Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14997

 1                           Thursday, 2 June 2011

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.

 6             The witness should be brought in, please.

 7                           [The witness takes the stand]

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning, sir.  Please sit down.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Welcome back to the courtroom.  I have to remind

11     you that the affirmation to tell the truth you made at the beginning of

12     your testimony still applies today.

13             Mr. Tolimir is now commencing his cross-examination.

14             Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  May

16     peace reign in this house, and may these proceedings and today's hearing

17     be concluded in keeping with God's will and not my own.  I wish a

18     pleasant stay to Mr. Mitrovic here with us and a safe journey home.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

20                           WITNESS:  MIKAJLO MITROVIC [Resumed]

21                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

22                           Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:

23        Q.   Mr. Mitrovic, yesterday you were asked about many topics

24     yesterday.  We'll start from the beginning, and you're free to answer the

25     questions I will put to you the way you deem fit.

Page 14998

 1             On a number of occasions yesterday, there was discussion of how

 2     you were captured.  On page 6, as well as page 8, the Prosecutor asked

 3     you how you were captured.  He even said that tear gas was thrown into

 4     your solitary cell.  You said that, for you, they were paramilitary --

 5     they were not paramilitary formations.  Or I believe the Prosecutor's

 6     position was that the Croatian forces at the time were not paramilitary.

 7             Why did we consider them to be paramilitary forces?

 8        A.   I understood the question.

 9             Your Honours, yesterday I said that, for me, they were

10     paramilitary formations and not regular Croatian forces because, at that

11     time, the JNA was still the legal armed force of the state we lived in.

12     That is why I believed them to be paramilitary formations.  Otherwise, as

13     I was serving in that garrison in Croatia, I had occasion through my work

14     to receive operational information on the creation of those formations

15     far ahead of the war, much earlier than September 1991.  There was also

16     information of -- on how they were arming themselves.  That is why I

17     qualified them as paramilitary.

18        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  Can you tell us whether they were

19     paramilitary formations even under the then Croatian constitution as well

20     as under the then SFRY constitution, and since they were paramilitary

21     were their activities illegal under the Croatian law and the SFRY law?

22        A.   They were definitely paramilitary forces, as regards the law of

23     the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Whether they were illegal

24     under the then-Croatian constitution, that is something I can't say.

25             Why is that?  Those were primarily police forces, forces of the

Page 14999

 1     MUP.  They established the ZNG as the reserve and active-duty force of

 2     the MUP.  It was so until, at the stadium in Maksimir when they had their

 3     first parade, Tudjman promoted them into some kind of armed forces of the

 4     future Croatian state.

 5        Q.   Is regular service determined based on one's position within the

 6     state structure or because of one's conduct?  As you said, the MUP in

 7     Croatia was a legal body; however, their activities were illegal because

 8     they were not supposed to attack the army under the Croatian and SFRY

 9     constitution?

10        A.   If you put it in that context, then it was so.  No one mandated

11     them to do this.  And the then-JNA was not an enemy force in Croatia at

12     the time when the conflict broke out.  The JNA did not do anything to

13     provoke those forces.  It did not undertake any anti-constitutional steps

14     which would provide an excuse or reason for those forces to come into

15     action.  Of course, I'm referring to the area of Sibenik, because I was

16     there.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Did the units of the JNA in the area of Sibenik try

18     to separate the so-called paramilitary formations from the Serb

19     population they attacked in the RSK which was later on proclaimed a UN

20     protected area?

21        A.   That is precisely so.  Our role was to place ourselves between

22     the paramilitary forces and the Serbs living in the environs and in the

23     town itself, of course.  However, it was most pronounced in the nearby

24     villages populated by Serbs.

25             If you recall, Your Honours, it was the time when barricades were

Page 15000

 1     being set up and people were fencing themselves off by ethnicity.  Entry

 2     into Serb or Croatian villages was prevented.  And there was much

 3     tension.  The war was at the door, basically.  It was all around, and the

 4     antagonism was severe.  There was an eruption of nationalism on both

 5     sides.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Colonel, did both the Supreme Commander and the

 7     Federal Secretariat ask of us to disarm both the Serbs and Croats in the

 8     territory, to collect their weapons and place it in JNA barracks.  Do you

 9     recall that period and those specific activities?

10        A.   Yes.  We were asked to do that because -- well, I remember one

11     thing.

12             In the Sibenik garrison, we had received a task, since, in the

13     Presidency of the then-Yugoslavia - perhaps it was already the rump

14     Presidency by that time - in any case, we received a task to have the

15     Romanian produced Kalashnikovs, the so-called Rogonja [phoen] to be taken

16     away from the paramilitary forces and those weapons to be sent to

17     Belgrade so that the people sitting in the Presidency could see for

18     themselves that indeed those weapons were in circulation, and we did so.

19             What happened afterwards?  The then member of the Yugoslav

20     Presidency, Stipe Mesic, asked for 48 hours to review the situation and

21     to see for himself whether those Croatian forces were indeed armed.  In a

22     way he didn't trust us.  Perhaps they all agreed at the top.  He got the

23     period.  And within those 48 hours, they managed to print out IDs for the

24     reserve police force, and they distributed them to all those who had

25     previously been given weapons illegally.  Thus, basically legalizing

Page 15001

 1     those weapons.  They made all those people who had received weapons

 2     members of the MUP, and so our hands were tied.  And not only ours,

 3     probably of that the state leadership too.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  For the Chamber to understand, you said the

 5     Kalashnikovs called Rogonja, were these weapons illegally imported from

 6     other countries where they were produced into Croatian territory in order

 7     to arm the paramilitary formations and the forces of the MUP and Croatian

 8     Army?  Were we trying to prove that those weapons were not produced in

 9     Yugoslavia factories but was imported illegally and was, as such, prone

10     to be seized?

11        A.   As I said a moment ago, they were of Romanian production.  Such

12     weapons had not existed in the JNA or in the TO or in the police.  It

13     means that those weapons were illegally brought in to that part of the

14     state.  That is to say, Croatia.

15             There were even some documentaries made about that, about how the

16     weapons were imported.  Of course, such weapons had to be seized, as

17     would be the case in any other normal state.

18        Q.   Thank you.  You mentioned a moment ago Stipe Mesic as the Supreme

19     Commander.  He, as the Supreme Commander, did he create the preconditions

20     as you just described for the Croatian paramilitary forces to legalise

21     all their activities so as not to violate the then laws and regulations

22     which were in place for all armed formations?

23        A.   Yes, Your Honours.  In my previous answers, I said that they

24     managed to legalise their operation by having legalised the weapons, when

25     the IDs were issued.  In that way, they simply prevented us from doing

Page 15002

 1     anything.  And in my view, it was a wise move.  They made any further

 2     action against them impossible, and, at the same time, they carried out

 3     sieges of all military facilities in the territory of Croatia.  And, of

 4     course, again, I'm speaking of Sibenik.  Not only that.  They made our

 5     life in the military facilities in Sibenik unbearable.  It probably went

 6     for all other military facilities as well.  They turned off our

 7     electricity, water, telephone lines.  They brought their children, women

 8     there, provoking members of the JNA, primarily those on active duty.

 9     They also called for soldiers to desert, and many soldiers did, primarily

10     those who were not Serbs.

11             Next, they put on -- the JNA hall in Sibenik under a siege.  They

12     pelted it with stones, and I was actually in the JNA hall with a military

13     police squad when it took place.  They demolished the place.  When

14     foreign delegations arrived in Sibenik, they screened off the entire JNA

15     hall with blankets and sheets so that they wouldn't see that the building

16     was demolished.  They also placed loud-speakers.  They played music in

17     front of the barracks which worked round the clock, and invited people to

18     surrender.  This was -- amounted to psychological torture and it was a

19     clear message that the Serb members of the JNA were not wanted.  That's

20     the summary of the whole story.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, may I interrupt you for a moment.

22     Judge Nyambe has a question.

23             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.  I just need a clarification to better

24     understand the flow of your evidence.

25             At the beginning -- at the beginning of your evidence, you have

Page 15003

 1     made reference to paramilitary and regular forces.  In order for me to

 2     understand clearly, can you just briefly, very briefly, tell the

 3     difference between the paramilitary and regular forces?

 4             And then -- maybe I will ask the other question when you have

 5     given me your answer.  Thank you.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that the then

 7     National Guard Corps in Croatia was, for me, a military formation.

 8     Because, at the time, the JNA was the legitimate armed force in

 9     Yugoslavia, including the territory of the Republic of Croatia and all

10     other parts of the then Yugoslavia.  They were the only legal armed

11     forces.

12             JUDGE NYAMBE:  So, therefore, your reference to paramilitary

13     means they were illegal forces.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so.

15             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

16             My last question is, at page 3 of today's transcript, line 24,

17     you are recorded as having said:

18             "... people were fencing themselves off by ethnicity."

19             Can you explain that term to me, "fencing themselves off by

20     ethnicity"?  What does that mean exactly.  Thank you.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I wasn't clear

22     enough.  I said that, at the time, barricades were put up in villages.

23     Serbian villages put up barricades, Croatian villages put up barricades.

24     That was the meaning of "fencing off."

25             I also said that there was rampant antagonism.  There was an

Page 15004

 1     eruption of nationalistic feelings on both sides.

 2             JUDGE NYAMBE:  So, in other words, people tended to group

 3     themselves accord to their ethnicity.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, right.  Exactly.

 5             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.

 7             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

 8             MR. TOLIMIR:

 9        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mitrovic, can you briefly tell us whether

10     paramilitary formations in all areas, including Croatia, Serbia and

11     everywhere, were illegal because of their activities which were illegal

12     and unconstitutional and unlawful in the entire territory of the SFRY?

13     From your professional point of view.

14        A.   Precisely so.  In your question, you practically included the

15     answer, illegal activities are considered to be paramilitary activities

16     everywhere, whatever is not part of the system.  In Republika Srpska,

17     during the war, as the Army of Republika Srpska, we considered the forces

18     which were not under the command of the Army of Republika Srpska to be

19     paramilitary forces, illegal forces, and so on.

20        Q.   Thank you.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D797 in

22     e-court so that we could see something.

23             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   And until then, let me phrase my question:  Did the JNA and the

25     members of the army disarm paramilitary formations regardless of the

Page 15005

 1     ethnicity, if they were found in a part of the territory that was under

 2     its control?  Thank you.

 3        A.   At the time, and that was still just the beginning, I'm talking

 4     about the period preceding open combat, so before any fighting broke out.

 5     If we are talking about that period, our attitude and our criteria were

 6     absolutely the same towards the Croats, the Croatian forces, and towards

 7     the Serbs.  Later on -- perhaps you would ask me that as well.  Later on

 8     it happened that we had to defend Serbs from the Croats.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  I will ask you immediately, please always answer

10     briefly so that we could manage to do everything.  I have not much time

11     and probably you want to go home today.

12             This is my question:  Did the federal secretary of national

13     defence make a decision, and the Presidency as well, that all

14     paramilitary formations be disarmed, that Martin Spegelj and other

15     Croatian leaders who had been in charge of arming the paramilitary forces

16     of the MUP and TO to be arrested?

17        A.   Yes.  If you want me to expand that I can, but, yes.

18        Q.   Was it done and if not, why not, and tell us what you think about

19     that now?  Thank you.

20        A.   We were prevented.  I'm saying that from the point of view of the

21     army and the security organs.  We were prevented precisely by the

22     legalisation which I talked about earlier, if we have Croatian forces in

23     mind.

24        Q.   And as for the Presidency of SFRY, was there any resistance to

25     the arrest of Spegelj, Boljkovac, and other Croatian leaders who were

Page 15006

 1     illegally arming military conscripts in Croatia?  Thank you.

 2        A.   Well, you see, if we had unified Presidency at the time, and a

 3     different way of controlling the state, probably the war wouldn't have

 4     happened in the first place.

 5        Q.   Can you please tell us when some of the weapons which arrived

 6     from abroad in the so-called Kikas aircraft was seized.  Do you remember

 7     that and can you tell us something about that?

 8        A.   Yes, I remember that the aircraft was seized, that it was full of

 9     weapons, that weapons were unloaded in Belgrade, I think, and that that

10     was the most flagrant material proof or the most obvious one at the time

11     that illegal arming was taking place, that arms were being imported and

12     so on.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Your microphone.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

15             MR. TOLIMIR:

16        Q.   [Interpretation] Later on, when the conflicts broke out, did the

17     one and the other and the third side begin to arm themselves illegally

18     and set up their paramilitary formations which you also mentioned

19     yesterday?  Thank you.

20        A.   Yes, of course.  When combat activities began to be carried out

21     and there were dead on either side, the arming was stepped up and so was

22     the setting up of paramilitary organisations organising people into such

23     units on either side, which is in a way a normal reaction of any man to

24     defend himself, protect himself so that this was taking place.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Was anyone prosecuted by the Croatian authorities

Page 15007

 1     because of illegal arming and setting up paramilitary formations?  Thank

 2     you.

 3        A.   As far as I remember, no.

 4        Q.   Was it the occasion then for an escalation of violence and

 5     illegal conduct in the whole territory of Croatia regardless of the

 6     specific areas in question were populated by Serbs or Croats?

 7        A.   You see, Your Honours, perhaps that was one of the causes, but it

 8     was obvious that this activity was organised.  It was not chaotic, and

 9     these were not isolated incidents of a murder of an individual somewhere

10     which caused an entire army to be armed and attacks to be carried out on

11     all facilities.  It was an organised activity and the organisation did

12     not begin in 1990 or 1991 but probably sometime earlier.  With the

13     multi-party elections in Croatia, there was already talk about Croatia

14     becoming an independent country, a separate country, and so on and so

15     forth.

