
23 day. These reports were sent to the corps command, to the operative duty
24 officer, where all reports from units were collated. Then by telegram,
25 they would be sent to the security administration directly and to us,
1 security organs, for our information.
2 Why were they sent directly there? So that we wouldn't duplicate
3 reports. So that we wouldn't, as security organs, send reports about the
4 military police unit. That was why it was done in this way. And this is
5 the system that we inherited from before the war. I think it is also
6 regulated in the rule-book for military police.
7 If I need to repeat, one was the corps operational duty officer,
8 the other one was the chief of the department for military police duties
9 at the security administration because it was at the level of Keserovic
10 where all the information about the activities of military police were
11 collected --
12 THE INTERPRETER: And could the witness please repeat the third
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. And there were three that we were referring to and we just need
16 to pick up, for the record, the third addressee. We just didn't catch it
17 on the record. Who was the third?
18 A. The corps command, the corps security department, and the
19 military police department at the security administration of the
20 Main Staff of the VRS.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I see we're a couple
23 minutes beyond the break.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break now, and we will
25 resume at 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer. Please continue.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon again to
5 you and to Your Honours.
6 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. I want to ask you about one topic about which the Trial Chamber
9 has heard some testimony, and that has to do with the combat readiness
10 analyses which were conducted in the VRS.
11 You spoke about it during your OTP interview, and just to save a
12 little bit of time, if you could just tell the Trial Chamber a little bit
13 about what these combat readiness analyses were all about, what their
14 purpose was and how the VRS went about conducting them?
15 A. Your Honours, the analysis of combat readiness was a planned
16 activity which was carried out once or twice per year at the level of the
17 VRS. The analysis was preceded by an order. I'm talking about the corps
18 command now. An order to make the analysis, which the Main Staff of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska would submit to corps commands. This order
20 precisely specified the issues which the analysis needed to deal with.
21 On receiving the document - and I will be talking about the process - I
22 hope I understood the character of your question properly. You want me
23 to talk about the procession of analysing combat readiness. On receiving
24 the document, the corps command would compose its own document on the
25 basis of the one received from the Main Staff, and it would send it to
1 brigade commands and its subordinate units, brigades and regiments, of
2 course with a deadline, which allowed the corps command to have
3 sufficient time to make its own analysis. Once the brigade commander has
4 received such an order, they would make their own orders and send it down
5 to battalion commands, and also give a deadline which would allow them to
6 collate all the reports in a timely fashion and submit their own report
7 to the corps command. It was a process, beginning with the moment when
8 you received the order to make the analysis of combat readiness from the
9 Main Staff to the moment when the order was disseminated through the
10 lower units. The contrary process, after informing brigade commands,
11 there would be a brigade command meeting at which, collectively, each in
12 his own area of responsibility, people would provide answers to certain
13 questions and make an analysis of combat readiness for the corps level.
14 This analysis of combat readiness would be taken by the corps commander
15 to the Main Staff at the specific ordered time. He would take it there,
16 and he would defend it at the Main Staff. He would defend it verbally.
17 Regardless of the fact that it was composed in writing, he had to defend
18 it. That is to say, he had to state verbally what the analysis included,
19 what problems the unit has been facing, and how these specific problems
20 were overcome.
21 So, more or less, that was the process by which this analysis was
22 made, if that is what you had in mind.
23 Q. Indeed, thank you, Colonel. And was there specific input at the
24 various levels, brigade and corps, by your organs, the security
25 intelligence organs, into this analysis?
1 A. Yes. As part of the combat readiness analysis, the security
2 organs and intelligence organs had their own points, their own questions.
3 Security support and intelligence support, because, in addition to these
4 supports, there was also morale support, logistical support, engineering,
5 AVHO, and so on and so forth. So all the elements which command and
6 control implies had to be included and answers had to be provided
7 concerning each of these.
8 Let me also emphasise another detail. When the brigade command
9 made the analysis of combat readiness, a meeting would be held at which
10 somebody from the brigade command would often be present. I apologise, I
11 meant the corps command. Either the commander or his deputy would be
12 present, and so would some other members of the command, of course.
13 Likewise, when the corps made its own combat readiness analysis, usually
14 somebody from the superior command, that is to say, from the Main Staff
15 of the Army of Republika Srpska, would attend the meeting. Sometimes it
16 was the commander himself, if it was possible, and so on. That was the
18 Q. Can you tell us, what was the essential purpose of these combat
19 readiness analyses?
