1 Friday, 8 July 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody.
6 If there are no procedural matters, the witness should be brought
7 in, please.
8 I see Mr. Gajic on his feet. Mr. Gajic.
9 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, certain exhibits
10 marked for identification because there were no translation, whether into
11 the Serbian or into the Croatian language, have now been entered into
12 e-court. So by your leave I will read out the exhibit numbers. These
13 are D156, D175, D188, D189, D191, D194, D205, D207, D208, D223, D238,
14 D240, D242, D245, D246, D247, D250, D251, D270, D282, D283, D284, and
15 finally D285. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
17 The witness should be brought in, please.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for the record, these exhibits are no longer
20 MFI'd, but in evidence.
21 Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
23 everyone. If we could go back to P22, maybe it will save a little bit
24 time if we can get it up on the screen while Mr. Butler comes in. It's
25 where we left off.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Mr. Butler. Please sit down.
3 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
5 the truth you made yesterday at the beginning of your testimony still
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. I understand.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
10 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
11 Q. I see you've got your same binder. If you could go to where we
12 left off, it should be tab 4, the six strategic objectives. We also see
13 them up on the screen. And really for our purposes I just want to ask
14 you, looking at number 3:
15 "Establish a corridor in the Drina River valley, that is,
16 eliminate the Drina as a border separating Serbian States."
17 Can you tell us the Drina river valley as you understand it in
18 this document, does that include the area from Srebrenica to Zvornik?
19 A. Yes, sir. That area is generally referred to as the lower Drina
20 valley or lower Podrinje. So that particular geographic area would be
21 encompassed on the west bank of the Drina river.
22 Q. All right. And you talked a little bit yet about the Assembly
23 session in May where these were talked about. Let's go to tab 5, if we
24 could. Were you able to review any minutes of that Assembly meeting?
25 And it should be 65 ter 25.
1 A. Yes, sir, I was.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to page 13 in the English and
4 B/C/S page 12. There we see the front page indicating minutes very
5 briefly. Now if we can go to 13 in the English and 12 in the B/C/S.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, could you take a look in the English, it's the
7 middle of the paragraph -- it's the middle of the page, it's the second
8 paragraph, sort of the last line, it says:
9 "The first such goal is separation from the other two ethnic
10 communities - separation of states."
11 Now, if we go back - and I don't think we need to take the time
12 to do it - but if we go back to page 7 in English we can see that the
13 person that's speaking is Karadzic. Does that fit your recollection of
14 the person that's speaking at this point?
15 A. Yes, sir, it does.
16 Q. All right. And that is the first goal that we saw on the
17 previous document?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. All right. And we see, as we go down, it's page 13 in the B/C/S,
20 paragraph 3 in the B/C/S, but it's still page 13 of the English, where it
21 talks about that -- that third strategic goal that we talked -- that
22 mentioned the Drina river valley and again mentions the elimination of
23 the Drina as a border between two worlds. And we can -- I won't read it
24 all. We can -- we can see it ourselves. It talks about the possibility
25 of some Muslim municipalities to be set up along the Drina as enclaves in
1 order for them to achieve their rights. And it says:
2 "But that belt along the Drina must basically belong to the
3 Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
4 And it talks about strategically useful.
5 Was this a strategic area in your view in some way for the
6 Serbian politic at this -- the politicians at this early stage?
7 A. Yes, sir, it was.
8 Q. And just briefly, what was your understanding of its importance
9 to them?
10 A. If one looks at a map of the Republika Srpska, the key geographic
11 feature is that area along the Drina River which is somewhat narrow but
12 connects the two main bodies of where the ethnic Bosnian Serbs were
13 residing in the Krajina and further down south in Herzegovina. The Drina
14 river valley region in 1992 when the conflict started was primarily
15 populated by Bosnians of Muslim ethnicity. Serbs were the minority in
16 those regions. It was recognised that there could be no chance of
17 success of their political goals. Early on it was to be joined with the
18 remainder of Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time,
19 and then later their own autonomous state if the situation persisted,
20 that they remained the minority population in the Drina valley. So they
21 understood from a geo-political sense that they had to become the
22 dominant force in population in that area in order to secure that
23 territory for the future of the state of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. All right. And I think I'll leave that subject alone for now,
25 but that -- I just -- that is important to get established early on.
1 Now, in your review in your studies and your report, you did mention that
2 you reviewed the laws applicable in the region at the time and the
3 military rules. In your view, did -- were you able to determine whether
4 or not the SFRY, the former Yugoslavia, before the war had a system of
5 laws that reflected the laws of armed conflict as promulgated in the
6 Geneva Conventions?
7 A. Yes, sir. As a component of the criminal code of the former
8 SFRY, one particular section of that code dealt with crimes that were
9 consistent with the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions.
10 Q. And were those laws -- were you able to determine whether those
11 SFRY laws were ever adopted into the RS legal system upon its formation
12 or shortly thereafter?
13 A. Yes, sir. And in 1993 the Bosnian Serb leadership formally took
14 the step of redesignating the criminal code of the SFRY to be the
15 criminal code of the Republika Srpska, with just minor variations.
16 Q. And for the JNA officers, the professional military officers like
17 General Tolimir that were part of the JNA before the war, did they
18 receive any training from their military -- well, rules or programmes in
19 the laws of armed conflict, the Geneva -- the laws of the Geneva
21 A. The armed forces of the former SFRY did publish regulations on
22 how to apply the laws of armed conflict, and they were of course
23 distributed throughout the military. And based on my research and
24 interviews with various former military officers, not only from the
25 Republika Srpska but from other republics that later became independent
1 from Yugoslavia, as a component of the professional development and
2 training of officers at various levels, refresher training was required
3 in these particular conventions.
4 Q. Now, moving on to it becoming the VRS and people --
5 General Mladic, General Tolimir, General Milovanovic, and the others, did
6 the VRS in any way adopt any regulations themselves that would reflect
7 the Geneva Conventions?
8 A. Yes, sir. In fact, very early on in the conflict,
9 President Karadzic, as the president of the then-Bosnian Serb Presidency,
10 passed a decree which directed that the regulations on the application of
11 the law of war to the SFRY apply to the armed conflict and the forces of
12 the Army of the Republika Srpska.
13 Q. All right. And I know you deal with this in your reports, but I
14 would like to go over some of the materials that you have cited regarding
15 this topic. And just briefly, briefly discuss, if we could -- go to tab
16 6, 65 -- and I'm sorry, thank you -- we need to tender 65 ter 25, the
17 Assembly minutes.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 25 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2477. Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now if we could go to 65 ter 28.
22 Q. And it's the next tab, should be tab 6. And we see here this
23 document entitled: "The Main Staff of the Armed Forces of
24 Republika Srpska, Military Prosecutor's Office at the Main Staff of the
25 Armed Forces." And it's entitled: "Guide-lines for Determining the
1 Criteria for Criminal Prosecution."
2 And it's dated down at the bottom -- well, we can't see it on the
3 screen, but it's --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could bring the screen up a little bit
5 maybe we will be able to see the year there. Yes, it should be in both,
6 in the original -- 1992.
7 Q. Can you very briefly tell us what this document is, very briefly,
8 and then we'll go over just a few pieces of it.
9 A. Yes, sir. Early in the conflict, I believe this document is
10 dated to roughly October of 1992, the Main Staff, particularly the
11 military prosecutor's office - which at that time worked and served the
12 Main Staff before it was transferred to the Ministry of Defence - laid
13 out a number of provisions for prosecuting crimes against the armed
14 forces. This not only included acts related to avoiding military service
15 or acts directed against the army, but also directed against crimes that
16 were committed in violation of international law during an armed
17 conflict. This document lays out in general terms those different types
18 of activities and what provisions of law apply as well as in general
19 terms how both the military prosecutors as well as senior officers of the
20 army would be expected to counter these types of criminal acts.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next page in both languages.
23 Sorry, we need to go to the next page in the B/C/S. I'm sorry, the
24 next -- we're fine in the English and, I'm sorry, I don't have the exact
25 B/C/S page. I've just decided to go -- to do this is why. Let's stay
1 with page 2 in the English and I want -- let's go to the next page in the
2 B/C/S -- actually, no, stay right there. It's number 1 that I want to
3 start with.
4 Q. So let's look at the bottom of page 2 in the English, it's also
5 the bottom of the page that we have in the B/C/S, where, I think you'll
6 agree, it lists three main criminal offence categories that it's
7 concerned with prosecuting, and that is the failure to respond to the
8 military call-up is number 1.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Then if we could flip the page in the B/C/S.
10 Could we go to the next page in the B/C/S. Thank you.
11 Q. And then number 2 is wilfully absenting oneself from one's post.
12 So I think we can all understand that failure to call-up and leaving your
13 post are two pretty critical parts of running an army in a war?
14 A. Correct, sir.
15 Q. All right. So let's go to number 3 which is on the next page in
16 English. And here we see number 3, the last number that they have is the
17 criminal offences against humanity and international law pursuant to the
18 chapter of the criminal code.
19 Is this what you were referring to earlier?
20 A. Yes, sir, it is.
21 Q. All right. Let's go to page 7 in the English, should be page 25
22 in the B/C/S. And this is the chapter in this document under number 3
23 that we just saw reflecting the criminal offences against humanity and
24 international law. Yes, that's -- that's where it begins in the B/C/S,
25 but I think if we could just take a look at that in the B/C/S and then go
1 to the next page in the B/C/S is where I just want to ask you a few
2 things of what you think of these. And of course it starts out that
3 the -- as we see, that the legal classification of these criminal
4 offences were adopted from the international conventions.
5 And from your review of this document, would you agree with that
6 first statement?
7 A. Yes, sir, I would.
8 Q. And it goes on in that first paragraph to say:
9 "The unique nature of these criminal offences is also in their
10 seriousness, which is expressed in severe punishments, including the
11 death penalty for six criminal offences."
12 So did they actually have the death penalty for these offences?
13 A. At that time under their law, they in fact had a death penalty
14 for these offences.
15 Q. All right. And now going to the next paragraph, and this is
16 where I have B/C/S page 25, paragraph 2, it says:
17 "Crimes against humanity and international law can be committed
18 by individuals acting on their own, but by their nature these criminal
19 offences are usually committed in an organised fashion in the
20 implementation of the policy of the ruling circles. Most of these
21 criminal offences are committed only during armed conflicts or are in
22 some way closely connected with armed conflicts, which means that they
23 are committed within the context of broad military operations and on the
24 orders from superior officers."
25 And I don't want to get into this in any sort of detail,
1 Mr. Butler, but when you read this and know what you know about the
2 charges related to Srebrenica, does this paragraph reflect in any way
3 the -- the allegations as you know them to be in -- regarding the fall of
5 A. Yes, sir. I believe it's a very accurate statement of the
6 circumstances that occurred.
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to page 8 in the English. It
9 should be B/C/S page 27, the last paragraph of page 27.
10 Q. And it's that top paragraph, and we'll see from the -- just the
11 previous page it talks about the army is obligated to observe
12 international laws. And then it says:
13 "From this follows the explicit responsibility of the officer
14 corps of the Army of Republika Srpska as the giver of orders in command
15 of the armed forces, whose members could commit or are committing some of
16 these offences, to take uncompromising action and prevent such conduct.
17 This responsibility belongs by its nature particularly to high-ranking
18 individuals and officials in state, military, or public organisations who
19 are in the concrete circumstances in a position to issue orders."
20 Now, looking at this -- and I want to see if you think this can
21 apply to General Tolimir, because I note that it's speaking of the
22 officer corps of the army as the giver of orders in command of the armed
23 forces. Was General Tolimir in your view at the time of the events in
24 Srebrenica a commander?
25 A. He was not a commander of a formation per se, but in the context
1 of this particular paragraph he would certainly qualify as a senior or
2 commanding officer, one of those high -- the highest-ranking officers on
3 the Main Staff, those individuals who are the ultimate giver of orders,
4 to use the phrase.
5 Q. Did he have any subordinates under him who he, under the rules,
6 could issue orders directly to?