16        Q.   Thank you, Colonel.  We're interested in the beginning of the war

17     in the territory of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This is why I'm

18     asking you, if one whole republic put up resistance to all the decisions

19     made by the Presidency and the federal secretary of National Defence, did

20     that then reflect on individual unlawful conduct?  Thank you.

21        A.   Yes, it was reflected in that as well, of course.  But if you

22     want us to talk about Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was already in that time, in

23     Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, it was, if I may put it so, an example that

24     something similar should be applied, a similar scenario should be applied

25     in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  If that is what you had in mind.

Page 15008

 1        Q.   Thank you.  I didn't have that mind.  But yesterday during

 2     examination-in-chief and in your interview also you were asked by the

 3     investigator why were Serbs in Croatia defended.  I will ask you to tell

 4     us the following:  Did the JNA have the task to protect the Serbs in

 5     Croatia according to the Vance-Owen Plan or was it doing that just

 6     because Kadijevic wanted that and wrote that in an order which was

 7     presented to you and which we will have another look at later?  Thank

 8     you.

 9        A.   Your Honour, during the conflicts in Croatia, the Croats had

10     their forces.  They had been already set up.  For me they were

11     paramilitary forces, for them they were legal forces; that was the

12     national guard corps.

13        Q.   Excuse me, Mr. Mitrovic.  Can something be legal if it's

14     unconstitutional and unlawful?

15        A.   No, it cannot be legal if it's unlawful.  We already talked about

16     that.  But I wanted to finish my thought.  The Croats had their own

17     forces.  For them they were legal forces, if you like.  But not for us.

18     But they could not be legal for them, because they had not been

19     legitimised by the law and by the constitution.  This is what I mean.  So

20     that's what they had, and the Serbs over there did not have their own

21     army.  They had not set it up.  And the JNA's task was then to protect

22     them.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir and Mr. Mitrovic, you are using the

24     same language and you are talking quite fast.  It is very difficult for

25     the interpreters to catch everything, and you can see it especially at

Page 15009

 1     the beginning of page 12, that not everything was record the properly

 2     because of your overlapping.

 3             Please pause between question and answer and the next question.

 4             Judge Nyambe has a question.

 5             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Yeah, just to add on to what Judge Fluegge has

 6     said just now, I'm not clear really what your answer is in lines 3 and 4.

 7     And it is:

 8             "No, it cannot be illegal if it is up lawful."

 9             I think we need a clarification there before we move forward

10     because that is quite important.  Your answer is quite important.  Thank

11     you.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that something

13     that is unlawful is also illegal.  I'm not sure how that was translated.

14     I did not say that what is unlawful is not illegal.  Because as you say,

15     it's a negation of a negation.

16             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  That is exactly what we heard in the translation.

18     Thank you very much for this clarification.

19             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.  And please pause between question

20     and answer.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  I'm

22     sorry that we did not correct this.  I apologise to the e-court because I

23     called for a wrong document.  I wanted 1D794, because we still have not

24     moved to this subject, the war in Bosnia.  We're still discussing the war

25     in Croatia.

Page 15010

 1             So could we please show 1D794.  And I apologise for the slip of

 2     the tongue and the error which I made.  Thank you.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   Mr. Mitrovic, we can see here that the 9th Corps command received

 5     from the federal secretary at the time a document or, rather, a

 6     directive, and it says here:

 7             "Enclosed:  Please find the directive of the federal secretary

 8     for national defence on the use of armed forces in the coming period."

 9             Please tell us briefly for the record, what is a "directive" in

10     the military sense of the word?  Thank you.

11        A.   Your Honours, a directive is, to put it in a simplified manner,

12     an order but an order from the higher command organs.  That is to say,

13     the Main Staff, the Supreme Command.  At our level, it was the

14     Main Staff, or at the time when we are talking about this document, it

15     was the federal secretary or the Federal Secretariat of the National

16     Defence, which is to say that is the level of the Ministry of Defence.  A

17     directive is a document, an order, issued at that strategic level.  What

18     is just a simple order at the level of a corps or brigade or lower

19     levels, this is how it is called at the strategic level.

20        Q.   Thank you.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please see the next page in

22     e-court.

23             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   We can see now here in the title: "Directive on the Use of Armed

25     Forces in the Coming Period for the Preparation and Carrying out of

Page 15011

 1     Combat Operations."

 2             My question is this:  Were we all obliged by law to apply this

 3     directive in the period of preparing for conducting combat operations?

 4        A.   Yes, we were.  At all levels.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  You were shown --

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please turn to the next

 7     page?  That's page 2 of the document.  The first paragraph.  I will

 8     quote.  General Kadijevic says this in the directive:

 9             "Our armed forces are entering a new extremely important period

10     of achieving the final goals of the war.  Protection of the Serbian

11     population, a peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav crisis, and creating

12     conditions for preserving Yugoslavia for those peoples who want to live

13     in it.  That is why preserving the combat readiness of the Yugoslav

14     People's Army and the armed forces in their entirety is still the focal

15     task of all levels of control and command and its members, until such a

16     time when a political resolution to the Yugoslavia crisis is achieved."

17             And further on, he issues the tasks in accordance with this

18     preamble.

19             My question is this:  Can we conclude on the basis of the

20     quotation I just read out what the task and the duty of the JNA in

21     Croatia was until the moment when the Vance-Owen Plan was accepted, and

22     could you see that from the --

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, I listened very carefully to this

24     line of questions.  Some, especially the role of the paramilitaries, was

25     dealt with during the examination-in-chief, but I would like to know what

Page 15012

 1     is the relevance for our case in -- in relation to this document and the

 2     political tasks and targets at that time in 1991.  It's far, far earlier

 3     than the relevant time to the indictment.

 4             Could you please explain that?  This was, if I'm not mistaken,

 5     [sic] part of the examination-in-chief yesterday.  And I'm referring to

 6     these political questions and not referring to the paramilitaries

 7     Mr. Thayer dealt with yesterday.

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

 9             Yesterday there was some discussion about this topic, and

10     Mr. Mitrovic was even in his answers saying that there weren't only

11     Croats in the army but also Muslims, including Dudakovic, who was chief

12     of artillery.  He was earlier asked by an investigator why they were only

13     protecting the Serbs and that was because the Serbs were under attack

14     from the Croatian state, and I'm providing the basics that stem from the

15     statement made by General Kadijevic.  I believe this is of great

16     importance.  These are the beginnings of the war in Yugoslavia.  If

17     somebody stops listening to the state, what can we expect from various

18     individuals?

19             Thank you.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, you are right, that some of these

21     topics were raised during examination-in-chief.  However, using your

22     court time properly in favour of your Defence should take into account

23     what we are dealing with.  We are dealing with the indictment against

24     you, the charges of severe crimes and not the outbreak of the war.

25     Please bear that in mind and use your time carefully.

Page 15013

 1             Carry on, please.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  I will,

 3     as always, make sure to complete my examination in time and I will give

 4     up on some other questions but this one not.  This is an important topic.

 5     If an individual is behaving unlawfully, that's a small thing, but when a

 6     state is behaving like that, that causes a lot of difficulties.  I will

 7     not deal with that issue too much.  Of course, I will just put another

 8     question to Mr. Mitrovic.

 9             MR. TOLIMIR:

10        Q.   [Interpretation] Was the Vance plan reached in Croatia for the

11     purpose of protection of the Serbian population and were the United

12     Nations the only force that was protecting the Serbs in Croatia?

13        A.   Yes, that's true.  The plan was reached for the protection of the

14     Serbian population and the United Nations forces were deployed within

15     Croatia for that very purpose, to protect the population.

16        Q.   Thank you.  And, at the end of the war, when Croatia attacked the

17     protected areas in Croatia, did, at the time, UNPROFOR abandon the

18     positions and stop protecting the protected areas, and did even the NATO

19     forces use air-strikes against these territories?

20        A.   Yes, that's correct.  That did happen.

21        Q.   Thank you.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Excuse me, Mr. Tolimir.

23             On line 16 and 17 of page 15, one very important word was left

24     out when I asked you about the relevance of your questioning.  I said:

25             "This was, if I'm not mistaken, not part of the

Page 15014

 1     examination-in-chief yesterday."

 2             The word "not" was left out.  I wanted to put that on the record.

 3             Please carry on.

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

 5             MR. TOLIMIR:

 6        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mitrovic, could you please tell us whether

 7     the Serbian people in Croatia, as well as in other parts of former SFRY,

 8     see the Vance Plan as a way of disarming the Serbs who would then, after

 9     that, become victims of the same people who disarmed them?

10        A.   In essence, yes, that's what the people believed.  I agree with

11     your words.  People felt like that, they felt betrayed not only by the

12     United Nations, but primarily by Serbia, a state that signed the

13     agreement and was there as a guarantee.  They were disappointed by what

14     later happened to them.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Let us now move to 1995 and the end of the war.  At

16     that time, the plan, the so-called Z-4 plan, was being in the process of

17     making, the mediator was Peter Galbraith, an American Ambassador in

18     Croatia, which was finally agreed upon before the Operation Storm in

19     Croatia?

20        A.   I do remember that plan and I do remember what it was supposed to

21     create.

22        Q.   I apologise for the transcript.  Could you tell me whether you

23     remember that immediately one day after the Z-4 plan was agreed upon,

24     whether the Croatian Army started their Operation Storm against the

25     protected areas in Croatia.  In other words, areas where the Serbs lived?

Page 15015

 1        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 2        Q.   Do you remember that the same Peter Galbraith, American

 3     ambassador, was seen on Croatian tanks?  Did you see such photos later on

 4     after Operation Storm?

 5        A.   I did not see that --

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I have to interrupt you.  The war in Croatia and

 7     the Operation Storm is not part of this trial.  Please bear that in mind

 8     and don't waste time.

 9             Carry on, please.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11             MR. TOLIMIR:

12        Q.   [Interpretation] Please do answer, Mr. Mitrovic.  This was

13     directly linked up with the area of responsibility of your corps.

14        A.   No, I did not see the photograph, but I do know I've heard in the

15     period after the war about the role of Peter Galbraith in that operation

16     and the preparations of this Operation Storm, that was something one

17     could find in the media.  All my knowledge stems from there.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Could you just briefly in one sentence tell us all

19     that you know and then we will move to other topics.

20        A.   In simple terms, in our military terminology, the Croats got the

21     green light from the Americans and all the necessary assistance for the

22     purpose of resolving the Serbian question in the parts of Croatia called

23     Serbian Republic of Krajina within seven days.  They were promised they

24     will receive American support and that there will be no strong reactions

25     condemning such an operation.  That's all I can say briefly.

Page 15016

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Tolimir, you should have

 2     realised that the witness said "... all my knowledge stems from there,"

 3     which means from the media.  How can that help your Defence?

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  The

 5     witness could not have been in Croatia at that time because he would have

 6     been killed, and the media demonstrated what the objective was of the

 7     negotiations, the Z-4 negotiations.  We could have only seen Galbraith

 8     riding a tank if Croatian television broadcast such images.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ...  you should indeed move

10     to relevant topics, relevant to this indictment.

11             MR. TOLIMIR:

12        Q.   [Interpretation] Okay.  Let's start with the relevant topic.

13             In 1995, the Croatian Army attacked the zone of your corps.

14     Could you tell us in just a few sentences how numerous were the Croatian

15     forces and from which directions did they launch their attack against

16     Bosnia and Herzegovina, attacking the zone of the 2nd Krajina Corps where

17     you were serving?

18        A.   In late 1995, in other words, June, July, and August of 1995, the

19     legal units of Croatian Army took part in the so-called

20     Operation Maestral.  In other words, they were carrying out activities

21     along two axes.  One was Livno-Grahovo axis which was in the zone of

22     responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps and the other axis was

23     Livno-Glamoc axis.  And they also carried out activities along the axis

24     Sipovo-Mrkonjic Grad entering into both of these towns; in other words,

25     Sipovo and Mrkonjic Grad.  These were mainly forces of the Croatian

Page 15017

 1     Operative Zone Split.  I cannot tell you which brigades these were.  I

 2     know about the Sinj Regiment, but can I cannot remember, as I sit here,

 3     their numerical denomination.  But I do remember that we managed to

 4     capture a major from that unit who was a logistics assistant in this Sinj

 5     Regiment, and later on he was exchanged.

 6             But all in all, they were active along the axis I mentioned a

 7     moment ago and now I'm speaking about the zone of responsibility of the

 8     2nd Krajina Corps.  I must add that prior to that the Croatian forces

 9     were also active in Kupres area in 1992.  I'm talking about the Croatian

10     Army.  Up until the 7th of April, I believe, of 1992, they were there,

11     present in the Kupres area, carrying out active operations against

12     Serbian forces.

13        Q.   Thank you.  When you are talking about Croatian forces and

14     Serbian forces, did you mean Croatian forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina

15     or from the Republic of Croatia?

16        A.   When I was talking about Kupres, both of these were present.

17     When I was talking about the other axis, or, to be more precise, when I

18     was talking about the axis of activity in 1995, again, there were both

19     units of the Croatian Army and the units of the HVO active there.