20 A. Yes. The essential purpose of any combat readiness analysis was
21 to plan further combat operations. When we're talking about war time to
22 see how ready any unit was, because through the analysis of combat
23 readiness, you would get a picture of a unit, what it was like. Of
24 course, if the analysis was realistic, what the unit was like, and
25 whether it was ready to carry out combat operations or not. In other
1 words, could you count on that unit when planning specific combat
2 operations, actions and so on. That is the basic element.
3 Q. Let's turn to another topic.
4 In both your Popovic testimony, to some degree, and in your
5 interview with the OTP, and the Trial Chamber heard a little bit of this
6 in my summary this morning of your Popovic testimony, you spoke about
7 when you met certain high-level VRS officers, such as Colonel Beara,
8 then-Colonel Tolimir, and when General Mladic also worked with those
9 officers before the war broke out.
10 Do you recall telling us in the Popovic trial and the
11 investigators during your interview about that topic?
12 A. Yes, I remember that. I also remember my answers, which I will
13 repeat now.
14 Namely, by way of introduction, I said that I graduated from the
15 academy in 1979 and, later on, I went to the Postina Garrison in
16 Slovenia. That was where I was appointed. Around 1985 or 1986, I was
17 redeployed to the Sibenik Garrison. I was already working for security
18 organs at the time. I was their member.
19 I met General Tolimir in Belgrade. I saw him for the first time
20 in Belgrade when he was in the foreign languages school, together with my
21 friend, the late Colonel Milan Stevilovic. That was when I saw him for
22 the first time. I believe that he held the rank of major. Whether I was
23 already in the military naval district at the time or was I still at the
24 Postina Garrison, I'm not certain, but it was in 1985 or 1986.
25 As for the naval Captain Beara, I met him in Sibenik. After I
1 arrived there, and after I had been working there fore a while, perhaps
2 one month, I'm not sure, the naval captain was touring and he was
3 controlling the work of security organs at the military naval district
4 Sibenik. And this district was responsible for the zone from Kornati, a
5 part of Zadar. Kornati, as I said, Sibenik, all the way down to Ploce,
6 if you are familiar with the coast, including all the islands such as
7 Hvar, Brac, Solta, Lastovo, Vis, and so on. So it was quite a big area.
8 And I note that because of your question why they gave one major
9 and 50 soldiers, why I was important at the time, I was deputy chief of
10 security for this whole territory. So naval Captain Beara arrived and he
11 was, at the time, deputy chief of security of the military naval
12 district, or navy, just to put it more simply. He was the deputy for
13 counter-intelligence affairs. That was our first contact. Later on, we
14 also had other contacts. More frequently, regularly, it was professional
15 and sometimes we met in Sibenik and on other occasions in Split. Later
16 on, I used to see General Tolimir in Split. At the time he was already
17 chief of the counter-intelligence group of the Naval Military District.
18 Later, I used to see him in Knin, especially after I had been released
19 from detention because at the same time General Tolimir was chief of the
20 security department in the Knin Corps. Let me repeat, General Mladic was
21 at the time the Chief of Staff of the Knin Corps.
22 Q. So, it is it fair to say that, in addition to yourself,
23 Colonel Beara, then-Colonel Tolimir, and General Mladic all knew each
24 other, to some degree, worked with each other, during this time in Knin?
25 A. You see, it was a short period. Until I was taken prisoner, I
1 had been in Sibenik, not in Knin. Tolimir had been in Knin, and Beara
2 had been in Split. After I was released from custody, I came to Knin,
3 and I was appointed the chief of the counter-intelligence group of the
4 corps, and Tolimir became my first superior. I believe that at the time
5 Beara was down in Boka Kotorska on the Montenegrin coast where navy
6 command had moved from Split.
7 Q. Okay. And when the JNA broke up, can you tell the Trial Chamber,
8 among the various ethnicities of the officer corps that made up the
9 JNA -- among the various ethnicities, which ethnicity had the greatest
10 number of professional officers within the JNA and which had the least?
11 If you could just provide the Trial Chamber with some idea. I think you
12 talked about that in your interview. If you could just share that with
13 the Trial Chamber.