7 A. Yes, sir, he did.
8 Q. And who were those top people, as you recall them?
9 A. They would include his two principal deputies, Colonel Beara,
10 Colonel Salapura, and the other members of the intelligence and security
11 staff, Colonel Jankovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic [Realtime
12 transcript read in error "Pesarevic"], all of those officers that worked
13 in that particular -- those particular branches, the intelligence, the
14 security, and the military police, those people fell directly under the
15 control of General Tolimir.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please repeat the second name you have
18 THE WITNESS: Colonel Beara, Colonel Salapura and other members
19 of the security staff, that would include Colonel Jankovic,
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic and all of those other officers.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was only asking you for the last name --
22 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- you just mentioned because that is not
24 recorded correctly. Please repeat that name after Colonel Jankovic.
25 THE WITNESS: Colonel Keserovic [Realtime transcript read in
1 error "Kesarovic"], K-e-s-e-r-o-v-i-c. Close.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please look at the screen if it is spelled
4 THE WITNESS: It doesn't look like it's spelled correctly, but I
5 think it's close enough. I think -- we have several documents in here
6 which will actually list his name.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I do think that's important, as Your Honour
8 knows, so we best -- for the record, if we could get the -- I think we'll
9 all agree the correct spelling is K-e-s-e-r-o-v-i-c, and I think we'll
10 all remember him as testifying here.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I indeed have asked the witness to give us the
12 right spelling.
13 Would you agree that this is the man you were referring to?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
16 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Could we go to the -- it's the bottom of page 8 in the English,
19 it should be page 31 on the B/C/S. And it's just that last -- second to
20 the last sentence:
21 "So that the command of the Main Staff has a full understanding
22 of the types and number of these criminal offences, all unit commands
23 shall ..."
24 And then it says:
25 " ... work on uncovering all war crimes against humanity and
1 international law on the territory in their area of responsibility.
2 "Inform the closest military police, security, and military
3 judicial organs about any crime they discover ..."
4 And then we can see the rest. I won't go over all of them. In
5 your review of all the materials in the Srebrenica case, did you find any
6 indication that the VRS or RS authorities during the war time ever
7 investigated or prosecuted or punished any VRS soldier for crimes against
8 Muslims, civilians, POWs, related to the Srebrenica events?
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. And can you briefly explain the sorts of materials that you've
11 had a chance to review that would have indicated the presence of any such
12 investigations or prosecutions or punishments, just very briefly.
13 A. As a component of the investigation at a certain point in time, I
14 believe approximately 1998 or 1999, we were able to obtain documents from
15 the various military prosecutor's offices of the Army of the
16 Republika Srpska or at that time is of Ministry of Defence, which laid
17 out their monthly reports and detailed their investigative activities,
18 the crimes that were under investigation. And we were able to, of
19 course, do the same thing through interviewing various officials of the
20 military prosecutor's office and the military court system.
21 The general theme that came out of that was when one looked at
22 all of these documents and interviews, there was very little attempt,
23 despite the widespread knowledge of the crimes that occurred, for anyone
24 to take on an investigation or prosecution. In fact, I'm only aware of
25 two pro forma, if you will, investigations that took place related to
1 Srebrenica that were instituted by the government -- the Republika Srpska
2 government and military in 1995 and 1996, one of which the RS MUP
3 concluded that the victims had all killed themselves or were battle
4 casualties. And another one specifically related to the discovery of
5 mass graves in Branjevo. The person put in charge of investigating that
6 incident was Colonel Beara, which led to a predictable result of that
7 investigation going nowhere.
8 Q. All right. Now I want to get back again briefly to our -- the
9 area of law. We saw a bit of what the prosecutor -- Office of the
10 Prosecutor had to say early on in the war. Could we go to the next tab,
11 it should be 7, it's 65 ter -- oh, and I'm sorry, I keep forgetting to --
12 I want to of course tender that last exhibit, it's 28.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 28 shall be
15 accompanied Exhibit P2478. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Now if we go to 65 ter 401. And I will -- we can see that this
18 is entitled: "Law on the Amendments to the Criminal Code of the
19 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia."
20 What is this?
21 A. This particular document is an excerpt of the Republika Srpska
22 Official Gazette, which is the document by which the government publicly
23 announced its orders, decrees, regulations, things of that nature.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I will offer this into evidence.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 401 shall be
3 assigned Exhibit P2479. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could now go to 65 ter 679.
5 Q. And as we're waiting for it, we can see that this is chapter --
6 called chapter 16 of the criminal offences against humanity and
7 international law."
8 Do you recall, is this related to the previous document?
9 A. Yes, sir. In fact, if you were to look at Exhibit P2479,
10 Article 1, it specifically notes that the Criminal Code of the former
11 SFRJ is essentially renamed the Criminal Code of the Republika Srpska.
12 Q. All right. And as we can see - and I won't spend a lot of time
13 on it - we can see on this first page it's the genocide and that
14 definition of genocide is similar to that -- is it similar to that that
15 you're used to in this court?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should have the respective page in B/C/S on
17 the screen.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I -- if we could go to the next page. I'm
19 sorry. That's obviously not it. Perhaps it's the next page. Well,
20 let's go to page 66 in the B/C/S. Sorry for that small glitch there. We
21 have it.
22 Q. So is that definition of genocide similar to what you're used to
23 dealing with in this court and other courts?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. And then we see the next war crimes against the civilian
1 population, which, as we look at it, includes attack on a civilian
2 population. In the middle of the paragraph it says unlawful deportation,
3 transfers, exposing the population to starvation. And here we also see
4 the punishments for genocide is not less than five years in prison or by
5 the death penalty. And as we go through these pages, we will see the
6 other counts.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could be -- go to page -- the other laws.
8 Let's go to page 68 in the B/C/S. It should be the third page in the
9 English. And this is a specific law against war crimes against prisoners
10 of war which is set out there.
11 Q. And I don't think we need to go through this further except to
12 perhaps acknowledge, are there a whole panoply of international war
13 crimes in this section?
14 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this into evidence, 679.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 679 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P2480. Thank you.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. So those were the laws that became part of the Republika Srpska.
21 Now let's go to 65 ter 399. That should be tab 9. We have another
22 section of the gazette. Can you tell us what this is?
23 A. Yes, sir. This particular section of the Official Gazette lays
24 out the order by President Karadzic on the application of the rules of
25 international law of war on the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina.
2 Q. And can we flip the next page in the B/C/S. We see it's -- this
3 is number 198 and we've got to go over to finish up the 198 to see the
4 president's name on the bottom and the full text.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this into evidence.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as an exhibit.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours 65 ter document 399 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P2481. Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Now could we go to the next tab, and it's 65 ter 680. And as
11 we're waiting I can note that this is entitled "regulations on the
12 application of international laws of war and the armed forces of the
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we need to flip - I'm sorry - the next page
15 in B/C/S. Thank you.
16 Q. Does this -- is this related at all to the law we just saw?
17 A. Yes, sir. Based on those laws, laws of course being broadly
18 written, the military of the SFRY, the armed forces, subsequently took it
19 upon themselves to more clearly define in terms of rules and regulations
20 how those laws would be applied and followed within the military. This
21 particular document reflects in a substantial amount of detail how that
22 is to occur.
23 Q. All right. Let's go to page 62 in English. It should be B/C/S
24 page 56. So did these rules apply to the VRS during the war?
25 A. Yes, sir, they did.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be paragraph 207 that I would like in
2 the B/C/S. Thank you. And of course this is the same in English. It's
3 at the very bottom.
4 Q. And it's entitled: "Basic rights of prisoners of war."
5 And it's entitled: "Responsibility of the State for Treatment of
6 Prisoners of War by its Nationals."
7 And it says:
8 "Prisoners of war are under the authority of the Detaining Power,
9 and not," we need to go to the next page in English, "and not of the
10 individual persons or military units which capture them. The Detaining
11 Power shall be responsible for the treatment of prisoners of war. This
12 responsibility does not rule out the personal responsibility of
14 Now, Mr. Butler, we have moved into the area, as you've stated,
15 of military regulations. Can you tell us, what does this mean?
16 A. Essentially what this paragraph reflects is that individual
17 prisoners of war who are captured by either members of the other armed
18 forces or by other means become the responsibility of the state as a
19 whole to safe-guard. The highest levels of the government, be they
20 military or civilian, cannot escape responsibility for overseeing the
21 proper treatment of prisoners of war by arguing that the responsibility
22 to safe-guard and properly detain those individuals rested with
23 lower-level individuals or with discrete military units. So it is a
24 collective responsibility that ultimately is placed at the highest level
25 of political and military power of a state.
1 Q. In your view, would the Main Staff of the VRS and its members be
2 included as an authority of the detaining power?
3 A. The Main Staff, being the highest body within the Army of the
4 Republika Srpska, would certainly qualify as an authority of the
5 detaining power in this context.
6 Q. All right. And let's look briefly at 209: "Prohibition of
8 "Reprisals against prisoners of war are prohibited in all cases."
9 In the context of armed conflict, what is your definition of what
10 a reprisal is?
11 A. My understanding of a reprisal is a deliberate decision by a
12 warring party to deliberately commit a war crime for the select purpose
13 of seeking to prevent the continued commission of war crimes by the other
14 party. It is, in essence, reciprocal treatment. It is used only in very
15 limited cases when there is no other apparent alternative to prevent the
16 opposing warring party from engaging in their own commission of war
17 crimes. The feature about it is, one, given that it is a deliberate
18 commission of a criminal act, those decisions are normally taken only at
19 the very highest levels of the military or the government to undertake
20 such a reprisal.
21 Q. And in the specific situation that we're talking about here,
22 reprisals against prisoners of war, in this rule it says that it's
23 prohibited in all cases. Is your understanding -- are there any
24 exceptions in the rules of the former Yugoslavia that would allow for
25 reprisals against prisoners of war?
1 A. No, sir.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we can go to just briefly again I -- to
4 paragraphs 213, that should be 63 in the English, 57 in the B/C/S.
5 Paragraph 213 talks about the beginning of captivity and that it's
6 prohibited to wound or kill a member of the enemy armed forces, of
8 And if we can go on to page 64 in the English, page 57 in the
9 B/C/S, it talks about the personal belongs of prisoners of war. I won't
10 read that, but it talks about protecting the personal belongings. 217
11 talks about evacuation.
12 Q. So would these rules have been well known in your view to the
13 senior officers, the professional officers of the VRS, such as
14 General Tolimir, General Mladic, General Krstic, Colonel Blagojevic,
15 Colonel Pandurevic, Lieutenant-Colonel Obrenovic, and others?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. All right. And there's another document on a very related topic
18 I wanted to ask you about, though I should offer this -- these
19 regulations into evidence. They are 680.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received into evidence.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 680 shall be
22 assigned Exhibit P2482. Thank you.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Now, if we could go to 65 ter 2226. I believe as we're waiting
25 for that to come up and it should be 11 in the tabs, you were able to --
1 were you able to identify an actual war time document that spoke of one
2 of these rules that we had just gone over? And I'll hope to get this up.
3 That's not it.
4 A. The B/C/S version is correct. The English version is not.
5 Q. Perhaps -- are you sure that's P --
6 A. Now the English version is correct.
7 Q. There we go.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Was that my numbers or -- just for my
9 information? It wasn't. Okay. Thank you.
10 Q. Now, we see that this is from the command of the Drina Corps
11 dated 15 July 1993, a time-period we don't usually deal with too often,
12 but -- and it's -- if we go to the -- just look at the next page in
13 English. I don't think we need to do that on the screen, but we can see
14 that it's from a person named deputy commander Colonel Milutin Skocajic,
15 pardon the pronunciation, and it's to all the commands, all the brigades.