20        Q.   I apologise, I understood you initially as well, but for the sake

21     of transcript, we must make sure that it's clearly stated where did the

22     Croatian forces come from.

23             Could you please tell us were there any NATO air-strikes against

24     Serbian forces that occurred during the Maestral -- the operation

25     Maestral that was being carried out by the Croatian Army?

Page 15018

 1        A.   Yes, Your Honours.  There were some activities carried out by the

 2     NATO air force against some of the positions and some more important

 3     elements of the combat disposition of the VRS also in the zone of the 2nd

 4     Krajina Corps.  These were mainly strikes against radio relay hubs and

 5     nodes and some of the elevations where these were located.  That was

 6     something that was happening almost simultaneously.  I don't know whether

 7     it was a synchronised operation, but it ask likely that it was done in

 8     agreement between Croatia and NATO but I cannot make a conclusion to that

 9     effect, but the NATO activities did assist, or, rather, speed up the

10     breakdown of the zones of responsibility of the 1st and the 2nd Krajina

11     Corps.  At the time, we were receiving information through intelligence

12     channels to the effect that some NATO rapid reaction forces were carrying

13     out artillery attacks against our command posts and such more important

14     areas.  Thank you.

15        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  Because you cannot make such a

16     conclusion; namely, a conclusion that it was in a co-ordinated -- oh, I

17     apologise.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer.

19             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, it might be helpful to see how the

20     last answer links up with other testimony which the Trial Chamber has

21     already heard.  If we could just get some orientation to date for these

22     activities, because right now it's in a temporal vacuum.  I think it

23     might be helpful if Colonel Mitrovic could provide an approximate date,

24     month, for these activities that he just described.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed.  Also, for the Chamber, it would be

Page 15019

 1     helpful to understand this topic better.

 2             Please clarify that with the witness, Mr. Tolimir.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 4             MR. TOLIMIR:

 5        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mitrovic, you just told us that you cannot

 6     conclude whether the activities were co-ordinated or not.  Could you

 7     please tell Mr. Thayer when exactly did that happen, because yesterday he

 8     also asked you about the transfer of information through Neven system,

 9     and I would like to ask you now to tell us whether this Neven system

10     existed throughout any specific period, and also please tell us at which

11     time period did NATO attack VRS positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

12        A.   I did explain that but I will repeat.  It was June, July, August,

13     and September, during that period in 1995 - and we are talking about

14     1995 - we're talking about the end of the war, because in your question

15     you specified we were talking about 1995 and Operation Storm, so I

16     assumed that we all understood we're talking about 1995.  But it was

17     during those months that we had the zone of -- no flying zone and even

18     then there were certain NATO attacks against radio relay facilities and

19     communication systems.  Thank you nor reminding me.  Yesterday we were

20     talking about Neven and now can I explain why we could not set up the

21     Neven system within our zone, and one of the reasons was precisely that;

22     namely, Klekovaca radio relay facility had been destroyed prior to that,

23     which was our main radio relay system.

24        Q.   Thank you.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Now the interpretation has stopped.  Once again,

Page 15020

 1     sir, Mr. Mitrovic, I quote from your penultimate answer.

 2             You said, I quote:

 3             "At the time we were receiving information through intelligence

 4     channels to the effect that some NATO rapid reaction forces were carrying

 5     out artillery attacks against our command posts."

 6             When did that happen?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was discussing the

 8     period of June, July, August, and September of 1995.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

10             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

12             MR. TOLIMIR:

13        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mitrovic, let's look at D259, which refers

14     to the very reasons why the Neven system was inoperational and why the

15     teleprinter connections were down.

16             This is a document about the changes in the communications

17     system, as well as establishing a courier system.  It states here that

18     the 2nd Krajina Corps received it as well.

19             It states:

20             "Due to the partially inoperational communications system which

21     was caused by NATO aeroplane air-strikes against radio relay hubs and PTT

22     facilities in the areas of responsibility of the SRK, HK, DK, and IBK and

23     until other alternative communication routes are established, in order to

24     have the teletype traffic established, I order ..."

25             And here we see the various items of the order which states that

Page 15021

 1     from your area, that of the 1st Bosnian Corps, mail was to be delivered

 2     by couriers, and from there, it would be -- from the other corps it would

 3     be picked up to be taken to the Main Staff.

 4             Do you recall this period?  The document was signed by

 5     General Ratko Mladic.  If we go to the next page, we'll see the signature

 6     block.

 7             You can see it there.  Since the order was issued in

 8     September 1995, can you tell us whether, at the time, there could have

 9     been any communication between any corps commands and Tolimir through the

10     Neven system, as you were asked yesterday at page 38 and 39?

11        A.   Your Honours, before providing an answer, I'd like to clarify one

12     thing.  Namely, the 2nd Krajina Corps, on its northern borders,

13     neighboured on the Republic of the Serb Krajina, as long as it existed.

14     Following Operation Storm, which began on August 1, 1995, the RSK and its

15     army no longer existed.  The 2nd Krajina Corps received another 180

16     kilometres of front lines, so we were basically adjacent to the Croat and

17     Muslim forces.  When I say Croat forces, I have in mind both the HVO and

18     the Croatian Army.  In other words, the situation was completely new.

19             On the other hand, there were NATO air-strikes, and by that time

20     it became increasingly difficult to fight and offer any resistance.

21     There were also operations against radio relay hubs, radar stations, and

22     other facilities.  This all caused a breakdown in the system of command

23     and control.  A consequence of that was this very order, which tried to

24     establish a different communications system.

25             This September of 1995 order basically confirms what I said

Page 15022

 1     yesterday concerning the Neven system in my corps.  I also said that,

 2     most likely, the other corps which had not moved retained the system.

 3     However, I now see that they, too, had problems.

 4             This is the only answer I can provide you with.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  Let's look at 1D776 next.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering D259?

 7             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.  Thank you, Mr. President.

 8                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  As there is no translation, it will be marked for

10     identification, pending translation.

11             One moment, please, we need a document -- no, sorry, I made a

12     mistake.  I was referring to D258 -- 9, but this is already an exhibit.

13     It was my mistake.  Sorry for that.

14             Please carry on.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

16             MR. TOLIMIR:

17        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Mitrovic, before us is a document of the

18     30th of August, 1995.  The title is: "NATO Aircraft Activities in the

19     Areas of Responsibility of the Corps Specified."

20             And then it says:  "Information."

21             It was forwarded to your command, among others.  It states:

22             "Early in the morning on the 30th of August 1995, NATO forces

23     carried out two comprehensive air-strikes against targets chosen

24     beforehand.  The first strike took place between 1.40 and 2.40 hours with

25     40 planes of which 30 were assault planes.  Combat itself lasted for some

Page 15023

 1     ten minutes.  The second comprehensive strike included 30 planes."

 2             The third paragraph:

 3             "During these two comprehensive strikes, the enemy was active in

 4     the general area of the Command Staff of the VRS without causing any

 5     damage there.  They also attacked the radar position at RRC Jahorina,

 6     Stolica and Kmur, the PTT relay hub Strazica Cajnice, Trebevic, former

 7     RRC Zlovrh, and firing positions of the rocket battery Kuh [phoen] in the

 8     general area of Sokolac."

 9             My question is this:  If NATO was attacking all communications

10     centres, including that of the Main Staff, and of the corps, was it

11     possible to keep communication between the Main Staff and the corps by

12     using the Neven system which we discussed yesterday?

13        A.   Your Honours, of course, it was impossible.  There were many

14     problems and that is why the order we saw a moment ago was issued seeking

15     for alternative solutions to be established.  Of course, an armed forces

16     must not be left without its communication abilities.  As a system it has

17     to have alternative solutions in place, otherwise it cannot survive

18     without this communication between superiors and subordinates.

19        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  I will show you 65 ter

20     document number 05834.  It is an OTP document.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Registrar told me that the

22     document, 1D776, we have on the screen, was already MFI'd pending

23     translation as D257.  But it's not listed in your list of documents to be

24     used during cross-examination, if I'm not mistaken.  That creates,

25     sometimes, quite a bit of confusion.

Page 15024

 1             Carry on, please.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  It is

 3     possible that I mixed up some documents.  We can see the other document

 4     on the screen now.  It is dated the 11th of October, 1995, which is only

 5     a day later, following ...

 6             MR. TOLIMIR:

 7        Q.   [Interpretation] You can see here that it was sent to your corps.

 8     The title is: "Blocking the Enemy Offensive on the Western RS Front.

 9     Order:"

10             It is stated here what unit and what officer were to do in order

11     to carry it out.  Certain locations are thereby established.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can go onto the next

13     page, please.

14             Thank you.

15             MR. TOLIMIR:

16        Q.   [Interpretation] Let's look at the bullet points to see which

17     officers were placed where, in order to implement this order to stop the

18     offensive.  First we have the Chief of Staff; then his assistant, General

19     Gvero; next, is Assistant commander for the air force; and the assistant

20     commander for organisation, mobilisation, and personnel; followed by

21     assistant commander for intelligence and security, Major-General Zdravko

22     Tolimir.

23             Just below that we see where it says Mrkonjic Grad, village of

24     Trijebovo, village of Stricici, and is responsible for the defence of the

25     axis, meaning that I was in the area of responsibility of the 30th

Page 15025

 1     Infantry Division in Mrkonjic Grad.  Do you recall that period, and did

 2     you know that I was in Mrkonjic Grad?

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, just for the record, sometimes,

 4     indeed, you are confusing all of us.  The document on the screen which is

 5     65 ter 5834 was previously tendered by you and is already in evidence as

 6     D264 as listed in your list of documents to be used during

 7     cross-examination.

 8             Please try to give us the right reference.  Please carry on.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  I

10     apologise.  It seems I have hard copies which need not necessarily

11     reflect those in e-court.

12             MR. TOLIMIR:

13        Q.   [Interpretation] In any case my question is this:  Mr. Mitrovic,

14     were all of the organs of the Main Staff engaged in the western theatre

15     in order to block the Croatian offensive Maestral and the NATO offensive

16     which included rapid reaction forces as the land force -- strike forces?

17        A.   Your Honours, it was customary in our army that when in a certain

18     part of the front there is significant incursion by the enemy that

19     someone from the command would get there.  In this case, people from the

20     Main Staff came to the corps command and those from the corps command

21     went down to brigade commands and so on down to the level of battalion.

22             In this situation, I recall General Tolimir, in the period

23     between July 1995 and October 1995, coming to the area of the 2nd Krajina

24     Corps.  I also recall him being there before and following the fall of

25     Glamoc, since he hails from that area.  He was before and following the

Page 15026

 1     fall of Drvar sometime in September along the Glamoc-Drvar axis.  Since

 2     in this particular case our units were adjacent, he was in Manjaca in

 3     October along the axis stipulated in the order; that is to say,

 4     Mrkonjic Grad, Glamoc, and Stricici.  We met on those occasions and that

 5     is why I can address this issue.  I cannot specify any dates and please

 6     don't hold me to any, but it was in that period in the course of those

 7     few months, September and October.

 8        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.

 9             Could you please repeat all of the months you mentioned because

10     during your answer you mentioned August as well when Glamoc fell.  So in

11     what months was I there?

12        A.   I'll repeat, Your Honours.  In July, before and after Glamoc

13     fell, because General Tolimir was born in a village near Glamoc.  Glamoc

14     fell on the 27th of July.

15             Next, in September, before and after Drvar fell; Drvar fell on

16     the 14th or 15th of September.  This also includes the period in

17     October by which we, as the corps, were about to expire, so to say.  It

18     is directly connected to this order.  It was probably sometime around the

19     middle of the month.

20             The only precise thing I can tell you is what I told you about

21     the 27th of July and the 14th and 15th of July, as well as the date

22     around the 15th of October.

23        Q.   Can you remember whether I was in your AOR and at your command

24     post when the RSK fell and as their forces were leaving it?

25        A.   Yes.  It was in early August.  You were there, as well as

Page 15027

 1     General Mladic.  There were a number of generals from the Main Staff

 2     there.  There were also meetings with General Mrksic who, at the time,

 3     was the commander of the RSK army.  You also met with his staff in order

 4     to arrange accommodation and reception of the soldiers and population and

 5     to see whether there were any possibilities to consolidate the ranks of

 6     the ARSK.  We also had to collect the equipment which had been left

 7     behind by the Army of the RSK along various routes because they were

 8     withdrawing in complete chaos.

 9             All these events are mutually linked and it is difficult to

10     recall specifically each and every one.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Mitrovic, later, on page 41, you were asked

12     about, unless I'm mistaken it was the subject of command and control.

13     The Prosecutor asked you whether Tolimir was your superior, and you said

14     that the corps commander was your commander and "Tolimir controlled me in

15     the professional sense."

16             Can you please explain to us now whether the command system was

17     unified and single in the whole Army of Republika Srpska and was the

18     principle of unity of command something that was applied?  And then can

19     you tell us what was the place of specialised organs?  Thank you.

20        A.   Your Honours, there was subordination in the entire Army of

21     Republika Srpska.  I would say that only after the consolidation of the

22     army this was established.  There were problems at the beginning, in

23     1992, until all the command and control systems were set up, in

24     accordance with rules and regulations and until they began to function.

25     Not everything was nice as defined by the rules which were then in force.

Page 15028

 1     There were problems.  There was anarchy in some places.  All sorts of

 2     things.

 3             But, later, I would say in late 1992 or early 1993, it was

 4     already a stable system, in which it was known who was in charge of what.

 5        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  As you want to talk about the period

 6     when not everything was all right, can we please show you the document

 7     1D797 so that we could discuss this.