14 A. Yes. In the then-corps command, there were most Serbs, officers
15 and non-commissioned Serbs, specifically Serbs who were born in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina. All those who had not been born in Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 left the territory of the corps, its zone, on the 19th of May. The corps
18 had not existed yet at the time but they left the territory of
20 Q. I'm sorry, if I could interrupt you. I see a problem in the
21 transcript which happens from time to time.
22 I used the word core, in English, c-o-r-e, meaning the officer --
23 I beg your pardon, no, no. Let me start over again. Let me follow up on
24 what you just said Colonel. You referred specifically to the corps which
25 had not existed at the time. My question is a little bit more general.
1 When the JNA broke up -- can you just give the Trial Chamber an
2 idea of when the VRS was formed, the officer class instead of -- I don't
3 want to use the word "corps" because I don't mean a specific corps, as in
4 East Bosnia Corps, Knin Corps, but in terms of a group of officers from
5 the JNA, can you just give the Trial Chamber an idea of the percentage of
6 ethnicity, who had the most highly trained -- most of the highly trained
7 officers, who had the least. And then I'll ask -- I'll move on to a
8 different topic.
9 A. I just said these were Serbs as the most numerous, and, more
10 specifically, Serbs born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. If we talk in more
11 general terms, the general situation, I can tell that you in the
12 Knin Corps, there were also officers who were not just Serbs but also
13 Muslims, including Mr. Dudakovic, who was one of the officers there, the
14 Muslim general. There were Croatian officers. There were soldiers who
15 were ethnic Albanian from Kosovo and so on. That was the situation in
17 In our corps, in addition to Serbs, there was a small number of
18 Croats and Muslims, both among the officers and among the soldiers.
19 The military police unit, the military police battalion, also
20 included some soldiers who were Muslims and an officer who was a Croat.
21 But at the corps command, we had one officer who was a Muslim.
22 Q. Now, you testified in the Popovic trial that you held Colonels
23 Beara and Popovic in high esteem, and the Trial Chamber has the record of
24 what you said about them as officers. You also told us in the 2004 OTP
25 interview about how you regarded General Tolimir as an officer. And if
1 you could share with the Trial Chamber your personal assessment, as you
2 did in 2004, with the Trial Chamber. And rather than put it up on the
3 screen, I'll just ask you to share that with the Trial Chamber.
4 A. Yes, I said then and I repeat today that I have had a high
5 opinion about the personality of naval Captain Beara, who, at the time
6 before the war and later during the war, was a figure of authority for
7 security organs. Undoubtedly, he was highly professional and a man who
8 knew how to control security organs.
9 I can say the same thing for General Tolimir. He is very
10 knowledgeable, a great expert, and we had to learn many things from him.
11 We had to and we needed to. And regardless of the situation that he is
12 in now, Tolimir, and also Beara and Popovic -- Popovic was my
13 subordinate. You noted there that it was at my proposal that he was
14 appointed as the chief of security in the Drina Corps because I was the
15 one who was supposed to go there. That was one of the possible
16 combinations. But I asked General Tolimir not to transfer me to that
17 part of the Bosnia-Herzegovina because, by origin, that's where I'm from.
18 I'm a native of that area, and I did not wish to go there because I could
19 have come into conflict with some of my relatives, the closest and more
20 distant relatives. Because you know how it is, sometimes some people
21 think you are right, others think you are wrong, and I wanted to keep as
22 far away from that as possible. So I stayed where I was. And at the
23 time, Major Popovic, I think he was major, was a man who was working
24 well, who was responsible, and who needed a higher position, and he
25 couldn't get one in the 2nd Krajina Corps.
1 So that is an explanation of sorts.
2 Q. Now, and just so the record is clear, do you remember
3 approximately what year that was that you recommended Popovic for that
5 A. Well, you see, the Drina Corps was the last of these corps that
6 was established. Was it late 1992 or early 1993? I'm not sure about
8 Q. Okay. For my last couple of questions, Colonel, I'd like to go
9 back to your interview.
10 MR. THAYER: This is 65 ter 2785. We'll be going to page 95 in
11 the English; page 99 in the B/C/S.