16 I take it that's all the commands and brigades, units, in the
17 Drina Corps?
18 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
19 Q. And it's entitled: "Treatment of prisoners of war." And it's --
20 begins by talking about the Muslim sabotage groups. But what I want to
21 ask you about is in the middle of that first paragraph and this
23 "From the moment they are captured, enemy soldiers who are put
24 out of action must be treated as prisoners of war in accordance with the
25 Geneva Convention. Actions contrary to international and domestic law
1 constitute serious criminal offences. In addition to criminal
2 responsibility, persons acting in this way also incur all other types of
4 This is the part I wanted to ask you about.
5 "This responsibility rests not only with the immediate
6 perpetrators of criminal offences and inhumane treatment, but also by
7 their superior officers, because prisoners of war are not the property of
8 individuals or military units, but the responsibility of the VRS and the
10 In your view, does this relate to one of the rules you just went
12 A. Yes, sir, it does.
13 Q. Now, I think we'll recall from the rule we went over it mentioned
14 those in command that had the power to issue orders. This does not say
15 that. It says "... but also their superior officers ..."
16 What do you make of that difference?
17 A. I believe that it reflects simply an issue of semantics in
18 language. The phrase in the regulations and the applications define a
19 superior officer with respect to responsibility and does not limit
20 responsibility only to those individuals designated as a "commander." It
21 also designates it as any superior officer being any officer who has an
22 ability to prevent the commission of crimes or to punish individuals
23 afterwards. So a derivative responsibility for failing to ensure
24 prisoners of war in this particular case are not properly cared for and
25 that crimes are not committed against them. That liability is not
1 strictly limited to commanders. It's limited to all officers who are in
2 a position to have prevented such acts and failed to do so.
3 Q. Now, clearly this is a corps document going to its brigades, but
4 taking this principle higher as we saw in that rule, in your view would
5 General Tolimir have had the power to issue orders to stop any conduct --
6 prevent or stop any conduct by Colonel Beara?
7 A. Absolutely, sir, yes.
8 Q. Same question for General -- as we know him now General Keserovic
9 and Lieutenant-Colonel Radoslav Jankovic, Colonel Salapura?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer -- excuse me one second.
12 Q. Just take note of this last -- this will be the last sentence in
13 the bottom paragraph in the English. It's the second paragraph in the
14 B/C/S. It says:
15 "All violations of the provisions of the international laws of
16 war and humanitarian laws should be immediately reported and punitive
17 measures taken. In this activity, it is extremely significant to point
18 out the political, moral, and humanitarian importance of our treatment of
19 prisoners of war, because we are fully justified in demanding that the
20 enemy side treat our prisoners of war in the same way."
21 What is Skocajic basically saying here to his people?
22 A. Quite simply, he's noting the obvious fact that it's difficult to
23 demand the other party or parties to a conflict comply with the
24 provisions of humane treatment of prisoners of war when, as the other
25 side of the coin, your party is not doing the same thing.
1 Q. All right. I -- oh, and Milutin Skocajic is not a name we've
2 heard much about. Do you know what happened to him after 1993?
3 A. During this period he is the Chief of Staff/deputy commander of
4 the Drina Corps. I believe at some point in 1995 he becomes a general
5 and is appointed to the Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I'd offer that into evidence, 2226.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 2226 shall
10 be assigned Exhibit P2483. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. All right. That -- well, I know you've dealt with that more in
13 depth in your report. I think the basic rules, the Geneva Conventions
14 and the rules, as are set out by the VRS, I think I will leave that
15 section now and get into some more particular areas of concerns and the
16 rules associated more with intelligence and security and command, which
17 has of course been an issue in this case.
18 And to start off that I would like to go to P1112.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this is, Your Honours, a document you're --
20 you've seen several times, so I won't ask Mr. Butler to go into it in a
21 lot of detail. But I would like to ask him to help clarify some issues
22 which I think are important.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, we see this document is a 24 October 1994
24 document from the Main Staff and if we -- we see at the end of it, it was
25 signed for the commander. Could we go to the last page in the B/C/S. We
1 don't need the English as yet. And I believe that has been -- I think
2 the general will agree with me, that has been identified -- that
3 signature is that of General Tolimir.
4 So getting back to the first page, now did you spend a fair
5 amount of time in your reports and in your testimony outlining and
6 analysing the regulations that define the roles and responsibilities of
7 the security officer in relation to the -- working within a command, at a
8 brigade, at a corps level?
9 A. Yes, sir, I did.
10 Q. All right. And we've seen a lot of those in this case, so I'm
11 going to save some time by not going over them. But in that respect we
12 can see - and I'm sure the General will agree with me - that these rules
13 outline those basic rules. Do you agree with that?
14 A. Yes, sir, they do.
15 Q. And based on your knowledge of the rules associated with the
16 security and intel branch, do you find anything different about these
17 instructions, that is, shortened view of the rules themselves?
18 A. No, sir. These are consistent with the broader regulations and
19 rules on the application of intelligence and security within the former
20 SFRY, which were adopted and utilised by the VRS.
21 Q. All right. Now, I just want to ask you to give us a hand with
22 some of these concepts. Under "instructions," number 1 it says:
23 "The field work of the VRS security and intelligence organs
24 primarily includes intelligence and counter-intelligence tasks which,
25 depending on the situation, make-up about 80 per cent of their total
1 engagement. The remaining 20 per cent of their engagement consists of
2 administrative and staff, military police and criminal-legal tasks and
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, one correction. Line 2 of page 25
5 in your quotation the first words read as follows, "the field work of the
6 VRS." I see in the text "the field of work of the VRS." I think this is
7 a significant difference. It's not "the field work" but "the field of
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I think you're
10 absolutely right, and when I said it, it didn't sound right, and I'm glad
11 you caught it because -- yes, it's much broader than field work and
12 I'm -- thank you for catching that.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, we have had VRS officers talk to us about each
14 of these concepts. I think you have recently, as you described your job,
15 described what intelligence, military intelligence, work is. So I won't
16 ask you to repeat that. But as intelligence work is mentioned in this
17 document, is that similar or -- to the work you described? When you
18 described what intelligence work was, I think it was in response to Judge
19 Mindua's question.
20 A. Yes, sir, it is.
21 Q. Okay. Then we won't go over that again. Can you tell us in the
22 context of this document and the VRS work, what is counter-intelligence
23 and what -- and we'll get to some examples. But can you --
24 counter-intelligence is -- I sometimes find that a difficult concept.
25 But can you tell us fundamentally what your view of what
1 counter-intelligence is? What does it amount to be in the army? And of
2 course what I'm talking about is your understanding of the VRS.
3 A. In probably the most basic of language, it is the steps that in
4 this particular context that the VRS undertook in order to prevent the
5 opposing forces, in their case the armed forces of the Bosnian Muslims
6 and the Croats, from learning about the plans, policies, and essential
7 elements of information that the VRS sought to maintain for themselves.
8 It, very simply, is defined as the steps that you take in order to
9 prevent your adversaries from gaining intelligence information about your
10 friendly forces.
11 Q. Okay. And I -- would it be fair to define that as protecting
12 against threats from the outside from the forces?
13 A. The term of art can run the range of activities from simple
14 security to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of confidential military
15 documents because they are left unattended, all the way to the most
16 sophisticated operations designed to uncover and neutralise opposing
17 espionage networks directed against your forces. It covers a very wide
18 range of activities that are important for militaries to undertake in
19 order to safe-guard critical information about itself.
20 Q. Okay. And in each of those answers you've spoken of -- I believe
21 of the enemy finding out important information. Can counter-intelligence
22 work involve looking into your own forces for threats from within, such
23 as traitors or that kind of thing?
24 A. Yes, sir, the identification and elimination of subversive
25 elements within your own armed forces would certainly fall as a
1 counter-intelligence-related task.
2 Q. If counter-intelligence work, as you've said, it would be to
3 protect the secrets of an army, what was -- and just briefly, what was
4 General Tolimir's role in -- first of all, at what level was he in the
5 counter-intelligence hierarchy of officers?
6 A. As the assistant commander for intelligence and security of the
7 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, General Tolimir was the
8 pinnacle of that effort by the Army of the Republika Srpska.
9 Q. Would General Milovanovic and General Mladic rely on him for
11 A. Absolutely.
12 Q. Now, would a -- the plans associated with a military operation,
13 keeping those plans and details of that military operation, would that be
14 part of General Tolimir's job, to keep out of the hands of the enemy?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. How about an operation as charged in this indictment, to murder
17 able-bodied -- thousands of able-bodied men, an operation to detain them,
18 transport them to execution sites, summarily execute them, and bury them,
19 and re-bury them, would that be a kind of a military secret?
20 A. In context, if you are seeking to prevent any public disclosure
21 of your involvement in those acts, your security and counter-intelligence
22 organs would play a very large part in making sure that disclosure did
23 not occur. So again, as the head of the -- you know, as the -- more
24 accurately, as the assistant commander for intelligence and security for
25 the Main Staff of the army, General Tolimir -- that effort revolves
1 around him.
2 Q. Well, I think we can all agree that finding out the date of an
3 attack and the location of an attack is a critical detail that cannot
4 fall in the hands of the enemy. But would it be a military problem for
5 the VRS if the enemy or the international community found out that the
6 VRS had engaged in an organised effort to summarily execute thousands of
7 able-bodied Muslim men?
8 A. As foreshadowed in 1992 and 1993 in some of the previous
9 documents discussed, the army leadership recognised that it would have
10 dramatic negative consequences to the political and military conduct of
11 the war if -- I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue. After that, Mr. Tolimir will
13 get the floor.
14 THE WITNESS: Okay. Okay.
15 If they were involved in such activities -- and in 1995, in July
16 of 1995, when one looks at the activities and one then looks at the
17 consequences that occurred afterwards, they're factually correct. The
18 public disclosure of the involvement of the Army of the Republika Srpska
19 in these crimes had a significantly negative impact on them militarily as
20 well as the political leverage the Republika Srpska had to end the war on
21 terms favourable to them.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wish
24 peace onto this house, that this day of judgement should end in keeping
25 with God's will, not mine.
1 And please, I would appreciate it if the Prosecutor would not ask
2 leading questions in order to elicit an answer that is in the sphere of
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said speculative
6 questions, speculative questions. It was interpreted as "leading" and
7 it's a big difference.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, your position.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think fundamentally my question was: Would a
10 murder operation -- what effect, if any, would the public disclosure of a
11 murder operation have militarily on the VRS? I don't think that's
12 speculation. There's been a murder operation charged in this case. I
13 think we -- that is certainly not speculation at this point in the
14 Tribunal, that large numbers of people were murdered. So I think it's a
15 fair question and I don't think it's speculative. What effect would that
17 My point is: A very large secret, be it the landing date or a
18 secret like this, could it be harmed if it gets out? Not speculative in
19 my view.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think in this trial we have heard many such
21 questions by both parties. For instance, would it be illogical or would
22 it be logical to draw a conclusion like this and that and that. This
23 happens very often, and if a witness is capable to answer a question of
24 this kind, there is no concern about this kind of questions. It's not
1 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. Mr. Butler, were you thinking of anything in particular when you
4 said -- when the -- did the -- well, let me ask you: Did the
5 international community, in your view, become aware of these crimes in
6 any particular way that you think might have had a negative effect on the
7 VRS or RS?
8 A. I believe that the public disclosure of these crimes,
9 particularly as the scale, the numbers of missing, grew, did have a
10 political effect on the willingness of NATO to overtly engage in
11 activities against the Republika Srpska in the subsequent months, August,
12 September, October, leading up to the end of the war. In part because of
13 those activities by NATO, coupled with the Croatian military invasion
14 Operation Storm, when the war terminated effectively with the Dayton
15 Peace Agreements, the Republika Srpska was somewhat smaller
16 geographically than it had been in July of 1995. So in that context the
17 Srebrenica crimes had an extremely adverse military and political impact
18 in the future, in subsequent months, August, September, October, on the
19 Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Do you recall any particular public announcement in August that
21 created this international awareness?
22 A. Yes, sir. I'm not sure of the exact date, but in August of 1995
23 then-secretary of -- I believe she was at the time either Secretary of
24 State or the Ambassador -- the US Ambassador of the United Nations,
25 Albright, disclosed US reconnaissance photographs, laying out
1 photographic evidence of mass executions that had occurred related to
2 Srebrenica before the UN Security Council. And in going public with this
3 information, it significantly had a -- it had a significantly adverse
4 effect against political and the military interest of the
5 Republika Srpska.
6 Q. So just one last question. So had that operation to murder
7 people been kept secret, would that have been better for the VRS and RS?