 8             It's an information from the Main Staff dated the 28th of July,

 9     1992, report on paramilitary formations in the territory of the Serbian

10     Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This report has several pages.  I signed

11     it and sent it to the corps commands.  I saw from your interview with the

12     Prosecutor which was submitted by the Prosecution.  And can you tell me

13     whether you remember the contents of this report, whether you read it,

14     and whether you received it in the first place?  Thank you.

15        A.   Your Honours, I do remember the contents of this report.  The

16     report includes a detail about a person from the 2nd Krajina Corps.  That

17     is included in the report.  And the report, as you can see, dates from

18     July 1992.  That means two months after the beginning of setting up or,

19     in fact, two and a half months, or three, after the beginning of the

20     setting up of the Army of Republika Srpska.  And paramilitary forces,

21     paramilitary units, were a problem which had to be resolved.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show page 4 to the

24     witness so that he could see paragraph 5, if that's what he had in mind.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

Page 15029

 1             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   It says:

 3             "In the area of the Kljuc municipality:  Revival of paramilitary

 4     formations can be seen.  The units formed in this area are commanded by

 5     the self-styled vojvoda, Jovo Kevac, who incited a rebellion in the

 6     Stricici educational centre in late April --"

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  [Previous translation continues] ... slowing

 8     down when reading.

 9             MR. TOLIMIR:

10        Q.   [Interpretation] And so on.  "Prevented the sending of 117

11     conscripts and reserve officers ... to the war units, at the Kljuc

12     battalion ..."

13             Was this what you had in mind?

14        A.   Yes, Your Honours, that is precisely what I had in mind.  I'm

15     sorry that we did not perhaps leave out the name because of this person,

16     because later on he somehow came to, if I can put it that way, and he was

17     a member of the unit completely normal and regular.

18             There is another matter I wish to note in terms of the

19     paramilitary forces.  These paramilitary forces sometimes came when

20     invited by certain persons from certain municipalities.  It was without

21     the knowledge and without the approval of the unit commands.  I know what

22     happened in the corps zone of responsibility.

23             And what happened when those paramilitary forces whose morale was

24     low and who were recruited from specific social groups and who were prone

25     to many immoral acts.  When they started making problems with the local

Page 15030

 1     population, then there would be problems, because then there would be

 2     requests made to the military that such paramilitary forces be disarmed

 3     or chased away from the territory and so on.  And this is actually what

 4     we did.  We treated them as requested in this record and how it was

 5     regulated by the rules, even earlier.  I'm talking about the zone of

 6     responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps.

 7        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  I apologise for mentioning the name of

 8     this person, but this was an occasion for you to say what deserves to be

 9     said about him.  I know that later on in accordance with this report he

10     was integrated into the army and became one of the better soldiers.

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please turn the page and

12     show the last page of this report.  It is page 6 in the document, rather

13     than page 35.  That is it.  Thank you.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   I would read just the last paragraph:

16             "The presence and activity of paramilitary formations has a

17     two-fold negative influence on the Serbian people.  The people are losing

18     their trust in the authorities and they're losing the power to deal with

19     the war profiteers, criminals, and mass murders.  And, secondly, it, to a

20     large degree, demoralises the members of the Army of the Serbian Republic

21     of Bosnia-Herzegovina, discouraging the fighting and often resulting in

22     the abandonment of positions.  Every armed Serb in the Serbian Republic

23     of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be placed under the exclusive command of the

24     Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina Army or else he should be disarmed and

25     legal measures taken."

Page 15031

 1             I signed this and it was sent to all security departments, also

 2     to the president of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina, the prime minister, and the army Main Staff commander

 4     so that they would measures against individual you mentioned and against

 5     others as well.

 6             Can you please tell us this:  When all those who carried out

 7     paramilitary activities are integrated within the system and when

 8     measures are applied to them, then would every unit be responsible for

 9     them if they are integrated in them and the authorities would be

10     responsible for those persons who were not part of the system of the JNA

11     or the VRS?

12        A.   Yes, precisely, in accordance with this order.  And otherwise the

13     attitude was that whoever wanted to fight, really, and who had come as a

14     volunteer - because usually they would all come labelled as volunteers -

15     whoever wanted to fight, they could fight together with the units.  Those

16     who didn't want had to leave the units, they had to hand in their weapons

17     and their military equipment and they would be either transported outside

18     of the zone of this corps or, alternatively, handed over to the civilian

19     authorities so that they would treat this person as they deemed fit.

20        Q.   Thank you.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, I'm sorry, we must have our first

22     break now.  And we will resume at 11.00.

23                           --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.

24                           --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, and Mr. Mitrovic, on behalf of the

Page 15032

 1     interpreters, I would kindly ask you to slow down.  You are very well

 2     trained army officers and fast speakers, and it's very difficult for the

 3     interpreters.  You must realise they have to catch everything in your

 4     language, then translate into English.  From there, it is sometimes

 5     interpreted into French.  And everything has to be recorded in our

 6     transcript.  This is a very difficult task, and both parties and the

 7     Chamber has to rely on the transcript, that everything is correctly

 8     recorded.

 9             So please bear that in mind.  Slow down while speaking,

10     especially while reading from a document, and pause between question and

11     answer and the next question.

12             Thank you very much.

13             Mr. Tolimir, please continue.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  We

15     apologise once again.

16             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Mr. Mitrovic, we have looked at 1D797.  We have seen that it was

18     submitted to both the civilian and military authorities in the republic

19     in order to resolve the problems we wrote about in 1992.

20             Can you tell us whether you also acted in accordance with this

21     document in your zone, once you received it?  Thank you.

22        A.   Your Honours, of course we acted in accordance with this order.

23     We had to implement it.

24             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise.  This was a report

25     signed by me which was submitted to the following addresses which we can

Page 15033

 1     see here.

 2             Can we please have that admitted.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   And then we will move on to the order in accordance with which

 5     you acted while disarming paramilitaries in your zone.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The document on the screen, 1D797, will be

 7     received.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D797, shall be

 9     assigned Exhibit D274.  Thank you.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And that is the number I used.  Thank you.

11             Please carry on.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

13             Can we now please show 1D796.  Thank you.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Until the document appears on the screen, I should say it is a

16     document issued by the Main Staff of the Serbian Republic of

17     Bosnia-Herzegovina dated the 29th of July, 1992.  It is an order which

18     says: "Disarmament of Paramilitary Formations.  Order:"

19             It is an order of General Mladic in accordance with which you

20     acted.  Can you see it now, and you can see that General Mladic informs

21     the commanders, and, for example, he says in the first paragraph:

22             "The analysis of paramilitary organisation in the territory of

23     the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina established that

24     paramilitary formations exist in areas of responsibility of all the corps

25     and are mainly located behind the lines of combat activities, in the

Page 15034

 1     rear, and in inhabited areas."

 2             And so on and so forth.

 3             Can we now please show the second page in which he explains what

 4     needs to be done.  We can see that it was sent to the commands of all

 5     corps as well as to the President of the Presidency and the prime

 6     minister for their information.  This is what he orders, but it is on the

 7     third page.  So can we please show that one now.  Page 3.

 8             We'll only look at item 1 in which the general says:

 9             "All paramilitary formations and their leaders, if their

10     intentions truly are honourable, are to place themselves in the service

11     of the just struggle for the survival of the Serbian people, and are to

12     offer to incorporate themselves into regular ... army units of the

13     Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be deployed in accordance

14     with their military specialities and level of military training."

15             We'll now also read item 3:

16             "Paramilitary formations, groups, and individuals from their

17     composition who refuse to be placed under unified SRBiH Army command are

18     to be disarmed and arrested in co-operation with the MUP, and criminal

19     proceedings are to be initiated against them for crimes they committed."

20             Item 7 says:

21             "I will hold the corps commanders in their areas of

22     responsibility and the SRBiH Army Main Staff chief of intelligence and

23     security affairs responsible for the implementation of this order.

24     Commander Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic."

25             This is my question:  Did the commander of the Main Staff clearly

Page 15035

 1     inform by this order both the military and political structures that he

 2     wanted to place everyone under the control of the army or imprison those

 3     who acted in a contrary manner?

 4        A.   Yes.  Your Honours, I confirm that Mr. Tolimir is right.  The

 5     order clearly informed us about what we are supposed to be doing, not

 6     only us, but also other organs within the territory.  Even before this

 7     order, the paramilitary formations were a problem for us.  They prevented

 8     us from carrying out everyday combat activities.  We didn't need to have

 9     them and deal with them in the rear and have some of our forces involved

10     in activities on disarmament of such units and removal of these people

11     from our area of responsibility.  The priority for us was the front line

12     and not their activities in the rear.

13             In brief, we acted in accordance with this order.  At least in

14     the zone of our corps.

15        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  In case of a problem within the units

16     or within the territory, did all law enforcement organs there have to

17     report via official channels about such unlawful actions by the

18     paramilitaries?

19        A.   If you're referring to the VRS members, yes; if you are referring

20     to MUP and other security structures on the territory of Republika

21     Srpska, I assume it was the same.  They most probably were also

22     duty-bound to report to their ministries and their superiors about such

23     events.

24        Q.   Thank you.  You were asked yesterday about some events that took

25     place in the territory, such as arson of mosques and so on, and you were

Page 15036

 1     also asked what your actions were in order to respond.  And my question

 2     to you now is:  Was anyone duty-bound to report about such events, or was

 3     it sufficient for someone to simply notice it while touring the area?

 4        A.   There were reports about combat activities.  I never came across

 5     in any of the written reports submitted by our units, reports about a

 6     mosque being destroyed, mosque or some other religious facility that

 7     belonged to any of the confessions there.  What we would see was reports

 8     about destruction of Orthodox religious facilities.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  On several occasions yesterday, for instance, on page

10     24, you said that only in the professional sense you were under the

11     security organs' control from the superior command and that you were,

12     throughout the period, under the command of your own commander.  So to

13     avoid any ambiguities, let me ask you whether you were subordinated to

14     your commander in relation to tasks that you had been given by your

15     superior along the professional line of security?  Were you responsible

16     to the commander for such activities as well?

17        A.   Yes.  Because my superior would inform my commander that I had

18     failed to carry out a task received from him.  The commander was the one

19     who could use various measures after someone failed to carry out his

20     tasks.  The superior security organ did not have that at his disposal.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Can you please tell us whether the commander of any

22     unit, including the corps level or the Main Staff level, has all legal

23     measures and forces at his disposal for the purpose of carrying out

24     everything that he is entitled to, according to his command position; and

25     are there any exceptions, in relation to this, when we're talking about

Page 15037

 1     any level within the corps or the Main Staff?

 2        A.   According to the rules of service of the security organ, the

 3     security organ was under the commander of the unit in which he is

 4     serving.  That automatically means that the commander had at his disposal

 5     all various elements for resolving any problems.  It was a different

 6     thing how the resolution of a problem would be accomplished.

 7             I would like to add that security organs within units were not

 8     untouchables.

 9        Q.   Thank you.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this

11     document that was on the screen just a moment ago.  The order issued by

12     General Mladic, 1D796.  And then we would like to move --

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Just wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, please.

14     It will be received.

15             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D796 shall be

16     assigned exhibit number D275.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Now go ahead, please.

18             MR. THAYER:  If I may, Mr. President.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer.

20             MR. THAYER:  Before we move on from this document, I'm hoping to

21     save just a little bit of time, and maybe we can have an agreement from

22     the Defence on this.

23             With respect to this document - and I noticed it with this

24     document and a previous document - the heading states that the name of

25     the army is the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Page 15038

 1     I'm not sure if the Trial Chamber has heard much testimony to this

 2     effect, but I think both parties can agree that that was the name of the

 3     army prior to its naming itself or renaming itself, the Army of Republika

 4     Srpska, or VRS.  Same army, different name, just earlier in the war.  I'm

 5     not sure again if we're heard testimony about that, but I think that's

 6     something we can probably agree on or perhaps we could put the question

 7     to Colonel Mitrovic.  Rather than bringing it up again on re-direct, I

 8     thought we could just save some quick time and clarify that.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed.  We saw at least two documents with this

10     term, "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."

11             Mr. Mitrovic, can you help us with this?  Is this the same unit,

12     the same army, as it was called later, the Army of the Republika Srpska,

13     VRS?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is the same army,

15     the same units initially; in other words, in mid-1992, at the time when

16     the Army of Republika Srpska was established, that was on the 12th of

17     May.  I realise I speeded up again.  I'll slow down.

18             So on the 12th of May, 1992, the Republika Srpska was called

19     Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much for this clarification.

21             Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.

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

23             I would like to tender the document that's on our screens.  Thank

24     you.  Thank you.

25             Can we now please have 1D783.  This is the statement of our

Page 15039

 1     witness given to the investigators on the 17th of June, 2004.  We can see

 2     it on our screens now --

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It is sometimes difficult for me to get the floor

 4     because the translation or something else has -- was continuing.

 5             I just wanted to clarify you said on line 21 of page 41:

 6             "I would like to tender the document."

 7             It was tendered and it was admitted into evidence as D275.  It

 8     was not marked.  It was admitted as D275.

 9             Mr. Gajic.

10             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

11             The document that we can see here is identical to OTP document

12     65 ter 2785, and I would like to ask the secretary to present this

13     document that's on the said location, namely, 2785.  It's an identical

14     document.  And for the sake of clarity, we're tendering it.  It will make

15     things easier.