12 Q. And, Colonel, we'll be focussing about in the middle of the page
13 where you're asked who commanded the 410th, referring to the
14 410th Intelligence Centre. And in English, that's at the very top of the
16 If you would, just take a moment to read this section.
17 A. Yes, I've read it.
18 Q. And we'll need to go down just a little bit more in the B/C/S
19 just to catch the very bottom.
20 Now you were asked -- and, again, this goes back to the issue of
21 command and control that we were talking about before. You were asked
22 who Colonel Knezevic reported to. And you answered that he reported
23 first to Salapura and then Tolimir. And you clarify that Knezevic could
24 go directly to Tolimir if Salapura was not present, but as a matter of
25 principle he had to go to Salapura first and then Salapura would inform
2 You were then asked the question:
3 "Is there any reason you can think of where there would be any
4 secrets from General Tolimir, any intelligence or security-related
6 And your answer was:
7 "In my case, there definitely wasn't any. I can't tell you
8 anything about other organs, but, in principle, there shouldn't have been
9 any, because also, General Tolimir would have surely found out if
10 something had been kept a secret. And in that case, I wouldn't like to
11 be in the skin of the person who tried to keep secrets from him."
12 Now, I asked you about this passage in the last trial. What I
13 want to ask you today is: Can you tell the Trial Chamber why it was so
14 important not to keep secrets from General Tolimir?
15 A. First of all, as for myself, there were not any such situations.
16 And I believe that concealing any information or an attempt to conceal
17 them may have caused harm, not just personal harm to the security organ
18 that would do such a thing, but it would be harmful for the assessment of
19 the situation, a specific situation, perhaps. It is certain that on the
20 basis of the information which he received, General Tolimir made
21 counter-intelligence assessments all the time and security assessments as
22 well, because that is the main task of any security organ. Should it
23 happen that an information which is available was not presented to him, I
24 don't think that ever happened but I think that the consequence would be
25 that he wouldn't have a full picture about something, an event, or
1 something similar.
2 As for what I said here, you quoted about the 410th and all that.
3 Who did Colonel Cedo Knezevic report to? I said that he could say
4 something directly to Tolimir, in case Salapura was absent. He could
5 have done that, but that does not mean that Salapura would be bypassed.
6 It was just a way to relay information more quickly. Perhaps that caused
7 some doubt on part of the investigator, and so he asked the question
8 whether it happened and what would have happened if any information was
9 concealed from Tolimir. No, that did not happen. And that was why Cedo
10 reported to Salapura and Salapura normally reported to Tolimir as his
12 I'm not sure if I now managed to explain this a little bit to
14 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I think that does clarify the matter.
15 Now, in the event -- and let's just follow up with what you
16 mentioned last there. In the event that Colonel Knezevic couldn't get a
17 hold of Colonel Salapura and had to go directly to General Tolimir, would
18 it have been the practice that Colonel Knezevic would at the earliest
19 opportunity that he had to contact Colonel Salapura, would then also
20 inform Colonel Salapura, even though he had already talked to
21 General Tolimir, in Colonel Salapura's absence?
22 A. Yes. In principle, that could have happened, and it probably
23 did. There was no harm in conveying the same thing twice. Perhaps
24 Salapura received such information from Tolimir in the meantime and then
25 Knezevic would inform him by just repeating it. But we as subordinates
1 don't know whether our superiors communicated with each other and when.
2 So just in case, we, again, report the same thing to the first superior,
3 the immediate superior.
4 Q. Now, for my last question on -- on this topic, Colonel. When you
5 were serving -- again, we're talking about the corps level. When you
6 were the corps chief of the security department or, indeed, when the two
7 departments, security and intelligence, were unified, when you were chief
8 of security and intelligence affairs, how important was it for you to
9 know everything that was going on? You've spoken about how a brigade
10 commander didn't necessarily have to know everything that was going on,
11 but you've told us previously that the corps commander had to know
12 everything that was going on and you had to know everything that was
13 going on.
14 Why was it important for you as that corps officer to know
15 everything that was going on?
16 A. Your Honours, it is very important to know everything that was --
17 that is going on in the corps so as to be able to produce an adequate,
18 proper security assessment. I was supposed to be informed if, say, a
19 unit abandoned its positions or refused to take food or refused to take
20 up a position. These are all security issues which may imply losing
21 ground, victims and casualties among our ranks, or our soldiers being
22 captured and equipment lost. This is just a segment of the reasons why
23 we needed to know everything that was going on.