8 A. My opinion is: Yes, it would. And when one examines the
9 activities of the Army of the Republika Srpska following the public
10 disclosure of those crimes where they engaged in an effort to essentially
11 exhume the primary mass graves and conceal the victims in more remote
12 secondary and tertiary sites, I would say that that opinion was also
13 shared by the leadership of the Republika Srpska and their military.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I see it's time for the break.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are right, Mr. McCloskey.
16 We must have our first break now and we will resume at 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, before you continue your
20 examination-in-chief, I would like to remind you that we are expecting
21 some explanations in relation to six witnesses by the end of today's
22 hearing, especially Michael Hedley, Johan de Koeijer, and four female
23 witnesses from Srebrenica. You promised that we get -- receive an update
24 by the end of this week, and hopefully we can get some more information
25 that will assist us in planning of the remainder of the Prosecution case.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, of course, Mr. President. I am expecting
2 that. I've been working on Mr. de Koeijer myself with Mr. Gajic and
3 we'll try to resolve something on that, and I'm expecting clear
4 information on the other five very soon.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What do you mean by "very soon"? Can we expect
6 to receive some update by the end of today's hearing?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, no question about it, and your
8 enunciation of this is certainly helpful in that regard. So I will get
9 it and we will get it to you this afternoon.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
11 Please continue your examination.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
13 Q. All right. Still concentrating on this document P1112, the
14 instructions from 24 October that have left the screen for a bit, and
15 especially that paragraph number 1 that we've been talking about that
16 mentioned intelligence and counter-intelligence being 80 per cent of the
17 work of the security person. Does -- in your judgement, do security
18 officers at the brigade, corps, Main Staff level have any
19 responsibilities related to prisoners of war?
20 A. Yes, they do.
21 Q. And is the topic mentioned -- is there any mention -- we don't
22 see any mentions of prisoners of war in this document or in this
23 paragraph. Is the general topic mentioned anywhere that would include
24 this sort of work in any of these paragraphs? I'm looking at -- starting
25 off with paragraph 1, of course.
1 A. Okay. In the particular document and in the context of the tasks
2 involved, due to their supervisory functions of the military police
3 organs of the army and the role of military police in the handling and
4 securing of prisoners of war, by extension security officers are part of
5 that process. It would be their responsibilities to advise the commander
6 of -- and may essentially make proposals on the best way for military
7 police or others to handle these prisoners, the processes and procedures
8 to be used, particularly as they relate to the military police. And then
9 of course the commander would make these decisions as to whether or not
10 to follow these proposals or to modify them in some manner. So in that
11 respect, due to the role of the military police in the dealings of
12 prisoners of war and securing them, the security officers do have a role.
13 Q. Now, once a commander, be it a brigade, a corps, or the Main
14 Staff, makes a decision related to the military police and the securing
15 or dealing with prisoners, does the security officer have any
16 responsibility at that point?
17 A. Yes, sir. As a subordinate to the commander, the security
18 officer actively works to implement the commander's orders in that
20 Q. And I don't want you to get into any of the facts and detail of
21 this case, but has your review and investigation revealed security
22 officers at the brigade, corps, and Main Staff level dealing with
23 prisoners and military police issues from July 12th through the 16th
24 and -- well, and beyond?
25 A. Yes, sir. There is extensive counter -- or basically activities
1 related to security officers, military police, and prisoners of war.
2 Q. And -- so does this paragraph -- it makes a reference to this 20
3 per cent. Does that 20 per cent of your view that talks about
4 administrative and staff military police, criminal illegal tasks and
5 duties, does that include prisoners?
6 A. Yes, sir, it would.
7 Q. Let's go to page 2 of this document in the English and it's
8 paragraph 5 in the B/C/S. So it's going to be the next page in the
9 B/C/S. And I just want to call our attention to this under paragraph 5,
10 it says:
11 "Personnel policy and service guidance for members of these
12 organs are the exclusive province of the VRS GS commander and the VRS GS
13 assistant commander for security and intelligence. In this regard, the
14 VRS GS security and intelligence sector takes decisions on transfers,
15 appointments, and assignments to special tasks from their field of work
16 for members of the security and intelligence organs."
17 So I think everyone will agree that at the time of this document
18 and throughout the war, that the assistant commander for security
19 intelligence was General Tolimir. What is it saying he has
20 responsibility here for with -- along with General Mladic?
21 A. In the realm of the technical tasking - for lack of a better
22 word - the specialised -- the intelligence and security specialised
23 orders that are given, that particular chain, that intelligence and
24 security chain, and the people who are assigned to that at subordinate
25 levels are assigned and are maintained by the security and intelligence
1 sector of the Main Staff. It prevents situations from occurring where in
2 the event of undue tension between a brigade commander and his assistant
3 commander for security, potentially because the commander is under
4 investigation, having the ability to subvert these types of activities by
5 simply removing that officer from his position. So in effect, these
6 provisions are in place to ensure that the ability to perform their
7 specialised tasks related to intelligence and security can be protected
8 from undue influence by the commanders of the various units.
9 Q. And where does Tolimir fit into this?
10 A. Again, as the assistant commander for security and intelligence
11 on the Main Staff, he is the pinnacle of this process.
12 Q. All right. That is already in evidence, that document. Let's
13 now go to 65 ter 2222, and I just, as we're talking about the
14 responsibility of General Tolimir in the security -- as the assistant
15 commander for security, are you aware of a -- at some point where they,
16 the VRS, decided to change the structure of the intelligence and security
17 sections and some of the subordinate units?
18 A. Yes, sir. In early 1995 there was a decision made that where
19 they had the ability to do so because they had adequate resources, that
20 it would be advantageous for them to physically split the intelligence
21 and security functions of, for example, a light infantry brigade from one
22 particular group of officers to two groups - the intelligence function
23 being one group, the security function being a separate group of
24 officers - as a matter of being more effective in their functions. This
25 particular document dated 29 January 1995 from the Drina Corps lays out
1 the details of that change.
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we go to page 3 in the English and it's
4 the next page, I believe, in the B/C/S.
5 Q. Yes, and we see that it is in the name of the commander of the
6 Drina Corps at the time, General Zivanovic. And I just wanted to call
7 your attention to -- it looks like the last paragraph under item 7. It
9 "The Chief of the GS VRS security and intelligence sector shall
10 regulate the competence, contents, and the manner of preparation of the
11 aforementioned personnel through a special instruction."
12 Again, I think everyone will agree that this is at this time a
13 reference to General Tolimir?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. And what's he doing in this, something that may happen as low at
16 the brigade level, why would he be involved in that?
17 A. The Main Staff recognised correctly, I believe, that intelligence
18 and security functions need to be synchronised throughout the entire
19 scope of the military. Having one particular brigade or one particular
20 corps take certain measures and other units take separate measures
21 without them being fully synchronised is not an effective or an efficient
22 way to do military business. These procedures lay out in part how all of
23 these issues are going to be synchronised by the Main Staff and how they
24 will be translated through the corps commands and through their
25 intelligence and security organs down to the brigades and even lower. It
1 also reflects the fact that there are going to be standardised training
2 standards and other professional bench-marks that these officers are
3 going to be required to meet and maintain, and that as part of this --
4 those -- the responsibility for doing -- you know, appointing these
5 qualified officers to ensuring that they are appropriately trained and
6 qualified for the position is going to fall under the competence of
7 General Tolimir and his staff.
8 Q. In your view would --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask one question in this point in time in
10 relation to this sentence and this order. I would like to hear your
11 opinion about this paragraph. It is an order by the commander of the
12 Drina Corps, and he is referring to the assistant commander of the VRS.
13 Is it an order he issued to the assistant commander of the VRS or is it
14 something else? How would you try to understand and explain this
16 "The Chief of the General Staff of the VRS security and
17 intelligence sector shall regulate ..."
18 What does it mean?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. As you -- if you refer back to the
20 previous page in English where it discusses the previous Main Staff
21 instructions and paragraph 5, clearly the commander of the Drina Corps is
22 not operating in a vacuum. He has received guidance from the Main Staff.
23 He is essentially articulating that guidance from the Main Staff and
24 making it more directive to his subordinates. He's not ordering in this
25 document the chief of the security administration and the Main Staff to
1 do anything. What he is, in fact, saying is that: I'm directing my
2 subordinates to undertake these activities; and as part of these
3 activities, the chief of the staff -- of the intelligence and security
4 directorate will be responsible for these other issues. He's been told
5 that by the Main Staff, that these powers and authorities are reserved to
6 General Tolimir and his people. He is simply reiterating that fact to
7 his subordinates.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
9 Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. Mr. Butler, in -- going back to more personnel issues, which I
12 think we've seen in other documents. In your view would General Tolimir
13 have any ability to control who was hired as a security officer at the
14 brigade level, such as -- could he do anything about Momir Nikolic being
15 in the Bratunac Brigade or Drago Nikolic in the Zvornik Brigade and
16 Milorad Trbic in the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. Yes, sir. As stated in these documents, the appointment of those
18 officers, as well as many of the other specialised aspects of their
19 training and mission fall directly under the purview of the assistant
20 commander of the Main Staff for intelligence and security.
21 Q. Would this include Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, chief of security
22 of the Drina Corps; and Lieutenant-Colonel Svetozar Kosoric, chief of
23 intel of the Drina Corps?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. As well as Colonel Beara, Salapura, Radoslav Jankovic,
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic that you've mentioned previously?
2 A. Yes, sir. The appointments of those individuals would fall
3 directly and squarely into his competence.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document, 2222, into evidence.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2222 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P2484. Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, for the next section I would like to go back to
11 prisoners of war and the competence of the security branch in dealing
12 with prisoners of war, and in particular General Tolimir and some of the
13 documents associated with that.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: So if we could start out with 65 ter 3753, it
15 should be 14 in the tabs. And this is a document from the Main Staff
16 intelligence and security sector dated 25 October 1993.
17 Q. Under chief -- by Chief Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. And if we look
18 at the initials under the original, we see LJB. Do you remember what
19 that means?
20 A. I believe those are the initials for Colonel Beara.
21 Q. And do you remember what it means for them to be there?
22 A. Oh, in their convention you have two sets of initials. The
23 initials on the left-hand side are those of the person who actually
24 drafted or authored the document, and then those on the right are the
25 individual who typed it.
1 Q. Now, we see that this is a Teletype version; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And so I think we all know and will agree that Teletyped versions
4 that are received by someone else cannot have the signature on it. So
5 can you tell us if Beara -- Colonel Beara drafted this but
6 General Tolimir's name is on it, could this have gone out without
7 General Tolimir reading it and standing behind it?
8 A. There is of course the remote possibility that it might have gone
9 out without him reading it in advance, but given the fact that it is
10 signed in his name, he is responsible for its contents. Generally my
11 experience in this practice is that these types of things don't go out
12 without the concurrence of the man who's ultimately responsible for them.
13 Obviously the possibility exists, but it's highly unlikely.
14 Q. All right. And this document itself is, we see, to the Eastern
15 Bosnia Corps command, the commission for exchange of prisoners; the
16 Drina Corps command, commission for exchange of prisoners; Eastern
17 Bosnian Corps and Drina Corps OB department, it is noted here as
18 intelligence department; the central commission for exchange of
19 prisoners; and to D. Buljajic personally for information.
20 Now, as we read this, I -- it is said that:
21 "As opinions (regarding the exchange of the prisoners of war)
22 have been harmonised between the commissions of the 1st KK, the DK, and
23 the IBK commands, we hereby give our approval for the exchange, scheduled
24 for 28 October 1993 ..."
25 In your view, who is this "we" that is being referred to in this
2 A. This "we" is collectively the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska.
3 Q. All right. And then it goes on:
4 "... in which 63 captured Serbian soldiers will be exchanged for
5 54 Turks, whom we are holding captive."