16             Thank you.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Gajic, it is not quite clear yet.

18     65 ter 2785, is that the same as 1D783?

19             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Mr. President.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

21                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  This is the same document the Prosecution has

23     used yesterday without tendering it yet.

24             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us move to page 90 of this

Page 15040

 1     document, please.  Page 86 in the English version.  Thank you.

 2             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   In the second line in the Serbian version you're saying the

 4     following:

 5             "Security and intelligence organ are under immediate command of

 6     the commander of the unit or institution within which they are located,

 7     but in the professional sense they are controlled by the security and

 8     intelligence organs of the superior command.  This indicates their full

 9     independence in the implementation of intelligence and

10     counter-intelligence tasks and operative combinations."

11             Bearing in mind that they are subordinated to the commander also

12     for implementing or failing to implement tasks received by their

13     professional superior, could you please clarify this.  Would you agree

14     that they're responsible to the commander for all assignments, even those

15     that were received from the professional superiors from the superior

16     command?  Thank you.

17        A.   Your Honours, the text read out by General Tolimir is a quotation

18     from the rules of service of the security organs which I referred to on

19     several occasions today as well, where it is clearly defined who's

20     responsible to whom and how the command and control over the security

21     organs is carried out.

22             I am not quite clear as to what's unclear.  If I could be

23     assisted by getting a more precise, better-defined question.

24        Q.   Thank you.  In your answer, lines 2 to 9, in line 5 it is stated

25     that the organs of superior command -- yes:

Page 15041

 1             "This indicates their full independence in the implementation of

 2     intelligence and counter-intelligence tasks and operative combinations."

 3             And this is my question:  Does that mean that they are completely

 4     independent or are they still responsible to the commander and whether

 5     they have to justify their successful or unsuccessful implementation of

 6     tasks?

 7        A.   Your Honours, in the sentence just quoted, one can find reference

 8     to the most specifically professional segment of the security organs'

 9     work, application of methods by the security organs.  Of course, if they

10     failed to succeed in such tasks, the commander must know and does know

11     about it, because they are informed about it by superior security

12     officer.  The corps commander is the lowest level at which secret methods

13     of the security organs' work is being approved in cases when certain

14     security problems are being resolved.

15             In practical terms, what does that mean?  My superior informs the

16     corps commander whether I have successfully carried out a task.  He is

17     the person who has the competence who can assess my work.  So he can

18     report to the commander whether I have carried out my task in accordance

19     with the methods prescribed by our service.

20             According to the same logic, on the levels below me, I would be

21     the one who would inform the commander of the brigade that his security

22     officer succeeded or failed to succeed in resolving a security problem.

23             Is that what you had in mind, Mr. Tolimir?

24        Q.   Thank you, Colonel.  This is precisely what I had in mind.  I

25     wanted to have it clear on the record.  We will quote another part of the

Page 15042

 1     text in the interview to the OTP, where you confirm what you've said

 2     already.

 3             It is lines 23 through 31.  Actually 24.

 4             You say that it is Article 18 and then you quote --

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, please tell us where we can find the

 6     relevant part in the English.  Always helpful, especially for the

 7     interpreters.

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 18.  But my legal assistant

 9     tells me that it was not fully accurately interpreted.  That is why --

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Which page?

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was reading from line 24 in the

12     Serbian, which corresponds to line 3 on the page we see on the screen in

13     the English.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  This is page 87 in English in e-court.  Thank

15     you.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would kindly ask you to prepare your

17     cross-examination, together with your assistant, in a proper way so that

18     we don't lose time to find the relevant part on the screen.

19             Please carry on.

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  I'll --

21     I'd be happy to.  But we are always short of time because our contact is

22     limited.  We have limited contact during a witness 's testimony.

23             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   It says here -- and this is Article 18 where it says:

25             "The security organs of the superior command, unit, institution,

Page 15043

 1     or staff of the armed forces are in charge, expertly speaking, of the ...

 2     or are running ... or are in charge of the organs, security organs in the

 3     subordinate units.  Let me clarify that.  So, I'm subordinate to General

 4     Boric and I'm responsible to him for my activities, for my entire

 5     activities.  I told you yesterday that in the time of war, the corps

 6     commander is the one who approves the methods, like, you know, secret

 7     correspondence, things like that.  So, I'm just saying that just to

 8     confirm what I said yesterday, that it's the corps commander to whom I'm

 9     responsible for my activities."

10             My question is this:  Is, in all cases, a commander responsible

11     to his superior commander for any activity of his commands's security

12     organ irrespective of its positive or negative outcome?

13        A.   Your Honours, before answering, I'd like to say something about

14     the translation of the interview.

15             There seems to be a -- one negation too many.  So it should be

16     that the secrecy of letters is no longer in effect.  In other words,

17     secret methods violate those principles of secrecy.  The question

18     General Tolimir put is linked to one of my previous answers, when I said

19     that the security organs were not beyond reach.  Specifically in my

20     corps, there was a case in which we suggested to the Main Staff that the

21     chief of security in the brigade be removed because he was in conflict

22     with the brigade commander.  It was of personal -- a personal nature, and

23     its consequence was that a situation was created in which the security

24     organ no longer reported to his brigade commander, even when it came to

25     general security issues.  Once that was spotted, the removal occurred

Page 15044

 1     because, we realized, that the security organ was plain wrong and that he

 2     conducted himself unprofessionally in the exercise of his duties as part

 3     of the brigade command.  It was our conclusion, therefore, that the

 4     brigade commander was right to complain about his work.

 5             Now how was he replaced or removed?  The brigade commander

 6     complained to the corps commander and myself regarding the conduct of his

 7     security organ.  The corps commander, on my proposal, forwarded a

 8     proposal to the Main Staff and to General Tolimir to have the security

 9     officer removed.  It was, indeed, done.

10             General, sir, I used this example, trying to answer this question

11     of yours.

12             MR. TOLIMIR:

13        Q.   [Interpretation] Thank you, Colonel.  Let's look at page 91,

14     which is the next page in the Serbian version, where, in lines 2 through

15     5 you say the following.

16             "I'm stating this to confirm what I said yesterday, which is that

17     the corps commander is the level at which I was -- or to whom I was

18     answerable for my work professionally speaking.  However, Colonel Beara

19     was in charge of me, and my second superior officer was General Tolimir."

20             In order to have a precise transcript and precise terminology, I

21     wanted to ask you this:  Was your second superior Tolimir or was he two

22     steps up from you, professionally speaking?  Was he your superior; that

23     is to say, was he from your -- or was he from your superior command?

24        A.   Your Honours, the accused is right.  I didn't ponder this in such

25     detail as you have just specified.  I simply followed the logic of line

Page 15045

 1     of subordination.  That is why I said that, professionally speaking, you

 2     were my second superior.  That is to say, two steps up.  Professionally

 3     speaking, my first superior was the chief of the security administration.

 4     Since he was your subordinate, I was your subordinate too.  In other

 5     words, you were my superior two levels up and that is what I was trying

 6     to say in my answer.  It was accepted as such.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Let us be perfectly clear for the record:  Are the

 8     security organs of a superior command those professional organs which

 9     direct the activities of security organs one step down, say, in the

10     brigade?  Is it better to say that these are the professional organs of

11     the superior command or the organs of the Main Staff?

12        A.   Your Honours, perhaps it may well be more correct, the superior

13     organs in the Main Staff.  But in our everyday parlance we used

14     terminology I did.  It was easier, in a way.  And yet it entailed what

15     you are now addressing.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

17             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   We'll see in the rules that what you say is correct.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] While we're on this statement,

20     let's look at page 87 in the Serbian.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Which page in English?

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page 82 in the English

23     version.

24             I'm not sure this is the right page in English.

25             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

Page 15046

 1        Q.   Here you say in line 1:

 2             "So, Tolimir could issue orders to the forces?"

 3             And then your answer:

 4             "Security organs ..."

 5             So first I quoted the Prosecutor's question, to which you

 6     answered:

 7             "Security organs and the intelligence organs."

 8             And then we have another question:

 9             "Including the military police?"

10             And my question is this:  Did the superior command organ issue

11     orders to the organs of the military police in a subordinate command?

12        A.   I believe I have touched upon that issue yesterday.  He could

13     issue orders to the military police but once they were approved by the

14     superior commander; however, that only applied to equipment and training.

15     It seems I'm too fast again.

16             In other words, he couldn't order a MP battalion to engage in

17     combat.  He couldn't do that.  Because the unit commander is the one who

18     is directly subordinated to the commander of the unit in which he is

19     serving.  It is defined as per the security service manual, as well as

20     the rules of service for the military police.

21        Q.   Would it not be correct to say, then, that the security organ of

22     the superior commander could professionally direct the security organs

23     and the military police in its subordinate command, and it probably did

24     so through the organs of that command.

25        A.   Yes, are you right.  Perhaps my terminology was a bit rough when

Page 15047

 1     I said "orders."  But this is what we understood your documents to be.

 2     Anything coming from you or the Main Staff was considered as such.

 3             In any case, this correction of yours is more precise, to

 4     properly describe the relationship we are discussing.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  I apologise to you.  I simply want to be precise for

 6     the transcript and for the sake of the Chamber because, in the first

 7     sentence, it seems that the investigator understood that Tolimir could

 8     order forces to do something.  Could Tolimir order forces at all or could

 9     you order anything to the forces of your corps?

10        A.   Your Honour, no assistant at any level, assistant commander, this

11     is what I mean, had no authority under any rule, tactical rule, to

12     command forces.  Such authority and responsibility lay exclusively with

13     the commander.  As assistant commanders, we could propose, or suggest, as

14     professionals.  We could propose that a MP unit be used.  The chief of

15     artillery, because we were at the same level as the chiefs of branches,

16     could propose use of artillery.  The chief of armoured units could

17     propose how the tanks and combat vehicles were to be used.  That was the

18     logic followed at that level, by which we could propose anything to the

19     unit commander.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  In line 4, there's a

21     double negation which shouldn't be there.  So "had authority under any

22     rule."

23             MR. TOLIMIR:

24        Q.   [Interpretation] I move to tender this document, 1D783.  Perhaps

25     we may use it again later, but I would now move to another document.

Page 15048

 1     Thank you.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I note the interpreter's note, the double

 3     negation.  But I see it in e-court in page 50, line 5 and 6, instead of

 4     4.  This is perhaps again a difference between LiveNote and e-court.

 5             This document will be received.

 6             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 2785 shall be

 7     assigned Exhibit D276.  Thank you.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

10             Could we now have a look at D203.  When we see the first page, we

11     might then skip to page 10 in Serbian and page 11 in English.  On this

12     page, this rule, which the witness mentioned, is confirmed.

13             We'll be looking at point 23.  Thank you.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Please have a look at this:

16             "An officer of a security organ of a command, unit, institution,

17     or staff of the armed forces provides specialist management for a

18     military police unit.  He recommends the use of the military police unit

19     to the senior officer of the command, unit, institution, or staff, and he

20     is responsible to him for the state and activity of the unit."

21             The next paragraph of this point says:

22             "In managing the military police unit, the security organ officer

23     under paragraph 1 of this item has the same rights and duties as officers

24     of arms, services of commands, units, institutions, and staffs of the

25     armed forces in managing units of the arms and services of those

Page 15049

 1     commands, units, institutions, or staffs."

 2             This is my question.  As you explained what we now confirmed by

 3     this rule in your previous answer, please just tell us this:  Does a

 4     security organ have any other rights in relation to the unit of which it

 5     is an organ as compared to others in the command?

 6        A.   No, it has no other rights.  Because everyone's right is

 7     precisely defined and set out in the rules and instructions of everyone

 8     in the command.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  And have you noticed that in the interviews, for

10     example, conducted by investigators with the security organs, these

11     security organs are treated differently than other commands or

12     institutions.  For example, artillery organs and so on.  Have you noticed

13     that?  Thank you.

14        A.   I cannot answer about other security organs or interviews between

15     the investigators and other security organs.  But I can say that not just

16     the investigators but also our own military structures, as you well know,

17     individuals who were not directly connected with the security organ work

18     and did not control security organs, said something different.  They

19     would say that we were above the command, that we were above the

20     commander.  Such things.  Let me not mention something uglier, like that

21     we are spies and so on.

22             But, anyhow, these are, in my view, individuals who did not

23     understand or know, or probably did not even want to know, what were the

24     security organ's activities in the JNA and later on in the VRS.  Because

25     one and the same rules were in force in both.

Page 15050

 1        Q.   Thank you, Colonel.  Now that we are on this page.  Let us have a

 2     look at point 25.  Thank you.  Can you also please show point 25 in

 3     English.

 4             Methods that you were asked about yesterday are discussed here.

 5     You were asked questions about this in the examination-in-chief.  On page

 6     17, you were asked something about that.  It says:

 7             "Information on the methods and means for the work of security

 8     organs and results obtained by their implication constitute a military

 9     secret at the strictly confidential level unless they are classified as

10     state secret.

11             "The officers managing security organs, persons serving in these

12     organs, and other persons who come into contact on whatever basis with

13     information within the competence of security organs are obliged to

14     protect that information according to the regulations in effect on the

15     protection of secrecy.

16             "The obligation to protect information under paragraph 2 of this

17     item continues after the end of service in security organs, or after the

18     end of service in the armed forces."

19             And so on.

20             You were asked many questions yesterday about why a brigade

21     commander did not need to know that one of his soldiers was in

22     communication with someone abroad.  You answered that it did not prevent

23     the commander to command such a person like any other soldier.