24 I also had to receive such information from my subordinate
25 security organs, in order to inform the corps commander appropriately.
1 It was on the basis of that information, provided by the security
2 service, and some other information, the commander conducted his daily
3 procedure of command and control over his units. I had to know it all so
4 that I could report it to my superior command. They needed to know what
5 some things were about and what their nature was, as well as whether it
6 could reflect on the morale of the unit, its combat readiness, et cetera,
7 although it was up to the corps commander to assess combat readiness and
8 morale. In that regard, it was very important to have information
9 because by knowing you prevent being surprised, caught unawares.
10 Q. And what were the consequences of secrets were kept from
11 you [sic]?
12 A. When it happened, and it rarely did, well, you know what our
13 people say, that liars don't stand their ground too long. Truth always
14 outs. Of course, regulations are one thing, and practice is another. If
15 I had to remove a chief of security in a brigade for such an omission,
16 there were no substitutes, there were no people you could choose from to
17 replace him. So, for the most part, when there were serious omissions or
18 infractions, people were removed from their positions and criminal
19 reports submitted. And in cases when it involved information which could
20 not immediately or significantly affect the situation at the front line
21 or combat readiness, then we usually resorted to the disciplinary and
22 advisory measures.
23 Q. And why was it so important for General Tolimir in his position
24 as assistant commander for security and intelligence to know everything
25 that was going on, not to have secrets kept from him?
1 A. An answer to that question could be brought down to what I said a
2 moment ago, as to why it was important for me to know. The same applies
3 to Tolimir's level, which was higher up. He also had to inform the
4 commander and the command with its staff with what was going on and what
5 the situation was like in certain parts of our territory and in certain
6 units. Based on his information, the commander made decisions and
7 assessments on whether there would be any combat engagement and where.
8 Basically, it all boiled down to whether you can engage a particular unit
9 in combat or not. If you can, how; and if you cannot, why. And what can
10 you do to enable that unit to engage in combat.
11 In a time of war, nothing else is as important.
12 Q. Okay. I have just one more question for you, Colonel.
13 MR. THAYER: If we could stay on page 95 in the English. If we
14 could scroll all the way down. And we'll need to go to page 100 in the
15 B/C/S of the interview.
16 Q. And, Colonel, if you could focus on the next couple of questions
17 you were asked that have to do with places of worship being destroyed.
18 Just take a moment and read that section, please.
19 MR. THAYER: And in English, it starts at the bottom third and
20 continues onto the next page. And we'll move on in a moment.
21 Q. You were asked about mosques being blown up and destruction of
22 homes and so forth. And you answered that:
23 "Especially at the beginning of the war, religious buildings of
24 all confessions and all three sides were being destroyed. I'll be honest
25 with you, it wasn't reported ... it was a normal occurrence."
1 And you were asked if the Main Staff knew that this was
3 MR. THAYER: And we have to go to the next page in English.
4 Q. And your answer was:
5 "Well, they visited the territory, they'd see that the mosque
6 wasn't there, the Catholic church wasn't there, the Orthodox church
7 wasn't there. It was a well-known thing. Everybody did it. We did it.
8 The Muslims did it. The Croats did it. The locations where these
9 religious buildings were preserved are rare."
10 My question to you, Colonel, simply is: Do you stand by what you
11 said in your 2004 interview about houses of worship of all religions were
12 destroyed by the other side during the war?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. This was so on all three sides. There were
14 very few settlements in which an enemy army went that managed to preserve
15 their religious buildings. As I said, it was a standard occurrence.
16 There was a lot of fear on all sides and -- well, what can I tell you?
17 It is sad. I said so then. It is sad that many historical monuments
18 were destroyed. Many of them were religious buildings. It's a sad
19 thing, and I was very much against that.
20 That's it.
21 Q. Colonel, we're at the end of my time. And I'm at the end of my
22 examination. And I thank you again for your insight and experience.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer. You're just in
24 time before we adjourn for the day.
25 Mr. Tolimir, you may commence your cross-examination tomorrow.
1 We have to adjourn. Let me remind you that the -- that there's
2 no permission to have contact about the content of your testimony to
3 either party during the break.
4 We adjourn and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of June,
8 2011, at 9.00 a.m.