6 Now, let me ask you about this term, "Turks." We all know that
7 this term is used. We know that the Serbians were referred to as
8 Chetniks. Nobody is on trial here for calling people names, but is there
9 any significance in your military opinion for a document from the Main
10 Staff, from Zdravko Tolimir, referring to the enemy as "Turks"?
11 A. It generally is not a military acceptable practice to kind of use
12 colourful or derogatory language. You know, military documents by nature
13 tend to be very terse. It's a reflection of just how culturally accepted
14 the use of these pejorative terms were, again, by the rank and file chain
15 of command.
16 Q. What kind of message does that send to the lower command when a
17 person of his rank is referring to the enemy in derogatory terms?
18 A. One of the more universal tenets of leadership is that
19 subordinates take their cue from the actions and the conduct of their
20 superiors. When the superior commands or organs use that type of
21 language or express those types of views, subordinates understand that
22 that type of behaviour and conduct will, in fact, be tolerated or
23 condoned and that they are free to engage it in themselves.
24 Q. All right. Getting back to the substance of the document, we can
25 all see that General Tolimir and really Colonel Beara play a role in
1 these -- in the exchange of prisoners decisions. If your view and in
2 your study, would that fit into the normal role of General Tolimir and
3 his sector for intel and security?
4 A. Yes, sir. Not only this but there are a number of documents that
5 reflect the detailed role that the Main Staff, particularly the
6 intelligence and security organ or sector, played in monitoring the
7 process by which prisoners were exchanged between the various warring
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence, 3753.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 3753 shall
13 be assigned Exhibit P2485. Thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. And let's go on to another document 65 ter 3922. It's the 15 in
16 our books, and it's another document from the Main Staff sector for
17 intelligence and security and dated in 1994 this time, 16 June 1994, to
18 the intelligence department of the Drina Corps entitled "Exchange of
19 Prisoners." And we see it's a multi-page document especially in English,
20 but on the third page - which I don't think we need to go to now because
21 I think we can see it in the Serbian - that it is in the name of
22 Zdravko Tolimir, colonel. And this one has a ZT as the drafter, and who
23 would that be as far as you know?
24 A. At this time it would be Colonel Tolimir.
25 Q. All right. And again we can see this has to do with prisoner
1 exchanges. And the first line says:
2 "Carry out all preparations for talks with the enemy side about a
3 comprehensive exchange of POWs, captured civilians in the territory under
4 the enemy's control, and bodies of dead Serbian soldiers."
5 So what kind of document is this? Is that a directive in nature
6 to these people it's -- or is it just for information or what?
7 A. No, sir. This is directive in nature to the intelligence
8 department of the Drina Corps.
9 Q. All right. Now if we could go to the next page in English. And
10 we see in the original somebody seems to have underlined the original,
11 and that is reflected in the translation. And it says:
12 "Prisoners from Vlasenica guarded by the MUP should not be shown
13 for familiar reasons."
14 Do you know what the -- and I don't want you to speculate, but do
15 you know what the familiar reasons are that General Tolimir is referring
16 to here?
17 A. In the context of this particular order, no, I do not.
18 Q. All right. Does this -- so in 16 June 1994, does General Tolimir
19 and his staff continue to be involved in prisoner exchange issues?
20 A. Yes, sir, they do.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this document in evidence.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document number 3922 shall
25 be assigned Exhibit P2486. Thank you.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to P2272 now.
2 Q. This is another prisoner exchange issue document from the Main
3 Staff sector for intel and security in the name of now assistant
4 commander Major-General Zdravko Tolimir. And it begins after saying:
5 "Prisoner exchange authorisation.
6 "We authorise the representatives of POW exchange commissions
7 from the Drina Corps and the Eastern Bosnia Corps to establish contact on
8 the front line with the prisoner exchange representatives of the
9 2nd Muslim Corps."
10 What does this indicate to you the role of General Tolimir in
11 dealing with prisoner exchanges?
12 A. He is both an active and informed participant in this process.
13 He is directing how these processes will take place.
14 Q. All right. I don't think I'll ask you to get into the details of
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: But I would offer that into --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is already in evidence.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, I see there's a P in front of it, yes, thank
19 you, as there is the next document which I would like us to go to.
20 Q. Now I'm --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please.
22 Mr. Gajic.
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I only wish to draw
24 attention to the following. This is a draft translation and the sentence
25 that was just read out in Serbian is "we are in agreement that ..."
1 whereas in the English translation it says "we authorise that ..."
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that. We are looking
3 forward to receiving the final, authorised translation.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Given that possible explanation or possible alternative for --
7 meaning, what is your view -- who has the final say in prisoner exchange
8 issues from your review of these documents and your knowledge of the
10 A. Ultimately it's the commanders, the commander of the Main Staff.
11 If one were to look back at the previous document, which is the 16 June
12 1994 document, one of the lines that's specifically used where addressing
13 the issue to the commission of exchange is that the Main Staff is making
14 it clear that it is not up to them to decide who -- it is not up to the
15 exchange commission to decide who will be exchanged. That decision must
16 be made by the corps commander on the basis of all relevant facts put
17 before him by the security organs. So it's ultimately the commander's
18 responsibilities. In this context General Tolimir presumably is speaking
19 on behalf of and with the authority of the commander, General Mladic,
20 when he relates these instructions to the subordinate formations.
21 Q. All right. Well, then if we go through this document -- I won't
22 go over each of the directions in there, but let's go to page 3 in the
23 English and it's the last -- should be the last page of the B/C/S where
24 you can see the signature -- or the signature block. And we probably
25 have to go to the next -- the previous page in the B/C/S.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
2 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 45, line 16, I
3 notice in the transcript and I heard in the interpretation that the
4 witness mentioned the corps commander. I would like to ask
5 Mr. Peter McCloskey to clarify whether this was a slip of the tongue or
6 whether this is actually the witness's testimony.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, if we can go to that section - I think we
9 can clear it up - in the document I was referring to. And I'm -- I'm not
10 sure this is caught in the Serbian, but we see in the English that the
11 beginning of the last paragraph says:
12 "The chief of intelligence and security section of the
13 Drina Corps ..."
14 I'm sorry, that's not the section I was looking at.
15 Let's go back to what was 3922, if we could. Page 2 in the
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is now P2486.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
19 Q. This is the 16 June 1994 document that I think you were referring
20 to, Mr. Butler.
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. And just to wait briefly until the -- perhaps we'll have that in
23 front of us, but it says that Colonel Tolimir, at the time, said:
24 "Your commission for exchange cannot decide who will be exchanged
25 and who will not. That decision must be made by the corps commander on
1 the basis of all relevant facts put before him by security organs."
2 Is that what you were referring to in your last answer?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could we
6 look at page 45, lines 18 and 19, where Mr. Butler says that
7 General Tolimir was doing this on behalf of General Mladic. It's on the
8 same page in the same passage. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is indeed on page 45, lines 18 to 20.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that may be a ripe area perhaps for
11 cross-examination, but I believe --
12 Q. Mr. Butler, can you reiterate what you said about that, about
13 General Tolimir acting in relation to General Mladic, just so it's clear.
14 A. Yes, sir. The overriding presumption that one makes when looking
15 at a military organisation - and to be specific the VRS Main Staff - is
16 that the officers and members of the Main Staff, being well educated,
17 competent, and diligent in their duties, are giving orders that they are
18 lawfully entitled to give and within their competence to give. Prisoners
19 of war and their conduct within the military, the commander is always
20 ultimately responsible, General Mladic is the commander of the Main
21 Staff. General Tolimir is an assistant commander subordinate to
22 General Mladic. His involvement, his direction, that he provides to
23 subordinates in these matters, again presumably are not occurring in
24 isolation. They occur with the knowledge and concurrence, if not
25 specifically, generally to the commander of the Main Staff. That is how
1 a military organisation has to function, just as subordinate officers
2 fulfil the tasks assigned to them, not only the specific tasks but the
3 intent behind those tasks by their commanders. General Tolimir by his
4 position and function is obviously fulfilling both the specific and
5 implied tasks laid before him by General Mladic.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. And that last prisoner exchange document
7 20 January I note is P2272, so it's already in evidence.
8 Now I want to -- staying with the issue of prisoners of war, I
9 want to go to July, July 12th, 1995. And also with the topic of
10 General Tolimir's involvement.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we have P2203 before us. It's the 17 -- tab
13 Q. As we're waiting for that I'll -- we can see that this is from
14 the Drina Corps command intelligence department, strictly confidential
15 number 17/896. I say that because the next document you'll see is the
16 same except is 897, dated 12 July and it's to the Main Staff of the VRS,
17 sector for intelligence and security, and various other units and folks I
18 won't read, and it's regarding the statement of a prisoner of war named
19 Izudin Bektic, and it's providing information that Bektic gave.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to page 2 in English, we'll
21 see that this is from Major-General Tolimir, and he's in that page
22 continues to pass on information about the group of civilians, mainly
23 women and children, old people and wounded who had set off toward
24 Potocari. And the -- he talks about the formations of able-bodied men
25 and their illegal breakthrough to reach Tuzla and the actual area which
1 they've been told by this prisoner.
2 Q. And then what I want to ask you about is he goes on to say:
3 "We have informed organs of the MUP of the RS in Konjevic Polje
4 about the illegal corridor used by the Muslims of Srebrenica since it's
5 their task to control the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road.
6 "Brigade commands have the duty to fully inform the public
7 security station in their area of responsibility."
8 Now, it says:
9 "Organs for OBP," which we know is security and intel, "shall
10 propose measures to be taken by commands to prevent armed Muslims from
11 illegally reaching Tuzla and Kladanj such as setting up ambushes along
12 the routes they use in order to arrest them and prevent possible
13 surprises against civilians and our combat units along those routes."
14 The next paragraph talks about regulating the traffic and
15 allowing passage of only VRS.
16 Now, this statement to the OBP organs in the area is to prevent
17 and -- or to propose measures to be taken by the commands. I think we're
18 all familiar with that responsibility that security officers have. And
19 in this case it says to prevent the Muslims from getting through to Tuzla
20 and set up ambushes in order to arrest them. Is a proposal to set up
21 ambushes and arrest these people, basically capture them, is that within
22 the purview of General Tolimir and the security organ's job, to make
23 recommendations to commanders?
24 A. Yes, sir. I believe this is a classic example of the division of
25 technical responsibilities between the security and intelligence organs
1 and their role in giving some specific tasks to their subordinates and
2 directing them to provide relevant advice to their commanders and making
3 their own proposals to their commanders. So I think this is a fair
4 reflection of just how the inter-relationships work between the
5 commanders and their intelligence and security organs.
6 Q. Now, can you tell from this document, is there any indication
7 based on the practices you were aware of by the Main Staff where
8 General Tolimir is when this document is made -- or sent from the
9 Drina Corps command?
10 A. Yes, sir. From my prior work here, I am aware of the fact that
11 in 1995 the Drina Corps intelligence and security department used the
12 prefix number 17 in cataloguing messages that were -- originated from
13 that area. Based on the fact that this document is signed by
14 General Tolimir or type signed in his name, and then its from the actual
15 Drina Corps command intelligence department with this number, I conclude
16 that at the time this document was put together that General Tolimir was
17 at the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica.
18 Q. And we -- what, if anything, can you make from these stamps at
19 the bottom of it? In the English we see a stamp 2nd Romanija Motorised
20 Brigade and then a number 13 July and then another stamp where there's
21 illegible material dated -- and then it's 12 July 2210 hours, and as we
22 can see 2215 hours, 2217 hours. What, if anything, can you tell us
23 about -- can you glean from this stamp or these two stamps?
24 A. Yes, sir. We have had a number of individuals who have been
25 interviewed and I believe have testified in previous trials as to the
1 process by which these documents were handled by the various
2 communications personnel when they were received over their electronic
3 and mechanical machines, their Teletype machines, so to speak. The stamp
4 on the right, that large square stamp, is the stamp emplaced by the
5 telecommunications people at the communications centre reflecting when
6 they received this document, time -- you know, date and time of receipt
7 and when it was passed on to the organ it was actually addressed to.