24             My question is this:  In case you informed all commanding

25     officers at all levels, from battalion to the corps, would be -- would

Page 15051

 1     there be a greater degree of leakage of information that such measures

 2     were applied to a specific soldier than if only one specific officer was

 3     informed about that?

 4        A.   It's certain that there would be greater consequence, especially

 5     at the lower level than if only the corps commander was informed about

 6     this.  I said yesterday that I could have informed the brigade commander

 7     of the fact that he had a security problem in his unit, that the problem

 8     had been noticed, or perhaps a counter-intelligence problem.  But until

 9     light was shed on this case, and until the character of the activity was

10     fully established, we could not inform the commander of that.  Or else, I

11     also mentioned another possibility.  If we assessed that he was a

12     sufficiently mature man who realized the nature of security organ's work,

13     then possibly he could have been indirectly told this.  Like, for

14     example, Listen comrade, in your unit have you a problem which we are

15     trying to resolve by our methods and means.  Once we do resolve it, you

16     will be informed what this is all about.

17             So that was more or less the communication and the mind set that

18     were the basis of such contacts and information.

19        Q.   Can you please tell the Trial Chamber, was any intelligence

20     concealed from a brigade commander if he needed it to command the brigade

21     and the individuals on whom such methods were applied?  Did you conceal

22     from him information about the enemy or was it just the methods of your

23     work?  Thank you.

24        A.   It never happened that from a unit commander, at any level

25     whatsoever, from a battalion commander onwards, would not receive

Page 15052

 1     information about the enemy, the situation on the front, whatever was of

 2     vital importance for the unit.

 3             Your Honours, our practice was to receive intelligence from the

 4     sector headed by General Tolimir; that is to say, from the Main Staff,

 5     and forward them in their original form to the lower levels of command;

 6     that is to say, to the brigade commanders and brigade commands, so that

 7     they could acquaint themselves in more detail with whatever was happening

 8     within and without the corps zone of responsibility.  That is to say,

 9     this just didn't happen.

10        Q.   Thank you.  This is my question:  The brigade commander who was

11     not informed about you applying methods against a soldier who was

12     maintaining communication with a foreign country, was it useful for him

13     to know or not know that you were, for instance, secretly listening to

14     this communication?

15        A.   The unit benefitted from this, of course.  And how do I mean

16     that?  In the sense that you would resolve the security problem.  Because

17     if you say that someone was maintaining communication with the enemy

18     side, then, of course, once you eliminated such an individual, the enemy

19     would have one source of information less.  And that was reflected in the

20     unit.  And personally, as the unit commander, he would have nothing,

21     either positive or negative, from that.  Perhaps it would be a negative

22     impact if the activity continued and then a breakthrough of enemy forces

23     may have occurred in one section of the front, for which this individual

24     may have said -- and I'm fast again, I apologise.  Where the defence was

25     the weakest and so on.  This is the sense in which I mean there could

Page 15053

 1     have been a negative impact.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  And were these methods applied precisely to establish

 3     whether this individual was doing any harm to the unit and the brigade

 4     commander himself?

 5        A.   I have to explain something in my answer to this question.

 6             The JNA security organs used certain methods in their work.  Some

 7     of these methods we could apply on a daily basis without any particular

 8     approval.  These were the methods such as a counter-intelligence

 9     assessment, work with an associate, or to try to translate that that

10     meant establishing operative communication and having contacts in MUP.

11     Then also interviews.  And we also had other methods of work which

12     violated the privacy and freedom of individuals, such as secret

13     monitoring and recording, secret listening to telephone communications

14     and other communications, secret monitoring of mail, and so on.  These

15     were methods for which we needed approval to be able to use them.  We

16     needed legal approval, and this was strictly observed.

17             Before the war, such an approval could only be given by an army

18     commander or the federal secretary.  During the war, as I said, the

19     commander of the Main Staff and the level of the corps commander could

20     give such an approval.  These secret methods were something that we

21     sometimes needed in order to prove or clarify or resolve fully a specific

22     security problem.

23             Essentially such methods exist everywhere.  It's no secret that

24     such methods are applied.  The biggest secret is who do you apply them

25     to.  That is essentially the character of the application of such

Page 15054

 1     methods.

 2        Q.   [Overlapping speakers]

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  [Overlapping speakers]... please wait for the

 4     translation to be finished.

 5             I would like to get one clarification.

 6             You are commenting on the rules of 1984, and you stated at the

 7     beginning of your last answer:

 8             "The JNA security organs used certain methods in their work ..."

 9             You were referring to the JNA.  Did these rules for the JNA also

10     apply for the VRS?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.  Yes,

12     these rules were adopted by the Army of Republika Srpska, and they were

13     used in the work of the VRS.  This is why in some of my answers I say

14     "the JNA"; whereas, I should actually say "the VRS."

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  Do you recall in which way

16     they were adopted for use in the VRS?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that we received a written

18     order concerning this from the Main Staff.  It said the rules which had

19     been in force in the former JNA should be applied and have been adopted

20     and are to be applied in the Army of Republika Srpska.  At the time, as

21     we were as yet setting up, our structures did not have any specific

22     rules, and considering that the army mainly included officers of the

23     former JNA, then this was a decision that was only logical.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

25             Mr. Tolimir, now please carry on.

Page 15055

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Colonel, in the VRS, was the continuity of the Federal Republic

 4     of Yugoslavia recognised internally and externally through application

 5     and abidance by the rules regulations?

 6        A.   Yes.  It could be an interpretation of the situation, yes.

 7        Q.   Could a security organ, at any point apply any methods on his own

 8     initiative, including, for instance, the method of opening letters?

 9        A.   That was forbidden, and security organs always made sure that

10     checks and controls were applied.  We had to abide by the legal

11     framework.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Let us now look at Article 50 of the same rules,

13     which can be found on the 14th page of the Serbian and 18th of the

14     English version.  Thank you.

15             Article 50 should be on page 31 of the rules.  Article 50.

16     Page 20 in the English version.  Thank you.

17             Yes, we can see it.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you can move the Serbian version

19     to the left so that Article 50 is clearly seen.

20             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   And it is stated there, I'm quoting:

22             "For improper relations in performing duties within their

23     competence and for ... failure to abide by or a violation of the

24     provisions of these rules, officers in security organs are called to

25     account according to the general regulations."

Page 15056

 1             My question to you is the following:  In such a case, would an

 2     officer be brought before either disciplinary organs or criminal or legal

 3     organs; in other words, courts?

 4        A.   Yes, he would be responsible before them.  Not only would such a

 5     person be excluded from the activities of the security organs.  Persons

 6     like that would fall under the measures that are to be applied in such

 7     cases.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  On page 49, there was quite a lot of mention of the

 9     instruction and you said that you would really like to see this document.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have P1112 on our

11     screens.

12             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Because that is the instructions you were asked about during the

14     interview and also during the direct examination here.  Thank you.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   These are instructions on command and control over the security

18     and intelligence organs of the VRS.  And we will read just one segment:

19             "Lately, frequent problems, failures, and irregularities have

20     been registered in command and control over the security and intelligence

21     organs at all levels of command in the VRS, diminishing the efficiency of

22     intelligence and counter-intelligence work in the VRS and leading to

23     failures and problems which endanger the security of units and commands.

24     The events observed generally arise from insufficient knowledge about the

25     field of work of these organs and their competencies and authority

Page 15057

 1     regarding the VRS by some of the commanders at all levels of command?

 2             "With the aim of preventing these and similar problems in control

 3     of the security and intelligence organs and creating better conditions

 4     for their more effective use, I hereby issue the following

 5     instructions ..."

 6             And this is my question based off of the text:  And let me first

 7     ask you whether you remember having received this document at the time it

 8     was issued to the units?  Thank you.

 9        A.   Most probably.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Can you tell us what is the difference between

11     instructions, an order, and a directive?  Thank you.

12        A.   Well, this is -- or these are instructions which is something

13     that represents guide-lines; and directive is in -- binding.  It's an

14     order.  So that's the central difference between the two.

15        Q.   Thank you.  In other words this document is neither an order nor

16     a directive.  It's just instructions, as you confirmed a moment ago.

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Thank you.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see the

20     following page of the document.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for Mr. Tolimir.

22             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   There is eight items in total and once you've had an opportunity

24     to go through them, we'll move to the next page.  So you will tell us

25     once you've finished, and then we'll just see the signature as well.

Page 15058

 1     Thank you.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Next page, please, so

 3     that we can see the signature as well.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Judge Nyambe has a question.

 5             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Yes, thank you.

 6             I just need you to explain for me again the central difference

 7     between an instruction, guide-lines, and directive.  Thank you.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand

 9     instructions as a document which provides advice; whereas, directive is

10     an order.  I also mentioned a different document, a report or an

11     information, which is a document that presents information.  Such an

12     information provides you with a newly obtained information, so I made a

13     distinction between three types of documents.  I hope I defined

14     them.

15             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, now your next question.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

18             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Under item 8, we see a paragraph saying:

20             "Forward these instructions and inform of their contents all

21     commanders of units and institutions, down to battalion level."

22             In other words, this is something which has a purpose of only

23     informing the officers about the rules and regulations for their

24     activities.  It is signed by assistant commander which means that the

25     commander wasn't there.

Page 15059

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now I would like to ask the

 2     e-court to go to the next page.  Here we can see item number 2.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   "The security and intelligence organs are directly commanded by

 5     the commander of the unit or institution of which they form part, but

 6     with regard to professional activities they are controlled centrally by

 7     the security and intelligence organs of the superior command.  This

 8     indicates their full independence in the implementation of intelligence

 9     and counter-intelligence tasks ..."

10             Is this independence to the effect of command independence in

11     corps and brigades?

12        A.   No, Your Honours.  My understanding of the document at the time

13     of the first reading of it, as well as now, refers to independence in

14     security and counter-intelligence activities, because this is where I'm

15     an expert in.  I'm not an expert in command.

16        Q.   Thank you.  If commanders receive a document of this type, is it

17     clear to them that they are not supposed to get involved in the expert

18     line of work of security organs?

19        A.   Your Honours, the instructions we see before us are a result of

20     some irregularities that had occurred in the period preceding it and had

21     been observed in some units within the process of control and command

22     over the security organs.  Namely, some commanders - and I'm speaking of

23     levels above battalion command and battalion commander - there was lack

24     of good understanding of what the activities of security organs should

25     be.  There were also some security organs who may have not known or who

Page 15060

 1     may have not carried out their duties properly, and this is what I

 2     referred to when I said that we were not beyond reach.

 3        Q.   The instructions, does that represent expert guide-lines issued

 4     to commanders and security organs with a purpose of telling them how to

 5     properly apply the rules and regulations?

 6        A.   That's how I understood it.  I think we can see it somewhere in

 7     the document.  The purpose was to remove the irregularities, and with an

 8     aim of achieving better co-operation which would benefit the unit and the

 9     command structure.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Since there was a lot of discussion yesterday about

11     trust or lack of trust during the direct examination, when we look at the

12     document, is this issue what is being discussed in it or is it just about

13     abiding by the law?

14        A.   My understanding of the instructions was that everyone was told

15     to abide by the rules and regulations in their activity and within their

16     competence.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Do you know from your practice that there were cases

18     where a commander would be against the fact that security organs were

19     informing their professional superiors about problems that can endanger

20     the security of the unit or institution?

21        A.   Going through your documents, documents sent by the Main Staff I

22     mean, not only this set of instructions but other information and reports

23     we received, I received intelligence about some brigade commanders and

24     corps commanders - and I'm talking about that level because they're of

25     main interest here.  So I did hear that some commanders would be opening

Page 15061

 1     the mail of the security organs, that they would not allow for the codes

 2     to be used before they had read the documents, that they would not allow

 3     the security organ to use an official vehicle or even a phone.  So it was

 4     logical, after such events and practice, that the superior institution

 5     would issue guide-lines in order to introduce some order.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Could you please tell us what would be the reason for

 7     brigade commanders to gain insight into reports submitted by security

 8     organs in relation to problems within the zone of responsibility of the

 9     unit?

10        A.   Your Honours, my understanding of this is -- well, we have a

11     saying in our language where we say that for some, even war is good.

12     Nobody can say that everyone was clear, and some people even profited

13     from the war.  And I believe that the conflicts between people were

14     mainly caused by this trend.  Some people were more focussed on their

15     financial gains than on situation on the front.  So if a security organ

16     would notice something like that and report about it, then one could --

17     one would expect a conflict between his superior officer, his commander,

18     and himself, and I believe that that was mainly, almost exclusively, the

19     case.

20             There were units and commanders who were superiors to their

21     relatives, people from the same village, from the same neighbourhood, and

22     maybe some people were treated better than others, and reports were also

23     made about such trends.  There were some unit officers who would receive

24     money from people who were not part of the unit.  These people would be

25     giving money to commanders so that they don't actually have to be in the

Page 15062

 1     unit although the unit would have it on its roster.  Security organs

 2     would report about that and that was another source of conflict.

 3             I don't want to say also that all security organs were people

 4     beyond blame, but I believe they were more responsible in their work at

 5     that level.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  It is time for a break.  Just one last

 7     question before that.

 8             Were security organs duty-bound to report along their

 9     professional lines to their professional organs of their superior command

10     and that they were not doing so because they wanted to work against their

11     own brigade?

12        A.   Your Honours, they had to report because that was within their

13     job description.  This was not spying on the brigade itself.  Such an

14     occurrence would mean that a commander who is suspicious of such

15     activities is completely ignorant of what the work of security organs

16     actually entails.

17             I was trying to explain to the commanders all the time that they

18     were the first element of security in their unit, that it was not us.

19     Anything that goes on in the unit, starting with morale, the situation at

20     the front, people abandoning positions, sabotage.  This all goes through

21     them because they were the person number one in good or bad, and we were

22     there to assist them.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer.

24             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I know we're at the break.  I was

25     wondering if we could get an estimate from the Defence as to their

Page 15063

 1     remaining time for cross-examination.  We have had a witness available to

 2     go, and if we're not going to reach him I'd rather not have him sit

 3     around for another hour and a half or so.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I was just going to ask Mr. Tolimir as well.

 5             Can you give us an estimation about the length of the remainder

 6     of your cross-examination?  Have you any idea?

 7             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

 8             I won't need more than 20 minutes, because I had foreseen some

 9     time for re-examination.  If Mr. Thayer will have no questions, we can

10     immediately continue with the next witness.  I can make my questions even

11     shorter, hoping that the witness will provide short answers.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

13             Mr. Thayer, can you indicate how much time you need for

14     re-examination?

15             MR. THAYER:  I have two very brief areas, Mr. President.  Perhaps

16     five to ten minutes at this point.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I think it is not very probable that we really

18     can begin with the next witness, perhaps only five to ten minutes.  I

19     think this is not appropriate for the witness and for understanding of

20     the whole procedure.

21             In my view, the witness should be released and come back next

22     week.

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

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We adjourn and resume at five minutes past 1.00.

25                           --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.

Page 15064

 1                           --- On resuming at 1.07 p.m.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

 4             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Mitrovic, we looked at the instructions, and we saw they were

 6     sent in order to have a better co-ordination between the different

 7     organs.  We could also see that it came about because there were some

 8     reasons to improve the work of security organs, et cetera?

 9             Were security organs duty-bound to report only on matters as

10     prescribed by the law and regulations or could they report on just about

11     anything?  Perhaps you can tell us, based on your previous work

12     experience with security organs.

13        A.   Your Honours, security organs had to work in accordance with the

14     regulations when reporting on only those matters that had to do with the

15     combat readiness of a unit and anything that had to do with the security

16     situation in the unit itself and its area of responsibility.  They were

17     not interested in any other information, and they did not report any

18     other information.

19             In any case, I don't see what other matters would be interesting

20     during a war, other than to report on the combat readiness of a unit.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Yesterday at page 53 of the transcript during

22     examination-in-chief in line 11 you were asked whether you had to report

23     to Tolimir or was it sufficient to report to Salapura, and you said that

24     you reported to the security or intelligence administration and that they

25     in turn most likely informed the commander and that they exchanged

Page 15065

 1     information.

 2             My question is this:  Please tell us clearly, did you have to

 3     report directly to me, in addition to reporting to Beara or Salapura, or

 4     was it enough to send the report to your superior; and then, that

 5     superior, had his obligation, vis-a-vis my position, as per

 6     establishment?

 7        A.   I believe I addressed that yesterday, Your Honours.  I reported

 8     to my first immediate subordinate -- superior.  In this case, the

 9     security administration, Captain Beara, and the intelligence

10     administration, Colonel Salapura.  They, in turn, had their own duties

11     and obligations towards you.

12        Q.   Thank you.  When you receive some information from your

13     subordinate, from a brigade or corps, do they have to inform you on every

14     single thing they receive from their subordinates or can they decide what

15     things to report to you?

16        A.   Your Honour, they did not report on just about everything they

17     received in their battalion reports.  They have to make an assessment as

18     to the importance for the security situation of the unit or its area of

19     responsibility.

20        Q.   Does the same apply at all other levels, such as the level of

21     corps, Main Staff, administrations, and sectors?

22        A.   Yes.  That was our practice.  We used teletype, and, hence,

23     information had to be brief and concise, as well as clear.  To achieve

24     that, only the basic elements had to be included.  Any detailed reporting

25     could have been done through personal contact.

Page 15066

 1        Q.   Thank you.  If we turn the process around, if we -- there are

 2     documents arriving from higher levels, such as the Main Staff and the

 3     administrations, does this command principle apply as well, in order to

 4     have people informed along professional lines?

 5        A.   Let's be specific.  If I received an instruction, a guide-line,

 6     or another document from the -- either security administration or sector

 7     that you were the head of, depending on the importance of that

 8     information and suggestions, I had to acquaint my subordinate organs with

 9     it.  That is how such direction was forwarded to lower levels.  In such

10     instances, I also suggested to them to convey that information to their

11     subordinate levels, to the level of battalion.

12        Q.   Along both command and professional lines, could superiors ask

13     for the original piece of information used to inform them of events, be

14     it -- whether that information came from the level of battalion, brigade,

15     or any other level?

16        A.   I am not clear about the question.  What do you mean exactly?

17        Q.   Let's put it this way.  If I received a piece of information from

18     Salapura and Beara, after they made their assessment, did I have the

19     right to ask for the original piece of information you had sent to them,

20     in order to have a full insight on how this information was passed on to

21     me?

22        A.   Yes.  This was also part of the practice we used.  If there were

23     any -- if there was anything that was not clear, it needed clarification.

24     If one moves from one level to the next, the information becomes more

25     concise, and if something became clear -- unclear in the process, of

Page 15067

 1     course, I could ask for the original piece, to see whether something was

 2     omitted when summarising that information.

 3        Q.   Was the principle of subordination abided by within the command

 4     structure and the principle of levels in the professional system when it

 5     comes to communication with one's first, second, or third subordinate?

 6             Let me put an example.  Could I, without your knowledge, address

 7     a security organ that is subordinate to you in Kljuc or Petrovac, or did

 8     I have to go through you?  And the same applies to other levels above

 9     yours.

10        A.   It was standard procedure in our army that when a guest arrives,

11     he or she should make it known to the host.  In other words, when I went

12     to one of my brigades to see my security organ, I first went to see the

13     brigade commander to let him know that I had come to his unit with a

14     specific intention in mind.  And then I would go on working with my

15     subordinate.  The same practice was followed by you, and I believe I

16     mentioned that in my earlier testimony in the Beara case.

17             When you came, you first came to the corps command.  You made it

18     known to the corps commander.  It was only then that I would come to see

19     you or you would come to my office.  You also told the commander the

20     reason of you being there.  It was only logical when you toured the

21     security organs to have my subordinates briefing you in my presence.

22        Q.   Yesterday there was some discussion about trust or a lack of

23     trust.  You were asked whether some information could be hidden from

24     Tolimir and what the consequences may have been.

25             I'm asking this now:  Did Tolimir trust Salapura and Beara enough

Page 15068

 1     to believe what they forwarded to him rather than trying to contact --

 2     contact their subordinates?  Did he -- did Tolimir accept information he

 3     received from them?

 4        A.   I believe there was this mutual trust, because they were your

 5     closest associates.  Subordinates, they were your subordinates who had

 6     their own respective security organs.  If you hadn't trusted them or if

 7     they had falsely informed you, the consequences would have been grave.  I

 8     would not have an assistant who -- whom I don't trust.

 9        Q.   On page 62, you discussed the military police battalion, and you

10     said that all reports came to Keserovic who was the chief of MP

11     department in the security administration.

12             My question is this:  Did Keserovic have to acquaint Beara, who

13     was his superior professionally, with all of the reports he had received,

14     or could he make a selection of it?  Did he have to acquaint his

15     commander with every single piece of information and document he received

16     from the military police?

17        A.   Your Honours, he didn't have to forward all the information.  He

18     probably made a summary report on the basis of the information he had

19     received from the battalions.  He probably made a report which

20     contained -- which contained enough information to paint a picture of

21     what was being done in the various units during that day, such as where

22     the forces were engaged, and so on.  It was standard practice that not

23     all reports were forwarded but that a summary report was made.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Earlier you talked about one organ being removed

25     because of his disagreements with the commander.  This is my question:

Page 15069

 1     Were there cases when security organs in our services did not inform us

 2     about something and concealed something so that the commanders wouldn't

 3     be held responsible for that or that some sort of information would not

 4     reach somebody else?  It could have been for personal fear for

 5     themselves.  Therefore you may have learned about some things only after

 6     the war.  Did that happen?  Thank you.

 7        A.   In the corps' zone of responsibility I did not have such

 8     situations because I supported the security organs.  At the same time, I

 9     had good relations with the brigade commanders.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Please, D64 is the document that we would now need to

11     see in the e-court.

12             While we are waiting for it to come up on the screen, I have to

13     say that it's a document from the intelligence department of the

14     Drina Corps, and the date is the 19th of July.  It is sent to the forward

15     command post --

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Can the accused please slow down with the

17     information because we cannot interpret at this speed.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Please slow down.  The interpreters can't catch

19     everything you are saying if you are so fast.

20             Please continue.  And check the date, please.  In the list of

21     documents it is said that it is a document from the 12th of July, 1995.

22     Perhaps you misspoke on page 72, line 6.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  The document dates from

24     the 12th of July, 1995.

25             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

Page 15070

 1        Q.   And so as not to waste too much time, reconnaissance enabled us

 2     to have the information that the Muslims from Srebrenica would decide to

 3     carry out a breakthrough.  But they wanted to represent this as an attack

 4     of the VRS against the demilitarised zone.  And when this was learned,

 5     there was an order to register all those who surrendered themselves or

 6     were taken prisoner or who were leaving the territory but were able

 7     bodied.  Can we please have a look at the second page now.  Thank you.

 8             Page 2 says in the second paragraph:

 9             "Considering that it is very important to arrest as many members

10     of the shattered Muslim units as possible, or liquidate them if they

11     resist, it is equally important to note down the names of all men fit for

12     military service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in

13     Potocari.  The old BP will brief the MUP organs in their respective zones

14     of responsibility on the information received."

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please show the first

16     page in e-court so that the witness could see what I'm asking him about.

17             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   As this was disseminated to all security organs in the

19     Drina Corps, to General Krstic, Colonel General Popovic as the chief, and

20     also the chief of security in the Bratunac Brigade who is the first

21     listed.  He said before this Tribunal that he did not receive this

22     document and that he never saw it.  Is it possible for a security organ

23     not to receive a document which is sent encoded by telegram?  Thank you.

24        A.   I don't believe that something like that is possible.  Maybe only

25     if somebody else, the person in charge of encryption, decided not to

Page 15071

 1     forward the document, which would be really bad, or if the commander of

 2     the unit took the document and didn't give it to the security organ.  I

 3     did not have such a case in my units, that I did not receive a document

 4     that was addressed to me.

 5        Q.   Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Please clarify your question so that we have it

 7     clear on the record.  You said:

 8             "... also the chief of security in the Bratunac Brigade was the

 9     first listed."

10             Can you please state the name of this person so that we can have

11     a reference to his testimony.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Here is the reference:

13     He testified here on the 7th of April 2010, on page 12513, in lines 13 to

14     14, he said the following:  "I cannot say" --

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can you please state the name of this witness.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about Mr. Nikolic.

18     Thank you.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  That is all what I wanted --

20     [Overlapping speakers] ...

21             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Mr. Nikolic said the following:

23             "I cannot say with full certainty, but I think that I did not see

24     this document before."

25             He also said that he was not aware of a report which was sent

Page 15072

 1     also on the 12th of July.  It was sent on the 9th of June but to Bratunac

 2     Brigade, to the commander and others, to take into account about the

 3     international law of war on the occasion of taking Srebrenica.

 4             And he said on the 12th of April, on one 12620, that is the page:

 5             "This order, this document is something I have not seen before."

 6             This is an example of how a security organ may sometimes for

 7     certain reasons deny that he was informed about something.  Did that

 8     happen in practice, in the Army of Republika Srpska?  Thank you.

 9        A.   Your Honours, I cannot talk about the Army of Republika Srpska.

10     I can just say that in my zone of responsibility and the security organs

11     that I controlled, something like that could not happen.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Let us now have a look at what, on the 6th of April,

13     2011, Mr. Nikolic said for the record.  On page 12405 [realtime

14     transcript read in error "12404"], lines 15 to 25, I asked him whether

15     the Muslim men surrendered to you practically on that road, and he

16     answered:

17             "Yes.  As we were moving towards Konjevic Polje, at some point

18     after Sandici, Pervani, or I don't know exactly but along that road we

19     caught up with a group of six Muslim men who were walking.  We stopped

20     the APC and we got the six Muslims into the APC and then we brought them

21     to Konjevic Polje.  We stopped the APC in Konjevic Polje in an area that

22     was in front of the intersection, and I said to Mirko -- or rather, to

23     Mile Petrovic, that the prisoners should be taken to where the others

24     were.

25             "After a while Mile Petrovic returned.  I was sitting right there

Page 15073

 1     by the intersection.  On the left-hand side there is a house when you're

 2     coming from Bratunac."

 3             On page 12405, in lines 1 to 6, he sayings the following --

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, you should come to your question.

 5             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 6             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Is it possible for a security organ not to report the superior

 8     officer about something for some reason, whether the reason may be fear

 9     or something else?

10        A.   In my view, such reasons should not exist.  Perhaps you may not

11     be able to report at a specific moment, because you don't have

12     communications equipment available but it was your duty and you were

13     obliged to report your superiors about what you learned or saw, as soon

14     as you could get hold a piece of communications equipment.