8 There's a second stamp noted from the 2nd Romanija Brigade, confidential
9 number, that's dated a little bit later and that's the stamp that they
10 actually put on it to catalogue it as well from their command.
11 So by looking particularly from our perspective at when the
12 document was received at 12 July 1995 on 2210 hours, it gives an
13 indication, a rough indication, of when the document might have been sent
14 to that command, taking into account, you know, potential communication
15 delays and things of that nature.
16 Q. When you say "potential communication delays," have you seen
17 situations with documents where they had trouble getting documents over
18 the Teletype, not unlike sometimes we have trouble getting faxes through,
19 things like that?
20 A. Yes, sir. There are a variety of technical issues that would be
21 at play, a machinery malfunction, the quality of the communications
22 channel between two corresponding network nodes, that would preclude the
23 passage of the message. It may come in garbled and have to be
24 retransmitted. So just a variety of things that tend to work against you
25 in the military when you're passing messages back and forth.
1 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document, it's D64.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, just for the record, the second
3 page of this document on the screen in B/C/S is missing in the binder we
4 have received, just left out.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. We'll take a note and make sure we
6 get that, because that is important to have those stamps especially. All
8 We can go to D64, it's 18, tab.
9 Q. And I can -- again, this is -- and when I say "from the command
10 of the Drina Corps," I don't mean to be leading though -- Mr. Butler, do
11 we normally see who the document is from up in the left-hand corner?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. All right. And this is similar to the last document in terms of
14 where it came from. And if we look at the original in the B/C/S, we
15 should be able to see that it's also from General Tolimir. We should go
16 to the last page in the B/C/S so that we can -- everyone can see that
17 clearly. And again, looking at those stamps we see received 2150 hours,
18 slightly different than the times of the other document. But going back
19 to the front page of this, we see that this is number 17/897, so what
20 does that tell you about the sequence of the creation of these documents?
21 A. It indicates that this document was the very next document
22 created from the previous document we discussed.
23 Q. All right. And as we see that this is to the OBP organs, that's
24 security and intelligence organs?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Also it's for the attention of Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic and the
2 attention of General Krstic. On 12 July in the evening. And then I
3 won't go over all the details, but we see that General Tolimir is
4 reporting on information they're gaining from a radio network where
5 they're overhearing the Muslim 28th Division speaking and what
6 information they're getting about Naser Oric's deputies and other
7 communications. He directs the radio surveillance of those three corps,
8 including the Drina Corps, to focus on monitoring these communications on
9 a particular frequency. Would that be within his job description, to
10 direct radio reconnaissance of the enemy?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. What would you call that in terms of -- is that -- would that be
13 his intel hat, his counter-intel hat or something else, or is it just
14 security hat?
15 A. That would be his intelligence hat.
16 Q. Okay. And then we see the OBP organs of the brigade commands
17 "will propose to the commanders of the units positioned along the line of
18 withdrawal of elements of the routed 28th Muslim Division from Srebrenica
19 to undertake all measures to prevent the withdrawal of enemy soldiers and
20 to capture them."
21 So the last document said make proposals to arrest them, this one
22 now in very particular terms says to capture them. Is that also in his
23 purview, to make proposals for the army to capture the enemy or the
24 able-bodied men of Srebrenica?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Now, I want to direct your attention to the last paragraph, but
2 can you tell us, as best you can recall, take us back to 12 July around
3 the UNPROFOR base in Potocari. Let me read this out first so there's
4 more context to my question.
5 "Although it is very important to arrest as many members of the
6 shattered Muslim units as possible or liquidate them if they resist, it
7 is equally important to note down the names of all men fit for military
8 service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in Potocari."
9 So I think there will be no disagreement that arresting the
10 shattered groups that are fleeing Srebrenica through the woods is the
11 reference to that first part of the paragraph. Now, in -- around the
12 Potocari base on 12 July, what, if anything, were the Serb forces doing
13 with men that were fit for military service once the Serb forces got into
15 A. Very early on in the process, as I believe a number of witnesses
16 have testified, those military-age men were being separated from women,
17 children, and elderly and put in other facilities. And certainly from
18 previous trials I recall testimony from both the Dutch soldiers as well
19 as other UN observers who were there, that the identity documents of
20 those soldiers were being confiscated and in many cases destroyed. There
21 was no systematic effort to catalogue the names of all of the
22 military-age male men who were being detained and separated at Potocari.
23 Q. In your view does this reference to noting down names of --
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Go ahead.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: You want to finish first?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, that's fine.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. I just wanted to ask the witness one
5 question arising from your immediate answer. You recall testimony from
6 both the Dutch soldiers as well as soldiers -- other UN observers who
7 were there that the identity documents whose systematic effort to
8 catalogue the mass of all the military-aged males who were being gathered
9 and separated at Potocari -- is this your own personal -- were you there
10 or you just heard it from other sources?
11 THE WITNESS: Clearly I was not there. The testimony that I am
12 referring to, since I have been associated with these trials for a number
13 of years, is the testimony of various Dutch soldiers and UN observers;
14 Major Kingori, for example, who has provided testimony in previous trials
15 to his observations of what were occurring. So to be clear, that is the
16 context that I am explaining it in.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours,
20 Mr. President.
21 Q. Now, this reference that General Tolimir makes to the men fit for
22 military service being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in Potocari, do
23 you relate that reference to the separated men you've just referred to?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. All right. And the previous documents that had the General
1 making proposals by which to arrest and capture able-bodied men, now
2 General Tolimir is making proposals on what to do with military men that
3 are in the custody of the VRS. Is that within his purview, to make
4 proposals about captured people?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. All right. Now I think you are aware, as everyone is aware, that
7 it's the Prosecution's position that by the morning of the 12th July,
8 General Mladic and his superiors had decided to summarily execute any men
9 they could get from the crowd of Potocari. And we see that this document
10 was received in the evening. So if General Tolimir is writing this
11 document from the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica on the evening of 12
12 July, several hours after the Prosecution believes the plan to separate
13 and kill the man was hatched, what does his proposal to make lists of the
14 separated men mean to you? And I know you've testified about this many
15 times. So can you tell us what your analysis of that is?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In this
18 question by the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor takes out of context a
19 document which contains basic guide-lines and instructions as to how to
20 treat those who are being evacuated from Potocari. There is no
21 distinction -- there is no mention of separation. This document pertains
22 to the prevention of illegal activities.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness will be able to present his view in
24 reviewing this document.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone. Your microphone.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I kindly ask you as the
6 Presiding Judge to look at this document and see if it contains a single
7 reference to separation, whether I'm making things up or I'm stating
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of course I can, as everybody else can, read this
10 document. And you are talking about context and I think Mr. McCloskey is
11 trying to put this document into a context by putting this idea, and he
12 clearly states it's the position of the Prosecution in this respect to
13 put this to the witness. And this witness of course is able to
14 distinguish between his own results of his review and what is written
15 down in the document and the position put to the parties and the Chamber
16 of the Prosecution by Mr. McCloskey.
17 Please continue.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And I will ask that
19 question in two different ways. The one I think suggested by
20 General Tolimir as well, but if I could ask it with the first way, where,
21 as Mr. Butler has said, that there was a separation of able-bodied men.
22 Q. And so the first question would be: Assuming that
23 General Tolimir was aware of the separation of able-bodied men as they
24 were being moved out of Potocari and wanted to make lists of them, what
25 does that tell you, if anything, about his knowledge of the murder
1 operation that the Prosecution alleges begins on the morning or is
2 planned on the morning of 12 July?
3 A. I would say the same thing I've said when asked this same
4 question in other trials, to me this is evidence that at the time that
5 General Tolimir drafted this particular document he was not aware of that
6 murder plan or it had not reached him.
7 Q. Why do you conclude that?
8 A. It stands to reason that had General Tolimir been informed of the
9 details of the plan at the time that he was writing this document, he
10 would not have made proposals to his superiors and orders to the other
11 officers, related in the security intelligence branch, to make lists of
12 individuals if he had knowledge that they were going to kill those
13 individuals. So given the fact that the proposals he's making seem to be
14 illogical in the context of the events occurring on the ground at
15 Potocari, again I believe it's a reflection of the fact that he has not
16 been made aware at that time he's writing this document of what the plan
18 Q. So if, as we know, General Mladic, General Krstic,
19 Colonel Blagojevic, and others were in Bratunac on 11 and 12 July and, as
20 the Prosecution has alleged, hatched this plan on the morning of the
21 12th, how can you explain that General Tolimir - the chief of intel and
22 security who is not far away in Vlasenica, and there is evidence that he
23 was actually on the road up and down towards Bijeljina that day - would
24 not know about it and would not have been told about it at that point in
1 A. Well, I believe that last qualifier is the key phrase, "at that
2 point in time." A plan to conduct what is clearly a mass unlawful act of
3 killing hundreds if not thousands of prisoners is not something that's
4 going to make its way in routine correspondence and even over
5 communications channels that are relatively unsecure. It is going to be
6 passed along by people, by trusted people, to various individuals. As
7 one looks at -- and again going back to my previous experience here, many
8 of the orders related to this were personally passed from one officer to
9 another. They were not, particularly in the early stages, discussed over
10 the phone or in writing. So General Tolimir is obviously not going to be
11 receiving a phone call to this effect, explaining that this is the plan.
12 At some point in time an officer who is aware of the plan is going to
13 presumably inform General Tolimir of what the actual plan is and whose
14 orders it's being undertaken by so he is aware of the situation. At some
15 point he's going to need to be informed of this plan.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. As reflected in this particular document, if he is not informed
18 of this plan, he's going to continue to be in a situation where he's
19 giving orders and making suggestions that will run counter to what the
20 ultimate intent is. One of the reasons why commanders and key staff
21 officers are briefed on plans, I guess both criminal and military
22 legitimate ones, is so that they understand the overall intent of the
23 plan and they can give guidance and orders in order to ensure the
24 successful completion of that plan.
25 It makes no sense from a military perspective - and again
1 evidenced by this particular document - that they would -- the people who
2 ultimately hatched this plan, General Mladic and his superiors, are not
3 going to keep General Tolimir informed because at the very least by not
4 telling General Tolimir you run the risk of General Tolimir giving orders
5 that would cause that plan to have problems being implemented. There's
6 got to be, even in an unlawful operation, there has to be a degree of
7 military synchronisation. General Tolimir by position as a senior
8 officer on the Main Staff and with the intelligence and security
9 portfolio at his direction has got to be one of those officers that is in
10 the information loop.
11 Q. Now, if, as has been alleged in this case, the security branch
12 officers from both the brigade, Momir Nikolic, the Bratunac Brigade;
13 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic from the Drina Corps; Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Kosoric from the Drina Corps; and Colonel Beara from the Main Staff, if
15 the plan envisions them to organise the detention, transportation along
16 with the military police and others to carry this out pursuant to the
17 commander's orders, well how does that fit into your analysis on whether
18 General Tolimir would know and/or be involved in this process?
19 A. I believe those factors support my analysis, that at a point in
20 time he was. The idea that, one, in the case of Colonel Beara, an
21 officer directly subordinate to General Tolimir, and other members, key
22 members, of the Drina Corps and subordinate brigade security officers are
23 going to be engaged in this operation, and that it somehow is occurring
24 without, a minimum, the knowledge of General Tolimir, kind of flies in
25 the face of military organisation inefficiency. This is an area that he
1 is directly responsible for managing on behalf of General Mladic. It is
2 difficult to comprehend a series of circumstances where the subordinates
3 of a particular officer are heavily engaged in tasks directed from the
4 superior, in this case General Mladic, and that the intermediate officer,
5 General Tolimir, is unaware of this.
6 Under normal circumstances, while it is permissible for an
7 officer in the chain of command to be skipped in the orders process when
8 necessary, it's customary that when receiving those orders one of the
9 very first things that the junior officer will do is to ensure that his
10 superior who was skipped is briefed on the orders that he has received
11 and who has given him those orders. In a military environment it has to
12 be that way, otherwise you have various elements of command who are
13 operating at cross-purposes on the battle-field and that ultimately leads
14 to military disorganisation. And in the context of military battle,
15 could lead to a catastrophic defeat. That's the reason why the chain of
16 command exists in militaries, why it is organised and stratified as it
17 is, because these officers need to know this information in order to
18 successfully perform their missions.
19 Q. So if General Mladic in Bratunac on the 12th of July issued
20 orders to General Krstic and Colonel Beara or Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic,
21 what, if anything, would Colonel Beara do? First of all, would he be
22 obligated to -- well, first of all, in your view would he follow that
23 order, to take part in this operation?
24 A. An interesting question only insomuch as under military rule,
25 even that of the VRS, an officer or a soldier is not obligated to follow
1 an order that is recognised as unlawful, as such -- as an order like this
2 would be. Whether -- you know, Colonel Beara obviously did follow the
3 order. What Colonel Beara's next step would be down the line would be to
4 advise his superior, General Tolimir, of the orders that he received; who
5 gave him those orders; and what he is doing to comply with those orders.
6 Q. Why does Tolimir have to know that? Why does Tolimir need to
7 know what Beara is going to be doing pursuant to murdering hundreds of
9 A. By position, Colonel Beara, as the chief of the security
10 department of the Main Staff, works for General Tolimir. He has to keep
11 his superior informed. Again going back to my earlier discussion on
12 military effectiveness and efficiency, you cannot have a situation where
13 General Tolimir and Colonel Beara are working at completely
14 cross-purposes in attempting to follow the commander's orders. Both of
15 them have to be aware of the commander's orders, both of them have to
16 work in concert to accomplish them.
17 Q. Okay. On that similar point, if the powers of the RS and the
18 VRS, President Karadzic, General Mladic, decide to murder the able-bodied
19 men of Potocari, what would be the normal chain of command that tasks
20 would have been distributed? How would it have worked, through what
21 branches would it go, starting from the Main Staff, General Mladic, if it
22 was to go according -- sorry, to the rules of military practice.
23 A. This has been an issue that I've discussed in previous
24 testimonies with respect to an order like this and the number of implied
25 tasks that have to be accomplished in order to carry it out. Giving an
1 order that says: Pick up X-thousands many individuals and kill them is
2 easy and abstract, but from a military perspective there's a whole lot of
3 things that have to occur in order to accomplish that order, many of them
4 that will leave, if you will, signatures that they have occurred. You
5 have to secure these individuals, and that will take soldiers and
6 military police that have to be ordered to be at certain locations to
7 secure these individuals. You have to arrange for adequate
8 transportation to be at the locations where the prisoners are, have the
9 prisoners placed on these buses and trucks, and then taken to other
10 locations. Those routes have to be guarded so the prisoners cannot
11 escape and that other people cannot see what is happening. The
12 facilities that they're being taken to and other locations have to be
13 identified and secured, again with military police or other soldiers so
14 the prisoner cannot escape. The act of executing the prisoners is going
15 to require somebody to physically carry out the execution; they will
16 require ammunition. The act of burying the remains are going to require
17 engineer assets.
18 So when you look at all of the supplemental tasks that have to
19 occur in order to carry out your hypothetical mass execution, it's clear
20 that the tasks and competences are going to require the work of a large
21 number of officers at various levels of command and staff. It will
22 require the work of rear services officers to arrange for the
23 transportation assets necessary and the fuel for them. It will require
24 the work of the engineer and operative forces in order to ensure that the
25 requisite burial equipment is where it needs to be and when it needs to
1 be there. It will require the participation of the security organs to
2 co-ordinate the work of the military police in guarding prisoners, in
3 securing transportation routes to other areas.
4 So these things, again, cannot happen in isolation. It has to
5 happen in a co-ordinated and synchronised process. And given the amount
6 of work necessary to make these happen, the commanders and senior
7 officers have to be aware of what's going on and why it's going on,
8 particularly in the context of what's happening at Srebrenica because not
9 only do you have the murder operation, so to speak, you're also engaged
10 in a battle against the remainder of the 28th Infantry Division that's
11 fleeing the remains of the enclave. And the resources that you're taking
12 to do the murder operation have to be withdrawn from combat operations.
13 So again, these things can't happen in isolation without a
14 disaster occurring militarily. There is an enormous amount of
15 synchronisation and co-ordination that has to occur between a lot of
16 members of the military in order to pull something like this off.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Please,
19 in this question Mr. McCloskey put forward an assumption which is part of
20 the Prosecution case, but this is not based on the facts and the
21 evidence. So I ask that this be borne in mind during the examination of
22 the witness because the witness was able to read all the documents that
23 we have here in court, so there is no need to speak of assumptions and
24 hypotheses. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think Mr. -- Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's appropriate for Mr. Butler to give
2 his military view on how an operation would occur, the complex nature of
3 it, the units that would have to be involved and such, and I think that's
4 important for the Court to know in determining who was involved and who
5 knew what when. I think that's exactly what his military expertise is
6 useful for, and I'm -- we're not basing his answer on any facts that are
7 not in evidence. The fact of the organised mass execution you've heard
8 and has been proved over and over and over again. I don't really think
9 the general is contesting that, but perhaps he is.
10 So the facts that Mr. Butler are basing his view on are present
11 for the Court and it's exactly why we rely on experts to give us an idea
12 of militarily what would be involved in such a thing.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And if you look at the wording of this -- the
14 last question of Mr. McCloskey, page 62, lines 15 to 20, they are -- this
15 question is absolutely similar to many questions put to other witnesses
16 in this trial from both sides. And I think Mr. McCloskey made very clear
17 that this is not an assumption, What would be the normal chain of command
18 that tasks would have been distributed. How would it have worked, and so
19 on and so on. I think this is an absolutely legitimate question to an
20 expert witness to explain his view on matters of chain of command.
21 We may come back to that. We need our second break now and we
22 will resume five minutes past 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you get the floor, Mr. McCloskey, I would
1 like to put one question to the witness.
2 Just before the break you explained the tasks, the measures, to
3 be taken to prepare and carry out such a major operation as you described
4 it. Taking into account this explanation, I would like to ask you to
5 explain one answer before you gave this explanation. It is on page 62,
6 line 1, I quote:
7 "What Colonel Beara's next step would be down the line would be
8 to advise his superior, General Tolimir, of the orders that he received,
9 who gave him those orders, and what he is doing to comply with those
11 What do you mean by that, especially "down the line"?
12 THE WITNESS: Probably an inartful phrase by me. When we asked
13 this very question of a number of VRS military officers about what would
14 happen in circumstances where orders would be given by a superior officer
15 to a junior or a subordinate soldier or, more importantly, a soldier
16 who's not directly subordinate to that officer, the answer was that,
17 first of all, the person receiving the orders would carry them out. And
18 as soon as he could, he would advise his immediate commander as to what
19 those orders were, who gave them, and what actions he has taken.
20 Obviously, it's not the place of a subordinate to question orders
21 he receives from a superior, particularly if those orders appear to be
22 lawfully given at face value. If there is any question about who gave
23 those orders and the competence of the individual who gave those orders,
24 by informing that -- by that junior person informing his immediate
25 commander, he gives his immediate commander that opportunity to then
1 reach back to the person who gave those orders and ask him: By what
2 authority are you giving those orders? And that why -- in a military
3 environment, you know, why did you not issue those orders through me as
4 the immediate superior of the next person. It is a customary practice
5 that you do have to advise those individuals of the orders that were
6 received because you cannot have soldiers or junior officers running
7 around in a situation where they received one set of orders from one
8 officer, who may be a superior officer but is not in the chain of
9 command; and another set of orders that they're following that they
10 received from their chain of command.
11 So this is why this process works in a factual way, that, you
12 know, the officer follows the initial orders but has to immediately
13 advise their superior about what orders that they've received and it
14 gives the superior the option to question who gave those orders and under
15 what competence they are doing so.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, if this illegal order to kill many men, if it's
20 treated as a -- as a normal order despite its subject matter from
21 General Mladic, the -- we have commanders at one hand and we have
22 security branches at the other. In your view, could either of the
23 command side or the security side be left out of these orders? How would
24 it normally go, just the chain of orders, if it was to follow the normal
25 command chain? Would commanders be involved? Would security be
1 involved? Could either be left out in your view?
2 A. The -- the fact that a military has been ordered to carry out an
3 unlawful order doesn't mean that they're going to carry it out in a
4 nonmilitary manner. A military organisation is just that, it is an
5 organisation. It operates along a defined structure and hierarchy. A
6 commander is overall -- in any echelon the commander is ultimately
7 responsible for the acts and omissions of his subordinates. A commander
8 has to be advised what's going on because he is the one who has to give
9 orders for various actions to take place. Historically in these past
10 proceedings, commanders tend to try and put the blame for these acts on
11 security officials, saying that they happened in complete isolation; and
12 on the other hand, security officers tend to claim that the commanders
13 are solely responsible.
14 The truth in a military context is that everybody has to
15 participate. A commander can no more organise this type of an unlawful
16 activity without the role of the security function any more than he can
17 do so without the assistance of his logistics commanders and staff
18 officers in order to arrange transportation. Despite the involvement in
19 unlawful acts, the people that he needs to involve are those military
20 professionals who by training and by profession are responsible for
21 making certain activities happen within a military organisation. I mean,
22 I guess the best practical way to put it would be to look at the scenario
23 of 16 or 15 July/16 July 1995, where you have Colonel Popovic requesting
24 500 litres of fuel in order to complete the work he is doing at Branjevo.
25 The fact that he is engaged in a patently unlawful act doesn't mean that
1 he, of his own authority, can requisition fuel and do other things. He
2 has to depend on a logistics branch to organise that fuel and he's
3 required to sign for it and be accountable for its use, despite the
4 purpose it is being used for.
5 So in part, yes, they're unlawful acts but they are undertaken
6 within the context of the military organisation that's doing them,
7 following the normal standards and procedures to the degree that they
8 can. It's the way people are trained; it is the way that they operate.
9 Q. So if General Mladic was to issue an order down the command
10 chain, who would be the next person down the command chain that he would
11 issue the order to on 12 July?
12 A. Given the geographic context of the Drina Corps, that would be
13 General Milenko Zivanovic, who at that time is still the commander of the
14 Drina Corps.
15 Q. And would that change with a new commander of the Drina Corps,
16 would there be another commander involved in the context of this case
17 after that?
18 A. Yes, sir. At approximately 2000 hours on 13 July 1995,
19 General Radislav Krstic, who is the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps
20 assumes command of the Drina Corps. There is a change of command.
21 General Zivanovic is relieved and General Krstic is appointed the new
23 Q. And if it continued down the command chain, who would
24 General Krstic in his command and, you know, pass that order down to
25 along the command chain?
1 A. Those would be the subordinate brigade commanders whose assets
2 would have to be involved in various aspects of the commissions of the
3 crime. In the case of the Zvornik Brigade, Colonel Pandurevic and --
4 because he wasn't physically with the brigade; the Chief of Staff,
5 Major Obrenovic; in the case of the Blagojevic -- or, I'm sorry, in the
6 case of the Bratunac Brigade, Colonel Blagojevic as the commander. These
7 people have to have a knowledge of what's going on and what the
8 commander's intent and orders are so they can facilitate that.
9 Q. Now, we have seen in this case evidence of the involvement of
10 Colonel Beara at the Main Staff and others at the Main Staff and Popovic
11 at the corps and the brigade security people. How along the normal chain
12 of security and intel orders would it go, again starting with Mladic.
13 Who would he tell if he wanted to engage the security and intel branch to
14 manage the MPs and manage the prisoners with them along with their
16 A. With General Mladic as the point of departure, the first person
17 that he would engage would be his assistant commander for intelligence
18 and security, General Tolimir. General Tolimir, in turn, would give
19 directions to his immediate staff members who were involved,
20 Colonel Beara, Colonel Salapura, others, as well as direction to the
21 subordinate assistant commanders of intelligence and security at the
22 corps levels. So he would reach out through his technical chain and
23 provide those orders to Colonel Popovic, who in turn would be expected to
24 provide the necessary orders and direction to the assistant commanders
25 for intelligence and security at the brigade levels.