15        Q.   Let us see what is in the record.  Page 12404, lines 5 to 16,

16     this is what Mr. Nikolic said here before the Tribunal:

17             "I asked him what have you done?  And he said there was a yellow

18     co-operative building right there and then there is this small river, and

19     he said that he took these people behind this yellow building and killed

20     them.  I didn't go there to see whether he had actually killed them or

21     not.  Quite simply, I was sick of everything.  I didn't do anything about

22     it.  As I've said a countless number of times so far, I didn't do

23     anything about it, and I should have done something about it.  I should

24     have reported it Celanovic."

25             It's the lawyer.

Page 15074

 1             "I said to Celanovic what happened but I didn't do anything

 2     official.  I did not take any official measures and I think was supposed

 3     to have done so."

 4             And my question is this:  Because he did not report the incident

 5     that he talked about, could anyone who is in professionally or in command

 6     terms in charge of this from his brigade or corps, could be deemed

 7     responsible and taken to account for this?

 8        A.   If you say that he did not report, then it's his responsibility.

 9     It cannot be the responsibility of his superior in any sense.  Because

10     the incident was not known because of the fact that he did not report it.

11     If that's what you had in mind.

12        Q.   Thank you.  I had this incident in mind because when we talked

13     about trust or lack thereof, there might be a reason not to inform about

14     something for reasons of trust or lack thereof and there may be a reason

15     to conceal something, as it was the case here.  Isn't it difficult to

16     take any measures against the perpetrators in such cases if one doesn't

17     even know that a crime has been committed?  Thank you.

18        A.   It is clear to everyone that you cannot do anything if you're not

19     aware that a crime has been committed and if you are not aware of a

20     situation.  How can I do something if I don't know that that something

21     did happen?

22        Q.   All right.  If you don't know about something that happened in

23     the brigade and if the security and intelligence organ from the brigade

24     failed to inform you about that, can you then take any measures relating

25     to the activity that happened or will the commander hold you responsible

Page 15075

 1     for what happened?  Thank you.

 2        A.   I repeat, I cannot take measures if I don't know that something

 3     happened and I have not been informed about that.  That means I cannot

 4     inform my superior that it happened, because I have no idea it did until

 5     someone reports to me about that.  Therefore, I cannot be held

 6     responsible for something that was not reported to me.

 7        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.  Thank you for the answers you gave

 8     during the examination.  Thank you for everything.  I wish you a happy

 9     return to your home and family.  God bless you.  And I hope you may live

10     long and enjoy your old age retirement.

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has

12     completed its examination and has no further questions for this witness.

13     Thank you.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  One correction for the

16     record.  On page 76, Mr. Tolimir made a reference to page 12404, in fact

17     it was page 12405 he was reading from.

18             Mr. Thayer, your re-examination please.  I hope ten minutes are

19     enough for your examination.

20             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  It should be.

21             May we have P01112, please.

22                           Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:

23        Q.   And good afternoon to you, Colonel.

24        A.   Good afternoon.

25        Q.   Colonel, you were shown this document, these instructions that we

Page 15076

 1     saw were issued under General Mladic's name.  And if we go to the last

 2     page in both versions, I think in your interview and in your Popovic

 3     testimony you were able to recognise whose initials or whose signature

 4     this was, signing for General Mladic.

 5             Do you remember that, and can you tell us who actually signed

 6     the -- these instructions on behalf of General Mladic?

 7        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, Your Honours, it is clearly visible here that the

 8     signature is for, there is this word "for" the commander.  And below that

 9     is General Tolimir's signature.

10             So he signed it in lieu of the commander.

11        Q.   Okay.  And you remember the questions about what the difference

12     is between an instruction and a directive and your answers about that, do

13     you not?  That was just a few moments ago, before we broke the last time.

14        A.   Yes, I remember.

15        Q.   And if we look -- if we can go back to the first page of this

16     document, we can see that, indeed, it has the heading "Instructions,"

17     correct?  And when we see, for example, a combat order that will almost

18     certainly say the word "order" or "naredjenje" or -- forgive me for the

19     mispronunciation, but it will say "order," would you agree with that?

20        A.   Yes, you pronounced in properly.

21        Q.   Now if we could go back to the last page in both versions, I want

22     to take you to two paragraphs that General Tolimir did not show you when

23     he used this document with and just give you a chance to look at them a

24     little bit more closely, and I just want to ask you a couple of questions

25     about this.

Page 15077

 1             If we look at paragraph 7, let's start with paragraph 7, it says:

 2             "Monitoring of the professionalism, legality, and correctness of

 3     the work of the security and intelligence organs shall be carried out

 4     exclusively by the first superior organs for security and intelligence

 5     affairs, except in that part of the their engagement relating to command

 6     and staff affairs."

 7             And if we look at the next paragraph, it says:

 8             "Commanders and other officers at all levels who are in charge of

 9     security and intelligence organs must strictly adhere to these

10     instructions."

11             Now, I don't want to focus necessarily on the substance of these

12     two paragraphs.  What I want to focus on, for example, in paragraph 7, is

13     where General Mladic uses the word "shall" and in paragraph 8, where,

14     again, General Mladic uses the word "must" when he says that not only

15     security and intelligence officers but commanders must strictly adhere to

16     these instructions.

17             Now, you told us earlier today that - and I quote - this is at

18     page 49, and you were speaking to General Tolimir:  "We understood" --

19     you said:

20             "Perhaps my terminology was a bit rough when I said 'orders,' but

21     this what we understood your documents to be.  Anything coming from you

22     or the Main Staff was considered as such."

23             So when General Mladic says, "You shall," and, "You must," did

24     you, as a subordinate officer, feel like you had any choice about the

25     matter?

Page 15078

 1        A.   Mr. Prosecutor, Your Honours, you are right when you say, "You

 2     shall," and, "You must," then it is an order.  It is nicely formulated

 3     what your obligations are.  I mean, your superior formulated it nicely

 4     when he says, "You shall," "You must," and he does not say, "I order you"

 5     because this is military style or it is more tough.  This is nicely

 6     formulated.  "You shall" or "You must" do that, so it can be translated

 7     to mean that it's a sort of order.

 8             But as I said, I stand by what I said, that the instruction has

 9     the character of advice.  It points to a problem and suggests how a

10     problem can be resolved.  And this is what items 7 and 8 actually refer

11     to, how to resolve the problem.

12        Q.   And again, though, when we look at, for example, paragraph 8,

13     understanding that what we have here is what has been headed

14     "Instructions," how did you treat, when you look at paragraph 8, this

15     statement that "Commanders and other officers at all levels who are in

16     charge of security and intelligence organs must strictly adhere to these

17     instructions"?

18             Did you have any choice whether or not to strictly adhere to

19     these instructions?

20        A.   Looking at this paragraph where it is stated that commanders and

21     other officers at all levels who are in charge, this mention of other

22     officers, in my reading, these are the superior officers of the security

23     organ.

24             So the commanders and superior officers of security organs shall

25     strictly abide by the instruction.  There is no choice there.  You cannot

Page 15079

 1     say, No, I will -- No I won't, Yes, I will.  You have to do it.

 2        Q.   Okay.  I have just one more quick question, Colonel, and if I may

 3     exceed by a couple of minutes, Mr. President.

 4             You testified earlier today - this is at page 50 - that:

 5             "No assistant at any level, assistant commander, this is what I

 6     mean, had authority under any rule, tactical rule, to command forces.

 7     Such authority and responsibility lay exclusively with the commander."

 8             And for the record that's a proposition that the Prosecution

 9     generally agrees with.  My question to you, Colonel, is, in your

10     experience, did a commander, whether it be a brigade commander, corps

11     commander, or General Mladic himself, always retain the authority to

12     delegate part of his command authority to someone else?

13        A.   Hmm, yes.  The commander is irreplaceable.  That's a fact.  The

14     commander could, for instance, when he is absent from the unit for a

15     longer period, when is he away on vacations, when he is ill or wounded,

16     then a written document is drafted specifying who would be in his place

17     throughout that period and what authorities the officer standing in for

18     him will have.  In our positive regulation, it was regulated in this way.

19             Also - and I'm now giving examples - when General Milovanovic was

20     standing in for the commander, General Mladic, there was no document

21     where you could find "for" and then Tolimir, as we have here.  This type

22     of signature you will find when the commander is absent for a short

23     period, but when he is away for a longer period then it's going to be

24     either "standing in for commander" or "acting commander," let's say Marko

25     Markovic.

Page 15080

 1             I don't know whether you see the difference here.  When the

 2     commander is absent for a longer period, then Marko Markovic is standing

 3     in for him and you can see that written.  And when he is absent for a

 4     short period, then you will see this type of signature "for General

 5     Mladic, Tolimir."

 6        Q.   And I think we are all understand the circumstances you are

 7     describing, Colonel, but what I want to focus is on a different set of

 8     circumstances, not when a commander is taken ill or is outside of his

 9     area of responsibility.  I'm referring to a situation where a commander

10     may be in a complex situation or a commander can't be in more than one

11     place at a given time.  Are you aware of circumstances under which a

12     commander retains his ability to command in his area of responsibility

13     but has multiple tasks that need to be achieved wherein he delegates a

14     portion of his command authority to a designated officer in order to

15     carry out the commander's intentions, with respect to a certain task.

16             Are you familiar with such circumstances, Colonel?

17        A.   Yes, yes.  I think there was a little bit of a misunderstanding

18     between you and myself when I was giving the previous answer.

19             Of course, the regulations provided for establishment of forward

20     command posts, of the Main Staff, various corps and so on, along the axis

21     where the commander believed they should be, where the situation is

22     critical.  For instance, in the zone of the 2nd Krajina Corps, we had a

23     forward command post of the Main Staff in Drvar, and the top-ranking

24     officer who was there acting on behalf of the commander was

25     General Milovanovic, together with a number of officers from the

Page 15081

 1     Main Staff who assisted him in commanding the units of VRS.  That was the

 2     standard practice, if that's what you were referring to, and such forward

 3     command posts would usually be closer to the front lines than the

 4     regulations provide for the Main Staff itself.  That was a common

 5     practice, yes.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Colonel.

 7             MR. THAYER:  I have no further questions.

 8                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Judge Mindua has a question.

10                           Questioned by the Court:

11             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, Colonel Mitrovic,

12     following your testimony, I have a question of a more general nature to

13     put to you.

14             You confirmed that you attended classes on the Geneva Conventions

15     and on the Additional Protocols, you and your colleagues in the security

16     organs.  So you are familiar with the laws and customs of war.

17             A while ago, on the transcript, on page 77, line 7 to 9, you said

18     something which struck me.  I believe this is extremely important.  The

19     security organ could not report on something it knew nothing about.  It

20     could not report on crimes it was not informed about.  Conversely, crimes

21     it was informed about needed to be reported on.

22             But yesterday on the transcript at page 57, lines 22 to 25, on

23     page 57, lines 22 to 25, you personally regretted the fact that there was

24     no court-martial or war cabinet within the VRS for the period relevant to

25     the indictment.  This is an extremely important remark on your part, and

Page 15082

 1     I agree with you here.

 2             So this is my question of a general nature, Witness.  In the

 3     event of serious crimes committed by an officer or where a VRS soldier at

 4     the time -- or by a VRS soldier at the time, what steps were taken by the

 5     security organs and intelligence organs or by any other organ at the

 6     level of the corps and at the level of the Main Staff to deal with that

 7     kind of situation?  Were there any cases of this nature reported?  Thank

 8     you.

 9        A.   Your Honour, the measures that were available to security organs

10     in such situations would be, first of all, identifying and finding the

11     perpetrator, then arresting him, and prosecuting him.  Or, rather, filing

12     a criminal report to the military prosecutor or military courts.  Those

13     were the measures applied in such situations that measures that were

14     approved and measures that could be taken.

15             In my view, that was not very efficient, at least in the segment

16     I'm familiar with, and I mentioned the court-martials from my own

17     perspective, because I believe that their existence would help introduce

18     better discipline in any group or unit.  And that was the only reason why

19     I mentioned this.  This was what I had in mind when I referred to those

20     courts.

21             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Did such military tribunals exist

22     within the VRS or not?

23        A.   If you are referring to summary court-martials, no, they did not

24     exist.  But if you're referring to military court, yes, they existed.

25     They were established, I think, in late 1992, both the military court and

Page 15083

 1     the military prosecutor's office.

 2             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well.  Thank you.

 3             You did not tell me whether you had any examples of concrete

 4     actions having been reported.  In other words, whether crimes were

 5     identified and, if so, what had been done about them.

 6        A.   I did mention one such example during the interview with me in

 7     2004.  It had to do with murder of prisoners or detainees in the village

 8     of Velagici.  Investigative organs carried out an on-site investigation,

 9     identified the persons, the perpetrators, I think there was 11 or 12 of

10     them, if my memory serves me well.  They were arrested, and they were

11     taken to the military court in Banja Luka.

12             I don't know whether this is sufficient by way of example.  But

13     that's it.

14             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  That's fine

15     for the moment.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Sir, you will be pleased that this concludes your

17     examination here in this trial.  Thank you very much that you were able

18     to come to The Hague again and to assist us with your knowledge.

19             Now are you free to return home and to your normal activities.

20     Thank you very much again.

21             We have to adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow -- on Monday,

22     quarter past 2.00 in this courtroom, and take the opportunity to thank

23     all the staff who assist us for their patience and for the assistance.

24             Thank you very much.  We adjourn.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

Page 15084

 1                           [The witness withdrew]

 2                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,

 3                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of June,

 4                           2011, at 2.15 p.m.