1 Q. Is it -- you've dealt with this somewhat so I don't need a long
2 answer, but is it conceivable in your view that the command side with its
3 troops could work separately from the security organ and their assets and
4 vice versa, could the security organ work this with their few resources
5 outside or separate and apart or without the knowledge of the command --
6 the commanders?
7 A. No, sir. It can't happen that way. It has to be a collaborative
8 process, as envisioned under the command and staff rules that the army
10 Q. All right. Now, getting back to the document that started all
11 this --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to page 1.
13 Q. We see that General Tolimir sent this particular document to the
14 attention of both General Krstic and to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. Now,
15 again going on what are the allegations by the Prosecution, if
16 Colonel Popovic - as the Prosecution has alleged - is engaging in the
17 separation of men in Potocari that day in order to detain them and have
18 them summarily executed and he receives this document from
19 General Tolimir, that according to you suggests that General Tolimir is
20 unaware of the plan to kill people because he's asking or he's proposing
21 that lists should be made, which you have said is not consistent with
22 awareness of a murder operation, what in your view would a military man
23 such as Popovic or Krstic do if they received this 12 July proposal and
24 identified the fact that General Tolimir was in Vlasenica and unaware of
25 Mladic's and Karadzic's plans?
1 A. They would have to tell him if, for no other reason, keeping him
2 from issuing orders or making proposals that would run counter to
3 General Mladic's orders.
4 Q. And can you remind us, if you know, roughly the route from
5 Bratunac to Vlasenica on the 12th and 13th of July were -- was that the
6 route that the Muslims were evacuated or transported out via?
7 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
8 Q. Do you remember how -- roughly how long it would have taken on
9 the 12th or the 13th of July for someone to courier -- for an officer to
10 get into a car and drive from Bratunac to Vlasenica to inform
11 General Tolimir in person?
12 A. Given the situation on the road that particular day and depending
13 on when the individual left, a maximum would be a few hours.
14 Q. All right. Now --
15 A. Although I would -- just to clarify. At some point later in the
16 evening the road was being crossed by the column or, you know, being
17 contested by the column. So it would have had to have been at some point
18 during the daylight hours that this trip started because once the sun
19 went down, whatever time that would be, probably would be too hazardous
20 to make that trip.
21 Q. Okay.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Your Honours, I would now like to use a
23 document that was in evidence but it was not on my list, but it's in
24 response to General Tolimir's objection concerning the issue of separated
25 men at Potocari and the questions on that topic addressed by
1 Judge Nyambe. I mentioned and showed the document to Mr. Gajic and, as I
2 say, it's a document in evidence. I would ask leave of the Court to
3 allow Mr. Butler to see this document for his view.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't see an objection by the Defence. You
5 should call it up.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. It is P2069.
7 Q. And I frankly, Mr. Butler, don't recall if you have ever been
8 shown this document, but if you could take a look at it and review it.
9 And while you're doing that I'll just, for the record, show that it's
10 from the Drina Corps forward command post Bratunac. The date of 12 July.
11 There's some handwritten notes about -- and some initials on the right
12 side, one of which is dated -- the initials is dated 13 of August. It's
13 entitled "Very Urgent." And it is to the Main Staff of the Army of
14 Republika Srpska, sector for intelligence and security affairs.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Your Honours, you may have observed this.
16 OB sometimes gets translated as intelligence affairs; other times it gets
17 translated as intelligence and security affairs. It's one of those
18 interesting linguistic things that you will notice in translations.
19 Q. It says the security administration and the command of the
20 Drina Corps security department. And I think we know about the security
21 administration and the command of the Drina Corps security department.
22 And then it's entitled "Enemy." And it says:
23 "In the course of the day our forces and MUP forces did not have
24 any heavy exchange of fire with balijas forces" -- excuse me. "MUP
25 forces entered Potocari in the morning without combat."
1 From your knowledge of the documents, is that a correct
2 statement, those two statements?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. All right. "The positions for destruction of the remaining
5 groups is currently being established towards Suceska and Ravni Buljim."
6 Can you tell us is the direction Suceska and Ravni Buljim the
7 same or are those two different directions for the remaining groups of
8 remaining Muslims; do you recall?
9 A. As I recall, those are the routes related to the path that the
10 column of the 28th Division and military-aged men were taking in order to
11 leave the fallen enclave in an attempt to make it back to Bosnian
12 Muslim-held territory.
13 Q. And it says:
14 "We don't know at the moment the exact" --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, only now the translation to B/C/S
16 has finished. Therefore, I would kindly remind both speakers again to
17 pause between question and answer and the next question. Please carry
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 I know that's particularly problematic when I'm reading, so I'll
21 tell myself that.
22 Q. It goes on to say:
23 "A contact with Ejub Golic's group was established; we believe
24 that a part of the group withdrew through Bokcin Potok towards Siljkovici
25 with intention to move via Kravica towards Udrc to Tuzla."
1 Who is Ejub Golic, if you recall?
2 A. As I recall, he was one of the senior military officials of the
3 28th Infantry Division.
4 Q. Is that direction they're talking about, Bokcin Potok via Kravica
5 towards Udrc, is that a direction that you're familiar with from the
6 investigations and the records that the Muslims were going in?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. All right. And then I think we have to go to the next page in
9 English. It's paragraph 2 which is listed as number 2 conveniently.
10 Under "UNPROFOR." I won't read it all, but do you see anything in that
11 paragraph that is not correct or not -- something that -- not whether
12 it's correct or not, but something that you think may not be accurate
13 based on your knowledge of the documents and the evidence?
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. As this underlined part:
16 "UNPROFOR soldiers are assisting in loading women and children
17 into vehicles."
18 A. I'm sorry, I thought you were talking about the final paragraph.
19 That line is not quite accurate. My understanding from the video
20 evidence is that it was the Bratunac Brigade military police and other
21 special police units that were in Potocari at the time.
22 Q. But were the Dutch UNPROFOR forces in and around Potocari during
23 the transport of the women and children?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. All right. In paragraph 3 now, the first part about the refugee
1 group I won't ask you about, just if there's anything contested there.
2 And it talks about:
3 " ... 5.000 women and children were evacuated so far ..."
4 So as far as you know in the afternoon and evening of 12 July
5 were some women and children transported out of Potocari?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And then this last line from Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic:
8 "We are separating men from 17 to 60 years of age and we are not
9 transporting them. We have about 70 of them so far and the security
10 organs and the DB are working with them."
11 Now, does this separation of men 17 to 60 years of age connect in
12 any way in your mind to the 12 July report of General Tolimir, D64, that
14 "It is equally important to note down the names of all men fit
15 for military service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. Now, going again to the first page of this Popovic document.
19 We see the time, 1730 hours on the front --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. It says here exactly when
22 the document was received at the Drina Corps. It's not 1700 hours, it's
23 1935. Could this be clarified with the witness, please.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey is just referring to the heading of
25 this document where it says 1730 hours.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and I was interrupted on my way to -- that's
2 when the time in the left-hand corner is. And if we go to the stamp at
3 the back, it's a little hard to make out. Perhaps it will be better if
4 we blow it up. The translators have seen this as 1934 received.
5 Q. So, Mr. Butler, if General Tolimir was at the Drina Corps
6 command, command of the Drina Corps as this is addressed to, after 1934
7 hours, in your view would he have received this?
8 A. Yes, sir. It's addressed to him, not specific by name but to the
9 Main Staff, sector for OBP.
10 Q. And the same question, had he been at the -- if he got back to
11 the Main Staff at Crna Rijeka that evening of the 12th, would this have
12 been something he should have seen?
13 A. Yes, sir, but I don't believe that that's the case. I believe
14 that he was at the Drina Corps at the time that this arrived. If you
15 look at the 12 July document 17/897, D64, it specifically notes
16 information received at 1945 hours on 12 July. Logically the report or
17 this document written by General Tolimir is going to be written sometime
18 after receiving this information about the radio network at 1945 hours on
19 12 July. Consequently, he is at the Drina Corps command when this
20 message, at a minimum, arrives at the communications centre of the
21 Drina Corps command.
22 Q. All right.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Your Honours, for your information, the --
24 we -- the Prosecution does not believe that there -- any of those
25 initials on this document are those of General Tolimir.
1 Q. All right, let's go in the remaining time to P125. We're still
2 on our issue of prisoners --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, just a question. You indicated
4 that you would update the Chamber in relation to six witnesses on your
5 list. Will you do that now, at the end of this session orally, or can we
6 expect some written update later this afternoon?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it would be a good idea to do both and so
8 it's probably a good idea to let Mr. Butler go and I'll get you better
9 information later, but I have some now.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
11 I think this is all for the day and for the week. Thank you very
12 much that you came here. We will resume our hearing on Monday, 2.15, in
13 this courtroom. Now you are free to leave the courtroom. Thank you very
15 THE WITNESS: Yes.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, no. No, no. Only the witness should leave
17 the courtroom.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, Your Honours, the one witness that
21 I've been personally dealing with Mr. Gajic about is the Dutch document
22 expert Johan de Koeijer, number 16. He has written a report on an
23 important military document that shows erasure marks of the MPs at
24 Orahovac on 14 July and MPs at Rocevic on 15 July, where you can see that
25 originally an O, which equals Orahovac has been erased, and a T, which
1 means terrain, has been replaced. That's basically what his report says.
2 90 per cent of his conclusions are evident from the naked eye, by looking
3 at the original document. We discussed that -- Mr. Gajic and I discussed
4 that yesterday and I showed him the document, and I think his response to
5 our original 94 bis largely agreed with us. The one person that you
6 can't see from the naked eye is the commander of the MP battalion,
7 Miomir Jasikovac, and you can't quite out -- make out the erased O with
8 the naked eye but the expert says with his microscope he can see it.
9 I have discussed this with Mr. Gajic to see if we can agree on
10 that and that you could just see it and that the report would go in and
11 he feels it's best that we call the expert on this point. So long story
12 short, we'll be calling the expert on that. It won't take very long, but
13 we couldn't reach an agreement on that so I imagine we're going to have
14 to call the expert, unless you want to review the document yourselves to
15 make the final decision. I'm not sure from our records whether the Court
16 made a final decision on that. We were not quite sure. That may have
17 just slipped through the cracks. But it won't take long in any event.
18 He's close by, if Defence feels they need to cross-examine on that point.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If I'm not mistaken, the Chamber hasn't issued
20 any decision on that.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's -- thank you for confirming that because
22 we couldn't find any record on it.
23 So that is -- that's -- I think we'll just plan on calling him
24 unless you review the decision and change it. And of course this witness
25 is available for the Defence if they choose to put on a case.
1 We're also -- we've evaluated the expert report of Mr. Hedley and
2 it's information that Dusan Janc counts on in his report, so we would
3 like to call him as well given that you did make a decision on that and
4 required his presence. And the Defence would like to cross-examine him.
5 Further, of the four Srebrenica women, we are -- we have reviewed
6 their packets and we are dropping number 63, number 67, and number 80.
7 Number 72 we believe is possible that we will be able to fix the problem
8 relatively easily, but we're -- haven't been able to find the key to that
9 yet. But I'm hoping we'll be able to figure that out very soon and we'll
10 let you know on that last remaining witness.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that clarification. I
12 take it that you withdrew the witnesses number 63, 67, and number 80?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And would you like us to file something on this
16 or --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In my view, it is sufficient that you just did it
18 now and we have it on the record, if there 's no objection by the
19 Defence. I don't think so and I don't see any objection.
20 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: After having heard your explanation in relation
22 to the two expert witnesses and there was no different statement by the
23 Defence, the Chamber would appreciate if these two expert witnesses would
24 be called, and I think there is no need for issuing any written decisions
25 on that. Thank you.
1 We are at the end of today's hearing and we will adjourn. We
2 resume on Monday, 2.15, in this courtroom, number 3.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th day of
5 July, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.